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February 12, 2018

February 12, 2018

The Hockey News 2018 Rookie Issue, annually highlighting the best freshman the NHL has to offer. In this year’s edition, we profile Brock Boeser, Matt Barzal, Mikhail Sergachev, Clayton Keller, P-L Dubois & many more. Plus, our WJC wrap, and we pay our respects to the late, great Johnny Bower.

IN THIS ISSUE

YOUR SAY

Average? Absolutely not While I agree with most of Tom Thompson’s points in his Jonathan Quick vs. Corey Crawford feature (Jan. 2), he’s completely wrong about one thing. He states, “(Crawford) would be exposed as an average goalie on a ‘bad team.’” Can he explain how Crawford has carried a declining Blackhawks team this year all by himself? As of the end of 2017, Crawford’s record was 16-9-2 (.630) while his backups were 2-5-4 (.364). MIKE CREED, CHICAGO Bug deserves better I was shocked to read that ThunderBug was ranked so low in your NHL mascot rankings (The Countdown, Jan. 2). Does the author not realize that lightning bugs do in fact exist and are quite common in the southern United States? Maybe they are known as fireflies in your neck of the woods?…

IN THIS ISSUE

MAKE IT CHEAPER, MAKE IT INTIMATE

@THNRYANKENNEDY AS DENMARK LEFT THE ice for the final time at the 2018 world juniors, victorious in staving off relegation at the expense of Belarus, I had a question for the winners. Was it more fun playing in front of a near-empty rink at KeyBank Center, home of the Buffalo Sabres, or in front of 1,200 fans in the 2,000-seat HarborCenter rink next door? “We actually liked the smaller rink better,” said left winger Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup. “There weren’t as many fans at our games (at KeyBank), except when we played Canada and the U.S.” And even then, the crowds were pitiful. Other than the outdoor game at New Era Field and the gold-medal game that brought Canadians streaming across the border to make the scene look respectable, attendance was the biggest issue…

IN THIS ISSUE

JOHNNY BOWER   1924-2017

ANGIE GONZALEZ never even knew Johnny Bower as a hockey player. To her, he was simply the sweet, elderly man who would regularly come into the Swiss Chalet in suburban Toronto where she worked and politely ask for the corner seat, Booth No. 133. Johnny Bower loved his Swiss Chalet. Gonzalez would serve him his food and watch as it took him forever to eat it. He’d go to the washroom and be stopped again and again, taking time to make those recognizing him feel like the most important person in the room. When they didn’t have a picture for him to autograph, he’d go out to his car and get one. “Here he was just trying to enjoy his dinner and I never once saw him get upset about the…

IN THIS ISSUE

THE COUNTDOWN   LATE-ROUND DRAFT CROPS

THE BLUEPRINT FOR sustained success is unique in the NHL’s salary-cap era. Winning is less about signing big-fish free agents. Money still matters a ton, but it’s more about spending those dollars to retain your homegrown superstars. That’s why Connor McDavid will earn $12.5 million annually starting next season after his entry-level contract ends. Because teams must commit massive portions of their budgets to their foundational players, it’s more important than ever to win with contributions from later-round draft picks, as they can be crucial support players while remaining under team control into their late 20s. It’s no coincidence these rankings commence with last year’s Stanley Cup finalists and the team that came within a goal of eliminating the eventual champion. Scouting is so good nowadays that there are fewer busts…