Puck Headlines: Goodbye NBC, hello goofy Fox hockey robots?

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.

• Ken Campbell of The Hockey News writes that NBC's "free lunch" with the NHL is coming to an end with the next contract negotiation, what with the League's Winter Classic-strong pimp hand. He floats the idea that if NBC doesn't pony up for national TV rights, the NHL's old friends at FOX could enter into the bidding. Is this all just catnip for ESPN to ante up big for Winter Classic and Stanley Cup rights? Better question: What returns first, goofy "Press Your Luck"-style robot cartoons, the glow puck or John Davidson on color commentary? [THN]

• Time has apparently run out for the Detroit Red Wings in their attempt to fight the one-game sorta-suspensions for Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk, who were disciplined by the NHL for allegedly playing hooky from the all-star game without a note from the school nurse. [Snapshots]

• Thanks to everyone who sent in this story from the Boston Globe: Meet high school goalie and professional smart ass Trevor Leahy, who designed goalie pads that blend into the netting behind him in camouflage fashion. Some of his opponents are saying the pads don't do a thing, although he's pitched a couple of shut outs with them. If this kid's nickname isn't already either "Chameleon" or "Predator," there's no hope for today's youth. [Globe]

• The Puck Stops Here has a terrific look at a huge problem for USA Hockey: the lack of dominant goal-scoring talent in its NHL ranks. That's why the 2010 Olympic roster will look like a collection of third-line grinders in comparison with Russia, Sweden and Canada. [Puck Stops Here]

• Our buddy Cameron Frye catches an NHL Network goof. Well, we assume it's a goof, unless Jacques Plante actually did have a 114-year career. [According to Cameron Frye]

• Speaking of goofs, thanks to Puck Daddy readers Joe and Billy Bob for pointing out Yahoo! Sports' own epic fail during the all-star game. Even though it seemed like every player on the rosters scored in that game, we're pretty sure Carey Price wasn't one of them:

• A symposium on hockey fighting next month may recommend laws in Canada that target on-ice brawls. [London Free Press]

• Bob Ford takes on the recent situation in which Garrett Klotz of the Philadelphia Phantoms went into seizures after a fight in the AHL: "The problem in hockey isn't the occasional fight that grows naturally from a violent environment. It is the institutional encouragement of those fights. If the penalties and fines were stiffer, there would be fewer fights. If the teams didn't hire cheap-shot artists, there would be less need for the goons." [Philly.com]

• The Good Point's latest take on fighting, titled "The Sport that Evolution Forgot." [Good Point]

• Wrap-up of the AHL skills competitions, with 100% less prop comedy than the NHL's. [AHL]

Tampa Bay Lightning beat writer Damian Cristodero breaks down the possibilities for the franchise if it did decide to move Vincent Lecavalier: "The instinct might be to get a huge haul of players for Lecavalier and remake the team going forward. Lecavalier could return some top-shelf defensemen, which Tampa Bay needs. A trade would also get the team out from under his huge contract. On the other hand, season-ticket renewals go out in March. What kind of selling job would the team have to do to convince economically stressed fans to buy season tickets to a losing team without its marquee player?" [Lightning Strikes]

• From the NHL All-Star Game after-party at Club Opera in Montreal, the best thing Versus has covered all season. [Getty]

Peter Forsberg is considering an invitation to play in the Swedish LG Hockey Games tournament, whose winner receives the heralded Golden Cup and accompanying shower. [CBC]

• Jibblescribbits waves the freak flag for the NHL All-Star Game and all of its virtues. [Jibblescribbits]

• Nice piece by Mirtle on Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators, who has played himself into serious Norris consideration this season. [From The Rink]

• The Calgary Flames would like to advance to the Stanley Cup finals, so naturally they're considering having human good luck charm Martin Gerber as their backup goalie. [Sun Media]

• Finally, it's Gary Bettman vs. Ron MacLean in their annual state of what's bugging Ron MacLean address:

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