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James O’Brien

  1. Sergei Kostitsyn tries to turn his career around with the Nashville Predators

    Sep 22, 2010, 4:15 PM EST

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    One of the lessons people can take away from professional sports such as hockey is that raw skill alone doesn’t make someone successful. The game’s greatest players are often highly driven, courageous, hard-working and consistent. If all that mattered was his blinding speed and impressive puck skills, Sergei Kostitsyn would at least be a useful…

  2. Is it 'only a matter of time' until the Washington Capitals win a Stanley Cup?

    Sep 22, 2010, 3:30 PM EST

    Swagger is a great – if intangible – thing for a sports team to have. It’s not just a clever marketing slogan to sell Old Spice. Still, there’s a fine line between being confident and laughably puffing out your chest. You’d think the Washington Capitals would learn to bite their tongues a little bit more…

  3. Tyler Myers isn't worried about a sophomore slump

    Sep 22, 2010, 3:00 PM EST

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    Going into last season, the odds-on favorite for the Calder Trophy seemed to be John Tavares. Though he had a solid year, he didn’t even earn one of the top three nominations for the award as Jimmy Howard, Matt Duchene and Calder winner Tyler Myers earned that honor. Many didn’t see Myers coming … figuratively,…

  4. Washington Capitals sign G Michal Neuvirth to a two-year contract extension

    Sep 22, 2010, 1:10 PM EST

    The Washington Capitals decided to pass on the free agent goalie market this summer, opting to go with two young system goalies in Michal Neuvirth and Semyon Varlamov. Varlamov might be the more accomplished of the two goalies – at least from an NHL experience standpoint – but the Capitals decided to extend Neuvirth’s contract…

  5. Contract years will affect last year's top scorers

    Sep 22, 2010, 12:15 PM EST

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    We all have different philosophies about what drives success and results in sports. One thing that always dominates my predictions is contract years. Going by the Gordon Gekko principle of “Greed is good,” I often assume that a great player will be even better with that financial carrot dangling. It’s not always true (just look…

  6. The AHL adopts NHL's rule changes on tiebreakers, hits to the head

    Sep 22, 2010, 11:30 AM EST

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    One of the great things about the AHL – and minor league hockey, in general – is how different the games can be from the ones you’ll see in the NHL. That being said, one would prefer the large group of potential NHLers to play by as many of the same rules as possible. NHL.com…

  7. Preseason Schedule for Wednesday, Sept. 22

    Sep 22, 2010, 10:40 AM EST

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    Tuesday opened up the preseason schedule with nine games, but today’s slate of games isn’t a pushover either. Let’s take a look at who’s playing today, beginning with which contests will appear on the U.S. version of NHL Network. The full U.S. NHL Network schedule can be found here. (All times listed as ET) (actual…

  8. New York Islanders sign 2010 fifth overall pick Nino Niederreiter

    Sep 21, 2010, 5:30 PM EST

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    The New York Islanders announced that they signed first round pick Nino Niederreiter to an entry-level contract today. Financial details haven’t been revealed yet, but there’s a rookie maximum anyway, so there are limitations on the kind of money that can be thrown around. Here is more about Niederreiter from the Islanders. The Islanders selected…

  9. Patrice Cormier pleads 'not guilty' to charges related to a hit he delivered last season

    Sep 21, 2010, 4:30 PM EST

    While Jason Smith pleaded not guilty for charges that allegedly happened off ice, Atlanta Thrashers prospect Patrice Cormier faces a trial for something that happened on the ice. Cormier pleaded not guilty as well, according to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Thrashers prospect Patrice Cormier pleaded not guilty of assault causing injury on Monday,…

  10. Jason Smith pleads 'not guilty' to assault charges, faces Nov. 12 trial

    Sep 21, 2010, 4:00 PM EST

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    Earlier this month, we shared the sad news that former NHL defenseman Jason Smith was arrested for allegedly assaulting his wife and daughter. The Calgary Herald has an update on that story, including the fact that Smith is pleading not guilty and will face a November 12 trial. Former National Hockey League star Jason Smith…

  11. Washington Capitals extend Tom Poti's contract through 2012-13 season

    Sep 21, 2010, 3:20 PM EST

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    As a holdover who many criticize, Tom Poti won’t ease many of the concerns people have about the Washington Capitals defense. That being said, the team decided to extend Poti’s contract, keeping him in the fold for two years after his old deal expires this season. TSN’s Bob MacKenzie reports that the deal will pay…

  12. Carolina Hurricanes sign first rounder Jeff Skinner to entry-level deal

    Sep 21, 2010, 2:00 PM EST

    The Carolina Hurricanes signed Jeff Skinner today, locking up the seventh pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft to a three-year contract. TSN shares the terms of the deal. He will be paid $810,000 per season at the NHL level or $67,500 per year at the minor league level, and also received a $270,000 signing…

  13. Analyzing the trend of 'skimping' on goaltending

    Sep 21, 2010, 1:20 PM EST

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    I firmly believe that there isn’t a “magic bullet” or specific formula when it comes to building a winning hockey team. Simply put, the NHL changes too much year-to-year in the post-lockout era to claim that there’s one way to skin that Stanley Cup cat. Before I expand on this point, though, let me point…

