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October 26, 2009

October 26, 2009

The Hockey News has been providing the most comprehensive coverage of the world of hockey since 1947. In each issue, you'll find news, features and opinions about the NHL and leagues across North America and the world.



WHO’S THAT GUY? Matt Hendricks bounced around the minors for years, always being cut before the NHL regular season began. But when the Avs dropped the puck on their home opener, the 28-year-old grinding center/winger was still in Denver. “I’ve been waiting a long time for this day,” he said. Hendricks played four games for Colorado last season, otherwise spending his pro career in places such as Milwaukee and Lake Erie. The only part of the preseason that didn’t go well for Hendricks was when he suffered a broken nose and shiner after being punched by the Kings’ Wayne Simmonds. “I learned on that one,” he said.…



WHO’S THAT GUY? In a past life, Jeff Woywitka was the 27th pick in the 2001 draft and a potential savior for a sluggish Philadelphia blueline. But that’s a distant memory for the 26-year-old on his fourth NHL team. Woywitka has had injuries and ups and downs. He has been traded for some big names (Mike Comrie and Chris Pronger among them) and he has been let go when all it took to keep him was a qualifying offer. But he has proven to Dallas that he can still play. Woywitka beat out Andrew Hutchinson for the No. 7 defenseman spot, then beat out Mark Fistric to start the season in the lineup. He looks like a solid partner for Matt Niskanen and an important player this year.…



WHO’S THAT GUY? That was the question Canucks fans were asking when Sergei Shirokov, a 5-foot-10 left winger from Russia, showed up at the team’s informal workouts prior to the start of training camp. Young Russians rarely sign two-way deals because they don’t want to play for peanuts in the minors, but Shirokov – drafted 163rd in 2006 – took that chance. Then he dazzled at rookie camp and during the pre-season — collecting seven points in four games — and earned a spot on the second line. The 23-year-old speaks limited English, but there was no misunderstanding he was chasing his NHL dream. “First game, special,” he said. “My wish was always to play NHL.”…



The entire Canadian Hockey League switched over to Reebok Edge uniforms this season, meaning makeovers both large and small for all major junior teams. In Calgary, the Hitmen have taken intimidation to a new level by blowing up their psycho-killer hockey mask logo on their white road sweaters. By keeping the jersey relatively simple, the eye is drawn straight to the mask. The new logo has a slightly different design and color scheme from the team’s main logo, which is still represented on the shoulder patches.…