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January 22, 2008

January 22, 2008

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.



What’s keeping you up at night, hockey fans? If you’ve got a question about the game, drop us an email we’ll give you the inside scoop. THN, Why is it that Washington fans trill when Sergei Gonchar touches the puck? Every time I watch the Pens at Washington and Gonch is one the ice, there is that same ungodly noise. What is its significance? Travis Mearns, Latrobe, PA. Travis, That ‘whoopwhoop’ sound you’re hearing goes back to the Larry Murphy days in Washington. Once Murphy left the Caps, the fans derided him with the call as a way of saying “you’re not one of us anymore.” Since Murphy retired, the mantle has been claimed by ex-Cap Gonchar, who got it as a Bruin and now gets it double as a member of…



LET IT GROW Pens-Sabres outdoor duel great exposure for the game. SPENGLER SPARKLE Team Canada, led by Curtis Joseph, came together to beat talented Russian League club Salavat Yulaev Ufa for Spengler Cup title. CLUB 60 Ilya Kovalchuk, Alex Ovechkin and Jarome Iginla each were on pace to eclipse the 60-goal barrier. SAD PACE Tampa averaged one road win per month through Oct., Nov. and Dec. RAISING A FUSS Sens goalie Ray Emery might want to play more, but he hasn’t earned his crease time this season. RED, WHITE AND VERY BLUE Rochester Americans struggle through stretch in which the team dropped 14 of 15 AHL games.…



WE CAME UP WITH 56 SOLUTIONS to fix the NHL’s marquee-game-that-really-doesn’t-mean-much-at-all. And since the NHL All-Star Game (the 56th edition of which is in Atlanta on Jan. 27) is meant as a fun weekend for the fans, players and sponsors – oh, the sponsors – alike, we tried to inject a little playfulness into the proceedings. Some suggestions are serious – like, let’s kill the conference versus conference format for…any other format – while some are brainchilds that might have you thinking we played the game without a helmet for too many years. No matter. The hope is the NHL will embrace the event as a chance to showcase not only its great players, but its great personalities as well. And if we can improve the actual on-ice product in the…



SOME PLAYERS SEE college hockey as a quick route to the pros. But Clarkson senior defenseman Grant Clitsome saw it as a four-year training camp. That foresight has paid off for the native of Gloucester, Ont., who was drafted in the ninth round by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2004. Once viewed as a long-term project, Clitsome is now one of the top prospects in the Blue Jackets’ future. Attending the Jackets prospects camp during the summer was good for Clitsome’s confidence, but didn’t do anything to change his mind about finishing college. “I always planned on playing in college for four years,” said Clitsome, an unheralded blueliner who has never been named to the all-ECAC first team. “But I learned a lot at camp and it was great to talk with people…