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Puck Headlines: Patrick Kane defends Ryan Miller; Leafs trade frenzy; more Dustin Penner whimsy

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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• Mike Richards didn't. /rimshot [Getty]

Kris Letang finally returns to practice for the Pittsburgh Penguins, who called off their secret meeting about finding a temporary long-haired Norris contender in his absence. [Penguins]

• No Ryane Clowe for the San Jose Sharks Tuesday night, as he's out with an upper body injury that coach Todd McLellan said "is related to when Minnesota's Justin Falk checked Clowe face-first into the boards on Jan. 10." [CSN Bay Area]

• From Elliotte Friedman's 30 Thoughts column, on the Buffalo Sabres: "Have the massive deals given out to Christian Ehrhoff and Ville Leino damaged the dressing room? Now, it's not like current Sabres haven't gotten paid. Ryan Miller, Jason Pominville and Derek Roy all got new contracts before Pegula took over. (And they matched Thomas Vanek's offer sheet.) But, over the years, several GMs have said it's a dangerous dance when you reward players from outside -- especially in a cap system." [CBC]

• Ouch No. 1 from Mike Harrington on the Sabres: "Jason Pominville said he was frustrated the team was playing better when the score was 5-0 than when it was 0-0. Naturally. It's easier to play when there's no pressure and when the opponent has its foot off the gas. Just no mental toughness." [Buffalo News]

• Ouch No. 2 from Nick Cotsonika on the Sabres: "This is not what Terry Pegula paid for." [Y! Sports]

• As Ryan Miller is taking a bunch of criticism this season for the Sabres' failures, it's Buffalo's own Patrick Kane to the rescue! "I still think the fans get on Miller a little bit too much back in Buffalo. He's definitely the guy there," Kane said. "He's not having the kind of season he wanted to and maybe things are getting caught up in everything back there. I think they can be a good team. They've got everything in place to do well. You want them to do well, especially being from there.  Not better than you're doing but at the same time, growing up there I know a lot of people who root for the Sabres. It's a city that deserves the team to do well." [Sabres Edge]

• Broad Street Hockey on Friedman's claim that the Philadelphia Flyers might be looking at another goaltender to solidify that position in addition to Bryzgalov and Bobrovsky. [BSH]

• There was much intrigue about the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup Tuesday as trade talk has reached "frenzied levels." [Mirtle]

• Down Goes Brown with the pros and cons of a Detroit Red Wings/Toronto Maple Leafs Winter Classic: "Con: David Steckel would be playing in a Winter Classic again, so enjoy that year off, Pavel Datsyuk." [DGB]

• Ty Conklin vs. Richard Bachman Tuesday night for the Detroit Red Wings and Dallas Stars. [Malik]

• OK, so maybe the Calgary Flames should be rebuilding. But Rory Boylen writes: "It's not as though the Flames are a horrible, unsalvageable, lottery-lock wreck. They're in the top-half of the league in goals-against average, largely because of netminder Miikka Kiprusoff, who's having one of the best seasons of his career. Goal scoring is Calgary's main concern, but it's not impossible to see them improving in that category with Jarome Iginla bouncing back from a slow start, Curtis Glencross finding chemistry with Olli Jokinen and now with Cammalleri eager to prove himself to Cowtown fans once more and primed for a resurgence." [THN]

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NESN

• We spoke about this NESN MVP poll on Marek Vs. Wyshynski Tuesday, but it really is homerrific. Leading it with 45 percent of the vote as of Tuesday afternoon, Patrice Bergeron! [NESN]

• Good stuff from Ryan Porth on the Nashville Predators, who will be without Pekka Rinne and Ryan Suter against the Rangers: "This season, the Preds have made five comebacks in 17 instances when trailing after the second period, good for the highest percentage in the NHL through Monday's action. That's not counting other comeback wins when facing other deficits, whether it's late in the game or by two goals." [Smashville 24/7]

• The Columbus Blue Jackets have placed left wing R.J. Umberger on injured reserve, club Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Scott Howson announced Jan. 17. Umberger suffered an upper body injury at Anaheim on Jan. 8 and is listed as week-to-week. [Jackets]

• New Jersey Devils blog stares down the Zach Parise trade possibility and comes up with a wish list of the types of players the team could get back for him in a trade. [In Lou We Trust]

• We mentioned this hazing incident earlier in the week, but Prep Rally had much more about the cross-dressing players leading to fired coaches. [Prep Rally]

• Boy this was a strange one from Monday night: "Prominent player agent Ritch Winter blasts Renney for not playing young defencemen." Allan Walsh clearly needs a Tumblr. [Cult of Hockey]

• A stats-based look at Mike Green's injury recovery for the Washington Capitals from abdominal surgery. [Capitals Insider]

• Pizzo talks about when players have "earned the right" to do certain things. [Backhand Shelf]

• The Los Angeles Kings could use a guy like Matt Moulson. Well, again. [Jewels From The Crown]

• Finally, Dustin Penner might be a waste of money, but he's a damn funny waste of money. [LA Kings Insider]

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