Inside the DOPS; Hartford Whalers Christmas cards; NHL in Houston? (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.

• The Canucks broke out their ugly Christmas sweaters last night. Here’s Zack Kassian rocking a vest. [PITB]

• Ever wonder what it’s like to be a member of the DoPS Cops? Go inside the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. As it turns out, the word that usually means an NHLer is screwed, suspension-wise, is “Thoughts?” [Boston Globe]

• A mystery owner wants a team in Hamilton. My money’s on Jim Balsillie, having undergone extensive plastic surgery to look like Johnny Depp, like in that movie The Tourist. [The Spec]

• Speaking of cities that wants teams, Houston would like to be considered, please. [Houston Press]

• Craig Custance on the revival of Steve Mason. I don’t know about revival. Needs more hallelujahs and miracles. And a tent. [ESPN]

• The NHL’s deal with Rogers could result in the Canadian government re-evaluating how they regulate TV programming. Canada is the best. I cannot understate how earth-shattering this deal is up here. [Bloomberg]

• Dustin Penner is getting better shots in Anaheim, says Tyler Dellow. Sidenote: It’s been interesting to watch the paradigm on “quality shots” evolve this season. [Sportsnet]

• The best thing: a collection of team-issued Christmas cards from the Hartford Whalers. [Greatest Hockey Legends]

• Jimmy Howard isn’t that concerned about his knee injury. He thinks he’ll only miss a week or two. [MLive]

• Eric Nystrom and Craig Smith look back on their college experience. “It’s just so much more than hockey,” Nystrom said. It’s true. There’s also a whole lot of drinking and mascot-stealing. College! [Smashville 24/7]

• Who will emerge as the star of 24/7? We’re asking this question a lot these days, and I think we’re asking it wrong. Better question: Who will go full Bryz this season on 24/7? [Down Goes Brown]

• Ryan Strome: the most interesting hockey player in the world. [Eyes on Isles]

• Sam Brittain is emerging as one of the NCAA’s top goalies. Full disclosure: I’m sharing this story because of its lede: “Sam Brittain is coming! Sam Brittain is coming.” A for effort there. [Panther Parkway]

• Six lesser-known but highly valuable cost-effective Chicago Blackhawks for your salary cap fantasy team. [Dobber Hockey]

• It’s been two years since the end of the Terry Murray era in Los Angeles. Never forget. [The Royal Half]

• The “full transcript” of James Neal’s hearing with Brendan Shanahan. [Pegasus News]

• What are Tim Connolly’s future plans? It’s a secret. [Syracuse]

• Finally, here’s video of that super cute moment with Charlie Coyle and the young Wild fan:

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Harrison Mooney is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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