Skip to content

James O’Brien

  1. Can Sidney Crosby hit the 50-goal mark again next season?

    Sep 3, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT

    During his first four seasons, Sidney Crosby was transparently pass-first. That’s not a bad thing in many ways since setting up teammates is a naturally selfless act and Crosby is one of the NHL’s most gifted playmakers. Still, when you consider how much the Pittsburgh Penguins depend on his production, opposing teams might have benefited…

  2. Tampa Bay hires former NHL forward Steve Thomas as player development consultant

    Sep 3, 2010, 1:15 PM EDT

    The Tampa Bay Lightning added another piece to their new front office puzzle today as the team signed former forward Steve Thomas as a player development consultant, TSN reports. Thomas will monitor and oversee all of the Lightnings prospects. Thomas played 1235 games in the NHL, scoring 421 goals over 20 seasons. He played for…

  3. Which coaches are in the greatest danger of being fired?

    Sep 3, 2010, 12:30 PM EDT

    Being a head coach in professional sports is often a risky proposition but the NHL is a particularly cruel place for a bench boss. Aside from outright anomalies in Buffalo (Lindy Ruff) and Nashville (Barry Trotz), hockey coaches experience about as much job security as college football coaches show loyalty. ESPN’s Scott Burnside released his…

  4. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Penguins sign Mike Comrie (Mr. Hillary Duff) to one-year, 500K deal

    Sep 3, 2010, 11:50 AM EDT

    After all these years, the Pittsburgh Penguins finally added some real star power. I mean, sure, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin could occasionally light up a scoreboard and Marc-Andre Fleury provides the occasional highlight reel save. But when, exactly, were those guys going to pop up in US Weekly? Expect a few more tabloids to…

  5. Don't be shocked if the deadline to rule on Kovalchuk's contract gets postponed again

    Sep 3, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

    Comments Off

    Some deadlines are more legitimate than others. Don’t be surprised if the postponed-but-now-rapidly-approaching deadline to reject or approve the second contract between the New Jersey Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk gets pushed back again. We will keep our eyes on the proceedings in case there is a decision by the alleged 5pm ET deadline, but much…

  6. The PHT Nightcap: Thursday, September 2nd

    Sep 3, 2010, 12:30 AM EDT

    Comments Off

    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. Mario…

  7. Sean Avery hopes to be a thorn in the side of opponents instead of his own team next season

    Sep 2, 2010, 11:15 PM EDT

    Few hockey players speak their mind and establish themselves as interesting people – but love him or hate him – Sean Avery is one of the NHL’s biggest personalities. That being said, Avery distinguishes himself from the Terrell Owens/Chad Ochocinco-types by falling short of star status when the games actually take place. Sure, people are…

  8. New Columbus coach thinks he can turn things around for Steve Mason, Nikita Filatov

    Sep 2, 2010, 10:30 PM EDT

    Comments Off

    The Columbus Blue Jackets are hoping for an improved output in 2010-11 after a horrific 09-10 campaign, even though they haven’t added much in terms of talent. The Blue Jackets are pinning their hopes on the internal improvement that could come from adding new head coach Scott Arniel. The question is, can Arniel save the…

  9. Nashville Predators ownership group gives William 'Boots' Del Biaggio the boot

    Sep 2, 2010, 9:30 PM EDT

    Comments Off

    The history of sports is littered with swaggering, more-talk-than-walk owners, especially in the not-always-financially-stable NHL. Old money guys might not be the most PR-savvy or exciting, but aside from the occasional breakthrough in the form of Mark Cuban, most of the attention-seekers tend to fall on their faces (see: the Tampa Bay Lightning’s former owners…

  10. Ken Hitchcock helps others nab a shoplifter, makes headlines in process

    Sep 2, 2010, 8:45 PM EDT

    These moments don’t come along every day, but it seems like they follow a similar script: A minor crime is committed OR someone is in peril. Sports semi-celebrity intervenes. People blow that intervention out of proportion. It happened when Brooks Laich helped a stranded motorist, when broadcaster Ron MacLean had a Good Samaritan moment and…

  11. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Colorado re-signs Chris Stewart to two-year, $5.75M extension

    Sep 2, 2010, 7:55 PM EDT

    Comments Off

    If there were two “Cinderella” teams in the NHL last season, my votes would go to the Phoenix Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche. Both teams were nearly-universal picks for the Western Conference basement, with little in name recognition and new coaches behind the bench. While the Coyotes saw big losses (defenseman Zbynek Michalek) and significant additions…

  12. How Antero Niittymaki, Thomas Greiss feel about Sharks adding Antti Niemi

    Sep 2, 2010, 7:40 PM EDT

    Comments Off

    There are a few basic schools of thought regarding the San Jose Sharks’ signing of Antti Niemi, but ultimately I think you could group fan and writer reactions into two sides. On one side, people who especially believe in Thomas Greiss might think that the Sharks’ are guilty of goalie overkill. That being said, others…

  13. The NHLPA drags its feet, doesn't approve or reject Donald Fehr's bid to lead players union

    Sep 2, 2010, 6:50 PM EDT

    Comments Off

    Some things never change (or if they do, those changes take ages to happen). One of the sad constants in hockey is that the NHL Players Association cannot seem to avoid tripping over its own feet. Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports that the player representatives somehow failed to take a vote to…

