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James O’Brien

  1. The NHL lacks many Steinbrenner-type owners

    Jul 13, 2010, 10:45 AM EST

    People throw around words such as “rare” and “unique” like confetti these days, but I think it’s appropriate to say that sports lost one of its most irreplaceable figures today when Yankees owner George Steinbrenner died of a heart attack. It got me thinking about just how rare “The Boss” is in sports, particularly compared…

  2. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Habs roster nearly complete after signing Maxim Lapierre

    Jul 13, 2010, 10:20 AM EST

    The Montreal Canadiens signed forward Maxim Lapierre to a one-year, $900K deal according to TSN. On a team that often gets lampooned for being small (after all, they employ such sprites as Brian Gionta), Lapierre is a rare physical presence at the forward position. Although his seven goals and seven assists total a measly 14…

  3. The PHT Nightcap: Monday, July 12th

    Jul 12, 2010, 11:15 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. Bruins…

  4. Ontario's Court of Appeal rejects Rob Ramage's attempts to get a new trial

    Jul 12, 2010, 10:45 PM EST

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    For the most part, we try to keep it light here at Pro Hockey Talk, but things aren’t always easy-going in hockey or life. Take the sad case of former player Rob Ramage, whose attempts at getting a new trial fell on deaf ears recently. TSN has the story via the Canadian Press. Ramage was…

  5. More twists and turns in the NY Islanders' Lighthouse Project negotiations

    Jul 12, 2010, 10:15 PM EST

    New York Islanders owner Charles Wang has been striving for a new arena – or at least an improved situation for the team, which resides in the oft-critiqued Nassau Coliseum – for quite some time and hasn’t had an easy time dealing with officials in the area. Chris Botta of Islanders Point Blank chronicled the…

  6. Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Minnesota Wild are optimistic about his concussion recovery

    Jul 12, 2010, 9:30 PM EST

    Because of concussion issues, Pierre-Marc Bouchard played in one game – for a little more than 10 minutes – during the 2009-10 season. From all indications, it was a nightmare season for the undersized playmaker. Twin has a story about the recovery process for “PMB.” While Bouchard has a long way to go in…

  7. The Atlantic division leads East's influx in enforcers

    Jul 12, 2010, 8:45 PM EST

    When the New York Rangers spent a ton on Derek “The Boogeyman” Boogaard and the Philadelphia Flyers gave Jody Shelley more than a million per year, I remarked that the Atlantic division might be the “heavyweight” division. The Goon Blog did it one better, wondering if the division should be renamed the “Bob Probert division”…

  8. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Canucks wrap up Shane O'Brien, three others

    Jul 12, 2010, 7:50 PM EST

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    It’s been a busy couple weeks for the Vancouver Canucks, as they’ve made significant changes both on and off the ice. While today’s signings won’t be as life-altering as adding Dan Hamhuis or changing the name of their arena, the team announced that they’ll retain four players. TSN has the news. The Vancouver Canucks announced…

  9. Which teams (kind of, sort of) make sense for Marty Turco?

    Jul 12, 2010, 7:10 PM EST

    Let’s face it, things aren’t looking very rosy for Marty Turco at this point. There isn’t a slap-you-in-the-face obvious destination for the veteran puck-mover, so the goalie is playing the waiting game right now. Still, as I discussed last night, he can bring something to the table. Does that mean he’s worthy of the contract…

  10. The PHT Nightcap: Sunday, July 11th

    Jul 11, 2010, 9:30 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. It was a bit…

  11. Despite his recent struggles, Marty Turco is still a (slightly) above average goalie

    Jul 11, 2010, 9:00 PM EST

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    Marty Turco is in a rough spot right now. There simply aren’t a whole lot of options for a veteran goalie in a netminder market gone considerably dry. Tomorrow night, I’ll take a look at a few semi-reasonable possible destinations, but honestly, he might be the equivalent of a hockey goalie hitchhiker at the moment,…

  12. Various reports: Kings are talking with Kovalchuk again, but are 'far away' from a deal

    Jul 11, 2010, 7:10 PM EST

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    Hopefully the sarcasm and skepticism was evident in my last headline (I think “prepare grain of salt” was the dead giveaway), but it’s not too shocking that reports of Ilya Kovalchuk making his decision on Monday have already been limited, if not refuted altogether. Here are a few key Tweets that dispel the recent claims,…

  13. Report: Ilya Kovalchuk talks might conclude Monday, prepare grain of salt

    Jul 11, 2010, 6:40 PM EST

    I know many of you (myself included) are in “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me” mode when it comes to Ilya Kovalchuk talk. After all, there have been plenty of false starts in the process. The latest rumor comes from’s Darren Millard on Twitter. Kovy-gate comes 2 an…

