Trott makes century for Warwickshire - Jonathan Trott hits his first century for Warwickshire since leaving England's winter Ashes tour because of stress. Cipriani 'happy to stay' at Sale - Sale and England fly-half Danny Cipriani says he would be open to extending his contract, which expires next summer. Contador to miss Vuelta a Espana - Alberto Contador rules himself out of the Vuelta a Espana following a setback in his recovery from a broken shin. Ustinov named as Fury opponent - Tyson Fury will fight Alexander Ustinov on Saturday after the cancellation of his world title eliminator with Dereck Chisora. After 10 days & 8,500 miles... St Helena reach Glasgow - St Helena's Commonwealth Games team travel five days on a ship and then take two flights to reach Glasgow. Irvine will carry N Ireland flag - World champion Martyn Irvine is chosen to carry the Northern Ireland flag at Wednesday's Commonwealth Games opening ceremony. Van Gaal criticises tour schedule - Houvenaghel retires from cycling - Northern Ireland's Wendy Houvenaghel retires from cycling after pulling out of the Commonwealth Games with injury. VIDEO: Jason Statham's Games diving display - Giants beat Phillies 9-6 in 14 innings (Yahoo Sports) - PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Brandon Crawford hit a bases-clearing double to break a 14th-inning stalemate and Tim Lincecum earned his first career save as the San Francisco Giants beat the Philadelphia Phillies 9-6 on Tuesday night.

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Jim Paek to lead Korean national team's attempt to earn 2018 Olympic berth [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 23, 2014, 12:53 pm]
The Korea Ice Hockey Association had been on the hunt for a foreign head coach to help improve their fortunes of automatically qualifying for the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. On Wednesday, they found their man. After spending nine seasons as an assistant coach with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL, former NHLer Jim Paek will now guide his country's national team. From the IIHF: A two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Penguins, Paek was also named as a Program Director of the national team team along with his new head coaching duties. The former defenceman will replace Byoen Sun-Wook, who coached the team for three years but resigned after Korea was relegated at the 2014 IIHF World Championship Division I Group A. ... “The idea of coaching the National Team in the Olympics is one of my dreams. I've always wanted to help develop Korean hockey. I've returned to Korea many times to run hockey schools and coached Korean teams travelling to Canada. What a great opportunity I have now.”"I know Korea hockey is aiming for the 2018 Winter Games, it's a great challenge but if we are organized and have a plan and teach the process good things will come. We cannot lose focus on the process." Paek was born in Seoul, but moved to Canada when he was very young. In 1990-91, he became the first Korean-born player ever in the NHL. After his playing days ended, he got into coaching, joining the Orlando Seals of the WHA2 in 2003 before taking a job with an Ohio high school team. The goal now for Paek and his charges is a IIHF world ranking of 18th. After a dismal showing at the 2014 Division I World Championships where Korea was relegated to Group B, the idea of automatically qualifying for the 2018 hockey tournament as host nation was thrown into serious doubt. Speaking at a conference in April, IIHF president Rene Fasel said that the federation's goal for Korea over the next two years is an improvement in the world rankings to insitll confidence in the gov

Puck Daddy chats with So Cal kid, Ducks prospect Nic Kerdiles about cracking the lineup and the two Ryans at center [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 22, 2014, 9:35 pm]
Nicolas Kerdiles grew up in Irvine, California, about 20 minutes - on a good day with light traffic - from Honda Center. He was born in January during the Mighty Ducks' inaugural season, and followed the team as he played youth hockey on up. It seemed almost inevitable that Kerdiles and the Ducks would end up together one day. And at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, they did. Anaheim selected Kerdiles 36th overall from the US National Team Development Program. He went on to commit and play for the University of Wisconsin where he moved from left wing over to center. In two seasons with the Badgers, Nic appeared in 60 games, scored 26 goals, 45 assists, and only one suspension for a tickytack NCAA violation for receiving benefits (SEC football teams refer to this violation as 'just another Tuesday'). Following the conclusion of his second season at Wisconsin, Nic signed his three-year, entry-level contract with the Ducks at a cap hit of $925K per; thus ending his college career.  Kerdiles joined Anaheim's AHL affiliate Norfolk Admirals for the final six games of the regular season where he notched 1-3=4 points, and followed it up with 3-1=4 points in 10 playoff games. The 20-year-old's next goal is to crack the roster out of camp, and it won't be easy. Since the emergence of Ryan Getzlaf, the Ducks have been on an Indian Jones-esque quest to find centers to complement the captain. Saku Koivu had some good years as the No. 2, but his play severely declined this past season after suffering a concussion. Matthieu Perrault looked like a good-enough replacement until Anaheim let him walk during free agency. Nick Bonino was on verge of becoming a No. 2, but that point was rendered moot when he was traded for Ryan Kesler...the new No. 2! That trade is great for the Ducks, but not so great for Kerdiles progression within the organization. The team wants him at center. If he wants to make the roster out of camp at that position, he has to beat the stockpile of prospects and experie

