September 05, 2011
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.
• In order to increase their hand-eye coordination, the Carolina Hurricanes have decided to play their entire games in virtual reality next season; opponents will be depicted as angry cupcakes and games will be played on an the surface of an asteroid. (Actually, they're using Nike Vapor Strobe glasses during the summer, the only NHL team to do so. The glasses aren't worn during play and allegedly improve an athlete's vision while making him look like Hancock. Now that's what I call a close encounter/welcome to Errph.) [News & Observer]
• Former Washington Capitals captain (and all-around good dude) Chris Clark(notes) gets a tryout deal with the Boston Bruins. We have a feeling this is a conditioning/audition thing for Clark, and a nice way to light some fires under asses in camp for the B's. [Kirk's Call]
• Steven Ovadia on the disposable NHL veteran: "My hope is that GMs and coaches will look at the events of this summer and realize just how vulnerable players are. While one can't expect GMs to hold onto players who can't do what they're needed to do, perhaps they can make more of an effort to retain players, even if there's a slightly younger, slightly cheaper alternative in the pipeline." [Puck Update]
• Really solid interview with Riley Cote(notes) about the NHL and prescription drug abuse: "When I took a pill, I knew how bad they were for me, but what's a guy to do? Your knuckles, your head are swollen, you're out of options. Sure, you could suck it up, I guess. But if you want something, there's a way to get it. Nobody's pushing it on you, but you can get it if you want it. Ultimately, it's up to the individual. Some people are more liberal about it and others aren't educated and don't realize how much damage it can do." [Men's Health]
• Yahoo! Fantasy Hockey draft survival guide. [OGA]
• Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov(notes) shares the (true) story of how Alex Ovechkin(notes) prank-called Bruce Boudreau on April Fool's Day, telling him to call Ted Leonsis immediately or he'd be fired. "The coach was swearing like a sailor!" when he found out it was a ruse. Wait, Boudreau … cursing? Doesn't [expletive] sound like [expletive] him. [Alex Ovetjkin]
• Speaking of pranks, Jamie McLennan offers a few of his favorite fan moments: "And, finally, a guy once tricked our public relations person into thinking he was the anthem singer that night then proceeded to sing a completely different song and run off with the microphone when security tried to get him off the ice." [THN]
• All this attention on the Vancouver riots, and not one article about the danger fans faced while trying to take a dump during them.
• We've covered the "tank or not to tank" debate before, and Tom Benjamin does a nice job covering the latest flare up of that discussion between the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers. [Canucks Corner]
• Razor on next year's Dallas Stars: "The mantra since Joe Nieuwendyk was hired as GM has been be a 'hard team to play against'. That's what Gulutzan believes in. That's how his teams have played in past. That is what you Stars fans were weaned on. That's what will be expected of the 23 veterans, additions and rookies who make this squad." [Razor]
• On the NHL and the mental health of its players: "To focus on the burdens of the men who fight for a living in the NHL would be missing the larger point, and that is that the League has to commit to maintaining the psychological health of their players at the same level with which they take care of their physical health." [View From Section 111]
• Ottawa Senators brawler Zenon Konopka(notes) on the mental health thing: ""For so many years I took hockey home with me. I mean I took losses hard. You're not in a great state when you're doing that. So now I kind of leave it at the rink. I put my headset on right after the game, and I talk about business, how we can improve our business and everything else. For me, I think it's been a real positive. There's certain games you just can't let go, but for the most part, I do let go, I do leave it at the rink." [Sun]
• Really interesting piece in the return of a controversial coach to the OHL. [Buzzing The Net]
• Finally, this is a teaser for Brit and Drew's wedding on ice. They did the whole ceremony in the rink. Do we want to see more of this? [Expletive] yes. So Brit, Drew, camera guy, whoever: firstname.lastname@example.org with footage of the hockey wedding of the decade (so far), if you please.