Puck Headlines: Facts and fantasies about the Boston blue line

Here are your Morning 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.

• Trade rumors that specifically mention draft picks and prospects are always worth a red flag, and the Tomas Kaberle-to-the-Boston-Bruins rumor spun by the Boston Herald and NESN fits the bill. So, naturally, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke gently let down hopeful Bruins fans with his usual kindhearted demeanor: "It's not true, a total fabrication." OK then ... [TSN]

• Meanwhile, Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun is dreaming of hockey's new twin towers if Chris Pronger is traded to the Bruins: "Chris Pronger is 6-foot-6. Chara is 6-foot-8. Put them together, and you have 158 inches of the most intimidating defensive pairing the NHL may ever have seen." Gionta would look like a field goal attempt trying to skate past them. [Toronto Sun]

• Bruce "Malkin To the Kings" Garrioch writes about goalie options at the deadline, focusing on Pascal Leclaire and Kari Lehtonen. Both of whom, it should be said, have as many Stanley Cup playoff victories as Taylor Swift. [Ottawa Sun]

• Jay Feaster, a guy who knows a thing or two about a thing or two when it comes to John Tortorella, explains why the Rangers shouldn't be lulled by their new coach's current kind and gentle approach. [THN]

• Today is Sean Avery Waivers Day, and Filip Bond of the NY Daily News has a fantastic read on the dangers of Avery's return to the New York Rangers should they claim him: "But Avery is also risky business, for a number of reasons. He can say something racist. He can say something sexist. He can take a dumb penalty. He can alienate teammates. He can also undermine the new coach, whose regime is not even two weeks old." [NYDN]

• The Edmonton Oilers are one of those teams that would have a shot to claim Avery before the Rangers can. Lowetide believes the Oil should make the claim, and explains why. [Lowetide]

• Has the Washington Capitals' discouragement of selling tickets to Pittsburgh Penguins fans extended to eBay? [The Confluence]

• Is anything less than Eastern Conference champions a less-than-successful season for this year's Capitals? [Japers' Rink]

• Has anyone ever considered Billy Smith as a better goalie than Martin Brodeur? Former Islander and current New Jersey Devils Coach Brent Sutter comes down on Marty's side of a debate we didn't really know existed. Now, Billy Smith and Ron Hextall ... that's a debate. [Fire & Ice]

Zdeno Chara, Alexander Ovechkin and Patrick Marleau are up for the Mark Messier Leadership Award, which apparently still exists. [NHL]

Kyle Turris is back with the Phoenix Coyotes, just in time to miss the playoffs. [Coyotes]

Ryan O'Byrne has been recalled by the Montreal Canadiens. Ladies, hide your purses. [Canadiens]

• Chris Connor attempts to curve the puck around Marc Andre-Fleury with his mind. Before realizing he was never in a fraternity of assassins. Or in The Matrix. [Getty]

• The Minnesota Wild don't want to trade goaltender Niklas Backstrom at the deadline. But if someone was to knock them over with a package, and Backstrom hasn't agreed to a new deal ... maybe. [Star Tribune]

• When GM Ken Holland says the Detroit Red Wings aren't likely to do anything at the deadline, it probably includes trading for Backstrom. [Snapshots]

• If the Carolina Hurricanes miss the postseason, Bubba from Canes Country offers six games where the "lost points" are coming back to haunt them. Blowing a 5-1 lead against Philly ... oy. [Canes Country]

• Are the Dallas Stars buyers or sellers at the deadline? [Dallas Stars Blog]

• Broad Street Hockey looks at the standings and comes to a sobering conclusion: The Philadelphia Flyers aren't yet a lock for the Eastern Conference playoffs. [Broad Street Hockey]

• Finally, eHarmony goes after a massive new demo: Single hockey goalies. Did he just say she knows his weak side and his stick side? Goodness.

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