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James O’Brien

  1. Why Roberto Luongo's contract is different from the rejected Ilya Kovalchuk deal

    Aug 11, 2010, 9:30 PM EDT

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    The rumors of the NHL looking into other, similarly fishy contracts have been verified, but that doesn’t mean the NHL will be able to kill deals made by Roberto Luongo, Marian Hossa and others. I’ve discussed the various ways his deal is different from other contracts, but other media members are doing a nice job…

  2. Coyotes make re-signing Martin Hanzal 'a priority' while Lee Stempniak explores his options

    Aug 11, 2010, 9:00 PM EDT

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    While most of the focus rests on the team’s off-ice issues, the Phoenix Coyotes also have some questions to answer on the ice. The two biggest ones center on unrestricted free agent Lee Stempniak and restricted free agent Martin Hanzal. Here is the latest news on those two players from Jim Gintonio of the Arizona…

  3. Eric Belanger won't name the team he signed with, inspires toothless rumors

    Aug 11, 2010, 8:30 PM EDT

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    While he’s far from a big name or impact player, Eric Belanger is still one of the better centers remaining on the free agent market. Sources say that he’s chosen the team he’ll sign a one-year contract with, but cannot name that team just yet because his future employers need to clear up some cap…

  4. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Flames re-sign Craig Conroy to one-year, two-way contract

    Aug 11, 2010, 8:00 PM EDT

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    When I think of the Calgary Flames now-near-mirage of a Stanley Cup Finals run, I think of a few things. Jarome Iginla making himself a true hockey household name. Miikka Kiprusoff becoming the first Finnish goalie name I’d struggle to spell for years. Mike Commdore sporting a hilarious ginger afro. The speed of Chris Clark.…

  5. The strange tale of the Prince of Wales engraving error (and one fan's quest to prove its existence)

    Aug 11, 2010, 7:15 PM EDT

    About a week ago, a Chicago Blackhawks fan Brendan Millhouser posted photos on Twitter that featured an error so difficult to believe … that no one actually believed it. During a Blackhawks fan function, Millhouser noticed a stunning error: the Prince of Wales Trophy’s 2009-10 winner was incorrectly engraved as the Washington Capitals. Here are…

  6. Stats I'd love to see: Third (or even fourth) assists

    Aug 11, 2010, 6:40 PM EDT

    Every once and a while, I try to introduce new stats ideas (or perhaps stats that I just didn’t know existed) to the hockey blogosphere and fans alike. One example is the incredibly simple Special Teams Plus/Minus stats I discussed during the 09-10 season. This could be a long-running series or a summer diversion, but…

  7. After being booed by Ducks fans for years, can Paul Kariya play for Anaheim again?

    Aug 10, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT

    Most of the discussion regarding Paul Kariya’s possible return to the team he once starred for focuses on two questions: 1) do the Anaheim Ducks want him back? and 2) does Paul Kariya even want to play hockey anymore? But people outside the California area might not realize that there are some fresh wounds to…

  8. Rick Wilson becomes the Minnesota Wild's new assistant head coach

    Aug 10, 2010, 4:45 PM EDT

    The Minnesota Wild added Rick Wilson to their coaching staff today, filling a gap left by departed assistant coach Mike Ramsey. Here is more from Glen Andersen of the Minnesota Wild’s Web site. After a long, hurdle-ridden process, Wilson signed his contract in the Wild’s corporate offices today, his 60th birthday. The Wild had several…

  9. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Blue Jackets re-sign Mike Blunden

    Aug 10, 2010, 4:15 PM EDT

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    The Columbus Blue Jackets made a minor move today, re-signing forward Mike Blunden to a contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Blunden was originally a member of the Chicago Blackhawks organization, as the 43rd pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. The Blue Jackets acquired Blunden in a trade for Adam Pineault in…

  10. Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers sign 10-year TV deal with Rogers Sportsnet

    Aug 10, 2010, 3:30 PM EDT

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    It seems like hockey players aren’t the only people getting signed to “lifetime” contracts. The Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers signed a Nicklas Backstrom-length deal for their TV coverage, making a 10-year pact with Rogers Sportsnet that will help the company launch a new 24-hour channel Rogers Sportsnet ONE. The Flames provided a little more…

  11. A mild defense of Reebok's 'Champagne' Jerseys and other 'girly' clothes for women

    Aug 10, 2010, 2:00 PM EDT

    From everything I’ve seen, it must not be easy being a female sports fan. Men, on a whole, feel the need to reign supreme over what we think is our ultimate dominion: sports talk. Forgive me for generalizing, but sports are often a domain in which guys can make immature jokes, high five each other…

  12. Dallas Stars president Jeff Cogen leaves post to become CEO of Nashville Predators

    Aug 10, 2010, 1:00 PM EDT

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    Now that the Texas Rangers finally left the troubled hands of former owner Tom Hicks, the next step should be to sort out the messy situation Hicks’ other struggling Texas sports franchise is going through. Simply put, the Dallas Stars are somewhere between “mired by financial restraints” and “just plain miserable” right now. So it’s…

