Rapping Russians; Owners to blame for union strength; deal coming soon? (Puck Headlines)

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.

• Here's a collection of awkward raps from the players of KHL franchise HC Severstal. I'm especially partial to charisma machine Evgeny Ketov at the 0:51 mark. It's impossible not to dance to that.

• Why the owners are to blame for the strength of the union under Donald Fehr. It all comes back to that original offer. "Frustrated by Fehr’s laconic approach to talks, they delivered a scorched-earth proposal to the NHLPA membership in the summer. Having conceded significant rollbacks last time, the players were being publicly asked to bail out the NHL’s failed business plan again. [...] Nothing Fehr had said or done in the previous 18 months could have worked better to push players into Fehr’s hard-line approach to negotiations." [The Globe & Mail]

• Michael Russo believes the NHL and PA will strike a deal in the coming days, and the players he talks to seem to agree. [Star Tribune]

• If the Toronto Maple Leafs are so rich, why aren't they having a larger influence on this lockout? [National Post]

• Daniel Cleary sounds in the loop about negotiations: ""I don't know what is going on but they're in the same building." [Detroit News]

• Hilarious: Why does hockey appeal to the everyday housewife? Why, because it's sensual and sexy. [Lightouse Hockey]

• The conflicting reports on Nicklas Backstrom's neck injury are disconcerting. [RMNB]

• Sharks' defenceman Jason Demers suffered a broken wrist for Team Canada at the Spengler Cup Monday, so he'll be out 4-6 weeks. [CSN Bay Area]

• Without the NHL, the NBC Sports Network has suffered. One episode of Pro Sports Talk drew just 24,000 viewers. [Awful Announcing]

• Nail Yakupov, prima donna? Ladies and gentlemen: confirmation bias. [Edmonton Journal]

• New Year's resolutions for all 30 NHL teams. [Eye on Hockey]

• And here's one from a hockey fan that resolves to care less about the NHL. Good thing no one keeps their New Year's resolutions. [Arctic Ice Hockey]

Why high-profile reporters congratulating Eklund for getting one right is problematic. [Cult of Hockey]

• Jordan Eberle has won the AHL player of the month award for December, just like he did for November. I think this kid's got a future. [AHL]

• Colin Greening of the Ottawa Senators leaves Denmark because "I feel we're very close to starting up the NHL season", but records a thank-you message to the Pirates organization and their fans. [Aalborg Pirates]

Broke your fancy, expensive composite stick? Don't go buy a new one. Just get it repaired for $50. [Cowichan News Leader]

• I really enjoyed this piece from Scott Russell on playing a little pond hockey on New Year's Day. [CBC]

• And finally, here's a guy doing a take on every fan in the NHL, team by team. It's not current, though. If it was, it would just be 30 different shots of him watching football.

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