  14. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp enjoy their days with the Stanley Cup

    Jul 11, 2010, 4:10 PM EST

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    It’s pretty tough to top Jonathan’s Toews’s 2009-10 season. Along with other accomplishments, he won a gold medal, Conn Smythe Trophy and became the youngest captain in NHL history to win the Cup. Today was his day with the Cup and the young star brought the best trophy in sports to his home of Winnipeg.…

  15. Ottawa Senators went the extra mile (and year) to land Sergei Gonchar

    Jul 11, 2010, 3:20 PM EST

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    I’ll always remember how unimpressed I was when the Pittsburgh Penguins handed Sergei Gonchar a five-year, $25 million contract five years ago. Gonchar proved me dead-wrong since then, logging big-time minutes while bringing top-end offense and underrated defensive skills to the table in his time at the Igloo. Still, at the far-from-tender age of 36,…

  16. St. Thomas honors hometown hero Joe Thornton with 'Jumbo' banner

    Jul 11, 2010, 2:00 PM EST

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    While many observers will criticize him for failing to earn a Stanley Cup banner, Joe Thornton was honored by the people of his hometown with a big banner at a local rink. The St. Thomas Times has more on the ceremony. He is arguably the biggest celebrity to hail from St. Thomas. And, now, Joe…

  17. Columbus Blue Jackets are GM Scott Howson's team now, for better or worse

    Jul 11, 2010, 1:15 PM EST

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    I still think that the Columbus Blue Jackets made a mistake when they fired Ken Hitchcock last season. He was a rare beacon of hockey competence in an organization that rarely – if ever – did things correctly in their puck pursuits. Just take a look at the severe deficit in talent on their roster;…

  18. Carrie Underwood, Mike Fisher officially married on Saturday

    Jul 11, 2010, 11:50 AM EST

    Mike Fisher and Carrie Underwood tied the knot on Saturday in a ceremony that was (very oddly) exclusively covered by People Magazine. The couple went a long way to keep their wedding location a secret, apparently only letting guests know the location once people picked up their plane tickets. The Ottawa Sun reports that 250…

  19. The PHT Nightcap: Saturday, July 10th

    Jul 10, 2010, 10:50 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. It was a bit…

  20. Would signing Ilya Kovalchuk cost the NJ Devils Zach Parise in the future?

    Jul 10, 2010, 8:20 PM EST

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    Most reports indicate that the New Jersey Devils and Los Angeles Kings are in a two-horse race for Ilya Kovalchuk (well, I guess it might be a three team contest if you count the KHL, in general). The problem is, players like Kovalchuk take a lot of pieces of the salary cap pie. Tom Gulitti…

  21. Jack Johnson pursues a degree at Michigan when he's off the ice

    Jul 10, 2010, 7:30 PM EST

    Jack Johnson is a specimen of a defenseman, but sometimes his high-risk, high-reward style gives him a bit of a “shaggy dog” reputation. While he has some learning to do in his own end, he also acknowledges that he’d like to hit the books off the ice too. In a nice (and sadly rare) story,…

  22. Taylor Hall gets acquainted with Edmonton

    Jul 10, 2010, 3:45 PM EST

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    It’s pretty hard to believe that a franchise that employed Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Grant Fuhr and Paul Coffey never had a No. 1 overall draft pick until they selected Taylor Hall in June, but that’s exactly the case. Hall got his first taste of Edmonton this week – and regardless of what…

  23. Penguins' 'Ice Crew' will be co-ed, not cheerleaders on ice

    Jul 10, 2010, 2:50 PM EST

    While you can’t really give the Pittsburgh Penguins kudos for losing a bunch and therefore ending up with top-end draft picks like Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Marc-Andre Fleury and Jordan Staal, the team should be given credit for how well it interacts with fans. After all, the Penguins ended up No.1 in ESPN’s poll for…

  24. Ducks GM Bob Murray shoots down rumors regarding a Bobby Ryan trade

    Jul 10, 2010, 1:00 PM EST

    The San Jose Sharks finally broke the seal on offer sheets yesterday, signing Chicago Blackhawks restricted free agent Niklas Hjalmarsson to a deal that the Hawks have seven days to match. Such a move brings up a lot of questions, particularly when it comes to the other desirable RFAs. One of the biggest fish in…

  25. Vancouver Canucks' makeover continues with front office, assistant coaches

    Jul 10, 2010, 12:10 PM EST

    In my opinion, the Vancouver Canucks should look at the 2009-10 season as a considerable success. Yes, I know that the images that stick out in most hockey fans’ minds involve the team floundering against a clearly superior Chicago Blackhawks club. They certainly didn’t seem like they were “all there” and that probably strikes many…

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