An annotated guide to this morning’s must-read hockey stories:
With this post, we bid a slightly misty adieu to the Home Ice blog. The all-new SI.com sports a fresh look that will offer both enhanced content and a more interactive approach to bring you all the latest news and hottest opinions from the world of hockey, including our daily Top Line compendium. We think you’ll dig it…but we couldn’t say goodbye without first saying thanks to all of you for following along, for supporting the blog and, occasionally, knocking it down a notch or two. We couldn’t have done it without you.
• On the eve of the NHL Awards ceremonies, here are a few alternative “honors” to consider. Glad to see Ville Leino picking up something other than his jock for a change.
• Jonathan Toews, Ryan Getzlaf and other NHLers who are in town for tonight’s awards ceremony (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN) weigh in on Las Vegas as a possible NHL expansion site. Sounds like they wouldn’t mind it at all. (s/t to Sharly Payne)
• Toews was in a talkative mood yesterday. Here he is on the state of his contract negotiations with the Blackhawks. Lots of speculation that he and Patrick Kane will sign identical deals to be announced on the same day.
• After flaming out in the second round, the Anaheim Ducks need to make a big splash this offseason. The trick for their trading partners will be to pry a couple of the organization’s talented prospects out of the hands of GM Bob Murray.
• TSN’s Bob McKenzie has released his final NHL Draft rankings. Pretty solid list, as always.
• Former referee Paul Stewart talks about his complicated relationship with the late Pat Burns and what it means to him to see the former coach finally admitted to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
• David Shoalts says it’s no coincidence that Burns finally made the grade after a pair of his ex-bosses were removed from the selection equation.
• Is Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli making the fatal mistake of overvaluing his roster? Michael Felger says a team that failed to get out of the second round needs more work than a fresh coat of paint.