John Tortorella, dog lover; argument for NHL contraction; NHLPA offer update (Puck Headlines)

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.

• Well this explains why New York Rangers Coach John Tortorella's bark is worse than his bite: He's a dog lover, and the New York Rangers and The John & Christine Tortorella Family Foundation are teaming up with the national organization Best Friends Animal Society for a dog walk event in Riverside Park, located on the upper West Side of Manhattan. Click here to find out how you can walk your dog with John Tortorella, who no doubt has an emphatic way of telling you to pick up after your canine. [Rangers]

• The NHLPA clarifies its initial "alternate" proposal, including: "Increased flexibility for teams; will help GMs to put their teams together including awarding extra draft picks for teams in difficulty, allowing teams to trade dollars and players and in limited cases, allow for small amount of teams to go over or under the salary cap." [NHLPA]

• Michael Grange continues his excellent pre-lockout coverage with a plan to find the middle ground for the NHL and the NHLPA. This one includes contraction and relocation: "You have the New York Islanders, who could hold a rat rodeo in the bowels of the decrepit Nassau Coliseum and have taken John Tavares hostage. Phoenix is Phoenix. Columbus is a joke, and Florida can barely draw Canadians during March Break. But what if we chopped two teams and moved two more? More revenue for the league and the players to share, and less bad news for the rest of us. No-brainer." [Sportsnet]

• David Clarkson didn't miss a game during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, even though he played with a fractured foot. "You can call me a sore loser." Clarkson's the man. []

• Should the Edmonton Oilers ink their young stars before the new CBA? [Copper and Blue]

• Winter Classic Alumni Game roster updates: The Detroit Red Wings add Red Berenson, Jimmy Carson and Dennis Polonich; the Toronto Maple Leafs add Tie Domi, Brad May and Dave 'Tiger' Williams. Comerica Park prepares for a line brawl. [Leafs]

• More great stuff from Eric T. on the advanced stats front: "A player's ice time is a direct reflection of the coach's opinion of the player, and at this relatively early stage in the evolution of analytics, the coach's opinion is more accurate than any one individual statistic. So why not try to build a quality of competition metric using ice time as the measure of how good each opponent is?" [NHL Numbers]

• The Philadelphia Flyers have created an internship position in the name of Jessica Ghawi. [Backhand Shelf]

• The CRTC blesses the Rogers/Bell Toronto Maple Leafs ownership deal. [THN]

• The Florida Panthers are going to hold a hockey clinic in Puerto Rico in partnership with JetBlue. Tough gig. [Sun Sentinel]

• Mike Heika on the Dallas Stars and Jamie Benn: "These two also have pressure points. Clearly, Benn doesn't want to be sitting on the sidelines when the season starts. He doesn't want to miss out on the paychecks, he doesn't want to miss out on the chance to prove he's one of the best players in the league, so he will want to get a deal done. The Stars, meanwhile, are missing center Derek Roy until late November with a shoulder injury and fans would be in full panic mode if Benn's deal wasn't done when the NHL starts playing games again. Can you imagine starting games with no Roy and no Benn?" [Dallas Stars Blog]

• Prepare thy selves for the Alex Kovalev comeback. [TSN]

• Tapeleg on the demise of HockeyInsiderr's legacy (with a stick-tap to my Eklund story from a few years back). [Jerseys and Hockey Love]

• Stu Hackel on the financial future of the New Jersey Devils: "Of course, by the time Brodeur is ready to say goodbye, the Devils' ownership picture might look a bit different. Considering his resolve, it would be unwise to believe that Jeff Vanderbeek won't be in that picture." [SI]

• Finally, Hockey Wilderness is doing a Hockey Movie Character tournament. We better see these guys on there somewhere. [Hockey Wilderness]