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.
Forwards: David Backes, David Booth, Dustin Brown, Dustin Byfuglien, Ryan Callahan, Chris Drury, Scott Gomez, Patrick Kane, Ryan Kesler, Phil Kessel, Jamie Langenbrunner, Ryan Malone, Mike Modano, Kyle Okposo, T.J. Oshie, Zach Parise, Joe Pavelski, Bobby Ryan, Paul Stastny.
• Interesting piece post-NHL Draft that looks at the prospects from "non-traditional" U.S. markets and the decline of Russian prospects; wondering if Gary Bettman's "Southern Strategy" is actually paying off in fresh talent playing hockey. [On Goal Analysis]
• And this is why we all wanted John Tortorella to coach the New York Rangers: "I just think we're soft. I'm not trying to insult anyone physically but I think we're soft thinkers. I think we need to grow in what we need to do in preparation and practice habits." [NorthJersey.com]
The top sports headlines of the day
• The wooing of Jay Bouwmeester continues, as the soon-to-be-former Florida Panthers defenseman gets calls from Jarome Iginla and Robyn Regehr, as well as some negotiating from Darryl Sutter of the Calgary Flames. [Sun Media]
• Is anyone else sort of fascinated by what, if anything, the Phoenix Coyotes are going to do in the next week or so? What's the budget? Who makes the deals? Do the potential new owners have any say? [Five For Howling]
• Free agent goalie Jonas "The Monster" Gustavsson is delaying his decision until after the July 1 free-agent frenzy starts. So a Swedish hockey player has delaying making a decision. Water still wet. Pope, Catholic. All of it. [Sportsnet]
• Please go read Down Goes Brown's outtakes of "Brian Burke" mic'd up by TSN if you haven't already. And if you have, read it again; seriously, how many times have you seen "Airplane!" and still laughed, right? [DGB]
• Bob McKenzie reports that the St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings appear to have pulled out of the Dany Heatley sweepstakes, leaving the New York Rangers, Edmonton Oilers and San Jose Sharks as the lone suitors. Heatley on the Sharks is actually a pretty dynamic idea if the money can be worked out going the other way. [TSN]
• We may run a Photo Expo on the NHL Draft later today, time permitting. But this shot of Youppi! on the Draft floor after the event, taking photos with arena workers and media, can't wait.
• Alex Kovalev and Mike Komisarek both have offers from the Montreal Canadiens, but Saku Koivu has been told to wait for his until the team figures out its trade options. Cue Vincent Lecavalier trade rumors, Round 10 billion. [Habs Eyes on the Prize]
• Qualifying offers from the Rangers. [Zipay]
• Johnny Oduya gets $3.5 million (or $3.4 million) per season in a three-year deal with the New Jersey Devils, making him the second-highest paid defenseman behind Paul Martin. Incidentally, Pat Hickey's assessment that Oduya is "a stay-at-home type" ranks somewhere between baffling and comical. [Kevin Allen]
• Don't know how many old white dudes who look like Jacques Lemaire are roaming the streets of Newark, NJ, but one may have visited the Prudential Center this week. [Fire & Ice]
• Malkin To The Kings' orgy of rumors and scuttlebutt. [Sun Media]
• Goofy slideshow fun: The 10 Most Tortured Hockey Franchises in Recent Memory. [Bleacher Report]
• The Colorado Avalanche haven't exactly been communicative during the free-agency frenzy, and Mile High Hockey ain't happy: "Not all of your fan base is a bunch of blubbering morons complaining about Joe Sakic's career +/- numbers. I speak from experience when I say that you have a lot of intelligent, knowledgeable fans out there and they want to know about stuff like this." [MHH]
• NCAA: Bowling Green head coach Scott Paluch has stepped down from his position to become the regional manager for USA Hockey's new American Development Model. Is Tyra involved, too? [CHN]
• The NHL Network will simulcast TSN's coverage of the Free-Agent Frenzy. Versus will have fishing, maybe an infomercial or two. [NHL]
• Michael Farber's list of recent free-agent busts. The 2007 binge on centers ... holy smokes. [SI]
• On Frozen Blog's video coverage from the Hershey Bears arena. Solid. [OFB]
• Finally, YouTube gold: Norris Division final, 1987, Hockey Night in Canada. Amazing stuff, if only for a spry, game show host-like Ron MacLean: