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James O’Brien

  1. Nashville Predators sign Hobey Baker winner Blake Geoffrion to two-year deal

    Jun 10, 2010, 6:20 PM EDT

    Just about every team in the NHL envied the Chicago Blackhawks last night, but one of the clubs with the most bittersweet feelings must have been the Nashville Predators (as Dirk Hoag from On the Forecheck discussed). While both the Flyers and Predators pushed the Stanley Cup champions to a sixth game, one could make…

  2. Jonathan Toews wins Conn Smythe; Was he the best choice?

    Jun 10, 2010, 12:30 AM EDT

    There was a moment or two during this year’s playoffs when I wondered if Jonathan Toews might ascend another rung on the superstar ladder and join the truly elite players in the hockey world. After he came down to earth a bit during the Cup finals, I’m not sure if he’s quite “there” yet. Instead,…

  3. 2010 Stanley Cup finals: The Flyers' magical, improbable run

    Jun 9, 2010, 4:00 PM EDT

    How many people – outside of the Philadelphia Flyers organization, maybe – thought that this team would be two wins away from winning a Cup after they barely eked their way into the playoffs by beating the New York Rangers in a shootout during the final game of the regular season? Seriously, when your postseason…

  4. NHL '11 preview: EA makes faceoffs more realistic with help from Jarret Stoll

    Jun 9, 2010, 2:20 PM EDT

    The “next generation” of Electronic Arts’ NHL series might be subject to a bit of nitpicking, but they’re still among the best hockey video games ever made. With the 2K Series bowing out of competition for at least a year (except on Nintendo’s Wii console), some people were worried that EA’s polygonal puck monopoly would…

  5. City of Glendale grants Ice Edge exclusive negiotating rights for 60 days

    Jun 9, 2010, 1:40 PM EDT

    Perhaps it shouldn’t be a big surprise since the ownership showdown is now really a one-horse race after Jerry Reinsdorf dropped out of the running (at least, if the team is staying in Arizona), but the City of Glendale unanimously approved Ice Edge Holdings for exclusive negotiating rights. TSN provides the news. The Glendale City…

  6. 2010 Stanley Cup finals: Why is home ice such a big advantage?

    Jun 9, 2010, 12:40 PM EDT

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    So far, the Stanley Cup finals has been a “homer” series. That’s a term sports writers use when the home team wins every game. Chicago, in particular, was an amazing 7-1 on the road before the Cup finals. Conversely, the Flyers are a league-best 9-1 – including a seven game winning streak – at the…

  7. 2010 Stanley Cup finals: Choosing Leighton over Boucher (poll results)

    Jun 9, 2010, 11:10 AM EDT

    You’re (probably) aware that the Philadelphia Flyers already made the decision to start Michael Leighton instead of Brian Boucher for what could be their last playoff game of 2009-10 tonight. So, on some level, the “drama” is gone from the debate – although the quiet pro-Boucher minority might come out of the woodwork if Leighton…

  8. Washington Capitals off-season: Jose Theodore out, but Eric Fehr ponders extension

    Jun 8, 2010, 5:45 PM EDT

    Fair or not, the lasting image of Jose Theodore’s stay with the Washington Capitals might be the final playoff game he started against the Montreal Canadiens in which he allowed 2 goals on 2 shots. Friendlier Capitals fans will note that the former Hart Trophy winner was excellent – at times – during the 2009-10…

  9. Finnish hockey fans sacrifice sleep to watch Cup finals

    Jun 8, 2010, 5:00 PM EDT

    One of the mini-stories of the playoffs, Olympics and recent seasons in general is the odd rise of the Finnish goalie. In the last decade or so, the league’s been treated to the play of Minnesota’s Niklas Backstrom, Calgary’s Miikka Kiprusoff and most recently Boston’s Tuukka Rask and potential Stanley Cup champion in Chicago’s Antti…

  10. Forget 'Cindy' Crosby, now we have 'Chrissy' Pronger …

    Jun 8, 2010, 4:05 PM EDT

    First*, there was “Cindy” Crosby. Now, the Chicago Tribune presents the latest hockey makeover(?): “Chrissy” Pronger. * – OK, that’s definitely NOT the first case of an athlete’s name being “feminized” but work with me here, folks. If you have an aversion to clicking, the link above captures a Photoshop job by the newspaper that…

  11. Atlanta Thrashers sign Jim Slater, interview Craig Ramsay for coaching job

    Jun 8, 2010, 3:15 PM EDT

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    There’s good news and bad news for the Atlanta Thrashers as they enter the first off-season of the post-Ilya Kovalchuk era. The glass half-full side will point to their $31 million-plus in cap space and handful of decent young players such as Evander Kane and Zach Bogosian. On the other hand, the team has as…

