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Top Line: Greatest Phil Kessel memes; Vigneault’s big return; more links

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Phil Kessel meme after his brawl with Buffalo's John Scott.

Phil Kessel has gained some more notoriety in the wake of the big line brawl between the Maple Leafs and the Sabres.

By Allan Muir

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

• Here’s some more Phil Kessel fun. Thank you, Internet.

• The Rangers arrive in Vancouver today ahead of Thursday night’s exhibition tilt against the Canucks. You don’t suppose anyone will notice that former Vancouver coach Alain Vigneault’s coming with them, do you?

• Sabres coach Ron Rolston was just fined an undisclosed amount (rumored to be $10,000) by the NHL for leaving a player on the ice.

• Bucky Gleason has no problem with the league’s decision. In fact, he says the NHL didn’t go far enough in penalizing Buffalo.

• The writing was on the wall for Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer the minute Toronto acquired Jonathan Bernier in a June trade with the Kings. But Reimer, with another strong performance, is showing that he will not go gently into that good night.

• Canadiens goalie Carey Price might be joking about wearing two cups these days, but he’s serious about the other changes he’s making ahead of his pivotal season.

• Here’s Gary Lawless with the unlikely tale of the former equipment manager who has elevated himself into a key front-office decision maker in Winnipeg. This is an amazing story of personal achievement.

• After missing three consecutive games, top pick Nathan MacKinnon is expected to rejoin the Avalanche for tonight’s preseason tilt in Dallas.

• Sidney Crosby feels Sam Gagner’s pain.

• Tyler Seguin played all of 22 seconds while the Bruins were shorthanded last season, but that’s not stopping Lindy Ruff from teaming the Stars’ prize acquisition with Jamie Benn on a penalty-killing unit.

• Nothing ever comes easy for the Flyers. On the night captain that Claude Giroux returned to the lineup for the first time since his golfing injury (this is the first time I’ve typed that term without using quotation marks), Philadelphia lost top winger Jake Voracek after a hard collision with the net.

• Philly enforcer Jay Rosehill says The Code is changing and he doesn’t see any problem with John Scott going after Kessel. He makes a good point here, though it’s one a lot of people won’t like.

• Ken Hitchcock sees depth and maturity as the elements that mark the Blues as legitimate Stanley Cup contenders.

• Here’s Eric Duhatschek on George Gosbee and the challenges he faces rebranding the Coyotes as a franchise that matters.

• Los Angeles appears to have found one answer to its lingering left wing problem on the trade market, but there are still holes to be filled on the port side.

• For years, it was about potential and promise with Blackhawks winger Bryan Bickell. Now, after a stellar playoff run and a staggering new contract, it’s about expectations and demands.

• A Canucks fan was given an eight-month sentence yesterday for cheerleading.

• A groin injury to Red Wings goaltender Jonas Gustavsson has opened a window of opportunity for potential backup Petr Mrazek.

• No Kovy? No problem! The Devils deepened their commitment to scoring-by-committee with the signing of former Detroit forward Damien Brunner.

• The Ducks have quietly swapped out their primary logo for their secondary emblem this year. Not that you’d notice or anything.

• Pat Sieloff might not be ready for the NHL just yet, but the Flames think the hard-hitting blueliner has gotten all he can from the junior hockey experience. That’s why they’re using a draft loophole to send the 19-year-old to the AHL rather than return him to the Windsor Spitfires.

• The move to the AHL is great news for Sieloff. On the other hand, it’s really bad news for the Spits.

• Cal Clutterbuck’s long-term injury means a former first rounder could get his shot at cracking the Islanders’ lineup.

• Eric Belanger, last seen on these shores wearing Oilers silks, has decided to retire after just seven games in the KHL. He played with seven teams over a 12-year NHL career, scoring 138 goals and 358 points. Enjoy the life of leisure, Eric.

• Sidney Crosby’s mom has a new job. But she can thank her daughter, rather than her son, for this gig.

  • Published On Sep 25, 2013
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