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The Hockey NewsThe Hockey News

The Hockey News December 4, 2017

The Hockey News has been providing the most comprehensive coverage of the world of hockey since 1947. THN is published 18 times a year, including 14 regular issues and four special issues – such as Future Watch, Draft Preview, Yearbook, the #1 selling hockey annual in North America.

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17 Issues


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there’s no ‘d’ in mvp

WHAT DO NICKLAS LIDSTROM, Al MacInnis, Brian Leetch, Scott Niedermayer, Larry Robinson and Duncan Keith have in common? Plenty. Each won at least one Norris, one Cup and one Conn Smythe. And none of these Hall of Fame shooins got within a Zdeno Chara wingspan of the Hart. Nor did Scott Stevens, Chris Chelios or Paul Coffey. Ditto so far for Erik Karlsson, Drew Doughty and Chara. Mama, don’t let your children grow up to be superstar defensemen…not if you want them to be considered for the NHL’s foremost individual honor.Only one blueliner has won the MVP since Bobby Orr completed his Hart hat trick in 1972. That was Chris Pronger in 2000. Perhaps more curious is that none has even been a finalist, top three in balloting, since Pronger…

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your say

Where’s Victor?So 19-year-old Victor Mete can play on the Montreal Canadiens’ top defense pairing with Shea Weber but can’t crack the THN Top 100 21-and-Under list in your Prospects Unlimited issue? Gross misconduct to Team THN for that foul.BRIAN HUNSBERGER, WATERLOO, ONT.Where’s Matthew?I cannot believe that you ignored 2016 WHL rookie-ofthe- year Matthew Phillips of the Victoria Royals in this list. I hope that his size was not a factor. Or is it because he plays in a locale that is just too far west for your radar?GEORGE MACDONALD, VICTORIA, B.C.THN is the best under-six-foot defenseman in the NHL today?SHAYNE GOSTISBEHERE 47%ANTON STRALMAN 19%TOREY KRUG 17%TYSON BARRIE 17%…

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Nick Lidstrom, and anyone who says otherwise is wrong. Look at his stats. He played against the top line of every team in every situation until the day he retired. A master of positioning and a hockey IQ that was off the charts.– Kevin SistRay Bourque. He didn’t have the chance to play his entire career on great teams like Paul Coffey or Lidstrom. He’s the best.– @GirouxRobertDoug Harvey. He won the Norris Trophy seven times, which is second all-time to only Orr. Also, he was a key part of a Canadiens team where he won SIX STANLEY CUPS. Harvey is arguably the best defensive defensemen of all-time and still put up relatively good point totals. He controlled the play through precision passing and great skating.– Michael De MeloDenis Potvin.…

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mind over matter

ADAM FOXALAN HEPPLE HAS A joke about Cale Makar: “Can he play defense?” said Colorado’s director of amateur scouting. “I don’t know – he always has the puck.”Makar was drafted fourth overall by the Avalanche in 2017 and, as Hepple explains, it was a no-hesitation pick for his franchise. Now a freshman at UMass-Amherst, Makar made a name for himself in the Alberta Jr. A League last year with the Brooks Bandits, then saw his stock shoot up after a record-setting performance at the World Jr. A Challenge. The blueliner is a great skater who moves the puck fast and thinks the game quickly. Makar is 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, playing a position that traditionally was the domain of 6-foot-4 beasts who easily eclipsed the 200-pound mark. What if Makar…

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the instigator

ALEX TUCHMy WEAPONALEX TUCH | WARRIOR ALPHA QXI HAVE THE WARRIOR Alpha QX, and that really fits my style: mid-kick, pretty whippy. The blade has a good feel, and it has around a 95 to 100 flex. Over the years – I used to use Easton back in the day – I’ve always had a really whippy stick. I used CCM last year because I was in the AHL, and it was tough for me. It’s a stiffer stick, and, personally, it doesn’t have a great feel – other guys love it. I didn’t like the blade and the feel, and I struggled at times. It’s still a great stick, and I could use it, but Warrior reached out this year and I gave them a CCM and a Bauer…

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off-season oops-o-meter

BURN THE CONTRACTVADIM SHIPACHYOV(2 years, $9 million)It feels like an eternity ago that Shipachyov was anointed Vegas’ No. 1 center. Instead, he wound up an AHL casualty because of his waiver-exempt contract. Later, when given a proper NHL look, his game didn’t appear to translate to North America. He refused to return to the farm and earned himself a suspension. One ticket back to the KHL, please.FOOL’S GOLDSTEVE MASON(2 years, $8.2 million)Subtract Steve Mason’s legendary rookie campaign and you get a pedestrian .910 career save percentage across eight seasons before the Jets paid him $4.1 million a year. Was it really a surprise when young stopper Connor Hellebuyck quickly outplayed Mason in October?BUCK BEFORE BANGMARTIN HANZAL(3 years, $14.25 million)The towering two-way pivot was a disaster at both ends of the…