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James O’Brien

  1. Calgary Flames hire a 'mental development coach'

    Jul 30, 2010, 10:00 PM EST

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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…

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

    Jul 30, 2010, 9:15 PM EST

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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…

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

    Jul 30, 2010, 8:45 PM EST

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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…

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

    Jul 30, 2010, 8:00 PM EST

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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…

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

    Jul 30, 2010, 7:15 PM EST

    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…

  6. The PHT Nightcap: Thursday, July 29th

    Jul 30, 2010, 1:15 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. Aaron…

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

    Jul 29, 2010, 11:30 PM EST

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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…

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

    Jul 29, 2010, 11:00 PM EST

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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…

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

    Jul 29, 2010, 10:20 PM EST

    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…

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

    Jul 29, 2010, 9:40 PM EST

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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…

  11. Report: Blake Wheeler's arbitration award is one-year, $2.2M; Bruins must decide within 2 days

    Jul 29, 2010, 9:00 PM EST

    An independent arbitrator awarded Blake Wheeler a one-year, $2.2 million decision according to ESPN Boston’s Jimmy Murphy. It’s important to note that the Boston Bruins are not required to sign that deal, though. Instead, the Bruins have 48 hours to decide if they’ll honor the proposed deal, walk away from the contract or buy out…

  12. SJ Sharks rumors: Team close to signing Devin Setoguchi, begins talks with Joe Thornton

    Jul 29, 2010, 8:00 PM EST

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    When I looked at the San Jose Sharks’ July 2010 a while ago, it seemed like it had Impending Doom written all over it. I mean, after all, the team had to answer questions about impact unrestricted (Patrick Marleau, Evgeni Nabokov) as well as restricted (Joe Pavelski, Devin Setoguchi) free agents. Not to mention the…

  13. Dissecting Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman's Niemi-related press conference through Twitter

    Jul 29, 2010, 7:30 PM EST

    Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman recently held a press conference regarding the Antti Niemi arbitration hearing, although the team is waiting for answers just like the rest of the hockey world. The reason for that is simple: the arbitrator has a 48-hour window to assess Niemi’s value and may indeed take until Saturday to make…

  14. Broad Street Bullies Era Flyers named fourth 'most hated' sports team of all-time

    Jul 28, 2010, 6:00 PM EST

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    Falling behind two reviled creations of football coach Jimmy Johnson (the Miami Hurricanes and the Dallas Cowboys) along with the “Bad Boys” era Detroit Pistons, Sports Illustrated named the Broad Street Bullies the fourth “most hated” sports team of all-time. (Eh, I think this is a case of bigger sports getting the nod because the…

  15. Anaheim Ducks sign first rounder Cam Fowler to entry-level contract

    Jul 28, 2010, 5:15 PM EST

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    When we look back at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, it’s quite possible that the Anaheim Ducks will be heralded for getting a steal in 12th overall pick Cam Fowler. Many expected the offensively talented defenseman to go as early as No. 3 behind shoo-in forwards Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin but instead Fowler dropped…

  16. Should the Anaheim Ducks, Bobby Ryan consider a 'lifetime' deal?

    Jul 28, 2010, 4:30 PM EST

    The Anaheim Ducks and forward Bobby Ryan are at a contract negotiation standstill right now. In a rare twist, it doesn’t appear that it’s a straight-up money problem. (I mean, sure, in the grand scheme of things it is … but work with me, here.) Instead, the biggest sticking point seems to be the length…

  17. The maddening fact that hockey didn't appear on "Mad Men"

    Jul 28, 2010, 3:45 PM EST

    Few TV programs leave audiences enraptured like AMC’s “Mad Men” does. While the misogyny makes many squirm, there’s little doubt that the smoky, boozy period piece provides some of the most artful and gripping television around. As if playing Don Draper wasn’t enough, star Jon Hamm is also awesome because he’s a hockey fan. Specifically,…

  18. Alex Radulov 'never regretted' leaving NHL for KHL, but could he return after next season?

    Jul 28, 2010, 3:00 PM EST

    At this point, the KHL seems like a sponge for some of the NHL’s most unwanted contracts. Even when a good player like goalie Evgeni Nabokov departs for the Russian league, it no longer seems like a huge deal. Yet that wasn’t the case in 2008 when Alexander Radulov left the Nashville Predators for greener…

  19. Chance to live near Carrie Underwood wouldn't be enough for Mike Fisher to leave Senators

    Jul 28, 2010, 2:15 PM EST

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    When it comes down to it, we sometimes lose track of the real reasons a player chooses a destination – new or old. It would be great if the Stanley Cup was 90 percent of the reason, but other factors include whether that player is single or married, travel concerns, weather and plenty of other…

  20. Updated salary arbitration calendar

    Jul 28, 2010, 1:15 PM EST

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    I provided a list of the upcoming arbitration hearings on Monday and already quite a few decisions have been made. In most cases, those deals were made to avoid such an uncomfortable process. I thought I’d update that list with stories Joe and I wrote for completed contracts or decisions we’re still waiting on. Let’s…

  21. Ice Edge claims progress in Coyotes talks, report clarifies their troubles

    Jul 28, 2010, 12:30 PM EST

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    Watching Ice Edge Holdings and certain members of the Canadian media trade barbs back and forth is about as tedious as sitting through an 11-hour tennis match. At some point you just want to see some resolution. Ice Edge is adamant that they’re making progress toward completing their attempted purchase of the Phoenix Coyotes, despite…

  22. Nikolai Khabibulin's court case pushed to August 27, will be judge-only

    Jul 28, 2010, 11:50 AM EST

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    To touch on an update Joe made last week, Nikolai Khabibulin’s extreme DUI hearing will indeed be delayed. His court date will take place on August 27 and there will only be a judge, not a jury according to the Oilers Report. Having Khabibulin’s court case in limbo must be a headache for the Oilers…

  23. Tim Kennedy, Buffalo Sabres went through salary arbitration Tuesday, currently await results

    Jul 28, 2010, 11:45 AM EST

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    In one of the increasingly rare cases of a salary arbitration hearing actually taking place, the Buffalo Sabres and forward Tim Kennedy told their sides of the story on Tuesday. The Buffalo News reports that an independent arbitrator will decide what Kennedy should earn either today or on Thursday. Here’s some conjecture regarding the amount…

  24. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Devils, Mark Fraser reach deal, will NJ utilize buyout window?

    Jul 28, 2010, 11:15 AM EST

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    In yet another move to avoid salary arbitration, the New Jersey Devils signed young defenseman Mark Fraser to a one-year, one-way contract worth $500K according to Tom Gulitti. With all due respect to Fraser, the signing might be most interesting because it gives the Devils a new 48-hour buyout window; some wonder if the team…

  25. KHL nabs another Russian NHL player as Denis Grebeskhov signs with SKA

    Jul 28, 2010, 10:50 AM EST

    In a move that raised some eyebrows this morning, Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov reports that former Nashville Predators (and Edmonton Oilers) defenseman Denis Grebeshkov signed a two-year deal with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL. While the 26-year-old blueliner’s 21 points in 09-10 might not “wow” people, he’s a very effective player when he’s healthy…

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