  14. Carey Price's agent denies 'strike' talk

    Sep 1, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT

    Comments Off

    Contrary to previous reports, Carey Price reportedly isn’t vain (and short sighted) enough to “go on strike” if he doesn’t get the alleged $3 million he is seeking from the Montreal Canadiens. TSN caught up with Price’s agent Gerry Johannson, who refuted the strike talk. Talk of Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price “going on strike”…

  15. NHL extends Kovalchuk contract approval/rejection deadline to Friday, 5PM ET

    Sep 1, 2010, 4:30 PM EDT

    Hey, you remember the second Ilya Kovalchuk-New Jersey Devils contract approval/rejection deadline thing scheduled for 5pm ET today? Yeah, so much for that. Dan Rosen of NHL.com reports that the NHL and NHL Players Association extended the deadline from today to Friday at 5pm ET, instead. The Ilya Kovalchuk contract situation expected to reach a…

  16. Report: Sharks might sign Antti Niemi 'as early as tomorrow'

    Sep 1, 2010, 4:00 PM EDT

    Comments Off

    Earlier this week, we passed along a report that Antti Niemi would choose his next NHL team in the next few days. That report might have some legitimate credibility because Nick Kypreos claims that he received confirmation that the former Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup winner will sign with the San Jose Sharks. West coast source…

  17. Quick hits: Nazem Kadri shows quality rarely seen in hockey players: a sense of humor

    Sep 1, 2010, 3:50 PM EDT

    Comments Off

    Here are a few smaller stories from around the league today. The aforementioned 2010 NHLPA Rookie Showcase took place and while the event was meant mainly to provide photo opportunities for trading card companies, EA Sports also took the time to show off NHL ’11. This allowed Toronto Maple Leafs 2009 first round pick (remember…

  18. NHL Center Ice package sees a slight price increase; Is it worth it?

    Sep 1, 2010, 3:15 PM EDT

    First things first, let me get to the most important information. Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy reports that the NHL Center Ice package will be marginally more expensive for the 2010-11 season than it was last year. Last year, NHLCI was $163.80 if ordered before Oct. 31. This season, the price has risen to $171.80…

  19. Sharks team president and CEO Greg Jamison steps down

    Sep 1, 2010, 2:50 PM EDT

    While the alterations actually haven’t been as drastic as I originally expected, it’s still been a summer of considerable change for the San Jose Sharks franchise. The team let Evgeni Nabokov take a lucrative contract with the KHL after 10 years as their No. 1 goalie. Rob Blake retired. Role player and faceoff expert Manny…

  20. Angelo Esposito tries to find niche with Atlanta after a tough start to his pro hockey career

    Sep 1, 2010, 2:15 PM EDT

    At one point quite a few years ago, scouts touted Angelo Esposito as a top notch prospect. Since then, Esposito’s star power plummeted to earth dramatically. He went from a possible top pick to the Pittsburgh Penguins’ at No. 20 overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft and hasn’t had any luck since then. Considering…

  21. Bruins expect Marc Savard to attend training camp, hope to ease Tyler Seguin into the NHL

    Sep 1, 2010, 1:00 PM EDT

    It’s true that when people talk about Tyler Seguin, they’ll often discuss fellow top draft pick Taylor Hall too. But in the immediate future, Seguin’s name will also be echoed as people discuss his talented teammate Marc Savard. Both Boston Bruins centers were the center of discussion yesterday as CSN North East’s Joe Haggerty provided…

  22. Bill Guerin skates in Flyers gear, could he be flirting with Philly?

    Sep 1, 2010, 11:40 AM EDT

    Comments Off

    While the Pittsburgh Penguins will still be Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Marc-Andre Fleury’s team, fans will definitely notice some significant changes. Losing Sergei Gonchar might be the biggest problem, but letting go of valuable veteran forward Bill Guerin could be a little painful too. Especially if he ultimately suits up for their biggest rivals.…

  23. Anaheim Ducks, Bobby Ryan set to meet up and attempt to make a deal this week

    Sep 1, 2010, 11:05 AM EDT

    Comments Off

    While the Ilya Kovalchuk fiasco could be settled sometime today (heaven help us if the NHL rejects the contract again), some of the major restricted free agent negotiations are still in limbo. Perhaps the biggest impact player in that RFA group is Anaheim Ducks power forward of the present and future Bobby Ryan. The Ducks…

  24. Poll results: PHT readers think Sidney Crosby is a dirty player

    Aug 31, 2010, 6:10 PM EDT

    When Karl Marx discussed “the tragedy of the commons” he focused on the fact that people need an incentive to maintain their surroundings. The phrase might be a good fit for Internet comments sections, too, though. It’s not surprising to see such principles in action when it comes to a player as derisive as Sidney…

  25. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Buffalo Sabres re-sign Matt Ellis to one-year deal

    Aug 31, 2010, 5:00 PM EDT

    Comments Off

    While the team hasn’t released financial details yet, the Buffalo Sabres announced that they signed 29-year-old forward Matt Ellis to a one-year deal today. Here are a few tidbits about Ellis from the team’s Web site. Ellis (8/31/1981, 6′, 212 lbs.) spent last season in Buffalo where he set career highs in games played (72),…

Top 10 NHL Player Searches