Here are your Evening 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 buddy Dave Pagnotta of The Fourth Period reports that "the Chicago Blackhawks have contacted unrestricted free agent Brendan Shanahan and his agent Rick Curran." Dave tells us that the Devils and Blues are out, and that Boston Bruins and the Hawks are "definitely in there." Oh, the Detroit Red Wings fans would love this about as much as a root canal or getting frozen out of Winter Classic tickets. [TFP]
• From Rangers fan to Lightning owner; who do you root for? [LoHud.com]
Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning at New York Rangers (7 p.m. EST; TV: SUN, MSG). The Bolts are officially on notice, via GM Brian Lawton: "At that stage, the process is really simple for me. You ask people if they want to be here, if they want to be a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning because there's not enough commitment. A lot of players didn't show me, even though I heard a lot of things about a lot of people wanting to be part of our team this summer." Of course, all of this is overshadowed by the glorious return of Marek Malik to the Big Apple.
Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins (7 p.m. EST; TV: RSN, NESN). The last time these two teams met, Milan Lucic made it rain (glass) on Mike Van Ryn. Boston rookie Blake Wheeler has switched his number from 42 to 26. Once again: Blake Wheeler is getting rid of Jackie Robinson's number two days after Barack Obama's election. Just sayin'.
Preview: Edmonton Oilers at Pittsburgh Penguins (7 p.m. EST; TV: RSW, FSPI). Hey, wow, look: The Penguins are playing a game again. Think about how much our world has changed since that last happened; CNN interviewed a hologram, for George Lucas's sake. Quote of the day from Sidney Crosby: "It's big." Sorry, no further context.
Get today's sports news out of Los Angeles. Here's the latest on the Dodgers, Lakers, Angels, Kings, Galaxy, LAFC, USC, UCLA and more LA teams.
• Ron Wilson on getting the Leafs into gear tonight: "‘I think I'll go over to Dunkin' Donuts and get a 10-cup box (of coffee) and place a few of them in the stalls of some of the guys,' Wilson said jokingly of New England's answer to Tim Horton's." Uh, excuse us: Tim Horton's would be Canada's answer to Dunkin' Donuts. [Sun Media]
Preview: New York Islanders at Atlanta Thrashers (7 p.m. EST; TV: MSG, SS). This could be a fun little game between two aggressive teams. That said, the Thrashers are right now the worst team in the NHL because LA has a game in hand. And yet Waddell's checks still clear.
Preview: Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals (7 p.m. EST; TV: FSS, CSN). A rather significant early season game between two rivals in the Southeast, and the Canes see it that way. The big news out of DC today was the All-Russian top line, but far more significant is the flipside of that story: Nicklas Backstrom's demotion from the top line. It's been a struggle.
Preview: Philadelphia Flyers at Ottawa Senators (7:30 p.m. EST; TV: CSP, RSN). Live from Ottawa, it's the Underwhelming Bowl. Alex Auld is starting for the Senators, who refuse to actually name him the starter even though he's starting every game. To be fair, the Flyers have been playing better, which really doesn't speak to the importance of Danny Briere to this lineup.
• Successful surgery for Marty Brodeur. [NHL]
Preview: Minnesota Wild at Colorado Avalanche (9 p.m. EST; TV: KSTC, ALT). Two rather significant absences tonight: Brent Burns is out for the Wild with an "upper body injury" and Joe Sakic will miss tonight's game for the Avs with a bad back, per Michael Russo. Colorado is in last place and Sakic has two goals. Blame Budaj!
Preview: Nashville Predators at Calgary Flames (9:30 p.m. EST; TV: FSS, RSW). It could be Pekka Rinne versus Curtis McElhinney in goal for this game, but Mike Keenan made it hard to predict the starter after cancelling the morning skate for the Flames.
Preview: Phoenix Coyotes at Vancouver Canucks (10 p.m. EST; TV: AZTV, RSW). The Canucks are getting absolutely slaughtered for their "The 7th Man" fan marketing campaign, which is being as warmly accepted as Crystal Pepsi was. Let's see if Kyle Wellwood can keep up this amazing fat-joke-to-goal pace. Ryan Kesler, Alex Burrows and Daniel Carcillo in the same game? Yes, please.
• In praise of the 2008 draft class, which is looking better every day. Well, save for Stamkos and Filatov. [AZ Central]
• A smart, good read on the NHL's injury policy: "It goes against the history of hockey, but full disclosure protects the player, the club, the fans and the game itself. The newest injury policy does not. [SI]
Preview: St. Louis Blues at San Jose Sharks (10:30 p.m. EST; TV: FSMW, CSBA). No Paul Kariya tonight and Jody Shelley could miss the game for the Sharks because his wife could give birth to their first child, per Working the Corners. Missing a game for a child? Good thing he plays for the Sharks and not in Vancouver. That stuff don't fly up there.
Preview: Florida Panthers at Los Angeles Kings (10:30 p.m.; TV: FSW). Stephen Weiss tells George Richards that the Panthers' power play -- with Bryan McCabe and Jay Bouwmeester at the points -- is looking for two goals tonight. We're going to hold him to that.
• Finally, complete change of pace: A look at the music from the music "Miracle." It's really ... aw, hell, click the link if you want to see it. Pee-Wee Hockey Fight!