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The Hockey News Free Agency Preview 2021

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.

Roustan Media Ltd.
16 Issues

in this issue

2 min
puzzle pieces and pepto

FREE AGENCY TENDS TO be one of the most fraught periods of the NHL season, an equal mix of excitement and anxiety for all involved. It is often when the biggest mistakes are made, but on the other hand it’s a great time to find that final piece of the puzzle. This summer may not seem to have a deep pool of free agents but there are some intriguing names who could be in the mix, should they not re-sign early with their current teams. Goalies Tuukka Rask, Philipp Grubauer and Frederik Andersen are all eligible to hit the market, while 2017-18 MVP Taylor Hall is once again up for a new UFA deal – and given how he helped Boston turn around its secondary scoring, he can once again fetch…

4 min
latvia scores high with iihf world championship

LATVIA, WITH A SCORE of 89 out of 100 at FreedomHouse.org, just showed the world that rewarding a nations with international tournaments for good treatment of their people works out extremely well both on and off the ice. For those of you into analytics, Canada scores 98/100, the United States 83/100, Belarus 11/100 and the host of the 2022 Olympic Games, China, 9/100. As I stated in the 2021 Playoff Preview Publisher’s Note: Latvia was confirmed to be the sole host of the 2021 World Championship after the IIHF and president Rene Fasel were put under a great deal of pressure to rescind Belarus as a co-host due to human-rights violations and a rigged election. The IIHF finally pulled the plug on Jan. 18, 2021, citing “ongoing challenges placed by COVID-19.” As…

4 min
flat-cap society

BACK IN MARCH, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was painting an economic picture for the future of the league, and he braced everyone for a holding pattern when it came to the amount of room that teams will have to improve their rosters. The news wasn’t grim, but it wasn’t great, either. “I think everybody is basically focusing on a flat cap or near-flat cap for the immediate future,” said Bettman in a videoconference. Months later, with fans slowly returning to NHL arenas to watch playoff games and the league on the precipice of essentially doubling its revenues from the U.S. television contract, one very basic mystery remains unanswered. And that is: define “immediate future.” Not even the wildest optimist in the hockey world expects to see teams being able to spend more…

1 min
jersey hound

BRIDGEPORT ISLANDERS >2021-22 NEW YORK’S AHL AFFILIATE has rebranded itself from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers to the Bridgeport Islanders, giving the organizations some nice continuity. The Sound Tigers had a pretty cool logo, so the newly christened Islanders had a challenge on their hands aesthetically, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say I like it. The new crest reminds me of an old-school AHL logo from the 1980s, and that makes it fun. The ‘B’ is unique, and the tape on the stick is an easter egg – it forms the ‘N’ and part of the ‘Y’ from New York’s logo. Throw in the Isles’ iconic color scheme and you’re good to go here.…

1 min
in the cards

GORDIE HOWE AND BASEBALL legend Al Kaline, two of Detroit’s biggest sports stars in the 1950s and ’60s, formed a lifelong friendship that started in 1956 when Kaline attended a Red Wings game and was introduced to Howe by a mutual friend later that night. Mr. Hockey and Mr. Tiger quickly hit it off and even started a business together. Howe also participated in several Tigers practices. Upper Deck issued a baseball card that pictured Howe in a Tigers uniform in its 2004 MLB set. It’s a tough card to find, however, as it was seeded in just one of every 576 packs.…

5 min
the countdown

THE 2021 DRAFT LOTTERY didn’t feature much chaos, and that was great news for the teams at the top. With only two drawings, the last-place Buffalo Sabres would be picking, at worst, third overall. As it turns out, something went right for the Sabres during a season otherwise mired in lows, as Buffalo won the lottery and claimed the No. 1 pick. The one team that did move up was Seattle. They had the third-best odds but jumped over the Anaheim Ducks, giving the Kraken the second selection. Overall, this class is heavy on talented defensemen and a bit short on difference-making centers, though there are a couple options at the top end. The hallmark of this draft, however, is going to be the havoc that the pandemic played on the hockey world,…