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.
• Due to some timing and Interwebs issues, we won't have the giant laundry list o'previews in tonight's Puck Headlines. Check out all the games and their tidbits here.
• On his radio show today, Commission Gary Bettman said the League's prerogative to have at least one all-star representative from each team is a "soft" rule, and not something the NHL formally mandates. Tell that to Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau, who is miffed that players like Alexander Semin and Mike Green were snubbed: "People would much rather see the best players in the world rather than one representative of every team. ... But that's the way it is for now, so that's the way we'll live with it." [TSN]
• Will Washington Capitals fans boycott the all-star game after getting just one representative on the Eastern Conference squad? [On Frozen Blog]
• To those who believe a guy like New York Islanders defenseman Mark Streit is a charity case that doesn't belong in the all-star game, Islanders Outsider says think again: "His attendance should not be attributed solely to being the best player on his team or having a decent season on a bad team. Yes, the Islanders have sent that sort to the All-Star Game in the past. Not this time. The numbers and impact are all over the place so I won't repeat them. If you are an Islanders fan, this is an All-Star selection you should be proud of." [Islanders Outsider]
• Please reset your Rick DiPietro injury watches to zero. [On the Islanders Beat]
• Super-prospect John Tavares waives his no-trade clause, accepts deal to the London Knights, where Coach Dale Hunter will no doubt put some hair on his chest. Or rip out what's there. One of the two. [CP]
• The Montreal Canadiens shut down Big Georges Laraque's Sportsnet blog. According to William Houston, the "Canadiens have imposed a rule that prohibits players from doing blogs. Something about being 'fair' to other media outlets that also request blogs from players, but are turned down." So not for being candid about fighting, race and the inner working of the NHL player? Uh-huh. [Globe & Mail]
• Jeff Z. Klein has a rather remarkable KHL news update; could expansion plans with the rest of Europe be scuttled because of League sponsor "Gazprom, which has cut off natural gas supplies to much of Europe during a very cold winter on the continent as part of a price dispute with Ukraine?" [Slap Shot Blog]
• The Los Angeles Kings have lost Oscar Moller to a fractured clavicle, which he suffered in World Juniors. So what hurt more: That injury or second place for Sweden? [Inside the Kings]
• Will Alexei Kovalev or Montreal fans be the ones to give Phil Kessel the $212,500 bonus they stole from him for missing the all-star game? [Bruins Blog]
• We're going to have a lot more about Jordan Staal's contract on Friday, but two good reads for you on the big signing: The Sweater Ted and Empty Netters.
• Attention wacky caption fans and admirers of Chicago Blackhawks goalie Cristobal Huet's rump roast: Sports by Brooks has a contest for you. [SbB]
• Finally, here's minor league fighting legend Jon "Nasty" Mirasty going with Aaron Boogaard in a game this week: