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Yearbook 1987

Yearbook 1987

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.


Washington Capitals

Reports of the Washington Capitals’death have been greatly ex-aggerated. Even though the Capitals were coming off their best season in club history, early summer forecasts called for Washington to regress this season after four years of progress. Those close to the team argued that the absence of Bengt Gustafsson and unlikelihood of certain players matching career seasons of last year would lead to bad news for the Capitals. Two circumstances, one foreseeable and the other unforeseeable, were not taken into account—the likely re-emergence of Bobby Carpenter and the surprising defection of Czechoslovakian national team center Michal Pivonka. First, the cons. Gustafsson, a nifty center long anxious for a return to Sweden, decided to join a Second Division team there rather than rejoin the Capitals for whom he played seven seasons. Always productive, Gustafsson exploded for a…


Los Angeles Kings

For the Los Angeles Kings, abdication seems the best alternative to serving their subjects. Because they did precious little for precious few last year when only the Detroit Red Wings were worse and Winnipeg Jets more commited to a nosedive. The Kings, whose average attendance of just over 10,000 was a National Hockey League low, were a terrible disappointment after a 1984-85 season of much promise. All of it was left unfulfilled in 1985-86. They placed 20th overall in National Hockey League standings, finishing only ahead of the pathetic Red Wings, and accumulated 28 less points than the previous year, second-worst regression in the league next to the Jets. Like Winnipeg, Los Angeles came too far too quickly and fell just as far, just as quickly. The Kings enjoyed a 23-point improvement from 1983-84…


Buffalo Sabres

In a year like never before in Buffalo Sabre history, first they lost their head…and then their heart. The Sabres, traditionally one of the National Hockey League’s least scored-upon teams, opted for a more offensive course at the expense of defensive prowess and paid dearly for that miscalculation—missing the playoffs for the first time in more than a decade. The Sabres then learned that star center Gilbert Perreault—the original Sabre—planned to retire. He left the door open to a possible return but Buffalo faced the prospect of playing a season without the Victoriaville, Que. native for the first time ever. Determined to open up the club, coach Jim Schoenfeld began last season by vowing to improve the Sabres’offense. He admitted defense would suffer but expected increased goal production would be ample compensation. Instead, Schoenfeld…



After a couple of years in the ‘burbs. Hockey East is coming home—slimmed down, less pro-ne to wanderlust, and back where it be-longs, in the Boston Garden. The seven-team league, which in 198687 will pit Boston University against the hoi polloi, is moving its semi-final and championship games to the Garden on March 15-16, the nights after the ECAC Division One semis and finals in the same building. The Providence Civic Center crowds simply weren’t big enough. The Hockey East quarter-final games will become single elimination affairs, after several years of trying to avoid quarter-final round upsets by playing two-game sets. Hockey East’s pennant winner and regular season runnerup will receive byes into the semi-final round while No. 6 plays at No. 3 and No. 5 plays at No. 4 in the…