Here are your Morning 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.
• One of the reasons NHL rules enforcement is so jacked is because no one knows what the hell they want to see: There are too many hooking calls one day, and not enough the next day. This season, NHL players and GMs are bitching up a storm about "touch penalties," i.e. "hooking when a player's stick taps an opposing player's glove or hip, or holding when a player's free hand touches his competitor." Are there too many penalties being called this season? And can we still praise the unpredictability of late-game lead changes while bemoaning the fact that there are too many power plays? [TSN]
• The New York Rangers' Scott Gomez played about 10 games with a stress fracture in his ankle before succumbing to the pain. Hockey players are such little girls.[NY Post]
• "How's this for a potential scenario: Would the Hawks consider putting Cristobal Huet on waivers for the purpose of sending him to the minors in order to free up cap space for Nylander? It's certainly an option." Not if Dale Tallon actually wants to keep his job it's not. [Daily Herald]
• At worst, the salary cap might drop to $55 million next season due to a decrease in revenue. But here's the thing: David Shoalts reports that the players could lose "all of their escrow money next season," effectively cutting the cap "by almost $9-million (all currency U.S.) from this season's $56.7-million." There are a lot of numbers tossed around in this article, but it all makes you wonder how teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins can go ahead with mega-contracts for guys like Jordan Staal in this climate. [Globe & Mail]
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• Mike Green of the Washington Capitals was injured by Chris Pronger last night, and was wearing a sling in the locker room. The video of the hit is here. Green: "It was a good hit." [Capitals Insider]
• Andrew Clouthier of the Barrie Colts and Barron Smith of the Peterborough Petes may have given us the single worst hockey fight of the season. [HockeyFights.com]
• With its deal with the BCS, would ESPN even have time for hockey on its schedule? [On the Forecheck]
• Claude Julien has reinvented himself with the Boston Bruins into a coach who preaches defense but who can also unleash an impressive offensive attack. Of course, it helps when you've got players like Marc Savard leading the way and guys like Zdeno Chara and Tim Thomas holding the fort. [Puck Update]
• The Kootenay ICE Hockey Club will hold the traditional A&W Teddy Bear and Mitten Toss on December 13 when the Moose Jaw Warriors visit. If the teddy bears are wearing mittens, we might just go into sugar shock. Toss a puppy on the ice with them, and it's possible we'll openly weep. [Kootenay Ice]
• Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk aren't a duo for the Detroit Red Wings anymore, but their love is stronger than line changes. Snipe, snipe. [Snapshots]
• To crack down on injurious checking, NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly and director of player affairs Glenn Healy are talking about making equipment softer and are showing a video of dangerous hits to players. They plan to release that film, "Hollweg: The Motion Picture," in select theaters later this year. [Philly.com]
• Bemidji State, from the slowly dying College Hockey American conference in the NCAA, could be joining the WCHA depending on that league's vote on reopening expansion. Obviously, the question here is: The hell's a Bemidji State again? [College Hockey News]
• Bob Sturm offers a rare Wayne Gretzky fight clip in a notebook item about Neal Broten, who battled The Great One while playing for the Minnesota North Stars. [Stars, via Dallas Stars Blog]
• Finally, the NHL is doing a ton of Patrick Roy appreciation stuff. This clip shows the legendary Los Angeles Kings/Montreal Canadiens Stanley Cup final ... and the even more legendary "Wink":