Defending Gary Bettman; Evgeni Malkin signs with KHL? (Puck Headlines)

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.

• This is an amazing screen grab snagged by a Reddit user. According to the comments, this is Al Victor, one of the past Presidents of the Whalers Booster Club. He may also be the Ghost of NHL's Past, as played by Mr. Roper. [Reddit Hockey]

• "Reports out of Russia" say Evgeni Malkin has signed with Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the Kontinental Hockey League. Is this simply the fact they hold his rights or has he agreed to jump if there's an NHL lockout? [Post-Gazette; UPDATE: "Sport-Express, a Russian newspaper, reported that Malkin would play for CSKA, which is based in Moscow, if the NHL doesn't work out a new collective bargaining agreement before the current one expires Sept. 15. J.P. Barry, Malkin's agent, confirmed that Malkin has had discussions with Magnitogorsk and unspecified teams in Moscow, but said nothing has been finalized." PG]

• The Staples Center and other Southern California sports facilities are enacting a Fan Code of Conduct that prohibits things that seem like they're already prohibited. But it is nice to see that the "throwing of liquids" is frowned upon. [SBD]

• Pepsi Max sponsors the NHL. Patrick Sharp just cut a deal with Coke Zero. [Blackhawks]

• Summer grades for the NHL's Eastern Conference via Sports Illustrated. The New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs get their 'D' on. [SI]

• Eddie Lack signs with the Vancouver Canucks for two years: One two-way, Luongo's uncertain future year, and a second one-way year. [The Province]

• Good lockout writin' Vol. 1: Defending Big D hopes it's not bleak. "The NHL and the NHLPA are set to meet for a week of discussions and negotiations beginning on Monday. This is the week where we'll find out just how serious the threat of a lengthy lockout truly is. Fehr and Bettman met on Thursday last week before that day's meetings were canceled; no one knows exactly how detrimental or positive those meetings truly were and we likely won't until we start hearing from both sides on how far the NHL and NHLPA are willing to compromise on the major issues of the current deal." [Defending Big D]

• Good lockout writin', Vol. 2: Lyle Richardson on Gary Bettman. "Bettman deserves to be singled out for criticism when it is justified. Blaming him for expansion, the reduction of fighting, the relocation of two Canadian franchises to the United States, failing to land a TV contract with ESPN, or just plain 'ruining the game', however, doesn't bear up under scrutiny." [Spector]

• J.J. From Kansas offers this take on the PR battle for the NHL and NHLPA: "The REAL danger for the league and for the players comes when people stop clamoring so much for one side or the other to stop being so selfish. One way or another, one side will have to lose more than the other side. As long as the fans care which side is which, they're both winning." [Winging It]

• I'm with Malik: I just don't get the "oh, I'm so boooooorrrred by the CBA talk" blather from some corners of the media. [Malik]

• Great stuff with Dan Rosen and the Gary Roberts workout. []

• A guy paid by Sun Media to be controversial said something controversial about Toronto Maple Leafs Coach Randy Carlyle. [Backhand Shelf]

• The Florida Panthers cancel their rookie tournament. []

• The return of Fake Dan Ellis! [BoC]

• Finally, here's the embed for the Detroit Red Wings vs. Colorado Avalanche brawl on March 26, 1997, at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit. Please inform your family/boss/neighbors where you'll be for the next two and a half hours. (Note: Was having trouble viewing on Firefox, but it works for most.) [HockeyWebCaster]

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