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James O’Brien

  1. Where could Ilya Kovalchuk land?

    Jun 5, 2010, 5:45 PM EST

    In the last post, I discussed the fact that I don’t think Ilya Kovalchuk is worthy of a huge contract. Still, Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov makes a good point when he states that Kovalchuk is one of – if not the – biggest free agents of the post-lockout era. (Although, I’d argue from a team-changing…

  2. Ilya Kovalchuk isn't worthy of a big raise

    Jun 5, 2010, 4:30 PM EST

    In a league where the salary cap should hover around the $58-$59 million mark for the 2010-11 season, you don’t get a lot of wiggle room when it comes to signing big money players. Just look at the Pittsburgh Penguins; only true cap savants would argue that Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin aren’t worth their…

  3. In four games, Chicago fans clearly louder than Philly fans

    Jun 5, 2010, 3:45 PM EST

    Fans of the Philadelphia Flyers developed quite a reputation as some of the most brutal in all of American sports. (I make sure to mention “American,” since soccer hooligans will sometimes … you know, kill people and stuff.) But there’s one area where – at least compared to Chicago Blackhawks fans – they fall short:…

  4. Video: Michael Leighton's big Game 4 saves

    Jun 5, 2010, 3:00 PM EST

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    Brandon touched on the goalie’s increased confidence and comfort earlier today, but Michael Leighton has been a steady presence for the Philadelphia Flyers since he returned from injury during the Conference Semifinals. He’s an incredible 6-0 in home games now and is a big reason the Flyers are two wins away from raising the Stanley…

  5. Video: Brian Campbell's big hit on Ville Leino

    Jun 5, 2010, 2:15 PM EST

    When people think of Brian Campbell, they either consider his spin-o-ramas, general offensive ability or – if you’re a glass half empty type – his enormous $7.1 million annual cap hit. But hockey fans with at least a decent memory may also remember that, every now and then, “Soupy” can unleash a maniacal hit. He…

  6. Boston Bruins sign 'Pain Sponge' Dennis Seidenberg to four year, $13 M deal

    Jun 5, 2010, 1:30 PM EST

    Look, it’s no secret that I admire the work of Boston Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. After all, I did coin what I still hope will be his nickname, “The Pain Sponge” after realizing that – along with leading the NHL in blocked shots this season – he was also one of the league’s most frequently…

  7. Blue Jackets offer Hamilton Bulldogs coach Guy Boucher head coaching job

    Jun 5, 2010, 12:50 PM EST

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    It’s been a while since we discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets at Pro Hockey Talk, and really, it’s with good reason. They stunk up the joint during the 2009-10 season, causing Ken Hitchcock to get canned and Steve Mason to wonder if he really belongs in the NHL. The team is trying to bounce back…

  8. Flyers fight off late surge, tie series 2-2 with 5-3 win

    Jun 4, 2010, 11:15 PM EST

    It’s almost as if Game 4 was like a road trip in which a middle aged man tries to drive for 16 hours in one bladder-shredding sitting. Everything was under control for the Philadelphia Flyers, until all of a sudden the game veered off into a very, very dangerous direction. Philadelphia held on, though, and…

  9. Both teams sleepwalk through second, Flyers still up 3-1

    Jun 4, 2010, 10:08 PM EST

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    Eh, what a lame second period. The Flyers, honestly, weren’t all that amazing in the middle frame but maybe they can sense that the Blackhawks are barely even in the building. The one thing that stands out, though, is that while Chicago is flat, it seems like the officials are truly putting their whistles away.…

  10. Flyers race ahead of sloppy Blackhawks 3-1 in first

    Jun 4, 2010, 9:10 PM EST

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    Who are these Chicago Blackhawks? Look, I know that the Philadelphia Flyers are on fire right now, but it’s still pretty stunning to see what went on in the first period of this game. Philly is up 3-1 in the first period, and honestly, that score is more than fair considering how much better they’ve…

  11. City of Glendale to discuss Phoenix Coyotes sale this afternoon

    Jun 4, 2010, 5:20 PM EST

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    The Phoenix Coyotes ownership situation keeps limping its way to the finish line. Today could mark a step in the right direction – or at least in the area of an actual decision – as Coyotes blogger Travis Hair of Five for Howling shares the latest news on the process. Hair mentions that the Glendale…

  12. Flyers 'flash mob' won't be much of a mob, blogger says

    Jun 4, 2010, 5:00 PM EST

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    A few moments ago, I discussed rumors of Flyers fans forming a “flash mob.” In the final paragraph, I wondered if the movement would fall flat like the weak “Fire Sather” rally among New York Rangers fans. It looks like that instinct was dead-on, at least according to one reliable Flyers blogger. Travis Hughes of…

  13. Are Flyers fans going to harass the Blackhawks with a 'flash mob'?

    Jun 4, 2010, 4:30 PM EST

    Philadelphia is a city with quite the … rowdy sports reputation. It’s unfair to allow a few bad apples soil the bunch/other cliche, but history keeps repeating itself in Cream Cheese Land. Fair or not, few American fan bases see this level of regular hooliganism. Take, for instance, this story floated by Frank Seravali from…

