Don Cherry defends Bettman; Georges Laraque’s outrageous foul play claim (Puck Headlines)

Greg Wyshynski

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 16-year-old has finally figured out a way to end the lockout: With $2.99 rubber bracelets. Live Strong my friend! [Vancouver Sun]

• If Don Cherry was betting, he'd say we won't have a season. And he's tired of Gary Bettman getting the brunt of the criticism: "[The owners] had a vote at the start… 30 said yes [to the] lockout. It wasn't Bettman. If they had said no lockout, there wouldn't have been a lockout. He's the guy everybody goes after, it's ridiculous. If 20 owners walked up to him right now and said 'we're going back,' they'd go back." [CBC]

• Dustin Brown finally agrees to head overseas to play for the ZSC Lions, a team that his former Los Angeles Kings bench boss Marc Crawford coaches. Brown had his best offensive season in the NHL under the Crow. [Mayors Manor]

• B.J. Crombeen of the Tampa Bay Lightning on the CBA talks: "It's something you hope the switch turns and they actually begin to negotiate and begin to talk," he said. "I personally don't think it's a major gap. It's not like that last time when there was a salary cap coming. There's obviously differences, there's some things, but I'm fairly certain if they were wiling to negotiate something could get done fairly quickly. So, it's something where you try to hang on that hope, and hope it finally clocks with them, and they realize everyone wants the game to get back and get back quickly." [Lightning Strikes]

• Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk thinks the lockout should be over and we should be playing hockey. Who's to blame? Eh, everyone. [Sportsnet]

• Kevin Allen on the Classic: "The pending cancellation of the Winter Classic should be a reminder that we are much closer to the season blowing up than was anticipated in the summer. Players undoubtedly are going to say the league's decision to cancel the game constitutes scare tactics aimed at destabilizing their resolve. Regardless of whether that's true, the reality is that we are now on a countdown toward losing the entire season for the second time in less than a decade." [USA Today]

• Adam Proteau on the potential cancellation of the Winter Classic: "Will many, if not most of those fans return once the lockout ends? I'm sure they will. But make no mistake — you pay a spiritual price for messing with the minds and hearts of people like this. You give people a window in which to find a disposable income source that doesn't look down at them as disposable. You tell them that they matter, just not enough." [THN]

• Check out a spectacular goal by Seth Jones, who might be your No. 1 overall pick next summer. [Buzzing The Net]

• You need a scorecard and the latest edition of "Clue" to follow the insane mysteries of the CHLPA, but know this: Georges Laraque claims "the bolts on the front wheel of his Hydrid vehicle were loosened, causing him to lose control of his vehicle on the highway." [CHLPA]

• Then there's the Derek Clarke/Randy Gumbley affair which … well, just read it. [Toronto Sun]

• Great piece by Botta on Gary Bettman's future with the NHL: "That's seen as the case no matter the vitriol toward Bettman in these recent weeks and months. To that end, the NFL and NBA lockouts brought frequent and heavy criticism of Goodell and Stern from the players of those leagues, and while some argue those relationships have not returned to any level of pre-lockout collegiality (particularly in Goodell's case), all parties have returned to business — whether that means playing the game or managing the operation." [SBD]

• Best wishes for a speedy recovery for Oklahoma City Barons rookie defenseman Brandon Davidson, who has been diagnosed with testicular cancer and will undergo immediate treatment at The Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center on the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center campus in downtown Oklahoma City. [Barons]

• Finally, a video update on the inspirational "100 miles for Danny" charity event that Leahy blogged about:

"20 ice rinks, 1,000 laps, 100 miles and two inspiring boys. One, Danny Stanton, continues to help families around the U.S. through the foundation that honors his name. Another, 8 year-old Nick Curley, raises awareness for epilepsy and SUDEP and has captivated the entire hockey community through his 100 Mile Skate. Nick is doing his part through his incredible and generous efforts, we can do ours by supporting him as he comes down the home stretch! Please consider a donation at to help Nick's reach his $25,000 fundraising goal campaign and to assist families who battle seizures."

100 Mile Skate: The Final Mile from Danny Did Foundation on Vimeo.