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James O’Brien

  1. Should the Florida Panthers send Erik Gudbranson to the minors or keep him in NHL?

    Oct 1, 2010, 7:30 PM EDT

    When it comes to high-profile draft picks such as Taylor Hall, deciding whether or not to send him to the minors is more complex than choosing between development and preserving entry-level contract years vs. immediate team needs. When it comes to someone like the Florida Panthers’ No. 3 pick Erik Gudbranson, it might be a…

  2. Tonight's preseason schedule – September 30th

    Sep 30, 2010, 6:15 PM EDT

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    Let’s take a look at tonight’s four preseason games. (All in Eastern Time.) 7:30 pm Buffalo Sabres @ Montreal Canadiens (Live on NHL Network) 8:00 pm Chicago Blackhawks @ St. Louis Blues Columbus Blue Jackets @ Minnesota Wild (Tape Delayed on NHL Network at 11:00 pm) 8:30 pm Colorado Avalanche @ Dallas Stars

  3. Wade Redden is saying all the right things about his AHL demotion, Hartford assignment

    Sep 30, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT

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    We all know that Wade Redden’s contract is one of the biggest albatrosses in a long stream of bad contracts handed out by New York Rangers Glen Sather. As you may know, the team shipped him to the Hartford Wolf Pack (who will soon become the Connecticut Whale, actually) to clear up his enormous $6.5…

  4. Jordan Staal might be out 'well into' the 2010-11 season

    Sep 30, 2010, 4:45 PM EDT

    When it comes to the injury Jordan Staal suffered in last year’s playoffs, it’s been a slow trickle of bad news for the two-way center and the Pittsburgh Penguins. He probably came back a little too soon after P.K. Subban’s skate cut a tendon in one of his feet, getting surgery and hastily returning during…

  5. 2010-11 NHL season preview: Los Angeles Kings

    Sep 30, 2010, 3:40 PM EDT

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    Last season: (46-27-9, 101 points, 3rd in Pacific Division, 6th in Western Conference) Last season was a big step forward for the Kings. They went from one of the worst teams in the West to the sixth seed. Drew Doughty burst onto the scene and became a Norris Trophy candidate while Jonathan Quick managed a…

  6. 2010-11 NHL season preview: Phoenix Coyotes

    Sep 30, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT

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    Last season: (50-25-7, 107 points, 2nd in Pacific Division, 4th in Western Conference) Only the most optimistic, pie-in-the-sky Coyotes fans expected the team to be so successful last season. Amid ownership squabbles and the hasty addition of new coach Dave Tippett, the Coyotes nearly took the Pacific Division before pushing the Detroit Red Wings to…

  7. Report: Edmonton Oilers waive Sheldon Souray and Martin Gerber

    Sep 30, 2010, 1:40 PM EDT

    A wide variety of sources (including NHL.com) claim that the Edmonton Oilers placed Sheldon Souray and Martin Gerber on waivers today. Waiving Souray was more or less a formality after the team didn’t even invite him to training camp. With his $5.4 million annual salary cap hit and history of injury problems, it’s unlikely any…

  8. Can Ville Leino follow up a great playoff run with a productive season?

    Sep 30, 2010, 1:00 PM EDT

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    The Philadelphia Flyers went from a solid team to a dangerously deep group in large part because injuries thrust lower line players (and even guys who were often healthy scratches) into bigger roles during the playoffs. Danny Briere ended up being the leader in playoff points even though many in the hockey world gave up…

  9. Nicklas Lidstrom tops list of top 10 penalty killing defensemen

    Sep 30, 2010, 12:15 PM EDT

    Many people find Norris Trophy voting to be a flawed process because it overvalues offense (since assists and points in general are the easiest stats to track) while overlooking the most important job of any defenseman, namely protecting their goalie and playing their best in their own end. Let’s not throw hockey writers under the…

  10. 2010-11 NHL season preview: San Jose Sharks

    Sep 30, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

    Last season: (51-20-11, 113 points, 1st in Pacific Division,1st in Western Conference) The Sharks had another fantastic regular season. After fighting off the pesky Avalanche and the tired Red Wings in the playoffs, the Chicago Blackhawks swept them away in the Western finals. It’s always embarrassing to lose a series 4-0, but the games against…

  11. Take a look at the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup rings

    Sep 30, 2010, 10:00 AM EDT

    It’s almost time to start the 2010-11 season, but the Chicago Blackhawks continued the celebration of this summer’s Cup victory by displaying their new championship rings last night. Team owner Rocky Wirtz shared two photos of the team’s opulent (I’m sure you want me to throw the word “bling” in there, you scamps) Cup rings.…

  12. The PHT Nightcap: Wednesday, September 29th

    Sep 30, 2010, 2:10 AM 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. Brian…

  13. Preseason quick recaps: September 29th

    Sep 30, 2010, 1:10 AM EDT

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    While the hockey world wasn’t treated to a Panthers-Hurricanes game thanks to a tropical storm, there were eight other games that only mattered a little bit tonight. Let’s take a look at them. Nashville 4, Atlanta 3 Plus: It was a great night for the two teams’ power plays, as all but one connected for…

