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December 4, 2017

December 4, 2017

Get ready for our Blueline Blowout edition! We’re featuring the best D-men from around the NHL, from Erik Karlsson to Brent Burns to Victor Hedman to Kris Letang to Ivan Provorov to Jones & Werenski to the entire Hurricanes corps. Plus, on the 25th anniversary of the film, we have an oral history of The Mighty Ducks!

IN THIS ISSUE

IVAN THE GREAT READY TO RULE

AT THE RATE HE’S going, playing half a game isn’t out of the question for sophomore Ivan Provorov. After all, last year the Russian blueliner became the first rookie in Philadelphia Flyers history to lead the team in average ice time. This year, he’s already hit 27:11 in regulation and 28:07 in OT, meaning the 30-minute threshold (and beyond) is within sight. But you won’t hear a peep of a complaint from Provorov, drafted seventh overall in 2015, and that provides some insight into his personality. While he’s fluent and articulate in English, he chooses his words carefully in measured tone, with the same sort of precision he executes his game on the ice. Teammates such as 24-year-old Shayne Gostisbehere have to keep reminding themselves that Provorov still isn’t old enough to join…

IN THIS ISSUE

SOAPBOX

Nick Lidstrom, and anyone who says otherwise is wrong. Look at his stats. He played against the top line of every team in every situation until the day he retired. A master of positioning and a hockey IQ that was off the charts. – Kevin Sist Ray Bourque. He didn’t have the chance to play his entire career on great teams like Paul Coffey or Lidstrom. He’s the best. – @GirouxRobert Doug Harvey. He won the Norris Trophy seven times, which is second all-time to only Orr. Also, he was a key part of a Canadiens team where he won SIX STANLEY CUPS. Harvey is arguably the best defensive defensemen of all-time and still put up relatively good point totals. He controlled the play through precision passing and great skating. – Michael De Melo Denis Potvin.…

IN THIS ISSUE

JUST OFFENSE? THAT’S OFFENSIVE

ROD LANGWAY WAS ONE of a kind. It felt that way during his prime in the 1980s, and it’s even truer 25 years removed from his retirement. He was a genuine defensive defenseman, a pain in the neck to play against, blessed with a big wingspan and heavy hitting ability at 6-foot-3 and 218 pounds. Any offense he provided was a bonus. His career high in points was 45, the equivalent of about 32 today. Langway was a defensive specialist, but awards voters had no problem celebrating that. He won back-to-back Norris Trophies with the Washington Capitals in 1983 and 1984. He even finished second to Wayne Gretzky in Hart Trophy voting in ’84. Langway’s accolades, however, contradict the long-held assumption that the Norris Trophy never rewards defensive defensemen and that…

IN THIS ISSUE

YOU CAN’T KEEP A GOOD MAN DOWN

IT IS A COMPLICATED formula, one where the needle is always moving and the results are always open to interpretation: risk vs. reward. Kris Letang lives it. The swift and savvy two-way star is the Pittsburgh Penguins’ best defenseman because he can pass, shoot, join the rush, pinch in deep and still get back quickly to defend then send the play back the other way. That comes with some risk, namely turning the puck over at times and creating chances for opponents. And it also has come with some frustrating and frightening medical issues over the years. He played all 82 games in 2010-11 but in the five subsequent non-lockout seasons, he’s averaged 54 games due to a variety of health issues, from groin injuries to concussions to a stroke in 2014…