NHL Blog Beat – January 23, 2013.

Commentary on the rumor of Wayne Gretzky becoming president of the Maple Leafs, the Nino Niederreiter trade request and more.

PENSION PLAN PUPPETS: A breakdown of how the “Wayne Gretzky for president of the Toronto Maple Leafs” got started, and how it was eventually debunked.

Could Gretzky become Leafs next president?

Could Gretzky become Leafs next president?

FACEOFF CIRCLE: Jeff Veillette believes it would be a “great” mistake if the Leafs hired Gretzky as team president.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I believe Gretzky must be involved in the NHL at some level, but he’d chafe at being in a figurehead role, which is probably what he’d be offered  by the Leafs or another NHL team.

LEAFS NATION: Speaking of the Leafs, Ryan Fancey wonders if the recent comments by Canucks GM Mike Gillis were made to try to force the Maple Leafs into sweetening an offer for Roberto Luongo.

LIGHTHOUSE HOCKEY/HOCKEY INDEPENDENT/THE CHECKING LINE: “Dominik”, B.D. Gallof and Rob McGowan weigh in on the recent trade request by NY Islanders prospect Nino Niederreiter.

DRIVING PLAY: How the new CBA could make teams smarter, maybe? Perhaps, but never underestimate the power of “duh” among some NHL general managers.

THE STRANGEST ONE OF ALL: Scotty Wazz makes a good case for conservation of energy and patience are keys for teams hoping to make the playoffs in a shortened season.

PUCK DADDY: Greg Wyshynski explains why NHL teams are already battling exhaustion early in this shortened season.

BACKHAND SHELF: Ellen Etchingham on what drove hockey fans back to the NHL following its recent lockout.

GRANTLAND: Sean McIndoe presents “The Non-Haters Guide to the NHL, listing several players who are almost impossible to hate.