Leafs take a gamble on David Booth at one year, $1.1 million [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 22, 2014, 9:03 pm]
It's been a busy Tuesday for the Toronto Maple Leafs. First, they announced the dismissal of two members of their front office, as well as the addition of 28-year-old wunderkind Kyle Dubas.  Then, mere hours later, they added to their on-ice product as well, signing lovable weirdo David Booth to a one-year, $1.1 million deal. It's a low-risk move, a steal, and it, like the Dubas signing, speaks to a team beginning to get a sense of how to use analytics to their advantage. (One wonders if the two acquisitions are in any way connected. I'd hazard a guess that they are.) Booth had one year remaining on his deal with the Vancouver Canucks before the team opted to buy him out, presumably because he didn't score nearly enough for a guy making north of $4 milion dollars. He put up just 9 goals and 16 points in 66 games. But while that kind of production isn't worth that kind of money, Booth is hardly without value. In fact, the moment he was bought out, he became the sort of guy any team, the Canucks included, should want. From Pass it to Bulis: While this makes sense, it’s a shame to see Booth go, because with this buyout, he instantly becomes the type of guy a team like the Canucks would be wise to pursue. He’s been a positive possession player ever since he came to Vancouver. He had a 58.4% corsi for the Canucks in 2011-12, a 60.5% corsi in 2012-13, and a 52% corsi in 2013-14. His offense was subpar, sure, but there were injury troubles all along the way, and by his own admission, he didn’t really get up to speed following the lockout until late last season. There’s enough evidence in his underliers and his story to suggest that his days as a 20-goal scorer aren’t up. He’s worth a gamble. And even if Booth doesn't hit 20 goals with the Leafs, he's likely to tilt the ice in their favour from the third line. He's strong, he's good in the corners, and he gains the zone with relative ease. That's immensely valuable, even if his finishing ability isn't where it

Stars re-sign Roussel; Tim Peel's day on Twitter; Lundqvist selling penthouse (Puck Headlines) [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 22, 2014, 7:10 pm]
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. • This is a really cool photo of hockey at the 1928 Olympics. [Reddit Hockey]  • More on the Soo Greyhounds saying goodbye to Kyle Dubas. He'll be helping them install his replacement. [Buzzing the Net] • Chris Johnston on the Dubas hire: "To deny the significance of possession stats in hockey is to be on the wrong side of history. Before Tuesday morning, the Toronto Maple Leafs were on the wrong side of history." [Sportsnet] • The Dallas Stars have avoided arbitration with Antoine Roussel, signing the feisty winger to a four-year, $8 million contract. [Defending Big D] • Everybody's favourite NHL referee Tim Peel (certainly our favourite) may have been on Twitter today. If it was really him, here's what went down: he hopped on, then had to shut it down almost right away because the CBA doesn't allow him to tweet. Once again, we wonder if Tim Peel knows the rules. [Sporting News] • Henrik Lundqvist is selling his insane Hell's Kitchen penthouse. It can be yours for about $7 million. [NY Rangers Blog] • P.A. Parenteau calls joining the Montreal Canadiens a dream come true, which is what he was supposed to say. [TSN] • The Anaheim Ducks have signed Sami Vatanen to a two-year, $2.5 million contract. [Anaheim Calling] • Al Montoya hopes to be the next Cory Schneider, in the sense that he steals Roberto Luongo's job: “The coach and the team knows what I’m capable of and when I’m called, I’m going out there to win games. I’m not just there to give Roberto a night off, I’m there to help the team move forward. I’m looking forward to the challenge. I think things are headed in the right direction. I haven’t seen my best yet.” [Miami Herald] • Philadelphia laywer Andrew Barroway has reportedly made a huge offer for the New York Islanders. [The Score] • The Flames h

