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James O’Brien

  1. Are simulation style video games such as NHL '11 too complicated?

    Sep 11, 2010, 8:30 PM EDT

    I haven’t written a review of NHL ’11 just yet for a simple reason: it’s enormous. From the tweaks EA Sports made to the team building aspects of its old modes to the changes in physics and gameplay to the newly added Hockey Ultimate League and its wacky trading card system, there’s a lot to…

  2. Why Nathan Horton might (or might not) make a big impact as a Boston Bruin

    Sep 11, 2010, 7:00 PM EDT

    When you ask many Boston Bruins fans (and hockey fans in general) about the team’s biggest transactions – or lack thereof – this off-season, they’d probably mention drafting Tyler Seguin or not trading Marc Savard or Tim Thomas. Yet when it all comes down to it, the biggest impact move might be landing talented-but-often-injured forward…

  3. Looking back at the 'Almost Season' for the Washington Capitals

    Sep 10, 2010, 6:15 PM EDT

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    As you know, only one team can win a championship (with the occasional exception in college football, maybe?). Some absolutists will say that anything less is a failure, but really, there are only a few teams in each sport every year that should really kick themselves and wonder “what if?” as they look back. Some…

  4. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Coyotes sign Martin Hanzal to two-year, $3.6M contract

    Sep 10, 2010, 5:50 PM EDT

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    The Phoenix Coyotes solved their largest remaining on-ice issue today, wrapping up 6’5″ forward Martin Hanzal to a two-year deal that ESPN’s EJ Hradek reports will be worth $1.5 million during the 2010-11 season and $2.1 million in 11-12. That deal will register a $1.8 million annual salary cap hit. Hanzal hovers around 30-something points…

  5. Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay says Dustin Byfuglien will begin camp as defenseman

    Sep 10, 2010, 5:20 PM EDT

    We touched on the possibility of Dustin Byfuglien moving back to his “natural” defensive position earlier this summer when GM Rick Dudley expressed a preference to do so, but now it’s nearly confirmed as Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay expressed an interest to do the same. That means that Byfuglien, Dudley and Ramsay all would prefer…

  6. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Colorado signs Peter Mueller to two-year, $4M deal

    Sep 10, 2010, 4:30 PM EDT

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    Peter Mueller looked like a totally different player – more specifically, the kind of player who is a top 10 draft pick – once he was traded from the Phoenix Coyotes to the Colorado Avalanche. He scored more points in 15 games in Colorado (20) than he produced in 54 contests as a Coyote (17).…

  7. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Oilers sign speedy center Andrew Cogliano to one-year, $1M deal

    Sep 10, 2010, 4:15 PM EDT

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    It seems like the Edmonton Oilers roster can be split into three general categories: the new young (such as Taylor Hall), the old young (such as Sam Gagner) and … the old and broken (Nikolai Khabibulin). The team signed one of their “old young” today, as they inked speedy center Andrew Cogliano to a one-year,…

  8. Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheets: Workhorse goalies vs. 1a/1b rotations

    Sep 10, 2010, 3:50 PM EDT

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    While Pro Hockey Talk doesn’t specialize in fantasy hockey (our Rotoworld cousins do, though), we still think that there are areas where we can help you, the budding imaginary general managers. For that reason, we’re going to discuss different philosophies, strategies and cheat sheets as fantasy drafts begin to increase around North America. Previous entries:…

  9. What should be expected of Jarome Iginla next season?

    Sep 10, 2010, 1:15 PM EDT

    It’s hard to root against Jarome Iginla. He’s a great role model for hopeful black hockey players, a leader willing to drop the gloves with a wide array of opponents and just seems like a quality human being overall. Sure, Sean Avery might make fun of him for being bland, but what Iginla lacks in…

  10. Islanders forward Kyle Okposo could be a player to watch in 2010-11

    Sep 10, 2010, 12:00 PM EDT

    While the team doesn’t have a dark horse-type goalie like Craig Anderson (instead they’re a bit wobbly with the aged Dwayne Roloson and the hobbled Rick Dipietro), but perhaps the New York Islanders’ most optimistic fans might be hoping for a Colorado Avalanche-type resurgence. One area where the Islanders match the Avalanche is in the…

  11. It won't be easy for Tyler Seguin to make the NHL jump right away, but he appears ready

    Sep 10, 2010, 11:15 AM EDT

    For some reason – maybe because I’m not a Boston Bruins fan, maybe because my expectations for him are different – I never thought to compare former B’s top draft pick Joe Thornton and their latest potential rookie sensation Tyler Seguin until Kevin Paul Dupont did so for Boston.com. The two are coming into very…

  12. The PHT Nightcap: Thursday, September 9th

    Sep 9, 2010, 11:55 PM EDT

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    Even in the depressingly hockey-free summer, we expect to be a productive bunch here at Pro Hockey Talk. Sometimes it might be difficult to follow our pace. We understand that. For that reason, whenever we can, we’ll put all of the day’s stories in one convenient post called the PHT Nightcap. Enjoy, hockey fans. Mike…

  13. Fantasy Hockey talk: Suggested stat categories for your league(s)

    Sep 9, 2010, 10:50 PM EDT

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    For the last couple weeks, I’ve been pumping out some fantasy hockey cheat sheets of the league’s less common stat categories. I’ll begin covering some of the more “meat and potatoes” stuff soon (and put them all in one easy post in the near future as well), but I thought I’d throw out my two…

