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Yearbook 2005-06

Yearbook 2005-06

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.


Steeltown now NHL boomtown

Saying the Pittsburgh Penguins have experienced a dramatic renovation is like saying Michael Jackson has experienced a minor makeover. Make no mistake, the Penguins of 2005-06 will bear no resemblance to the underfunded, rag-tag bunch of 2003-04. That team finished last in the league in points, attendance and payroll and had a defenseman, Dick Tarnstrom, as its leading scorer. Tarnstrom finished with 52 points, or about as many as people expect from Sidney Crosby on opening night. In Crosby, the Pens have the most hyped prospect since Mario Lemieux to go along with a terrific offensive defenseman in Sergei Gonchar; a prolific goal-scoring forward (Ziggy Palffy); a rejuvenated Lemieux (yup, he’s still playing); another two proven goal-scorers (Mark Recchi and John LeClair); and three top-five picks, besides Crosby, who could make an impact. In other…


Kariya signs up for musical ride

The Nashville Predators had as much momentum as any franchise in the NHL prior to the one-year lockout. They capped the 2003-04 season (their sixth) with the first playoff berth in franchise history and a competitive, compelling six-game series with Detroit. Left winger Steve Sullivan was the first significant deadline acquisition and his impact was greater than expected. Tomas Vokoun, in his first full season as a No. 1 netminder, played well enough to earn a spot in the All-Star Game, then showed no signs of intimidation during the series with Detroit. Perhaps most important, Nashville established an identity beyond the usual “hard working” line, a tag that always earned pats on the head, but no real respect. An influx of attitude, most notably from rookie Jordin Tootoo, energized the fan base…



In the new NHL the emphasis will be on youth, speed and offense. Iginla possesses all three attributes. Not that defensive play is suddenly less important, but there is a chance that we will once again see 50-goal and 100-point scorers and those players will steal the headlines. Imagine that! Although last year’s No. 1 player, Peter Forsberg, played in Sweden and Iginla took the year off, the Calgary star was already nipping at Forsberg’s heels and is well-rested moving forward. “Iginla has the eye of the tiger,” claims Tampa Bay coach John Tortorella. Or as Mike Ricci of the Phoenix Coyotes puts it, “He’s a great player who does everything for his team. He’s their star…their leader.” While Iginla is a ferocious competitor on the ice, he is decidedly modest off it. Informed…


Caring & sharing in the new NHL

Revenue sharing was always a hot-button topic with the NHL Players’ Association during the CBA talks. The argument was that players didn’t want to get in a so-called partnership with the league when big-market teams weren’t prepared to share with their smaller-market cousins. Well, the big clubs are being forced to share right now, but without getting into the eye-glazing nitty-gritty of the ‘Player Compensation Cost Redistribution System’ – if you know what’s good for you, don’t even think about going there – it is hardly a burden that will break their backs. The short-and-vastly-oversimplified version: there are two levels and two sources of revenue-sharing funds for lower revenue teams. One is designed to allow teams to “afford,” in the league’s eyes, to spend $4 million more than the salary cap floor.…