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.

Phoenix Coyotes right wing Shane Doan(notes), Ottawa Senators goaltender Brian Elliott(notes) and Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom(notes) have been named the NHL 'Three Stars' for the week ending Jan. 31. Also, the Olympic headshots for Backstrom, Alex Ovechkin(notes) and Alex Semin will haunt your dreams like the end of "Paranormal Activity" played on a continuous loop. [NHL]

• Is there a difference of six years between what the Capitals want to give Backstrom and what Backstrom is looking for in his next contract? [Japers' Rink]

• The ratings for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings on NBC were down slightly from last weekend but up from last year's game. [Puck The Media]

• Hey, remember all the fun about the Olli Jokinen-to-the-Rangers trade last night? Bob McKenzie reports it still could happen, but that the Flames may have waited on the deal because they wanted Jokinen in the lineup tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers. So apparently, there's only one man who can keep this deal from happening: Daniel Carcillo(notes). [TSN]

• Huzzah! Mike Cammalleri's injury for the Montreal Canadiens is not season-ending! Just really, really not-good. [Sportsnet]

Dion Phaneuf(notes) takes Garnet Exelby's(notes) No. 3 for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Meanwhile at practice, fellow former Calgary Flames player Fredrik Sjostrom(notes) is skating with Rickard Wallin(notes) and Nikolai Kulemin(notes), while a shortage of available bodies has forced defenseman Jeff Finger(notes) to skate with Lee Stempniak(notes) and John Mitchell(notes); making Finger, for the moment, the most overpaid forward on the team. [Sun Media]

• Pension Plan Puppets has a delirious collection of Leafs links on the trades. [PPP]

• It's Patrick Marleau(notes) Facts! Think of them as the anti-Gary Roberts(notes) Facts. "Marleau was approached at a bar once by a woman; it turned out she had left her coat on the back of his chair." [Battle of California]

• Great work by Dirk Hoag on the strength of NHL schedules for the rest of the season. Tough road for the Dallas Stars; surprisingly easy one for the New Jersey Devils; and at least six teams have seven back-to-back game situations left on schedule. [On The Forecheck]

• Great column on the Slap-Shot shenanigans going on in the IHL these days, including hired goons. [Flint Journal, via Jai]

• Defenseman Adam McQuaid(notes) has been called up from Providence to the Boston Bruins on an emergency basis. [Bruins Blog]

• Puck Buddy Pat wanted a dishonorable mention for "Lecavalier getting tossed at the end of the WAS-TB game and subsequently the faceoff getting moved down to Tampa's zone. AJ Perez of FanHouse follows up on that story after the Tampa Bay Lightning's loss to the Washington Capitals, writing that Vinny believes the Caps worked the refs. [FanHouse, and more from Lightning Strikes]

• A few readers have tipped us to a story regarding a gay-bashing preacher -- who bastardizes the Bible for his own twisted, hateful purposes -- speaking out against hockey. You can read about it elsewhere, because we're not giving this ass his due -- not even for comedic fodder. Sermon over. 

Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford says that the future of Rod Brind'Amour(notes) is "a decision for the offseason." He also said the Hurricanes are too old, and that will have to change before the trade deadline. So Matt Cullen(notes) (33), Niclas Wallin(notes) (34) and Aaron Ward(notes) (37) then? [Times News]

• Pittsburgh Penguins winger Matt Cooke(notes) has a shockingly high opinion of his game and place in he NHL; like a clown at a children's party who calls his balloon-making skills his "art." [Post-Gazette]

• Really interesting piece from Lighthouse Hockey concerning the salary cap and its implications on trades, with a focus on GM Garth Snow of the New York Islanders. From the post: "With the Isles' five-game losing streak pushing them to the bottom of the East bubble and the Olympic trade freeze coming shortly before the deadline, I know how many of us are thinking: There are laborious contracts attached to good players out there to be had, it'd sure be nice if Garth could land one or two of 'em." [LH]

• Fisherwood at the Grammys. No word if Mike Fisher(notes) wore 3-D glasses while Carrie was rocking out in the Michael Jackson tribute ... or staring at Beyonce like the rest of the red-blooded males. [AP]

• When you're The Universal Cynic, handling the good vibes of a nine-game winning streak for the Ottawa Senators isn't easy. [Nicks]

• Tough questions about the Colorado Avalanche at this point in the season, such as: "Do Paul Stastny's(notes) 11 goals and 48 points justify his $6.6 million salary?" [Denver Post]

• Really wonderful feature on St. Louis Blues Coach Davis Payne, including life lessons: "I believe you can't deny hard work, you can't deny doing the right thing. The process is where your breaks happen. It's just being faithful to that process. If you get too far-sighted, that's where planning can go (astray). If every single day you take care of the things you believe in, everything is going to work out." [Post Dispatch, via St. Louis Game Time]

• Two hours before a QMJHL game, Patrice Cormier(notes) and Mikael Tam met face to face for the first time since Cormier's elbow on Tam. [Slam! Sports]

• Is our buddy Kevin Smith in a race to produce a hockey goon movie with director Jason Reitman? Oh nos! [News Askew, stick-tap to John D.]

• Sort of Not Hockey: We link this Will Arnett video interview because he admits to being a Toronto Maple Leafs fan and ... well, Will Arnett, ladies and gentlemen. [HitFix]

• Patrick Hoffman interviews the venerable Bob McKenzie. [Goal Line Report]

• William Houston looks at the chronology on who broke the trade first, applauding Darren Dreger's efforts on TSN. If nothing else, Dreger's reporting and the way the news broke is a reminder that paying for "insider" information is lighting up your money and inhaling the fumes. [Truth and Rumours]

• Bruce Ciskie takes a Kovalchuk-to-the-Flames focused look at yesterday's trade fun. [Ciskie]

• Nice piece on the former Leafs now playing in Calgary, including whether or not Ian White(notes) feels he's a replacement for Phaneuf. [Calgary Herald]

• Awesome note from Dan Rosen of NHL.com: "Not long ago, Buffalo captain Craig Rivet(notes) realized he was constantly getting asked about Myers' by the local and national media, so he instituted a $5 fine to Myers for every time he fielded another question about the burgeoning young defenseman." Hopefully the kid has a Calder bonus built into his contract. [NHL]

• Finally, everyone's favorite unabashed homer Chico Resch discusses Jarret Stoll's(notes) hummers. [The Royal Half]

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