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Yearbook 2014-15

Yearbook 2014-15

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

SETBACKS TO SUCCESS

KYLE OKPOSO’S FAVORITE MOVIE IS THE COUNT OF MONTE Cristo. The protagonist in the famous movie/novel is a teenager who appears destined for success, only to be thrown into turmoil beyond his control. While at his low point, he transforms himself into a learned man and goes about seeking revenge on a world that wronged him. If you get to know Okposo, you can see why he loves this story. There are some striking similarities between the New York Islanders right winger and The Count. Okposo came into the NHL with much fanfare and a bright future, only to land in deep, sticky mud that caused him to question everything. But from that low point, Okposo has continued to develop and now he’s bent on leaving his mark on a hockey…

IN THIS ISSUE

SHANNY’S SHINE NOT ENOUGH

ROUTINELY OUTSHOT AND OUTPLAYED, the 2013-14 Toronto Maple Leafs, for a short time, managed to defy everything we know about advanced stats thanks to Vezina-type goaltending from Jonathan Bernier, a stellar shootout record and opportunistic scoring from Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk. By mid-March, however, the law of averages caught up to them. They lost 12 of their final 14 games and plummeted from fifth place to 12th in the Eastern Conference. Brendan Shanahan was brought in at the end of the season as the team’s president, but aside from minor cosmetic alterations – adding Stephane Robidas, trading Carl Gunnarsson for Roman Polak and bringing back Leo Komarov and Matt Frattin – not much has changed. In other words, whether you watch hockey with your eyes or with a calculator in…

IN THIS ISSUE

SHARPENING THEIR CLAWS

SAY ONE THING ABOUT the Florida Panthers, they’re never boring. Even in a season when they finished 29th in the NHL, they still had people around the league talking. Whether it was signing Tim Thomas during training camp, firing fiery coach Kevin Dineen or finally reacquiring Roberto Luongo at the trade deadline – the only buying the flatlined team did in March – the Panthers were at least interesting. Now it’s time for Florida to become, well, good. GM Dale Tallon has stockpiled young talent and is banking on a stable of veterans to help turn the franchise around. With Luongo in net, Florida feels it can compete in the Atlantic Division. Tallon was busy July 1, signing Dave Bolland, Willie Mitchell and Jussi Jokinen. The hope is to insulate the kids,…

IN THIS ISSUE

CAPITAL PUNISHMENT

IT’S BEEN AN OFF-SEASON OF CHANGE for the Ottawa Senators, including another captain jumping ship. As the players headed their separate ways at the end of a disastrous season, captain Jason Spezza decided he couldn’t take it anymore and told GM Bryan Murray to send him packing. So in the hours before free agency kicked off, Murray made the best deal he could and sent Spezza to the Dallas Stars, with right winger Alex Chiasson being the key return in a package that also included respectable prospects Alex Guptill and Nick Paul. Murray wasn’t going to endure another off-season held hostage by the trade demands of a star player after the Dany Heatley saga in the summer of 2009. The Senators want to be a playoff team next season, but as they…