An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
• The Penguins always seem to be in the middle of things during the NHL’s silly season, and they’re expected to be active again this year. Beat reporter Rob Rossi identifies their top targets as Ryan Kesler, Marek Zidlicky and Ales Hemsky. I’d say there’s a better than even-money chance that GM Ray Shero lands both Zidlicky and Hemsky.
• The Flyers are in the running for Kesler as well, but they’re also interested in a much bigger deal with the Canucks. Now this could make things interesting …
• The incompetent handling of Pat LaFontaine’s departure/firing proves that the era of front-office bungling isn’t over in Buffalo.
• All that turmoil leaves a pressing question to be answered: What does it all mean for the future of coach Ted Nolan? There are no guarantees for anyone with who wears the interim tag, but Nolan has done enough to prove that he’s worthy of a permanent gig. If he is cut loose again, the Sabres can kiss whatever remaining crumbs of credibility that they have goodbye.
• Buffalo and Vanvouver are both franchises that began in turmoil. Forty years later, they’ve returned to a state of confusion ahead of the trade deadline.