Puck Headlines: NHL Cup ratings blockbuster; Cuban on Balsillie

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.

• The Carolina Hurricanes announce that Coach Paul Maurice has inked a three-year deal; Ron Francis is back as an associate coach and director of player personnel; and Tom Barrasso will be an assistant coach. Sort of expected he'd get kicked upstairs, actually. [Y! Sports]

• Steve Lepore reported that "Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final on NBC drew a terrific 7.51 Million Viewers on Friday night, with a 3.0/11 among Adults 18-49." All told, Game 7 could have been the most-watched hockey game in North America since the 2002 Gold Medal game between the U.S. and Canada. On a Friday night, that's incredible. [Puck The Media, with the NY Times calling it an "enormous gain" for the NHL]

Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis on what the Penguins' Cup victory means for his franchise ... which would be nothing: "Next year our team will be composed differently and their team will be composed differently. The Red Wings will be a different team as well. We all start all over again, 0-0. And that is the beauty of sport." [Ted's Take]

• Individual grades for the Detroit Red Wings players. Sorry, but Johan Franzen can't get an 'A' in the playoffs for his performance in the Finals. Can't happen. [Khan!]

• In praise of Nicklas Lidstrom's ... uh, stones. [LA Times]

• Jim Balsillie has been called a "Mark Cuban-type" maverick in his pursuit of an NHL team. So what does the actual Mark Cuban think about the Phoenix Coyotes' court battle? "The issue isn't the owner or their personalities ... It's the issue of control. No commissioner wants there to ever be the slightest perception that they are not in control of the assets of the league. Loss of control can have far greater impact on the business of the league than the personality or desires of any owner." [National Post]

• George James Malik on the Sidney Crosby post-series handshake flap: "With all due respect to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby needs to learn when to shut up." [Snapshots]

• Former NBA player Greg Ostertag, all 7-foot-2 of him, plays ice hockey. But unlike Manute Bol, he actually skates. [The Big Lead]

• Adrian Dater has the knives out for the Colorado Avalanche and their treatment of fan favorite Ian Laperriere. [Denver Post]

• Reading between the lines, it sounds like the Nashville Predators were pretty affected by Alexander Radulov leaving and management's inability to upgrade the personnel when he did. [The Tennessean]

• The notion that Jay Bouwmeester's impending departure as a free agent has anything to do with the Florida Panthers' ownership and managerial situations really burns the britches of Litter Box Cats. [LBC]

• Good stuff from the Washington Post on the Hershey Bears' victory in the AHL Calder Cup Final. [Capitals Insider]

• Defending Big D has been doing some really great analysis of the Dallas Stars' big changes in the last week, and continues it with a post about how Joe Nieuwendyk is ushering in "a new era" for the franchise. [Defending Big D]

• Puck-Rakers is breaking down the offseason plans and needs for teams; here's their take on the Stars. [Puck-rakers]

• Today is the day the fate of the CHL's New Mexico Scorpions could be decided, as owner Dave Ellet tries to sell the team to save it. [KRQE]

• This is our way of celebrating, and thanking, the good people at Getty and the AP for outstanding work throughout the postseason.

• Examining the Dany Heatley mess for the Ottawa Senators, which morphs into an interesting discussion based on this thesis: "Really, though, isn't there something paradoxical about a player with a no-trade clause who goes on to demand a trade?" Paradoxical? This sounds like a job for J.J. Abrams. [Silver Sevens]

• Were you a Boston Bruins fan, would you do Phil Kessel and Patrice Bergeron for Dany Heatley? [Stanley Cup of Chowder]

• John Fischer, whom I met at Blogs With Balls over the weekend and who is a good fellow, looks at the New Jersey Devils potential reuniting with former coach Jacques Lemaire. [In Lou We Trust]

• Speaking of Blogs With Balls, I had great time, met some people I had hoped to meet (Sarah Spain among them), met some amazing new blog buddies and stirred the pot with my particular brand of whimsy. Reactions the warrant your attention include Dan Levy, MGOBlog and Jeff Pearlman.

• Heated Skates offers an NHL Mock Draft. [Heated Skates]

• Looking at the Detroit Red Wings' roster and picking out a few names that will be former Red Wings come this summer. Chris Chelios? Gonzo. Marian Hossa ... [Winging It In Motown]

• Yeah, so, that whole making the playoffs and going to the Final thing is pretty important economically, according to Pat Caputo: "The Red Wings pulled in more than $25 million in gate revenue alone from home games in the Stanley Cup Final - and enough overall in the playoffs to more than pay their entire player payroll for the 2008-09 season." Holy smokes. [Oakland Press]

• Mark Spector makes the case that young and sexy is better for hockey than old and mechanical when it comes to a Penguins Stanley Cup. [Sportsnet]

• Cool little nugget about the Penguins' "taxi squad" getting their moment with the Cup. Although it is rather stunning to think that Jeff Taffe and Chris Minard have now gotten closer to the Cup than Marian Hossa has. [Citizens Voice via Pensburgh]

• A handy user's guide for the Philadelphia Flyers as they operate their brand new Ray Emery. [Five For Smiting]

• This Bruce Dowbiggin fellow with the Globe & Mail comes out swinging, doesn't he? Here he is on Hockey Night in Canada: "Perhaps CBC's tepid ratings until now stem from confusion over content. Hockey Night in Canada seems to believe the show is Don Cherry with a little hockey game on the side. A few deluded souls believe the players and game should take prominence over He Who Will Not be Ignored." [Globe & Mail]

• The assault trial of former Victoria Salmon Kings hockey player Robin Gomez is about to start. [Canwest]

• A survey of 4,000 Chicago sports fans reveals many interesting nuggets about Windy City fandom and the Chicago Blackhawks' support. The Hawks have youngest fan base of five major Chicago sports franchises, the lowest percentage of non-white fans and the highest percentage of Republican fans. Don't worry: The Cubs still lead the pack in frat boy frontrunners chatting on cell phones during games. [Third Man In]

• Finally, there's really nothing more wonderful than the chaotic, unplanned Cup celebration at a local bar. So here are the Pittsburgh Penguins, their new friend Stanley and a bar called Diesel: [H/T Talent News]

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