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Stanley Cup Issue 2017

Stanley Cup Issue 2017

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

A GUSHER AT LAST FOR THE OILERS

IT’S NOT EASY grabbing headlines on a team with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, but Oscar Klefbom is ready for his own place in the Edmonton Oilers’ spotlight. The 23-year-old defenseman is coming off his best and healthiest year, and, if his trajectory holds, he’s about to deliver a major breakthrough season. This is vital for the Oilers, who have been searching for a toppairing offensive defenseman since Chris Pronger left 11 years ago. In a league where teams never trade high-end blueliners – with the Preds and Habs being the exceptions that prove the rule – having someone from within the organization grow into that role is crucial in any team’s blueprint. For the Oilers, that makes Klefbom an integral part of their quest to become Cup contenders. This became apparent…

IN THIS ISSUE

COMIC RELIEF, SERIOUSLY GOOD

FOR UP-TO-THE-MINUTE COVERAGE, VISIT THN.COM IT WAS THE night of Jan. 14, a chilly evening following a day game against Nashville, when the rookie stood to speak. In Boulder, Colo., a slow, cool wind swept outside a steakhouse in the mountains. Hours after yet another loss in what would be a year full of them, the Colorado Avalanche had taken over the restaurant for the team’s annual rookie party. As part of the gathering, Colorado’s newest players were tasked with treating its veterans to fine cuts of meat and finer bottles of wine. But there was also entertainment on the agenda. After the meal, it was the duty of the Avalanche rookies to stand in front of the team and offer a show of comedy. Mikko Rantanen rose, uneasy. The Finnish left winger…

CHAMPIONS

KHL CHAMP, VEGAS BIG BET

VEGAS IS A city where rolling the dice can bring great fortune or unmitigated disaster. The Vegas Golden Knights are hoping their first shooter is a lucky one and that Vadim Shipachyov produces a jackpot-sized return. He certainly has the credentials to be a high roller. Shipachyov is far from a run-of-themill free agent signing. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound center has played a key role in helping SKA St. Petersburg win two of the past three KHL titles. He racked up 15 assists in 17 playoff games this spring as St. Petersburg hoisted its second Gagarin Cup with a 4-1 series victory over Metallurg Magnitogorsk. HE´S SHOWN AT THE WORLDS THAT HE´S VERY CAPABLE OF PLAYING WITH AND AGAINST NHL PLAYERS – Golden Knights assistant GM Kelly McCrimmon St. Petersburg won the series opener…

CHAMPIONS

HAVE PADS, WILL TRAVEL, WIN TITLE

NOT ONCE BUT twice, Lukas Hafner was looking for a job. Then, on Feb. 6 – Hafner’s 25th birthday – he got a call from Colorado Eagles coach Aaron Schneekloth. The ECHL team had an opening for a backup goaltender, and Hafner was on a plane. As it turned out, the gift was more for the Eagles. After playing in just five regular season games for Colorado, Hafner became the go-to goalie in the team’s run to its first Kelly Cup. “I don’t know if you could write a better story about a player,” Schneekloth said. “When we grabbed him, we were in need of a goaltender, and he knew the situation, that he was going to be in a supporting role and he needed to work for his opportunity.…