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100 Classic Covers

100 Classic Covers

From championships to star power to the just plain weird, The Hockey News' 2023 Collector's Edition, 100 Classic Covers, explores 75 years of hockey history through the lens of our magazine's front pages. Oh, and keep an eye out for Gritty.

Publisher’s Note


VOLUME 71, NUMBER 12, was the first issue of The Hockey News that was published under my ownership, just over five years ago, back in January 2018. This Publisher’s Note is in Volume 76, Number 12, exactly five volumes of issues of The Hockey News after my first issue. There is nothing in the hockey world that documents the modern era of the game of hockey like the covers (and the issues) of The Hockey News do. If you spent a few minutes looking at each of the 3,000-plus covers of The Hockey News in chronological order, starting in 1947 with Volume 1, Number 1, through this issue, Volume 76, Number 12, you will have witnessed all of the key events and people in the modern history of hockey. You might…

100 Classic Covers


SHOT FROM BEHIND AS cameras crowd ‘The Great One,’ this image of Wayne Gretzky – in his iconic No. 99 waving farewell to the Madison Square Garden crowd – gives THN’s Wayne Gretzky Tribute Issue a cover fit for framing. And when a player leaves as indelible a mark on the game as Gretzky did, it’s only natural to dedicate the bulk of the coverage to his brilliance. THN distilled Gretzky’s career into his greatest moments and wrote about his exit from the game from all angles. While Gretzky wasn’t retiring at the height of his remarkable powers, it is worth remembering he was still one of the NHL’s elite playmakers. He tied for the league lead in assists in each of the two seasons prior and finished tied for sixth…

100 Classic Covers


THAT MAURICE ‘ROCKET’ Richard was an iconic goal-scorer in the NHL is of no dispute: they literally named a trophy after him. But to see the coverage of his landmark 500th career goal in October 1957 is fascinating. Drawn up like the king he was by illustrator John Collins, Richard hit 500 while also holding the title of oldest player in the league that season. Richard’s output gets the proper acclaim here, with writer Ron Laplante comparing the feat to the home-run prowess of baseball’s Babe Ruth, and noting that no one else was even close to Richard (no other NHLer had even hit the 400-goal mark at the time). There is one proviso in the article, though: Laplante notes Gordie Howe, seven years younger than Richard, was the only active…

100 Classic Covers


THE HOCKEY NEWS’ founders, Ken McKenzie and Will Cote, couldn’t have fathomed that one of the biggest scandals in NHL history would be sprawled across the front page six months after their journalistic endeavor began. In March 1948, NHL president Clarence Campbell expelled New York Ranger Billy Taylor for life and suspended Boston Bruins youngster Don Gallinger indefinitely for betting on their own games. The ordeal drew comparisons to the 1919 Black Sox scandal that rocked MLB – eight members of the White Sox were accused of match-fixing during the World Series and banned from baseball. But Taylor and Gallinger weren’t the first NHLers caught wagering. In 1946, Babe Pratt was slapped with a lifetime NHL ban for betting, though his sentence was later rescinded after he admitted to the offense. Pratt…