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James O’Brien

  1. Oilers receive more criticism for barring Sheldon Souray from training camp

    Sep 15, 2010, 8:30 PM EDT

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    Perhaps the most surprising news of this week came when the Edmonton Oilers announced that wayward defenseman Sheldon Souray would not attend training camp. Apparently we’re not alone in wondering how, exactly, such a move will make it easier to trade the useful but injury-ravaged blueliner. The Edmonton Journal’s Jim Matheson feels the same way,…

  2. Does Eric Belanger have a 'leg to stand on' in pursuing legal actions against the Capitals?

    Sep 15, 2010, 7:10 PM EDT

    When word broke that Eric Belanger signed with the Phoenix Coyotes yesterday, I have to admit that I was stunned that his deal with the Washington Capitals didn’t work out. As we’ve learned today, Belanger was stunned too, as his agent Joe Tacopina lashed out at Capitals management including general manager George McPhee (seen in…

  3. Experts say race for No. 1 spot in 2011 NHL Entry Draft is wide open

    Sep 14, 2010, 6:10 PM EDT

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    Variety might be the spice of life, but for sports writers, it’s often a lot more appealing to set one irresistible force versus an immovable object. Sure, the NBA must be delighted by the fact that Kevin Durant is emerging as a big star, but do they want him to muddle the Kobe vs. Lebron…

  4. Introducing … MC Malkin?

    Sep 14, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT

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    You know what they say, a picture is worth a thousand words (or maybe a few hundred dropped jaws). Check out Evgeni Malkin’s … “throwback” hair style from the Pittsburgh Penguins media day. (click to enlarge, image via the Penguins’ official Twitter site.) And just for good measure, here’s Malkin strutting his stuff in what…

  5. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Phoenix Coyotes sign Eric Belanger to one-year, $750K deal

    Sep 14, 2010, 5:00 PM EDT

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    Last I checked, it seemed as if Eric Belanger was primed to return to the Washington Capitals, which was a logical choice since the team is a bit light on suitable centers. Those rumors have now been proven false, though, as sources including Renaud Lavoie indicate that Belanger signed a one-year, $750K deal with the…

  6. Michael Ryder hopes to rebound from a tough 09-10 season, keep his spot with the Bruins

    Sep 14, 2010, 4:45 PM EDT

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    Much like Sheldon Souray in Edmonton and Brian Rolston in New Jersey, Michael Ryder must be sweating out his status a bit when it comes to his place with the Boston Bruins. The snake-bitten forward discussed his hopes of having a bounce-back season after declining from 27 goals in 08-09 to 18 in 09-10. Here’s…

  7. Move over Super Bowl Shuffle, Blackhawks fans present the Chelsea Dagger dance

    Sep 14, 2010, 3:40 PM EDT

    The Boston Red Sox adopted “Sweet Caroline.” Many years ago, the World Series winning 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates decided to embrace “We are family.” Throughout sports history, many teams associated eras with a specific theme song. Whether you’re a fan of the Chicago Blackhawks or one of the teams they stomped on their way to a…

  8. Should the Montreal Canadiens choose their next captain by a player vote?

    Sep 14, 2010, 2:40 PM EDT

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    Puck-based change (and all the naive optimism that comes with it) is in the air as training camp arrives this week for most NHL teams. Some will tell you that one of the biggest choices that many franchises face involves placing a “C” on the jersey of a deserving captain. While the journey to find…

  9. Zach Parise would like to sign a contract extension sooner rather than later

    Sep 14, 2010, 1:30 PM EDT

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    Throwing out entry-level contracts with league-mandated maximums, I’ve long felt that Zach Parise’s deal might be the biggest bargain in all of the NHL. Parise’s put up near-elite numbers for a tidy cap hit of $3.125 million per year, one of those fortuitous steals that forces me to admit that Lou Lamoriello still might “have…

  10. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Bobby Ryan, Anaheim Ducks agree to five-year, $25.5M deal

    Sep 14, 2010, 12:30 PM EDT

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    About a week ago, it appeared that the Anaheim Ducks and Bobby Ryan just about signed a new contract. Staying consistent with the Ilya Kovalchuk Groundhog Day spirit of this free agent summer, it took all this time for the actual deal to be finalized. Various sources including Ducks beat reporter Eric Stephens report that…

  11. Sheldon Souray reacts to training camp snub, how will this affect his trade value?

    Sep 14, 2010, 11:30 AM EDT

    In case you didn’t hear last night’s startling news, the Edmonton Oilers told expensive defenseman turned highly publicized trade bait Sheldon Souray to stay away from their training camp this summer. The decision was surprising to just about anyone outside of the Oilers organization, including Souray. Here is what the beleaguered blueliner told the Edmonton…

  12. Rookie tournaments recap: Flames pound Ducks, Canucks beat Sharks

    Sep 14, 2010, 10:30 AM EDT

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    With the Traverse City and London, Ontario tournaments taking the night off, there were just two rookie camp games on Monday. Let’s take a look at the results, for those of you who are dying for some hockey. Calgary Flames 8, Anaheim Ducks 4 Kristi Hennessy nails it with this post-game analysis for the Calgary…

