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.

• Our End of Decade series begins on Tuesday. You've been warned.

• After nearly six months of court battles, PR nightmares and angry Canadian fans, the NHL officially purchased the Phoenix Coyotes for discounted rate of $140 million after the court signed off on the deal. Now comes the fun part: Finding an owner willing to keep a team drawing fewer people than "Amelia" in Glendale. [The Arizona Republic]

• Rick Tocchet sends a message to Vinny Lecavalier, dropping him to a line with Drew Miller(notes) and Stephane Veilleux(notes) against the Philadelphia Flyers today, and saying that the star's defensive game and hustle have fallen as his offense has. Can you remember the last time a star of that magnitude was dropped to a what's basically a checking line? [Lightning Strikes, stick tap to The Skating Penguin.]

• As Sean Avery(notes) prepares to return to Calgary for the first time since the "sloppy seconds" affair, Sun Media columnist Eric Francis wants an apology from the New York Rangers winger: "If the classless New York Rangers mouthpiece has a shred of decency in him, he'll publicly apologize to Dion Phaneuf(notes) and girlfriend Elisha Cuthbert for his stunningly offside comments of a year ago." [Sun Media]

• The update on Alex Ovechkin's(notes) injury: He arrived at the Washington Capitals practice facility on an off day, presumably for treatment on his day-to-day "upper body" issue. [Capitals Insider]

• Guess who's back? Back again? Foppa's back. Tell a friend (that the Flyers are scouting him). [TFP]

• Fantastic take by Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News on Michael Liambas' hit on Ben Fanelli that left the Kitchener Rangers defenseman in critical condition with skull and facial fractures. Writes Kennedy: "No matter what any of our thoughts are on head shots, fighting in hockey, hard plastic elbow pads, etc., the only person who can truly do anything to prevent an injury in this case is Liambas." [THN]

• Second City Hockey takes a critical look at the first month of the Chicago Blackhawks. Pearl of wisdom: "Tomas Kopecky doesn't do anything.  I mean at all." [SCH]

• Gunaxin's "20 Hockey Teams w/ Bizarre Names" is recommended. The Thetford Mines Isothermic? For realz? [Gunaxin]

• The Ottawa Sun: "No sign of Jason Spezza(notes) on the ice today at the Bell Sensplex. No timetablee (sic) for his return." [Sun]

• Jay Feaster takes a gander at the state of Team Canada one month into the season, and wonders if dark horses Brad Richards(notes) and Dustin Penner(notes) have a shot. [THN]

• How did Markus Naslund(notes) end up with No. 19? "It was given to me. I had no choice." Oh. [The Puck Report]

Patrik Elias(notes) is back and practicing with the New Jersey Devils, and could be back this weekend. The Devils with two scoring lines teams have to worry about? What a concept. [In Lou We Trust]

Erik Johnson(notes) and Alex Pietrangelo(notes), the St. Louis Blues' struggles are not your fault, sirs. [Post Dispatch]

Via Patrick Hoffman, is the schedule to blame for the glut of hockey injuries? [KK]

• Move over Craig "Leering at Ice Girls" Anderson: Jonathan Quick picks a perfect time for a stretch. [H/T Jason H.]

• Jonathan Willis takes on the latest NHLPA "body count." Ron Pink, who finished ahead of us on the Hockey News list of power and influence, is out on the advisory board. No. 99, here we come! [Hockey or Die]

• BD Gallof also has a great NHLPA take, Coen Bros. style. [Hockey Independent]

• Your 3 Stars for the month of October in the NHL: No. 1 Craig Anderson(notes) of the Colorado Avalanche; No. 2 Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals; No. 3 Ilya Bryzgalov(notes) of the Phoenix Coyotes. Look, Anderson has been a game-changer for Colorado and Bryzgalov has been great for what is a great story. But Ryan Miller(notes) is 8-1-1 with a 1.86 GAA and a .936 GAA. Maybe the field was just too crowded. [NHL]

• The NHL 3 Stars for last week: Tomas Kaberle(notes) of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Pekka Rinne(notes) of the Nashville Predators and Evgeni Nabokov(notes) of the San Jose Sharks. [NHL]

• The resurgence of Pavel Datsyuk(notes) is a welcome development for the Puck Daddy fantasy team. [Snapshots]

• Could the underachieving Carolina Hurricanes trade the underachieving Chad LaRose(notes) to one of the Western Conference teams scouting him?  [Canes Country]

• Finally, in honor of "This Is It," it's a goalie and the "Thriller" dance. You've not lived to you've seen a moonwalk on ice in full pads. [H/T Curl]

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