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Puck Headlines: Byfuglien pleads; study defends hockey fights’ ‘safety’

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy

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.

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• From Rich Hammond of LA Kings Insider, for the big divisional battle between the Los Angeles Kings and the Phoenix Coyotes: "The announced attendance was 7,128. The estimate of the actual crowd was somewhere around 4,000, and that's not even the smallest crowd I've seen there." Any time you're ready, NHL and Glendale and current prospective owners. [LA Kings Insider]

Dustin Byfuglien pleads not guilty to charges related to an alleged impaired boating incident. "Byfuglien submitted to a breathalyzer test and registered .03, which is within the legal limit. But the documents say he was unable to successfully perform field sobriety tests." Huh, he must have taken some cold medicine or sumthin' … [CP]

• Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu isn't practicing but is OK after Dany Heatley's skate blade caught him and "he had to get stitched all the way from the left side of his chin underneath in his neck area all the way to the right side." [Russo]

• St. Louis Blues forward Chris Stewart and Carolina Hurricanes forward Anthony Stewart face each other for the first time tonight. Some really interesting backstory on both of them from Norm Sanders, including why their father won't be there to watch the game. (We'd normally root for a fight here, but the last thing the Blues need is Chris Stewart breaking his hand on Anthony's head.) [BND.com]

• Eric Staal on the Battle of the Brothers: "You grow up living in the same house and loving the same things, playing together and growing up together and now you're competing against each other in a professional sport. It's pretty cool. I'm sure (Stewart) will treat as he does every other game but it does add a little more to it." [Ice Chips]

• Four NHL teams that could use the services of Sean Avery. Not sure a reunion with the Los Angeles Kings is really in the cards. [Hockey Stop]

• Vancouver Canucks Roberto Luongo has had his struggles early this season, so naturally GM Mike Gillis threatens the media: "It isn't that I don't care about what the media might say or do. I do care when it becomes mean spirited and malicious. If that happens, we're going to act upon it." [The Province]

• The Luongo-animated gif and editorial cartoon here are amazing. [PITB]

• The best, and likely only, cartoon you'll see today about Roberto Luongo and atheism. [Imgur, via reader Jason Moses]

• Interesting take on the Winnipeg Jets/a.k.a. former Atlanta Thrashers identity crisis: "It's my feeling that asking the former Thrashers, after all they've endured, to become the Jets was hardly doing the players any favors. This is unknown territory at so many levels. It's understandable if it takes them a long time to determine who they are now and the traditions from which they can draw." [Red Light District]

• Wayne Gretzky was grumpy and aloof at an appearance at the Toronto East General Hospital, and now everyone's bitching about it in the Toronto Sun. CP24's George Lagogianes joked Gretzky arrived with "the same number of bodyguards Madonna would have and acted the same way we would expect from Barry Bonds." [Sun]

• Vinny Prospal offered a "salty" locker room tirade after the Columbus Blue Jackets' last defeat, and continued to be quite candid about some defeatist attitudes on the roster ahead of their game against Detroit: "I wouldn't want to judge (the franchise) because I haven't spent much time here. But for right now, for sure, it's one of the reasons why we are where we are." [Dispatch]

• Really interesting study on hockey fighting from Georgetown University School of Medicine that's worth your time and should really stir the hornet's nest, because a scientific pro-fighting study is a bit of a rarity: "The risk of concussion in a fight was much lower for brawling hockey players (0.39 percent) compared to the per-game risk for those who checked one another (nearly 4.5 percent)." [Health Day, via Kukla]

• The Washington Capitals now say that Jay Beagle is week-to-week but refuse to confirm he suffered a concussion. [Capitals Insider]

• Injured Boston Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid returned to practice and made it through an entire session. [Bruins Blog]

• The St. Louis Blues activate Carlo Colaiacovo from IR in preparation for his inevitable return to IR. [Blues]

• The Melrose Mullet of the Week goes to Sheldon Souray.

• San Jose Sharks defenseman Colin White is back in New Jersey for the first time since the Devils bought him out. "It didn't come as much of a shock to me as it came to the media. Lou (Lamoriello) and I talked about it and we still have a good relationship. There's no hard feelings. I've been around the game long enough to know they had to move forward." [Fire & Ice]

• The New York Rangers signed Brad Richards, in part, to get Marian Gaborik in gear. It's starting to happen. [Blueshirt Banter]

• The New York Rangers' victory hat has a Twitter account. Until it mentions escrow and we chase it away. [NY Rangers Blog]

• Testing out some of Bill Simmons's ideas for the NHL, including a shortened season and a mini-tournament for the No. 8 seed. [Welcome To Your Karlsson Years]

• After spending half the game in the penalty box against the Panthers, the Tampa Bay Lightning beat the New York Islanders because of their discipline. [Lightning]

• It's nearly Movember, and the Ottawa Senators will have follicle contributions from Matt Carkner, Erik Karlsson and Zenon Konopka. [Senators]

• Peter Regin is injured; is that going to factor into the Sens' Mika Zibanejad decision? [Silver Seven]

• Why James Neal is absolutely killing it with the Pittsburgh Penguins so far this season. [Colligan]

• Among the Hawk Thoughts about the Chicago Blackhawks in Week 3: "Andrew Brunette looks like he is skating on a treadmill. You can see his legs moving but he doesn't go anywhere. So...slow..." [Writing A Tunnel]

• Al Cimaglia on the Hawks' win over the Avalanche: "There are certain games throughout the season when the coaching staff has to receive full marks for a win or much of the blame for a loss. Thursday night, Quenneville and his staff made the necessary adjustments as the game wore on. The Hawks' bench boss was one up on Joe Sacco and fully utilized his depth." [Fox Chicago]

• How contraction would, or should, factor into realignment. [2 In The Box]

• The Karlis Skrastins Memorial Fan Project. [Defending Big D]

• Please check out Earl Sleek's Dallas Stars vs. Anaheim Ducks cartoon. [BoC]

• Finally, do you wanna see Georges Laraque rap? Yes you do (2:56 mark)

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