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Top Line: NHL’s most stupid new rule; Habs honor Lac Megantic; more links

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Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals

Under a new league rule, Alex Ovechkin’s trademark sweater tuck is verboten. (Elsa/Getty Images)

By Allan Muir

An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:

• The league announced last week a brilliant and impactful rule change that prohibits the tucking in of jerseys. Alex Ovechkin, however, ain’t too happy about it . . . and he might have a point about how it appears to have been passed without player consultation. Expect this quiet protest to pick up steam.

• The Canadiens honored the survivors, and victims, of the tragedy at Lac Megantic last night, packing their preseason opener with an emotional wallop.

• The second day of preseason play and we already have our first nasty headshot of the season. You can be sure the game or two that Jordan Nolan is suspended for will send a serious message of non-tolerance for these shenanigans, right?

• Oh, Nolan thought it was a clean hit? OK then, sorry about the misunderstanding.

• Forget that they lost the game to St. Louis in the shootout and that there were maybe 1,500 diehards in the stands. Last night offered glimpses of hope for the long-suffering Dallas Stars. Tyler Seguin looked quick and creative. Kevin Connauton was menacing. John Klingberg was a ballerina with the puck. Cody Eakin was in the middle of everything. And first rounder Valeri Nichushkin had two goals and NINE shots on net. This looks like a team on the right path for the first time in a long time.

• Joining the Flyers felt like the first day of high school for Vincent Lecavalier. Probably on account of Paul Holmgren shoving him naked into the girls’ locker room.

• Nathan MacKinnon found a place to live. All utilities included. Might involve some babysitting.

• Dustin Penner may be a blip on the NHL radar, but they’re loving him and his divorce over at TMZ.

• Tyler Kennedy may be slotted for the third line in San Jose, but the team sees him as a player with some upward mobility. Anything seems possible in the preaseason, doesn’t it?

• Bo Horvat may be ticketed for a return to London, but is he making enough of an impression to at least break camp with the Canucks?

• Daniel Sedin says a quicker release is only one of the keys to a rebound season.

• Nathan Walker’s NHL preseason debut was big news in his native Australia. Kid still looks to be a few years away (at least), but his invite to Washington’s camp was a major step for Aussie hockey.

• Tim Leiweke was ripped to shreds by the fans and media for turning his back on Toronto’s history. How well do you think it will go over now that new coach Dallas Eakins is doing something similar in Edmonton?

• Tuevo Teravainen, a 2012 first rounder, is headed back to Finland this week, but not before making a big impression in his first training camp with the Blackhawks.

• Now that Bryan Bickell is being paid to score goals, the Hawks are looking for someone whose primary role will focus on intimidation. They might have found the guy.

• Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg have a new running mate on Detroit’s top line. It’s an interesting choice — and probably something you want to take notice of if you haven’t had your hockey pool draft yet.

• Tomas Tatar can count. He knows he’ll be a fringe player this season and he’s not thrilled. So the Red Wings are trying to mollify his concerns in public. Think that will make him feel any better about his standing with the team?

• Top prospect Ryan Murray made a memorable NHL debut for the Blue Jackets in last night’s opener against the Penguins.

• Joe Corvo is looking forward to fixing some old ink now that he’s back in Ottawa.

• Now you, too, can have hair that is as soft and manageable as Evgeni Malkin’s.

• Coach Mike Bales believes a few minor adjustments can return Marc-Andre Fleury to the ranks of the league’s top goaltenders. Since when was a complete recalibration of a player’s self-confidence considered “minor”?

• Whether they’ll admit it or not, the league will be closely monitoring meetings this week that could lead to the construction of a new, NHL-ready arena in Seattle. As each hurdle is passed, expect expansion talk to heat up.

• Who owns da Petes? OWNZE! OWNZE!

  • Published On Sep 16, 2013
  • 2 comments
    Bill89
    Bill89

    I tell you I think the stupidest new rule that the NHL came out with this year is about taking off the helmets when fighting. Their giving players a 2 minute penalty for taking off their helmets in a fight and saying that it's unsportsmanlike conduct . As far as I'm concerned it's unsportsmanlike to leave the helmet on especially helmets with visors. These guys are breaking fingers, knuckles and their hands when their opponent leaves his helmet on.

     This rule has to be changed around if you don't take your helmet off in a fight and the other guy busts his hand up because he's only punching hardened plastic this guy should get 2 for unsportsmanlike and 5 for being a dick.

    chijim222
    chijim222

    Bryan Bickell was never known as an intimidator or an enforcer, and Jimmy Hayes isn't looking to be either. They're both big guys who came into the league without stellar skating skills.