By Allan Muir
An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• Patrick King offers a list of 10 Eastern Conference players who must step it up this season, including Milan Lucic, Marian Gaborik and Carey Price. The most intriguing to me might be Carolina’s Jeff Skinner, whose new contract kicks in this year. Does he really have more to give, or have injuries taken such a toll that we’ve already seen his best?
• Mike Heika has spent the past few days profiling players on the Dallas Stars, but today he gets around to the one who hockey fans in Texas can’t wait to see for themselves: Tyler Seguin. Unique talent and opportunity offer the potential for a great season, Helka says, and it’s tough not to agree.
• Luke Fox writes that vacation time is over for Steve Mason and Philly’s new goalie is ready to get back to work. It’s time to prove that his hot finish wasn’t just a streak, but evidence that he’s ready and able to carry the load for this team.
• The St. Louis Blues get the 30-in-30 treatment today on NHL.com. GM Doug Armstrong offers some insight into the team’s changing culture and what that means for the top prospects.
• While you’re at NHL.com, check out John Kreiser’s piece on the league’s top players in the over-35 division.