  14. 2010-11 NHL season preview: Dallas Stars

    Sep 29, 2010, 11:50 PM EDT

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    Last season: (37-31-14, 88 points, 5th in Pacific Division,12th in Western Conference) Things have not been good for the Dallas Stars since they made a nice run to the Western Conference finals during the 2007-08 season. The team’s defense floundered so much without Sergei Zubov and coach Dave Tippett that it was hard to get…

  15. Believe it or not, Alex Kovalev fought Francois Beauchemin tonight

    Sep 29, 2010, 11:00 PM EDT

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    If the Evgeni Malkin-Rick Nash fight taught us anything, it’s that any hockey player can get in a fight. Seriously. Need proof? Alex freaking Kovalev got in a fight tonight, perhaps because he called his opponent “Frenchy.” Check out this clip of the mercurial Russian pushing aside an official so he can engage in a…

  16. 2010-11 NHL season preview: Anaheim Ducks

    Sep 29, 2010, 10:20 PM EDT

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    Last season: (39-32-12, 89 points, 4th in Pacific Division,11th in Western Conference) Ignore the fact that the Ducks would have been the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference because it ultimately doesn’t matter. The bottom line is that Anaheim keeps sliding since it won the Stanley Cup in 2007, going from a failing contender to a…

  17. Tonight's Canucks-Sharks game may decide Brendan Morrison's future with Vancouver

    Sep 29, 2010, 9:30 PM EDT

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    While it’s natural to yawn (or even roll your eyes) at the mostly trivial proceedings that take place during preseason games, there is still some human drama that plays out. That drama is mainly focused on the handful of athletes who are fighting to preserve or begin their professional careers. Brendan Morrison is fighting to…

  18. New Connecticut Whale logo designed to reap rewards of Hartford Whalers nostalgia

    Sep 29, 2010, 9:00 PM EDT

    Nostalgia is a funny thing in the field of sports and entertainment. You have to toe the line between playing on people’s fond memories and beating a dead horse of memories. At some point during the 2010-11 AHL season, the Hartford Wolf Pack will become the Connecticut Whale. Bob Connors of NBC Connecticut reports that…

  19. Bryce Salvador undergoes testing for 'ear situation'; Status currently unclear

    Sep 29, 2010, 8:20 PM EDT

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    As Joe briefly mentioned in last night’s recaps, New Jersey Devils defenseman Bryce Salvador left last night’s preseason game against the Philadelphia Flyers because of a James van Riemsdyk hit. The Bergen Record’s Fire & Ice blog has been all over the situation, even if information regarding the situation has been quite slim. Initially the…

  20. Eric Tangradi knows how to stick with the Penguins: make life miserable for goalies

    Sep 29, 2010, 7:35 PM EDT

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    Back in the Mario Lemieux Era, the Pittsburgh Penguins were at their greatest when they sported an incredibly deep lineup that included Kevin Stevens, a power forward who enjoyed his best years skating alongside Super Mario. While the “current” edition of the team already won one Cup with a twilight-years power forward (Bill Guerin) and…

  21. 2010-11 NHL season preview: New Jersey Devils

    Sep 28, 2010, 6:15 PM EDT

    Last season: (48-27-7, 103 points, 1st in Atlantic Division, 2nd in Eastern Conference) The New Jersey Devils won another Atlantic Division title while acquiring Ilya Kovalchuk before the trade deadline only to get pounded by the Flyers 4-1 in the first round of the playoffs. Despite winning three Stanley Cups in their history, the post-lockout Devils…

  22. Real-life storm cancels Wednesday's Hurricanes-Panthers preseason game

    Sep 28, 2010, 5:20 PM EDT

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    In a moment in which the jokes practically write themselves, the Florida Panthers canceled their exhibition game against the Carolina Hurricanes because of a tropical storm. It was not named Hurricane Staal. Here is the statement via a press release from the NHL. The National Hockey League announced today that the pre-season game between the…

  23. Should the Edmonton Oilers keep Taylor Hall and Magnus Paajarvi in the minors this season?

    Sep 28, 2010, 5:00 PM EDT

    Tyler Dellow of the number-crunching Edmonton Oilers blog mc79 hockey made an interesting (and well-stated) argument for the team to send both Taylor Hall and Magnus Paajarvi down to the minors so they wouldn’t “burn” one of the years on their entry-level contracts. Here is a quick synopsis of his argument, although you should read…

  24. 2010-11 NHL season preview: New York Rangers

    Sep 28, 2010, 4:00 PM EDT

    Last season: (38-33-11, 87 points, 4th in Atlantic Division, 9th in Eastern Conference) The Rangers fell a shootout win short of making the playoffs then watched as the Philadelphia Flyers made it all the way to the Stanley Cup finals. Ouch. The team depended a lot on young players, Marian Gaborik and Henrik Lundqvist and…

  25. Islanders news: Kyle Okposo out indefinitely, team signs Mike Mottau

    Sep 28, 2010, 2:55 PM EDT

    It’s been a rough week for the hard-luck New York Islanders. First, word broke that Mark Streit will miss six months because of a left shoulder injury. Now Katie Strang of New York Newsday reports that promising young power forward Kyle Okposo is experiencing his own shoulder problems, as he apparently will be “out indefinitely”…

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