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James O’Brien

  1. Rob Zombie shares his love for hockey, goalie masks and more

    Aug 1, 2010, 9:30 PM EDT

    It’s often interesting to hear celebrities share their love for hockey. For one thing, they’re the type of people who have access to money and power and groupies, so it’s kind of cool to find out they still have some puck appreciation. Beyond that, it’s kind of refreshing to hear from someone who has a…

  2. Which NHL teams might be contenders next season?

    Aug 1, 2010, 7:40 PM EDT

    It’s a pretty slow night, so such evenings lend themselves to meandering little curiosities like this article regarding future contenders in the NHL. So who’s next? After adding Taylor Hall to a stockpile of offensive prospects that also includes world junior hero Jordan Eberle and skilled Swede Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson, the Oilers are being billed…

  3. Why a Marc Savard deal would (and wouldn't) make sense for the Kings and Bruins

    Jul 31, 2010, 6:00 PM EDT

    When the Boston Bruins chose to honor Blake Wheeler’s $2.2 million salary arbitration award, speculation began regarding how the team would clear up salary cap space. Shortly after the Bruins honored the deal, rumors began to circulate that the Los Angeles Kings might be interested in trading for playmaking center Marc Savard. Now, it’s important…

  4. Canada's Green Party names pugilist-turned-politician Georges Laraque their deputy leader

    Jul 31, 2010, 5:00 PM EDT

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    It might be hard to believe, but one of the league’s best fighters in ages retired to a life that some might describe as cuddly. Some might even call him a “tree hugger.” Georges Laraque retired from hockey after being bought out by the Montreal Canadiens and the politically active pugilist was just named the…

  5. Report: Nashville Predators, Patric Hornqvist nearing a new deal

    Jul 31, 2010, 4:00 PM EDT

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    Casual fans might not be familiar with Patric Hornqvist, yet he is one of the highest impact players waiting for a new contract via restricted free agency. We’ve debated whether or not he’ll make good on his breakthrough 09-10 season already, but the bottom line is that he managed to score 30 goals next season.…

  6. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Alexandre Picard signs one-year, two-way deal with Habs

    Jul 31, 2010, 3:30 PM EDT

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    The Montreal Canadiens signed defenseman Alexandre Picard (not to be confused with the Phoenix Coyotes version*, who is a left winger) to a one-year, two-way contract, according to Brian LeBlanc. * – Jeez, the two guys were born and drafted in the same year. I probably made identical “Star Trek” puns about them without even…

  7. Sharks GM Doug Wilson: 'Our failures are higher than most teams' successes'

    Jul 31, 2010, 3:00 PM EDT

    It’s one of those debates that sports fans have from time to time: is it better to root for a cellar dwelling team that never gets your hopes up or a strong team that falls short of the mark each year? Both are pretty crummy situations, but you’ll have to ask of fans of teams…

  8. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Sharks sign Devin Setoguchi to one-year deal

    Jul 31, 2010, 2:10 PM EDT

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    Update: Nick Kypreos reports that Setoguchi’s deal is worth $1.8M. That means the Sharks will pay him $400K less than Boston will give Blake Wheeler. Very, very nice signing by GM Doug WIlson … As was discussed yesterday, the San Jose Sharks signed forward Devin Setoguchi to a one-year contract. The team did not share…

  9. Antti Niemi receives $2.75M arbitration award; Chicago has two days to decide what's next

    Jul 31, 2010, 1:30 PM EDT

    The wait to find out Antti Niemi’s salary arbitration award is over. Chris Kuc reports that the Cup-winning Finnish goalie received a one-year, $2.75 million ruling. Please note that this isn’t a binding contract, though; Niemi’s fate with the Balckhawks has not yet been decided. In case you haven’t been following arbitration situations, the Blackhawks…

  10. Pittsburgh Penguins make minor league coach Todd Reirden an assistant

    Jul 31, 2010, 12:45 PM EDT

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    The Pittsburgh Penguins announced that they hired Todd Reirden as their assistant coach. Reirden was the head coach of the Penguins’ AHL team in Wilkes Barrie/Scranton before GM Ray Shero and Dan Bylsma decided to give him a promotion. Here’s more from the team. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head coach Todd Reirden, who spent the previous year and…

  11. Blackhawks should be a legit Cup contender next season, even with salary cap purge

    Jul 31, 2010, 12:10 PM EDT

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    With all the Chicago Blackhawks Doomsday talk in the air, it’s easy to forget that the team still has some major talent in place. In fact, if the team is able to retain goalie Antti Niemi, you could make the argument that the core is still intact. Seriously, just take a look at who’s left.…

  12. Study: Hits only account for one-third of injuries at youth level of hockey

    Jul 31, 2010, 11:20 AM EDT

    While one can assume that things might be different at higher levels of the sport, the Montreal Gazette published notes on a study that concluded that hits produce only 34 percent of injuries at the youth level of hockey. The remaining 66 percent happen thanks to players getting hit by pucks, colliding into teammates or…

