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James O’Brien

  1. Report: Ilya Kovalchuk insists on $100M deal

    Jul 4, 2010, 10:30 PM EST

    Earlier reports circulated that Ilya Kovalchuk and the Los Angeles Kings seem to be at an impasse after the Russian winger rejected GM Dean Lombardi’s “best shot” offer. While these rumors haven’t been confirmed by the Kings or Kovalchuk & Co., Elliotte Friedman states that the Kings went as far as they could without “jeopardizing…

  2. How Patrick Kane compares to the best American-born forwards in NHL history

    Jul 4, 2010, 8:30 PM EST

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    With the good old U.S. of A. on the minds of many, I thought I’d put together a couple posts on American hockey. Obviously, when thinking of red-white-and-blue hockey, it’s natural to think of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Looking at the roster for the ’06 Olympic team that failed to impress versus a young, scrappy…

  3. Ilya Kovalchuk rejects Los Angeles Kings' 'best shot'

    Jul 4, 2010, 6:30 PM EST

    It seems that Ilya Kovalchuk’s quest to have his hockey cake and eat it too continues, even if the journey seems to be fueled by delusions. Helene Elliott reports that the Los Angeles Kings – widely considered Kovalchuk’s most logical suitors – have been turned down by the seemingly picky Russian. All signs indicate that…

  4. The PHT Nightcap: Saturday, July 3rd

    Jul 3, 2010, 11:00 PM 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. Oilers…

  5. The six best potential 2011 UFA goalies (with a complete list)

    Jul 3, 2010, 10:00 PM EST

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    When a sports team (or group of fans) spouts the “Wait ’til next year” line, they usually mean that the next season could bring better things. Yet after a few days of the free agent frenzy, that saying might also apply to July 2011. It’s very early to look at future unrestricted free agents –…

  6. Top six potential UFA defensemen for 2011 (plus complete list)

    Jul 3, 2010, 9:00 PM EST

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    When a sports team (or group of fans) spouts the “Wait ’til next year” line, they usually mean that the next season could bring better things. Yet after a few days of the free agent frenzy, that saying might also apply to July 2011. It’s very early to look at future unrestricted free agents –…

  7. Ten most promising potential UFA forwards in 2011 (plus a complete list)

    Jul 3, 2010, 8:30 PM EST

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    When a sports team (or group of fans) spouts the “Wait ’til next year” line, they usually mean that the next season could bring better things. Yet after a few days of the free agent frenzy, that saying might also apply to July 2011. It’s very early to look at future unrestricted free agents –…

  8. Should someone make a deal with Satan? (Miroslav, that is.)

    Jul 3, 2010, 7:00 PM EST

    (Yes, I know that is the most obvious headline possible. Sorry.) Now that the first few days of unrestricted free agency are just about done, it’s time to start checking out the players who are on hockey’s version of the “clearance” aisle. One of the more interesting players is Miroslav Satan – even if his…

  9. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Penguins sign Brett Sterling to one-year, two-way contract

    Jul 3, 2010, 6:00 PM EST

    The Pittsburgh Penguins decided to go for expensive defense over pricey wingers this summer. While I’m not sure Paul Martin is really a $5 million per year blueliner, I think Penguins GM Ray Shero went in a wiser direction given the superior supply of D-men and the shallow pool of UFA forwards. That being said,…

  10. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Round-up of signings, including Ebbett, Winchester and Boogaard

    Jul 2, 2010, 5:45 PM EST

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    There were a handful of low-level signings in the last couple hours. Let’s take them on one-by-one. The St. Louis Blues re-signed gritty forward Brad Winchester. To go along with enforcer Derek Boogaard, the New York Rangers bolstered the grit and knuckle-throwing abilities by re-signing Brandon Prust. The Phoenix Coyotes signed small center Andrew Ebbett…

  11. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Predators sign speedy Matt Lombardi to three-year, $10.5M deal

    Jul 2, 2010, 5:11 PM EST

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    You know it’s a shallow pool of forwards when Matthew Lombardi is one of the most promising candidates, but that is the case this summer. The Nashville Predators signed Lombardi to deal for three years, $10.5 million according to Pierre LeBrun. Lombardi’s speed and two-way play have always been there, but last year seemed like…

  12. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Maple Leafs sign Nikolai Kulemin to two-year, $4.7M extension

    Jul 2, 2010, 4:30 PM EST

    The Toronto Maple Leafs signed forward Nikolai Kulemin to a two-year, $4.7 million extension according to Darren Dreger. The 23-year-old Russian scored 36 points during the 09-10 season and 31 in 08-09. He’s a young player who has shown some solid potential. He also earned a considerable jump in time on ice from his rookie…

  13. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Islanders sign enforcer Konopka plus Jurcina, PA Parenteau

    Jul 2, 2010, 4:00 PM EST

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    It’s been a day of team building for GM Garth Snow and the New York Islanders. Earlier, it was announced that he signed Mark Eaton to a two-year contract and now Alan Walsh reports that the team inked defenseman Milan Jurcina and forward PA Parenteau to one-year contracts. Jurcina is a big defenseman (6’4″, 236…

