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.
• Clearly, Adrian Dater is just expressing an informed opinion on Mats Sundin. But the Denver Post writer believes the Philadelphia Flyers and the Chicago Blackhawks are the "clubhouse leaders" for Sundin's services this season, pending cap room. [Denver Post]
• The Forechecker says what some of us may have thought about the Avery thing: Was this his attempt at a Reggie Dunlop, rallying the troops moment? [On the Forecheck]
• Brett Hull speaks on Sean Avery: "We have to fix him before anything else ... We'll use the four games to get the ball rolling." Why do we suddenly have visions of Nurse Ratched and an Indian Chief? [Dallas Stars Blog]
• Look, we're not trying to traffic in any sort of Avery-esque breaking of hockey code here. That said, Columbus Blue Jackets prospect Nikita Filatov's mom ... uh, just click in the link. [Syracuse.com]
• Are Pittsburgh Penguins fans cheating to stuff the ballot box for the all-star game? One Puck Daddy reader points to this post on a Pens message board, but the NHL allegedly took care of this kind of vote-bot. Perhaps this is just a case of a fan base getting motivated, and the local media getting behind the effort -- like on radio station 96.1 FM KISS.
• Mirtle tracks the attendance trends for the NHL this season, and clearly the economy is taking its toll on franchises in the Northeastern U.S. That's quite a decline for a pretty good Buffalo Sabres club. [From the Rink]
• Not exactly a goaltending exhibition last night in the Vancouver Canucks/Detroit Red Wings game. The game pretty much could have been played with empty nets. Alanah plots the rising and falling Canucks' fans false hope in a handy, dandy chart. [Canucks and Beyond]
• Boston College and Boston University are preparing to exchange pleasantries and divide families this weekend. Great preview from Slap Shot. [NYT]
• Meanwhile, in Tampa: "At this point, you have to wonder whether Vinny Lecavalier has any regrets about signing a long-term contract to remain in Tampa and be the face of a franchise that is floundering in the early stages." [Bolts Report]
• Brent Burns is a great defenseman for the Minnesota Wild. Trouble is that injuries, and a numbers game, have been the catalyst for his playing up at forward for the team lately. The Wild want him on the blue line; could this mean either Kim Johnsson, Marek Zidlicky and Marc-Andre Bergeron are on the move soon? (Johnsson and Zidlicky are two years away from UFA status; M-A-B is a UFA next summer.) [Star Tribune]
• Finally, it appears Phaneuf has responded to the Avery situation, via YouTube video: