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James O’Brien

  1. Preseason quick recaps: September 23rd

    Sep 24, 2010, 1:00 AM EST

    Earlier tonight, we touched on the Edmonton Oilers 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. If you need a Cliff’s Notes version of that recap, here it is: Taylor Hall was good, Magnus Paajarvi was even better and the Lightning … well, they had some Dan Ellis Problems. Anyway, in case you want to know…

  2. Bob Probert's family donates his brain to researchers studying concussions

    Sep 24, 2010, 12:20 AM EST

    Enforcers can be some of the most fearsome athletes in all of sports, yet many of them are/were gentle giants off the ice. Bob Probert’s death shook up many people beyond his family as the somewhat troubled but widely beloved pugilist touched many lives. Perhaps his biggest impact could come in a somewhat queasy, but…

  3. Magnus Paajarvi's hat trick steals the show in Taylor Hall's preseason debut

    Sep 23, 2010, 11:45 PM EST

    While tonight’s Lightning-Oilers game was trumpeted as the preseason debut of Taylor Hall – the top pick of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft – another top Edmonton prospect stole the show. Magnus Paajarvi* took over tonight’s exhibition, scoring a hat trick and adding an assist on an Andrew Cogliano goal to help the Oilers win…

  4. Are the Canucks making a bad gamble by tweaking Roberto Luongo's style?

    Sep 23, 2010, 10:10 PM EST

    It’s one thing to tweak the way a hitter swings a baseball bat or to ask a basketball player to stop chucking ill-advised three-point shots, but it’s a whole other beast to ask someone to fundamentally change the way they function when they’ve operated that way up to the professional level. Just look at when…

  5. Ducks owner Henry Samueli doesn't hold grudge against Gary Bettman for 18-month suspension

    Sep 23, 2010, 8:50 PM EST

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    Sports ownership draws some oddball characters, some of which aren’t always the most … ethical. For every outspoken but ultimately good-for-the-sport rich guy like Mark Cuban there’s an unfortunate case like former Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott. Anaheim Ducks owner Henry Samueli seemed like he was firmly entrenched in that latter group when NHL Commissioner…

  6. Mandi Schwartz receives stem cell transplant to assist her fight against cancer

    Sep 23, 2010, 8:00 PM EST

    The last we heard of Mandi Schwartz’s battle with cancer was that a stem cell transplant had been put on hold because she was dealing with infections. Today brought a promising turn of events, though, as Mike Morreale of reports that Schwartz finally received the stem cell transplant that doctors hope will revamp her…

  7. Knee-to-knee hit will cost Johan Franzen at least three preseason games

    Sep 23, 2010, 7:05 PM EST

    It appears, at least, that Johan Franzen and the Detroit Red Wings face a good news, bad news situation. The good news is that it seems like the fallout of Brooks Oprik’s knee-to-knee hit on the injury prone forward won’t be too severe. The bad news is that he will, in fact, miss time and…

  8. Ron Wilson and Brian Burke won't 'dumb down' games by resorting to a neutral zone trap

    Sep 22, 2010, 6:00 PM EST

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    If there are three constants of the Ron Wilson-Brian Burke Era, they would be chaos, defeat and a mind numbing amount of goals allowed. Some might lay all the blame at the feet of beleaguered former goalie Vesa Toskala, but chances are that we’ll look back at the Finnish netminder as a scapegoat who received…

  9. Calgary Flames announce that Matt Stajan will be out indefinitely with a separated shoulder

    Sep 22, 2010, 5:05 PM EST

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    The Calgary Flames have been weak at center for ages, but things might get downright ugly for the team’s pivots to begin the 2010-11 season. We already passed along reports that the outlook is not very good for gritty two-way forward Daymond Langkow, but the team shared some disconcerting news about their other top center,…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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,…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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.…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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,…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  21. 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…

  22. 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…

  23. 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…

  24. 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…

  25. 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.…

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