Pat LaFontaine (center) seems to have lost a power struggle in Buffalo’s front office. (Bill Wippert/Getty Images)
By John Rolfe
An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• Bucky Gleason examines the abrupt resignation of Sabres hockey ops president Pat LaFontaine, a stunning development that suggests the dual boogeymen of discord and dysfunction have barged into Buffalo’s seemingly sunny front office. Apparently, the Ryan Miller trade was the product of a power struggle that was lost by the Hall of Famer, who loved working with the Sabres but now returns to the NHL and his former gig in the department of player safety. What this bodes for the rebuilding team should be interesting.
• Meanwhile, Ryan Miller is more than happy to be making a fresh start in St. Louis.
• Playing outdoors is nice and all, but its appeal is clearly limited, as Vancouver has learned. Seats are still available for today’s Heritage Classic, which has been hurt by the lack of rivalry between the Canucks and Ottawa Senators as well as the teams’ underwhelming play this season. A rematch of the 1915 Stanley Cup Final hasn’t exactly made fans stampede to the box office, but the game should have its charms.
• With Eddie Lack getting the start for the Canucks in today’s marquee event, what does it mean for Roberto Luongo?
• Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman says he’s not giving much thought to the trade deadline despite his team’s struggles of late–Saturday night’s outdoor demolition of the Penguins notwithstanding.
• The Penguins, who have some issues to address, may be very interested in Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler.
• In his Sunday collection of thoughts and observations, Larry Brooks of the New York Post says the Rangers have done all they can to keep Ryan Callahan, an impending UFA, but the Blueshirts’ captain has every right to wonder why he’s being asked to take less than he thinks he’s worth when GM Glen Sather has had a habit of lavishing riches on some pretty questionable imports.