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James O’Brien

  1. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Nikolai Zherdev is officially a Philadelphia Flyer

    Jul 9, 2010, 6:10 PM EDT

    The Philadelphia Flyers confirmed today’s rumors; they signed Nikolai Zherdev to a one-year contract. It’s unclear what his salary/cap hit will be just yet. Update via CSN Philly: word is that Zherdev’s cap hit will be $2 million. Not bad. Earlier today, I discussed that signing the hit-or-miss Russian to a one-year contract makes a…

  2. Sharks, Wild join Red Wings as teams interested in Mike Modano

    Jul 9, 2010, 5:45 PM EDT

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    The Mike Modano saga keeps going and going, even if it all feels a little bit wrong considering the guy spent an insane 22 years with the Dallas Stars franchise. While seeing Modano in another jersey will make Stars fans’ stomachs turn no matter what, the thought of him being a member of the Detroit…

  3. Anaheim Ducks trade Steve Eminger to NY Rangers for Aaron Voros and Ryan Hillier

    Jul 9, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT

    The Anaheim Ducks defense is a far cry from the Stanley Cup winning unit that dominated its way to a championship through both brutality (Chris Pronger) and finesse (Scott Niedermayer). I guess that’s what happens when you lose a Norris Trophy winner per summer. The Ducks moved Steve Eminger to the New York Rangers for…

  4. Mike Fisher and Carrie Underwood's super secret wedding plans

    Jul 9, 2010, 3:30 PM EDT

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    Apparently, second-line NHL centers need to be top secret when it comes to their weddings. (Oh, wait, they’re being so confidential about it because of his exponentially more famous wife? Oh, oops.) reports that many of the couple’s guests won’t even know where their nuptials will take place this weekend until they get their…

  5. Bob Probert remembered as a 'gentle soul' by family, friends at his funeral

    Jul 9, 2010, 2:40 PM EDT

    While it’s great to hear the love showered upon Bob Probert during his funeral proceedings, the details can be pretty heartbreaking. Let me share a couple accounts of the Friday morning ceremony. Tom Leyden of WXYZ provided some of the sensory details. Not surprisingly, Bob Probert went out with a roar. A line of more…

  6. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Rangers sign Dan Girardi to four-year deal, avoid arbitration

    Jul 9, 2010, 2:10 PM EDT

    The New York Rangers wrapped up 26-year-old defenseman Dan Girardi today. Going by the cap hits and term listed at, it could be a four-year deal worth $13.3 million with an annual cap hit of $3.325 million. (CapGeek notes that the financial details are not yet official, so the numbers might be a bit…

  7. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Sharks sign Blackhawks RFA Niklas Hjalmarsson to a hefty offer sheet

    Jul 9, 2010, 1:30 PM EDT

    So much for NHL GMs eschewing their inner Kevin Lowes so they don’t anger the Brian Burkes of the world. The San Jose Sharks threw down a serious gauntlet on their Western Conference tormentors, signing Chicago Blackhawks restricted free agent defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson to a stunning four-year, $14 million offer sheet. (Source: TSN.) Chicago has…

  8. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Bruins sign Mark Stuart to one-year, $1.675M deal

    Jul 9, 2010, 12:10 PM EDT

    For better or worse, the Boston Bruins roster is just about set. The team signed 26-year-old defenseman Mark Stuart to a one-year, $1.675 million contract. TSN has more. The 26-year-old Stuart is a veteran of 252 NHL regular season games and has compiled 12 goals, 23 assists for 35 points and 261 penalty minutes in…

  9. A one-year deal would make a lot of sense for Nikolai Zherdev, Flyers

    Jul 9, 2010, 11:20 AM EDT

    Yesterday, I expressed some misgivings about the Philadelphia Flyers’ interest in signing enigmatic winger Nikolai Zherdev. The thing is, I was under the impression that Zherdev was looking to sign a multi-year contract. Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov reports that the Flyers and Zherdev are on the verge of signing a one-year deal, though. Now, a…

  10. Steve Yzerman expected to provide a eulogy at Bob Probert's funeral

    Jul 9, 2010, 10:40 AM EDT

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    When you look back at the greatest offensive players who played parts of the 80s and 90s, the lucky ones had a top-notch enforcer protecting them. Wayne Gretzky had Dave Semenko and Marty McSorley. Mario Lemieux suffered for some time without a true “bodyguard.” For many years, Bob Probert watched Steve Yzerman’s back. So it…

  11. Poll results: LeBron James is more annoying than Ilya Kovalchuk

    Jul 8, 2010, 10:10 PM EDT

    While LeBron James made his choice (the Miami Heat), Ilya Kovalchuk still sits on the fence. PHT readers didn’t sit on the fence, though, when we asked them which contract situation was more annoying. “King James” won by a landslide. Take a look in the poll below. (Click to enlarge.) So, chin up, Ilya. You…

  12. Nashville Predators name Shea Weber their new captain

    Jul 8, 2010, 8:35 PM EDT

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    Shea Weber is one of the best (and most underrated) defenseman in the league. After Jason Arnott was traded, the Nashville Predators needed a new captain … and it didn’t take them long to choose the towering defenseman with that powerful shot. Here’s more from the Predators and “In addition to being one of…

  13. Quick hits: Thrashers hire John Torchetti, Jay Feaster becomes Flames' assistant GM

    Jul 8, 2010, 8:00 PM EDT

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    Let’s take a look at two moves made on the bench and in the front office today. It’s been rumored for a while, but it’s official as of Thursday: John Torchetti (seen in the picture hilariously celebrating the Chicago Blackhawks Cup win) will be Craig Ramsay’s associate coach in Atlanta. TSN has the report. John…

  14. Could Khabibulin's possible jail time bail the Edmonton Oilers out of his contract?

    Jul 8, 2010, 6:29 PM EDT

    The 2009-10 season was so rough for the Edmonton Oilers, I called it “Murphy’s Law on Ice.” One of the biggest components of that lousy campaign was Nikolai Khabibulin’s downfall, as the sporadically brilliant goalie went from Chicago’s unexpected netminding savior in 08-09 to an injury victim and the possible recipient of a DUI. (It’s…

  15. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Capitals sign Eric Fehr, Michael Nylander clears waivers

    Jul 8, 2010, 4:30 PM EDT

    The Washington Capitals signed forward Eric Fehr to a two-year, $4.4 million contract extension, allowing them to avoid the arduous arbitration process. Ken Campbell of The Hockey News reported the news. Fehr, who had career highs of 21 goals and 39 points in 69 games in 2009-10, made $772,000, which means he received almost a…

  16. Florida Panthers hope Lebronamania runs wild on hockey fans, too

    Jul 8, 2010, 3:50 PM EDT

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    When you’re trying to sell tickets to a fan base as stagnant as the Florida Panthers’, you sometimes have to stretch the boundaries of credibility. So don’t blame the moribund franchise for hoping that Lebronamania* will run wild on hockey fans, too. *I prefer Lebronamania to Lebronmania, simply because it evokes Hulkamania. Yes, I am…

  17. Ilya Kovalchuk, Marty Turco, other free agents could learn from Marian Hossa

    Jul 8, 2010, 3:30 PM EDT

    For the last couple years, Marian Hossa’s free agent path has been the source of sometimes-justified mockery. After all, the two-way forward seemed like the ultimate mercenary, jumping from contender to contender in Pittsburgh, Detroit and Chicago. Yet after finally raising the Cup and signing a cap-friendly (though risky over the long-term) contract, I might…

  18. Report: Simon Gagne hasn't waived his no-trade clause (yet, at least)

    Jul 8, 2010, 2:40 PM EDT

    Contrary to earlier reports, it appears that Philadelphia Flyers winger Simon Gagne has not waived his no-trade clause. At least not yet, according to an interview with RDS. Broad Street Hockey had the news. Despite the reputation RDS has of reporting information that can be less than true, this is coming straight from Gagne himself.…

  19. Columbus Blue Jackets hope to bring back Nikita Filatov

    Jul 8, 2010, 1:45 PM EDT

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    There are a few common threads hanging around this free agent summer. It’s been a bad July for goalies, at least the big-ticket guys, as players such as Dan Ellis and Chris Mason provided cheap alternatives for teams who balked at the asking price of Marty Turco and Evgeni Nabokov. From my viewpoint, it’s been…

  20. Poll: Who's more annoying, Ilya Kovalchuk or Lebron James?

    Jul 8, 2010, 12:20 PM EDT

    Chances are that if you’re even vaguely interested in professional sports, you’ve probably heard that Lebron James is going to make his long-awaited free agent decision tonight on live TV. If you frequent this site, you’re probably also a little beaten down by the on-again, off-again saga that is Ilya Kovalchuk’s contract negotiations. As followers…

  21. Signing Zherdev now could cost the Flyers a superior player later

    Jul 8, 2010, 11:20 AM EDT

    The Philadelphia Daily News backs up suspicions that a deal between flighty Russian winger Nikolai Zherdev and the Philadelphia Flyers seems highly likely (and also that such a contract would probably push out Simon Gagne). The signing of Zherdev would officially mark the end of the Simon Gagne era in Philadelphia after 10 seasons. Last…

  22. Sound the broken record: Kings, Kovalchuk fall short of a deal again

    Jul 8, 2010, 10:40 AM EDT

    It’s now been a solid week of Ilya Kovalchuk rumors, whining and (perhaps) tiresome greed.* Maybe you’re still riveted by the whole saga, but my guess is that most of the hockey world is worn out by the talk. * – And not just tiresome greed on Kovalchuk’s part, either. Watching this situation play out…

  23. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Predators roll the dice with Sergei Kostitsyn

    Jul 6, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT

    When the Kostitsyn brothers (sort of) burst onto the scene, Andrei was considered the better finisher/generally more talented of the two but Sergei was the “fast” one. Either way, it seemed like the two had a chance to be a solid sibling set for the Montreal Canadiens. As you may know, things fell apart for…

  24. LA Kings should not worry about luring big-time free agents

    Jul 6, 2010, 5:00 PM EDT

    Perhaps I’m in the minority here, but I think the Los Angeles Kings are better off without Ilya Kovalchuk … at least at the kind of money and years he seems determined to receive. Los Angeles Times writer Helene Elliott seems to think it’s a sign that the team cannot lure in high-end free agents,…

  25. 2010 NHL Free Agency: Janssen, Lundin, Purcell and Drew Miller sign one-year deals

    Jul 6, 2010, 4:20 PM EDT

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    Let’s take a look at a few minor signings from around the NHL. The Tampa Bay Lightning signed defenseman Mike Lundin and recently acquired forward Teddy Purcell to one-year contracts. Pierre LeBrun reports that Lundin’s contract will be worth $750K. Lundin had three goals and 10 assists for 13 points in 49 games for the…

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