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Real Hockey Starts Back Up: A Link Roundup

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One final note from NHL All-Star Weekend, as James Mirtle reports what it was like for a blogger covering the all-star game. He may have had a bad seat, but the NHL allowing on press row at all is another great step in the right direction. [From the Rink]

Near darkness, no television monitor to watch the action, a scoreboard obstructed by lights and players the size of ants. Not to mention the fact a large portion of the ice surface wasn't visible from my little black stool at the far end of the rink.

Not that I'm complaining — far from it. Given I was there for (a) the access to players and (b) the experience, this spot suited me just fine. It is worth noting, however, that the experience of "blogging" from the press box is quite a bit different than covering an event as a reporter from The Globe and Mail.

All sections of the press box are not created equal, and at the all-star game, it was the 100 to 175 spots that seemed to be the worst. Prior to that, there were padded chairs, televisions for almost every writer and, most notably, a much better view.
The AHL All-Star Game was held last night in Worcester, Mass. and one of our guys was the main attraction. Jared Ross picked up MVP honors by notching an all-star record six assists and seven points total to lead the PlanetUSA team past Team Canada, 14-11. [phantomshockey.com]

Puck Daddy runs down the NHL's worst contracts, and Danny Briere makes his cut. I can't say I disagree with him right now. Healthy Danny needs to prove his worth. [Puck Daddy]

Too soon? Probably. What makes this contract sting is the redundancy, as the Philadelphia Flyers have seen Mike Richards and Jeff Carter cement themselves at center while Briere battled inconsistency and injuries. That said, he had nine points in nine games this season, and can no doubt be an offensive producer on the wing for this team. You just wonder whether the Flyers would have reallocated the $6.5 million for a sniper and a solid defenseman rather than a free-agent Briere.

Comcast is offering NHL Network video on demand, like highlights, condensed games, and programs like NHL On The Fly for free to NHL Network subscribers. Cool. [Kukla's Korner]

And last but certainly not least, the Spectrum could meet its final demise on New Years Eve. [philly.com]

Almost exactly a year after announcing the project, Ed Snider still doesn't know exactly when construction will begin on the new hotel, retail and entertainment complex that will fill the space after the Spectrum is knocked down. And he doesn't know exactly when the demolition of the old place will begin.

But they are considering a pretty interesting idea.

"Tentatively, New Year's Eve," said Lou Scheinfeld, the original Spectrum executive who came back to shepherd the yearlong closing of the building. "At least that's my idea right now."