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August 17, 2015

August 17, 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.

DEPARTMENTS

NAMING NEVADA

> BLACK KNIGHTS Foley has said in the past that he likes this name, which references the West Point military academy, whose NCAA teams go by the moniker. > WRANGLERS Used by the ECHL team that formerly repped the city, it’s a good fit and a little less on-the-nose than ‘Gamblers.’ > VULTURES This is just a cool name, and the carrion-fuelled birds are native to the area. > SCORPIONS Ditto for scorpions, but would the team feel obligated to play Rock You Like a Hurricane after every goal? On second thought, Carolina already uses that track to open each game. > THUNDER The name of the International League team that once prowled the city, the Thunder gave us Radek Bonk and even housed Alexei Yashin temporarily. Other possibilities:Rattlers, Aces, Wolves, Rough Riders, Outlaws…

FEATURES

EVEN AT 18, HE’S ‘THE MAN’

TEEMU SELANNE AWARD BEST ROOKIE | AARON EKBLAD AVOTE IS, BY definition, “a formal expression of opinion or choice, positive or negative, made by an individual or body of individuals.” Any vote is thus subjective, and that applies to award ballots in sports. No matter how strongly the numbers might point us to choose a particular candidate, some degree of gut feeling plays a role. Looking at not only our vote for the top rookie of 2014-15 but also the official Calder Trophy vote for the same honor, did that gut feeling take over a little too much? We voted Aaron Ekblad as our top rookie, with Mark Stone finishing one point, or one third-place vote, behind him for second. The Professional Hockey Writers’ Association’s vote on the Calder went similarly, with Ekblad and…

DEPARTMENTS

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE BASE

THERE ARE THREE THINGS DOMINATING NHL expansion chatter: location, location and, yes, location. We get it. The notion of where to place the league’s next team(s) is sexy and emotional. But the concept of growing the business by selling more franchises isn’t all shifts and giggles. There are multiple considerations and potential ramifications. Success in any given market comes with as much certainty as an Alex Ovechkin guaranteed win. The league’s most recent forays paint a checkered picture. From 1998 to 2000, the NHL added four teams: Nashville, Atlanta (who high-tailed it to Winnipeg when things failed in Georgia), Minnesota and Columbus. In 59 combined seasons, the quartet has had 18 playoff appearances, about a 30 percent success rate. Overall, with other factors being equal, NHL teams today have a 53 percent…

DEPARTMENTS

ALL’S THAWING ON RUSSIAN FRONT

READ FEATURES FROM RYAN KENNEDY EVERY DAY AT THEHOCKEYNEWS.COM EVER SINCE THE KHL STARTED UP IN 2008, the Russian league has scored several victories in bringing home players who had sought glory in the NHL, from Ilya Kovalchuk to Alexander Radulov. Not coincidentally, the opportunity for young Russians to stay home in a familiar culture, play good hockey and make more money earlier in their careers had given rise to the “Russian factor” at the NHL draft. Players from the big hockey nation were falling because franchises were afraid they wouldn’t come over – and if they did, the players might head back when times got tough. But the Russians made a comeback at the 2015 draft, with four players going in the first round. That’s the most since 2001, when a…