Puck Headlines: Fans strike back at Bolts; NBC fighting debate

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.

• Do we have the makings of a full-on fan revolt for the Tampa Bay Lightning? "During the pregame warm-ups, a sign opposite the Tampa Bay bench read: 'Put Brian Lawton On Waivers' in reference to the Lightning general manager and the recent trade rumors involving captain Vinny Lecavalier." [Tampa Tribune, via Puck Daddy reader Angelica]

• If fans do intend to protest the current direction of the Bolts, there's really no better time than tonight's return of Brad Richards with the Dallas Stars, is there? By the way, Evgeny Artyukhin gets two games for a knee-on-knee hit. [Tribune]

• Former Lightning GM Jay Feaster writes a blog called "How trade rumors begin" that manages to be compelling even without the words "Vincent" or "Lecavalier" appearing once. [THN]

• NHL money talk time: Congratulations to the NHL for seeing its television ratings increase this season across the board. And yes, significant increases in attendance for the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals are to be celebrated. But here's the problem: When Sports Business Journal writes that "five teams reported average attendance below 15,000 - the New York Islanders, Columbus Blue Jackets, Atlanta Thrashers, Nashville Predators and Phoenix Coyotes," we all know those numbers are remarkably generous because of the way the League counts "attendance" and because we're not blind. Stop crowing about records built on a foundation of discounts, giveaways and unused tickets. [SBJ, via Kukla]

• The NHLPA is expected not to reopen the CBA, which will temporarily delay the extension of its lockout winning streak. [Sportsnet]

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• Mirtle believes the news about players' escrow is a canary in the coal mine for the League's overall dire fiscal situation. [From the Rink]

• Finally on the money front: There's nothing about a craptastic economy and poor ticket sales that $1 pregame hot dogs and soda won't fix, right Atlanta Thrashers? [Thrashers]

• Speaking of the Thrash, UniWatch had this image of goalie Kari Lehtonen's new mask, featuring Heath Ledger's The Joker from "The Dark Knight." Not pictured: Jake Gyllenhaal on the other side of the mask, wearing spurs and attempting to spoon him. (Too soon? Eh, more like too easy.) [UniWatch]

Buffalo Sabres defenseman Teppo Numminen broke his face this weekend. How was yours? [Buffalo News]

• Now that the Arizona Cardinals are in the Super Bowl, this Florida Panthers' playoff talk doesn't seem all that outlandish anymore, does it? [On Frozen Pond]

Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks and Stephane Robidas of the Dallas Stars have both been added as Western Conference All-Star team reserves. [Working the Corners and Stars Blog]

Henrik Zetterberg and the Detroit Red Wings are getting closer to a long-term contract extension. [Freep, via Snapshots]

• Will big changes in the Dallas hockey media mean a more open relationship between the team and bloggers? [BoC]

• Glenn Anderson, dispelling long-standing gossip one pirouette at a time. [AP]

Alexandre Giroux of the Hershey Bears scores in his 15th consecutive game, breaking an AHL record held by Brett Hull. Still, Giroux never signed Sean Avery to a four-year, $15.5 million free-agent contract, so Brett's still got that going for him, which is nice. [CBC Sports]

• An interesting plan for the Washington Capitals: Start goalie Brent Johnson at home and Jose Theodore on the road. [The Hockey Writers]

• Well, at least Danny Briere can lead someone to success. Even if it's the Calder Cup. [Phantoms]

• Verizon Wireless is doing a really impressive job pimping the all-star game with its special fan promotional packs being sent to radio stations. Too bad everything in it promotes last season's game. [Fox Sports 980]

• Larry Brooks of the NY Post makes the case for a New York Rangers/New York Islanders Winter Classic at the new Yankee Stadium even if the rest of the country ignores it like the 2000 Subway Series. [Fox Sports]

• Bummer for Los Angeles Kings goalie Erik Ersberg, who is out with a "lower body injury." Coolness for Jonathan Bernier, who's back up for another shot in the NHL. [Inside the Kings]

• Skating with Phoenix Coyotes rookie Kyle Turris. [Fanster]

• Finally, Mike Milbury and Pierre McGuire finally give fans something to talk about during an NBC intermission report by engaging in a heated debate about fighting that continued for a while. The Tiny Tim music was about as spontaneous as 99 percent of NHL fights. [Deadspin]

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