• Garret Sparks earns a shutout in his NHL debut. What happens next will have you in tears

    Ken Campbell
    Garret Sparks  (Cole Burston/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

    It started out as a game pitting the third-worst and the worst teams in the NHL with the only serious ramifications being which team would fall further down the standings and further up the Auston Matthews Sweepstakes. And, for the most part, they delivered, playing a plodding game that was devoid of entertainment value or much compelling action.

    But sometimes, on those all too rare occasions, the hockey gods deliver something so touching, so beautiful and so memorable that it wipes all those negatives out and provides us with a wonderful enduring memory. And that happened after the game was over and the three stars had been handed out in the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-0 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.

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  • The Top 50 jerseys of all-time: Nos. 50-41

    Ryan Kennedy
    The Hockey News counts down the 50 best sweaters of all-time.

    What makes a great jersey? When the topic comes up, it’s hard not to default to the NHL’s Original Six era. Those sweaters launched the pro game to another level. But does that means sartorial glory is a given?

    This was one of the questions when we put our list of the greatest jerseys of all-time together. Just because a team has never won a Stanley Cup doesn’t mean it hasn’t looked good trying.

    The criteria emphasized factors such as boldness, uniqueness, aesthetics and yes, timelessness. To guard against historical biases, we also reached out to a group of graphic designers, some of whom watch little to no hockey.

    Over the next five days, we list off the best ever. Some are really old, some are brand new. And it’s not NHL exclusive. Major junior, college, minor pro, even international jerseys are repped.

    50No. 50: New York Americans (NHL)

    Stars and Stripes motifs were popular in the early days, and the Amerks did it right.




    49No. 49: Buffalo Sabres (NHL)

    The original Sabres jersey — also a great one — came in at a lighter shade of blue. We’ll use the more modern take for this entry because the number on the right breast works pretty well and this sweater was also responsible for erasing one of the worst jersey experiments of all-time, the ‘Buffaslug.’

    Overall, the Sabres have themselves a pretty classic logo and one that doesn’t need much fuss around it. The dark blue works just as well with the gold as the lighter shade had before it, and we all love lace-up collars.


    48No. 48: Khimik Voskresensk (Russia)

    When Russian teams came over to play NHL squads in the early 1990s, the boldness of Khimik’s sweaters was impossible to miss. Go bold or go home.




    47No. 47: Madison Capitols (USHL)

    Not only do the Capitols have a great color scheme with the double-blue and a hint of red, but that capitol building logo is really good, perhaps even trumping the one Washington rocked in the 1990w. Ryan Suter actually parts-owns this squad.



    46No. 46: Team USA (1976 Olympics)

    The ‘Miracle on Ice’ jersey may be way more famous, but it’s this entry from the previous Games that stands on its own, without the gold-tinged bias. You still get your Stars and Stripes but also a patriotic eagle and USA shield that hit all the notes when it comes to American exceptionality on the ice.


    45No. 45: Michigan State Spartans (NCAA)

    True, the Spartans are better known for their baseball script-style jerseys — and most college teams seem to rock script-based sweaters. But, aesthetically, logos are more fun on hockey jerseys, since you have such a great canvas to work from. So since history is just one factor in these rankings, we’re going with the Spartan helmet sweater. That’s just a great logo with clean lines, and Michigan State also has the benefit of being one of those two-color teams. Strong green and white energy.


    44No. 44: Red Deer Rebels (WHL)

    The cattle skull logo is amazing, and the secondary ‘R’ mark has its own great third jersey.



    43No. 43: Sherbrooke Faucons (QMJHL)

    Great colors and a cool logo. Plus, a rare effective use of diagonal lines on a sweater.




    42No. 42: Chicago Black Hawks (NHL)

    Chicago has always had a knack with sweaters, and even the first edition ever was pretty sweet. Interestingly enough, the famous red base was nowhere to be seen, as Chicago wore exclusively cream and black duds, flipping to a black base in its second season.


    41No. 41: Salt Lake Golden Eagles (WIHL)

    First off, that’s a pretty good eagle mascot the minor pro Golden Eagles were wearing back then. It’s pretty much the best you could put together and still remain timeless. The real clincher for this Salt Lake City outfit is the innovation with the shoulder striping, which is not only bold in its construct but also becomes a focal point of the uniform itself, since it extends all the way down the socks and into the skates. The number on the arm pops out thanks to a great font and those bold colors, while the simplicity of the sweater’s main image gives the jersey ample breathing room, aesthetically speaking. The Golden Eagles name spanned several different pro leagues in a long history that ended in 1994.