Glendale mayor believes Arizona Coyotes' arena deal was done in violation of state law [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 22, 2014, 6:29 pm]
The Phoenix Coyotes officially became the Arizona Coyotes at last month's NHL draft, signalling the end of a long, legal ordeal that was kicked off by their plunge into bankruptcy all the way back in 2009. After years trying to find a new owner, then negotiating with the city of Glendale over the lease for Jobing.com arena, it finally all got done last August. Less than a year later, the rise of the Arizona Coyotes (like a phoenix, but no longer officially from Phoenix) was a big moment for the League. But now they may have to do it all over. According to Glendale mayor Jerry Weiers, the deal shouldn't count. On Monday, he asked the state attorney general to investigate a secret meeting that may have have violated state law. From the Arizona Republic: Weiers, who voted against the deal that kept the hockey team in Glendale, said he believes the meeting violated the Arizona's Open Meeting Law and revealed key information to the Coyotes about the city's negotiating position. "I think it's a clear violation," he said. "That meeting is wrong on so many levels. It's like playing poker and showing your opponents all your cards." Violations of the Open Meeting Law can rescind actions taken by elected officials, which could potentially void Glendale's deal with the team, which was then called the Phoenix Coyotes. Good. Lord. Needless to say, the accused are denying the existence of this meeting, although The Arizona Republic has obtained an e-mail that sure has the look of a smoking gun. In the e-mail, Council member Gary Sherwood tells fellow Councilman Manny Martinez that he "spent over an hour with Nick Woods last night". Woods is IceArizona's attorney. Sherwood also mentions another councillor that was there, then tells Manny to delete the e-mail after he's read it, which seems suspicious for an e-mail that's on the level. If found to be in violating of the law, the punishment for Sherwood, Martinez and anyone else at the meeting wouldn't be much: a $500 fine and s

Glendale mayor believes Coyotes' deal with city was done in violation of state law [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 22, 2014, 6:29 pm]
The Phoenix Coyotes officially became the Arizona Coyotes at last month's NHL draft, signalling the end of a long, legal ordeal that was kicked off by their plunge into bankruptcy all the way back in 2009. After years trying to find a new owner, then negotiating with the city of Glendale over the lease for Jobing.com arena, it finally all got done last August. Less than a year later, the rise of the Arizona Coyotes (like a phoenix, but no longer officially from Phoenix) was a big moment for the League. So imagine if they had to do it all over. According to Glendale mayor Jerry Weiers, the deal shouldn't count. On Monday, he asked the state attorney general to investigate a secret meeting that may have have violated state law. From the Arizona Republic: Weiers, who voted against the deal that kept the hockey team in Glendale, said he believes the meeting violated the Arizona's Open Meeting Law and revealed key information to the Coyotes about the city's negotiating position. "I think it's a clear violation," he said. "That meeting is wrong on so many levels. It's like playing poker and showing your opponents all your cards." Violations of the Open Meeting Law can rescind actions taken by elected officials, which could potentially void Glendale's deal with the team, which was then called the Phoenix Coyotes. Good. Lord. It never ends. Needless to say, the accused are denying the existence of this meeting, although The Arizona Republic  obtained an e-mail that sure has the look of a smoking gun. In the e-mail, Council member Gary Sherwood tells fellow Councilman Manny Martinez that he "spent over an hour with Nick Woods last night". Woods is IceArizona's attorney. Sherwood also mentions another councillor that was there, then tells Manny to delete the e-mail after he's read it, which seems suspicious for a correspondence that's on the level. If found to be in violation of the law, the punishment for Sherwood, Martinez and anyone else at the meeting wouldn't be much

Winners, losers in NBC Sports 2014-15 NHL TV schedule [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 22, 2014, 5:32 pm]
You've got to feel for the San Jose Sharks. Not only did they see a good season wasted with yet another early-season exit, but this one may have been the most heart-breaking of all, with the team squandering a 3-0 lead to the eventual Staney Cup Champion LA Kings. Then, to make matters worse, they'll have to open the season playing those same LA Kings and standing around trying not to look as their in-state rivals raise their second Stanley Cup banner. It's going to be truly uncomfortable for them, which means it's appointment viewing for us, which is likely why NBC was all to happy to lead off their 2014-15 regular season coverage with this game. In a manner of speaking. The game will be the second of an opening night double-header for NBCSN's growing Wednesday Night Rivalry brand, immediately following a tilt between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Boston Bruins. On Tuesday, NBC released their next-season broadcast schedule, which will see them airing a grand total of 103 regular-season games. As with past seasons, they know what the people team: the teams of the Northeast, minus the Islanders. From NBC: Coming off of the most-watched NHL regular season ever on NBC and NBCSN, the most-watched Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2006 and most-watched Stanley Cup Playoffs on cable in 17 years, NBC Sports Group will deliver coverage of 103 NHL regular-season games during the 2014-15 season, featuring 14 games on NBC and 89 games on NBCSN. All games will be streamed live via NBC Sports Live Extra.  • NBC will present the 2015 NHL Winter Classic from Washington, D.C., between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Washington Capitals on January 1 at 1 p.m. ET. • Making its return for the first time since 2012, NBCSN will present coverage of the NHL All-Star Game from Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, home of the Columbus Blue Jackets. All-Star weekend will take place Saturday, January 24 and Sunday, January 25 and will include the NHL All-Star Skills Competition™ and the NHL

Leafs shake up front office: Poulin, Loiselle out, 28-year-old stat guru Kyle Dubas in [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 22, 2014, 3:13 pm]
Brendan Shanahan has made his first major move to overhaul the Toronto Maple Leafs' front-office, dismissing Vice President of Hockey Operations Dave Poulin and Vice President and Assistant General Manager Claude Loiselle. Incoming: 28-year-old Kyle Dubas, who's been serving as the General Manager of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds since he was 25 years old, and will now be an assistant GM in Toronto. “Kyle is a young executive that has made a strong name for himself in hockey with a progressive style, work ethic and maturation beyond his years,” said Shanahan in a release. “He has a fresh approach that we feel will benefit our club for years to come.” “At the same time, I would like to thank Dave Poulin and Claude Loiselle for their tireless dedication during their time with the Toronto Maple Leafs. They are both very accomplished hockey executives who have helped put this team in a position to take the next step.” It's a massive shake-up, and one that signals a pretty bold change in direction. Nothing says "fresh approach" quite like cutting ties with two guys like Poulin and Loiselle, both of whom represent hockey's old way of thinking (something Shanahan nods to with his use of the term "accomplished hockey executives"), and bringing in a guy that's yet to reach his 30s. A guy that never played the game. And a guy known to be a strong proponent of the analytical approach. Kyle Dubas is something of a stats guru, and for a Leafs' blogosphere that's been beating their heads against the wall at Dave Nonis's moves for several seasons now, knowing a guy like Dubas has his ear is a welcome change. “We’re excited about the addition of an up-and-coming hockey executive in Kyle,” said Nonis in the release. “He is an innovative thinker that will bring enthusiasm and impressive abilities to our club." He's certainly done wonders for the Greyhounds, as evidenced by this simple graphic. Dubas took over in 2011-12: In case you're wondering if new #Leafs

Leafs shake up front office: Poulin, Loiselle out, 28-year-old Kyle Dubas in [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 22, 2014, 3:13 pm]
Brendan Shanahan has made his first major move to overhaul the Toronto Maple Leafs' front-office, dismissing Vice President of Hockey Operations Dave Poulin and Vice President and Assistant General Manager Claude Loiselle. Incoming: 28-year-old Kyle Dubas, who's been serving as the General Manager of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds since he was 25 years old, and will now be an assistant GM in Toronto. “Kyle is a young executive that has made a strong name for himself in hockey with a progressive style, work ethic and maturation beyond his years,” said Shanahan in a release. “He has a fresh approach that we feel will benefit our club for years to come.” “At the same time, I would like to thank Dave Poulin and Claude Loiselle for their tireless dedication during their time with the Toronto Maple Leafs. They are both very accomplished hockey executives who have helped put this team in a position to take the next step.” It's a massive shake-up, and one that signals a pretty bold change in direction. Nothing says "fresh approach" quite like cutting ties with two guys like Poulin and Loiselle, both of whom represent hockey's old way of thinking (something Shanahan nods to with his use of the term "accomplished hockey executives"), and bringing in a guy that's yet to reach his 30s. A guy that never played the game. And a guy known to be a strong proponent of the analytical approach. Kyle Dubas is something of a stats guru, at least compared to most other hockey execs, and for a Leafs' blogosphere that's been beating their heads against the wall at Dave Nonis's moves for several seasons now, knowing a guy like Dubas has his ear is a welcome change. “We’re excited about the addition of an up-and-coming hockey executive in Kyle,” said Nonis in the release. “He is an innovative thinker that will bring enthusiasm and impressive abilities to our club." He's certainly done wonders for the Greyhounds, as evidenced by this simple graphic. Dubas took over in 2

