By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning’s short list of must-read hockey stories:
• Someone on Twitter pulled up an old column written about the firing of Pierre McGuire by the Hartford Whalers and it is amazing. Apparently some people didn’t like him much back then, either. Not sure I can recall the last time a coach was ripped quite like this on his way out the door.
• Missed this one the other day, but it’s still worth a read: Patrick Kane is trying to mix good judgment in with his good times during this summer of celebration.
• Bryan Bickell was part of the 2010 champion Blackhawks, but didn’t play a large enough role to get his name on the Cup. He says missing out on that honor provided all the motivation he needed heading into this season’s playoffs.
• OK, so he played fairly well down the stretch after being acquired from Columbus. But are the expectations of fans in Philadelphia setting Steve Mason up for failure next season?
• Here’s a look at some of Philly’s top prospects, including first-rounder Scott Laughton and Nick Cousins.
• The sale of the Phoenix Coyotes is about to move one step closer to completion. Yep. We truly have entered the dog days.
• Here’s a look at who’s in and who’s out with the Stars after a busy summer in Dallas.
• There have been plenty of great stories lately about players and their commitments to charity during the offseason. Here’s another that focuses on Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price and his efforts to assist the autism work of longtime friend Olaf Kolzig.
• Can we go a day without a story linking Justin Bieber to hockey? Apparently not. And this time, the Maple Leafs brought it upon themselves.
• Looked for a while there like every player who had filed for arbitration would get a deal done before it got to that point. And then there was Toronto defenseman Mark Fraser. Hard to see this one being settled in advance.
• Tampa Bay Lightning first rounder Slater Koekkoek has been invited to Canada’s national junior team camp. He’ll replace injured Islanders’ prospect Adam Pelech. It’s nice to see Koekoek, who has suffered through more than a few injuries himself, get this chance to step up.
• “What I see with him is he had a bit of a rocky year in the KHL,” said Edmonton GM Craig MacTavish. That right there is a quote that’s sure to inspire excitement among Oilers fans about the return of defenseman Denis Grebeshkov.