Puck Daddy - NHL

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.

Erik Johnson(notes) has signed a two-year deal worth $5.2 million with the St. Louis Blues this morning. That's two more year of no golf cart polo for the former No. 1 overall pick. [STL Today]

• The Thrashers and Rangers made a trade this morning with Atlanta sending center Todd White(notes) to New York in exchange for Donald Brashear(notes) and Patrick Rissmiller(notes). Brashear is expected to be bought out by the club this week. [AJC]

• What hurt the Chicago Blackhawks chances of bringing back Antti Niemi(notes)? That sneaky Doug Wilson offer sheet for Niklas Hjalmarsson(notes). [Daily Herald]

• On a conference call after the news, Chicago GM Stan Bowman said there was a multi-year offer on the table for Niemi before arbitration, but the goaltender's agent denies that. Bowman also said he's now set his sights on Cristobal Huet(notes). [Hockey Independent]

• More reaction from Second City Hockey.

• Jonathan Willis likes the move to bring in Marty Turco(notes): "I'm not saying Niemi's a bad goaltender - far from it.  I think he's quite a decent one, not a high-end starter but a guy who is going to have a good career. But the goaltending market the last few years has been one that favours buyers: lots of goaltenders, not much cap space, and not very many jobs." [The Score]

• Richard Bloch has been named the arbiter in this week'sgrievance hearing for Ilya Kovalchuk(notes). You might remember Bloch as the man four spots ahead of Wysh in The Hockey News' list of "100 People of Power and Influence" two years ago. And with Wysh being a Devils fan and all, it was fitting that he wrote at the time: "OK, so this dude seems pretty important, actually. And he also seems like someone who knows someone else who could make life pretty hard on us if we talk smack about him. So congratulations, sir; should have been much, much higher, and that's a lovely tie you're wearing as well." Will that kissing up pay off this week? [Bergen Record]

• Larry Brooks says the NHL is trying to go around the current CBA in the Kovalchuk case. [NY Post]

• The NHL Network's "Raising the Cup" summer series featuring the every Cup-clinching game since 1975 has been fantastic to watch. This week's schedule kicks off with Game 4 of the 1995 Final between Detroit and New Jersey. [NHL.com]

• Fluto Shinzawa on what he'd replace the NHL All Star Game with: "It would be a better use of everyone's time to turn the Winter Classic (Washington vs. Pittsburgh at Heinz Field on New Year's Day) into the sport's yearly midseason celebration. Capped, preferably, by Alex Ovechkin(notes) running over the potty-mouthed Maxime Talbot." [Boston Globe]

• Via Puck Buddy Mark M. comes this photo from Milan Lucic's(notes) Rock and Jock charity softball website that features the Boston Bruins forward as ... a righty?

Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon missed the cut at this past weekend's U.S. Senior Open after shooting a +22 after the opening two rounds. He averaged 273 yards driving, but finished with 10 bogeys and three double bogeys. [US Senior Open]

• Y'know, it's been a while since we've had a Peter Forsberg(notes) update. Surprise, surprise, his foot feels good and he wants to play again. [Kevin Allen via Twitter]

• So President Obama attended a WNBA game in D.C. before he visited Verizon Center for a Washington Capitals tilt? Ouch. At least Caps owner sat with Obama and likely pounded the idea into his head. [Baltimore Sun]

UPDATE: Via Leonsis' blog, Obama wanted to come to a Caps playoff game, but on a date that came after the first round. The Prez did promise to get to a game next season.

• Keeping busy in his post-hockey life, Georges Laraque(notes) has joined TerraSphere, a company that aids in the growing or organic fruit and vegetables, as a spokesperson. [MarketWatch]

• An update on the Pittsburgh Penguins Ice Crew auditions. [Penguins]

• If you haven't heard, congrats to Down Goes Brown for taking his unmatchable comedy to the National Post. [DGB]

• Ken Campbell in high praise of the ageless Nicklas Lidstrom(notes). [The Hockey News]

• One of the eight teams that improved the most this off-season according to Allan Muir? The Calgary Flames. [SportsIllustrated]

• Bob Wage on the NHLPA's upcoming anniversary of their being without a head man in charge. [From the Rink]

• Finally, remember that time Tom Green filled in for David Letterman and interviewed Scott Stevens? Neither did I.

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