(Above: Ilya Bryzgalov, professional goaltender, I’m told.)

While living in Phoenix and being the editor of Backhand Shelf, I was limited in one pretty considerable way: no, not that the local team was the star-packed Coyotes, but that I was functioning in Mountain Standard Time (though let me say, I have no clue how people on the east coast deal with the start times of games out here). That meant that unlike my blog brethren at theScore, I couldn’t get a morning links post up without it spilling into the afternoon on the east coast. By then, you’ve all seen the cool stories.

But alas, no more! This Toronto-based blogger will now be posting a morning skate of sorts. Though given that the title “Morning Skate” is used by the excellent NBC hockey site “Pro Hockey Talk,” I’ll be calling it “Rebound.” The title fits because it’s both A) a game hockey players frequently play after morning skate, and B) a nice little explanation of what’s physically happening here on the internet – you come to this site, you rebound somewhere else. It also allows me to refer to great stories as “juicy rebounds,” which is a perk.

So there you have it. On with the links.

* JUICY REBOUND (I’m going to need some sort of “juicy rebound” image to accompany these, like the way restaurants use hot peppers on their menu to let you know “this is some spicy stuff!” – DeadspinInside A Secret NHL Focus Group: How A Top GOP Strategist Is Helping Hockey Owners Craft Their Lockout Propaganda. I’m not so sure there’s anything wrong with what the owners are doing here, but I am sure that it makes them come off even greasier, which was a tough feat to pull off.

* Puck Daddy: Wyshynski gives his take on the above story about Frank Luntz focus group (noting that NHL really does care about the PR war), which reveals a hilarious little something about Luntz: he looooved Wysh’s column “What we lost when the NHL lost opening night.” The page on “what disappoints you most about the NHL lockout?” was just Wysh’s column in bullet point form, basically verbatim.

Associated Press (a hotspot for all your breaking NHL news!) via Kukla’s KornerSeattle has approved the building of a 490 shmillion dollar building. And with a scant 200 mil in public funding no less!

* SB NationU.S. Hockey Hall of Fame induction to be held Monday: Mike Modano, Lou Lamoriello headline honorees. Hockey positivity on the internet these days = spotting the Bird of Paradise’s mating ritual:

Wicked.

* SB Nation part deux: Where NHL players are playing in Europe during the lockout. I dunno about you, but I like tracking where guys are at.

Deadspin part deuxGretter is still pretty sure the lockout will end before the Winter Classic. Like most fans, I’m stuck in proooveee itttt mode.

* Sportsnet (also via Kukla’s Korner): A Michael Grange piece that says, in sum, the NHL thinks the fans are stupid. Just another great column from Grange. Though, the hardest part about this situation is, well…a lot of people are stupid, in general. A lot of people are hockey fans. So a quick glance at the Venn diagram, and well…they NHL may be partially right.

* Twitter (via Reddit hockey): Jason Kay is the editor of The Hockey News (and an excellent one at that, as he had the common sense to once hire an aspiring hockey blogger…ahem). Anyway, WOWWWW how about this tweet:

 

No big deal, moving on, nothing to see here.

* ESPN (via PHT): Shawn Horcoff: not so pumped with The Bettman. Not that it’s breaking news that the players dislike the guy, but Horcoff makes it pretty damn clear.

* Vancouver Sun: Rumours start as James Reimer skates with Canucks. Yeah, but no. …Right?

* Pro Hockey Talk: John Michael Liles is going to spend his lockout coaching a high school prep hockey team. Because that’s exactly what you want to hear about a player on your favourite NHL team. To hell with game shape!

* Spector’s Hockey: NHL lockout won’t lead to rival pro hockey league. Good points here. As much as anyone may want it to happen, I don’t see the opener “Stay tuned for tonight’s action between Saskatoon and Cleveland!” coming through our TV sets anytime soon.

* Toronto Sun: Guy Lafleur says it’s a bonus if Europeans want to stay home if the NHL returns. My favourite part is the specification that it would open up jobs for both North Americans and Quebecers. And only at the expense of other European players who want to play in Europe!

* Sporting News: Crosby’s agent is looking into a “world tour” of stars if the lockout persists through November. That’d sell – great players, no NHL affiliation. Unfortunately, the games wouldn’t mean shit (unless there was a ridiculous amount of money up for grabs, like golf’s Fedex Cup), and hockey’s not all that great played at all-star game speed.

* Pension Plan Puppets: Highly touted Leafs D prospect Morgan Rielly kicked around a little five assist game on the weekend, which is good if you’re into getting points, which most players are.

* And last, the explanation for this picture below: dude was headed to a WWE event at the Preds building, and figured this would be a fitting sign:

Sigh. ‘Tis not, my friend. ‘Tis not.