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James O’Brien

  1. 2010 NHL Free Agency: What about … Slava Kozlov?

    Jul 13, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT

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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. Today’s entry: Vyacheslav “Slava” Kozlov. Name: Slava KozlovHeight: 5-10 Weight: 190 lbs.Position: LWStrengths: Playmaking, goal scoringWeaknesses: Strength, size,…

  2. Mike Modano's asking price might be too much for Detroit

    Jul 13, 2010, 4:00 PM EDT

    Dallas Stars fans can breathe a sigh of relief – at least for a little while – as it sounds like the Detroit Red Wings might not be able to land Mike Modano. has a blurb about it in their free agent blog. According to the Detroit News, the offer the Red Wings gave…

  3. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Flyers retain super-pest Dan Carcillo

    Jul 13, 2010, 3:20 PM EDT

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    Confrontation and agitation are just parts of the job for Philadelphia Flyers super-pest Dan Carcillo. Still, as Greg Wyshynski points out, it’s probably best that the team avoided salary arbitration with the pesky winger. Arbitration cases are contentious, ego-deflating experiences; and they get really interesting when you have players that defy classification, whose numbers defy…

  4. Poacher's delight: This summer's best targets for offer sheets

    Jul 13, 2010, 2:45 PM EDT

    Signing a player to an offer sheet is a risky, flawed endeavor. For one thing, the opposing team could match the offer sheet, like the Chicago Blackhawks did when the San Jose Sharks went after defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson. It can be a mistake even if a team lands the player, as the more money you…

  5. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Columbus signs tough guy Jared Boll for two years

    Jul 13, 2010, 1:35 PM EDT

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    The Columbus Blue Jackets signed Jared Boll to a two-year deal, according to the team. From what I can tell, he’ll account for a $725K cap hit per season both years. Here’s more on Boll from the Blue Jackets and their GM, Scott Howson. Boll, 24, recorded four goals and three assists for seven points…

  6. Darryl Sydor hangs up skates, becomes part of Houston Aeros coaching staff

    Jul 13, 2010, 1:00 PM EDT

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    Darryl Sydor had a nice 18-year career in the NHL, particularly during his time with the Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning, but the steady defenseman won’t spend much time resting on his laurels. Upon retiring from hockey, the defenseman will now be a part of Mike Yeo’s Houston Aeros coaching staff in the AHL.…

  7. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Oilers set to sign underwhelming, oversized G Devan Dubnyk

    Jul 13, 2010, 12:35 PM EDT

    Of all the teams that I listed in an experimental post about Marty Turco’s possible suitors, the Edmonton Oilers were one of the most logical squads for the puck moving goalie. Part of the reasoning was because Nikolai Khabibulin struggled so much on and off the ice during the 2009-10 season, but another reason was…

  8. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Montreal signs Mathieu Carle, James Wyman to one-year deals

    Jul 13, 2010, 12:15 PM EDT

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    It really might just be about signing Carey Price at this point for the Montreal Canadiens. Earlier today I shared news that the team signed forward Maxim Lapierre to a one-year deal.  The team tied up some more loose ends today, signing defenseman Mathieu Carle and forward James Wyman to two-way, one-year deals according to…

  9. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Penguins sign Chris Conner to one-year, $550K deal

    Jul 13, 2010, 11:10 AM EDT

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    The Pittsburgh Penguins signed forward Chris Conner to a two-way, one-year contract that would pay him $550K at the NHL level, the team reports. At a scrawny 5-8, Conner will have to struggle to find his way into the team’s reputation. Still, he’s been pretty solid in spot duty with the big club. The team…

  10. The NHL lacks many Steinbrenner-type owners

    Jul 13, 2010, 10:45 AM EDT

    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…

  11. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Habs roster nearly complete after signing Maxim Lapierre

    Jul 13, 2010, 10:20 AM EDT

    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…

  12. The PHT Nightcap: Monday, July 12th

    Jul 12, 2010, 11:15 PM 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. Bruins…

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

    Jul 12, 2010, 10:45 PM EDT

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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…

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

    Jul 12, 2010, 10:15 PM EDT

    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…

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

    Jul 12, 2010, 9:30 PM EDT

    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…

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

    Jul 12, 2010, 8:45 PM EDT

    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”…

  17. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Canucks wrap up Shane O'Brien, three others

    Jul 12, 2010, 7:50 PM EDT

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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…

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

    Jul 12, 2010, 7:10 PM EDT

    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…

  19. The PHT Nightcap: Sunday, July 11th

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

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

    Jul 11, 2010, 9:00 PM EDT

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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,…

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

    Jul 11, 2010, 7:10 PM EDT

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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,…

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

    Jul 11, 2010, 6:40 PM EDT

    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…

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

    Jul 11, 2010, 4:10 PM EDT

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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.…

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

    Jul 11, 2010, 3:20 PM EDT

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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,…

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

    Jul 11, 2010, 2:00 PM EDT

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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…

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