Russian power couple Alex Ovechkin and Maria Kirilenko end engagement [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 21, 2014, 7:09 pm]
Like all American conglomerates these days, we here at Puck Daddy like to outsource work. Some might call it being lazy; I call it job creation. For our 'Russian sports power couple' news, we turn to the good people over at Russian Machine Never Breaks (RMNB). Sadly, RMNB reported this morning Capitals forward Alexander Ovechkin and No. 93 ranked tennis player Maria Kirilenko have decided to end their engagement. Kirilenko issued an official statement through R-Sports: “I have made a decision to break up our engagement. There are a lot of reasons, but I wouldn’t want to go in detail. I’ll say just that our relationship is over, but I respect Sasha as a person and an athlete and sincerely wish him athletic success in the future. “I’m currently concentrating on preparing for my tennis tournaments and I hope that soon I’ll be able to please my fans with news about my success as an athlete and not just in my personal life.” DAMMIT ALL TO HELL! WILL LOVE EVER WIN?! It's the off-season so we get to do whatever we want, like reading too far in to an official statement we have no additional information or context on. The first paragraph tells the whole story. I'll translate into 'pissed-off ex-girlfriend': I have made a decision to break up our engagement.--> I BROKE UP WITH HIM. There are a lot of reasons ... --> It was entirely his fault. ... but I wouldn’t want to go in detail. -->  He knows what he did. I’ll say just that our relationship is over ... --> Did I mention I broke up with him?! ... but I respect Sasha as a person and an athlete and sincerely wish him athletic success in the future. --> I hope Alex's life is filled with misery and loneliness going forward. We all know he can't win big games, but it is funny to passive-aggressively wish him luck anyway. My tinfoil hat theory about this relationship all along is that it's been orchestrated by none other than Vladimir Putin. Old Pooty-Poots wants to create the ultimate Russian athlete like a

Red Wings announce new arena plans; NHL and HBO talk '24/7'; Bruins' excess of d-men (Puck Headlines) [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 21, 2014, 6:06 pm]
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. • "Olympia Development of Michigan today announced plans for a sweeping transformation of dozens of underutilized blocks between downtown and midtown Detroit into a world-class Sports and Entertainment District." The project will bring much needed jobs and economic expansion to Detroit. The new Red Wings arena is set to open in 2017. [District Detroit] • Here's George Malik's in-depth look at the nuts and bolts of the new arena plans. [Kukla's Korner] • WIIM foretells the upcoming Red Wings season as being 'The Mike Babcock Show'. They dissect the always direct head coach's responses in a local radio interview. Whatever you do, don't say the statement 'just like last year'; it's a trigger. [Winging It In Motown] • Get out the tissues. Gino Odjick has been told he has weeks to live, and he made a surprise appearance in Quebec at a ceremony to rename a rink in his honor. [Van City Buzz] • Montreal Canadiens prospect Tim Bozon is returning to the ice for the first time since March 3rd to play for France overseas. Why is that a big deal? The kid was hospitalized with a scary and serious bout of bacterial meningitis earlier this year. [Buzzing the Net] • The Capitals and Blackhawks will be facing off in this year's Winter Classic. HBO and the NHL are still hammering out the details for another season of '24/7'. Umm, Patrick Kane + Alexander Ovechkin = ratings gold. [CSN Chicago] • With Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen signed to long-term deals, how will the kids in the Caps system be impacted? [Brooks Laichyear] • Hey, remember how the Pittsburgh Penguins got a new coach? His name is Mike Johnston. Now that he's had a few weeks on the job, he's ready for a Q & A session with a local beat writer. Spoiler alert: He's dropping Sid to fourth-line center and he prefers Wayne to Mario. KIDDIN

Arbitration roundup: Franson settles with Leafs; Sobotka gets award; O'Reilly, Avs still far apart [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 21, 2014, 4:02 pm]
Late July means that arbitration news begins trickling out. Last summer, no players actually went to arbitration. All 21 settled with their teams before the two sides met in a Toronto conference room to argue their case. Twenty players elected arbitration this summer, and three others are heading there because of their clubs. On Monday, Vladimir Sobotka was the first player to have his hearing. Of course, Sobotka wasn’t there, as he signed a three-year deal to play with Omsk of the KHL. He was, however, awarded a one-year contract for $2.725 million, which will be honored if he ever returns to the NHL.  Sobotka’s KHL deal includes an opt-out clause after each season beginning next summer.  “We are looking forward to having Vladimir in a Blues uniform when he returns to the NHL,” said Blues general manager Doug Armstrong. “We wish him the best of luck in the upcoming season.” While Sobotka’s hearing was initiated by the Blues, Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Cody Franson was one of three players to decide to take his team to arbitration. But hours before his hearing was to begin the two sides agreed upon a one-year, $3.3 million, according to the Toronto Sun’s Steve Simmons.  Franson, who had asked for a $4.2 million award, will become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Now comes the question of does the team move him before the trade deadline? This is the third straight one-year deal for him and after holding out at the beginning of last season, the end is near for this relationship. The summer’s most interesting arbitration hearing will be Ryan O’Reilly and the Colorado Avalanche. Given the lack of progress on new deal, there is a very slim chance something is hammered out before Wednesday's meeting. According to Ken Campbell of The Hockey News, O’Reilly submitted an award of $6.75 million, while the Avalanche countered with $5.525 million, almost $1 million less than what he made in 2013-14.   The arbitrator has to award O’Reilly s

GMs should learn to shop smarter (What We Learned) [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 21, 2014, 2:26 pm]
(Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.) Tanner Glass and Lee Stempniak are teammates again, for the first time since 2004-05. That year, they played together at Dartmouth, with Stempniak a senior and Glass a sophomore. Now, they're both on the New York Rangers and highlight a particularly bizarre portion of the NHL's annual summer free agency period. The early days of free agency almost always come off as being woefully inefficient. Guys who sign on or around July 1 tend to be overpaid in terms of dollars and years, and that's a secret to approximately nobody. But the weird part is that things go from laughably expensive to laughably cheap pretty quickly, and it usually happens around the start of the second week of the month. The TSN-coined term “free agent frenzy” is, as a consequence, alarmingly apt. Teams get themselves all worked up to make it appear as though they're doing something that they pay top dollar for players they shouldn't. Glass is the case in point here. He's played 337 NHL games, and in them he's piled up 54 points. He's also on his fourth organization in five seasons, because what Glass does — get buried in possession and occasionally fight — is available on the open market for very cheap if you know where to look, and that's if you have to go shopping for it; most minor league teams have at least one guy who can do what Glass does. And yet his cap hit, on a contract unsurprisingly signed on July 1, will be $1.45 million for the next three seasons. That's too much money and too many years for a fighter who'll be 31 in November; remember how Shawn Thornton dropped off a cliff the last two or three seasons? Glass was never as good as Thornton. Meanwhile, his old college buddy Stempniak had to wait until July 19 to sign his deal with the Rangers.

Ryan Johansen, Blue Jackets make progress in extension talks [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 21, 2014, 1:27 pm]
Last month, after the Columbus Blue Jackets offered restricted free agent Ryan Johansen a two-year bridge contract, the 21-year old forward called it a “slap in the face.” He wanted a longer-term deal — four years or more — but the team was in the mood for something along the lines of a two- or three-year term. Three weeks later, it appears a bit of progress has been made. According to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch, sources have told him that Johansen’s camp approached the Blue Jackets with a two-year offer after originally wanting a four-year pact. Baby steps are still steps and if both sides can agree to a bridge, the next move is obviously determining Johansen’s worth, which could take another couple weeks.  Speaking with team broadcast Jeff Rimer in an interview on their website Friday, Blue Jackets president of hockey operations John Davidson explained the team’s position in the negotiations and the reason why they prefer the bridge for Johansen.  “We’re a team that feels that if we have players that earn it, we will certainly respond with appropriate contracts. We’re in a position here where we’re working with their camp trying to figure out what exactly is the right thing to do.  We like Ryan Johansen, obviously. Who wouldn’t? But we’ve got to make sure; we have to be a responsible club regarding long-term contracts. And there’s something called a “bridge,” where when you come out of entry-level  your first three years you as team, following the Collective Bargaining Agreement rules, the rules that are in place, you can sign a player to a bridge so we can make sure. And if Ryan keeps the upward trend, he’s going to have a long, very fruitful career. But we have to make sure we protect ourselves.” Johansen was one of the NHL’s biggest breakout stars last season leading the Blue Jackets in goals (33) and points (63). Settling on a two-year bridge contract would give Columbus good reason to look forward to the

Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews rekindle their dance feud at Blackhawks Convention (Video) [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 20, 2014, 1:05 pm]
The friendy rivalry between Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews will continue for at least the next nine seasons after the Chicago Blackhawks pair inked matching 8-year, $84 million contracts last week to remain in The Windy City.   Their personal competition doesn’t just take place on the ice, but off it, as well. At last summer’s Blackhawks Convention, the two took part in a dance-off during one panel, with the captain breaking out the moonwalk and “Showtime!” going with the patented Kaner shuffle. While Toews deserved bonus points just for breaking away from his usual Captain Serious mood, Kane played it perfectly doing his thing to get under the skin of his buddy. Round 2 took place on Saturday during the 2014 Convention and once again, Kane defended his title: You have to admire how Kane takes his time to assess the situation before fully diving right into his patented shuffle. He also freshened it up, adding the Lance Stephenson/blow in the ear finish.  This went down during the “What It Takes” panel, talking about Stanley Cup champions and Conn Smythe winners. New Blackhawks center Brad Richards was also involved but refrained from any dancing.  Obviously next season Kane and Toews need to continue their Mickey Ward/Arturo Gatti-esque trilogy with one final dance-off during its own hour-long panel. Kris Versteeg, if he’s still a Blackhawk in a year, can play the role of MC. Stick-tap For the Win - - - - - - - Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Sean_Leahy

Road hockey charity Five Hole For Food reaches a million pounds in donations [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 20, 2014, 1:00 pm]
VANCOUVER - Our opponents broke out on a two-on-one. I was the lone man back. I sized up the two men sprinting in my direction. To my left, calling for the pass: some guy. To my right, carrying the ball: NHL centre Rod Pelley. I decided to let Pelley make the pass. He did, and I breathed a sigh of relief. But then, to my horror, as I turned to check the seemingly more checkable guy, he passed it back. It turned me around completely. It wasn't a perfect pass, but it didn't need to be. I watched as Pelley dropped to one knee and put the little orange ball top corner with a one-timer that would have made Brett Hull proud. The crowd went wild. I fell down. Stupid Rod Pelley. *** Five Hole For Food (FHFF) just completed its fifth tour of Canada, and with the anniversary came an incredible accomplishment. The charity, which sends founder Richard Loat and his friends on a cross-Canada adventure, playing road hockey in 13 cities in 17 days, all in support of local food banks, reached a milion. "The goal was to hit our millionth pound of food raised since day one," said Loat. "We hit that milestone." One million pounds of food. And all this because a hockey blogger wanted to get out of his basement, see Canada, play hockey, and get some more Twitter followers. "I'd be lying to you if I told you that when I started this, I wanted to start a charity," Loat admitted. "I was looking to drive across Canada. I wanted to meet other hockey writers, I wanted more followers. We were trying to build relationshps and do the social thing. And here we are five summers later." In Vancouver especially, where the whole thing started, FHFF has become a massive event. Granville Street, one of Vancouver's busiest areas, is suddenly transformed into a road hockey paradise, with six courts teeming with eager hockey players, some of whom came down to get in a game, and some of whom happened by on their way to Starbucks or Burger King, and couldn't help themselves. As a Canadian, I can admit it's t

Cam Talbot still loves Ghostbusters in new, Zuul-themed mask (Photo) [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 19, 2014, 1:58 pm]
Follow Cam Talbot's career for even a short amount of time and you're going to learn two things about him: 1) He's a goalie. 2) He really likes Ghostbusters. All you have to do is look at his gear and these two things become crystal clear. He's usually wearing goalie pads, which is a dead giveaway on what position he plays, and he's been rocking Ghostbuster-themed masks since he got Dave Gunnarsson to paint the Stay Puft Marshallow Man and Slimer on his mask in 2010. On Friday, Gunnarsson debuted his latest creation for Talbot, and unsurprisingly, it's Ghostbusters-themed. (He really likes Ghostbusters.) Love that Bill Murray has finally found his way onto a goalie mask. He should be on all of them. Gunnarsson explained the new mask on his Facebook page: So now it is here, the next chapter of Cam Talbot´s ghost hunting New York Rangers masks…. Every single mask of Talbot´s latest Ghostbusters masks has become such huge successes, so Cam now even has his new nickname; GoalBuster…. But be careful, this time Cam Talbot will be transformed into the Zuul dog when he puts this mask on… Just check out the chin of the mask… so many teeth.. The Zuul dog is created at the lower part of the mask, and the rest of the mask is totally action packed with details to tell the story of ghost hunting in New York… And in the centre, of course slime…! That is what we call actual physical contact.. Zuul is a fitting spirit animal for Talbot, as the demon dog is basically a goalie himself. He's the gatekeeper of Gozer. He's also capable of possessing people, which is good news for Alain Vigneault, who coaches a possession system. Talbot's averaging one new Ghostbusters mask every year now. Here's the first one from 2012, when Talbot was still with the Connecticut Whale: And in 2013, Talbot had a new one made up for the Rangers' Stadium Series games. It is my sincere hope that he continues the Ghostbusters theme for the rest of his career, and if Ghostbusters III goes thr

