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December 12, 2006

December 12, 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.

IN THIS ISSUE

Opening Faceoff

DEPARTMENTS

Turning the table

Not so long ago, Arpad Mihaly drew boos and taunts each time he skated onto the Reading Sovereign Center ice. The Romanian-born forward was among the most detested Reading opponents. After all, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound winger delivered several crucial blows against the Royals in games past. But in the weeks since the seventh-year pro switched to a purple, silver and black uniform instead of the Wheeling Nailers’ red, black and gold, Mihaly will soon earn the key to the city. He had 14 goals and 25 points in 16 games. “I’m having a good time,” Mihaly, 26, told The Eagle in Reading. “We have a good bunch of guys, a good coaching staff and (It’s) a good organization to be in. And the fans, it’s a good town to play in.” Reading fans had absolutely…

DEPARTMENTS

Franson’s banging has Preds singing

TOP 2006 PICK Blake Geoffrion, 18, C, Wisconsin (WCHA), 56th overall. The Predators made quite a splash in choosing Geoffrion, the grandson of Bernie ‘Boom Boom’ Geoffrion and a player who grew up just south of Nashville. The team hopes he’ll develop into a smart, physical, two-way center. Geoffrion is off to a solid start as a freshman for the Badgers, displaying a strong work ethic. KEY PROSPECT Cody Franson, 19, D, Vancouver (WHL), 79th overall, 2005. What’s not to like about a 6-foot-4, 205-pound blueliner who has 10 goals and 34 points in 27 games? Nashville can’t say enough about Franson’s passing and shooting skills, which have helped the defending WHL champs win 21 of 27 games. They’re also excited about his progress in his own end, where Franson has…

DEPARTMENTS

SNAPSHOTS

One former NHL referee thinks one of the big reasons why there has been so much focus on headshots recently is teams are now much more cautious about treating them than they were in the past. “I remember one game on Long Island, Derek King of the Islanders got hit so hard I thought he was dead,” the official says. “Dark, red blood was just streaming out of his nose. Now he’d be carried off, but the trainer came out with smelling salts and King took a couple of sniffs and skated off the ice. And it wasn’t on any of the highlights on SportsCenter.” In the end, Chris Pronger’s return to Edmonton Nov. 28 with his new team, the Anaheim Ducks, wasn’t that big a deal. Some fans made…