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June 22, 2015

June 22, 2015

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.

FEATURES

DECISION DAY LOOMS

MIKE GREEN'S SHOCK OF THICK I dark hair -which has ranged I from a Mohawk to a mop that I pointed in all directions -has I given way to a clean, stylized I look. He's moved from a two-story urban bachelor pad with a hot tub on the balcony to a spacious suburban home. His numerous tattoos run down his arms and onto his fingers, but since last summer, one of those fingers now wears a wedding ring. And he's no longer the run-and-gun, gambling defenseman labelled "mistake prone" in his own zone. If maturity has transformed the Capitals two-time all-star, a bigger change could come this summer. Unless his Newport Sports representatives and Washington GM Brian MacLellan hammer out a new contract, Green will become the biggest name on the free…

FEATURES

General Motorin’

AS DIRECTORS OF AMATEUR scouting for the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues, Joe McDonnell and Bill Armstrong constantly cross paths during the hockey season. Whether it's at a junior game in Brandon, Man. on a Friday night or a small rink in eastern Europe for an under-18 tournament, McDonnell's message for Armstrong is the same. "I always say to him, 'You're just such an asshole,' " McDonnell said. "I always tell him he stole my ring away from me." The two can laugh about the experience a quarter of a century after the fact. McDonnell was 29, less than a decade older than some of the players he was coaching with the Kitchener Rangers. Armstrong was a big, physical defenseman known more for his fists than his scoring touch, but…

DEPARTMENTS

SUBSTANCE OVER STYLE

DAVID POILE WAS LOOKING FOR a bargain. It was early July, and the Nashville Predators GM was digging through the free agent market like it was a discount bin. He needed players who could help his offensively deprived team score. He just didn’t want to pay full price. Poile could have signed Mikhail Grabovski to a four-year deal with a $5-million cap hit. Instead, he rolled the dice and grabbed three discounted players — Mike Ribeiro, Derek Roy and Olli Jokinen — for the same money combined. “Sorry for the cliche,” Poile said, “but we signed a lot of quantity to hopefully get some quality.” This wasn’t lining up outside a hotel for a chance to talk to Brad Richards, as though he had tickets to the Rolling Stones. This was more…

DEPARTMENTS

COLD SHOULDER IN THE CREASE

THERE WAS A TIME WHEN GOALTENders were just as coveted in the draft as top-line centers and bedrock defensemen. It's true: in the four drafts from 2000 to 2003, netmind-ers were taken first overall twice and second overall once. And while MarcAndre Fleury, Rick DiPietro and Kari Lehtonen went on to have varying degrees of success in the NHL, the market cooled considerably after that. Carey Price went fifth overall in 2005, and he seems to be stumbling along OK, but there hasn't been a goaltender taken in the top 10 since. And for the past two years, no goalies have gone in the first round. So I made a note to myself in doing my rankings this year: if Zach Fucale and Thatcher Demko couldn't crack the first round, who can…