T.J. Oshie four-putts from seven feet, should probably stick to hockey (Video) [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 19, 2014, 1:00 pm]
T.J. Oshie became a household name this season after his incredible performance in the shootout versus Russia at the Sochi Olympics, scoring four goals in six attempts to lead his team to victory. But you had to know Oshie's luck was eventually going to turn. He was bound to regress at some point, and on Friday, it happened. During golf. (Surprise! The hockey gods can get you anywhere.) Here's Oshie discovering that it's a lot easier to go five-hole on Sergei Bobrovsky than it is to sink a putt from seven feet: Just no finish at all. You'd think he was coached by Ken Hitchcock or something. This unfortunate and cringeworthy scene comes to us from the American Century Championship, a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe. Oshie is one of four NHL representatives, alongside Martin Brodeur, Jeremy Roenick, and Joe Sakic. Anyway. Poor Oshie. Had he sunk the first one, he'd have birdied the par 5. Instead he had to settle for the double bogey. On the bright side, he's still doing way better than Charles Barkley. I'm no hero, Oshie said afterwards. The real heroes can put that ball down on the first try. (He never actually said that.) s/t to @cjzero

Puck Daddy chats with NHL 15 producer Sean Ramjagsingh about moving to next-gen, improved physics and living crowds [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 18, 2014, 7:34 pm]
Q. You didn’t put out NHL 14 on the next-gen consoles last year. What did the extra time allow you to do for NHL 15? RAMJAGSINGH: Not being on next-gen last year allowed us to really focus on NHL 14 and push how much we could do with 14. At the same time, not being on gen-4 for launch was a good thing for us because we could leverage a lot of the learning from the other games in the EA Sports family; so games like FIFA and Madden led the way. There’s new hardware that comes up, there’s new technological things, hurdles you need to overcome that don’t always necessarily benefit the end user. You need to spend time figuring out how to develop on those consoles before you can actually deliver the cool stuff. By not being there for Year 1 we were able to let the FIFAs and the Maddens of the world kind of figure out all of the technological hurdles so we can spend more time focusing on the features for NHL 15. Were there one or two things that you either couldn’t get into NHL 14 or wanted to improve upon that you couldn’t get into NHL 15?  As part of the process with a sports game that comes out every year we start with a massive list things. We start with the things that hit the cutting room floor the previous year; we take the feedback from the fans; and then we as producers and a development team push ourselves to try and innovate every year and think of bigger and better things that haven’t been thought of. So every year there’s stuff that we don’t get to. I’m not going to tell you what some of those things were because those will be in NHL 16. But obviously we have a finite amount of time, a finite amount of resources to put out a product any given year. Once we lock on what we can deliver, it’s our goal then to continue to push the boundaries to make things as good as they can be. One of the keys for us is trying not to go too wide and be very focused with what we do and try to execute upon. With the new player and puck physics, will the dete

Panthers re-sign Dmitry Kulikov, suddenly have a pretty decent defense [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: July 18, 2014, 6:16 pm]
The Florida Panthers re-signed defenseman Dmitry Kulikov on Friday, inking the Russian blueliner to a three-year, $13 million contract extension. Kulikov, 23, was coming off his two-year bridge contract, which carried a cap hit of $2.5 million. The new deal bumps that number up to $4.33 million, making him the second highest-paid member of the Panthers defense corps behind Brian Campbell's deal, which pays him just north of $7 million. Speaking of the Florida defense corps, with this extension, it's pretty well set now, and after the summer the Panthers have had, it's actually looking pretty impressive.  Kulikov is the third of their young blueliners to sign an extension this month. Erik Gudbrandson signed his two-year bridge contract last week, and Dylan Olsen, likely the team's sixth defenseman, did the same earlier this week. And of course, Florida will likely also bear witness to the rookie season of first overall pick Aaron Ekblad. Guiding the kids through this transitional stage: the aforementioned Brian Campbell, and free agent signing Willie Mitchell, who comes to the Panthers fresh off another Stanley Cup with the Los Angeles Kings. Those two play very different games, but the one thing they have in common is experience, and that's what this developing group needs most.





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