Here are your Evening Puck Headlines and Previews: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.
• The return of Claude Lemieux, at least to the AHL, has stirred some interesting debate. Chuq over on Two for Elbowing, a Sharks fan, doesn't believe we'll ever see Claude make the parent team. "I have to admit I have mixed feelings about this; I never forgave him for the hit he made on Draper -- but I cheered his Conn Smythe, because my god, he earned it. He's a heck of a player with a real edge. Personally, though, I'm not sure I'd want to see him take a teal jersey away from some of the other guys in the system." [Two for Elbowing]
• Meanwhile, Eric McErlain explains why he's rooting for Claude Lemieux to make the San Jose Sharks, and believes you should be, too. [The Sporting Blog]
Preview: St. Louis Blues at Nashville Predators (7 p.m. EST; TV: VS). NHL.com is pimping Chris Mason's return to Nashville, so we can only assume the former Predators goalie gets the start tonight for the Blues. St. Louis is 2-0 without injured center Andy McDonald. Nashville has to feel pretty good having survived a rough stretch in their schedule. Check out the Preds tonight on Versus. They're a fun team.
• The Forechecker makes the case for Shea Weber to be an All-Star Game starter. [On the Forecheck]
• Hey, remember how NBC followed the Winter Classic last season with "The Music of Seal on Ice"? According to Steve Lepore, NBC has decided to follow the next edition of the Winter Classic with ... a rerun of "The Music of Seal on Ice". [Puck the Media]
Preview: Atlanta Thrashers at Toronto Maple Leafs (7:30 p.m. EST; TV: LTV). Two teams going in the wrong direction, at least on the ice. Eyes are beginning to focus on Ilya Kovalchuk, who hasn't scored in his last four and has just six goals on the season. Lee Stempniak will be in uniform tonight for the Leafs, will Brian Burke be in the building?
• A Mats Sundin update from Tampa "Sundin's agent J.P. Barry said his client will begin serious skating this week with the hope of playing by mid to late December. But Barry said Sundin has yet to narrow his choices into a final list. Barry has said up to 10 teams have shown interest, including Tampa Bay." [Lightning Strikes]
• Something to consider in all this Sundin nuttiness: PokerStars, for which he's a spokesperson, is holding a contest in which a fan can watch a game with Mats from a VIP suite at Madison Square Garden. The game in question is a Saturday, Dec. 13 battle between the New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes. So Sundin will be in NYC on that day; hey, what happens if he signs with the Rangers? [PokerStars.net, and thanks to Puck Daddy reader Rick for the tip.]
Preview: Los Angeles Kings at Calgary Flames (9 p.m. EST; TV: RSW). The Kings have won just one of their last 11 games in Calgary. Erik Ersberg will be between the pipes, and Derek Armstrong is supposed to get into the lineup, according to Inside the Kings. Matthew Lombardi could be up on the top line for the Flames with Jarome Iginla and Michael Cammalleri.
• Michel Therrien calls out the Pittsburgh Penguins power play. [Steel City Sports Fan]
• Dominik from Lighthouse Hockey: "You sitting down? Because the NHL says that Elias says (why would I look this up myself?) that Joey MacDonald is the NHL's mostest greatest well-okay-winningest goalie in November so far." And DiPietro's on our fantasy team ... [Lighthouse Hockey]
• Finally, if you haven't heard of Tara Wheeler, she's a beauty queen from Virginia (2008 Miss Virginia, no less) who also happens to be a former college hockey goalie. On Frozen Blog spoke with her earlier this month. Here she is donning a Hokies sweater and playing some decent goal against the Virginia Tech team. Check out the save on that punk who decides to do a spin-o-rama on her.