NHLPA takes step to decertification; Ovechkin, Datsyuk among KHL All-Star starters (Puck Headlines)

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• Hockey. [Also, from the CT Whale]

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• Here are live updates on the Newtown school shooting, from our content partner ABC News. Sickening day. Prayers to the families affected by this. [ABC News]

• The big lockout news today is decertification of the NHLPA, which "took the first steps down that path on Thursday night when on a conference call they decided to ask for a full membership vote on the issue of giving the board the authority to file a disclaimer of interest." [Mirtle]

• Nice piece by Dater that asks players from the 1995 shortened season what the hockey was like. Said Joe Sakic: "We knew that (if we had) a three- or four-game losing streak, we were probably done for the playoffs. It was no fun sitting out those three or four months, but once we got back we kind of forgot about it and were real excited to play. It went great, but we just couldn't follow things up in the playoffs." [Denver Post]

• Buffalo Sabres President Ted Black on the lockout's damage to the local economy: "We empathize with the frustrations that small-business owners and fans alike from the Buffalo area have in regards to the NHL lockout." [Sabres Edge]

• Steve Lepore of SB Nation checks in on the NBC Sports Network ratings without the NHL: "Other than outdoor programming and boxing, nothing NBC Sports Network aired in a week where it had live events Tuesday-Saturday, and a much-hyped (post-Belcher gun commentary) episode of Bob Costas' show came anywhere close to hockey from a year ago. In fact, only two non-outdoor programs NBCSN aired all week drew more than half of what the lowest-rated NHL game (DET-STL: 253,000) drew." [SB Nation]

• Huzzah! The KHL All-Star starters have been announced! "For Team West (players from the Western Conference), starting the All-Star Game will be:  Goaltender Semyon Varlamov (Lokomotiv, 26,344 supporters' votes), who edged out Dinamo Minsk's Pekka Rinne by a mere 140 votes. In front of Varlamov will be the defensive pair of Zdeno Chara (Lev Prague, 29,073) and Alexander Ryazantsev (Severstal, 26,760).  The fans selected a forward line of Pavel Datsyuk (CSKA, 33,731), Alexander Ovechkin (Dynamo Moscow, 31,935) and Ilya Kovalchuk (SKA, 31,709). The starting lineup for Team East (players from the Eastern Conference) is as follows:  Goaltender Michael Garnett (Traktor 26,396);  Defensemen Ilya Nikulin (Ak Bars 30,090) and Sergei Gonchar (Metallurg Magnitogorsk, 28,699);  Forwards: Evgeny Malkin (Metallurg Magnitogorsk, 40,569), Evgeny Kuznetsov (Traktor, 30,248) and Sergei Kostitsyn (Avangard, 30,152)."

• Stu Hackel talks about the uglier the lockout is getting: "The players have seen the NHL slowly move in their direction over time — despite claims by the owners and their surrogates that the deal would only get worse the longer the players waited. The owners have already gotten massive concessions and believe they can soften the players up even more by threatening a lost season." [SI]

• Mark Spector on the lockout talks, and Don Fehr acting like hockey is baseball: "With apologies to Sports Illustrated, this is hockey's dirty little secret: Even if the financial pendulum stops right at six o'clock, with the revenues split evenly down the middle between the owners and players, it won't even come close to guaranteeing profitability in Tampa, Carolina, Nashville, or a number of ill-advised Sunbelt markets." [Sportsnet]

• The Nuge shall lead Team Canada into battle! [Edmonton Journal]

• Jeremy Roenick is kind of a big deal in Joliet. [Herald News]

• If you're a Yahoo! blogs reader, you now doubt remember the name Chris Chase. Here's a short profile on the Most Hated Blogger on the Internet. [CRJ]

• Finally, watch the Fargo Force of the USHL score three goals in just 31 seconds.

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