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October 3, 2011

October 3, 2011

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.

IN THIS ISSUE

Getting Greener

It has been commonplace for players to select higher numbers for themselves as more sweaters are retired around the NHL. But another reason for the higher double digits is the fact more players are wearing their birth years – a scary thought when you consider Edmonton Oilers prospect Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was wearing No. 93 when his photo was taken for his first Upper Deck hockey card this summer. “I used to wear it in bantam and peewee,” he said. “Plus it’s my birth year and I really liked Doug Gilmour. There’s a lot of things that draw me to it.” Feeling old yet? Consider Nugent-Hopkins was seven weeks old when Gilmour’s Leafs were eliminated by Wayne Gretzky’s Kings in that epic seven-game Cup semifinal in 1993. Feeling old now? If not, how…

IN THIS ISSUE

PACIFIC TEAM REPORTS

ANAHEIM DUCKS MATTERS OF THE HEAD are the trickiest in hockey and even though goaltender Jonas Hiller wasn’t in the concussion cohort last season, his state of mind was no less scary. Hiller’s extended bout with vertigo scuppered the Ducks’ post-season aspirations as Anaheim allowed Nashville its first playoff series victory in franchise history. Though Ray Emery was bright in his duty as a fill-in, it was clear the team missed its steady Swiss hand. But Hiller was ready for action again this fall and with that, Anaheim gets its mojo back. There’s no question the Ducks have the offensive firepower necessary to get the job done in the West (what with the NHL’s best line in Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan) and the defense boasts a wide array…

IN THIS ISSUE

ATLANTIC TEAM REPORTS

NEW JERSEY DEVILS IF HIS EXTENDED absence last season didn’t make it clear how much Zach Parise means to the Devils, his performance this year – and his contract status approaching next summer – most assuredly will. Signed to a one-year, $6-million contract, the 27-year-old played just 13 games in 2010-11 thanks to a knee injury and it showed in the team’s abysmal offense: New Jersey had the worst goals-for average (2.08) and the league’s third-worst power play (14.4 percent). Parise’s return will provide help, but with top center Travis Zajac sidelined due to a torn Achilles heel, he’ll need to be productive right out of the gate. Parise is a pending unrestricted free agent after the season, meaning he’ll have to deal with hearing his name in trade rumors all…

IN THIS ISSUE

TOP 20

Sidney Crosby has been unable work his magic for about nine months now, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t still the best at what he does. In our annual ranking of the top 20 players by position, we have Crosby at No. 1 despite the fact he hasn’t played a game since January and nobody, him and his doctors included, has any idea when he will again. The fact he has been able to retain his status as the best center (and player) in the game is a testament to the season he was having before a concussion struck him down. Crosby isn’t the only one whose status is uncertain. At press time, we had Teemu Selanne ranked No. 7 among right wingers, even though he had yet to decide whether or…