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December 23, 2013

December 23, 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.



WHILE LONDON KNIGHTS GM Mark Hunter had to resort to Plan B, he was more than happy to see 19-year-old defenseman Olli Maatta stick with the Pittsburgh Penguins this year, even if it put a dent in his team’s blueline as it prepared to host the Memorial Cup next spring. “We take a different spin on it,” Hunter said. “They have seven ‘D’ on one-way contracts, so it’s a credit to Olli that he earned a spot up there.” The Knights are proud of their development model and in this case, the defending Ontario League champs may have been victims of their own success. “The best practice is playing as many games as you can,” Maatta said. “And I had two long seasons, two good seasons, with London.” So don’t feel bad…



CONSIDERING HIS SUCCESS AT THE junior level, Mark Scheifele’s dark first quarter has raised a few questions. After being the Winnipeg Jets’ seventh-overall pick in 2011, is he ready for the NHL? Is he trying too hard? Is he just a one-way player? Scheifele’s focus has not been the continuation of his offensive success in the Ontario League with the Barrie Colts, which included 41 points in 21 playoff games in 2013. Rather, he’s busy trying to earn ice time by gaining the trust of his coach and teammates as a responsible player everywhere. In concentrating on the defensive side of the puck, his offensive chances have not been abundant yet. As a reuslt, he had just one goal and four assists through 24 games. “The league isn’t about scoring goals,” Scheifele…



ANSWERS AVAILABLE IN THE NEXT ISSUE AND AT THN.COM/XWORD ACROSS 1 Dave ___ is OHL boss 4 Jim Nill is now GM here 9 Dave Keon Arena is in Rouyn-___ 10 Instrument still heard at the United Center 11 Ray ___ calls the shots in Pittsburgh 12 The Hockey Hall of Fame is located here 13 Team that calls the MTS Centre home 15 Jacques Plante was first to wear one regularly 18 The Golden Bears represent this university 21 Unmarked, in the ___ 23 Morenz or Meeker 24 Home of junior hockey’s Wheat Kings 25 Wade ___, pictured, was with St. Louis and Boston last season 26 Prince ___ also has junior hockey DOWN 1 Outlaw 2 Come to terms on a deal 3 Stompin’ Tom ___ gave us The Hockey Song 5 Rod Brind’___ was nicknamed ‘The Bod’ 6 All-time greats 7 ___ teams compete for the Allan Cup 8 The…



THE HIT DEBUT SINGLE Cruise by country duo Florida Georgia Line may be the perfect anthem for Nashville Predators rookie Seth Jones. Not only was the song remixed by rapper Nelly – bringing together two of Jones’ favorite musical genres in what the 19-year-old calls a “bonus” – Jones himself has been cruising through his first NHL campaign. And that’s no small feat for a defenseman. While his stunning draft day fall to the fourth pick overall meant the potential No. 1 selection wouldn’t be going home to Colorado to play for the Avalanche and the man who helped get Jones into hockey, Joe Sakic, it may have landed him in a perfect locale. Jones’ backstory makes him the perfect candidate for hype and overexposure. He’s the poster boy for all the…