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James O’Brien

  1. Sound the broken record: Kings, Kovalchuk fall short of a deal again

    Jul 8, 2010, 10:40 AM EDT

    It’s now been a solid week of Ilya Kovalchuk rumors, whining and (perhaps) tiresome greed.* Maybe you’re still riveted by the whole saga, but my guess is that most of the hockey world is worn out by the talk. * – And not just tiresome greed on Kovalchuk’s part, either. Watching this situation play out…

  2. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Predators roll the dice with Sergei Kostitsyn

    Jul 6, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT

    When the Kostitsyn brothers (sort of) burst onto the scene, Andrei was considered the better finisher/generally more talented of the two but Sergei was the “fast” one. Either way, it seemed like the two had a chance to be a solid sibling set for the Montreal Canadiens. As you may know, things fell apart for…

  3. LA Kings should not worry about luring big-time free agents

    Jul 6, 2010, 5:00 PM EDT

    Perhaps I’m in the minority here, but I think the Los Angeles Kings are better off without Ilya Kovalchuk … at least at the kind of money and years he seems determined to receive. Los Angeles Times writer Helene Elliott seems to think it’s a sign that the team cannot lure in high-end free agents,…

  4. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Janssen, Lundin, Purcell and Drew Miller sign one-year deals

    Jul 6, 2010, 4:20 PM EDT

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    Let’s take a look at a few minor signings from around the NHL. The Tampa Bay Lightning signed defenseman Mike Lundin and recently acquired forward Teddy Purcell to one-year contracts. Pierre LeBrun reports that Lundin’s contract will be worth $750K. Lundin had three goals and 10 assists for 13 points in 49 games for the…

  5. Concussion problems might force Kim Johnsson to retire

    Jul 6, 2010, 3:40 PM EDT

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    While hockey players often skate through the playoffs with all kinds of grisly injuries, one of the most troubling ailments cannot be easily corrected with surgery or even rest. Concussions are a sad reality in all violent sports, affecting not only a player’s ability to function as a hockey player but also causing dire longtime…

  6. The home of the Vancouver Canucks is now Rogers Arena, not GM Place

    Jul 6, 2010, 3:23 PM EDT

    The Vancouver Canucks will no longer be playing in GM Place. OK, that’s a little misleading, as it turns out that the naming rights to the home of the ‘Nucks will now be Rogers Arena instead, according to Jeff Marek. The Globe and Mail expands on the situation. It was widely believed that the contest…

  7. Jaroslav Halak's contract: Better for Halak, the Blues … or the Habs?

    Jul 6, 2010, 2:40 PM EDT

    Four years from now, we’ll look back at this summer as a turning point for both the Montreal Canadiens and St. Louis Blues. The question is: will the Habs look wise for taking Jaroslav Halak’s impressive playoff run with a grain of salt or will the Blues point to that trade (and subsequent signing) as…

  8. 2010 NHL Free Agency: St. Louis signs Jaroslav Halak to four-year, $15M deal

    Jul 6, 2010, 1:47 PM EDT

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    One of the biggest restricted free agent mysteries just went solved as the St. Louis Blues signed former Montreal Canadiens playoff hero Jaroslav Halak to a four-year, $15 million contract according to Nick Kypreos. That works out to a $3.75 million cap hit for each year. I’ll expand on this soon, but I thought I’d…

  9. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Blues reportedly sign Carlo Colaiacovo to two-year, $4.25M deal

    Jul 6, 2010, 1:40 PM EDT

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    To the chagrin of St. Louis copy editors and the benefit of their blueline, the Blues are reportedly on the verge of re-signing defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo to a two-year, $4.25 million deal. (Source: TSN.) Colaiacovo, an unrestricted free agent, scored seven goals and 25 assists in his first full season with the Blues. He came…

  10. Bring back the rats: Panthers add '96-era players Brian Skrudland, Gord Murphy to front office

    Jul 6, 2010, 1:00 PM EDT

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    For some NHL franchises, a Cinderella run to a Stanley Cup finals sweep would be a prelude of better things to come. For the great ones, it would possibly be a little bit embarrassing. For the mediocre ones, it might be a vibrant memory in a montage of occasional playoff appearances. Yet for a moribund…

  11. Poll results: PHT readers choose Parise's goal over Donovan's winner

    Jul 6, 2010, 11:40 AM EDT

    Almost immediately after seeing Landon Donovan’s extra time heart-stopper of a goal (which ultimately didn’t mean much), I couldn’t help but compare it to one of U.S. hockey’s more exciting moments (which ultimately didn’t mean much). It was more for the sake of experiment than anything else, but I couldn’t help but ask if Donovan’s…

  12. Bob Probert dies at age 45

    Jul 5, 2010, 5:20 PM EDT

    Sad news out of Windsor, Ontario: George Malik reports that former tough guy Bob Probert died at the age of 45 today. The Windsor Star has some details on the unfortunate situation. Former NHL forward Bob Probert has been rushed to hospital after collapsing in a boat on Lake St. Clair Monday afternoon, AM800 CKLW…

