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Thornton's greatness; Ruff vs. Hitchcock (Puck Headlines)

Here are your 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. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com.  

• The NHL Store in Manhattan is going all-in on St. Louis Blues superfan Tony X. (NHL Store)

• Why San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton is still the NHL’s most underappreciated star player. The 36-year-old Thornton had a renaissance year with 82 points in 82 games. [USA Today]

• Sharks forward Joonas Donskoi was the team’s secret weapon. After a strong first-round series against the Los Angeles Kings, the secret is out. [Sports Illustrated]

• The Sharks should provide a tougher test for the Nashville Predators in the second-round than the Anaheim Ducks did in the first-round. [The Predatorial]

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• The St. Louis Blues knocked out the Chicago Blackhawks with a particular style of play. Will this brand of hockey work against the Dallas Stars in the second-round of the playoffs? [St. Louis Gametime]

• Stars coach Lindy Ruff and Blues coach Ken Hitchcock go back a long way. The two met during the 1999 Stanley Cup Final when Ruff’s Buffalo Sabres went against Hitchcock’s Stars. They then formed a friendship. [Dallas Morning News]

• New York Islanders coach Jack Capuano has made a lot of stellar moves this postseason. Examining what he’s done right in the playoffs. [Islanders Insight]

• Tampa Bay Lightning forward Erik Condra feels better after taking a nasty fall following a Casey Cizikas hit in Game 1 of his series against the Islanders. Lightning coach Jon Cooper seemed encouraged with how Condra is felt Thursday. [Tampa Bay Times]

• A closer look at Game 1 between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals. T.J. Oshie scored a hat trick and the Caps beat the Penguins 4-3 in overtime. [Japers’ Rink]

• Auston Matthews non-traditional road to the NHL could end up in a traditional market. Matthews is the top prospect for this year's NHL Draft, and it's highly probable that he'll end up in a Canadian market. Matthews is from Scottsdale, Arizona [Toronto Sun]

• One name that is glaringly absent from that list of Vezina Trophy finalists is Chicago Blackhawks netminder Corey Crawford, who was arguably the best all-around goaltender in the league throughout the 2015-16 season. This exposes issues with the goaltending evaluation system. [Second City Hockey]

• Vancouver Canucks president Trevor Linden will bring a 1970-71 playing card of Pat Quinn in a Canucks uniform to the NHL Draft Lottery. The Canucks have an 11.5 percent chance of winning the top overall pick. [The Province]

• Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar explains why he had a disappointing 2015-16. Tatar had 21 goals – eight fewer than his team-leading total of 2014-15. His point total dipped from 56 to 45. [MLive]

• Enforcer Colton Orr retired from the NHL. Said Orr, “I look forward now to the next chapter of my life which I could not be happier to share with the two loves of my life - my wife Sabrina and daughter, Charlotte.” [NHLPA]

• Orr still sees a place for fighting in hockey as the enforcer role plummets. [CP via Yahoo]

• Taking a look at the New York Riveters’ offseason, centering around Janine Weber and Nana Fujimoto. [Today’s Slapshot]

• This NWHL salary cap tracker breaks down the salary cap for each team. The first page has all of the players and their former team, country, and position, and also tracks their 2016 – 2017 contract, the difference from their 2015 – 2016 contract and the impact on their team’s cap. [Along the Boards]

• OHL finalists Niagara IceDogs and London Knights have engaged in a Twitter battle in advance of their series. [Buzzing the Net]

• Breaking down the Vezina Trophy finalists and taking a look at where Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson slots next season, along with other fantasy topics. [Dobber Hockey]

• University of North Dakota defenseman Paul LaDue signed a contract with the Los Angeles Kings, giving up his final year of college eligibility. LaDue was a sixth-round draft pick of the Kings in 2012 and they have been pursuing him for two years. [Grand Forks Herald]

• The Ottawa Senators are one step closer to procuring a new downtown arena. In a long and drawn out meeting of the NCC Board of Directors, the RendezVous LeBreton proposal for the redevelopment of LeBreton Flats was selected as the preferred bid. This is the bid by Sens owner Eugene Melnyk. [The 6th Sens]

• Defending The Blue Line and the Minnesota Wild today announced Wild defenseman Matt Dumba donated $8,900 to the organization as a result of “Dumba’s Hit’s for Heroes” – an initiative announced in October to raise money for the charity throughout the 2015-16 season. Dumba donated $1,000 for every hit he had during the season. He finished the year with 89. [Minnesota Wild]

• Arizona State's men's hockey program is completing a deal with the National Collegiate Hockey Conference to join the group as early as 2017-18, or perhaps for 2018-19. [College Hockey News]

• Finally, Looking into the life of Hillary Knight.

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