    The countdown continues on Tuesday with Nos. 40 to 31.

  • Stats trends show Ducks starting to soar, Wild hitting a skid

    Dominik Luszczyszyn
    Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. (Getty Images)

    Who’s won and who’ll continue to win is an important distinction in the NHL. The leaders of today won’t necessarily be the leaders of tomorrow thanks in part to low-scoring games that make it hard to dictate whose success is legitimate and whose is a mirage. Fewer goals means luck plays a bigger role in a team’s record, for better or worse.

    That’s why many people have turned to shot rates and possession measures to make sense of the noise. Teams that out-attempt their opponents tend to win more games in the future and that’s been the backbone of the entire analytics movement in hockey.

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  • ‘Hockey Wives’ Season 2 hits the midpoint: here’s our wife rankings

    Amber Dowling
    Hockey Wives at a pool in Vegas.

    It’s been a fairly tumultuous second season of ‘Hockey Wives’ so far, what with the new wives trying to establish themselves and the old ones fighting for their catch-up time. With so many stories to fit into five short episodes, the first half of the season has flown by quicker than a four-on-four penalty situation, leaving us wondering what could possibly be in store for the second half when it returns in March.

    Until then, we’ve tabulated all of the weddings, “cat fights” and feel-good stories into one judgmental post in order to present you with this ranking of the hockey wives so far in Season 2.

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  • Fischler’s One-Timers: If Crosby is untouchable, Penguins should look to deal Malkin

    Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)


    No matter how you shake it Sidney Crosby has become a curious subject for study in Pittsburgh. His slow scoring start was enough to raise eyebrows through the season’s first quarter although Sid seems to be back on track. What’s troublesome are reports of a feud with his former landlord and boss Mario Lemieux. That has created more negative vibes than the Penguins need.

    The captain remains an untouchable, but it seems more and more likely that Evgeni Malkin will be GM Jim Rutherford’s best chip to play in the trading sweepstakes. The deal I can see — Malkin to Carolina for Eric Staal.

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  • Blue Jackets’ Dubinsky not going to change his game after suspension

    Jared Clinton
    Brandon Dubinsky  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

    Columbus Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky missed Saturday’s game against the St. Louis Blues because he was serving a one-game suspension for a cross check he delivered to Sidney Crosby’s neck. That doesn’t mean Dubinsky is going to change the way he plays, though.

    Dubinsky told The Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline Sunday that when he returns to the lineup, he’s “not going to change” anything about his game. And when lining up across from Crosby, Dubinsky said he’s going to continue to play the Penguins’ superstar hard.

    “Like I said before, I’m not trying to crosscheck a guy in the neck, regardless of what anybody else thinks,” Dubinsky told Portzline. “I’m going to play him hard, I’m going to play him as physical as I can, and I’m going to play as clean as I can. But I’ll make it a tough night on him.” Read more

  • Two female netminders make history in Finnish men’s league

    Jared Clinton

    Finnish netminders Noora Raty and Meeri Raisanen were teammates for the women’s national team at the 2014 Olympic games and two World Championships, but it’s not international duty that will forever link the goaltenders. Rather, Raty and Raisanen will go down in history as the first women’s goaltenders to go head-to-head in a professional men’s contest in Finland.

    Over the weekend, Raty and Raisanen both suited up for their respected teams in Finland’s third league, Suomi-Sarja. Raty, who plays for KJT, and Raisanen, who plays for D-Kiekko, took the crease as the starting goaltenders for a Saturday contest in the league, with Raty emerging as the victor.

    Raty, 26, was the much busier of the two netminders, facing 36 shots and stopping all but two en route to the 5-2 victory. Raisanen, 25, allowed three goals on 14 shots before KJT added two empty-net goals for the three-goal victory. Read more

  • Rumor Roundup: Oilers desperate for help but Chiarelli not rushing into any deals

    Lyle Richardson
    Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)

    In an interview with the Edmonton Oilers website on Saturday, GM Peter Chiarelli downplayed the recent trade chatter swirling about his club. He expressed disappointment with his club’s performance and acknowledged several players are underachieving, though he refused to single any of them out.

    Sportsnet’s Mark Spector believes forwards like Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins are “soft skill” players Chiarelli will eventually ship out. The Edmonton Journal’s David Staple disagrees, suggesting wingers Teddy Purcell, Nail Yakupov or Benoit Pouliot as more likely trade candidates.

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