Puck Headlines: Caps captain debate; no Hasek in Olympics

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.

• According to the Washington Times, the new captain of the Washington Capitals should be ... Nicklas Backstrom(notes)? "Ovechkin is Washington's best player for the next decade, but Backstrom is a leader of the future." Mike Knuble(notes) for captain, says Elliotte Friedman. Alex Ovechkin(notes) has "right of first refusal," says Storming the Crease. The smart money is, as always, on Brett Leonhardt. [Wash Times]

• "In an effort to trade the disgruntled defenceman, the Vancouver Canucks have placed Mathieu Schneider(notes) on waivers." [@News1130]

• Tense times for the Winter Classic ice at Fenway. [Shoalts]

• Alas, it appears the Boston Bruins will be minus a Milan Lucic(notes) for the Winter Classic, which is all kinds of sucky. [Bruins Blog]

• Czech Republic men's hockey coach Vladimir Ruzicka reveals that goaltender Dominik Hasek(notes) will not be flopping around the crease in the Vancouver Olympics. [CTV]

• Slovakia's Olympic team features Jaroslav Halák, Zdeno Chára, Andrej Meszároš, Marián Gáborík, Marián Hossa, Žigmund Pálffy and several other players that have last names that look like hieroglyphics when properly accented. Oh, and also Satan. [CTV]

• OK, so you're NHL.com and you've got this story about Team Norway's roster, and the only NHL player is Ole-Kristian Tollefsen(notes) of the Philadelphia Flyers; how would you intend to hook readers? That's right: a photo of cute Euro girls. Today, we are all Norwegian. OK, maybe not Andrej Meszároš. [NHL.com]

• Of the 370 passwords Twitter bans new users from using, only one is hockey-related: "redwings." [Valleywag, via Puck Buddy John M.]

• The Pensblog completes its 20 most memorable Penguins goals of the last decade. [The Pensblog]

• The Pittsburgh Penguins' team bus became stuck in a wintry mess called "Buffalo," forcing Coach Dan Bylsma and other team officials to get out and push in what has to be the lamest idea for a sequel to "Speed" we've ever seed. The Minnesota Wild laugh at your incapacitated transportation. Through their tears. [Penguins]

• Congrats to Los Angeles Kings left wing Raitis Ivanans(notes), who managed to be the only Latvian in the NHL not selected for the Olympics. [NHL]

• Remember Florian Busch, the dude who chose to "relax" with his girlfriend instead of taking a mandatory drug test in Germany? He has signed an anti-doping pledge and is eligible for Team Germany. [AP]

• The New York Rangers, who can't score, might miss Vinny Prospal, who can, for three weeks due to injury. [NY Magazine]

John Tavares(notes) is mired in a pretty deep slump, prompting New York Islanders GM Garth Snow to play the "but he's only 19!" card. [NY Post]

• JP looks at Jason Chimera(notes), the newest Washington Capitals winger, and assesses what he'll bring to the team beyond additional cap relief after yesterday's trade. [Japers' Rink]

• Well, this is sad: Old guy loses honorary championship ring. [Red Deer Advocate]

• Justin Bourne takes on psycho youth hockey parents ... and not just dads: "One Mom brought in her very own skate-measuring tool, the same one we used to make sure the edges on the blades were of equal height. We did a premier sharpening job, of course, but the Mom felt inclined to purchase her own tool and measure the edges before paying for the sharpening, just to be sure." Always a sign of trouble when mom purchases her own tool. [THN]

Puck Buddy Anna on Twitter may have been the first to acknowledge the Sam Worthington/Sean Avery(notes) doppelganger effect that made watching "Avatar" even more disorienting than being in the second row with 3-D glasses on. Although we did enjoy the scene in which Jake Sully distracted the military by waving his stick in front of their masks while insulting their weight ...

• We dare you not to giggle as this collection of trade "rumors" complied by the St. Louis Post Dispatch. "Blues fans are keeping an eye on Hurricanes star Eric Staal(notes) ..." [STPD]

• NOT HOCKEY: Beer pong patents revealed. [Beer Pong News]

• Add Cory Clouston's voice to the anti-shootout chorus: "It's tough. We've had this for quite a while now, I know the fans enjoy the shootout and the overtime. It does play havoc with the standings, when teams are battling for playoff spots and you have these three point games, it makes it actually more difficult to judge who's playing well and who's not. A shootout, to me, is a tough way to win. We'll take it when we win, but if we lose, it's frustrating. It's like in soccer, you play a 90-minute full team sport and all of a sudden it's left to one one one, goaltender versus forward position." [Faceoff]

• The Phoenix Coyotes are starting to gain some traction with the locals thanks to their outstanding play this season. In fact, attendance has been very impressive lately. Gee, what a difference a coach makes, huh? [KTAR]

• Making the case for Mike Modano(notes) to make the Team USA roster. It should go like this: "Something something something hot wife." [Hradek]

• Paul Kukla hates end-of-decade lists, politely encourages you to get off of his lawn. On that note: Saves of the Decade, coming up here this afternoon! [NHL.com]

• Finally, here's a scrap between Ryley Miller of the Brandon Wheat Kings and Jordan Peddle of the Swift Current Broncos, after Peddle's knee-on-knee hit against a Wheat Kings player. Miller puts the enforcement in enforcer. Yowch. [Hockey Fights]

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