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.
• Winter Classic souvenirs aren't limited to stolen Henrik Zetterberg sticks. NHL Auctions has a huge collection game-worn gear and game-used equipment up for bid. The first puck used in the game is up to $755. A game-worn Chicago Blackhawks Patrick Kane jersey is already at $3,000. Most of the auctions end on Jan. 22. If we could have anything from the Winter Classic, it'd be the 40 minutes of our lives back from that NBC pregame show. [First Cuts]
• Then again, who are we to criticize NBC or the NHL when it comes to doing the Classic right? "The Winter Classic drew the biggest American television audience for a regular-season NHL game in nearly 34 years. The Detroit Red Wings' 6-4 win over the Chicago Blackhawks at Wrigley Field on New Year's Day attracted an average of 4.4 million U.S. viewers on NBC, the network said Monday." [NHL]
In partnership with NBC Sports Philadelphia
• Meanwhile, the original Winter Classic rink from Buffalo has found a new home in East Aurora, 10 miles from Orchard Park. [WHEC]
Preview: Detroit Red Wings at Dallas Stars (7 p.m. EST; TV: Versus). It'll be Marty Turco against Chris Osgood between the pipes. Niklas Kronwall is
out with in despite the flu. Only 23 points separate these two teams in the standings.
• A brief history of the damages done to the minor league hockey arena in Sioux City during visits from the WWE. Including when one wrestler was given a "swirly" in the toilet. [Sioux City Journal, via PW Torch]
• Mirtle takes an interesting look at stoppages in play, which have been in steady decline since the lockout, and how many face-offs teams have per game. The Philadelphia Flyers have more stoppages than a DUI checkpoint on New Year's Eve, based on the numbers. [From the Rink]
• The charity 24-hour hockey game is over; if you had the Rangers teased up to plus-19 goals, congratulations. The Bruins didn't beat the spread. [CBC Sports]
• According to ESPN's Scott Burnside, the Phoenix Coyotes lost "25 percent of their revenue-sharing money last season" because the team "failed to hit revenue and attendance standards last season, they were penalized, according to sources." [ESPN]
• Meanwhile, kudos to our friend Stu Hackel at the Slap Shot blog for a very in-depth piece on how the Coyotes got into this mess, with a great roundup of current news and a stunning look back at other franchises that faced financial hardship in the past. The bottom line: "There are likely to be more messes as the economy staggers, wobbling like one of the punched-out boxers Brunt writes so eloquently about when he covers that sport. But no one has been KO'd just yet. Not saying it won't happen, but as hockey's business gets set to change yet again, let's hold off on that dispersal draft. At least for a few more weeks." [NY Times]
Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning at Los Angeles Kings (10:30 p.m. EST; TV: SUN, FSW). Piling on Steven Stamkos isn't just for Nikita Filatov anymore; Inside the Kings held a poll asking if readers would prefer Stamkos or Drew Doughty on the Kings. Five percent said Stamkos.
• You see, it's rather simple: If Vinny Lecavalier decides that, after committing to the Tampa Bay Lightning for 11 years, he really wants to be in Montreal, then he'll be there. [TSN]
• Finally, it's the Iowa Chops against the Rockford IceHogs. Oh yes, there will be pork: