From Stan Fischler at MSGNetwork.com:
• Jim Rutherford is turning the Hurricanes into a power. The acquisition of Alex Semin comes at a price, but it’s also a message to Carolina fans that the Canes mean business about becoming a contender. The real challenge—apart from Semin proving his worth—is for coach Kirk Muller, starting his first full season as the lead bench boss. It’s up to Muller to extract the best out of a gifted offensive force who has remained an enigma nonetheless since his NHL debut.
• The NHL’s astonishingly successful Winter Classic concept has spawned new offspring; the latest being on the collegiate level at Chicago’s vast Soldier Field. Dubbed “The Hockey City Classic,” the February 17 double-bill will feature Notre Dame vs. Miami of Ohio and Minnesota against Wisconsin. Promoters figure that the crowd could exceed 60,000.
• One of the most important NHL quiet-hires has evolved into one of Bettman’s Best. That would be ex-NHL defenseman Stephane Quintal. The on