The Hockey News

The Hockey News Best of the Best 2019-20

The Hockey News is an iconic, authoritative and trusted voice of hockey. It was founded in 1947 and grew to become known as The Bible of Hockey. Once a tabloid newspaper, it has evolved into a multi-platform brand that goes deeper and broader than anyone in the industry. The Hockey News publishes regular editions plus its special editions that include the Yearbook, Ultimate Pool Guide and Money and Power.

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5 Min
game change in slovakia

THE HOCKEY LANDSCAPE in Slovakia has shifted dramatically recently, with big changes coming at the international and professional levels. The former concerns the nation’s junior programs, while the latter involves Slovan Bratislava, one of the most notable teams in the country, leaving the KHL and rejoining the Extraliga. This season, the merits of those decisions will begin to unfold. On the junior scene, Slovakia has shuttered its Orange 20 program, which was originally designed as the nation’s own version of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program. Orange 20 brought together a bunch of Slovakia’s under-20 players on the same team, where they would prepare for international tournaments by facing off against men in the Extraliga and the second-tier Liga. In terms of wins and losses, it did not go well. The Orange…

3 Min
great bounty on the farm

YOU HAVE TO HAND it to AHL president Dave Andrews: he takes the old “campsite rule” very seriously. Because when Andrews retires this June, he will be leaving the league in much better shape than when he first got there. The most recent good news comes from Palm Springs, where the California resort town is poised to become the league’s 32nd franchise and NHL Seattle’s farm team for the 2021-22 season. But we’ve still got a lot of time before the Fightin’ Coachellas take to the ice. In the here and now, the AHL promises to be filled with exciting talent this year, even more so than usual. While the majority of NHL players still come through the AHL first, it seems like this season is particularly fruitful. One factor is the…

25 Min
building a mystery

WHY DOES THE MOVIE Mystery, Alaska resonate with fans two decades later? Perhaps because it is one of the few movies that gets its hockey right. With all due respect to The Mighty Ducks and Youngblood, there are no silly knuckle-pucks or ludicrous stick-swinging duels in this film. Many people with deep hockey roots were involved in the making of Mystery, Alaska – and it shows. Producers Howard and Karen Elise Baldwin were the owners of the Pittsburgh Penguins at the time and had previously owned the Hartford Whalers. Scriptwriter David E. Kelley was the son of an NHL executive and the captain of his hockey team at Princeton. Brad Turner, the film’s assistant hockey co-ordinator and hockey double for Russell Crowe, played briefly for the New York Islanders and…

4 Min
welcome to the era of hope

DURING A VISIT TO the United Kingdom this summer, my wife and I stayed a couple of nights with some friends who moved to the countryside where roads are really narrow and the shoulder is comprised of a 10-foot hedge. One of the days was transfer-deadline day, which is every bit as big and overhyped as the NHL trade deadline and free-agent frenzy. It was during that trip that my host revealed his allegiance as a Norwich City supporter. He spoke wistfully and nostalgically about the 1993 season when his team finished third in the Premier League. Third. Apparently for a team that has virtually no chance of ever winning anything and basically serves as a supplier of players to the richest teams in the league, taking bronze 26 years ago…

1 Min
best wrist shot

AUSTON MATTHEWS | TORONTO MATTHEWS HAS BEEN bedevilling NHL goaltenders with his wrist shot since his first game in the league. It all comes down to his release and his fearlessness in shooting from different areas. “He’s so quick with his hands and his stick on the puck,” said one NHLer. “He can shoot from everywhere and score.” In his first three NHL seasons, the Leafs center piled up 111 goals, for an average of 0.52 goals per game. That ranked second in the NHL to Alex Ovechkin, who was putting in goals from his office at a 0.54 rate. Matthews kicked off the 2019-20 campaign with a two-goal performance against Ottawa, once again proving to be a deadly opening-night sniper (you’ll recall his NHL debut, when he hung four goals…

1 Min
best stickhandler

PATRICK KANE | CHICAGO HERE’S A NO-BRAINER: Kane as the stickhandling maestro. He has basically made a Hall of Fame career out of his puck play, and it’s a skill he continues to work on, despite the fact it’s already a supreme strength. “He controls the puck, goes through traffic and sees the ice at the same time,” said one NHLer. The internet is littered with different viral videos of Kane executing beguiling puck-skill drills, and the Blackhawks winger isn’t slowing down. Last year, he actually set a career-high with 110 points, and his 44 goals were only two shy of his personal best, when he had 46 in 2015-16. With a new wave of talent rising in Chicago, Kane will get a chance to keep the party going with the…