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Sidney Crosby contract update; agent denies Thomas motives; 66 shows with higher ratings than Cup Final (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.

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IIHF

• The Russians won their 26th IIHF world title. They each received a ring with "gold, diamonds, 26 rubies and sapphires," according to the IIHF. Slowly, the tops of their rings are morphing into the LCD display on an alarm clock.

Tim Thomas' agent Bill Zito swears his client's vow to take a year away from the NHL is not simply to pressure the Boston Bruins to trade him to a desired destination. [Bruins Blog]

• Interesting look at the Tim Thomas situation and the CBA. [Stanley Cup of Chowder]

• Ray Shero puts over Marc-Andre Fleury and Tomas Vokoun as one of the best goaltending tandems in the NHL, and says it's a move meant to help and not freak out starter Marc-Andre Fleury. [Penguins]

• Powerful story about the legacy of Ian Jenkins, a top goaltending prospect who died after falling off a truck last May. [THW]

• Los Angeles Kings Coach Darryl Sutter on being called a Zen Master: "You ask Mark Spector. He knows I'm not one of them Zen guys. here I come from, Zen, that's…" [Fire & Ice]

• Philadelphia Flyers fans are "officially" Kings fans now that Simon Gagne is playing for them. [Broad Street Hockey]

Sidney Crosby is entering the last year of his contract. What will the Pittsburgh Penguins do? Writes Josh Yohe: "Crosby's camp is seeking a lengthy deal, one the Penguins anticipate being at least seven years in term — possibly 10 or more. Crosby has said he does not expect any problems working out a new contract to remain with the Penguins. Under Shero the most term committed to any player was the seven-year deal with Fleury during the 2008 offseason." [Tribune]

• More "While The Men Watch" fallout. Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe & Mail has knives out: "We didn't set out to hate the concept. Seeing two sorta' hockey fans give a female spin could be a hoot in the hands and tongues of a couple of witty Kristen Wiigs. Especially as the 2012 Stanley Cup final is about as compelling as Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's weight-loss drive. Sadly, we were left with the duo of Lena and Jules (Lena Sutherland and Jules Mancuso), whose idea of sparkling repartee on the simulcast Saturday was asking whether listeners would prefer a full Brazilian depilatory ("mowing the lawn") or licking the inside of Drew Doughty's protective cup." [G&M]

• Also, here's Jenn asking a question: "Can you be an outward fangirl and still be taken seriously as a fanatic?" [Not Another Hockey Blog]

• Here are 66 shows that had better TV viewership than Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. [Buzzfeed]

• Evgeny Kuznetsov, to the surprise of no one, signs a two-year deal in the KHL. [Capitals Insider]

• Here is a video called "Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green read their Tweets."

• Ellen Etchingham on Derek Boogaard and drug addiction: "In our alarm over CTE and brain trauma, we focus entirely on causes, but what if we're wrong about the causes? What if the problem isn't really concussions at all? What if concussions, in the end, only account for a small fraction of hockey-related psychological problems? What if we reduce concussions and pat ourselves on the back for doing something while dozens of players are still suffering the exact same problems Boogaard had due to chronic pain, closeted mental illness, and dysfunctional treatments for both?" [Backhand Shelf]

• Andy Strickland on the future of St. Louis Blues management: "The window for President John Davidson to choose to leave the organization expires this week. Should Davidson elect to stay, the Blues could possibly negotiate a buyout. Davidson has politely declined to comment and it's unclear what will happen with his contract." [TrueHockey]

• St. Louis Blues GM Doug Armstrong: "There have been inaccurate reports stating that Vladimir Tarasenko has signed a contract to play hockey in Russia," Blues general manager Doug Armstrong said. "I have confirmed with the player and his agent that these reports are 100% false and Vladimir is committed to join our organization for the upcoming season. We will have no further comment on this matter."  [STL Today]

• Steve Mason isn't leaving the Columbus Blue Jackets, but the team will have a new starting netminder in 2012-13. [Puck-Rakers]

• Dallas Eakins signs a three-year deal with the Marlies. [CP]

• Why don't players want to sign with the Anaheim Ducks? Perhaps it's about the management: "GM Bob Murray is almost non-existent until it is absolutely necessary for him to make a public comment. When the team is in a rut, his typical M.O. is to generally threaten all players that they are expendable. He's the least accessible, hardest to read GM in the NHL. I can only assume that he spends all his time deep within Castle Greyskull, formulating how he's going to shock people next." [Anaheim Calling]

• Isn't it nice when you're two wins away from the Stanley Cup and you just closed a $250 million TV deal? [Puck Drunk Love]

• Off-beat take on Game 2 of the Final from Paul Brownfield, including stick measuring. [NYT]

• Tomas Holmstrom is leading a parade? What, do the cars in back of him just idle? [Malik]

• Finally, cool stuff from Rich Hammond: "How did our friends in Slovenia enjoy their Game 2 watch party? Quite well, it seems. Once again, fans gathered in and near Anze Kopitar's hometown of Jesenice to watch the game in pre-dawn hours — the game started at 2:22 a.m. local time — and cheered at the end." (Volume warning, BTW — loud video)

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