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.

• The Pittsburgh Penguins sign free-agent defenseman and noted Marilyn Monroe impersonator (from Dan Hinote's wedding) Jay McKee(notes) to a one-year deal for the bargain-basement price of under $1 million, according to Pierre LeBrun. Please to be recalling that McKee was bought out by the Blues. [ESPN]

• The Pensblog is quite pleased with the Pittsburgh Penguins snagging McKee for their blue line. He was underwhelming for the St. Louis Blues, but that's probably due to the price tag/return on investment thing more than anything else. (Although he was a little fragile.) But if you're sold on McKee for his shot blocking ... well, Manute Bol isn't Bill Russell, you know? [Pensblog]

• Darren Dreger reports that the NHL has approached both the IIHF and KHL to intervene in the signing of Jiri Hudler(notes) by Dynamo Moscow, taking the position that being a restricted free agent is akin to "acknowledgement of his intent to play in the NHL next year." So an RFA without a new contract "intends" to play in the NHL next season, but being a restricted free agent doesn't guarantee his employment ... OK, then. Imagine if the players actually had an activist union on their side for matters such as these. (Ed. Note: A couple of readers point out in the comments that it's the salary arbitration, rather than the RFA status, at issue for Hudler. Which is something I boneheadedly left out here.) [TSN]

• In case he does actually go to the KHL, here's life after Jiri Hudler for the Detroit Red Wings: Go with the reserves or bring in some help from the outside? [Snapshots]

The awesomely bearded Paul Mara(notes) signs a one-year deal with the Montreal Canadiens, who are apparently coveting veteran defensemen with an iceberg's mobility. [Hockey Fights]

Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk said that Dany Heatley(notes) could return to the team next season under the cap and with good vibes from the fans and teammates with "a lot of work." He also said that Alex Kovalev's signing has caused a massive spike in ticket sales. Then a unicorn galloped by and it started raining gumdrops. [Sun Media]

• The New Jersey Devils sign former New York Islanders netminder Yann Danis(notes), but Lou Lamoriello claims Kevin Weekes(notes) isn't out of the picture yet. [Star Ledger]

• The Devils and the New York Rangers could both be interested in Sergei Zubov's(notes) brittle hip and power-play prowess. But more importantly, the Devils could very well begin their developmental camp without a head coach. Who sent Lemaire his contract? Dale Tallon? [Fire & Ice]

• Good stuff from Mirtle on the Chicago Blackhawks and their bonus cushion situation, in regards to being so close to the cap. [From The Rink]

• Second City Hockey vehemently defends the money Cam Barker's(notes) getting paid from the Blackhawks in his recently signed deal. A worthy post if only to remind the world that Bryan McCabe(notes) is making $5.7 million. [Second City Hockey]

• Why Cody Hodgson(notes) could go bizonkers for the Vancouver Canucks next season. [Canwest]

Rob Blake(notes) believes the San Jose Sharks remain Stanley Cup contenders: "I consider (the Sharks) a Cup contender. Anytime you win a Presidents' Trophy, you have to be considered a contender." Or a candidate to lose in the conference quarterfinals. One of the two. [NHL]

• John Tavares speaks in a monotone about being a cog in the machine, a piece of the puzzle and just another name on the roster while posing with a subtle newspaper cover. [Getty]

• In true Rangers fashion, Scotty Hockey is wonder how long it will take the faithful to start calling recently signed forward Ales Kotalik(notes) by the name "Alice." Honestly, it all depends on how many times the Rangers go to the shootout in the next three years. [Scotty Hockey]

• The Carolina Hurricanes appear ready to let Anton Babchuk(notes) and his power play cannon go. Then again, Chad LaRose(notes) was toast too before the Canes reversed course and re-signed him. [News & Observer]

• JP offers a rather elaborate mock arbitration case for Milan Jurcina(notes) and the Washington Capitals. Spoiler warning: He gets a mythical $1,545,000 for the 2009-10 contract season. [Japers' Rink]

• The mysterious "other offer" for the Phoenix Coyotes comes to light: a group of Canadians who claim their plan "at this point" is to keep the team in Arizona. Are we past the point at which prospective owners even have to feign dedication to the region and its fans anymore? [Globe & Mail]

• Darren Pang joins the St. Louis Blues broadcasting crew. Best color commentator in the organization still the team president. [St. Louis Game Time]

• Mercury News hockey writer David Pollak speaks out against the critics who have evidently made life quite unpleasant on his hockey blog: "To the critics: If my boss wants to know how many times I'm calling an agent, I'm glad to tell him. Some hothead in here? Not so much." [Working The Corners]

• Holding out hope that Jason Spezza(notes) can save face and join the Team Canada camp now that Joe Sakic(notes) retired. [Sportsnet]

• Finally, via Mile High Hockey, Sakic says goodbye:

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