Puck Headlines: Jokinen blames fans for Dion; Kovalchuk fallout

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.

New York Rangers center Olli Jokinen(notes) defends Dion Phaneuf's(notes) locker room presence with the Calgary Flames and reveals why he was shipped to the Toronto Maple Leafs: "The biggest thing is, [Phaneuf] wasn't accepted by the Calgary fans, even though he was once a Norris Trophy candidate." And Olli would know about that. Not the Norris part, the other thing. [Toronto Sun]

Ryan Miller(notes): No. 1 goalie for Team USA. [THN]

• Behind the unstoppable juggernauts of the Washington Capitals, Ottawa Senators and Los Angeles Kings, all of whom can easily win the Stanley Cup were it to be awarded in early February. [NHL]

• Great follow-up on that Team Sweden vs. Johan Franzen(notes) story from Thursday. [Snapshots]

• The New Jersey Devils cover Ilya Kovalchuk's(notes) first practice in a nearly minute-by-minute blog. [Devils]

• Can the Atlanta Thrashers hope to make the postseason minus Kovalchuk? [AJC]

• Hey, remember how Kovalchuk was going to the Los Angeles Kings? Rich Hammond on why it didn't happen: "Atlanta sniffed around Dustin Brown(notes), Jack Johnson(notes) and Wayne Simmonds(notes), at least one of whom would have had to have been the center of a trade package. Atlanta wanted NHL players. The Kings offered prospects." [LA Kings Insider]

• Taking ESPN's "PTI" and the LA Times to task for their shoddy, afterthought coverage of the NHL. [View From My Seats]

• Via Leahy, the John Tavares(notes) McFarlane figure, looks pretty darn sweet if not a little like Patrick Marleau(notes) after a tweeze. [Frozen Pond]

• Biting off the Super Bowl hype, the NHL would like you to vote for your favorite hockey commercial. Love that one with the airport runway. [NHL.com]

• BREAKING: Darcy Regier is spendthrift stingy trigger shy. [Buffalo News, and H/T/ to Chris Collision for reminding us that we have no idea what spendthrift actually means.]

• The Carolina Hurricanes place Chad LaRose(notes) on IR with an upper body injury, which will seriously impact their playoff ... oh, right. [Canes]

Cody Hodgson(notes) makes his triumphant return to the ice after injury. [Sun Media]

• Seriously, what's more exciting for the Grand Rapids Griffins: That Red Wings defenseman Andreas Lilja(notes) makes his local debut in Game 2 of his conditioning stint on dollar beer night? Or that former Detroit Tigers great Kirk Gibson will be at the game on Saturday? They should have had a Dennis Eckersley bobblehead night as he watches that 1988 homer fly over the wall. [Griffins]

• Giggy's spiffy new pads with the Toronto Maple Leafs. [PPP]

• The Ballad of Andrew Raycroft(notes), to the tune of "Hey Jude." [Nucks Misconduct]

• Razor's brutally honest take on the firing of Ken Hitchcock: "Bad organizations make excuses for pressing young players into impact roles. Great ones develop their youth, and expect no excuses when they finally arrive. The Detroit Red Wings are a great organization. The Columbus Blue Jackets currently aren't, and the jury is out on whether they ever will be." [Razor With An Edge]

• Congrats to the Capitals on their acquisition of Cam Ward(notes). And to Cam Ward for the makeover. [Stick tap to Puck Buddy Blake B.]

• Kouleas vs. Wyshynski on The Score, about Kovalchuk, Hitchcock and the Calgary trades. [The Score]

• Ryan Kennedy sees Kovalchuk as a perfect fit for the Devils and, yes, their defensive system. [THN]

• Mike Brophy believes that the Devils can't afford Kovalchuk because of their attendance and that he has no right to seek a higher salary than Sidney Crosby(notes) or Alex Ovechkin(notes). [Sportsnet]

• "I wouldn't have traded either Patrick Sharp(notes) or Kris Versteeg(notes) with Cam Barker(notes) for Kovalchuk, but that's just me." Well, not really. [Between the Circles]

• "Kovalchuk To Jersey Might Be The Stupidest Hockey Trade Ever." [Eyes on The Prize]

• Mirtle checks out the swank that is The Rock in Newark. [Globe & Mail]

• Terrific dissection of an article about the Phaneuf and Jokinen trades, and a defense of the Calgary management. [Hockey or Die]

• Reminder about this, on right.

• "Hockey world salivating at possible Crosby-Ovechkin Olympic clash." Because they'll be on the ice for about 25 seconds together. [CBC]

• Analysis of a long, in-depth interview with Paul Kelly about NCAA hockey and other issues. [WCHB]

• Congrats to Jack Rosensteel for winning $2,500 in a Reebok video contest. And for being precocious. [The Confluence]

• Finally, this Josh Harding(notes) save Thursday night made SportsCenter's countdown and Puck Buddy Rob O. thought it was pretty remarkable:

In the third, he tweaked his injury making a stretch save with this right pad, but he stayed in. That is when the clip above took place. Despite the injury, he pushed his body to save the game with this one, and then had to come off the ice with the help of the team trainer and his teammates.

What say you? Save of the year?

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