Wed Feb 03 02:13pm EST
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.
UPDATE: Reports are that Don Waddell has told Kovalchuk he's being traded.
• Bill Tiller, blogger for the Atlanta Journal Constitution, believes that Ilya Kovalchuk's(notes) time with the Thrash is at an end: "I feel that Kovy has indeed left the building. Not just the 'building' that is Philips Arena...but the 'building' that has gone on for a decade now with so little to show for it." On top of that, he reports, via 680's John Kincade, that "Kari Lehtonen has played his last game as a Thrasher and he will be moved potentially to Dallas or St. Louis." [Ice Man]
• Bit of intrigue on the Ilya Kovalchuk trade front Tuesday night, as From The Rink reported "Sources: Ilya Kovalchuk Close To Being Traded To The Kings." (Later changed to "source.") The news hit social media, which promoted Bob McKenzie of TSN to call it premature. The Falconer swooped in and defended the reporting of SB Nation and his blog, Bird Watchers Anonymous, with a passionate post titled "Trade Rumors, Bob McKenzie and Me" that dealt with his sourcing and how close a trade really is for the Thrashers. Interesting stuff that'll only get more interesting if a Kovy-to-Kings trade goes down.
• Adrian Dater's plan for improving attendance at Colorado Avalanche games includes brighter lights and more Beatles music. Also, by proxy, fewer whippersnappers with their baggy pants and their crazy hair. [Denver Post]
• Former NHL GM Mike Smith(notes) on the secret to success: "If you want to give your team a chance to win every night, get a goalie, a real goalie. Otherwise, you will fail at GM 101. That's OK, every GM fails at this. If you are lucky to retake GM 101, get a goalie." [THN]
• Interesting look at the players who have faced the toughest competition in the last three season. Checking line guys like Rob Niedermayer(notes), John Madden(notes) and Sammy Pahlsson make the list; so do defensemen like Willie Mitchell(notes), Niklas Lidstrom and Duncan Keith(notes). The big surprise, according to Behind the Net: Ryan Kesler(notes). [BtN]
• "Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Antti Niemi(notes) is sick and will be replaced by Cristobal Huet(notes) Wednesday night against the St. Louis Blues." Sick, huh? Sounds like someone came down with a case of the Inglourious Backes Flu. [ESPN Chicago]
• East vs. West "who's better" debates aren't just for the NHL. [Slam]
• The NHL will broadcast six AHL games on NHL Network, including the League's first outdoor game in Syracuse, which is awesome. Not so awesome: The inexplicable absence of the 37-9-0 Hershey Bears from that schedule. [NHL]
• Sadly, this is what passes for hockey coverage by a columnist in LA. [LA Times]
• We shall appear on the Defending Big D podcast Wednesday night, and there shall be live phone calls! [Defending Big D]
• Reasons why the Ken Hitchcock Firing Pool should begin. [Dark Blue Jackets]
• Matt Frattin, University of North Dakota hockey player who was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2007, has been acquitted of DUI. [AP]
• Erin Nicks offers a Fisherwood update. [Universal Cynic]
• The New York Islanders Valentines Baby Crawl: "Up to five babies will compete on the ten foot crawl track on the ice during the first intermission of the Islanders versus the Tampa Bay Lightning game on Saturday, February 13 at 2 p.m." The best part? Watching those little buggers try and crawl out of the Zamboni's way. [Islanders]
• Ted Leonsis on the Washington Capitals' 11-game winning streak, regular-season accomplishments: "We deserve our success. We are what our record says we are. At least for one shining moment." [Ted's Take]
• The Capitals winning streak has made the world safe again for Spinal Tap references. [Mr. Irrelevant]
• Great job by DC Landing Strip on this video of Ovechkin enacting his revenge on Johnny Boychuk(notes) of the Boston Bruins for a solid check; and an even better job by Dan Steinberg of breaking the sequence down. [DC Sports Bog]
• Finally, how NBC is pimping the Alex Ovechkin vs. Sidney Crosby(notes) showdown. This is noteworthy because it's always interesting to see how the NHL's TV partners promote big game, and because NBC used the wrong logo for the Capitals for most of the morning. (Great line by Puck Buddy Two Eight Nine: "Caps fans are only upset because they've never seen that logo before.")