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November 28, 2006

November 28, 2006

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.

DEPARTMENTS

Blackhawk frown traced to injuries

INJURY FACTOR Dale Tallon was able to keep his sense of humor when injuries struck during training camp, putting winger Tuomo Ruutu, defenseman Cam Barker and goalie Patrick Lalime on the shelf. “Maybe we should change our logo to a red cross,” the GM joked. But he wasn’t laughing when the Hawks lost perhaps their three best players in winger Martin Havlat (gone until at least mid-December with a high ankle sprain), center Michal Handzus (gone for the year with torn knee ligaments) and goalie Nikolai Khabibulin (mid-November with a broken finger) in a two-day span in mid-October. To make matters worse, left winger Rene Bourque sustained a deep neck laceration from the skate of Columbus’ Nikolai Zherdev that required surgery. Fortunately for Bourque, there were no arteries or veins cut, but he…

DEPARTMENTS

Stewart savors new beginning

CHRIS STEWART HAS skated out of his older brother’s shadow and into a bright prospect for the Colorado Avalanche. “It’s funny how things turn out,” said Kingston Frontenacs first-year coach Bruce Cassidy. “Now he’s got a chance to pass his brother.” Stewart walked away from the game three years ago, his OHL draft year, to pursue high school football. Anthony Stewart was already starring with the Frontenacs and Canadian junior program. Chris couldn’t take the pressure. But Anthony, now a Florida Panthers prospect, could see his brother wasn’t happy during his year away and had a heart-to-heart with him, convincing him to give it another go. “He was man enough to sit me down and tell me I needed to figure out my life,” said Chris, of their conversation. “I owe everything to him.” Anthony…

DEPARTMENTS

How teams respond to hockey’s hurts

INJURY FACTOR Every NHL GM knows injuries can wreak havoc on even the best-laid plans. After all, a team might boast the best players, but it doesn’t do the club any good if its stars are limping around in casts and slings. In the NHL team reports, we look at the significant injuries each club has had to deal with through the early stages of 2006-07, and how teams have reacted to the situation. The focus is on longer-term injuries – players who have missed several games, as well as players who will be sidelined for the foreseeable future. How have teams responded to an injury-plagued roster? Are the fill-in players making the most of their opportunity? Who has stepped up and delivered beyond expectations? Who has come up short? The reports range…

DEPARTMENTS

Calm waters so far for lucky Sharks

INJURY FACTOR The Sharks have been nearly injury-free through the first quarter of the season. Off-season acquisition Mark Bell, seen as a fit on the left side for top-liners Joe Thornton and Jonathan Cheechoo, missed three early games due to a groin pull and slight fracture in his left wrist. But any other injuries really haven’t hurt the team since none of the afflicted players were considered regulars. Enforcer Scott Parker, limited to four games last season due to concussions, was said to have lower back pain, which landed him on injured reserve for four games. Ryane Clowe, a fourth line winger who made the team out of camp last season but spent most of 2005-06 in the AHL, has missed eight games with a bruised foot. And Rob Davison, the team’s eighth…