Stamkos eyes February return; Bryzgalov out indefinitely; Hartley responds to ‘bully’ comments (Puck Headlines)Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy56 mins ago
Here are your Puck Headlines: a glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.
• Who wants to add an autographed Dunkin' Donuts mascot costume to their collection this holiday season?
• Almost a month after he broke his leg, Steven Stamkos is reportedly eyeing a Feb. 6 return, just before the Olympic break. [TSN]
• Ilya Bryzgalov is out with what the Oilers are calling "concussion-like" symptoms or whiplash. "We always treat those immediately as a concussion, even though we’re not quite sure if that’s what it is or not," said head coach Dallas Eakins. [Edmonton Sun]
- Harrison Mooney at Puck Daddy1 hr ago
In case you didn't know, since the promotional campaign has been very, very understated, Will Ferrell recently made a second "Anchorman" movie. Again, this is all flying very much under the radar, but I've been told by sources that it hits theaters later this month.
Full disclosure: my source was Ron Burgundy himself, who's so omnipresent these days that he came to my house last night and begged me -- literally begged me -- to see his movie.
All this in mind, especially that last part about Burgundy's willingness to show up basically anywhere, including but not limited to a Canadian curling event, Emerson College, and a North Dakota news station, the USHL's Dubuque Fighting Saints are optimistic that they'll be able to lure him to the great state of Iowa for their aptly named "Ron Burgundy Night".
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
Jaromir Jagr is incredible, with 22 points in 28 games for the New Jersey Devils. Jaromir Jagr is also incredibly old at 41, which means he probably shouldn't have to carry as much of the offensive load as he has this season for the post-Kovalchuk Devils.
He’s averaging 18:43 in ice time per game, his highest since coming back from the KHL, and has played over 20 minutes in three of his last four contests.
The problem is that outside of Patrik Elias, Jagr is the only Devils player that makes opposing defenses wake up from their slumber and worry about a New Jersey scorer. Jagr has 11 goals; no Devil has more than six.
They’re relying too much on him. They’re going to burn him out.
At the very least, Coach Peter DeBoer knows this, via the Star-Ledger:
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy2 hrs ago
It's a Wednesday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more: unappealing
Special Guest Star: It could be Bill Ranford; or, barring that, it could be Katie Strang!
• Henrik Lundqvist gets a massive contract; is that a good thing or a bad thing?
• The Roussel show in Chicago last night.
• Ducks vs. Kings.
• NHL news and notes.
- Dmitry Chesnokov at Puck Daddy4 hrs ago
None of the Russian NHL stars will become a flag bearer for their country in Sochi in a few months, the first time Russia will host the Winter Olympics in history.
(Come to think of it, there will be no NHL flag bearers for any country in Sochi.)
The speculation was that all – Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin and Pavel Datsyuk - had great chances of becoming flag bearers.
“The opening ceremony of the 2014 Olympic Games will take place on February 7 at 20:14 Moscow time,” Team Russia 2014 media project manager Andrei Mitkov told Sovetsky Sport.
“By that time only KHL players will be in Sochi. The Russian Olympic team has a scheduled friendly game against Team Latvia on February 8, and one against Team Switzerland on February 9. The charter flight with NHL players will arrive in the Olympic capital only on February 10.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy5 hrs ago
Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers have decided to end the wait, end the speculation and end the questions about whether or not a looming contract extension was weighing too heavily on the franchise goalie.
Lundqvist has agreed to a 7-year, $59.5-million contract with the Rangers that will run through his 38th birthday. He previously had a 6-year, $41.25-million deal that ran through this season.
That’s an average salary cap hit of $8.5 million, putting Lundqvist fifth overall in terms of cap hits for the 2014-15 season, when the contract kicks in. Only Alex Ovechkin ($9.54 million), Evgeni Malkin ($9.5 million), Sidney Crosby ($8.7 million) and Corey Perry ($8.625 million) carry a higher hit.
Lundqvist has the richest contract, from a cap perspective, in NHL history for a goaltender. Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins and Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators previously shared that distinction at $7 million.
A few thoughts/concerns/reactions to the deal …
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy6 hrs ago
UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Currently sitting on Dan Bylsma’s laptop are 10 NHL games waiting to be watched. They’re not solely for the purpose of scouting upcoming Pittsburgh Penguins opponents; instead, it’s video of players he must evaluate, deciding whether or not they will make the final cut for Team USA's roster in the Sochi Winter Olympics.
In a month’s time, the 12 participating countries in the February tournament will announce their rosters. The IIHF extended the original deadline of Dec. 31 to Jan. 7, but USA Hockey will still be unveiling their squad at the conclusion of the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day.
Wearing two hats between his duties with the Penguins and now running the Americans’ bench, Bylsma is aided by his support staff: Team USA general manager David Poile; assistant GM Ray Shero; director of player personnel Brian Burke; and assistant coaches Todd Richards, Tony Granato and Peter Laviolette.
With Laviolette the only member of the staff not currently with an NHL team, he’s been a focal point in gathering information on the pool of players they will choose from.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy14 hrs ago
No. 1 Star: Ryan Kesler, Vancouver Canucks
The Nashville Predators’ tormentor was at it again, scoring two third-period goals to give the Canucks a 3-1 win. He now has 14 on the year and back-to-back 2-goal games.
No. 2 Star: Kari Lehtonen, Dallas Stars
The Stars goalie turned away 47 of 50 shots on the road, as the Stars won at the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-3. Antoine Roussel scored the game-winner on a penalty shot. Alex Chiasson scored his eighth.
No. 3 Star: Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins
Sid’s unassisted wrist shot beat Anders Nilsson at 3:44 of overtime as the Penguins topped the New York Islanders, 3-2. Crosby now has 15 goals on the season, having previously scored to force OT. Evgeni Malkin had two assists in the win.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy15 hrs ago
Antoine Roussel of the Dallas Stars had a rather eventful night at the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night.
His fast-fisted fight with Andrew Shaw nearly took out a pair of linesmen in the first period.He elbowed Jonathan Toews in the second period, leading to a Patrick Sharp power-play goal that helped spark a three-goal Blackhawks rally.
Then, at 3:01 of the third period, Roussel earned a penalty shot against Corey Crawford, beating the Chicago goalie for the eventual game winner … and then taunting the United Center after his tally.
“I usually know what I’m gonna do, but I’m still looking in case something opens up. I used the Fiddler move. It was perfect,” said Roussel after the 4-3 win, referencing teammate Vernon Fiddler’s shootout move.
Brad Gardner of Defending Big D didn’t appreciate the NBC analysts making Roussel the focus of criticism after the Blackhawks rallied … making the taunt all the sweeter:
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy18 hrs ago
Jimmy Buffett concerts are a great excuse to relax and imbibe any number of mind-numbing creations.
Well, here’s our advice, Minnesotans: Take all of the mind-numbing things. Put them in a blender. Render a frozen concoction. And then slam it before you feast your eyes on the jersey bestowed upon Larry David … er, Mr. Buffett before his show at Xcel Center on Tuesday night:
Via the Xcel Center
Yes, it’s a custom Hawaiian Minnesota Wild sweater, that appears to have been stitched together from the lobby carpet of a Ramada.
Here’s another look:
— Xcel Energy Center (@XcelEnergyCtr) December 3, 2013
For those wondering, this isn’t a Foul. Any jersey bestowed upon a person from a team, personalized or otherwise, is never a Foul.
But that doesn’t mean it’s not just … foul, in and of itself.