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Thursday's Coyotes Tracks - Steven Stamkos stays home from Olympics

Stamkos stays home, Crosby says Sochi is like Vancouver and Vermette gets some well deserved praise in today's tracks!

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Christian Petersen

Coyotes News

In praise of Antoine Vermette | ProHockeyTalk
Phoenix GM Don Maloney called him the team's MVP.

Coyotes’ name change faces trademark tussle -
A Phoenix man already has registered the “Arizona Coyotes” as a trade name, but representative of the National Hockey League franchise say that won’t stop them from taking on the name next season.

Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson enters Olympic limelight
Oliver Ekman-Larsson continues to be an important combination of shut-down defenseman and offensive spark plug for the Phoenix Coyotes.

Olympic Hockey News

Sochi Olympics: New York snowstorm could delay NHL's arrival - NHL - Sporting News
There are about 150 NHL players — and a whole bunch of staff — headed to Sochi for the 2014 Olympics on Sunday, via four charter flights. There is also an enormous snowstorm set to hit the Northeast that same day.

‘He’s not even cleared to practice’: Koivu’s Olympic aspirations remain up in the air | ProHockeyTalk
Could be tough news for Finland.

‘We feel for him’: Crosby reacts to fellow Canadian Stamkos missing out on Olympics | ProHockeyTalk
Report that Steve Yzerman will name replacement player within 48 hours.

Crosby: Cramped Sochi accommodations ‘pretty similar to Vancouver’ | ProHockeyTalk
Sweet comforters.

Pirates News

New lease to bring Pirates back to Portland | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram
The end of a months-long standoff will bring the hockey team and their economic benefits back to the Cumberland County Civic Center for five years.

Pirates right ship against Binghamton | Sun Journal
The Pirates scored on each of their first four power plays to earn a 5-1 victory at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena in front of 2,493.

Sundogs News

Dog Caller - Can't stop the rush? The Arizona Sundogs can - Five For Howling
The Arizona Sundogs returned home for three games against the Rapid City Rush this week. The week was an emotionally charged one with the Sundogs’ first Kids Day Game on Wednesday and Pink in the Rink on Saturday.

News From Around the Hockey World

Stars Earn Valuable Point, But Fall To Sharks 2-1 In OT - Defending Big D
A playoff spot still sits just barely out of reach, but Dallas certainly came close tonight.

Winning in Los Angeles 2: Electric Boogaloo - Second City Hockey
A recap of the Chicago Blackhawks' victory over the Anaheim Ducks.

Recap: The beatings will continue until morale improves..Pens win - PensBurgh
The Pittsburgh Penguins have way too much for the lowly Buffalo Sabres and roll past them 5-1 to conclude a season sweep.

Trade: Sharks acquire Rau from Wild | ProHockeyTalk
Not exactly earth-shattering, but a deal nonetheless...

Devils’ goalie Schneider ‘not thinking’ about contract extension | ProHockeyTalk
Current contract expires in summer of 2015.

NHL trade deadline: Will frenzy return or cap limit excitement? -
There are a lot of big names in the NHL's rumor mill, perhaps leading to an exciting trade deadline but moving players will be easier said than done.

Funeral may keep Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane from playing Coyotes - Chicago Sun-Times
Patrick Kane played in Wednesday night’s game against the Anaheim Ducks but could miss Friday night’s game against the Phoenix Coyotes to attend his grandfather’s funeral.

The Final Howl

Justin Bieber crashes Atlanta hockey practice, skates in gold chains | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports