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.

• Nino Niederreiter stretches the New York Islanders' sweater letter budget to breaking point; may only be able to re-sign Richard Park(notes).

• There is a Facebook petition to have Bob Probert included in NHL 2011 as a tribute to the late brawler. What, like as a hidden boss you have to fight after winning the Cup in Be A Player mode? Before you can save the princess? [Facebook]

• Pierre LeBrun speaks with Evgeni Nabokov(notes) about retreating to Russia. [ESPN]

• Rich Hammond on the Los Angeles Kings talking with Kovalchuk again: "One day, there might be a good book written about this Ilya Kovalchuk(notes) story. Only problem is, nobody will be able to follow the plot." [Kings Insider]

• Lou Lamoriello was candid as usual when asked to comment about the Los Angeles Kings getting back in the Kovalchuk Derby. [Fire & Ice]

• Are the Devils just looking pathetically desperate in chasing Kovy? [Puck Update]

• Our own Dmitry Chesnokov said that Nikolai Zherdev(notes) to the Philadelphia Flyers was a done deal, but Philly media is saying not quite yet. The 700 Level takes a look at the fit if it happens. [700 Level]

Jeff Schultz(notes) of the Washington Capitals gets $11 million over 4 years for being on the ice when his teammates score goals. (OK, in fairness, it's a nice deal for the Caps and Schultz was smart to avoid arbitration.) [Japers' Rink]

• From the Dept. or Wishful Thinking: Michael Nylander(notes) is on waivers. Unless, of course, someone staring at the salary floor needs the contract ... [Capitals Insider]

• Sabres sign Niedermayer. [Sabres]

• Mike Chen takes a gander at the unrestricted free agents that are still left on the market. What lucky team will welcome Andy Hilbert(notes) into their lives? [From The Rink]

• Really thoughtful piece by Derek Zona about homophobia in the NHL and how the League needs to be proactive about snuffing it out: "The NHL, the franchises, the owners and the players are a well-funded group with access to every major media outlet in North America. Brendan Burke blazed a trail, Brian Burke and Brent Sopel(notes) followed his ideals and ideas and showed the world how the NHL could act -- it's time for the rest of the league and the media to follow suit." [Copper & Blue]

Patrick Eaves(notes) re-signs with the Detroit Red Wings for one year. [NHL]

• NCAA standout Corey Tropp signs with the Buffalo Sabres. [CHN]

• The more things change, the more they stay the same: Steve Yzerman says the Tampa Bay Lightning will have a glut of defensemen next season. [Lightning Strikes]

Florida Panthers sign defenseman Nathan Paetsch(notes) to a one-year deal. Plan. The. Parade. [Litter Box Cats]

• Well here's a switcheroo: Someone saying the Chicago Blackhawks are a good example of cap management. [SI]

• Ah, things are back to normal now: "Chicago: Case Study in Poor Cap Management." [OFB]

Nikita Filatov(notes) could be up to 190 pounds by next season and wants to play for the Columbus Blue Jackets. [Dispatch]

• Nice piece on Darcy Tucker(notes) and some of the other ancient free agents waiting to see the market determine their fates this summer. Says Tucker's agent: "He wants to play. It's got to be the right situation. He's not looking to play just to play. He's looking first and foremost at a chance to win and secondly because it's the sport he loves." [National Post]

• All signs point to the Vancouver Canucks trading Kevin Bieksa(notes) to another team that will wait patiently for his next freakish skate-related injury. [Vancouver Province]

• Interesting takes by Keith Tkachuk(notes) on the St. Louis Blues now that Walt retired: "The one guy who has a big chance at being a superstar in the league is Erik Johnson(notes). ... He's a guy who has to learn to play 25 to 30 minutes a night like the other elite defenseman and make a major impact. I know he can do that. You need puck-moving defenseman and he's definitely a puck-moving defenseman." [THN]

• Finally, as a book-end to our first headline about Probert, here's a tribute to his NHLPA 93 career:

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