  13. Richard Bloch will be the arbitrator for the Ilya Kovalchuk contract grievance

    Jul 31, 2010, 10:40 AM EDT

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    While the NHL and Players Association refused to go on record regarding who, exactly, will be the arbitrator for the Ilya Kovalchuk contract dispute, someone found out anyway. has the word. The National Hockey League and its Players’ Association have agreed on an arbitrator to settle the Ilya Kovalchuk case, Sportsnet has learned. Richard…

  14. The PHT Nightcap: Friday, July 30th

    Jul 30, 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. Blackhawks…

  15. Sergei Fedorov's money troubles continue

    Jul 30, 2010, 10:45 PM EDT

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    Former Detroit Red Wings legend – and one of the first Russian hockey players to make an impact in the NHL – Sergei Fedorov made a lot of money in his storied NHL career. Unfortunately, it seems that he may have trusted the wrong people because he finds himself in serious financial trouble. In fact,…

  16. Calgary Flames hire a 'mental development coach'

    Jul 30, 2010, 10:00 PM EDT

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    Yogi Berra, New York Yankees legend and expert butcher of cliches, once said that baseball is “Ninety percent physical and the other half is mental.” It appears that Calgary Flames GM Darryl Sutter – or someone within the Flames organization – took that dictum to heart and wants the team to give 180 percent. Steve…

  17. Montreal Canadiens prospect Louis Leblanc leaves Harvard to advance hockey career

    Jul 30, 2010, 9:15 PM EDT

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    As Joe speculated in June, Montreal Canadiens 2009 first round draft pick Louis Leblanc will leave Harvard University early to continue his hockey career. ESPN Boston’s Jimmy Murphy reports that the team signed Leblanc to a three-year contract. Jeff Marek notes that the prestigious university will lose Leblanc to the Montreal Juniors of the Quebec…

  18. Tampa Bay Lightning look to expand hockey great Phil Esposito's role

    Jul 30, 2010, 8:45 PM EDT

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    Now, I don’t live in Canada so I might not be fully qualified to lead this discussion but that being said, there are two championship hockey bumper stickers. In one corner is the much-loved “My other car is a Zamboni.” Its opposition is the classic Boston Bruins sticker that read, “Jesus saves, but Espo scores…

  19. Anaheim Ducks trade James Wisniewski to NY Islanders for conditional 2011 third rounder

    Jul 30, 2010, 8:00 PM EDT

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    When I read that the Ducks avoided arbitration by signing James Wisniewski to a one-year, $3.25 million deal, I wondered how the cash-strapped Anaheim Ducks would really act. It didn’t take long for the team to show its penny pinching ways, as Ducks GM Bryan Murray decided to trade the defenseman to the New York…

  20. How could the Boston Bruins clear up some salary cap space?

    Jul 30, 2010, 7:15 PM EDT

    In case you missed it, the Boston Bruins decided to honor the arbitrator’s award and take on Blake Wheeler’s perfectly reasonable one-year, $2.2 million deal. Wheeler might not be a proven commodity, but he’s a big body who is worth a single season shot. Of course, you’re probably also aware that the Bruins are in…

  21. The PHT Nightcap: Thursday, July 29th

    Jul 30, 2010, 1:15 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. Aaron…

  22. Could potential new deals for Zdeno Chara, Joe Thornton set post-Kovalchuk trends?

    Jul 29, 2010, 11:30 PM EDT

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    Two of the most notable potential 2011 unrestricted free agents might receive contract extensions way before July ’11. As I discussed before, the San Jose Sharks began talks to extend their leading points scorer Joe Thornton while Craig Custance also reported that the Boston Bruins started discussing a deal with big captain Zdeno Chara. It’s…

  23. NHL '11 update: Introducing the 'Hustle Button' plus some gameplay videos

    Jul 29, 2010, 11:00 PM EDT

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    Whether you play them for the interactive competition, the feeling of controlling your favorite team or just as a diversion when the “real” games aren’t on, hockey video games are a favorite pastime for many puckheads. With all due respect to “NHL Slap Shot” and 2K Sports’ offerings, “NHL 11″ is the marquee polygonal puck…

  24. Cover art for EA Sports' first Wii hockey game, "NHL Slap Shot"

    Jul 29, 2010, 10:20 PM EDT

    Today seems to be an interesting one for video game news (I’ll provide some “NHL 11″ related nuggets later) for whatever reason. For those Wii-only owners who have been chomping at the bit for Wow, Wayne Gretzky looks so young in that photo. Boyish, even. Could it be the magic of Photoshop or the “Oil…

  25. San Jose Sharks sign Jason Demers to two-year, $2.5M extension

    Jul 29, 2010, 9:40 PM EDT

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    It’s been a busy Thursday for the San Jose Sharks (or at least for Sharks news). Earlier tonight I touched on rumors that the team is close to coming to terms on a one-year deal with Devin Setoguchi and also began contract extension discussions with 2011-free-agent-to-be Joe Thornton. In other news, the Sharks signed young…

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