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August 16, 2005

August 16, 2005

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.

NHL TEAM REPORTS

High hopes pinned on top pick Johnson

In 1993, the Hartford Whalers drafted Chris Pronger with the second pick in the draft. Pronger didn’t work out for the Whalers, but after he was traded he developed into one of the best defensemen in the game. When the Hurricanes picked Jack Johnson with the third pick in this year’s draft, it was the highest the franchise has taken a defenseman since Pronger, and the hopes are just as high. The 6-foot-1, 201-pound Johnson isn’t as big as Pronger, but scouts rave about his two-way ability and mean streak. The Canes considered taking Marc Staal, who they think is as solid a player as his older brother Eric, but couldn’t pass up Johnson’s potential. “We see the upside to Jack with his skating and his offense and the way he plays the game.…

DEPARTMENTS

THE PRODIGAL SON FACTOR

BRIAN LEETCH Raised: Cheshire, Conn. Going to: Bruins MATHIEU DANDENAULT Born: Sherbrooke, Que. Going to: Canadiens TOM FITZGERALD Born: Billerica, Mass. Going to: Bruins SHAWN MCEACHERN Born: Waltham, Mass. Going to: Bruins JEFF O’NEILL Born Richmond Hill, Ont. Going to: Leafs…

NHL TEAM REPORTS

Nolan’s Leaf days end in ugly dispute

There’s no doubt that Owen Nolan has played his last game with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but his legacy will almost certainly continue to hang over the organization for years to come. Nolan and the Maple Leafs got into a very ugly spat in July which resulted in the Maple Leafs not only cutting Nolan loose with one year left on his contract, but refusing to pay any amount in a buyout. They immediately filled the hole at right wing, however, by acquiring Jeff O’Neill from the Carolina Hurricanes on draft day and signing him to a two-year, $3-million deal. “We’re hoping he can be the player he was a few years ago,” GM John Ferguson said of O’Neill, who scored just 14 goals in 2003-04. The Nolan dispute has the potential to create…

DEPARTMENTS

Recovery at top of Granato’s wish list

The hockey world celebrated when lockout Armageddon finally came to an end last month. Out at Stanford University Medical Center in California, life went on the same as it had the previous day – and previous several weeks – for Don Granato. As much as he’d like to be preparing to guide the St. Louis Blues prospects with the Peoria Rivermen, Granato can unfortunately worry only about himself. Diagnosed in early March with Hodgkin’s Disease, Granato has been undergoing a bombardment of cancer treatments in an attempt to get healthy. He underwent 12 straight weeks of energy-zapping chemotherapy. “By week eight I was pretty much useless,” he said. Now he’s in the midst of a six-to-nine-week radiation regime, Monday through Friday, 10 to 15 minutes a day. Granato, 39, was forced to take a…