Donald Fehr:

Fehr thinks Hamrlik’s ability to criticize separates players from owners

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Roman Hamrlik hasn’t been particularly kind to NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr lately. Among other things, he argued that Fehr should be ousted if the 2012-13 campaign is lost.

Hamrlik’s comments sparked a firestorm and have been countered by several players.

Still, Fehr isn’t swinging back or suggesting that Hamrlik should back down. Instead, he’s using Hamrlik’s comments as an example of one of the ways he thinks the union is different from the NHL.

“We don’t believe in censoring anybody,” Fehr said, according to Newsday’s Steve Zipay.

Comments like Hamrlik’s don’t just contrast the chorus of players vocalizing their support of Fehr, in a way, they validate that praise. After all, if Hamrlik — and Michal Neuvirth for that matter — feel comfortable deviating harshly from the union’s position in a very public way, then it suggests that those that voice their support for the union are being equally genuine.

Of course, we can’t truly know exactly how much support the union leadership has or if Hamrlik and Neuvirth are vocalizing feelings that other, still silent players share. At the end of the day, the hope is that the lockout will end soon and render questions like that moot.

Watch the Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp tribute video

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Over the years, the Chicago Blackhawks have been forced to let some important players leave to keep their core together, which ultimately meant parting ways with Patrick Sharp.

The talented winger now wears a Dallas Stars jersey, so Blackhawks fans must face the reality of watching Sharp ply his trade for a formidable Central Division opponent.

Even if that might feel awkward, Blackhawks fans gave Sharp (and Johnny Oduya) a warm reception in Chicago on Thursday.

CSNChicago.com provides video of that ovation, which you can see in the clip above.

The Stars currently lead the Blackhawks 4-2, thanks in large part to Patrick … Eaves.

Wild must overcome Alex Ovechkin’s 14th career hat trick

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Death, taxes and Alex Ovechkin winning the Maurice Richard Trophy.

OK, the third thing on that list isn’t technically inevitable. It just feels that way lately in the NHL.

It’s unclear if the Washington Capitals can hold on against the Minnesota Wild, but we know for certain that Ovechkin already has a hat trick, the 14th of his high-scoring career.

This propels Ovechkin to the goals lead as of this writing, as he already has 34. As impressive as Patrick Kane has been, No. 8 is heating up, and may just edge No. 88 if Ovechkin can remain healthy.

One has to feel a little sympathy for the struggling Wild. They played well but lost against the Dallas Stars earlier this week and now must deal with Ovechkin and the just-as-hot Capitals.

Bylsma believes league will look at Gudas’ hit on Catenacci

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Rugged Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas may get in trouble with the league once again.

At least, it will be that way if Buffalo Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has his way regarding Gudas’ five-minute charging major hit on Daniel Catenacci.

“I think there’s no question it’s head hit,” Bylsma said, according to the Buffalo News’ John Vogl. ” … I know the league will look at that hit and deal with it.”

As far as the injury portion of possible suspension considerations go:

Marcus Foligno‘s analysis of Gudas was … well just check it out.

The Flyers ended up winning 5-1. Gudas was a busy man overall, racking up 17 penalty minutes.

Fight video: Patrice Bergeron vs. Blake Wheeler (seriously)

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Regular Selke winner Patrice Bergeron can do it all on the ice, it seems. Apparently that means he’ll even drop the gloves.

That was the unlikely scene during Thursday’s Boston Bruins – Winnipeg Jets skirmish, as Bergeron fought fellow finesse forward Blake Wheeler.

Perhaps unusual feisty behavior was just in the air, as Tyler Myers squared off with Matt Beleskey.

(Not as unlikely, but still.)