Pre-Game Reading: Why Zdeno Chara belongs on the NHL’s Top 100


— Up top, the performance by Courtney Daniels, a member of the Los Angeles Kings Ice Crew, after she had to fill in for Fifth Harmony at the 2017 NHL All-Star game to sing the National Anthem with almost no advance notice.

— There were a lot of thoughts about the NHL’s Top-100 players list, not only because of the players that earned a spot, but because of the players that did not get a spot. Evgeni Malkin and Joe Thornton being two very prominent examples when it comes to the latter. Another active player that did not make the cut that probably has a pretty good argument for being included: Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, one of the most complete and dominant defenders of his era. [WEEI]

— TSN’s Bob McKenzie has his mid-season rankings for the 2017 NHL draft prospects, and to the surprise of no one Nolan Patrick of the Brandon Wheat Kings is the No. 1 player on that list, followed by Nico Hischier and Timothy Liljegren. [TSN]

— The Pittsburgh Penguins might be getting Kris Letang back in the lineup on Tuesday night against the Nashville Predators, but are still likely to be without Evgeni Malkin. In his place, Carter Rowney might get an opportunity to make his NHL debut. He talked about that on Tuesday. “I had a lot of excitement when I got that first phone call and went to Boston. So to go back down, I played a couple games and then to get another call and being so close right now, there’s a lot of excitement right now, a lot of excitement with my family coming into town and everything. So right now, I just want to take it very slowly and soak it all in and enjoy the night.” [Pittsburgh Penguins]

— Winnipeg Jets rookie Patrik Laine is scoring on more than 18 percent of his shots this season, which is a pretty incredible number for any player. Is it something that he can maintain as his career progresses? [TSN]

John Tavares is eligible for unrestricted free agency after next season and spoke over the All-Star weekend about how he is open to signing a new contract with the team this summer when he is eligible to sign one. Does he deserve better than what the Islanders have given him during his career? [The Hockey News]

Enjoy the games!