By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• Jim Matheson argues that the NHL’s four new divisions should be named after the greats of the game. Nice sentiment, but it’s well known that Gary Bettman thinks fans are too easily confused by names that aren’t geographical, so get ready for East/Southeast or the High Plains division or something equally silly.
• A radio show in Boston broke the news of the Tyler Seguin trade to some young girls in Boston. Hilarity ensued.
• Tony Gallagher, who has been on a bit of a roll lately, tears down the myth of accountability as a tool in the NHL.
• Here’s a must-read piece from Jerry Barca about the soldier-athletes who make up the Fort Bragg Patriots.
• Bobby Ryan understands there’s no way to replace Daniel Alfredsson in Ottawa, but he’s ready to make his own kind of impact on the Sens. Interesting to read what he plans to do with Jason Spezza before camp.
• The Devils lost a couple of forwards who can’t be easily replaced, either. But GM Lou Lamoriello plans on throwing the doors open and letting the kids battle for the spots vacated by Ilya Kovalchuk and David Clarkson.
• Sidney Crosby was named the NHL’s Best Player last night at the ESPY’s which, apparently, is still a thing that exists.
• Rule changes intended to curb head injuries haven’t worked as intended, according to the author of a new study. He suggests the rules be rewritten to take away any subjectivity currently in the hands of officials. We’ll see how well that goes over…
• Philadelphia took a flyer on discarded Columbus draft pick Petr Straka. And while the buzz has been growing, Bill Meltzer warns fans to dial it back a bit. Tearing up a junior league as an overager is hardly a leading indicator of future success, he notes.
• If the Los Angeles Kings are struggling with cap problems, the Oilers should be good neighbors and help them out by taking Kyle Clifford off their hands.
• Nic Petan is the one to watch at Winnipeg’s development camp. Small, sure. Really, really small. But so gifted offensively, and blessed with grit and determination. He could be a heck of a player for the Jets before long.
• Florida general manager Dale Tallon says the time is now for the team’s top prospects to claim their spot in the NHL lineup. It’s the right idea for a franchise that needs to stop talking about the future and start delivering on it.
• There is no way to justify this, Nashville. No way at all.
• Nathan Horton’s shoulder surgery went well yesterday, but the best-case scenario has the new Blue Jacket at least four months away from action.
• After a strong showing at the team’s development camp, Madison Bowey is looking more like a second-round steal by the Washington Capitals.
• Luke DeCock thinks the Hurricanes should focus on a former teammate of coach Kirk Muller if they want to land immediate help through free agency.