Here are your Evening Puck Headlines and Previews: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.
• It's been an intense week, what with all the Avery debates and whatnot. Call this a mental health break, call it what you will; but Calgary Hitman fans gave 22,722 stuffed toys to local charities for the holidays during their Teddy Bear Toss. Check out an alternate view of the mayhem here.
• Gary Bettman tells his XM Radio audience that he hasn't made a decision on Sean Avery yet. "Off the bat, what I need to say is I haven't made a decision yet. I want to take the opportunity to think about what transpired at the meeting, everything I was told and needs to be considered. I want to reflect on it, which means either sometimes later this afternoon or tomorrow morning we will render a decision and I will make it public." Wonder if Gary decided to hold off on the decision to juice those XM ratings. That'd be an Avery move, right? [NHL]• Meanwhile, EJ Hradek says that we may get the Avery decision on Friday morning. [Stars Blog]
Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins at Carolina Hurricanes (7 p.m. EST; TV: FSPI, FSS). It's the re-debut for Paul Maurice in Carolina, as the Canes attempt to kick-start their season. Justin Williams has come off IR. Meanwhile, the "Trade Jordan Staal" whispers continue to grow louder among Penguins fans, and Sidney Crosby is your all-star leader for Eastern Conference forwards. Quite a rally.
Preview: New York Rangers at Montreal Canadiens (7 p.m. EST; TV: CBC, RDS). The Rangers are now 7-1 in shootout, and that's prompting some to question whether they are indeed "playing for the tie" as it used to be called. And for the last time: The Habs are not for sale. And Sportsnet regrets the error.
Preview: New York Islanders at Washington Capitals (7 p.m. EST; TV: MSG2, CSN). The Caps are shaking things up again, calling up Keith Aucoin from the AHL and sliding Michael Nylander to the wing during practice today with Alexander Ovechkin's line.
• The delightful joys of divorce jokes text messaged to the Capitals arena Jumbotron. [Sporting Blog]
• Back on the Avery tip: The NHL is playing with fire with its advocates if the punishment for Avery eclipses that for dangerous plays. [Battle of Alberta]
Preview: New Jersey Devils at Philadelphia Flyers (7 p.m. EST; TV: MSG, CSP, Yahoo! Sports). Scott Clemmensen gets the call again for the Devils, who will have Brian Rolston and John Madden for the game. Breaking news: Danny Briere is a pouter.
Preview: Boston Bruins at Tampa Bay Lightning (7:30 p.m. EST; TV: NESN, SUN). The Bruins will go with the same forwards that beat Detroit over the weekend. Barry Melrose's return to ESPN doesn't mean Barrie and Koules don't have to pay him.
Preview: Vancouver Canucks at Detroit Red Wings (7:30 p.m. EST; TV: CPPV, FSD). The Canucks have taken two of three games against the Wings this season, and it's no Luongo Effect. The headline on Canucks and Beyond: "Curtis Sanford Back, Red Wings Forfeit Game."
• "The Securities and Exchange Commission filed today a civil injunctive action against Silicon Valley venture capitalist, William J. "Boots" Del Biaggio III, in federal district court in the Northern District of California alleging that he engaged in two distinct securities fraud schemes, defrauding investors, banks and private lenders out of $65 million." And also having a dopey nickname, while making the people of Nashville cry. [SEC]
Preview: Buffalo Sabres at Florida Panthers (7:30 p.m. EST; TV: MSG, FSFL). Patrick Kaleta is on IR, and the Sabres are facing injury issues (there's a stunner, huh?). The Panthers are offering fans a putting competition this evening. Florida Panthers ... golf ... these jokes write themselves.
Preview: Colorado Avalanche at Nashville Predators (8 p.m. EST; TV: FSS). Pekka Rinne gets another start for the Preds in goal, and check out why: "The Predators have an informal rule about sticking with a goaltender who has produced a shutout." So all Rinne has to do to take Dan Ellis's job is not allow a goal for the rest of the season.
• Blue Jackets forward Derek Dorsett on whether he studies up for fights: "For sure. A couple of times a week I will go on hockeyfights.com. It's not that I'm studying them, but you want to know if a guy is a lefty or a righty. It's not that I take a pen and a piece of paper, but I do look at it." Awesome. [Dispatch]
Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs at Phoenix Coyotes (9 p.m. EST; TV: RSN, FSAZ, Yahoo! Sports). Mikael Tellqvist gets another start for the Yotes. The Toronto media is obsessed about Phoenix's financial fortunes in a "we want to steal one of our teams back" kind of way.
Preview: Columbus Blue Jackets at San Jose Sharks (10:30 p.m. EST; TV: CSBA). Tom Cavanagh is really surprised that Tom Cavanagh has been called up by the Sharks. Meanwhile, Stefan Legein has found his smile and will rejoin the Blue Jackets soon, after quitting hockey earlier this year.
• Finally, does Kitchener know that Crazy P is coming to town to rock this house? Because, seriously, someone should tell them. Now.