Here are the national morning papers:
- Reports indicate that the Leafs are finally going to put John Ferguson Jr. out of his misery today. (Update: JFJ has been fired with Cliff Fletcher being named interim GM.)
- William Houston of the Globe & Mail providers readers with all the details behind the NHL’s television deal with TSN.
- With Sidney Crosby lost to the Penguins for at least a month, Eric Duhatschek of the Globe & Mail says it is Evgeni Malkin’s time to shine.
- Even with all the mistreatment he has received, executives around the league know that John Ferguson Jr. will be around the game of hockey for a long time, writes Michael Traikos of the National Post.
- Dave Staples of the National Post says Canadian franchises are generating lots of interest from potential purchasers.
- Nicklas Backstrom has been playing very well as of late, and should now be considered among the favorites for the Calder Trophy, writes Kevin Allen of USA Today.
Here are the Eastern Conference morning papers:
- Craig Custance of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tells us about Joel Kwiatkowski’s love for the guitar.
- Bruins forward Pascal Pelletier is beyond excited to play in his home province of Quebec tonight when the Bruins face-off against the Habs. Meanwhile, Glen Murray practiced with his teammates yesterday and should be ready to return to the line up post All-Star break.
- After an embarrassing 6-2 loss at Phoenix on Monday, the Sabres called a players-only meeting. Here are some notes about the Sabres provided by John Vogl of the Buffalo News.
- The Hurricanes defeated the Islanders 3-2 in overtime on Monday to win back-to-back games for the first time in one month. Rachel Carter of the News Observer provides readers with news and notes about the Hurricanes.
- Panthers owner Alan Cohen has told Olli Jokinen he won’t be traded. “I like this place. This is home. I don’t believe the grass is any greener on the other side . . . I want to win here and hopefully we make some moves here,” said Jokinen.
- Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette has a nice article on Habs equipment manager Pierre Gervais.
- After being bitten by Derian Hatcher, Travis Zajac has been on fire for the Devils, writes Rich Chere of the Newark Star-Ledger. According to Mark Everson of the NY Post, Lou Lamoriello has ramped up his efforts to acquire a top-four defenseman and a scoring forward.
- Rangers coach Tom Renney doesn’t believe his team needs to make any changes heading into the stretch drive for the playoffs. John Dellapina of the NY Daily News tells readers that Renney is inspired by the Giants run to the Super Bowl and is hoping his team can make the same run.
- The Islanders blew a two-goal third period lead yesterday, making it two games in a row that they have blow such a lead, and were defeated by the Hurricanes 3-2 in overtime.
- Senators GM Brian Murray thought he had a couple deals done last week only to have the other GM back-off at the last minute, writes Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun.
- The Flyers have lost four straight games to the Devils and will be looking to make a statement tonight against their division-rivals at the Wachovia Center.
- Sidney Crosby is now expected to miss six-eight weeks of action, instead of four weeks which was originally reported. Without Crosby in the line up last night, Alexander Ovechkin took over and led the Capitals to a 5-4 shootout victory over the Penguins. Crosby isn’t the only Penguins player who is injured, writes Shelly Anderson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- With Johan Holmqvist regaining his confidence, the Lightning will ride the Swedish netminder as far as they can.
- As Mike Zeisberger of the Toronto Sun tells us, John Ferguson Jr. believes he will have a job in hockey for years to come. Damien Cox of the Toronto Star says MLSE does not care about Leafs fans.
- Alexander Ovechkin exhibited last night why he is considered a superstar, writes Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post.
Here are the Western Conference morning papers:
- The Flames are asking for more goals from their bottom-six forwards to help alleviate the pressure on their top players, writes Steve Macfarlane of the Calgary Sun. Scott Cruickshank of the Calgary Herald has the Flames’ defensemen’s opinion on battling in front of their own net.
- Currently in the midst of an eighteen game goalless drought, Blackhawks forward Tuomo Ruutu knows he has to be better.
- The Avalanche aren’t sitting around feeling sorry for themselves because of all team’s injuries, instead, they are coming together and replacing skill with grit and determination.
- Blue Jackets rookie Derek Brassard has been promoted to the team’s number one line and will play alongside Rick Nash and Fredrik Modin tonight in Dallas. In other Jackets news, the organization has decided to leave Gilbert Brule in the AHL for the time being. Here are the Jackets’ projected lines for tonight’s contest.
- Stephane Robidas plays far bigger than his size, writes Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News.
- It appears that Henrik Zetterberg’s back is acting up again and the Swedish star may be out of the line up for his team’s next two games and possibly the All-Star Game.
- The Oilers’ “kid-line” is coming together, writes Joanne Ireland of the Edmonton Journal. Here are some notes about the Oilers and Lightning heading into tonight’s contest in Tampa.
- Kings youngster Teddy Purcell has impressed the Kings brass since his call-up from the AHL, writes Dan Arritt of the L.A. Times.
- The Wild rode Pierre-Marc Bouchard’s four point effort to a 4-2 road victory at Vancouver. Michael Russo of the Star Tribune examines whether the second game of back-to-back games is really that bad. (Writer’s note: Great article by Russo.)
- The Predators defeated the Blues 6-3 on Monday and took over second place in the Central Division. However, it wasn’t all good news last night, as David Legwand will be lost to the Predators for at least the next two games with a lower-leg injury.
- The Coyotes continued to prove the pre-season pundits wrong last night with an impressive 6-2 victory at home over the Sabers.
- “I probably shouldn’t say it, but I will: The Anaheim game had a little bit of a carry-over that bothers me,” said Sharks GM Doug Wilson about the Sharks’ recent skid.
- The Blues lost their fifth straight game yesterday and their playoff hopes will become more remote if they don’t turn it around soon. Meanwhile, Blues defenseman Christian Backman has been told that the coaching staff expects more from him.
- The Canucks have not won one game this season in which they were trailing going into the third period and that trend continued last night in their 4-2 loss to the Wild. The Canucks are going the way of the stock market right now, writes Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Richard Pollock.