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James O’Brien

  1. Chris Chelios officially retires from hockey, will join Detroit Red Wings front office

    Aug 6, 2010, 8:05 PM EST

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    People who love making generic old jokes might be as sad as Stars fans will be watching Modano play as a Red Wing right now. While I must admit that I already thought this happened months ago, it appears that the 48-year-old Chris Chelios officially retired from hockey today according to ESPN’s EJ Hradek. Chelios…

  2. Evgeni Nabokov, Denis Grebeshkov discuss leaving NHL for SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL

    Aug 6, 2010, 7:30 PM EST

    While his career decisions didn’t create an Ilya Kovalchuk-type stir, it’s not crazy to say that Evgeni Nabokov might have been the biggest unrestricted free agent of the summer. Sure, he’s had his fair share of struggles when the spotlight intensifies – whether that’s a fault of the Russian Olympic team’s spotty defense or the…

  3. How Alex Radulov's defection from the Predators to the KHL created 'The Russian Factor'

    Aug 5, 2010, 6:45 PM EST

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    It’s a distant memory for most hockey fans who don’t swear an allegiance to the Nashville Predators, but Alex Radulov’s defection to the KHL – right in the middle of his entry-level deal with the Predators – was at one time an anomaly. OK, it still is to some extent because most defectors wait until…

  4. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Sabres sign D Marc-Andre Gragnani to one-year deal

    Aug 5, 2010, 6:00 PM EST

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    The Buffalo Sabres re-signed 2005 third round draft pick Marc-Andre Gragnani to a one-year contract. The team did not disclose financial details regarding how much they paid the defenseman. Gragnani has only played six games in two seasons with the big club, combining for a goose egg across the board (0 goals, 0 assists, 0…

  5. 15-year-old fan wins contest to design the art on Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom's mask

    Aug 5, 2010, 5:30 PM EST

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    (Niklas Backstrom in his old, less charming goalie mask) I’ve seen goalies allow fans to design their masks before, but I only recall Calder-winner-turned-backup Andrew Raycroft doing so. The fans who submitted their artwork for Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom’s mask will likely see their labor of love a lot more often, as the Finnish…

  6. Washington Capitals GM George McPhee says this 'might be the best team' they've had in years

    Aug 5, 2010, 4:45 PM EST

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    Even if you highlight Jaroslav Halak’s incredible three game run after his team was down 3-1, it’s hard to argue against the fact that the Washington Capitals’ first round loss was a disappointment. After all, the team ran away with the Presidents Trophy and boiled over with hubris and swagger. Some GMs would take part…

  7. Penguins' Consol Energy Center earns high marks for environmental consciousness

    Aug 5, 2010, 4:00 PM EST

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    The Pittsburgh Penguins usually generate most of their excitement when it comes to what happens on the ice, but their new building is creating some buzz by itself. Their soon-to-open Consol Energy Center became the first NHL arena to earn LEED gold certification, the environmental equivalent to a first star. Here’s more from the team.…

  8. Ilya Kovalchuk's contract grievance hearing came to an end, decision expected by Monday

    Aug 5, 2010, 3:30 PM EST

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    The Ilya Kovalchuk contract grievance hearing is now over, but the waiting is not. As Dan Rosen of points out, system arbitrator Richard Bloch has until the end of the business day on Monday to make his decision. The arbitration hearing that will determine the immediate and potential long-term future of star left wing…

  9. NHL '11 news: EA Sports introduces its 'Ultimate Hockey League' to revamp online dynasty mode

    Aug 5, 2010, 3:05 PM EST

    More news popped up about NHL ’11 last night, so I thought I’d share some of the details via Operation Sports. This is a slight oversimplification, but there are basically two ways to play EA’s NHL games. You can either direct an NHL team in competition, switching control of goalies, defensemen and forwards while juggling…

  10. Predators trade Mike Santorelli to Panthers for a conditional fifth rounder in 2011

    Aug 5, 2010, 2:40 PM EST

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    With a suddenly crowded group of forwards and thinning patience for the prospect himself, the Nashville Predators sent forward Mike Santorelli to the rebuilding Florida Panthers for a conditional fifth round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Dirk Hoag of On the Forecheck summarizes the Predators’ reasoning quite nicely. The depth chart at center…

  11. Carey Price's agent shoots down rumors of Montreal Canadiens looking at Antti Niemi

    Aug 5, 2010, 12:15 PM EST

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    Joe shared an update on the Carey Price situation yesterday, but there’s a little bit more circulating about the hot-prospect-turned-enigma in Montreal’s net. Any goalie rotation with question marks will probably generate some Antti Niemi rumors, so you can’t blame Price’s agent for clearing the air. Here is his quote, via TSN by way of…

  12. Mike Modano, Detroit Red Wings make his signing official; Press conference set for Friday

    Aug 5, 2010, 11:30 AM EST

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    You’re probably already aware that Mike Modano will be a Detroit Red Wing next season, but it’s always good to hear it from the “horse’s mouth.” That’s exactly what happened today, as the team provided an official release and Modano confirmed the reports with Dallas Stars beat writer Mike Heika. Considering that Dallas-area fans are…

