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.
• Is there a less controversial suggestion than building a statue for Pittsburgh Penguins legend Mario Lemieux at the team's new arena? For example, supporting a law that requires Megan Fox to dress skimpier? Erecting the Mario statue is pretty much the easiest sell to the people of Pittsburgh since the invention of the Steelers car magnet. Of course, Gretzky being Gretzky, he actually has two statues. [Madden]
• Looking at the many challenges in front of Pittsburgh Penguins GM Ray Shero for free agency, including whether to wheel and deal to keep defenseman Rob Scuderi. [The Confluence]
• The Hockey Hall of Fame will announce the next class on Tuesday. Which means it will announce Steve Yzerman, Brett Hull, Brian Leetch and ... Luc Robitaille? Alexander Mogilny? Dave Andreychuk? And that's with Pavel Bure, Doug Gilmour, Adam Oates, Dino Ciccarelli and others still out there. [THN]
• Lepore gets Leitch-ian, snarks on all 30 NHL fan bases in a glossary. [Puck The Media]
• Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe plays fantasy GM over the Dany Heatley sweepstakes, including the notion that a Vancouver Canucks package of Ryan Kesler-Kevin Bieksa would be "far less than" a Los Angeles Kings offer of Dustin Brown-Matt Greene. Not sure we agree with you a hundred percent on your police work, there, Du. [Boston Globe]
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• No J-Bouw for the Edmonton Oilers? [Edmonton Journal]
• Say, did you know that 50.8 percent of the players drafted in 1998 went on to appear in the NHL? Or that 16 of the 17 first-round picks for the Chicago Blackhawks from 1994 to 2008 eventually played in the League? Now you do, because "Daoust" of Pension Plan Puppets has created an NHL Draft searchable spreadsheet (download) that will blow your fracking mind. Try to remember what life was like before you opened The Daoust 94-09 Draft Database and Analysis Machine. Because our productivity is at "Top Chef marathon on Bravo" levels right now. [PPP]
• We're starting to really dig this Matt Duchene kid. At the combine, the Toronto Maple Leafs gave the draft picks photos of Barack Obama, Maria Sharapova and Sean Avery, and asked the picks to select one with whom to go out to dinner. Duchene: "Part of me wanted to say Maria Sharapova, but my brain told me to say Barack Obama, so that's what I went with." [Lightning Strikes]
• Meanwhile, Alex Tanguay would gladly have a foursome with Tiger Woods, Barack Obama and Bill Gates. [NHL]
• Nice piece by Adam Gretz on whether players out of the NCAA or the Canadian Major Junior programs turn out to be the best pros. [FanHouse]
• "The previous regime's pattern of trading draft picks and letting free agents walk for nothing" has left new Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher in a tough spot as he tries to improve the team via trades. [Star Tribune]
• The Washington Capitals have hired Bob Woods from the American Hockey League's (AHL) Hershey Bears as an assistant coach, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. Good guy who deserves the shot. Sort of like that other dude behind the Caps bench.
• The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club announced today the appointment of David Quinn as the new head coach of the Lake Erie Monsters, the team's American Hockey League affiliate. Huh ... he doesn't seem to have any previous direct ties with the organization or blood relations with management. Odd. [Avs]
• Finally, some real hockey news: Evgeni Malkin is allegedly back with his ex, Oksana Kondakova. [Big League Screw]
• Hex with a funny satire on Mats Sundin's decision not to play for Team Sweden in the Olympics and now keeping his "options open" for Norway, Denmark and Latvia. [MYFO]
• Nicklas Lidstrom of the Detroit Red Wings isn't sure about the Olympics in 2010, either. [Snapshots]
• In praise of the Molsons buying the Montreal Canadiens, and this bit of news: "The Bell Centre, where the Canadiens play their home games, will keep its name despite the sale. Bell Canada confirmed Monday it is a minority partner with the Molsons, but Bell did not say how much money it's contributing to the purchase." [CBC Sports]
• Why John MacLean probably isn't being to be the New Jersey Devils head coach, and why candidates like Peter Laviolette, Guy Carbonneau and Kevin Dineen are better suited for the gig than Jacques Lemaire. This has something to do either with age or the human yawning mechanism. [NorthJersey.com]
• Steve MacFarlane on the Brent Sutter/Calgary Flames coaching situation: "A quick glance at the proceedings -- from Mike Keenan's firing, to Brent Sutter's resignation, to his current discussion with the Flames -- and you can't help but raise your eyebrow and wonder just how convenient the whole mess is for the Sutters. Truth be told, all those who have a problem with it should hope to one day work for an employer so forgiving and accommodating." [Sun Media]
• The Vancouver Canucks' cap crunch when and if the Sedins re-sign there. [Nucks Misconduct]
• Breaking down the Florida Panthers' salary caps situation, and looking at which players get jonesed this summer. [Litter Box Cats]
• We honestly can't stop reading The Puck Stops Here. Or at least the comments section. [TPSH]
• Good stuff from Kevin Allen on the Chicago Blackhawks and Martin Havlat: "The Blackhawks have to persuade Havlat to accept a one-year deal to give them a chance to see where they are at in 2010, or offer him a Henrik Zetterberg-style deal that gives him many years, with smaller yearly salaries over the last few years, to lower his cap number." [USA Today]
• Joel Lundqvist has signed a "unique six-year contract" with Frolunda of the Swedish Elite League? [Defending Big D]
• For the second season in a row the ECHL was the only professional hockey league represented in the Top 10 venues as chosen by fans in the annual Vote4TheBest poll conducted by MLN Sports. [ECHL]
• Finally, it was the Battle of the Sexes at a Houston Aeros game this season. Yes, you should have married a figure skater, sir.