  12. Chris Terreri: Innovator of the goalie water break

    Jun 8, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT

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    When I took a hockey first-timer to a minor league hockey game about a month ago, she asked an amusing question: “Why do the goalies get water bottles?” My answer was simple: goalies are on the ice for the entire game (more or less) and don’t have the same “access” to water as players who…

  13. 2010 Stanley Cup finals: Michael Leighton to start Game 6

    Jun 8, 2010, 1:50 PM EDT

    Philadelphia Flyers coach Peter Laviolette was coy about it, but it appears that the team will start Michael Leighton for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals. The official Flyers Twitter feed announced it. Leighton’s home record is a staggering 6-0 and he’s been a mostly steady presence for the team, so I think it’s…

  14. Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame will induct Sabres coach Lindy Ruff today

    Jun 8, 2010, 12:45 PM EDT

    Lindy Ruff will be named to the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame today. Current Buffalo Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff, one of several inductees expected on hand for the announcement, will give remarks on behalf of the class. Ruff is the longest tenured coach in the NHL and enjoyed a 13 year NHL playing…

  15. Signs point to Todd Bertuzzi staying in Detroit

    Jun 8, 2010, 11:45 AM EDT

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    There’s no doubt that I delight in lampooning Todd Bertuzzi. Obviously, there’s our once-weekly Bertuzzday award (we’ll probably start that again next season, in some form): a token of shame given out because of the Steve Moore debacle. Even beyond that, Bertuzzi has been a goat in the eyes of many bloggers for pure hockey…

  16. Colorado Avalanche owner Stan Kroenke hopes to hand team to someone within family

    Jun 8, 2010, 11:15 AM EDT

    As I discussed last week, the Colorado Avalanche might need a new owner – though that owner might only have a different first name – if current owner Stan Korenke’s bid to own the NFL’s St. Louis Rams goes through. The Denver Post expands on that topic today. Stan Kroenke intends to keep ownership of…

  17. Discussion of new Edmonton Oilers arena pushed back until fall

    Jun 8, 2010, 10:55 AM EDT

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    The rather muddled Edmonton Oilers arena situation won’t be resolved anytime soon, as the proposed June 28 meeting has been pushed back to “sometime this fall” according to TSN. A new date for the hearing has not yet been set, but it’s expected to take place sometime in the fall. Edmonton’s municipal election is Oct.…

  18. Ray Whitney will most likely be a free agent this summer

    Jun 7, 2010, 6:20 PM EDT

    Crafty forward Ray Whitney refused to waive his no-trade clause during the trade deadline, making it certain that he’d finish the 2009-10 season with the Carolina Hurricanes. Perhaps the feelings of keeping “the Wizard” in Carolina aren’t mutual, though, because Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford says Whitney is likely to become an unrestricted free agent…

  19. Rumor: KHL team plans to throw big money Kovalchuk's way

    Jun 7, 2010, 5:20 PM EDT

    This weekend, I speculated where Ilya Kovalchuk might end up. One of the possible landing spots – at least according to my guesses – could be in the Kontinental Hockey League. My reasoning is simple: it’s Kovalchuk’s home country and the KHL could give him more money than any NHL team (conceivably) could. Well, according…

  20. Guy Boucher rejects Blue Jackets head coach job offer, hilarity ensues

    Jun 7, 2010, 4:35 PM EDT

    Guy Boucher turned down the Columbus Blue Jackets’ offer for their head coaching job, reports Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch. My immediate reaction ranges from “hysterical laughter” to “yikes!” When a minor league coach rejects an NHL head coaching opportunity, there really are only two possibilities: 1. your team is horrible or 2. no,…

  21. 2010 Stanley Cup finals: Did officials miss a high-stick on Briere?

    Jun 7, 2010, 3:45 PM EDT

    When you see a score like 7-4, it’s difficult to imagine that a controversial call really could have made a difference. Whether it would have made a difference or not, it looks like the referees missed a high-sticking penalty in the third period. As you can see from this video capture, Duncan Keith caught Danny…

  22. 2010 Stanley Cup finals: Blackhawks benefit from masterful line adjustments

    Jun 7, 2010, 3:00 PM EDT

    There was no secret that, after an ugly Game 4 loss, the Chicago Blackhawks needed to make some changes. In fact, we called for such a thing before Game 5; Brandon asked if coach Joel Quenneville should relax his stubborn policy of keeping Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane together while I wondered if the top…

  23. 2010 Stanley Cup finals: Game 5 post-game videos

    Jun 7, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT

    Let’s take a look at some of the interviews and analysis that took place during NBC’s broadcast of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals. First, here is a post-game interview involving Patrick Sharp of the Chicago Blackhawks.   In this video, we have some thoughts from Chicago coach Joel Quenneville and power forward Dustin…

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