Puck Daddy - NHL

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.

• Big breaking news Monday for the Montreal Canadiens: Bob Gainey is stepping down as general manager of the hockey club, with assistant general manager Pierre Gauthier taking over in the interim. We'll have more on this in the afternoon, but this is nothing short of remarkable: a general manager reshapes his team's roster in the summer and then departs in the winter with the team in a playoff seed. [TSN and Globe & Mail]

• Habs Inside/Out will obviously be a place to watch for more fallout from this decision, including its initial take on the new boss: "Gauthier is a vegetarian who is known as the wrong man to ask about nutrition unless you have an hour to spare." [HI/O]

Steve Ott(notes) had an emergency appendectomy Monday morning. And yet there's still no medical solution for the pain in everyone else's butt when he's on the ice. [Defending Big D]

• How one computes the leader for the Lady Byng Trophy is beyond us, but submitted for your approval is Marty St. Louis of the Tampa Bay Lightning. [Puck Stops Here]

• Bettman on the Atlanta Thrashers and the Ilya Kovalchuk(notes) trade. Interesting stuff. [AJC]

• The Pittsburgh Penguins/Washington Capitals game does a 1.3 overnight rating for NBC, tying Pens/Flyers for the season's best (indoor) game rating. That said: Was everyone out shoveling in the mid-Atlantic/Western Pa., because we expected a tad better on Super Bowl Sunday, didn't you? [Puck The Media]

• Blistering rant from Rob Rossi against the decision to play that game: "Reckless and disgraceful; no better words describe the NHL and NBC's decision to have the Penguins and Washington Capitals play Sunday at Verizon Center." [Tribune Review]

Vesa Toskala(notes) is a charmer. [Toronto Star]

• Heading to Vancouver tonight for the Olympic, so here's the deal: We'll be providing Olympic hockey coverage both on Puck Daddy and on Fourth Place Medal, where we have a story today about the IIHF ranking Russia No. 1 before the Winter Games. Check both blogs every day for puck coverage from the Olympics, but know that Puck Daddy will be the primary home for it and for continuing NHL coverage throughout the month. Oh, and don't forget: Kurtenblog/Puck Daddy party in Vancouver, for Finland/Sweden and after USA/Canada. Should be a blast.

• Ken Campbell on the current configuration of the Washington Capitals: "It might not be enough to win the Stanley Cup, but it will certainly be a lot of fun watching them try." Once again, the Canadian media sullies the reputation of ... oh, wait, the column is ridiculously complimentary? Never mind. [THN]

• Hey, remember when Marc-Andre Fleury's(notes) Stanley Cup was supposed to fend off all of those critics? His decidedly ordinary regular season has them barking again: "Of course, what defenders of Fleury like to point out is that he's won a Stanley Cup as a starting goalie. I don't put much stock in that either, given that Fleury's .908 save percentage in the playoffs represented a decidedly average performance." [Hockey or Die!]

• Then again, maybe it's the Pittsburgh Penguins defense that's hanging him out to dry. [Pensburgh]

• Razor once again is usual, timid self regarding the Dallas Stars' trip: "Ilya Bryzgalov is a problem - I say run him - ya, run the big Russian, that's my birthday wish - Splattered Bryzgalov." [Razor With An Edge]

• The long-rumored Nic Wallin deal with the San Jose Sharks finally happens. Here's a great take from the Carolina Hurricanes' perspective. [Canes Country]

• The Detroit Red Wings have a favorable schedule ahead, which has them thinking wins instead of little points picked up here and there. [MLive]

Mike Ricci(notes) always was a work of art. [Getty]

Pierre-Marc Bouchard's(notes) return from a concussion continues to be uncertain. "Overall there doesn't look like I have brain damage, which is a good thing." Well, yeah. [Star Tribune]

Phil Kessel(notes) is playing much better thanks to switching up the sticks he uses. Unfortunately, he's switched to one that he doesn't endorse. Whoops. [Globe & Mail]

• Wrap Around Curl had a wonderful piece on Brendan Burke over the weekend, and Pension Plan Puppets has done outstanding work reporting on the tragedy. Kudos to both. [PPP]

• Another inspiring story: Nick Foligno(notes) attends a fundraiser in his late mother's honor. [Sun Media]

• Can the Canadian women's Olympic team win gold? [CBC]

• A stunning Montreal Canadiens collectable for the centennial. [Eyes on the Prize]

• The Hershey Bears are 12 wins away from tying a franchise record for most successful season. [Bears]

• Hey, look: Dustin Penner(notes) is Dustin Penner again. [Sun Media]

• Nelly Furtado joins that hockey musical. [Oh Know They Didn't]

• Finally, a musical salute to Los Angeles Kings vengeance against Bobby Ryan(notes) of the Anaheim Ducks. "Oh no you didn't!" [Life In Hockeywood]

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