  14. Chicago's John Hancock Center will install a hockey rink on its 94th floor

    Sep 9, 2010, 10:10 PM EDT

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    You normally don’t have to worry about a fear of heights when you skate or play hockey, unless you’re sitting on Tyler Myers or Zdeno Chara’s shoulders. That could be a genuine fear for some adventurous skaters in Chicago, though, as NBC Chicago reports that the John Hancock Center will install an ice rink on…

  15. Former Oilers owner Peter Pocklington might avoid jail time amid perjury charges

    Sep 9, 2010, 9:50 PM EDT

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    Former Edmonton Oilers owner Peter Pocklington has been in some legal trouble the last couple years, but it sounds like he will most likely avoid jail time on perjury charges, according to CBC News. The documents filed in U.S. District Court show the prosecution is seeking two years of probation and six months of house…

  16. Dan Boyle and his family welcomes new baby boy

    Sep 9, 2010, 9:00 PM EDT

    San Jose Sharks fans shouldn’t worry about Dan Boyle’s dreams being haunted by that hard-luck own goal from the Colorado Avalanche series. Chances are, he won’t be sleeping enough to endure such flashbacks in the first place. Boyle and his family welcomed their second child early this morning, with the awesome name Wesley Ocean Boyle.…

  17. St. Louis Blues introduce Jaroslav Halak, unveil two new goalie mask designs

    Sep 9, 2010, 8:15 PM EDT

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    It was a bit of a surprise when the St. Louis Blues shipped a couple prospects to the Montreal Canadiens to gain Jaroslav Halak’s restricted free agent bargaining rights, but it’s tough to blame the frequently goalie-challenged franchise for taking a swing at one of the breakout stars of the 2010 playoffs. Many people wonder…

  18. City of Glendale might need to make dent in $25M it owes the NHL by September 15

    Sep 9, 2010, 7:30 PM EDT

    Things are looking up for the Phoenix Coyotes on the ice. Although they’ll feel the loss of Zbynek Michalek quite a bit, the team that raised many eyebrows last season will remain mostly intact. In fact, they could even boast some extra offensive punch with the addition of veteran winger Ray Whitney. While I think…

  19. Report: NHLPA player reps must vote for or against Donald Fehr by Saturday

    Sep 9, 2010, 6:45 PM EDT

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    For fans, hockey writers and anyone outside of the process, the thought of Donald Fehr becoming the head of the NHL Players Association is a bit scary. If you ask Jim Kelley of Sports Illustrated, he’d probably tell you that the league’s players are just as frightened by the mere task of making a decision.…

  20. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Thrashers sign Nigel Dawes to one-year, two-way deal

    Sep 8, 2010, 6:30 PM EDT

    New GM Rick Dudley is re-stocking the Atlanta Thrashers with a lot of players who fit his own, imposing image but Dudley must realize that he also needs to add some slick scorers too. While Nigel Dawes hasn’t exactly set the world on fire (his career high is 14 goals), he could provide a nice…

  21. Video: Sidney Crosby hits a big home run at Pirates' PNC Park

    Sep 8, 2010, 5:50 PM EDT

    Apparently hitting huge game winning shots isn’t the only thing Michael Jordan and Sidney Crosby have in common. Of course, if Crosby has dreams of playing Major League Baseball, his fantasies might be a bit more justified. Or maybe he just got lucky. Either way, check out this video of Crosby hitting a home run…

  22. Tomas Kaberle denies father's comments about his issues with Ron Wilson, Maple Leafs

    Sep 8, 2010, 5:00 PM EDT

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    While the real story boiled down to a discussion of blogs being credited by mainstream media members and all the teeth gnashing that brings with it, hearing Tomas Kaberle’s father raise doubts about his son’s chances of remaining a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs was still pretty surprising. Who knows if Tomas Kaberle really…

  23. Report: Marc Staal, New York Rangers nearing a new deal

    Sep 8, 2010, 4:05 PM EDT

    It seems like most of the final restricted free agent dominoes are falling into place as training camps approach around the NHL. Bobby Ryan ended his long negotiation process with the Anaheim Ducks last night. Patric Hornqvist reached an amicable agreement with the Nashville Predators. If reports are correct, Marc Staal will follow suit with…

  24. NHLPA could take first official steps toward making Donald Fehr their leader today

    Sep 8, 2010, 3:00 PM EDT

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    From an outsider’s perspective, it seems like any move to impede Donald Fehr’s quest to become the head of the NHLPA would just delay the inevitable, but the process still hasn’t technically begun. Ken Campbell reports that Fehr may finally become an “official” candidate for the job today, though, as the players association is holding…

  25. Detroit Red Wings officially sign Kirk Maltby, place Derek Meech on waivers

    Sep 8, 2010, 2:10 PM EDT

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    The Detroit Red Wings did some lower-level roster shuffling today. George Malik passes along the news that the team finally officially signed aging forward Kirk Maltby to a one year, two-way deal while Red Wings GM Ken Holland placed young defenseman Derek Meech on waivers. Maltby’s deal will be worth $525 K at the NHL…

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