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.
• Remember: Rumors chat at 1 p.m.
• News from the Carolina Hurricanes ticket dept. this morning: "By placing a 30 percent deposit on their 2009-10 season tickets now, fans guarantee that their season ticket price will not change for the next three seasons, locking them at their 2008-09 price through the 2011-12 season." This is a rather bold outreach to the Canes' season ticket base, and it'll be interesting to see the ripples (if any) through the team's other price tiers. It's no "free tickets if we miss the playoffs," but it'll do. [Hurricanes]
• Oh, and as Puck Buddy Wayne from Tuskegee wondered over email this morning: What would the mainstream media reaction have been if the NHL decided to borrow $175 million to help 15 struggling franchises? Because that's what the NBA just did. [SBJ]
• The good news: Someone has offered to buy the Phoenix Coyotes. The bad news: The potential owner hasn't been named, so there's an outside chance it's Bernie Madoff or a U.S. automaker. [Five For Howling]
• Meanwhile, maybe there are some reasons beyond the Hamilton obsession why Jim Balsillie hasn't received the NHL's blessing as an owner. [Y! Tech]
• Elliotte Friedman believes Bob Gainey may have picked the right player in Alexei Kovalev to make an example of for the struggling Habs. [CBC Sports]
• The new forced optimism for the Dallas Stars: Hey, maybe Brad Richards, Brenden Morrow and Sergei Zubov are back for the playoffs ... and who's stopping that team, eh partner? [Dallas Stars Blog]
• Damien Cox makes the case that Toronto Maple Leafs fans need to give Mats Sundin a standing ovation upon his return. "Those who accuse him of lying to the Leafs about his true intentions are fools. Those who would jeer him upon his return belong to the same category." How about this: Leafs fans set a deadline for cheering him, and then just keep delaying it until he leaves town? [The Star]
• Nice coverage of Detroit Red Wings defensemen Brett Lebda and Brad Stuart, as both try to get back into the lineup after suffering injuries. [Snapshots]
• David Neal of the Miami Herald states a rather convincing case for the Florida Panthers to hang onto Jay Bouwmeester: "Subtracting Bouwmeester -- no matter what would be added -- makes a significant change at a pivotal point in perhaps the franchise's most pivotal season since The Year of the Rat. Do so and this reenergizing franchise could sink to being so beyond meaningless, it might as well follow Bouwmeester out of town." [Herald]
• The Steven Stamkos cheerleaders have found their pom-poms again in the Tampa Bay Lightning press box. [Lightning Strikes]
• Solid post from Cycle Like The Sedins that takes a look at the various goaltending "tandems" around the NHL, and how that position has almost taken on an NFL running back-like sense of shared responsibilities. [CLS]
• The best line for the Philadelphia Flyers lately? Darroll Powe, Scottie Upshall and Claude Giroux. The PUG Line. Start printing the T-shirts. [Philly.com]
• A nice look at the Glen Wesley retirement ceremony. [Boston Globe]
• NBC decides to take the Boston Bruins and New York Rangers over Alexander Ovechkin and Alexander Semin vs. Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby on March 8. Avery-influenced, perhaps? [Puck The Media]
• Finally, thanks to the several readers who sent over this Claude Lemieux "fight" against Theo Peckham from last night's San Jose Sharks game against the Edmonton Oilers. The camera cuts away before Mario and Luigi came out and stomped on him.