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James O’Brien

  1. Sergei Samsonov leaves ice on stretcher, admitted to Atlanta hospital after fall into boards

    Sep 25, 2010, 9:30 PM EDT

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    Though the extent of the injury is unclear at this time, Ben Wright and Chip Alexander report that Carolina Hurricanes forward Sergei Samsonov was injured early in the third period of tonight’s game against the Atlanta Thrashers. Reports indicate that Samsonov was taken off the ice on a stretcher and Alexander followed up to say…

  2. Sunday's exhibition game might help Canucks prospect Cody Hodgson live his 'dream'

    Sep 25, 2010, 9:00 PM EDT

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    For many fans – and I would guess, plenty of players whose jobs aren’t riding on these performances – the preseason can be a real yawn-fest. While those disinterested parties sleep through these games, at least one player considers Sunday’s Edmonton Oilers-Vancouver Canucks exhibition something of a dream come true. That’s because tomorrow’s contest could…

  3. KHL team Avangard Omsk signs former Avs winger Marek Svatos

    Sep 25, 2010, 8:30 PM EDT

    Earlier this summer, we asked “what about Marek Svatos?,” wondering if an NHL team could use a one-dimensional forward who is pretty strong in that one dimension: goal scoring. GMs around the league must have responded with a collective shoulder shrug because the Slovakian winger signed with Avangard Omsk of the KHL according to TSN.…

  4. 2010 NHL Free Agency: What about … Mike Mottau?

    Sep 25, 2010, 7:20 PM EDT

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    At this point in free agency, the focus shifts from the gems to flawed guys who can still bring some skill to the table. So, going forward, we’ll spotlight individual players who are flying under the radar. Previous Entries: Slava Kozlov, Alex Frolov, Willie Mitchell, Lee Stempniak, Maxim Afinogenov, Patrick O’Sullivan, Marek Svatos. Today’s entry:…

  5. Would the NHL be better off with one less official on the ice?

    Sep 24, 2010, 6:15 PM EDT

    Back when Brendan Shanahan organized a research and development camp this summer, there were all sorts of different experimental rule changes and tweaks being tested. One possible alteration included the interesting idea of taking a referee off the ice and placing that official on a platform overlooking the ice (to provide a different vantage point…

  6. Potential risks and rewards to the Ducks playing Bobby Ryan on the power play point

    Sep 24, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT

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    It doesn’t take an expert to figure out that it’s been a strange and busy summer for Bobby Ryan. First, he waited months to reach a five-year, $25.5 million deal to stay with the Anaheim Ducks. Then Joe passed along word that the winger might end up moving to the center position this season. The…

  7. Organizers hope to preserve the arena in which 'The Miracle on Ice' took place

    Sep 24, 2010, 5:00 PM EDT

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    You know an event was special when even the creative by-products of those moments provide an incredible experience. From Disney’s feature film “Miracle” to HBO’s fantastic documentary “Do you believe in Miracles?” all the way down to the sorely under-appreciated book “The Boys of Winter,” I just cannot get enough retrospectives on the 1980 U.S.…

  8. NHL suspends Nick Boynton for Blackhawks' season opener for making 'cutthroat' motion

    Sep 24, 2010, 3:45 PM EDT

    Ah, the “cutthroat” or throat-slashing gesture. It’s been a time-(dis)honored hand motion that makes me nostalgic for the days when a wrestling pay-per-view was the pinnacle of entertainment for my eight year old self. Apparently the NHL’s disciplinary decision makers aren’t big professional wrestling fans, though. The league just announced that the Chicago Blackhawks defenseman…

  9. Should the Maple Leafs be more patient with prospect Nazem Kadri?

    Sep 24, 2010, 3:15 PM EDT

    Pressure can bring out the best in an athlete, but it can also be a very negative thing too. Especially for a young player still trying to learn how to adjust to all of the challenges that come with making the jump to the professional level. You cannot find a bigger pressure cooker for a…

  10. The Goalie Guild explains why 'deeper is better' for Roberto Luongo

    Sep 24, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT

    Last night I shared my doubts about the Vancouver Canucks’ strategy to adapt Roberto Luongo’s style, specifically asking him to play deeper in his crease and challenge shooters less often. Since I’m far from a goaltending guru, though, I thought it might be wise to ask someone who knows his or her stuff. I reached…

  11. Habs coach says Andrei Markov will return in October, Roman Hamrlik may resume skating

    Sep 24, 2010, 12:30 PM EDT

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    About a week ago, we discussed the fact that a knee injury would keep Andrei Markov out of training camp and that there was no timetable for his return. Well, it sounds like there is at least a month-long window for his return, as Renaud Lavoie reports that Markov will be back in October, at…

  12. Reactions to the NHL's confirmed changes to locker room access policies for bloggers

    Sep 24, 2010, 12:15 PM EDT

    (Just throwing up this disclaimer once again: this is all about blogging and access, so it might not be of much interest to many of you. Fair warning.) We discussed the NHL’s plans to allow visiting teams to ban bloggers from their locker rooms in late August, and now it sounds like that rumor is…

  13. Preseason Schedule for Friday, Sept. 24

    Sep 24, 2010, 11:40 AM EDT

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    Let’s begin with the games that are televised on the U.S. version of NHL Network. The actual start times are listed in bold after the times they will air on NHL Network. Want the full list of games covered by the channel? Click here. (All times listed as ET) Format: Date, Visitor, Home team, Time,…

  14. The PHT Nightcap: Thursday, September 24th

    Sep 24, 2010, 2:00 AM 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. Wild…

  15. Preseason quick recaps: September 23rd

    Sep 24, 2010, 1:00 AM EDT

    Earlier tonight, we touched on the Edmonton Oilers 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. If you need a Cliff’s Notes version of that recap, here it is: Taylor Hall was good, Magnus Paajarvi was even better and the Lightning … well, they had some Dan Ellis Problems. Anyway, in case you want to know…

  16. Bob Probert's family donates his brain to researchers studying concussions

    Sep 24, 2010, 12:20 AM EDT

    Enforcers can be some of the most fearsome athletes in all of sports, yet many of them are/were gentle giants off the ice. Bob Probert’s death shook up many people beyond his family as the somewhat troubled but widely beloved pugilist touched many lives. Perhaps his biggest impact could come in a somewhat queasy, but…

  17. Magnus Paajarvi's hat trick steals the show in Taylor Hall's preseason debut

    Sep 23, 2010, 11:45 PM EDT

    While tonight’s Lightning-Oilers game was trumpeted as the preseason debut of Taylor Hall – the top pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft – another top Edmonton prospect stole the show. Magnus Paajarvi* took over tonight’s exhibition, scoring a hat trick and adding an assist on an Andrew Cogliano goal to help the Oilers win…

  18. Are the Canucks making a bad gamble by tweaking Roberto Luongo's style?

    Sep 23, 2010, 10:10 PM EDT

    It’s one thing to tweak the way a hitter swings a baseball bat or to ask a basketball player to stop chucking ill-advised three-point shots, but it’s a whole other beast to ask someone to fundamentally change the way they function when they’ve operated that way up to the professional level. Just look at when…

  19. Ducks owner Henry Samueli doesn't hold grudge against Gary Bettman for 18-month suspension

    Sep 23, 2010, 8:50 PM EDT

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    Sports ownership draws some oddball characters, some of which aren’t always the most … ethical. For every outspoken but ultimately good-for-the-sport rich guy like Mark Cuban there’s an unfortunate case like former Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott. Anaheim Ducks owner Henry Samueli seemed like he was firmly entrenched in that latter group when NHL Commissioner…

  20. Mandi Schwartz receives stem cell transplant to assist her fight against cancer

    Sep 23, 2010, 8:00 PM EDT

    The last we heard of Mandi Schwartz’s battle with cancer was that a stem cell transplant had been put on hold because she was dealing with infections. Today brought a promising turn of events, though, as Mike Morreale of NHL.com reports that Schwartz finally received the stem cell transplant that doctors hope will revamp her…

  21. Knee-to-knee hit will cost Johan Franzen at least three preseason games

    Sep 23, 2010, 7:05 PM EDT

    It appears, at least, that Johan Franzen and the Detroit Red Wings face a good news, bad news situation. The good news is that it seems like the fallout of Brooks Oprik’s knee-to-knee hit on the injury prone forward won’t be too severe. The bad news is that he will, in fact, miss time and…

  22. Ron Wilson and Brian Burke won't 'dumb down' games by resorting to a neutral zone trap

    Sep 22, 2010, 6:00 PM EDT

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    If there are three constants of the Ron Wilson-Brian Burke Era, they would be chaos, defeat and a mind numbing amount of goals allowed. Some might lay all the blame at the feet of beleaguered former goalie Vesa Toskala, but chances are that we’ll look back at the Finnish netminder as a scapegoat who received…

  23. Calgary Flames announce that Matt Stajan will be out indefinitely with a separated shoulder

    Sep 22, 2010, 5:05 PM EDT

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    The Calgary Flames have been weak at center for ages, but things might get downright ugly for the team’s pivots to begin the 2010-11 season. We already passed along reports that the outlook is not very good for gritty two-way forward Daymond Langkow, but the team shared some disconcerting news about their other top center,…

  24. Sergei Kostitsyn tries to turn his career around with the Nashville Predators

    Sep 22, 2010, 4:15 PM EDT

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    One of the lessons people can take away from professional sports such as hockey is that raw skill alone doesn’t make someone successful. The game’s greatest players are often highly driven, courageous, hard-working and consistent. If all that mattered was his blinding speed and impressive puck skills, Sergei Kostitsyn would at least be a useful…

  25. Is it 'only a matter of time' until the Washington Capitals win a Stanley Cup?

    Sep 22, 2010, 3:30 PM EDT

    Swagger is a great – if intangible – thing for a sports team to have. It’s not just a clever marketing slogan to sell Old Spice. Still, there’s a fine line between being confident and laughably puffing out your chest. You’d think the Washington Capitals would learn to bite their tongues a little bit more…

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