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.
• Dave Pagnotta of The Fourth Period reports that a Nikolai Khabibulin trade with the Los Angeles Kings fell through: "According to sources, the Blackhawks were asking for a top prospect and a draft pick in exchange for Khabibulin." So the deal was too rich for the Kings' blood ... for now. [TFP]
• Ryan Malone returns to an arena he's been going to since he was a young tyke, as the Tampa Bay Lightning face the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight. And how does Malone feel about his reversal of fortunes since taking the free-agent money last summer? "Right now in Tampa it's probably easy to say you made the wrong move ... But you have to start somewhere and it's my turn, I guess." [Tampa Tribune]
• Over 240,000 people have entered a lottery for the 40,000-plus available seats for the Winter Classic. Average price for a scalped ticket on the Internet? That would be $477. [Snapshots]
• Larry Brooks believes Scott Gomez of the New York Rangers has lost his instincts and is making passes to nowhere on the ice. Which, evidently, are frowned upon outside of the Blue Jackets' power play. [NY Post]
• Chatting with Mike Gartner before his number retirement ceremony for the Washington Capitals this weekend. Among those expected in attendance: Rod Langway, Larry Murphy and Scott Stevens. Not expected to attend: Anyone the Capitals received as compensation for Rod Langway, Larry Murphy and Scott Stevens [On Frozen Blog]
• Props to the Pittsburgh Penguins for not going down the Personal Seat Licenses road with the new arena. [Post-Gazette]
• Has Erik Cole joined Joffrey Lupul and Dustin Penner on the glorious list of linemates that haven't worked with Ales Hemsky with the Edmonton Oilers? The Edmonton Sun argues that a trade should be a-comin' after the roster freeze. [Sun Media]
• Lowetide wishes the Oilers a Happy Festivus. We'd hate to take on Stortini in feats of strength, what with all the hugging. [Lowetide]
• Kevin Sylvester would love to know why Denis Gauthier wasn't suspended for his sucker-punch on Patrick Kaleta last Friday night. Especially because he didn't hit him in the twig and berries from behind, which as we all know is not a suspendable offense. [Sabres]
• Great look from Mirtle on the folding of the ECHL Fresno Falcons, the second League team to fold this season, including some speculation about an AHL/ECHL quasi-merger that could create a "West Coast Solution" for minor league ills. [From the Rink]
• Steven Ovadia on the incredible holiday stress being felt in St. Louis and Long Island. Here, we'll save that dope in the comments some trouble: Can't we all just get along? [Puck Update]
• Two Michigan State football players face charges from fight with hockey player. [Freep]
• Finally, this might be the single greatest campaign commercial we've seen for the NHL All-Star Game. Via PD reader Emily, it's time to ... uh ... get behind the San Jose Sharks.