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.
"What's that, Ilya? I'm scared, Ilya. Hold me, Ilya."
• The NHL has approved a bid led by former collegiate hockey player Tom Stillman to buy the St. Louis Blues. [STL Today]
• The Manitoba government promises irate Jets fans that it'll crack down on free hockey tickets being given to government officials. I love Canada. [The Star]
• It sounds like Erik Karlsson's next contract with the Ottawa Senators is going to take quite a while and cost quite a bit. Drew Doughty's contract negotiations from this past summer are brought up as a comparison. "Some league executives and agents contacted by the Ottawa Sun in the last couple of days predict there's not going to be anything fast about these talks unless the Senators immediately fork over $7 million per season." [Ottawa Sun]
• Finally, someone defends anti-Russian sentiment! "We're talking about sports here, not life and death. Jingoism, xenophobia, the worshipping of local heroes — all are natural and, to a point, essential elements of sports fandom, especially when it comes to historic rivalries like Canada vs. Russia. Canadians like to imagine themselves superior just like everyone else, and hockey is one of the chief lenses through which we perceive that superiority." [National Post]
• Speaking of Russia, Vladimir Putin celebrated his presidential inauguration by playing a game of ice hockey. He and his team of amateurs beat a team of Russian hockey legends, and if that doesn't seem incredibly fishy, he also scored on his first shift, set up the game-tying goal in the final minute, and scored the game-winning overtime goal on a penalty shot. Great, completely non-staged day of hockey for Putin. [RT]
• The top 5 craziest John Tortorella moments. [Capitals Outsider]
• The promo video for Farmer's Field, AEG's planned football stadium for downtown Los Angeles, gives some pretty strong hints that one of the first events AEG hopes to host there is the Winter Classic. [Life in Hockeywood]
• Ruslan Fedotenko, on teammate Artem Anisimov learning English: "He understands basically 95% of everything, and if he has a word he's not sure of, he'll just ask. He learned quick — even all the swear words. So that's awesome." Swear words are awesome. [NY Daily News]
• At the IIHF World Hockey Championship, Alex Burrows is back to skating after suffering a concussion. [The Province]
• At the IIHF World Hockey Championship, Dion Phaneuf is back to smiling after suffering a captaincy with the Toronto Maple Leafs. [Toronto Sun]
• This Ducks fan would like you to know how much she hates the Kings. "For all those LA fans reading this, you're probably thinking, 'She's just bitter because the Ducks missed the playoffs.' Well, YOU'RE RIGHT! I am extremely bitter. I am a seething little ball of hate. I am so angry that I made a list of the reasons I hate the Kings right now." [Anaheim Calling]
• Why regular-season success still matters in the NHL. This one has a graph, so you know they mean business. [The Globe & Mail]
• One thing that hurt the Predators this postseason: when they fell behind, they stayed behind. [Nashville City Paper]
• Lighthouse Hockey uncovers the transcript for Brendan Shanahan's unreleased Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf Finnish nightclub incident suspension video. [Lighthouse Hockey]
• One of Darryl Sutter's greatest feats has to be engaging Dustin Penner. How did he do it? [Winnipeg Free Press]
• The Dallas Stars are back to making youth hockey a priority, a relationship they got away from in the last decade and now have to work to repair. [Defending Big D]
• A high school hockey coach in Roseville, Minn., has resigned over allegations of bullying and intimidation in his program. The words "Witch Hunt" were used. [Twin Cities]
• And finally, via Dan T., we present "We are the Kings," an original L.A. Kings fight song written by Jose Galvez, a member of local L.A. band Ozma.