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James O’Brien

  1. Analyzing the trend of 'skimping' on goaltending

    Sep 21, 2010, 1:20 PM EDT

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    I firmly believe that there isn’t a “magic bullet” or specific formula when it comes to building a winning hockey team. Simply put, the NHL changes too much year-to-year in the post-lockout era to claim that there’s one way to skin that Stanley Cup cat. Before I expand on this point, though, let me point…

  2. NHL preseason schedule begins with 9 games tonight, NHL Network carries three

    Sep 21, 2010, 11:30 AM EDT

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    Today is a good day to be a hockey fan, even if by the nature of preseason competition, we probably won’t remember these results once the first week of the regular season is over. The NHL’s preseason begins with nine games tonight, three of which will appear on the U.S. version of the NHL Network…

  3. U.S. NHL Network reveals its 35-game preseason TV schedule

    Sep 20, 2010, 6:40 PM EDT

    Starting tomorrow (Tuesday, September 21), the U.S. version of the NHL Network will begin televising 35 preseasons games, according to the network’s press release. For picture quality snobs like myself, you’ll be happy to find out that 33 out of those 35 contests will be in fancy pants HD. (Hopefully the other two will be…

  4. The sad story of Mark Wells selling his 'Miracle on Ice' gold medal

    Sep 20, 2010, 6:00 PM EDT

    Although there are occasions such as Reggie Bush and O.J. Simpson losing trophies for off-the-field issues, you’ll rarely see an athlete give up the symbol of their greatest achievements easily. Usually, it’s the exclamation point at the end of a very sad story. Life hasn’t been easy for Mark Wells since he helped the U.S.…

  5. Training Camp Battles: A PHT Feature

    Sep 20, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT

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    While we are comfortable discussing all 30 NHL teams here at Pro Hockey Talk, sometimes we ask for a little guidance from people who watch their team’s every move. That’s exactly what we did with our “training camp battles” feature in which we asked a blogger from all 30 teams to describe the positions that…

  6. TV producer who withheld replays of a Flyers goal will return to Penguins telecasts this season

    Sep 20, 2010, 5:00 PM EDT

    There were a lot of goal review debates last year, but only one in which a television producer became the lightning rod for controversy. That happened when FSN Pittsburgh producer Lowell MacDonald, Jr. withheld a replay that would have revealed that the Philadelphia Flyers scored a goal on the Pittsburgh Penguins. The TV producer was…

  7. Brad Richards donates $500K to a children's hospital

    Sep 20, 2010, 4:15 PM EDT

    Despite having a refreshingly productive 09-10 season in which he racked up 91 points despite the fact that the Dallas Stars missed the playoffs, it’s difficult to escape contract talk with Brad Richards. He signed a bloated five-year, $39 million deal after he won the Conn Smythe during the Tampa Bay’s catching-Lightning-in-a-bottle Cup run, which…

  8. Columbus Blue Jackets ink Steve Mason to two-year extension despite sophomore slump

    Sep 20, 2010, 3:40 PM EDT

    There’s some slightly surprising news out of Columbus today: the Blue Jackets extended goalie Steve Mason’s contract for two years. The deal will be worth $2.6 million in 2011-12 and $3.2 million in 2012-13 for an annual cap hit of $2.9 million, according to TSN’s Bob MacKenzie. This allows both sides to avoid restricted free…

  9. Training Camp Battles: Northwest Division

    Sep 20, 2010, 2:40 PM EDT

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    With training camps starting late this week or early next, we at Pro Hockey Talk couldn’t help but wonder: what are the biggest position battles going in? To give you the most specific answers possible, we asked team bloggers to give their take. After all, these men and women follow their teams almost as much…

  10. Pittsburgh Penguins sign GM Ray Shero to 5-year extension; A look at his biggest moves

    Sep 20, 2010, 1:45 PM EDT

    The Pittsburgh Penguins announced that they signed GM Ray Shero to a five-year extension today. The Penguins and Shero have agreed on a five-year contract extension that ensures the team’s 2009 Stanley Cup champion architect will remain in Pittsburgh through the 2015-16 season. “I’d like to thank Mario Lemieux, Ron Burkle and the ownership group…

  11. NY Rangers report that a broken finger will keep captain Chris Drury out four weeks

    Sep 20, 2010, 1:00 PM EDT

    The New York Rangers just announced that captain and highly paid center Chris Drury broke “a finger” during a Monday morning scrimmage and will miss a month. #NYR captain Chris Drury broke a finger in this morning’s scrimmage and will miss 4 weeks of action It’s nearly impossible to discuss anything about Drury without mentioning…

  12. Broken wrist will force Predators prospect Roman Josi to miss 4-6 weeks

    Sep 20, 2010, 12:15 PM EDT

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    While the games and practices might not “count” in the grand scheme of things, body checks and other in-game pains still register just as clearly as they do in regular season games. Quite a few players are suffering from mild-to-considerable injuries in training camp so far. The latest person to add to that list is…

  13. Could this season be the first time Patrick Kane hits the 100-point mark?

    Sep 20, 2010, 11:50 AM EDT

    Every sport seemingly has its benchmarks for the kind of season that marks a “true” star, even though those numbers can change thanks to eras (thanks to factors such as expansion, improved fitness, etc.). Some random numbers that jump out for sports athletes: a great homerun hitter will aim for 50 in a season, people…

  14. NHL's video emphasizes rule changes regarding hits to the head

    Sep 20, 2010, 11:15 AM EDT

    About a week ago, we tried to translate the NHL’s listed rule book changes into plain English. Luckily, the league is being a bit more proactive as the 2010-11 season rapidly approaches, as you can see from this video that was sent to all 30 teams. (I guess someone in the league office is still…

  15. The PHT Nightcap: Sunday, September 19th

    Sep 19, 2010, 11:50 PM EDT

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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. Jason…

  16. Minor injuries pull Joey Hishon, Kyle Cumiskey out of practice at Avalanche training camp

    Sep 19, 2010, 11:00 PM EDT

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    Training camp is an opportunity to meet new teammates, learn new systems and maybe shake off some rust. Sometimes, you might pull a groin muscle or suffer some other minor injury in that rust-shaking process. The Colorado Avalanche dealt with a couple minor injuries on Sunday, with an element of their present (defenseman Kyle Cumiskey)…

  17. Pondering possible line combos for next season's Atlanta Thrashers

    Sep 19, 2010, 10:10 PM EDT

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    For hardcore hockey fans, drawing up various line combos is a delightful exercise of armchair coaching. The Atlanta Thrashers feature a boatload of new faces – many of whom played support roles with the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks – so that activity might be even more enjoyable for Thrashers writers, bloggers and fans. Still,…

  18. Rumor: Vancouver Canucks choose Henrik Sedin as new captain

    Sep 19, 2010, 9:30 PM EDT

    It’s amazing how much ink has been spilled regarding a captaincy that actually wasn’t, you know, “official.” Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo won’t be wearing that “C” on his mask as he relinquished the role for next season and there’s been plenty of speculation about who could be the new captain. Some wonder if it…

  19. Which goalie will win the battle to back up Pekka Rinne in Nashville?

    Sep 19, 2010, 9:00 PM EDT

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    For the last few days, we’ve rattled off the NHL’s most interesting training battles, including the Nashville Predators’ Central Division. One interesting matchup going into Nashville’s camp is for the job of the club’s backup goalie. It almost seems like a tradition for the Predators’ No. 2 guy to usurp the top guy for one…

  20. Dismiss Alex Ovechkin at your own peril

    Sep 19, 2010, 7:30 PM EDT

    Rather than looking at his outstanding stats in the playoffs (10 points in 7 games against Montreal; 40 in 28 in his career overall), many people take the same, lazy formula for judging Alex Ovechkin: “Ovechkin plays in the game + Capitals lose = Ovechkin let his team down.” Hockey is a team sport, through…

  21. Despite expiring contract, Patrice Bergeron hopes to remain in Boston after this season

    Sep 18, 2010, 6:45 PM EDT

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    A few seasons before it was reasonably common for an 18-year-old player to make an immediate jump to the NHL, Patrice Bergeron accomplished that task in the 2003-04 season, scoring 39 points in 71 games. It’s honestly hard to believe that the six-year veteran is only 25 years old, especially when you consider the bumpy,…

  22. Andrei Markov's knee problems keep him out of training camp; no time frame for return

    Sep 18, 2010, 6:00 PM EDT

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    When healthy, Andrei Markov has been one of the best offensive defensemen in the NHL. Unfortunately, injuries greatly hampered the Montreal Canadiens blueliner last season. He only played 45 games in 09-10 and then a Matt Cooke hit caused his current knee problems. The Montreal Gazette caught up with Markov, who still isn’t ready to…

  23. 'Leg' injury pulls Ottawa Senators D Filip Kuba out of training camp

    Sep 18, 2010, 5:15 PM EDT

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    This already was a not-so-great summer for Ottawa Senators defenseman Filip Kuba. Though he’s never been much more than a decent powerplay quarterback, Kuba was useful (especially in fantasy leagues) because the Senators had few other options in that role since they lost Zdeno Chara and (don’t laugh) Wade Redden. Erik Karlsson was an impressive…

  24. Buffalo Sabres news: Marc-Andre Gragnani sprains knee, Mark Parrish gets a tryout

    Sep 18, 2010, 4:30 PM EDT

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    Some minor Buffalo Sabres news this weekend, as one younger player went down with an injury while an old NHL face surfaced on a tryout basis. TSN reports that Marc-Andre Gragnani will miss four-six weeks thanks to a sprained knee that he suffered in a rookie scrimmage on Friday. Coach Lindy Ruff provided the update…

  25. Training Camp Battles: Atlantic Division

    Sep 18, 2010, 3:45 PM EDT

    With training camps starting late this week or early next, we at Pro Hockey Talk couldn’t help but wonder: what are the biggest position battles going in? To give you the most specific answers possible, we asked team bloggers to give their take. After all, these men and women follow their teams almost as much…

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