More Penguins fallout; Battle for California; Torts regime gossip (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.

• Big game for the Ducks and Kings tonight. Indiana Matt of The Royal Half finds an oldie but a goody of birthday boy Corey Perry.

• “Here’s the kind of crazy stuff Matt Cooke used to do … at the height of anti-Crosby mania, Cooke left a present in Sidney Crosby’s locker before the game. It was a baby’s pacifier. That’s funny. It was definitely tongue-in-cheek. But deep down, it also was kind of a clever challenge. It was a reminder to Crosby that no matter how dominant he became, there were 19,000 people waiting who absolutely hated him. And there always would be … Here’s something to ponder: Do you think this current Penguins team has a single player who would challenge Crosby the way Cooke would? The way Bill Guerin would?” [Pittsburgh Magazine]

• Getting to know the Penguins interim-GM, Jason Botterill. [Pensburgh]

• PHT asks the question, ‘Where did Ray Shero go wrong?’ [Pro Hockey Talk]

• The NHL playoffs have been a ratings hit for the league, but why is no one watching the Ducks and Kings (i.e. the one series ‘everyone was waiting for’) in the second largest TV market. Will a Game 7 finally bring the eyeballs? [Forbes]

• Both the Kings and Ducks are claiming to be underdogs in tonight’s Game 7. Who actually is? [The Hockey News]

• Leafs president Brendan Shanahan had a meet-and-greet with the Toronto media. He talks Carlyle, Phaneuf, and so much more [Toronto Sun]

• Earlier on Friday, Team USA nearly lost to the hockey powerhouse that is Kazakhstan at Worlds. Tim Thomas is the America’s No. 1 goalie on the roster…so…yeah. Upside – Seth Jones. The Preds defenseman had a hat-trick. [USA Today]

• Zdeno Chara is not going over to Belarus to play for Slovakia. According to the national team’s GM, Big Z suffered a fractured finger in Game 4 that will require surgery. This is news to Bruins president Cam Neely who said he was unaware of any injuries occuring during the series against the Canadiens. []

• Change you can believe in has begun in San Jose. [ESPN]

• Erik Gustafsson, a now-former Flyer, has reportedly signed with Avangard Omsk of the KHL. [CSN Philly] (Note: Per Flyers tweet, GM Ron Hextall has not spoken with Gustafsson or his agent.)

• Victor Coleman, real-estate mogul, and Jonathan Glaser, hedgefund manager, lead the team of investors trying to bring a NHL franchise to Seattle. Bettman and Daly want a new arena, and aren’t interested in the new team playing in an old one while the new arena is being built. [Seattle Times]

• Another hedgefund manager is looking to get in the hockey business. Andrew Barroway has the $400-million Charles Wang is looking for to buy the Islanders. It isn’t guaranteed that Wang will even sell the team, but he’ll listen to all offers. [CBS New York]

• Did you know Torts wanted the team to buy out Alex Burrows contract? That and other tidbits are beginning to leak out of Vancouver. [Kukla’s Korner]

• S/T to the Maple Leaf Bar in Houston for giving hockey fans in the southern part of the Lone Star State a place to gather and watch their favorite sport. Houston’s only hockey team, the Houston Aeros, left the city after last season due to financial issues, but the fans remain. [Houston Chronicle]

• Finally, to get you hyped up for the Kings/Ducks Game 7, a series highlights montage. (Don’t forget the Puck Daddy Game 7 live chat at 9:00 p.m. EST!)