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James O’Brien

  1. Vincent Lecavalier gets an arena re-named in his honor

    Aug 19, 2010, 7:50 PM EDT

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    Nirvana once said that they knew they “made it” when one of their songs was parodied by “Weird Al” Yankovic. When it comes to sports athletes, the barometer might be: a) appearing on a show like Saturday Night Live or b) something being named after them. Tampa Bay Lightning forward Vincent Lecavalier qualified for choice…

  2. Two subtle possible rule changes that could make goal reviews more accurate

    Aug 19, 2010, 6:30 PM EDT

    There are plenty of subtle problems that irk fans, hockey writers and officials alike. Yet those problems aren’t so subtle when they amount to a crucial goal (or non-goal) being unclear despite having on-ice officials and many, many camera angles. In an attempt to make it easier for goal judges, referees and the Toronto War…

  3. R&D camp coaches Ken Hitchcock, Dave King share viewpoints on possible rule changes

    Aug 19, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT

    It seems like the NHL research and development camp has a lot going for it. Brendan Shanahan is receiving his first real on-the-job test as an NHL executive. Potential 2011 NHL Entry Draft prospects and referees alike are being used as guinea pigs for rules changes. But let’s not forget that the camp’s two “teams”…

  4. The NHL research and development camp takes a look at moving one referee off the ice

    Aug 19, 2010, 4:30 PM EDT

    I called the NHL research and development camp a mad hockey laboratory before, and – no doubt about it – the event features some odd little hockey experiments. We plan on discussing some of the most interesting ideas and studies taking place in the two-day event, but one of the most interesting changes could affect…

  5. Atlanta Thrashers make Clint Malarchuk their new goalie consultant

    Aug 19, 2010, 3:30 PM EDT

    When Richard Zednik’s throat was slashed by then-teammate Olli Jokinen’s skate in a horrible, but thankfully only life threatening incident, one other name came up time and time again: Clint Malarchuk. Malarchuk also had his throat slit by a skate during an NHL game but survived to play again … about a week later. Here’s…

  6. Some thoughts on the recently released NHL '11 demo

    Aug 19, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT

    EA Sports recently released a demo for its upcoming game NHL ’11 on both the X-Box 360 and Playstation 3, which is set to release on September 7. I thought I’d pass along a few notes about the small sample of the company’s popular hockey title. Now, I haven’t played a TON of the demo…

  7. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Panthers sign Andrew Peters to one-year, two-way deal

    Aug 19, 2010, 12:50 PM EDT

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    I’ve brought new Atlanta Thrashers GM Rick Dudley’s fixation on muscle and toughness up a few times already, but fellow former Chicago Blackhawks front office member Dale Tallon likes adding bruisers as well. The new Florida Panthers GM signed tough forward Andrew Peters to a one-year, two-way deal according to George Richards. At 6’4″, 240…

  8. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Thrashers sign frequent hitter Freddy Meyer to a two-way contract

    Aug 19, 2010, 12:30 PM EDT

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    The Atlanta Thrashers signed defenseman Freddy Meyer to a one-year, two-way deal that will pay him $500K if he remains in the NHL and $105K if he stays in the minors, according to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Here is a little bit of background information on the small-but-feisty defenseman via Ben Wright of…

  9. Stars beat writer cannot confirm or deny rumors of Dallas Stars sale

    Aug 19, 2010, 11:30 AM EDT

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    We discussed a Forbes report of the Dallas Stars possibly being sold for $275-$300 million yesterday, but Dallas Stars beat writer Mike Heika was unable to confirm – or deny – these rumors. I got a hold of four people who could have information on the sale today, and none of them offered anything in…

  10. Edmonton Oilers fans might be going overboard with Taylor Hall expectations

    Aug 17, 2010, 6:00 PM EDT

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    In the pre-lockout years, players such as Ilya Kovalchuk and Joe Thornton took a little while to hit their point producing primes. Yet since the lockout forced NHL bigwigs to let the speedy and skilled loose, the learning curve for young players almost seems more like a straight line. The near-to-immediate success of the Sidney…

  11. What should (or could?) be done about messy no-trade clauses?

    Aug 17, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT

    When someone is about to sign a contract, there’s often that thought: you better check the fine print. Sure, it’s easy to follow dollars and cents, whether it’s a players salary vs. their cap hit. But what about some of the more nuanced elements of a contract? A lot of times deals get complicated when…

  12. The Willie Mitchell Market keeps heating up; Defenseman visits Capitals' Iceplex

    Aug 17, 2010, 4:50 PM EDT

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    While Dan Hamhuis, Zbynek Michalek and Paul Martin got the big bucks this summer, the tide-changing unrestricted free agent defenseman is still – in my opinion – Willie Mitchell. Before you assume I’m going to call NHL GMs nuts for passing him up, there’s a perfectly simple explanation why he’s still on the market: concussion…

  13. NHL research and development camp isn't just testing new rules, but also Brendan Shanahan himself

    Aug 17, 2010, 4:00 PM EDT

    The NHL research and development camp is something of a hockey laboratory. During the event, experiments will be run to test new rules as well as up-and-coming prospects. And, as it turns out, the mad scientist pulling the strings and hitting the switches happens to be probable Hall of Fame power forward Brendan Shanahan. To…

  14. Poll results: PHT readers want to get rid of the trapezoid but allow icing on PKs

    Aug 17, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT

    One of the more interesting articles we discussed Monday tackled the goalie trapezoid rule and icing on penalties. I thought it might be intriguing to test the latter idea, but I think that the strong consensus against the idea might sway my opinion just a touch. Before I go any further with analysis, let’s take…

  15. Columbus made offers for Tomas Kaberle but fell short of Burke's mark

    Aug 17, 2010, 1:00 PM EDT

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    The Columbus Blue Jackets bowed out a little early from the Tomas Kaberle sweepstakes that never actually took place Sunday night, but the Columbus Post-Dispatch reports that the team did at least kick the tires on a trade. The Blue Jackets offered no players from their NHL roster in trade talks with Toronto for Tomas…

  16. Former Montreal Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur is acquitted of perjury charges

    Aug 17, 2010, 11:20 AM EDT

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    It’s always unpleasant to see an all-time great’s name dragged through the mud – especially when it is a family member doing the dragging – but at least there’s some good news for Montreal Canadiens legend Guy Lafleur. CBC News reports that Lafleur has been acquitted of charges made in relation to testimony he gave…

  17. Now that Mike Modano is gone, who will be the face of the Dallas Stars?

    Aug 16, 2010, 7:00 PM EDT

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    With Mike Modano and Marty Turco gone, the Dallas Stars decided to market the team (actually the TEAM) rather than an individual player. Still, Defending Big D tried to guesstimate who might be the new “face” of the franchise. Ultimately, they couldn’t come up with an obvious choice. Let’s look at some of the highlights.…

  18. Patrick Kane enjoys another day with the Cup in Chicago by attending … a Jimmy Buffet concert?

    Aug 16, 2010, 6:15 PM EDT

    After crashing a Jimmy Buffet concert of all things (I would have expected, I don’t know … MGMT? Phoenix? Maybe just a trip to last week’s Lollapalooza?), Patrick Kane described the experience of presenting the Stanley Cup to the “Margaritaville” master and his crowd with one text-messaged word: “Blast.” It’s funny, because that’s exactly how…

  19. Brian Burke and Tomas Kaberle may be relieved now, but rumors will return soon enough

    Aug 16, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT

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    Last night, I emphasized the fact that the Tomas Kaberle saga is far from over. It seems that both Brian Burke and Kaberle’s agent Rick Curran threw the word “relief” around when describing the now-passed window in which the defenseman’s no-trade clause was lifted, but I would add “temporary” to relief in this case. Still,…

  20. NHL Network and will provide coverage of the NHL's research and development camp

    Aug 16, 2010, 4:40 PM EDT

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    We’ve covered the considerable amount of talent on hand for the NHL’s research and development camp as well as what kind of rules changes will be tested, but there’s some great news from the league regarding coverage of the proceedings. Apparently, and the NHL Network will carry some shows/interviews/other information on the events. Here…

  21. Minnesota Wild earn accolades for environmental improvements

    Aug 16, 2010, 4:00 PM EDT

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    Earlier this month, I passed along a note that the Pittsburgh Penguins earned some serious kudos for the environmentally conscious construction of their fancy new home, the Consol Energy Center. Perhaps it makes just as much sense, though, that a team named The Wild is receiving awards for how “green” they are going, too. Here…

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

    Aug 16, 2010, 3:00 PM EDT

    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,…

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

    Aug 16, 2010, 2:00 PM EDT

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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…

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

    Aug 16, 2010, 12:15 PM EDT

    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…

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

    Aug 16, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

    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…

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