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James O’Brien

  1. Report: Rangers, Kings interested in Alexander Frolov

    Jul 25, 2010, 11:40 PM EDT

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    With Ilya Kovalchuk (kind of) gone from the unrestricted free agent market and Simon Gagne traded, Alexander Frolov remains one of the best options out there. In fact, I’d argue that Frolov’s game is one of the most blemish-free of the available players. That’s why I’ve been confused by the seeming lack of interest in…

  2. PHT's list of players who must prove they're fluke-proof

    Jul 25, 2010, 11:15 PM EDT

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    Earlier tonight, I took a look at NHL.com’s list of the seven players hoping to not be “one-hit wonders” next season and included a guess or two on who might succeed. Much like I did with a breakthrough player list, I thought I’d take a look at some other players who might apply. Feel free…

  3. NHL.com's seven players attempting to prove last season wasn't a fluke

    Jul 25, 2010, 9:30 PM EDT

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    I often find it unfair when people call certain bands “one-hit wonders” for a simple reason: perhaps they didn’t want to make another big single? Now, most of you (especially more cynical types) will roll your eyes at such a stance; after all, doesn’t every artist want to make buckets of money and bathe in…

  4. The sad story of failed prospect Dan Ryder, brother of Boston Bruins forward Michael

    Jul 25, 2010, 7:30 PM EDT

    (Michael Ryder, older brother of Dan.) Even though we love hockey – or maybe because we love it too much – it’s often easy to lose perspective on the situation. Fans, writers and hockey people get so wrapped up in numbers – from salary cap/contract issues to point totals and Corsi numbers – we often…

  5. Penguins GM Ray Shero discusses team building, salary cap strategies

    Jul 25, 2010, 6:30 PM EDT

    (Note: This probably won’t be the last time I discuss team building on PHT. Just a fair warning.) Just like there’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s and no easy way to dump a significant other, my opinion is that there really isn’t a “blueprint” for building a Stanley Cup-winning team. Just look at…

  6. Fake Steve Yzerman Facebook account goes missing

    Jul 24, 2010, 6:00 PM EDT

    You’d think that Steve Yzerman would be pretty busy, what with his new job as the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning and all the activity that entails. Yet, there he seemed to be to many on Facebook … accepting friends and sharing status updates one might expect to see from an NHL GM.…

  7. Why not put the NHL All-Star game in the preseason?

    Jul 24, 2010, 5:00 PM EDT

    Thinking up cockamamie ideas about improving the NHL is a hobby for hockey nerds such as myself. So when I heard that the league plans to unveil the 2011 All-Star Game logo, I couldn’t help but think of ways to improve that glorified exhibition game. During the GM meetings, I brought up the fascinating if…

  8. PHT's 2010-11 'breakout' player list

    Jul 24, 2010, 3:30 PM EDT

    Earlier today, I took a look at NHL.com’s seven candidates for a “breakthrough” season. Since this is a slackertastic Saturday, I thought I’d provide my own list of players who could make a big difference in 2010-11. Feel free to lampoon my choices in the comments. John Tavares, NY Islanders The most obvious choice since…

  9. NHL.com's seven 'breakthrough players' for 2010-11

    Jul 24, 2010, 2:00 PM EDT

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    Last season, Steven Stamkos went from a disappointing rookie to a sophomore sensation, tying Sydney Crosby for the most goals in the NHL. His breakthrough season inspired NHL.com to name its seven candidates for a breakout season in 2010-11. Here’s the list, plus a few selected paragraphs and some commentary. Jonathan Bernier, LA Kings If…

  10. A look at agent Eustace King and the NHL's slow growth in diversity

    Jul 24, 2010, 1:00 PM EDT

    When you picture a hockey player, you probably envision a pasty Canadian guy … potentially with a killer mustache and/or a flowing mullet. It’s no doubt that the game is far behind other North American sports when it comes to diversity, although I think the climate is a lot friendlier than it was it the…

  11. Jeremy Roenick: Mike Keenan 'scared him' into the player he became

    Jul 24, 2010, 12:15 PM EDT

    When Jeremy Roenick finally decided to hang up his skates, it seemed like he ushered in the end of an era in the NHL It appeared that the days of brash, outspoken and ultra-skilled hockey players were over. (At least from an “on the record” standpoint, as my guess is that most NHL players are…

  12. Beware of the fan poll: How each NHL team received its name

    Jul 24, 2010, 11:30 AM EDT

    I’m a sucker for origin stories. While it’s fairly certain that the world doesn’t need to know why Batman fights crime anymore, I find that one of the most interesting questions to ask is “How did we get here?” So it’s no surprise that I was delighted to read this story from the Palm Beach…

  13. The PHT Nightcap: Friday, July 23rd

    Jul 24, 2010, 12:10 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. Henrik…