  13. Mason Raymond, Gilbert Brule, Jeff Schultz and Andrew Ladd file for salary arbitration

    Jul 5, 2010, 5:00 PM EDT

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    Today marks the deadline for NHL players to file for salary arbitration. While the process can often be lucrative, it’s something both players and teams would rather avoid for the simple reason that the debates on a person’s value can really wreak havoc on someone’s psyche. Just look at the tales of general managers critiquing…

  14. Simon Gagne's no longer in LA Kings' sights

    Jul 5, 2010, 4:40 PM EDT

    It already appears that the Los Angeles Kings fell out of the Ilya Kovalchuk sweepstakes, but now it seems that they won’t be trading for Simon Gagne either. Rich Hammond provides the report. Incidentally, something I neglected to mention in the previous post is that according to a team source, the Kings no longer consider…

  15. Detroit Red Wings still in pursuit of Mike Modano

    Jul 5, 2010, 3:45 PM EDT

    Sports fans all have their worst nightmare scenarios, particularly when it comes to a great, long-time player suiting up for a hated rival. It would be like Wayne Gretzky wearing a Calgary Flames sweater or Mario Lemieux skating for the Philadelphia Flyers. Some things just seem wrong. So Dallas Stars fans must be at least…

  16. Taylor Hall signs entry-level contract with Edmonton Oilers

    Jul 5, 2010, 3:10 PM EDT

    Considering all the Ilya Kovalchuk confusion, at least there’s some news that’s a little more straightforward this afternoon. Take, for instance, word that Taylor Hall signed an entry-level contract with the Edmonton Oilers today. James Mirtle shared the news. It’s basically a given Taylor Hall gets the max entry level salary: $900k base with another…

  17. Kovalchuk signs with the Devils? Well, not so fast …

    Jul 5, 2010, 2:07 PM EDT

    James Mirtle notes on Twitter that the New York Post recently changed the headline for its original story on Ilya Kovalchuk. At first, the indication was that the New Jersey Devils were on the verge of signing Kovalchuk to a seven-year, $60 million contract. Compare and contrast the headlines. Vs. So with that, the Ilya…

  18. Report: New Jersey Devils expected to sign Ilya Kovalchuk to seven-year, $60M deal

    Jul 5, 2010, 1:33 PM EDT

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    The New York Post reports that the New Jersey Devils are expected to sign Ilya Kovalchuk to a seven-year, $60 million deal. If that is indeed the deal, Kovalchuk would generate an annual cap hit of a little more than $8.57 million per season. lists the Devils’ pre-salary cap space at about $4.75 million,…

  19. NHL Slapshot trailer

    Jul 5, 2010, 1:15 PM EDT

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    You can forgive 2K Sports for shaking in their boots a bit. After years of being the only licensed hockey game on all the big three consoles (Nintendo’s Wii, Microsoft’s XBox 360 and Sony’s Playstation 3), Electronic Arts announced their first-ever Wii hockey title “NHL Slapshot” while 2K decided to go Wii-only with “NHL 2K11.”…

  20. Quick hits: Kovalchuk to decide today, Chara talks begin, Versteeg's day with Cup

    Jul 5, 2010, 12:30 PM EDT

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    Here are a few quick hits from around the league. Ilya Kovalchuk’s (American) agent Jay Grossman says that the Russian winger is looking to make his decision today. That’s good news, because my l, y, and k keys have been getting an unusual amount of exercise lately. (Seriously, though, I don’t know about you ……

  21. Report: Ilya Kovalchuk more likely to stay in NHL according to Russian agent

    Jul 5, 2010, 11:40 AM EDT

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    Despite the fact that he received an offer from SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL, Tom Gilutti reports that Ilya Kovalchuk’s Russian agent admits that he is more likely to stay in the NHL. In an article of the English-translated version of Russia’s Sport Express, Ilya Kovalchuk’s Russia-based agent says he is negotiating with SKA…

  22. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Nikolai Zherdev looks to return to the NHL, possibly with Leafs or Sabres

    Jul 5, 2010, 11:15 AM EDT

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    Update: TSN reports that the Maple Leafs aren’t interested in Zherdev. After spending a year in the KHL with Mytishchi Atlant, Dmitry Chesnokov reports that former Columbus Blue Jackets and New York Rangers forward Nikolai Zherdev is in serious discussions to return to the NHL. Chesnokov states that the Russian right-handed left winger is in…

  23. After being linked to Ilya Kovalchuk, is KHL team SKA after Evgeni Nabokov too?

    Jul 5, 2010, 10:50 AM EDT

    Could it be that the biggest “mover and shaker” in free agency this year is a team that doesn’t even play in the NHL? It seems like the KHL team SKA St. Petersburg might end up making a big splash or two, at least if rumored negotiations turn into confirmed signings. Last night I shared…

  24. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Is 2010 the 'Summer of the Pay Cut'?

    Jul 5, 2010, 10:30 AM EDT

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    After years of NHL teams seemingly gorging themselves at the buffet table that is unrestricted free agency, it seems like the league is starting to exercise a little “portion control.” Jamie Fitzpatrick did a nice breakdown of the growing trend of players taking pay cuts for 20 Forwards Signed- Based on average annual salary,…

  25. The PHT Nightcap: Sunday, July 4th

    Jul 4, 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. Ryan…

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