  14. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Islanders set to add Mark Eaton for two-years, $5M

    Jul 2, 2010, 2:30 PM EST

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    The New York Islanders are reportedly on the verge of signing former Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Mark Eaton to a two-year, $5 million contract according to Nick Kypreos. The 32-year-old defenseman produced his best career point output last season, scoring 16 in 79 games for the Penguins. He brings a decent mixture of defensive-minded play and…

  15. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Panthers sign Chris Higgins to one-year, $1.6M deal

    Jul 2, 2010, 2:00 PM EST

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    New GM Dale Tallon continues to show that the Florida Panthers are looking to be an aggressive team in free agency, trades and the draft. While Chris Higgins is far from a big impact player, the three-time 20-plus goal scorer could come cheap. Kevin Allen of USA Today reports that the speedy, two-way winger will…

  16. Penguins rank high, Maple Leafs in the doghouse of ESPN's fan treatment polls

    Jul 2, 2010, 1:30 PM EST

    The Chicago Blackhawks may have won the Stanley Cup this year, but an ESPN The Magazine poll found that the Pittsburgh Penguins are the gold standard in fan relations – not just among NHL teams, but in all of sports. Here’s more from the team’s site. The Pittsburgh Penguins are ranked No. 1 in Fan…

  17. After failing to find trade partner, Oilers put Sheldon Souray on waivers

    Jul 2, 2010, 12:40 PM EST

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    The Edmonton Oilers placed defenseman Sheldon Souray on waivers, reports TSN. The Edmonton Oilers are giving the NHL’s 29 other teams a chance at acquiring Sheldon Souray, as the team placed the veteran defenceman on waivers on Friday. Souray signed a five-year contract in 2007 that was supposed to see him in Edmonton through the…

  18. Flyers' arena undergoes name change from Wachovia to Wells Fargo Center

    Jul 2, 2010, 12:15 PM EST

    The Wachovia Center – home to the Philadelphia Flyers and the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers – will now be known as the Wells Fargo Center. This marks the fourth name given to the Flyers’ humble abode. Frank Seravalli provides the details. Wachovia, which owned the building’s naming rights, was bought out by Wells Fargo Corporation effective…

  19. Jason Spezza expected to stay in Ottawa … for now

    Jul 2, 2010, 11:40 AM EST

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    A year after Dany Heatley forced a trade out of Ottawa – but only to the teams he wanted to play for – it looked like disgruntled center Jason Spezza might follow a similar path. After all, Senators fans booed the talented but defensively questionable forward during the team’s first round loss to the Pittsburgh…

  20. Lebron James, Ilya Kovalchuk make us wait, but Kovalchuk might want to change course

    Jul 2, 2010, 11:00 AM EST

    While July 1 was “Lebron James Day” for many sports fans, hockey-crazed people thought they’d finally get some answers about the NHL’s big free agent fish Ilya Kovalchuk. Thursday was supposed to be a day of closure regarding the two soon-to-be-huge-earners, but both basketball and hockey fans will have to wait to see the end…

  21. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Lightning bring back Pavel Kubina with two-year deal

    Jul 2, 2010, 10:11 AM EST

    This is just the beginning of Steve Yzerman’s time as the general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning, but so far, it seems like he’s introducing all kinds of new things to the franchise (like, say, “competence”). There are certainly some winds of change blowing through Tampa, but if Bolts fans were hoping for a…

  22. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Ducks, Bobby Ryan struggle to find common ground on extension

    Jul 1, 2010, 8:28 PM EST

    For the most part, NHL teams and their players are allies. The one notable exception, though, is when a team goes into contract discussions with its players and their agents. It seems like the talks between restricted free agent Bobby Ryan and the Anaheim Ducks are getting a little contentious, as Eric Stephens of the…

  23. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Minnesota signs Eric Nystrom to three-year, $4.2M contract

    Jul 1, 2010, 8:03 PM EST

    The Minnesota Wild signed former Calgary Flames forward Eric Nystrom to a three-year, $4.2 million contract according to Bob McKenzie. At age 27 with a career-high of 19 points last season, it’s hard to say that Nystrom justified the Flames’ decision to make him the 10th pick of the 2002 draft. He’s a gritty player,…

  24. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Blackhawks exodus continues as Oilers sign Colin Fraser

    Jul 1, 2010, 7:48 PM EST

    NHL teams are raiding the lower depths of the Chicago Blackhawks’ roster like an alcoholic burns through a hotel mini-bar. The latest departure is marginal center Colin Fraser, whom the Edmonton Oilers signed to a two-year, $1.65 million contract. Fraser played in 70 games for Chicago during the 09-10 season, putting up seven goals and…

  25. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Minnesota hands Matt Cullen three-year, $10.5M deal

    Jul 1, 2010, 7:00 PM EST

    To me, Matt Cullen evokes the old saying, “Jack of all trades, but a master of none.” Cullen seems like a good character guy, is an adequate defensive player, is well above average when it comes to face-offs and can put the puck in the net on occasion. Rarely would you say that he’s the…

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