Ratings down for conference finals; Ted Nugent backs David Booth; NHL 13 teaser (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.

• You're probably seen Zdeno Chara's tribute to Pavel Demitra by now, but here's Slovakia's Branko Radivojevic rocking a tribute T-shirt after their semifinal win over the Czech Republic at the Hockey World Championship in Helsinki.

• NBC audiences were down over the weekend for the conference finals. Lepore: "Saturday's Rangers-Devils game drew a 1.3 overnight rating, down 13% from last year's Game 4 between Boston and Tampa Bay. It may have been hurt by the early timeslot, or the fact that there was a huge dip in ratings in the lone local market, New York. Game 3 drew a 4.2 in the Big Apple, well down from the 6.2 for Game 1 on the NBC Sports Network.  Sunday's Game 4 between the Coyotes and Kings drew a 1.1 overnight, down 15% from last year's Game 4 between the Canucks and Sharks, which was a 2-1 series, as opposed to the 3-0 lead the Kings had heading in. The game drew a series high 2.7 in Los Angeles." [Puck The Media]

• Henrik Lundqvist on the New York Rangers fans that invade the Rock: "We always have played there in Newark. It's one of the things that makes it special to play these types of games, play New York teams.  We have a lot of support, and talked about
it earlier, a couple days ago, when you see the way that the fans react to things that happen during the game or even the results, it's exciting." [Rangers Rants]

• Looks like Stu Bickel will move up to forward to replace the suspended Brandon Prust. [Slap Shot]

• Larry Brooks believes the hate-o-meter is slowly seeing the needled move on the Rangers and New Jersey Devils. [NY Post]

• Sports Business Journal is reporting that the Detroit Red Wings have settled on a designer for a new 18,000-seat arena to replace the Joe. [Detroit News]

• Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with defenseman Jamie McBain on a two-year contract. The deal will pay McBain $1.7 million in 2012-13, and $1.9 million in 2013-14. [Hurricanes]

• They signed Bobby Sanguinetti and forward Nicolas Blanchard to two-way contracts, too. [Canes Country]

• Zach Parise is a free agent … risk? "It is very likely that he will elevate whichever team signs him in the short run, but as teams weigh the idea of making him an offer, they need to keep in mind the distinct possibility that he will underperform this contract in the near future and eventually become an anchor on the team's salary cap finances." [NHL Numbers]

• Bear killin' David Booth has a friend in Ted Nugent. [PITB]

• A little offseason talk from Joe Haggerty: "here's no way of knowing given up the upcoming CBA battle between the NHL and the NHLPA, and the B's still have yet to put Marc Savard on long term injured reserve. That would free up $4 plus million in salary cap space for the Bruins that they're still currently carrying on their cap for a player that doesn't appear likely to ever return to hockey. That combined with a potential deal moving Tim Thomas away would free close to $10 million in salary cap space, so the Bruins have plenty of flexibility to make plenty of moves if necessary." [CSN NE]

• Via Paul Roper: "Hope all is well. Traveling home from Blue Jays/Mets last night I saw a license plate that best explains how Leafs fans are feeling. This might be the best personalized license plate I've ever seen."

• Arctic Ice Hockey's Vezina ballot does not have Jonathan Quick first. Or second. [AIH]

• SB Nation has its 33 hockey blog voting on NHL Awards this week, so check that out. [SB Nation]

• Mike Green, John Carlson and the Washington Capitals' RFAs. [Capitals Insider]

• Buffalo Sabres General Manager Darcy Regier today announced that the team has signed defenseman Alexander Sulzer to a one-year deal. Sulzer was due to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. [Sabres]

• The Dallas Stars expect to be a free agent player. Said president Jim Lites: "We are without budget. As crazy as that sounds. We are restricted by only the CBA and fitting long and short term into that system...This is a different situation than we have been in for the last 4 seasons — which is we have an owner who is willing to spend and not being run by the league....We are prepared to spend what we need to spend, but we need to spend wisely." [FS SW]

• The Devin Dubnyk Debate for the Edmonton Oilers. [Oil Patch]

• How Jewels From The Crown saw Game 4 of the Kings/Coyotes series. [JFTC]

• Ellen Etchingham on drama and distractions: "Hockey culture is, in fact, an incredibly powerful professional culture. Players are initiated into it at a very young age and, if they're good, over time they will come to take over more and more of their life. In the case of Canadian hockey culture, it will pull them away from their families, schools, and other social touchstones. It will, often, limit their educational options and other professional experiences. It will make their advancement contingent upon their ability to behave in conformity with the culture and please those who have authority in it. Any professional culture is going to discipline human impulses to a certain extent, but hockey culture is a particularly intense form of discipline." [Backhand Shelf]

• Brad Larsen takes over AHL Springfield. [Blue Jackets]

• Finally, NHL 13 materials are starting to arrive. Try not to drool. Too much.

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