  13. Clarification regarding Nikolai Khabibulin's 'Extreme DUI' trial; Could he end up in 'Tent City'?

    Aug 5, 2010, 10:50 AM EST

    As a member of a generation raised on Mountain Dew and X-Games-type advertising, the word “extreme” often elicits a grin or a snicker. The word makes me picture a toasted hippie hovering impossibly above my head on a snowboard. Yet all humor is zapped from the situation when the word “extreme” is followed by “DUI…

  14. Washington Capitals prospect Eric Mestery retires from hockey at age 20

    Aug 5, 2010, 10:10 AM EST

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    It’s often difficult to attach the phrase “just like any job, really” to playing hockey (or any sport) professionally. After all, many of us grew up in backyards/frozen rinks/etc. dreaming of scoring the kind of goal Patrick Kane did to win the Stanley Cup.* * – Although ours either went top shelf or five-hole in…

  15. The PHT Nightcap: Wednesday, August 4th

    Aug 5, 2010, 1:00 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. Gary…

  16. Kovalchuk grievance update: Hearing to conclude Thursday, decision expected in a few days

    Aug 4, 2010, 11:55 PM EST

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    Just in case you were wondering, it seems that the Ilya Kovalchuk hearing did begin today (Wednesday, that is) and will conclude on Thursday. Here’s a little bit more from Ilya Kovalchuk’s immediate and potentially long-term future will be determined at an arbitration hearing that is currently taking place in Boston. The hearing is…

  17. Did Al Arbour (coach of '80s Islanders Cup winners) produce an NFL-style 'coaching tree'?

    Aug 4, 2010, 11:30 PM EST

    In the NFL, it’s very common for a successful coach to develop a “coaching tree.” Bill Walsh’s West Coast Offense produced acolytes such as Andy Reid while a man who seemed to be Walsh’ polar opposite – cantankerous, defensive-leaning Bill Parcells – brought us guys like Bill Belichick. If those “individual branches” beget more great…

  18. Jeremy Morin stands out in U.S. juniors win against Finland, could he ease loss of Byfuglien?

    Aug 4, 2010, 9:45 PM EST

    It’s true that a big chunk – maybe a majority – of the cap cleanup the Chicago Blackhawks have undergone this summer involved straight-up salary dumps. The Dustin Byfuglien trade to Atlanta is at least one exception, though, as the Blackhawks received a nice package that included two high 2010 draft picks, Marty Reasoner and…

  19. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Canucks re-sign Sean Zimmerman, Mario Bliznak

    Aug 4, 2010, 9:10 PM EST

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    The Vancouver Canucks announced two minor signings today, as Mario Bliznak and Sean Zimmerman re-upped with the team. Nucks Misconduct points out that Bliznak’s deal will be worth $550K while Zimmerman’s will reportedly be worth $500K. Both players will be very new to Canucks fans, even though they are in the team’s system. Bliznak’s name…

  20. Mandi Schwartz's fight against cancer takes a big step forward as she found a donor

    Aug 4, 2010, 8:10 PM EST

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    (Jaden Schwartz, brother of Mandi Schwartz) While discussions of ill health and death are often sobering accounts of why hockey isn’t really as big of a deal as we make it out to be, there are occasionally uplifting moments amid the doom and gloom. Take the story of Mandi Schwartz, sister of 2010 first round…

  21. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Senators make depth signings, add David Hale and Francis Lessard

    Aug 4, 2010, 6:50 PM EST

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    The Ottawa Senators made two small depth signings today, inking defenseman David Hale and forward Francis Lessard to one-year, two-way contracts according to TSN. Financial details were not disclosed, but with most two-way deals, the money amounts were probably very low. Hale was once a product of the New Jersey Devils system and though he’s…

  22. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Florida Panthers expected to sign Mike Weaver to two-year deal

    Aug 3, 2010, 6:30 PM EST

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    The Florida Panthers are expected to sign defenseman Mike Weaver, according to Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The deal would be for two years, $1.8 million and an annual salary cap hit of 900K. On paper, there really isn’t much to Weaver. He’s a small (listed at 5-9, 188 lbs.) defenseman who puts…

  23. Bobby Ryan's agent claims there are 'no discussions' with the Anaheim Ducks

    Aug 3, 2010, 5:40 PM EST

    Despite signing Andy Sutton yesterday, other events indicate that the Anaheim Ducks are being very tight with their wallets. That’s bad news for their negotiations with budding power forward in the making Bobby Ryan. Here’s the latest update from Eric Stephens from the Orange County Register. Bobby Ryan’s agent, Don Meehan, says there’s “no discussions”…

  24. Vancouver Canucks GM Mike Gillis changes assistant coaches, discusses Willie Mitchell

    Aug 3, 2010, 5:00 PM EST

    A few bits about the Vancouver Canucks today: GM Mike Gillis changed the team’s assistant coaching staff up a bit today. TSN reports that they replaced Ryan Walter with Newell Brown. Ryan Walter is out as an assistant coach with the Vancouver Canucks. “The decision was mine,” Mike Gillis, the Canucks’ president and general manager,…

  25. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Sharks sign Jamal Mayers

    Aug 3, 2010, 4:35 PM EST

    The San Jose Sharks added a small piece today, signing veteran plugger Jamal Mayers to a one-year deal reportedly worth $600K. I found about this via That’ll Cheech You from Fear the Fin, who adds a little bit more about Mayers here. Mayers split time with the Flames and Maple Leafs last season. He’s billed…

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