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.

• You know, the USA might be stinking up the IIHF world championships (more on that later today), but at least they didn't lose to a VIKINGSTAD-less Norway for the first time in 73 years, eh Czechs and Mr. Jagr? [IIHF]

• When it's Game 7 in the Pittsburgh Penguins/Montreal Canadiens series and your back's against the wall, where else would you turn for a hero than to Michael Cammalleri(notes)? Oh, Sidney Crosby(notes)? Sure he might work too. [Post Gazette]

Detroit Red Wings Coach Mike Babcock is rather convinced that Nicklas Lidstrom(notes) will be back next season: "I think he'll be back. I'm not in the least bit concerned about that. He's got too much good hockey left in him. And I believe if he did not think that we had a good chance to win he might be different. But I believe he's just like the rest of us, and we believe we're going to be right back knocking on the door." [Slap Shot]

• Mitch Albom on the Wings: "Tomas Holmstrom is 37. Brian Rafalski(notes) is 36. Kris Draper(notes) is 38. Even Pavel Datsyuk(notes), Johan Franzen(notes), Zetterberg and Cleary will be in their 30s by next postseason. The Wings have some youth, but are those young players future stars? As for Jimmy Howard(notes), he's solid and we all agree he shakes things off. But has he shown that he can steal games and carry a team to a title? At best that's a question mark. And so is next season." [Freep]

• BD with a fact-check on the New York Islanders/New York Mets notion Ken Campbell floated. [HI]

• The Chicago Blackhawks have their luggage for the Western Conference finals against the San Jose Sharks with them in Vancouver for Game 6 against the Canucks. Cue the obvious "playoff baggage" metaphors. [Province]

• Ruh-roh: "The largest investor in the Blues, the private-equity firm Towerbrook Capital Partners, has notified club owner Dave Checketts that it is divesting its interest in the club." [Post Dispatch]

• The Tampa Bay Lightning look like monsters this morning after agent Allan Walsh told the Star Tribune that the team refused to pay for Client Stephane Veilleux's(notes) shoulder surgery because it was not "hockey-related." The NHLPA is expected to file a grievance on the players' behalf. This isn't uncommon for the PA; that the story, and the juicy details, hit the newspaper is quite uncommon ... but compelling. [Star Tribune]

• Dave Nonis pulls himself out of the running for the Tampa Bay Lightning GM job to stay longer with the Toronto Maple Leafs answering Brian Burke's phone. [TSN]

• But does Nonis's decision mean Steve Yzerman is Tampa-bound? George Malik has his doubts. [Snapshots]

• Good take from the Kurtenbloggers on the Vancouver Canucks, with a dash of Lloyd Christmas. [KB]

• What Pierre LeBrun learned Monday. [ESPN]

• It's hard to see the Montreal Canadiens as Cinderella, in the sense that Cinderella was a de facto maid rather than a trust-fund baby. Nonetheless, it's a love-fest for the underdogs. From The Hockey News: "Here they are, an unlikely band of bleu, blanc et rouge ramblers whose plight was best summed up by their best skater after he scored two goals in Game 6 to help force the most meaningful hockey game the Habs have played in almost 20 years." [THN]

• We know this is hard for Canadiens fans, so much respect for their willingness to admit mistakes. [Eyes On The Prize]

• The Minnesota Wild are doing a rather cool offseason road-trip thing in which players can come to your house. Finally, Boogaard in your boudoir! [Wild]

• The 13 greatest goalie masks in pop culture. [Gunaxin]

• Kent Wilson on the nonsensical pop-psychology analysis from some hockey pundits, focusing on the San Jose Sharks and Colorado Avalanche. [Five Hole Fanatics]

• Japers' Rink evaluates a divisive figure for Capitals fans: Defenseman Joe Corvo(notes). [Japers']

• In a chat with the Washington Post, Washington Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau was asked if the travel delays the team had after Game 4 affected the team for Game 5 agianst the Habs: "I think the fog flight had a profound effect on us. The players missed an entire night of sleep and got out of their routine. We missed practice the following day and it showed in the first 10 minutes of Game 5, when Montreal scored both their goals." [OFB]

• Part 2 of a very in-depth analysis of New Jersey Devils free agent defenseman Paul Martin(notes) and his actual value. [In Lou We Trust]

• The Dallas Stars are getting close to a 3-year contract extension for goalie Kari Lehtonen(notes), who will be healthy for roughly 1-and-3-quarters of those years. [DMN]

Marty Turco(notes) would be a waste of money. [Hockey or Die]

• In praise of Scott Fartsmell. [Philly.com]

• Finally, for your nostalgic jolt of the day, fire up the SNES for Brett Hull Hockey.

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