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James O’Brien

  1. Should the NHL get rid of the trapezoid and enforce icing on penalty killers?

    Aug 16, 2010, 3:00 PM EST

    While casual fans probably don’t really bat an eye at the league’s post-lockout “trapezoid rule,” it’s something that bothers purists for sure. For those of you who aren’t aware, before the lockout a goalie had much more freedom to play the puck (and therefore hamper an opposing team’s dump-and-chase game). In hopes of increasing scoring,…

  2. Tampa Bay Lightning name Al Murray their new director of amateur scouting

    Aug 16, 2010, 2:00 PM EST

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    Even with smaller moves that seem a bit difficult to contextualize (maybe you’re an expert on the NHL/hockey’s best scouts, but I’m not), it’s still interesting to follow every bread crumb left on Steve Yzerman’s trail to make the Tampa Bay Lightning a credible franchise. The latest front office move involved the Lightning adding a…

  3. As Southeast rivals make big changes, the Hurricanes are left twisting in the wind

    Aug 16, 2010, 12:15 PM EST

    One of the easiest questions for most hockey people – aside from the least objective Washington Capitals fans, perhaps – was “which division is the weakest in the NHL?” Any puckhead worth his or her salt would swiftly choose the Southeast Division as the league’s worst. The fact of the matter is that the SE…

  4. Dustin Byfuglien's emotional, tear-filled day with the Stanley Cup

    Aug 16, 2010, 11:00 AM EST

    Dustin Byfuglien was often an interesting combination of talents who never seemed to consistently equal the sum of all of his parts until he exploded onto the playoff scene this year. Once he heated up by making life miserable as a gigantic, goalie-eclipsing answer to Tomas Holmstrom, it was clear that Big Buff could handle…

  5. The PHT Nightcap: Sunday, August 15th

    Aug 16, 2010, 2:10 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. Patrick…

  6. Tomas Kaberle will remain a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs … for now, at least

    Aug 16, 2010, 12:30 AM EST

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    You cannot blame this all on Brian Burke. Instead of calling him the “Boy Who Cried Tomas Kaberle” it’s more appropriate to drop it in the lap of the the team itself (it seems like those rumors existed before Burkie right? Maybe? Do we even have memories or has it all concussed our brains?) or…

  7. Ilya Kovalchuk contract rejection might hurt future contracts, like Zdeno Chara's

    Aug 15, 2010, 10:45 PM EST

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    When it comes to discussing other players who might be affected by Ilya Kovalchuk’s contract rejection, most of the conversation revolves around players whose deals have already been signed like Roberto Luongo. The fact is, though, that it might have just as much of an impact on players getting ready to sign new deals. Fluto…

  8. Tomas Kaberle update: Columbus Blue Jackets bow out of sweepstakes

    Aug 15, 2010, 9:20 PM EST

    Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke hasn’t pulled the trigger on a Tomas Kaberle trade yet, but there is news/non-news that has come through recently. The Columbus Post-Dispatch reports that the Blue Jackets are out of the Kaberle sweepstakes. It appears unlikely Tomas Kaberle is going to be a Blue Jacket — at least any…

  9. Looking back at the California Golden Seals and their wacky owner Charlie Finley

    Aug 15, 2010, 8:40 PM EST

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    In sports – just like many areas of life – history seems to repeat itself but trailblazers often stand out. Often times, it’s great ideas but every now and then it’s just off-the-wall stuff that stands out in our memories. It seems like the 60s and 70s were an especially wheels-off time in sports history,…

  10. Tomas Kaberle Watch is on until midnight ET; Brian Burke sounds pessimistic about a deal

    Aug 15, 2010, 7:30 PM EST

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    The Toronto Maple Leafs face a midnight eastern time deadline to deal silky smooth defenseman Tomas Kaberle before his no-trade clause kicks back in. This is a reminder that we’ll stick with this story until at least midnight, whether a deal is made or not. Joe’s been keeping you abreast of the news (most recently…

  11. Former NHLer Brendan Bell reflects on KHL training camp, getting to know Jaromir Jagr

    Aug 15, 2010, 6:45 PM EST

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    It’s been no secret that the mid-level talent exodus of players from the NHL to the KHL has been a growing storyline for the league, particularly this summer. Brendan Bell fits into that category, as the moderately productive offensive defenseman moved to Omsk, Russia to play for Avangard Omsk, a KHL team that happens to…

  12. Canadian under-18 team shuts out the U.S. to take third straight Ivan Hlinka Memorial gold medal

    Aug 14, 2010, 5:20 PM EST

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    The Canadian under-18 team won its third straight Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament today, beating the U.S. team 1-0 in Piestany, Slovakia. has more on that. Canada made it a hat trick of gold medals at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, topping the U.S., 1-0, in the final, played at Zimny Stadion in Piestany, Slovakia.…

