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.
• Buffalo Sabres goalie Ryan Miller believed the refereeing in last night's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins was "slanted." His feelings were reinforced when one of the referees rudely dismissed a question by responding that Miller should "go [bleep]" himself. Sounds like someone needs a little NHL-mandated anger management. Miller responded by telling the ref that his mama is so ugly, they renamed Halloween Yomammaween. [Buffalo News, and thanks to PD reader Jonathan]
• The NHL hands out a one-game suspension to Chicago Blackhawks rookie Kris Versteeg for instigating a fight with Kyle Turris late in the game. Please recall Wayne Gretzky's whining about the fight. Versteeg won't be hitting back, because his father is a Gretzky superfan. "If I ever wanted to say something bad about Wayne Gretzky, he'd be the first guy here to give me a slap upside the head." This kid is making us want to give him the Calder. [Daily Herald]
Preview: New York Islanders at Philadelphia Flyers (7 p.m. EST; TV: VS). Nate Thompson is out with the flu for the Islanders. Thought they cured the Philadelphia Flu back in the 1970s. Marty Biron is going for his ninth-straight win over the Islanders. Joey MacDonald should get the start on the other side.
• The economy sucks, and the NHL could feel it in two years with a reduction in the salary caps ceiling. Some teams are already thinking about how to handle this mess and vowing not to use the contract buyout as belts tighten. [Canadian Press]
• With this economic gloom, it's going to take some innovation to keep the NHL thriving. Mark Spector offers a great idea to save money: "How about back to back games, where a team plays two nights in a row in the same city to save costs of going there twice?" Would you pay to see the same team on back-to-back nights, like in baseball? [Sportsnet]
Preview: Calgary Flames at Montreal Canadiens (7:30 p.m. EST; RDS, RSW). Jaroslav Halak gets the call against Calgary. Mike Komisarek hopes to be back on the ice by Christmas. David Moss has been great lately for Calgary, scoring in five of his last six games. Will Habs fans give Dion Phaneuf the same salutations as the Rangers fans did in MSG?
• A long story chronicling the sins of disgraced Nashville Predators co-owner 'Boots' Del Biaggio. Did you know securities fraud carries a maximum 25-year prison term? Hopefully, Phil Anschutz and Craig Leipold will still send him cake in the slammer. [New York Times]
• Meanwhile, one half of the Kurtenblog takes a look at the Boots/Bettman dynamic. "Now, you can either believe that Del Biaggio is the modern-day Jay Gatsby (making Bettman the wide-eyed Nick Carraway) or that -- determined to keep a non-traditional hockey market afloat -- Bettman rolled the dice on Del Biaggio like a desperate husband might seek a marriage counsellor after catching his wife with the milkman." [Province]
Preview: Vancouver Canucks at Nashville Predators (8 p.m. EST; TV: RSW). The interesting plotline here would be if Dan Ellis gets the nod for the Predators, as rookie Pekka Rinne was finally solved by the Blues last night. Ellis needs a good outing to help douse any potential goalie controversy. Meanwhile, the Canucks and the New York Rangers have been named the frontrunners for Mats Sundin. Join us in the morning for more Sundin fun.
• At the risk of making the irrelevant relevant for a moment, the Flyers have not claimed Chris Gratton off waivers, which was reported by Dwayne "Eklund" Klessel on Hockey Buzz until he apparently realized the information was coming from a video gamers site that allows fans to make up news stories about their digital exploits. (The Padres, for example, did not defeat the Cubs in this NLCS.) His first clue might have been that a "Michael Zigomanis" is centering for the Flyers in fantasyland. Anyhoo, Eklund later claimed that he was "testing a new posting technique and accidentally posted a test blog" with information stolen from a fake news site before deleting the post altogether. And everyone had a laugh ... not as big as the laughs provided by this Eklund-does-Sundin timeline from Hockey Analysis, but a laugh nonetheless. Well, that's enough of that.
• Mullets on children and University of North Dakota jerseys. Yeah, makes too much sense to us, too. [2MA]
Preview: Los Angeles Kings at Colorado Avalanche (9:30 p.m. EST; TV: FSW, ALT). John Zeiler's hit from behind on Adam Foote put the big guy on the shelf and earned him a three-game suspension from the NHL. He's expected to play this evening against the Avs, and had this to say to Adrian Dater of the Denver Post about possible retribution: "You can't worry about it, you've got to play your game. If it comes, it comes and just move on."
• The new Cold War: Marian Gaborik and the Minnesota Wild. [State of Hockey News]
• Is Marty St. Louis available from the Tampa Bay Lightning? And if so, is he worth the $5.25 million cap hit? [Inside Hockey]
• Finally, a tribute to Max Talbot of the Pittsburgh Penguins ... to the tune of Britney Spears' "Womanizer." That guy better not try to front, because someone seems to know just what he is.