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.
• Rumors chat at 1 p.m.
• Someone at the Rangerland forums has created a bit of satirical fun at the expense of New York Rangers Coach Tom Renney, who is changing lines more frequently than an impatient motorist at a crowded toll plaza. Please enjoy The 2008-09 Rangers Line Generator. And the incredible Petr Prucha joke. [H/T to Puck Daddy readers Eric and Warren]
• Congratulations to Tom Poti, whose comments about the Verizon Center ice being "disgusting" and an "embarrassment" have prompted a conference call for the NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Committee to discuss how the Frozen Four can be held on a disgusting and embarrassing ice surface in that arena. [College Hockey News, via Red Skate]
• The shootout isn't exactly celebrated 'round these parts, but that doesn't mean Mike Heika may not have written the best piece of hockey journalism you'll read today: an all-facets look at the rules, players and philosophy of the skills competition for a few NHL teams. [Dallas Morning News]
• Douglas Murray of the San Jose Sharks, Stephane Yelle of the Boston Bruins and Viktor Tikhonov of the Phoenix Coyotes all make Ryan Kennedy's list of hockey's truly unsung heroes. [THN]
The top sports headlines of the day
• Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis helps a homeless man without shoes; first comment on the blog reads "can't believe Ted fell for the old shoeless shimsham." [Capitals Insider]
• The Boston Bruins could use an impact player on defense, and that impact player might be named Chris Pronger. [Boston Globe]
• Don Waddell remains adamant that the Atlanta Thrashers are not trading Ilya Kovalchuk. Which has to be a relief to Thrashers fans. The notion that Don Waddell won't be making a trade, we mean. [Yahoo! Sports]
• So, at some point, will the Philadelphia Flyers just admit that Antero Niittymaki is their starter before he leads them to the Stanley Cup or something? [Philly.com]
• Please recall yesterday's photos from Busted Coverage of Flyers players partying with porn star Gina Lynn? Puck Daddy reader Declan sent in this analyzed image of the Scott Upshall photo and noticed rather curious in the background. We're really hoping it's just a ginger root or a dead roundworm.
• Hockey legend Guy Lafleur will have to stand trial for allegedly driving his out-on-bail son to a hotel for a liaison with an under-aged girl. Lafleur has a civil suit pending against the police for, among other things, humiliation. Oh, this will be good. [Sportsnet]
• After nine games in the press box, Jay Pandolfo will play tonight for the New Jersey Devils. Audition? [Fire & Ice]
• Toronto Maple Leafs Coach Ron Wilson on GM Brian Burke calling out Nik Andropov: "What are you going to do, lie to the player then turn around and move him? With Brian, you know where you stand and that's not calling anyone out." [Sun Media]
• Shawn Horcoff, Ales Hemsky and Dustin Penner are reunited as the Edmonton Oilers' top line. And really, shouldn't the Oilers be lead by the S.A.D. Line? [Sun Media]
• Nathan Gerbe is back up for the Buffalo Sabres, trying to find some goals with Vanek on the shelf. [AP]
• The Florida Panthers have a season-ticket holder blogging for them, and he's really pretty good. The latest effort talks about rooting for the team on the ice, and rooting for the front office not to frack things up in the offseason with free agents. [Panthers]
• Finally ... look, we didn't count the goals or the seconds. But if someone says they've spliced together clips of all 200 of Alexander Ovechkin's goals in about 200 seconds, then we're posting it. [The Old NHL]