  14. Broken foot shouldn't keep John Tavares out of training camp

    Jun 4, 2010, 3:30 PM EST

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    John Tavares put up a great performance for Canada under the dull spotlight of the 2010 IIHF World Championships, but the tournament wasn’t all good for the future of the New York Islanders. He ended up breaking his foot during the competition but fought through the pain in the team’s final three games. The good…

  15. Scott Hartnell: Beating Dustin Byfuglien at his own game

    Jun 4, 2010, 1:30 PM EST

    Going into the Stanley Cup finals, one of the most-hyped matchups was Dustin Byfuglien vs. Chris Pronger (hey, we hyped it up on Pro Hockey Talk, too). Of course, there was that one nagging problem: Byfuglien can be a bit, um, flighty. If the Philadelphia Flyers have their own hot-and-cold answer to Byfuglien, it’s the…

  16. USA Hockey honors Ryan Miller, Brian Burke

    Jun 4, 2010, 12:30 PM EST

    With all due respect to Patrick Kane and Brian Rafalski, no two people contributed more to American hockey in the last season than goalie Ryan Miller and executive Brian Burke. It shouldn’t be too surprising, then, that USA Hockey is honoring both at its President’s Awards Dinner on June 12, part of its 2010 Annual…

  17. Reflecting on Ron MacLean's Good Samaritan moment

    Jun 4, 2010, 11:50 AM EST

    In case you missed yesterday’s news, CBC personality Ron MacLean helped save a man from drowning (our own Joe Yerdon shared his thoughts/jokes here). The initial mental image is a little misleading, or at least it was in my head, as I imagined some Superman scenario in which MacLean did it all by himself ……

  18. 2010 Stanley Cup finals: Tough defense, not fatigue, slows Mike Richards and Jonathan Toews

    Jun 4, 2010, 11:00 AM EST

    It’s natural to throw a quality player under the bus when he’s hit a brick wall. The thing is, sometimes people stumble when they try to identify what, exactly, that brick wall is. Take, for instance, the case of the teams’ two floundering captains. Both Jonathan Toews and Mike Richards were playing incredible hockey through…

  19. Pucktales: Chris Pronger is 'The Puck Burglar'

    Jun 3, 2010, 5:40 PM EST

    Chris Pronger made plenty of waves for snatching the game pucks after the Flyers lost Game 1 and 2. (Jeremy Roenick even called the big defenseman “bush league” for doing so.) Art by: Deven “Gray” Hoover from the Couch Tarts. Idea By: James O’Brien

  20. 2010 NHL Entry Draft: Early mock drafts favor Taylor Hall at No. 1

    Jun 3, 2010, 4:50 PM EST

    When it comes to the NFL Draft, everyone and their crazy Uncle Henry seem to come out with a mock draft. Hockey might not enjoy the same brand of around-the-clock coverage, but that doesn’t change the fact that June’s Entry Draft will fuel debates among NHL executives and scouts for some time. Who will end…

  21. 2010 Stanley Cup finals: Flyers hold big special teams advantage so far

    Jun 3, 2010, 4:10 PM EST

    Late into the 2009-10 regular season, I took a look at one of my simple stats: special teams plus/minus. At that point in the season, the Chicago Blackhawks ranked as the second best team in that area (scoring 18 more special teams goals than they allowed) while the Philadelphia Flyers took seventh place. The Blackhawks…

  22. Does Jason Spezza want out of Ottawa?

    Jun 3, 2010, 3:30 PM EST

    A year after Dany Heatley forced a messy divorce with the Ottawa Senators, rumors are swirling that talented-but-frustrating center Jason Spezza might want a trade too. After all, he must have a bad taste in his mouth after home fans booed him toward the end of the team’s first round match with the Pittsburgh Penguins.…

  23. GMs focus on headshots, shootouts at meetings

    Jun 3, 2010, 3:00 PM EST

    The NHL’s general managers met in Philadelphia for reasons beyond honoring Coyotes GM Don Maloney as the best general manager of the year. As it turns out, they also discussed some of the league’s most pressing issues, including hits to the head and the excessive effect shootouts have on the way teams play. The area…

  24. Washington Capitals won't bring back Joe Corvo, Scott Walker

    Jun 3, 2010, 1:20 PM EST

    The Washington Capitals elected to make a slew of minor moves during the NHL trade deadline. If you look at it strictly from the perspective of playoff success – rather than the fact that they ran away with the Presidents’ Trophy and put up incredible regular season numbers – then it’s hard to say that…

  25. Did Flyers fans make more noise than Blackhawks fans?

    Jun 3, 2010, 12:40 PM EST

    We’ve been monitoring the ear-splitting decibel levels of the games in Chicago (Game 2 was slightly louder than Game 1) so I thought it would be wise to see if the crowd in Philadelphia could top them. As it turns out, the Flyers fans were just a little less loud according to’s numbers The…

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