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James O’Brien

  1. Sharks GM Doug Wilson: 'Our failures are higher than most teams' successes'

    Jul 31, 2010, 3:00 PM EST

    It’s one of those debates that sports fans have from time to time: is it better to root for a cellar dwelling team that never gets your hopes up or a strong team that falls short of the mark each year? Both are pretty crummy situations, but you’ll have to ask of fans of teams…

  2. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Sharks sign Devin Setoguchi to one-year deal

    Jul 31, 2010, 2:10 PM EST

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    Update: Nick Kypreos reports that Setoguchi’s deal is worth $1.8M. That means the Sharks will pay him $400K less than Boston will give Blake Wheeler. Very, very nice signing by GM Doug WIlson … As was discussed yesterday, the San Jose Sharks signed forward Devin Setoguchi to a one-year contract. The team did not share…

  3. Antti Niemi receives $2.75M arbitration award; Chicago has two days to decide what's next

    Jul 31, 2010, 1:30 PM EST

    The wait to find out Antti Niemi’s salary arbitration award is over. Chris Kuc reports that the Cup-winning Finnish goalie received a one-year, $2.75 million ruling. Please note that this isn’t a binding contract, though; Niemi’s fate with the Balckhawks has not yet been decided. In case you haven’t been following arbitration situations, the Blackhawks…

  4. Pittsburgh Penguins make minor league coach Todd Reirden an assistant

    Jul 31, 2010, 12:45 PM EST

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    The Pittsburgh Penguins announced that they hired Todd Reirden as their assistant coach. Reirden was the head coach of the Penguins’ AHL team in Wilkes Barrie/Scranton before GM Ray Shero and Dan Bylsma decided to give him a promotion. Here’s more from the team. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton head coach Todd Reirden, who spent the previous year and…

  5. Blackhawks should be a legit Cup contender next season, even with salary cap purge

    Jul 31, 2010, 12:10 PM EST

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    With all the Chicago Blackhawks Doomsday talk in the air, it’s easy to forget that the team still has some major talent in place. In fact, if the team is able to retain goalie Antti Niemi, you could make the argument that the core is still intact. Seriously, just take a look at who’s left.…

  6. Study: Hits only account for one-third of injuries at youth level of hockey

    Jul 31, 2010, 11:20 AM EST

    While one can assume that things might be different at higher levels of the sport, the Montreal Gazette published notes on a study that concluded that hits produce only 34 percent of injuries at the youth level of hockey. The remaining 66 percent happen thanks to players getting hit by pucks, colliding into teammates or…

  7. Richard Bloch will be the arbitrator for the Ilya Kovalchuk contract grievance

    Jul 31, 2010, 10:40 AM EST

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    While the NHL and Players Association refused to go on record regarding who, exactly, will be the arbitrator for the Ilya Kovalchuk contract dispute, someone found out anyway. Sportsnet.ca has the word. The National Hockey League and its Players’ Association have agreed on an arbitrator to settle the Ilya Kovalchuk case, Sportsnet has learned. Richard…

  8. The PHT Nightcap: Friday, July 30th

    Jul 30, 2010, 11:30 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. Blackhawks…

  9. Sergei Fedorov's money troubles continue

    Jul 30, 2010, 10:45 PM EST

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    Former Detroit Red Wings legend – and one of the first Russian hockey players to make an impact in the NHL – Sergei Fedorov made a lot of money in his storied NHL career. Unfortunately, it seems that he may have trusted the wrong people because he finds himself in serious financial trouble. In fact,…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  21. 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…

  22. 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…

  23. 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…

  24. 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…

  25. 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…

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