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James O’Brien

  1. Discussion of new Edmonton Oilers arena pushed back until fall

    Jun 8, 2010, 10:55 AM EDT

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    The rather muddled Edmonton Oilers arena situation won’t be resolved anytime soon, as the proposed June 28 meeting has been pushed back to “sometime this fall” according to TSN. A new date for the hearing has not yet been set, but it’s expected to take place sometime in the fall. Edmonton’s municipal election is Oct.…

  2. Ray Whitney will most likely be a free agent this summer

    Jun 7, 2010, 6:20 PM EDT

    Crafty forward Ray Whitney refused to waive his no-trade clause during the trade deadline, making it certain that he’d finish the 2009-10 season with the Carolina Hurricanes. Perhaps the feelings of keeping “the Wizard” in Carolina aren’t mutual, though, because Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford says Whitney is likely to become an unrestricted free agent…

  3. Rumor: KHL team plans to throw big money Kovalchuk's way

    Jun 7, 2010, 5:20 PM EDT

    This weekend, I speculated where Ilya Kovalchuk might end up. One of the possible landing spots – at least according to my guesses – could be in the Kontinental Hockey League. My reasoning is simple: it’s Kovalchuk’s home country and the KHL could give him more money than any NHL team (conceivably) could. Well, according…

  4. Guy Boucher rejects Blue Jackets head coach job offer, hilarity ensues

    Jun 7, 2010, 4:35 PM EDT

    Guy Boucher turned down the Columbus Blue Jackets’ offer for their head coaching job, reports Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch. My immediate reaction ranges from “hysterical laughter” to “yikes!” When a minor league coach rejects an NHL head coaching opportunity, there really are only two possibilities: 1. your team is horrible or 2. no,…

  5. 2010 Stanley Cup finals: Did officials miss a high-stick on Briere?

    Jun 7, 2010, 3:45 PM EDT

    When you see a score like 7-4, it’s difficult to imagine that a controversial call really could have made a difference. Whether it would have made a difference or not, it looks like the referees missed a high-sticking penalty in the third period. As you can see from this video capture, Duncan Keith caught Danny…

  6. 2010 Stanley Cup finals: Blackhawks benefit from masterful line adjustments

    Jun 7, 2010, 3:00 PM EDT

    There was no secret that, after an ugly Game 4 loss, the Chicago Blackhawks needed to make some changes. In fact, we called for such a thing before Game 5; Brandon asked if coach Joel Quenneville should relax his stubborn policy of keeping Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane together while I wondered if the top…

  7. 2010 Stanley Cup finals: Game 5 post-game videos

    Jun 7, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT

    Let’s take a look at some of the interviews and analysis that took place during NBC’s broadcast of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals. First, here is a post-game interview involving Patrick Sharp of the Chicago Blackhawks.   In this video, we have some thoughts from Chicago coach Joel Quenneville and power forward Dustin…

  8. 2010 Stanley Cup finals: Game 5 produces great ratings despite going up against NBA finals

    Jun 7, 2010, 1:45 PM EDT

    Sunday night was a double-edged sword for sports fans. On one hand, it was great to have two championship-level sporting events going on at the same time. Still, sports junkies also had to choose between Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals or Game 2 of the NBA finals. While a big market, history-soaked match…

  9. Ville Leino chases Dino Ciccarelli for all-time rookie playoff scoring record

    Jun 7, 2010, 1:15 PM EDT

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    Hockey fans “in the know” might have been a little surprised when the Philadelphia Flyers traded for former European league scoring stud Ville Leino from the Detroit Red Wings. Still, for the casual fan, Leino was a face in the crowd at best. Chances are he’ll struggle to fly under the radar again after the…

  10. 2010 Stanley Cup finals: Sounds of the Game, Star Cam videos for Game 5

    Jun 7, 2010, 12:30 PM EDT

    Here are three more videos featuring NBC’s coverage of Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals. First, some highlights of the Sounds of the Game, which include some yapping from Philadelphia Flyers captain Mike Richards.   Next, how about some highlights of the Philadelphia Flyers Star Cam? The Flyers players include Mike Richards, Chris Pronger,…

  11. 2010 Stanley Cup finals: Ben Eager takes Game 5 puck before Chris Pronger can

    Jun 7, 2010, 11:45 AM EDT

    The next move in the Ultimate Hockey Chess Match took place during Sunday’s Game 5 match between the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers. Nope, I’m not talking about Chicago coach Joel Quenneville’s line changes or the game itself. Instead, I’m referring to the previously Pronger-dominated post-game tradition of players stealing the game puck. This time…

