Puck Previews: Flames battle Avs; Chicago contracts update

Here are your Puck Previews: Spotlighting the key games in NHL action, news and views as well as general frivolity. Make sure to stop back here for the nightly Three Stars when the games are finished.

Preview: Colorado Avalanche at Calgary Flames, 9:30 p.m. EST. At the end of October, seven points separated these two teams in the Northwest Division. Now, it's down to one. Curtis Glencross(notes) is back for the Flames, and playing with Jarome Iginla(notes) and Olli Jokinen(notes) on the top line. Watch The Game Live Via Hockey Night on Y!

Preview: Washington Capitals at New York Rangers, 7 p.m. EST. The assumed return of Ovechkin on Versus, despite the Caps star being annoyingly coy about his status earlier today. The question the Rangers need to start answering: Is "the recent 4-7-1 malaise might be more representative of this club than the 7-1 start?"

Check out the Y! Sports scores and schedule page for previews of the other three games tonight.

Evening Reading

• Update on the Patrick Kane(notes), Jonathan Toews(notes) and Duncan Keith(notes) contracts: Bob McKenzie reports that Kane and Toews are "believed to be getting five-year extensions, with each of them worth in excess of $6 million per year" and that "Keith's deal is said to be more complicated, perhaps as long as 13 years." Whoa. [TSN]

• All three players issue varying forms of "hey, what contract?" when asked about reports that the Chicago Blackhawks are about to sign all three pending free agents. [Sun Times]

• Meanwhile, if the Toews/Kane/Marian Hossa(notes) mega-line becomes a reality, Sarah Spain has its nickname ready: "The TKHo Line." [No Spain, No Gain]

Rob Scuderi(notes) and Ryan Smyth(notes) are both still banged up for the Los Angeles Kings, with concern that Smyth could be out a bit with an upper body injury. [Kings Insider]

• Nice post on Dean Arsene(notes), who made his NHL debut for the Edmonton Oilers after a mere 109 ECHL games and 333 AHL contests. Perseverance, thy name is Arsene. [Bangin Panger]

• So what happens to Henrik Sedin(notes) when Daniel comes back? [Canucks Hockey Blog]

• Finally, the Pittsburgh Penguins have created a 30-minute Russian-language radio show devoted to Russian NHL fans that will air each week on the Penguins' new HD radio station (105.9 HD2). What's Russian for Baba Booey again? [Pens]

Puck Buddy Comment of the Day: Stanley Cup of Chowder on the Blackhawks contracts, via Twitter --

They offered Kane $5,999,998.80...but he demanded the extra $1.20

Bold Prediction: Carolina makes it two in a row with a win in Montreal.

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