  13. NHL releases preseason schedule; Record six teams play games overseas

    Aug 10, 2010, 12:00 PM EDT

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    The NHL released its preseason schedule on Monday, so I thought I’d point out some of the highlights. First, here are a few of the things that the league pointed out. An historic number of NHL clubs playing international games highlights the National Hockey League’s 2010-11 pre-season schedule, the dates and start times of which…

  14. Canucks GM Mike Gillis confirms that the NHL is looking into Roberto Luongo's 12-year deal

    Aug 10, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

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    Last night, I pointed out the startling revelation that the league might investigate existing contracts after Ilya Kovalchuk’s cap-circumventing deal was rejected. Still, it’s one thing to hear such conjecture and a whole other thing to hear a little bit of confirmation on the subject. The Vancouver Sun got in touch with Vancouver Canucks GM…

  15. The PHT Nightcap: Monday, August 9th

    Aug 10, 2010, 1:00 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. Oilers…

  16. A transcript of the Ilya Kovalchuk contract ruling, plus a few more details

    Aug 10, 2010, 12:00 AM EDT

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    We’ve broken down the Ilya Kovalchuk contract rejection from many different angles, but for those of you attention-to-detail types, someone finally posted a transcript of the ruling itself. Thankfully, Canadian lawyer and sports buff Eric Macramalla got his hands on a copy, which you can peruse at your leisure here. Macramalla is a Partner at…

  17. Could Ilya Kovalchuk contract rejection impact other questionable (but already signed) deals?

    Aug 9, 2010, 10:40 PM EDT

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    Perhaps the next Collective Bargaining Agreement should include a “No Takebacks” clause. One of the most prominent arguments against voiding Ilya Kovalchuk’s contract was that other, similar deals set a precedent that cap-circumventing contracts would be accepted. While discussing the broader implications of arbitrator Richard Bloch’s decision to reject the contract, The Globe and Mail’s…

  18. Devils GM Lou Lamoriello goes back to the Ilya Kovalchuk contract drawing board

    Aug 9, 2010, 9:50 PM EDT

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    This probably won’t come as much of a surprise, but reports indicate that the New Jersey Devils are in the process of drawing up a new contract for Ilya Kovalchuk after an arbitrator sided with the NHL to void the 17-year, $102 million version. Here’s more from general manager Lou Lamoriello via Rich Chere. “While…

  19. Ducks GM Bob Murray may take a different approach to signing RFA Bobby Ryan

    Aug 9, 2010, 9:00 PM EDT

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    We didn’t get the closure many were expecting on the big Ilya Kovalchuk contract situation, but another big-time scorer is still on the outs with his team. That would be restricted free agent Bobby Ryan, a player who is still at an impasse with the team who drafted him, the Anaheim Ducks. Rather than being…

  20. Report: NHL has 'no plans' to fine NJ Devils for Kovalchuk contract, at least at this moment

    Aug 9, 2010, 8:10 PM EDT

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    While the New Jersey Devils could hash out a new, easier-to-ratify deal without too much of a headache, the Ilya Kovalchuk contract rejection could have meant more than just a hassle for the team. Let me point you to something Joe touched on earlier today. As for the Devils, there’s a possibility that they could…

  21. How the rejected Kovalchuk deal was different and similar to other 'fishy' contracts

    Aug 9, 2010, 7:45 PM EDT

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    There are two basic sides in the argument for or against the decision to invalidate Ilya Kovalchuk’s contract with the New Jersey Devils. Many of the people who side with Kovalchuk and the NHLPA point to other curious contracts handed out, like the one Marian Hossa signed with Chicago (that will bring him into his…

  22. The PHT Nightcap: Sunday, August 8th

    Aug 9, 2010, 2:15 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. Would…

  23. Why Team USA should (and shouldn't) win back-to-back gold medals at the 2011 WJC

    Aug 9, 2010, 12:20 AM EDT

    Despite the fact that home ice advantage may largely be nixed because Buffalo is so close to Canada, many believe that Team USA will be mild favorites for a repeat gold medal performance in the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championships. If they accomplished that goal, they’d only be the fourth team to win back-to-back golds…

  24. Players who made an impact during World Junior Hockey Championships' evaluation camps

    Aug 8, 2010, 11:00 PM EDT

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    Being that it only lasts one week, it’s dangerous to read too much into the development camps for next year’s World Junior Hockey Championships. Still, these evaluation sessions can be crucial for teams to make certain roster decisions, or at least put some players on their radar. It can also be an interesting sample for…

  25. Stats leaders for the 2011 World Junior Hockey Championships' development camp scrimmages

    Aug 8, 2010, 9:40 PM EDT

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    With the development camps for the 2011 World Junior Hockey Championships finished yesterday, I thought it might be worthwhile to take a look at some of the interesting stories from the camps tonight. First things first, I thought some out there might be interested to find out which players excelled the most in the very…

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