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Greg Wyshynski

Puck Headlines: NHL, Balsillie snipe; aircraft carrier 'Classic'?

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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• Jim Balsillie has a basic problem in his pursuit of the Phoenix Coyotes, and it's that the NHL has already rejected him as a potential owner of the franchise. So he's now on the offensive in court, claiming that if the NHL lets a bunch of criminals own teams, why can't he? (Perhaps the most ironically self-deprecating argument in the whole ordeal, but there it is.) [Toronto Star]

• The NHL, meanwhile, is absolutely baffled as to why the possibility of the Coyotes playing in Hamilton this season is even being debated. Bill Daly noted that the Coyotes' opponents would have to travel an additional 24,446 miles if the team was relocated ASAP; "To put the magnitude of those extra miles in perspective, the circumference of the Earth at the equator is 24,901 miles," Plus, the incredible disruptions in ticket sales and marketing for the other 29 teams. [Hamilton Spectator]

• Interesting stuff from Joe Haggerty on the Boston College/Boston University game at Fenway Park: It will have fewer than the 40,000 tickets available for the Philadelphia Flyers/Boston Bruins Winter Classic; tickets go on sale on Sept. 17 at noon; and tickets will range from "$5-$90." [Haggerty Twitter]

• Speaking of outdoor hockey, this would be the coolest things in the history of coolness involving the Norfolk Admirals: "A source has told me that the AHL club is trying to plan an outdoor game on the DECK of the USS Eisenhower, that just returned to Norfolk after a 6 week deployment in the Arabian Sea." [Coming Down The Pipe, via On The Forecheck]

• Who's in, who's out for Team USA's Olympic team. Scott Gomez(notes), Bobby Ryan(notes) and Paul Stastny(notes) aren't locks? [The Hockey Writers]

Patrick Kane(notes) is due in court today in Buffalo. [WIVB]

• The NHL 10 demo is go for Xbox Live. [First Cuts, via Major Nelson]

• Just terrible news, via a French-language report: "Jose Theodore's second child has passed away at the age of two months." (Please note that Eric Engles of HockeyBuzz, via Twitter, noted that the source for this is a "rumors site"; Capitals Insider is working to confirm the story.) [Japers' Rink]

• One columnist believes that Roberto Luongo(notes) of the Vancouver Canucks is, in fact, the fourth-best goalie in his division. [Examiner]

• Great stuff from Gabe Desjardins on whether or not Niklas Backstrom(notes) of the Minnesota Wild is the beneficiary of the team's defensive system or an elite keeper: "Minnesota's own analysis ... shows that Backstrom is both an exceptional goaltender and a beneficiary of the reduced opponent shot quality that resulted from his coach's defensive strategy." [Puck Prospectus]

• The Atlanta Thrashers/Ilya Kovalchuk(notes) negotiations are "are proceeding slowly with no major roadblocks at this point." [AJC]

Georges Laraque(notes) is training Zack Stortini(notes) and Steve MacIntyre(notes) of the Edmonton Oilers this summer, and defended Huggy Bear's fighting style: ""He doesn't worry about what people say about his fighting style. And when he fights heavyweights, big people like me, he has to know how to defend himself. The goal in a fight is not to get punched -- you don't want to get knocked out. So I showed him a couple of pointers on how to protect himself." [Sun Media]

• Great interview with Stu "The Grim Reaper" Grimson, including the moment when he decided that what doesn't kill him makes him stronger. [Blackhawk Up]

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• You're telling us there wasn't even one photo where Joe Pavelski(notes) of the San Jose Sharks wasn't catching flies at the Team USA shoot? [Getty]

• Bubba from Canes Country looks at why the Eastern Conference runners-up, the Carolina Hurricanes, are not scheduled to appear on the Versus network at all next season: "If Versus is truly the 'exclusive cable network of the NHL,' shouldn't they be required to broadcast at least one game per each NHL franchise? Come on NHL. It's time to stop allowing 'partners' to call all the shots and to put your foot down on some matters. [Canes Country]

• Meanwhile, Carolina GM Jim Rutherford keeps his pimp hand strong on the issue: "I guess what we will have to do is get them to put us on - in the playoffs ... We were part of the increase in their ratings this past season. We'll do our best to see we're on again in April and May." [News & Observer, via Carolina on Ice]

• Random and sad: A legendary hockey coach in B.C. has gone missing while "working a gold claim." [Vancouver Sun]

• The making of Jarome Iginla(notes). [Sun Media]

• Hey, remember Matt Frattin, who was charged with Washington Capitals prospect Joe Finley for throwing house wares into the street? He's been dismissed from the University of North Dakota team. [AP]

• John Tortorella on what needs to change for the New York Rangers: "I worry about our mental toughness. And I don't want to insult anybody, but I think the whole dynamic there, I think we're a soft team as far as thinking. The organization treats the players very well, they have a great practice facility, it's New York City ... I think we need to stiffen up a little bit. That's the biggest thing -- we need to be a stiffer team in our thinking as we play games." [NHL.com]

• Finally, Jim Dowd(notes) wants to sell you a carpet.

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