  14. Fan attendance, knowledge during Bruins development camp 'wows' Tyler Seguin

    Jul 23, 2010, 11:30 PM EDT

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    While I don’t fault new hockey fans for struggling with the nuances of the game, it’s pretty easy to spot a newbie. Take a typical fantasy hockey draft, for insistence; you know someone isn’t fully aware when they draft Nikolai “Ka-bib-ulin” as one of their goalies. Boston Bruins fans impressed their first round draft pick…

  15. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Oilers forward Gilbert Brule could get a big raise in arbitration

    Jul 23, 2010, 11:00 PM EDT

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    Despite fancy mathematical tools, it’s more or less impossible to truly measure grit or hustle. Going further, modern stats like Corsi ratings are probably not being uttered in salary arbitration cases. Instead, I’d imagine that the proceedings are dominated by simple stats such as points and maybe time on ice. For that reason, hockey people…

  16. Predators GM Poile on signing team's first Tennessee player, growing hockey in Nashville

    Jul 23, 2010, 10:30 PM EDT

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    When the Nashville Predators signed solid college performer Blake Geoffrion, I couldn’t help but focus on the rich “Boom Boom” heritage of his hockey family. One other interesting thing to note, though, is that Geoffrion is the first Tennessee native the team ever drafted, as an NHL.com story points out. While they lack the deep…

  17. Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos will unveil 2011 NHL All-Star Game logo on Monday

    Jul 23, 2010, 10:00 PM EDT

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    For whatever reason, next week will be a week of official NHL event announcements. As we told you yesterday, the league will hold an official press conference regarding the 2011 Winter Classic at Heinz Field on Tuesday. Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos released a statement saying today saying that the logo for the 2011 NHL…

  18. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Updates on restricted free agents Ryan, Neal and Grossman

    Jul 23, 2010, 9:40 PM EDT

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    Let’s take a look at three restricted free agent contract talks in limbo at this point. Bobby Ryan’s agent says that he wants to stay in Anaheim and the Ducks want to keep him, too. From the sound of that talk, it comes down to finding a compromise on the term of the contract. Here…

  19. The Tampa Bay Lightning's latest signings, hirings and firings

    Jul 23, 2010, 8:10 PM EDT

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    Steve Yzerman and the Tampa Bay Lightning keep making changes on and off the ice (and behind the bench). In the first bit of news, the team announced the firing of Norfolk coach Jim Johnson and “roving” goalie coach Cap Raeder according to Damian Cristodero. In the latest bit of housecleaning from the previous regime,…

  20. Would the Red Wings be better off going for someone other than Mike Modano?

    Jul 23, 2010, 7:30 PM EDT

    Most of the focus in the Mike Modano-to-Detroit rumors seems to center around Modano choosing to be a Red Wing (recently we found out he won’t decide until early August). Yet Scott Burnside brings up a good question: would the Red Wings be better off going with a different veteran scorer? It’s not an issue…

  21. Kevin Smith discusses his hockey movie 'Hit Somebody,' choosing to film in Hockeytown

    Jul 23, 2010, 6:40 PM EDT

    As a hockey fan, it’s easy to have a soft spot for writer-director Kevin Smith. Both his best and worst work features the sports prominently. From rooftop hockey in “Clerks” to a reference to “The Whale” and hockey video games in “Mallrats,” Smith has been eager to show off his puck love. Smith’s career seems…

  22. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Blackhawks keep some size, re-sign bruiser Bryan Bickell

    Jul 23, 2010, 5:45 PM EDT

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    The Chicago Blackhawks lost a ton of muscle this off-season. Thanks to salary cap headaches, the team purged bruisers such as Dustin Byfuglien, Ben Eager and Andrew Ladd. Those loses may not mean much in the box scores (aside from Byfuglien, I guess), but in tough battles with feisty squads such as the Vancouver Canucks,…

  23. The PHT Nightcap: Thursday, July 22nd

    Jul 22, 2010, 11:30 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. Kings…

  24. Anaheim Ducks ponder a trade with Vancouver Canucks for Kevin Bieksa

    Jul 22, 2010, 10:30 PM EDT

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    With the unrestricted free agent market drying up and the list of restricted free agents dwindling, the next way to add players is by exploiting another team’s need for a salary dump. While the Anaheim Ducks are becoming known for penny-pinching ways, their threadbare blueline needs a little help. (I mean, Lubomir Visnovsky can bring…

  25. NHL to officially unveil 2011 Winter Classic during a press conference on Tuesday

    Jul 22, 2010, 9:40 PM EDT

    Word is that the NHL will officially unveil the 2011 Winter Classic via a press conference at Heinz Field on Tuesday. (Source: Inside Pittsburgh Sports.) New Year’s 2011 won’t be around very soon, although it’s kind of difficult to believe it’s almost August already. (I guess I’m getting old?) The outdoor game will take place…

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