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Great Debates SIP

Great Debates SIP

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

KARLSSON VS. DOUGHTY

ERIK KARLSSON Let’s get the obvious argument out of the way first, especially since it won’t even be the killing stroke in the war over Drew Doughty versus Erik Karlsson. Karlsson’s offensive output towers over Doughty’s like a Chicago skyscraper. Doughty is an excellent puckmoving defenseman, a creative and dynamic player who can dominate a game, but he’s not in Karlsson’s league. No one is over the past two decades. Karlsson’s 82 points in 2015-16 were the most since Brian Leetch notched 85 in 1995-96. Karlsson cracked the NHL’s top 10 in scoring for the second time in his career. Only Bobby Orr, Denis Potvin and Paul Coffey have matched that feat. Karlsson’s point production is historic. He could retire today and already be considered one of the four or five best…

IN THIS ISSUE

CANADIENS VS. LEAFS

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS Cancun, Mexico, spring 2005. I stand in Coco Bongo, one of the city’s most popular nightclubs, watching an acrobat dressed as Spider-Man fight an acrobat dressed as the Green Goblin, both attached to wires hanging over the bar. It’s a surreal experience. And yet, something distracts from it. It starts as a murmur. Then a rumble. Then a roar. Taking over the entire club. It’s a chant. What the...? “Go Leafs go. Go Leafs go! GO LEAFS GO!” Yup, we’re 1,614 miles from Toronto, it’s the middle of the lockout, the season has just been cancelled and fans could not be angrier. Yet the chant blows the roof off Coco Bongo. Find me a tale of a “Go Habs Go” eruption in Acapulco or rowdy Flames fans taking over a bar…

IN THIS ISSUE

BEST DEFENSEMAN

STEVENS VS. NIEDERMAYER The signature seismic, bone-crunching hits alone did not make Scott Stevens the greatest defenseman in Devils’ history. The Hall of Famer was anything but a one-dimensional human torpedo. Rather, he was a complete player – a scorer early in his career – whose defensive acumen and physical presence blended with the Devils’ philosophy to the point one personified the other, and vice versa. As well, Stevens was a skilled leader, serving as captain from 1992-93 until he retired following 2003-04 because of concussion symptoms. That tenure featured four Stanley Cup final appearances in nine seasons and three Cup victories. There are numerous testimonies from Stevens’ former teammates as to his value within the Devils’ dressing room, how he shaped and toughened a championship-caliber squad. And there are numerous testimonies from…

IN THIS ISSUE

GRETZKY VS. ORR

WAYNE GRETZKY Drag Wayne Gretzky kicking and screaming into a laboratory. Place him in your nefarious machine. Erase every goal he ever scored. Then watch him cackle maniacally. Your plan failed. Gretzky with zero goals remains the NHL’s all-time leader in points. Gretzky with zero goals still notches 11 straight 100-point seasons and wins the scoring title four times. If we judged Wayne Gretzky solely by his assists, he’d still be the greatest offensive weapon the game has ever known. That’s how dominant he was. Once we add the 894 goals back in, it’s not even fair. Bobby Orr was a breathtaking specimen, as was Mario Lemieux, but no one steamrolled the record books like No. 99. Orr and Lemieux acolytes tend to discriminate against Gretzky because of the eye test. He was…