  12. New Jersey Devils expected to choose between Therrien, MacLean for head coaching job

    Jun 7, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

    While we discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets hopes of landing AHL coach Guy Boucher, it looks like the New Jersey Devils have narrowed down their search to either former Penguins coach Michel Therrien or John MacLean, the coach of the Devils’ AHL Lowell affiliate. The New York Post reports that those two coaches are the…

  13. 2010 Stanley Cup finals: Blackhawks play 'their' game to dominate Flyers 7-4

    Jun 6, 2010, 11:55 PM EDT

    For most of the first four games – two of which, by the way, Chicago actually won – hockey fans kept asking: “What happened to the Blackhawks?” After all, this is the club who scratched and clawed through the trapping Predators, trampled the seemingly imposing Vancouver Canucks and then eked out win after win against…

  14. 2010 Stanley Cup finals: Flyers-Blackhawks Game 5 Live Chat

    Jun 6, 2010, 10:38 PM EDT

    Many hockey writers will tell you that a Game 5 is a “pivotal” moment in a series, especially when the teams are locked up 2-2. I guess that’s probably true, since the winner of tonight’s Flyers-Blackhawks game will only have to go .500 in the final two games once they take this victory. Will the…

  15. Chicago maintains three-goal lead after 2nd period, up 5-2

    Jun 6, 2010, 10:06 PM EDT

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    It was a shooting gallery of a second period, but I get the feeling that this is the style of game the Chicago Blackhawks prefer. Each team scored two goals, making it a 5-2 game going into the third period. If you’re a fan of defensive hockey, this isn’t the game for you. It also…

  16. Blackhawks blast Flyers out of the gate, take 3-0 first period lead

    Jun 6, 2010, 9:00 PM EDT

    This is the Chicago Blackhawks team I expected to see. This is the group that wore down the Nashville Predators, befuddled the Vancouver Canucks and swept the San Jose Sharks out of the Western Conference finals. I’m not sure what happened to them – even in the first two games they won – but let…

  17. NHL Network to air documentary 'Behind the Stripes: A Ref's Life' Monday

    Jun 6, 2010, 7:10 PM EDT

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    Professional sports feature plenty of glamorous jobs. In football, there’s quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers. While even some of the best hockey players get their hands dirty, there’s no doubt that No. 1 centers are the Joe Montanas of the game. Meanwhile, the John Maddens (Chicago’s Madden, of course, not the boom-tacular football guy)…

  18. Where could Ilya Kovalchuk land?

    Jun 5, 2010, 5:45 PM EDT

    In the last post, I discussed the fact that I don’t think Ilya Kovalchuk is worthy of a huge contract. Still, Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov makes a good point when he states that Kovalchuk is one of – if not the – biggest free agents of the post-lockout era. (Although, I’d argue from a team-changing…

  19. Ilya Kovalchuk isn't worthy of a big raise

    Jun 5, 2010, 4:30 PM EDT

    In a league where the salary cap should hover around the $58-$59 million mark for the 2010-11 season, you don’t get a lot of wiggle room when it comes to signing big money players. Just look at the Pittsburgh Penguins; only true cap savants would argue that Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin aren’t worth their…

  20. In four games, Chicago fans clearly louder than Philly fans

    Jun 5, 2010, 3:45 PM EDT

    Fans of the Philadelphia Flyers developed quite a reputation as some of the most brutal in all of American sports. (I make sure to mention “American,” since soccer hooligans will sometimes … you know, kill people and stuff.) But there’s one area where – at least compared to Chicago Blackhawks fans – they fall short:…

  21. Video: Michael Leighton's big Game 4 saves

    Jun 5, 2010, 3:00 PM EDT

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    Brandon touched on the goalie’s increased confidence and comfort earlier today, but Michael Leighton has been a steady presence for the Philadelphia Flyers since he returned from injury during the Conference Semifinals. He’s an incredible 6-0 in home games now and is a big reason the Flyers are two wins away from raising the Stanley…

  22. Video: Brian Campbell's big hit on Ville Leino

    Jun 5, 2010, 2:15 PM EDT

    When people think of Brian Campbell, they either consider his spin-o-ramas, general offensive ability or – if you’re a glass half empty type – his enormous $7.1 million annual cap hit. But hockey fans with at least a decent memory may also remember that, every now and then, “Soupy” can unleash a maniacal hit. He…

  23. Boston Bruins sign 'Pain Sponge' Dennis Seidenberg to four year, $13 M deal

    Jun 5, 2010, 1:30 PM EDT

    Look, it’s no secret that I admire the work of Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. After all, I did coin what I still hope will be his nickname, “The Pain Sponge” after realizing that – along with leading the NHL in blocked shots this season – he was also one of the league’s most frequently…

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