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.
• Reminder: The Puck Daddy No-Foil Stanley Cup Replica Contest voting is on. Vote early, vote often; winners announced on Friday.
• The venerable Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette believes the NHL is wrong to embrace certain celebrity fans with criminal records: "Wrong message: The NHL will be holding its annual awards show in Las Vegas tonight (8:30 p.m., CBC) and one of the presenters will be rap star Snoop Dogg. Mr. Dogg is a former gang member, pornographer, convicted drug dealer, admitted pimp and a follower of Louis Farrakhan, the anti-Semitic leader of the Nation of Islam. He's currently on probation for weapons and drugs charges but, hey, he loves hockey." Admitted pimp? [Gazette]
• Spector has some great coverage of the Jay Bouwmeester sweepstakes, as the Florida Panthers defenseman is rumored to have a six-team wish list and the Philadelphia Flyers are certainly in play for his services. The Panthers would be foolish not to deal his rights if he's not re-signing. Could be one of the big stories of the draft. [Spector]
• Tom Benjamin with an outstanding take on Sidney Crosby and how the Detroit Red Wings defending him in the Stanley Cup Final. Mull that Sidney/Peter Forsberg comparison over for a while. [Canucks Corner]
The top sports headlines of the day
• The glorious Kurtenblog asked for our NHL Awards picks amongst other bloggers. Clearly, the Norris and the Jack Adams are the show this evening. For the record: Mike Green and Claude Julien are the picks. [KB]
• NHL Snipers claims to have several trade packages offered to the Ottawa Senators for Dany Heatley. We don't wish to judge the validity of these rumored packages one way or another. Except to say that if you believe the New York Rangers have offered Scott Gomez, Ryan Callahan, Dan Girardi and two draft picks for Heatley, Snoop Dogg could probably recommend some weaker stuff to smoke. [NHL Snipers]
• Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch wrote about the Atlanta Thrashers. Bill Tiller of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Web site wrote about Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch writing about the Atlanta Thrashers. It's a curb-stomping. [Ice Man, via Kukla's Korner]
• Our ice-making qualifications aren't all that solid -- we can barely work the thing on the front of the fridge -- but our enthusiasm for driving the Zamboni for the Nashville Predators is unmatched. [On The Forecheck]
• You think the New York Islanders wish potential franchise cornerstone John Tavares embraced Long Island with something a little stronger than "I don't believe that it's right to pick and choose where you go" as justification for playing there? [Sun Media]
• Thanks to the roughly 10,000 readers who've sent us the Mario Pool Party/Pittsburgh Penguins photos. We had some of them linked up earlier in the week, and you can find the full set all over the Web. This one of Mario's trophy case is by far one of the most intriguing; what is that one on the bottom that looks like Buddha?
That photo aside, we've been told that the owner of the photos is a 12-year-old girl, and as someone who claimed a connection with her family wrote: "You may think they're harmless but they've actually caused quite a bit of harm within the Penguins organization. Not to mention what an invasion of the Lemieux family's privacy."
It's a tough spot, because the photos are clearly viral and there's no putting the cork back in the bottle. But just something to keep in mind.
• In that Swedish newspaper that had the Sedins contract story, there was other breaking news: It would appear former Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Islanders defenseman Kenny Jonsson is retiring to open a car wash. [HockeyExpressen]
• Gary Bettman's tired of the Phoenix Coyotes talk: "I'm not going to have legal discussion and discuss negotiating posture publicly ... I don't think that's the way to conduct business, especially when we're here for a celebration." Too bad it's a hockey celebration in a desert, which inevitably begs for the questions to be asked. [CP]
• We don't want to say that the Make It Seven campaign is reeling from its courtroom loss, but they've moved on to every newspaper editor's best friend: The form letter. [Make It Seven]
• Also from Malik: Why the NHL Awards are tape-delayed in Canada. [Snapshots]
• Dan Rusanowsky of the Seagate's Broadcasters' Blog offers a thorough round of predictions for the NHL Awards, including the Norris: "Some say it is a slam dunk for Green. Some say it's Chara. But I still think it belongs to Lidstrom." [Seagate]
• Finally, NHL10 chatter with the great David Littman of EA Sports: