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September 30, 2013

September 30, 2013

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.

DEPARTMENTS

PLUS MINUS

+PLUS HE’S THE DJ… Mika Zibanejad, a.k.a. DJ Z-Bad, shows off his musical chops with a set at an Ottawa nightclub. –MINUS HANDS OFF ‘OVIE’ Dynamo exec Andrey Safranov reportedly says his team could lure Alex Ovechkin to KHL. +PLUS CALIFORNIA LOVE Kings-Ducks outdoor game at Dodger Stadium begins its ticket sales at a record pace. –MINUS BAD MEDICINE Sheldon Souray hurts wrist tossing medicine ball in training; will miss first two months of ’13-14.…

IN THIS ISSUE

SAN JOSE SHARKS

BOOM With Logan Couture, Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski, the Sharks have some of the best center depth in the league and while Couture is still on the ascent and the proud owner of a brand new long-term deal, ‘Jumbo’ hasn’t slowed down much – meaning a pick-your-poison matchup problem for the opposition. Meanwhile, the Brent Burns experiment was a smashing success, so expect the hirsute banger to remain on the wing instead of back on the blueline. Antti Niemi was one of the top goaltenders in the NHL last season, tying for the league lead with 24 victories, posting a stodgy 2.16 goals-against average and .924 save percentage and finishing third in Vezina Trophy voting. In front of Niemi, the defense is still a solid and under-rated bunch, headlined by veterans…

FEATURES

DYNAMIC DUO

IT WAS JUST AN INFORMAL LATE-August skate at the Madison Square Garden Training Center in Tarrytown, N.Y. There were about a dozen Rangers on the ice, along with some other NHLers and American League players, getting in some practice ahead of training camp in mid-September. But in a snapshot, the drills and scrimmage showed why Henrik Lundqvist is a world-class goaltender: ultra-competitive, focused and always working on technique. No matter that he was scheduled for a live appearance on Regis Philbin’s Fox Sports 1 show later that afternoon. Distracted? Hardly. “He’s mad if anything gets by him, even just a day like today,” says Marek Hrivik, a Rangers prospect. Lundqvist, 31, returned from Sweden’s Olympic camp with the same resolve that carried him to a Vezina Trophy in 2011-12 and made him…

IN THIS ISSUE

CAROLINA HURRICANES

BOOM The Eric Staal-Jiri Tlusty-Alexander Semin line surprisingly emerged as one of the most productive in the NHL last season. The trio will surely be back and expected to carry most of the load again, but it was also promising that Jeff Skinner played 42 of 48 games after struggling with a concussion the season prior. Cam Ward did as well as he could under the circumstances. Though he faced among the most shots in the league, Ward held a record above .500 and Carolina was 12-8-1 before an injury shut him down for the season. The Hurricanes lacked a backup capable of keeping them close down the stretch, so they added Anton Khudobin’s intriguing talent to play behind Ward and guard against a similar fate in 2013-14. Jordan Staal was a…