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Ukraine withdraws as 2015 WC hosts; hockey hits Asia; Lundqvist's wet look (Puck Headlines)

Jen Neale
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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• Haven't seen smiles like this in a Vancouver uniform in a while, eh? The Canucks are partnering with two hockey schools in China, and these adorable tiny tots are the first to take to the ice. [Vancouver Canucks]

• Former-NHL'er Jim Paek realizes the monumental task ahead of him in attempting to build a hockey program in his native South Korea, especially if he wants them to take to the ice in the 2018 Games hosted by the country. [New York Times]

• Citing the political instability in the region, Ukraine withdraws its bid to host the 2015 Division I Group A IIHF World Championships. The country was approved to host in the first round of voting. A new location will be decided in a month. [IIHF]

• Phenomenal, plain-English, analysis of concussions in sport, and the role helmets play in the attempts to reduce them. [Undisclosed Injury]

• The Arizona Coyotes' arena has been renamed the 'Gila River Arena' to honor the ruling band of gila monsters that roam the desert of Arizona (latter not confirmed). Here are 39 rejected names for the former-Jobing.com rink. [Five For Howling]

• Incredible analysis of the zone exit stats for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Why is this important? "...situational statistics like zone entries and exits are part of our attempt to gain a better understanding of what contributions particular players are making and where on the ice they're making them." [Pension Plan Puppets]

• Ducks sign RFA forward Drako Malfoy Jakob Silfverberg to a one-year contract with a reported cap-hit of $850,500. Silfverberg was acquired by Anaheim in the trade sending Bobby Ryan to Ottawa. [Anaheim Ducks]

• Modeled after the UEFA Champions league (soccer), a North American hockey-version is pitched. It would include the NHL, AHL and ECHL clubs. [Anaheim Calling]

• There is absolutely no way Ilya Kovalchuk will re-join the Devils this season or any season in the future...probably. He's 31 and can't return to the NHL until he's 35. The Lou has spoken. [NJ.com]

• Holman Field in St. Paul, Minnesota is hosting an outdoor game! Buuuuut the Wild aren't playing in it. To celebrate Hockey Day Minnesota, two outdoor games will be played by in-state rival prep teams. To cap off the day, the Wild will play the Coyotes - indoors. [Minnesota Wild]

• Ilya Bryzgalov's time with the Wild is definitely over. Both Josh Harding (MS) and Niklas Backstrom (abdominal surgery) are "doing really well," according to Minnesota GM Chuck Fletcher. He anticipates the two goaltenders will pass their camp physicals and join the team as scheduled. [Star Tribune]

• The Dallas Stars defense has a problem Derek Zoolander knows all too well - they aren't ambi-turners (more-or-less). [Defending Big D]

• Tyler Johnson is a little man playing like a giant for the Lightning. [Bolts By The Bay]

• Winnipeg's Mark Scheifele had an up and down first full season with the Jets. Is he primed for a break out or destined to remain average? [Jets Nation]

• Few team, if any, feel sorry for the Blackhawks and their position at $2.22-million over the salary cap. Players will be moved to clear room. (Where have we heard this before?!) So, who is going to go? Perhaps Nick Leddy and/or Johnny Oduya? [BlackhawkUp]

• Rob Blake chats about his first year on the job as sssistant to the general manager, and reflects on his upcoming jersey retirement this season. [Frozen Royalty]

• Silly Senators. They're getting rid of one jersey that everyone likes (because that's totally logical). Sillier Sens fans, you know you'll still buy the new ones. [Welcome To Your Karlsson Years]

• Is it training camp yet? These guys need the distraction. 40 street hockey players in Nanaimo, B.C. broke the Guinness World Record for the longest game ever played at 105 hours and 44 minutes (four days). Only problem, Guinness has yet to certify the game as 'record setting'. Dude. How mad would you be if you played and they didn't certify it? [CBC]

• Surrounded by members of his family, Derek Hulak of the Texas Stars brought the Calder Cup to his mother's grave as tribute and a thank you for all her years as 'the ultimate hockey mom.' Hulak's mother, Alina, passed away from cancer in 2007. [The StarPhoenix]

Helloooo, Nurse! The always charming, fashion-forward Henrik Lundqvist takes the ice bucket challenge. Dry or soaked, he's still fun to look at. [CBS Sports]

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