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James O’Brien

  1. Blake Wheeler, Boston Bruins hit a wall in contract talks; salary arbitration looms

    Jul 26, 2010, 5:00 PM EDT

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    When I think of Boston Bruins forward Blake Wheeler, I think of two things. First, I look back at his unfortunate situation with the Phoenix Coyotes, as the young player left the team in favor of the Bruins. On the bright side, I also think of his impressive (if unmatched) 2008-09 season in which he…

  2. Tampa Bay Lightning select new CEO Tod Leiweke

    Jul 26, 2010, 4:30 PM EDT

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    The dramatic overhaul of the Tampa Bay Lightning continued today as the team chose former Seattle Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke to be the CEO of Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment, according to TSN. Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment is apparently the parent company of both the Lightning and its arena, the St. Pete Times Forum.…

  3. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Predators sign Ryan Parent to two-year, $1.85M deal

    Jul 26, 2010, 4:00 PM EDT

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    When it came down to it, the Nashville Predators basically sold the negotiation rights for Dan Hamhuis for Ryan Parent. Considering the fact that the Philadelphia Flyers didn’t even nab Hamhuis, I’d say that’s a decent takeaway. The team reportedly signed the young defenseman to a two-year, $1.85 million deal according to Kevin Allen of…

  4. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly responds to NHLPA's grievance

    Jul 26, 2010, 3:35 PM EDT

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    Soon after the NHLPA filed its grievance regarding the Ilya Kovalchuk contract as expected, NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly released a statement in response. Craig Custance of the Sporting News blog The Grinder shares Daly’s comment. “We have received formal notice that the NHLPA is grieving the League’s rejection of Ilya Kovalchuk’s contract with the…

  5. Take a look at the 2011 NHL All-Star Game logo

    Jul 26, 2010, 3:20 PM EDT

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    As anticipated, the Carolina Hurricanes and the NHL in general unveiled the 2011 NHL All-Star Game logo today. Here it is, in all of its logotastic glory. Well that looks … fine? I don’t have much to say about it, but here’s the league’s description of the logo and a little information about how Raleigh,…

  6. The NHLPA officially files a grievance on Ilya Kovalchuk's behalf

    Jul 26, 2010, 2:50 PM EDT

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    To little surprise, the NHL Players Association did indeed file a grievance on Ilya Kovalchuk’s behalf today. Here’s the NHLPA’s statement via TSN. “The NHLPA has filed a grievance disputing the NHL’s rejection of the Standard Player Contract between the New Jersey Devils and Ilya Kovalchuk. Under the terms of the CBA, the NHLPA and…

  7. PHT makes a podcast appearance on CCPT Hockey

    Jul 26, 2010, 2:15 PM EDT

    Update: Since the embedded code made the podcast play automatically I decided to just put up a link of the show. On rare occasions, Joe and/or I will make non-PHT appearances. Thankfully for the eyesight of hockey fans, I personally won’t be doing so in visual form – at least not yet. Instead, I will…

  8. New Lightning assistant Wayne Fleming reflects on coaching in Russia, Alex Cherepanov's death

    Jul 26, 2010, 1:30 PM EDT

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    I’ve stated it before – and mentioned it last night on a podcast – but the Southeast Division is transforming from “the Washington Capitals and a bunch of misfits” to possibly the most fascinating division in hockey. From the Caps will-they-or-won’t-they story to the resounding transformations of the Panthers, Thrashers and Lightning, it’s a group…

  9. After injuries forced him into retirement, Mike Van Ryn finds a coaching job in the OHL

    Jul 26, 2010, 1:00 PM EDT

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    Injuries forced defenseman Mike Van Ryn to retire from the NHL, but it didn’t take him long to find a place in the hockey workforce. Sunaya Sapurji of Yahoo Sports reports that Van Ryn will be an assistant coach with the OHL’s Niagara IceDogs (now that’s a solid name) next season. Here are some comments…

  10. 2010 NHL Free Agency: What about … Maxim Afinogenov?

    Jul 26, 2010, 12:30 PM EDT

    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 Today’s entry: Maxim Afinogenov Name: Maxim AfinogenovHeight: 6-0…

  11. A schedule of the remaining salary arbitration hearings

    Jul 26, 2010, 11:45 AM EDT

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    Salary arbitration can be an ugly process. One infamous moment even caused former beleaguered goalie Tommy Salo to cry.* * – No word on if he cried because they showed the backbreaking goal he allowed against Belarus in the Olympics in an endless, “Clockwork Orange” style loop. In case my memory is fuzzy and that…

  12. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Canucks, Mason Raymond avoid salary arbitration

    Jul 26, 2010, 11:10 AM EDT

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    Update: it appears that the Canucks narrowly avoided arbitration and signed forward Mason Raymond to a reasonable deal, which was settled at two-years, $5.1 million total according to Nick Kypreos. Van news. Mason Raymond…. Hearing settled. 2 years. 2.5/2.6M Looking at Raymond’s numbers from last year, I probably should have made him a part of…

  13. NHLPA faces 5PM deadline to file a grievance regarding Ilya Kovalchuk's contract

    Jul 26, 2010, 10:45 AM EDT

    On Monday July 19, it seemed like a lengthy hockey nightmare was over. That day seemingly marked the end of the Ilya Kovalchuk Holding Pattern Era and the continuation of the Kovalchuk-Devils pact. Of course, you should know that the league said “hold on a second” and rejected his contract at this point. Today marks…

  14. The PHT Nightcap: Sunday, July 25th

    Jul 26, 2010, 12:30 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. Lightning…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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.…

  21. 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…

  22. 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…

  23. 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…

  24. 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…

  25. 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…

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