Puck Headlines: Zetterberg's denial; Laviolette tossed under bus

Here are your Evening Puck Headlines and Previews:

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A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.

• There are 10 games on the docket this evening. We're previewing a few of them. Head here for the full slate of games and previews from Yahoo! Sports.

• Strange day for Detroit Red Wings fans, who were told by CBC Sports that star Henrik Zetterberg rejected a 10-year, $75 million offer. Elliotte Friedman reported it; Zetterberg spent some time today denying its accuracy to the Detroit media. That said, he's not telling how far apart the sides are in negotiations. [A2Y]

• Meanwhile, Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos made headlines today with this quote about former coach Peter Laviolette: "I didn't like our coach ...His public persona and his private persona were two different things." He went on to say: "Peter would make, I think, too quick an evaluations of players ... From time to time we had players Peter would, when they first came into our organization, would say, 'Oh, this guy is a fourth-line center.'" Dang, yo. [Lord Stanley's Blog]

Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs at Carolina Hurricanes (7:30 p.m. EST: TV: TSN, FSS). Very interesting comments from Hurricanes Coach Paul Maurice about his former team the Leafs: "You want to see that team lose every game for the next 10 years." He also says Canes fans are a lot like Leafs fans. What, self-loathing?

• Very interesting comments from Tampa Bay Lightning beat writer Erik Erlendsson about the Vincent Lecavalier trade rumors, and how he feels there's a real possibility of him being dealt: "Until either Vinny comes out and say he has no desire to leave the franchise or Lawton says emphatically that Vinny won't be traded, none of this is going to go away. And just think of the zoo that will await Lecavalier when he heads to Montreal next weekend for the All-Star game." [Bolts Report]

• Examining Sidney Crosby's claim that Alexander Ovechkin had a dirty hit against him last night. [PensBurgh]

• Crosby sat out of practice today, but could still go against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday. [Sportsnet]

Preview: Buffalo Sabres at Dallas Stars (8:30 p.m. EST: TV: MSG, FSSW). The Stars' midterm grades pretty much look like what we used to get in Calculus. A "D-plus" in goaltending is pretty generous, no?

Wade Dubielewicz escapes from the KHL for the New York Islanders. There's probably a joke in there somewhere, but we're too depressed by the notion that Rick DiPietro is out starting fantasy league goalie to make it. [Newsday]

Martin Gerber gets sent down to the AHL for two weeks of "conditioning." Which of course means trying to figure out on what conditions he can be loaned to a team in Europe and come off the cap ... [TSN]

Preview: Phoenix Coyotes at Vancouver Canucks (10 p.m. EST; TV: RSW). Roberto Luongo makes his first start since Nov. 22 for the Canucks, as Curtis Sanford is sent to the Manitoba Moose of the American Hockey League.

Brendan Shanahan talks about his love for the New York Rangers and playing (again) with the New Jersey Devils: "I didn't think back when I was a Devil 22 years ago that I would still be playing right now." [Fire & Ice]

• Mirtle makes the case for the Minnesota Wild to jettison Niklas Backstrom as a free agent. [From the Rink]

Preview: Calgary Flames at San Jose Sharks (10:30 p.m. EST; TV: RSW, CSBA, Yahoo! Sports). Interesting: Coach Todd McLellan doesn't plan on doing the old "rub the puppy's nose in its own poop" routine with his team by showing them video of their absolutely putrid first period against Calgary on Jan. 6.

Preview: Detroit Red Wings at Los Angeles Kings (10:30 p.m. EST; TV: FSD, FSW). Kings Coach Terry Murray has nothing but love for Detroit: "Every time I watch that team play, they are incredibly fast through the middle of the ice, to offensive-zone possession and generating a quality scoring chance at the net. That's a pretty general answer, but they are better than any other team in the league at it, in my mind. They get the puck into the hands of their best players at the right time, so that they have to speed to come at you, and that's a real skill, to be able to do that."

• For those interested, we'll be doing the first reader comment awards of '09 this weekend.

• Finally, it's human hockey puck/bowling time in San Antonio, with local TV personalities:

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