Puck Headlines: Hawks admit goof; Pronger's ‘bad' contract?

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.

• Last day in Santa Monica, so the normal Puck Daddy broadcasting schedule will resume on Friday.

• Ken Campbell of The Hockey News analyzes the controversy over Chris Pronger's contract with the Philadelphia Flyers, in which some confusion over the wording of the '35 and over' clause in the CBA could have led to a battle between the Flyers and the NHL about Pronger's post-retirement cap hit. Campbell gets GM Paul Holmgren on the record, and Holmgren said there are "negative and positive" ramifications for any contract. From Campbell: "The league has yet to hear from the Flyers about this and considers [the clause] to be unambiguous. And given that Holmgren has said the Flyers are willing to live with the negative ramifications of signing Pronger to a seven-year deal, it might not be an issue. Then that just makes it a really bad contract." Ouch. [THN]

• Wayne Scanlon looks at the long-term deals for both Pronger and Marian Hossa in a good piece about the dangers of such deals. [Ottawa Citizen]

• Were the Montreal media too hard on Saku Koivu? Wait, the Montreal media scape-goating a player for the Habs' lack of success? Breaking: Water still wet, too. [Eyes On The Prize]

• Koivu admits that he didn't want to play with the Minnesota Wild because of his brother Mikko playing there; he "just felt there were too many risks for us as brothers ... to join on the same team and kind of compete for the same ice time." [Star Tribune]

• The new regime in Minnesota didn't offer Marian Gaborik a contact as a free agent. [Pioneer Press]

• Flyers goalie Antero Niittymaki is apparently KHL-bound ... to the team where Ray Emery played last season. Your hot babe and bear sweater are waiting, Antero. [Slap Shot]

• Terrific interview with Tomas Holmstrom of the Detroit Red Wings, in which he talks about his brittle knees and the potential to play until he's 47 years old. [Snapshots]

Chicago Blackhawks GM Dale Tallon admits that the team goofed up its restricted free agent qualifying offers. When asked why the offers were received late, he said -- no joke -- that "I'm not a mailman, so I don't know. There were a lot of things that could have gone on." [Chicago Tribune]

• NHL deserter Radim Vrbata and his $3 million cap hit would like to play somewhere in the League next season. The Tampa Bay Lightning just don't see where he fits into their plans, which evidently don't include underachieving one-hit wonders who become massive free agent busts. At least this season, they don't. [Lightning Strikes]

• Really nice piece by Seth Rorabaugh looking at where Marty Biron could end up, as the free-agent goalie remains on the market. The Lightning would be a very interesting option at the right price. [Empty Netters]

• The Columbus Blue Jackets are searching for that elusive offensive defenseman. [Dispatch]

• Speaking of defensemen, great find by Adam Gretz of FanHouse (via the HF Boards), as it appears both the Anaheim Ducks' official site and the NHLPA site both have the Florida Panthers free agent as a Duckie. [FanHouse]

• Thanks to some brutal additions to already brutal rosters, THN's Ryan Kennedy is dubbing it the NorthBeast Division this season. The SouthLeast just wet itself. [THN]

• You know who's probably interested in this whole Roberto Luongo contract extension stuff? Cory Schneider. [Five Hole Fanatics]

• Interesting news from Pierre LeBrun on Sergei Zubov, who is testing the market and could end up back with the New York Rangers. [ESPN]

• John Tavares's agent clarifies the comment that there are things to "explore" in the New York Islanders' top pick's entry level contract. [NYI Point Blank]

• Another bidder emerges for the Phoenix Coyotes, and perhaps this one won't base his or her bid on the sort of miracle-working at the heart of the Reinsdorf one. [Globe & Mail]

• Finally, you've not lived until you've witnessed the awesome excitement of championship hockey. Championship AIR HOCKEY, that is. Many fingers will be jammed, many wrists sprained ...

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