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.
• Quick note: Our story on NHL GameCenter Live will run on Saturday. Please do check it out.
• Jaromir Jagr got on the phone with Lynn Zinser of the New York Times to chat about his happiness in the KHL, but his conversation with Ken Campbell of The Hockey News produced this interesting news: He would seriously consider playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins again if Mario Lemieux asked him to: "I would play for the minimum salary. I would play for $350,000 just for him because I owe him my hockey life. I want to pay him back because he has made me what I am...besides my parents." Campbell writes that Jagr is "bound to the contract with Osmk until after the 2009-10 season," which will certainly be news to those who charge readers for "inside information." [THN]
Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning at Anaheim Ducks (10 p.m. EST; TV: SUN, KDOC). Congratulations to Steven Stamkos for making the NHL YoungStars All-Star Game roster. Condolences for Steven Stamkos for being a healthy scratch tonight. Somewhere, Barry Melrose cackles in between sips of whiskey.
• The now-suspended Mikhail Grabovski of the Toronto Maple Leafs had some quality smack talk about countryman Sergei Kostitsyn: "I think he is not Belarusian now, he is French because I never fight with Belarusian guys ... I don't know why he wants to fight with me. If he wants to fight, we'll go in the street and every minute of every day I'll wait for him and we'll fight." [Fan 590]
• Dale Hunter remains the only player in NHL history with 1,000 points, 3,000 PIMs and at least three of Pierre Turgeon's vertebrae to his credit. Seriously, though: How long will big Dale hold this record? JP breaks down the numbers, and finds Owen Nolan needs about another decade to catch Hunter. [Japers' Rink]
The top sports headlines of the day
• Your NHL All-Star Game YoungStars sophomores: Milan Lucic (Boston Bruins), Brandon Dubinsky (New York Rangers), Nicklas Backstrom (Washington Capitals), Marc Staal (New York Rangers), Kris Letang (Pittsburgh Penguins), Bryan Little (Atlanta Thrashers), Devin Setoguchi (San Jose Sharks), Andrew Cogliano (Edmonton Oilers), Mason Raymond (Vancouver Canucks) and Erik Ersberg (Los Angeles Kings).
• Your NHL All-Star Game YoungStars rookies: Steven Stamkos (Tampa Bay Lightning), Drew Doughty (Los Angeles Kings), Luke Schenn (Toronto Maple Leafs), Mikkel Boedker (Phoenix Coyotes), James Neal (Dallas Stars), Kris Versteeg (Chicago Blackhawks), Patrik Berglund (St. Louis Blues), Blake Wheeler (Boston Bruins), Michael Frolik (Florida Panthers) and Steve Mason (Columbus Blue Jackets). [NHL]
Preview: Columbus Blue Jackets at Washington Capitals (7 p.m. EST; TV: CSN, FSOH). Fun fact: The Capitals have won as many games at home (18) as the Jackets have won all season. Rookie sensation Steve Mason is battling "upper body tightness," and was 50/50 about starting against the Capitals. Must be a symptom of the dreaded Ovie Virus that affects goalies (kidding.)
Preview: New York Rangers at Buffalo Sabres (7 p.m. EST; TV: MSG). Cool idea from the Rangers in preparation for the Feb. 3 retirement of Adam Graves's No. 9 jersey: They're creating a Web-based photo mosaic of images submitted by fans of Graves or Graves memorabilia.
• Thanks to Puck Daddy reader Heidi for this image from that infamous Bossier-Shreveport Mudbugs and Corpus Christi IceRays brawl we discussed yesterday. The teams met again last night and there was a fight within the first two seconds of the game. [Mudbugs]
Preview: San Jose Sharks at Edmonton Oilers (9 p.m. EST; TV: CSBA, RSW). Really interesting stats-based analysis of the Sharks' recent play by Mr. Plank, who'd clearly like to see a better effort at even strength than what San Jose has been giving lately. Meanwhile, Ales Hemsky hits the IR because Jordin Tootoo hit him.
Preview: St. Louis Blues at Vancouver Canucks (10 p.m. EST; TV: FSMW, RSW). It's Sundin's first game in Vancouver. We can only hope the Blues have traveled with enough frankincense and myrrh to properly mark the occasion. ("What lovely frankenstuff!" ... if you get that reference, then we're getting a beer.)
• "Sources have told Sportsnet.ca the Lightning are facing financial difficulties and are willing to part with any of its players, including Lecavalier and rookie Steven Stamkos, this past June's No. 1 pick." Oh, c'mon. [Sportsnet]
• Finally, Leafs fan Steve Dangle talks about his team getting railed by the Canadiens last night.