  13. Mandi Schwartz's fight with cancer takes a sad turn

    Aug 14, 2010, 1:15 PM EST

    After receiving some promising news not too long ago, Mandi Schwartz faces another sad setback in her battle with cancer. reports that the sister of St. Louis Blues first round pick Jaden Schwartz will need to undergo more chemo therapy after her cancer resurfaced for a third time. Schwartz, who was scheduled for a…

  14. Washington Capitals take top spot on Sports Illustrated's off-season power rankings

    Aug 14, 2010, 12:00 PM EST

    Despite the fact that they ran away with the Presidents Trophy last season, it’s almost refreshing to see a media member sing the praises of the Washington Capitals. Sports Illustrated’s Allan Muir did just that, placing the apple of Ted Leonsis’s eye No. 1 in his off-season power rankings. Here is what he said about…

  15. Who will lead the offensively challenged Nashville Predators in scoring?

    Aug 14, 2010, 10:50 AM EST

    It’s unfair to judge teams “on paper,” but sometimes those paper rosters/lists can be awfully telling. Take, for instance, this poll at On The Forecheck that asks the simple question: “Who will be the Nashville Predators leading scorer next season?” Here are a few of the names (and descriptions) from that post. J.P. Dumont He…

  16. The PHT Nightcap: Friday, August 13th

    Aug 13, 2010, 11:55 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. The…

  17. The Sporting News pulls the plug on its hockey-centric blog 'The Grinder'

    Aug 13, 2010, 11:00 PM EST

    There’s no denying that the hockey blogosphere – and any other platform featuring hockey writers – can be a competitive place. Sometimes that’s a bad thing, especially when it encourages certain people to falsify rumors – or even worse – claim that they got a scoop that originated from somewhere else. Other times, it results…

  18. 2010 NHL Free Agency: What about … Patrick O'Sullivan?

    Aug 13, 2010, 10:30 PM EST

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    At this point in free agency, the focus shifts from the gems to flawed guys who can still bring some skill to the table. So, going forward, we’ll spotlight individual players who are flying under the radar. Previous Entries: Slava Kozlov, Alex Frolov, Willie Mitchell, Lee Stempniak, Maxim Afinogenov Today’s entry: Patrick O’Sullivan Name: Patrick…

  19. Crosby, Ovechkin, Miller rank highest on The Hockey News Top 10 NHL Players list

    Aug 13, 2010, 10:00 PM EST

    People love lists … that’s just science, folks. The Hockey News released its annual yearbook this week, and Mark Stepneski of ESPN Dallas was nice enough to share the top 10 of the well-known publication’s top 50 players list.   The top ten players on The Hockey News’ list are: 1. Sidney Crosby, C, Pittsburgh…

  20. Golden oldies: The best seasons for players above the age of 35

    Aug 13, 2010, 9:00 PM EST

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    I discussed’s list of the best teenage debuts yesterday, so it only makes sense that the site’s master historian/genius filler creator John Kreiser came up with the polar opposite post today. He listed the best seasons for players above the age of 35, something that player agents may someday want to point to when…

  21. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly discusses the NHL's 'line in the sand' regarding contracts

    Aug 13, 2010, 8:00 PM EST

    By now you may be well-versed in the reasoning behind the rejection of Ilya Kovalchuk’s 17-year, $102 million contract with the New Jersey Devils. To review, his deal stuck out as especially bad considering that his deal had six unrealistic salaried years at the end, the deal would take him to age 43 and those…

  22. Tomas Kaberle scuttlebutt: Burke expects offers to heat up, what about Tampa Bay's Malone?

    Aug 13, 2010, 7:00 PM EST

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    Perhaps it’s a testament to the team’s post-lockout struggles that a good-but-by-no-means-transcendent defenseman like Tomas Kaberle has been the source of trade rumors as regularly as the Toronto Maple Leafs disappoint their fans. In case you haven’t been keeping up with the latest slew of conjecture, the imaginary (and maybe tangible) offers for the offensive…

  23. The NHL's greatest teen sensations include Gretzky, Lemieux, Crosby

    Aug 12, 2010, 6:30 PM EST

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    Since the NHL finally allowed speed and skill to usurp groping and grinding after the lockout, the league has seen wave after wave of instant sensations straight from the draft. From Sidney Crosby to Alex Ovechkin to Drew Doughty and beyond, it almost seems like hockey players are hitting their primes the second their skates…

  24. Georges Laraque says it's not safe for a gay hockey player to come out of the closet just yet

    Aug 12, 2010, 5:45 PM EST

    After Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke marched in honor of his late son Brendan in a gay rights parade, it only seemed natural to wonder how long it might take for a professional hockey player to “come out of the closet.” That’s never happened – not even for a retired player – in hockey,…

  25. American hockey players are filling the void made as NHL teams shy away from drafting Europeans

    Aug 12, 2010, 5:00 PM EST

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    We’ve discussed the fact that some think NHL defector Alex Radulov created “The Russian Factor” when he left the Nashville Predators for the KHL, but it seems the real “Russian Factor” is a lot simpler: it’s the lack of a stable transfer agreement between the NHL and most international leagues. That’s the subject of a…

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