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James O’Brien

  1. Poll results: PHT readers think John Tortorella is the coach most likely to be fired

    Sep 5, 2010, 9:15 PM EST

    A couple days ago, I reacted to a piece about NHL coaches who might be in danger of being fired. Often times in these situations, I like to take the temperature of PHT readers. So I asked the audience whose job they thought might be in the most trouble. Here are the results. (click to…

  2. Jaroslav Halak's farewell autograph session raises $22K for Montreal charity

    Sep 5, 2010, 7:40 PM EST

    Jaroslav Halak will never get a chance to produce an encore performance with the Montreal Canadiens after he impressively lead the team’s run to the Eastern Conference finals. You cannot blame some Habs fans for getting a little attached to the goalie who seemed impregnable through two rounds of the playoffs against the Penguins and…

  3. Quebec City police search for Gervais Munger, missing co-owner of a QMJHL team

    Sep 5, 2010, 6:50 PM EST

    There’s some scary news out of Quebec City this weekend, as police search for Gervais Munger, co-owner of Quebec Major Hockey League team the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. Here is more about the troubling situation from the Toronto Sun. The search for the popular owner of a Quebec junior hockey team who went missing in a boating…

  4. The PHT Nightcap: Saturday, September 4th

    Sep 4, 2010, 11:50 PM EST

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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. Ilya…

  5. Fantasy Hockey Cheat Sheets: Shots on Goal leaders

    Sep 4, 2010, 11:00 PM EST

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    While Pro Hockey Talk doesn’t specialize in fantasy hockey (our Rotoworld cousins do, though), we still think that there are areas where we can help you, the budding imaginary general managers. For that reason, we’re going to discuss different philosophies, strategies and cheat sheets as fantasy drafts begin to increase around North America. Previous entries:…

  6. Ty Conklin, B.J. Crombeen ride a tandem bicycle in the name of charity

    Sep 4, 2010, 9:50 PM EST

    I really can’t get enough stories about athletes becoming actively involved in community service. Any player can throw some money at a problem to give off the appearance that they care, but it’s another thing when they sacrifice that cash and their time. When you throw in hockey players riding a tandem bike with a…

  7. 2010 NHL Free Agency: What about … Marek Svatos?

    Sep 4, 2010, 9:00 PM EST

    At this point in free agency, the focus shifts from the gems to flawed guys who can still bring some skill to the table. So, going forward, we’ll spotlight individual players who are flying under the radar. Previous Entries: Slava Kozlov, Alex Frolov, Willie Mitchell, Lee Stempniak, Maxim Afinogenov, Patrick O’Sullivan Today’s entry: Marek Svatos…

  8. Report: Atlanta Thrashers to sign Fredrik Modin to one-year deal

    Sep 4, 2010, 7:40 PM EST

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    Ah, Google translator … it’s not just for desperate, sweat-on-the-brow English-to-Spanish translations to complete essays for college classes anymore!* * – Uh, not that the author of this piece ever resorted to such childish measures to pass mandatory language classes or anything. (Cough) While Pension Plan Puppets power-bombed the Toronto Sun for (allegedly) stealing an…

  9. Now that Kovalchuk is a Devil, who might be on their way out of New Jersey?

    Sep 3, 2010, 6:00 PM EST

    It took two months and two days – and it felt like two years – but Ilya Kovalchuk finally got his way. The Russian winger saw the nine figures he wanted, receiving a 15-year, $100 million contract that will cost the New Jersey Devils a satanic annual salary cap hit of $6.66* million. * –…

  10. Blackhawks prospect Kyle Beach hopes to benefit from Chicago's salary cap exodus

    Sep 3, 2010, 5:15 PM EST

    The reports of the Chicago Blackhawks’ demise as a Stanley Cup contender are greatly exaggerated. Sure, they lost some valuable pieces. Dustin Byfuglien was a jumbo-sized headache for goalies like Roberto Luongo and Evgeni Nabokov. Kris Versteeg could provide the occasional jolt of goal scoring energy while Ben Eager and Andrew Ladd were quality character…

  11. Andreas Lilja admits he made a mistake when he turned down Detroit's $1M offer

    Sep 3, 2010, 4:25 PM EST

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    Self-awareness isn’t a particularly common trait in society, but it’s even less prevalent in the world of professional sports. After all, these are grown men playing a child’s game for a ridiculous amount of money and they are paid that handsome sum to believe in their abilities to the fullest. Perhaps it is a savvy…

  12. Report: CBA will be amended to curb contract loopholes but Kovalchuk's deal will be grandfathered in

    Sep 3, 2010, 3:15 PM EST

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    Just as soon as we were getting comfortable with the idea of yet another extended deadline … the NHL and NHLPA are reportedly in the process of making two huge steps. First, word is that the contract between the New Jersey Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk will be approved. Secondly, the two sides will amend the…