  14. NHL preseason schedule begins with 9 games tonight, NHL Network carries three

    Sep 21, 2010, 11:30 AM EST

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    Today is a good day to be a hockey fan, even if by the nature of preseason competition, we probably won’t remember these results once the first week of the regular season is over. The NHL’s preseason begins with nine games tonight, three of which will appear on the U.S. version of the NHL Network…

  15. U.S. NHL Network reveals its 35-game preseason TV schedule

    Sep 20, 2010, 6:40 PM EST

    Starting tomorrow (Tuesday, September 21), the U.S. version of the NHL Network will begin televising 35 preseasons games, according to the network’s press release. For picture quality snobs like myself, you’ll be happy to find out that 33 out of those 35 contests will be in fancy pants HD. (Hopefully the other two will be…

  16. The sad story of Mark Wells selling his 'Miracle on Ice' gold medal

    Sep 20, 2010, 6:00 PM EST

    Although there are occasions such as Reggie Bush and O.J. Simpson losing trophies for off-the-field issues, you’ll rarely see an athlete give up the symbol of their greatest achievements easily. Usually, it’s the exclamation point at the end of a very sad story. Life hasn’t been easy for Mark Wells since he helped the U.S.…

  17. Training Camp Battles: A PHT Feature

    Sep 20, 2010, 5:30 PM EST

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    While we are comfortable discussing all 30 NHL teams here at Pro Hockey Talk, sometimes we ask for a little guidance from people who watch their team’s every move. That’s exactly what we did with our “training camp battles” feature in which we asked a blogger from all 30 teams to describe the positions that…

  18. TV producer who withheld replays of a Flyers goal will return to Penguins telecasts this season

    Sep 20, 2010, 5:00 PM EST

    There were a lot of goal review debates last year, but only one in which a television producer became the lightning rod for controversy. That happened when FSN Pittsburgh producer Lowell MacDonald, Jr. withheld a replay that would have revealed that the Philadelphia Flyers scored a goal on the Pittsburgh Penguins. The TV producer was…

  19. Brad Richards donates $500K to a children's hospital

    Sep 20, 2010, 4:15 PM EST

    Despite having a refreshingly productive 09-10 season in which he racked up 91 points despite the fact that the Dallas Stars missed the playoffs, it’s difficult to escape contract talk with Brad Richards. He signed a bloated five-year, $39 million deal after he won the Conn Smythe during the Tampa Bay’s catching-Lightning-in-a-bottle Cup run, which…

  20. Columbus Blue Jackets ink Steve Mason to two-year extension despite sophomore slump

    Sep 20, 2010, 3:40 PM EST

    There’s some slightly surprising news out of Columbus today: the Blue Jackets extended goalie Steve Mason’s contract for two years. The deal will be worth $2.6 million in 2011-12 and $3.2 million in 2012-13 for an annual cap hit of $2.9 million, according to TSN’s Bob MacKenzie. This allows both sides to avoid restricted free…

  21. Training Camp Battles: Northwest Division

    Sep 20, 2010, 2:40 PM EST

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    With training camps starting late this week or early next, we at Pro Hockey Talk couldn’t help but wonder: what are the biggest position battles going in? To give you the most specific answers possible, we asked team bloggers to give their take. After all, these men and women follow their teams almost as much…

  22. Pittsburgh Penguins sign GM Ray Shero to 5-year extension; A look at his biggest moves

    Sep 20, 2010, 1:45 PM EST

    The Pittsburgh Penguins announced that they signed GM Ray Shero to a five-year extension today. The Penguins and Shero have agreed on a five-year contract extension that ensures the team’s 2009 Stanley Cup champion architect will remain in Pittsburgh through the 2015-16 season. “I’d like to thank Mario Lemieux, Ron Burkle and the ownership group…

  23. NY Rangers report that a broken finger will keep captain Chris Drury out four weeks

    Sep 20, 2010, 1:00 PM EST

    The New York Rangers just announced that captain and highly paid center Chris Drury broke “a finger” during a Monday morning scrimmage and will miss a month. #NYR captain Chris Drury broke a finger in this morning’s scrimmage and will miss 4 weeks of action It’s nearly impossible to discuss anything about Drury without mentioning…

  24. Broken wrist will force Predators prospect Roman Josi to miss 4-6 weeks

    Sep 20, 2010, 12:15 PM EST

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    While the games and practices might not “count” in the grand scheme of things, body checks and other in-game pains still register just as clearly as they do in regular season games. Quite a few players are suffering from mild-to-considerable injuries in training camp so far. The latest person to add to that list is…

  25. Could this season be the first time Patrick Kane hits the 100-point mark?

    Sep 20, 2010, 11:50 AM EST

    Every sport seemingly has its benchmarks for the kind of season that marks a “true” star, even though those numbers can change thanks to eras (thanks to factors such as expansion, improved fitness, etc.). Some random numbers that jump out for sports athletes: a great homerun hitter will aim for 50 in a season, people…

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