Tim Thomas’s political views continue to elicit reaction in the hockey world…The latest on Jeff Carter…Five things we learned about the Hurricanes re-signing Tim Gleason…ESPN’s pitiful NHL coverage…An agent’s view on the changing media environment…Analysis of Brendan Shanahan’s performance as league disciplinarian so far…The NHL’s Concussion All-Star team…A history lesson about All-Star games…A look at one of hockey’s most controversial owners…Great moments in All-Star weekend history.

BACKHAND SHELF: Tim Thomas may be weary of talking about his political views but the public sure isn’t tired of forcing him to explain himself.

PUCK DADDY: Montreal Gazette columnist Jack Todd put his foot firmly in his mouth by claiming Thomas’s snub of the White House was based on racism.

OFFSIDE: A SPORTS LAW BLOG: How Todd’s comments about Thomas could be considered defamation.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I’m tired of hearing about Tea Party Tim, and couldn’t care less about his political views, but he should’ve known his snub of the White House and his explanation for it was going to garner considerable attention. Todd wasn’t the only pundit to suggest Thomas’s snub smacked of racism, as TSN’s usually level-headed Dave Hodge tweeted “in jest” that the first initials of Thomas’s three children started with the letter “K”. Ah, ha, ha, how we all laughed…no, not laughed, what’s the word? Cringed! Yes, that’s more like it. Anyway, hopefully the Thomas WH snub will eventually die down and we’ll be spared more insinuations – either intentional (Todd) or the “a million comedians outta work, and you’re tryin’ to be funny” kind (Hodge) – that his stance was based in racism.

Does Carter want out of Columbus?

THE CANNON: Is Jeff Carter so unhappy in Columbus he wants out? His agent says no, but that’s not silencing the questions, or the trade speculation.

CANES COUNTY: Five things we learned from the Tim Gleason contract extension. The most obvious? This ain’t a “sign-and-trade”.

HOCKEYBUZZ.COM: ESPN (the TV network, not their website) does a poor job covering the NHL. “World Wide Leader in Sports” coverage evidently doesn’t include pro hockey.

AGENTS OF CHANGE: Hockey agent Ritch Winter examines the changing media landscape and how it affects coverage of the NHL. Well worth a read!

PUCK DADDY: A look at how league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan is doing so far in his first season in the job. Overall, I’d say he’s doing well, but like his predecessors, he can’t please everyone.

RUSSIAN MACHINE NEVER BREAKS: By the number of star players sidelined this season by concussions, you could ice a pretty good All-Star team.

BACKHAND SHELF: The point of the All-Star game, and why it might be a good idea to return to it.

GREATEST HOCKEY LEGENDS: A brief profile of Harold Ballard, the most controversial owner in Maple Leafs history, and certainly among the most controversial in league history.

DOWN GOES BROWN: Great moments in all-star weekend history.