  13. The PHT Nightcap: Monday, September 13th

    Sep 14, 2010, 12:40 AM 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. Rookie…

  14. Sheldon Souray will not attend Edmonton Oilers training camp

    Sep 13, 2010, 10:30 PM EDT

    When approached with Sheldon Souray’s complaints and trade demands in April, Edmonton Oilers coach-turned-advisor Pat Quinn didn’t soak his words in PR-speak. To paraphrase Quinn, he said if Souray didn’t want to be there, then “get the hell out.” The Oilers couldn’t find a trade partner for Souray this off-season but instead of attempting to…

  15. Ryan Malone hands jersey No. 12 to new teammate Simon Gagne, takes No. 6

    Sep 13, 2010, 9:45 PM EDT

    With training camp approaching and the summer bringing a great deal of league-wide change, new teammates are given the opportunity to make a first impression on each other. In a sport jam-packed with unassuming, humble athletes who make some not-so-humble salaries, it’s always great to read about little moments of generosity. I discussed Drew Doughty’s…

  16. Mike del Zotto practices with a visor because of nose surgery

    Sep 13, 2010, 8:50 PM EDT

    Nose surgeries are a cosmetic procedure in Hollywood, but in hockey, a broken nose is an ugly badge of honor. Just take a look at the often-rearranged snout of Dallas Stars defenseman Stephane Robidas. He had a lousy plus/minus (-20) in his rookie season, Mike del Zotto had an impressive offensive season on the New…

  17. NHL fines Devils $3M, one first rounder and third rounder in 2011 for rejected Kovalchuk contract

    Sep 13, 2010, 8:00 PM EDT

    The second (approved) Ilya Kovalchuk contract will cost the New Jersey Devils $100 million over 15 years, a $6.6 million annual cap hit and possibly a mid-level roster player, but the first failed one won’t be cheap either. Dan Rosen of reports that the NHL fined the Devils $3 million and two draft picks…

  18. Islanders prospect Kirill Kabanov justifies head case talk by showing up late to prospects camp

    Sep 13, 2010, 7:30 PM EDT

    Kirill Kabanov might be the ultimate example of how attitude issues (and the confusion that comes with dealing with unpredictable Russian players who lack much in the way of transfer regulations) can affect a player’s status with an NHL team. The New York Islanders prospect was described as some by a high-end prospect but plummeted…

  19. Columbus Blue Jackets season ticket sales drop 24.5 percent compared to last summer

    Sep 13, 2010, 6:40 PM EDT

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    After making a surprising (if fruitless) run to the playoffs during the 2008-09 season, the Columbus Blue Jackets had a disastrous campaign last year. It cost them their hard-driving head coach Ken Hitchcock and apparently had a Battlefield Earth-like effect on their ticket sales. The Columbus Dispatch reports that Blue Jackets season ticket sales are…

  20. Could four extra inches behind the net open up 'Gretzky's office' again?

    Sep 12, 2010, 6:00 PM EDT

    In Oliver Stone’s otherwise middling football move “Any Give Sunday,” Al Pacino gives a great and typically over-the-top speech about the sport (and life) being a “game of inches.” If hockey is the same way, a small change could pay dividends for the NHL’s most clever players. The Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa discussed the NHL’s…

  21. NHL releases its rule book changes, we try to translate them to English

    Sep 12, 2010, 5:00 PM EDT

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    The NHL released alterations to the league’s rule book this weekend and a lot of it reads like, well, legal speak. (Click here to see a detailed list of all the changes.) That being said, I thought I’d point out some of the most interesting changes, even if we covered many of them throughout the…

  22. Should the game's greatest defensive forwards receive more Hall of Fame attention?

    Sep 12, 2010, 4:00 PM EDT

    In many sports – particularly baseball – it seems like just about any action and tactic can be chronicled with a hard number statistic. Sure, you cannot put a number on chemistry, desire, heart and – let’s face it – the greed that can sometimes be the driving force behind sporting success, but it seems…

  23. Drew Doughty offers Willie Mitchell No. 8, gains his admiration

    Sep 12, 2010, 2:20 PM EDT

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    The Los Angeles Kings didn’t land the big fish (Ilya Kovalchuk) this summer, but they might be better off if Willie Mitchell can actually stay healthy this season. Mitchell admitted that one of the most significant draws (besides the sexy weather, I’m guessing) was the possibility of playing alongside – or at least on the…

  24. Blues' young forwards happy to play without 'glass ceiling' provided by Tkachuk, Kariya

    Sep 12, 2010, 1:30 PM EDT

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    The St. Louis Blues more or less completed their transition from a mixed bag of veterans and newbies to one of the youngest teams in the NHL thanks to the retirement of Keith Tkachuk and the near-retirement of Paul Kariya this off-season. Some might wonder if this will harm the team’s chemistry, but the Blues…

  25. Carolina Hurricanes give Rod Brind'amour wacky title 'Director of Forwards Development'

    Sep 12, 2010, 12:20 PM EDT

    The man known as “Rod the Bod” may soon be known as “Rod the Suit.” The beaten-up former face of the Carolina Hurricanes franchise (after Ron Francis) was given a funky title today, as GM Jim Rutherford announced that the team named Rod Brind’amour its “Director of Forwards Development.” Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager…

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