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. Cup in #ldnont Reggie and I by the pool showing his skills. Can't wait to party my ass off with family and friends pic.twitter.com/Jp4ZDnEwsA — drew doughty (@dewyy8) July 25, 2014 • Drew Doughty with his buddies Reggie and Stanley just hanging out by the pool before the day's festivities begin. [Twitter] • Earlier this week, Thomas Vanek admitted he was a witness in an investigation of an alleged Rochester-based gambling ring. This isn't the first time gambling and hockey have crossed paths. [USA Today] • Many NHL'ers learned to play the game on frozen ponds and lakes. With climate change becoming even more of a pressing issue, the NHL has launched a 'Green Initiative' to do their part in keeping future generations out on the ice. [Green Biz] • Malkin and Crosby; Getzlaf and Perry; Suter and Parise; and Toews and Kane. All dynamic duos their respective teams have spent big bucks on for the long-term. Will it pay off in the end? [SB Nation] • A common sports fan's dilemma when it comes to contracts: is your loyalty with the team or the player? [Winging It In Motown] • Ryan Johansen and the Blue Jackets are attempting to hammer out a new deal, and naturally there is tension between the two sides. Worries are increasing that the negativity from the negotiations will impact Johansen's attitude the following season, a la Jeff Carter and Marian Gaborik. [Union and Blue] • Got an extra $500K (US) laying around? (Who doesn't?!) You too could be the owner of a brand new minor league hockey franchise in the western United States. [Phoenix Business Journal] • The Culver City Ice Arena, once used by many future and current Hockey Hall of Famers, is on the verge of demolition by the property owner if the City Council in Culver City doesn't declare it a 'city cultural resource'. [Frozen Royalty] • The loophole that allowed Justin Schultz to sign with the Oilers over the team that drafted him, the Ducks, wasn't closed in the current CBA. Are the Panthers about the next victim to it with prospect Kevin Hayes? These Blackhawk fans hope so. [Blackhawk Up] • "It may unfortunately be that the main reasons people don't talk about Doug Harvey have little to do with his performance on the ice. Often speaking out against the establishment, particularly in relation to player rights and salaries, Harvey didn't exactly make friends among the ownership ranks. Being a hockey player in that era was nowhere near as lucrative as it is now, players had far fewer rights. Doug took it upon himself to fight the establishment." [Eyes on the Prize] • It's the 20th anniversary of the Calgary Hitmen, and they're bringing back their hot pink and black sweaters. They are just ridiculous and I totally want one. [Icethetics] • Flames sign Finnish goalie Joni Ortio to a two-year deal. Ortio was 27-8 with .926 save percentage for the Abbotsford Heat last season. He'll likely end up as backup-to-the-backup this coming season with Karri Ramo and Jonas Hiller already in place as the veteran starting tandem. [Flames Nation] • Craig MacTavish wants his team's fourth line to be like Chicago's fourth line, sorta. I'm sure this experiment will work out swimmingly for the Oilers. [Oilers Nation] • Oilers' prospect Darnell Nurse leads the next generation of athletes from a competitive family tree. [Color of Hockey] • The off-season for the WHL saw 10 coaching changes. The Regina Pats are the only team left without a head coach. Please submit your resume and cover letter to HR. [Buzzing the Net] • Reflections on Penguins-related thoughts by Elliotte Friedman [Pensburgh] • Jim Rutherford has a big spotlight on him as he works towards turning Pittsburgh from regular season juggernaut to post-season winner. Has he done enough so far to help his cause? [Bleacher Report] • The Rangers are looking for their next captain. Here are the top six candidates for the job. [NY Rangers Blog] • David Warsofsky signed a $600K deal with the Bruins. The defenseman joins the small army of blueliners already assembled for the Boston. [Bruins Daily] • Top 215 prospects to get you ready for your fantasy draft [Dobber Hockey] • Capitals backup-to-the-backup goalie Phillipp Grubauer has a new mask and it is a 'sequel' to his old one, "The Desolation of Grubi". David Gunnarsson, mask painter to the stars, calls it 'Atomic Breath, and enthusiastically describes it as, "... fully loaded of energy… atomic energy…so the whole design boils and is ready to erupt… all the colors from the previous design has inverted… and the atomic power is ready to spit fire, or as we call it, deliver some atomic breath! Watch out!" Got that? [Russian Machine Never Breaks] • Washington signed forward Nathan Walker, formerly of the Youngstown Phantoms (USHL), to a three-year entry-level contract. Walker is the first Australian to be drafted into the NHL. [Capitals Today] • The hockey blogosphere family recently lost two members. We send our deepest sympathies to Sam Fels of The Committed Indian on the loss of his brother, Adam , and The Royal Half of The Royal Half on the loss of his father. • Finally, here's Brandon Saad reading a mean teammate Tweet:
The joke about Loui Eriksson was that he’s so perpetually named one of the NHL’s most underrated players that he was almost overrated for being underrated. Next season, he gets the spotlight in Boston: Opening camp on the wing of David Krejci and Milan Lucic, where a 36-year-old Jarome Iginla notched 30 goals last season before cashing in with a 3-year, $16-million deal with the Colorado Avalanche. “We lost Jarome, but I think Loui Eriksson is a player that can be even better than he was last year. I think we started seeing that at the end of the year and he could be a replacement for Jarome,” said coach Claude Julien, via NHL.com. He’s topped 30 goals once in his career, although he’s been over 25 goals four times in eight seasons. He’s never been a point per game player, even in truncated seasons due to work stoppages or injuries. But he’s been a top-liner before, playing with Brad Richards (back when he was Brad Richards) and then Jamie Benn with the Dallas Stars. He’s a perfect c omplementary player: Consistent offense and exceptional defense; and while with the Bruins, his possession numbers took a Herculean leap: 57.2-percent Fenwick at 5v5, after dropping under 50-percent in his last season in Dallas. That’s of course a product of the way Claude Julien coaches, and Eriksson had a bumpy first year learning that system. His concussion limited him to 61 games, and the emergence of Reilly Smith on the second line in his absence knocked him down the lineup. He knows the Bruins didn’t flip Tyler Seguin for him to be a third-liner, so he’ll get that first-line shot this fall. But face it: Eriksson is Plan B for the B’s. They wanted Iginla back for next season. He wanted more term, and the money wouldn’t work for the following seasons. So he takes his 30 goals to huff-and-puff chasing MacKinnon and Duchene down the ice in Denver, and Eriksson gets the top-line bump. The question then becomes one of chemistry: Can Eriksson find it with David Krejci and Milan Lucic? Peter Chiarelli was optimistic when asked earlier this month, via NESN: “It would be nice to get a right shot — that would be a priority at some point — but I have no problem with (Eriksson) playing on that top line, and I’ve talked to (Krejci) about it, and he welcomes it. If you watch how Loui plays, he plays a real give-and-go game, and he’s very smart, passes to areas … He’s very compatible with (Krejci).”
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. S/O to Patty Kane for knowing what's up and covering the blues logo pic.twitter.com/09PB0hC6qj — Megan (@MeganStael) July 23, 2014 • Patrick Kane poses for a photo with a fan, wisely covers up the St. Louis Blues logo. Company man to the end. • Jim Nill throws a little love towards the hockey blogosphere. "There’s amazing stuff in the blogosphere. We sit down all the time and analyze it. Lindy and I are on the plane all the time and looking at this stuff – we look at it and track it to see if there’s something there. Like I said, we’re all very competitive, and we are all looking for the edge. And whatever’s gonna help us is great for the game.” [ Sporting News ] • James Mirtle on why the Kyle Dubas hiring signals the dawn of a new era in Toronto. [ The Globe & Mail ] • In case you weren't sold on how young Kyle Dubas is, here's a handy infographic contrasting his age with his NHL GM peers. [ Sportsnet ] • Mike Babcock is beginning to get into analytics. [ NHL ] • And speaking of analyitcs, if you still haven't checked out Corey Sznajder's zone entry tracking project, amend your error now. [ Shutdown Line ] • The Sedins have escaped a lot of criticism in Vancouver, and likely will if the team is poor again next year. Here's who will face fan wrath instead. [ The Province ] • Important advice from Rich Clune in this NSFW Q&A: "If you’re a dude: don’t send dick pics. And don’t ask a girl to send a naked picture, just take what comes your way. It’s a lot classier if you let things happen organically." Truth. [ No Filter Blog ] • The Islanders have avoided arbitration with Kevin Poulin, signing a one=year, two-way deal. [ The Score ] • Great stuff from Jeff Klein on the coming revolution in hockey helmetry. [ New York Times ] • Who will win the least next season, and in so doing, set themselves up to win next summer? [ The Hockey News ] • NHL veteran Cory Sarich was hit by a car while riding his bike earlier this week. He hopes to recover and resume his NHL career. [ Denver Post ] • Scenes from Tom Sestito's five-goal season. [ Pass it to Bulis ] • Great stuff on former NHLer Claude Vilgrain, and his daughter Cassandra, who's picking up the hockey torch. [ Color of Hockey ] • The strangest and saddest lines from every NHL team's Wikipedia page. [ Grantland ] • If you have $500,000 lying around, you could buy yourself a minor-league hockey franchise. [ Biz Journals ] • Taylor Pyatt signs in Switzerland. [ Swiss Hockey News ] • Here's new Canucks GM Jim Benning selling the rest of his staff on the Ryan Kesler trade. More behind-the-scenes stuff like this, please.