  13. Can Sidney Crosby hit the 50-goal mark again next season?

    Sep 3, 2010, 2:30 PM EST

    During his first four seasons, Sidney Crosby was transparently pass-first. That’s not a bad thing in many ways since setting up teammates is a naturally selfless act and Crosby is one of the NHL’s most gifted playmakers. Still, when you consider how much the Pittsburgh Penguins depend on his production, opposing teams might have benefited…

  14. Tampa Bay hires former NHL forward Steve Thomas as player development consultant

    Sep 3, 2010, 1:15 PM EST

    The Tampa Bay Lightning added another piece to their new front office puzzle today as the team signed former forward Steve Thomas as a player development consultant, TSN reports. Thomas will monitor and oversee all of the Lightnings prospects. Thomas played 1235 games in the NHL, scoring 421 goals over 20 seasons. He played for…

  15. Which coaches are in the greatest danger of being fired?

    Sep 3, 2010, 12:30 PM EST

    Being a head coach in professional sports is often a risky proposition but the NHL is a particularly cruel place for a bench boss. Aside from outright anomalies in Buffalo (Lindy Ruff) and Nashville (Barry Trotz), hockey coaches experience about as much job security as college football coaches show loyalty. ESPN’s Scott Burnside released his…

  16. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Penguins sign Mike Comrie (Mr. Hillary Duff) to one-year, 500K deal

    Sep 3, 2010, 11:50 AM EST

    After all these years, the Pittsburgh Penguins finally added some real star power. I mean, sure, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin could occasionally light up a scoreboard and Marc-Andre Fleury provides the occasional highlight reel save. But when, exactly, were those guys going to pop up in US Weekly? Expect a few more tabloids to…

  17. Don't be shocked if the deadline to rule on Kovalchuk's contract gets postponed again

    Sep 3, 2010, 11:00 AM EST

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    Some deadlines are more legitimate than others. Don’t be surprised if the postponed-but-now-rapidly-approaching deadline to reject or approve the second contract between the New Jersey Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk gets pushed back again. We will keep our eyes on the proceedings in case there is a decision by the alleged 5pm ET deadline, but much…

  18. The PHT Nightcap: Thursday, September 2nd

    Sep 3, 2010, 12:30 AM EST

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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. Mario…

  19. Sean Avery hopes to be a thorn in the side of opponents instead of his own team next season

    Sep 2, 2010, 11:15 PM EST

    Few hockey players speak their mind and establish themselves as interesting people – but love him or hate him – Sean Avery is one of the NHL’s biggest personalities. That being said, Avery distinguishes himself from the Terrell Owens/Chad Ochocinco-types by falling short of star status when the games actually take place. Sure, people are…

  20. New Columbus coach thinks he can turn things around for Steve Mason, Nikita Filatov

    Sep 2, 2010, 10:30 PM EST

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    The Columbus Blue Jackets are hoping for an improved output in 2010-11 after a horrific 09-10 campaign, even though they haven’t added much in terms of talent. The Blue Jackets are pinning their hopes on the internal improvement that could come from adding new head coach Scott Arniel. The question is, can Arniel save the…

  21. Nashville Predators ownership group gives William 'Boots' Del Biaggio the boot

    Sep 2, 2010, 9:30 PM EST

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    The history of sports is littered with swaggering, more-talk-than-walk owners, especially in the not-always-financially-stable NHL. Old money guys might not be the most PR-savvy or exciting, but aside from the occasional breakthrough in the form of Mark Cuban, most of the attention-seekers tend to fall on their faces (see: the Tampa Bay Lightning’s former owners…

  22. Ken Hitchcock helps others nab a shoplifter, makes headlines in process

    Sep 2, 2010, 8:45 PM EST

    These moments don’t come along every day, but it seems like they follow a similar script: A minor crime is committed OR someone is in peril. Sports semi-celebrity intervenes. People blow that intervention out of proportion. It happened when Brooks Laich helped a stranded motorist, when broadcaster Ron MacLean had a Good Samaritan moment and…

  23. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Colorado re-signs Chris Stewart to two-year, $5.75M extension

    Sep 2, 2010, 7:55 PM EST

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    If there were two “Cinderella” teams in the NHL last season, my votes would go to the Phoenix Coyotes and Colorado Avalanche. Both teams were nearly-universal picks for the Western Conference basement, with little in name recognition and new coaches behind the bench. While the Coyotes saw big losses (defenseman Zbynek Michalek) and significant additions…

  24. How Antero Niittymaki, Thomas Greiss feel about Sharks adding Antti Niemi

    Sep 2, 2010, 7:40 PM EST

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    There are a few basic schools of thought regarding the San Jose Sharks’ signing of Antti Niemi, but ultimately I think you could group fan and writer reactions into two sides. On one side, people who especially believe in Thomas Greiss might think that the Sharks’ are guilty of goalie overkill. That being said, others…

  25. The NHLPA drags its feet, doesn't approve or reject Donald Fehr's bid to lead players union

    Sep 2, 2010, 6:50 PM EST

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    Some things never change (or if they do, those changes take ages to happen). One of the sad constants in hockey is that the NHL Players Association cannot seem to avoid tripping over its own feet. Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports that the player representatives somehow failed to take a vote to…

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