Jason Kay

Jason Kay is the Editor in Chief of The Hockey News and has been with the brand since 1989. No, that's not a typo. Born in England, raised in Toronto, he arrived in his home and adopted land as a baby in 1967, just in time to see the Maple Leafs win their last Stanley Cup. A stay-at-home defenseman once upon a time, Kay knows his NHL dreams are long dead, but he hasn't given up hope of winning the Brier.

Is Australia a land of hockey opportunity? 20,000 showed up for a game in Sydney

Jason Kay
Canadian and American pros played in front of 20,000 spectators at Sydney's Allphone Arena.

Is Australia ready for NHL hockey? Don’t laugh. It might not be as far-fetched as you’d think.

Kerry Goulet, the brains and brawn behind the awareness and charitable organization stopconcussions.com, has returned from his second exhibition tour of the nation and has been blown away by the support the games have generated.

All matches on the four-city swing this summer were sold out, including a 20,000-fan throng at Allphones Arena in Sydney. Smaller venues in Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne were also jam-packed. And it wasn’t a cheap ticket; seats ranged in price from $74-$230 in Sydney.

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Who won the Phil Kessel to Toronto trade…five years later?

Jason Kay
Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

For a guy who doesn’t say much, Phil Kessel is the source of significant noise.

Ever since he begged out of Boston and was dealt to Toronto for a trio of high draft picks, fans and media on both sides of the equation have been debating the merits of the blockbuster.

The derisive “Thank you, Kessel” chants in Beantown remain alive and boisterous, while the Maple Leafs showed faith in their sniper by rewarding him with an eight-year, $64-million contract extension that kicks in this season.

The trade officially turns five on Sept. 18 and the question is: who has had the happier returns? As part of a recurring feature in which we re-open a cold file (ok, this one still has some burning embers) from a deal that transpired five or more years ago, we re-assess the swap.

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5 reasons why Weird Al Yankovic should play the NHL All-Star Game (and not the Super Bowl)

Jason Kay
1st Annual GRAMMY Salute to Comedy at The Laugh Factory

So Weird Al Yankovic fans want their hero to perform at the Super Bowl. A Facebook petition is gaining wide notoriety and going, as they say, viral. If it happens, good on them. I suppose.

If it doesn’t transpire, the NHL should pounce on the king of spoof songs like Carey Price smothers rebounds. Really, he’s a far better fit for the good, old hockey game and would be the ideal choice to belt out parodies at All-Star in Columbus, the Winter Classic in Washington or the outdoor match in San Jose.

Here are five reasons why:

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Test your hockey knowledge. Take the ‘retired or active’ challenge

Jason Kay
image

Brian Boucher’s NHL career was replete with memorable, headline-making moments.

A first round draft pick of the Philadelphia Flyers, Boucher made the NHL’s all-rookie team in 2000, led the league in goals-against average that season, set (and still holds) the league’s modern-day record for consecutive shutouts (five) and played a pivotal role in the Flyers’ march to the Stanley Cup final in 2010.

Yet, when his big league playing days fizzled, there was no major announcement. In fact, we weren’t sure if he was retired or active. After a quick Internet scan, we discovered he played five games last season for Zug in Switzerland and when that didn’t work out, he decided to pack it in.

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Bob Clarke didn’t want Russians in the NHL…and he wasn’t alone

Red Alert

Russians have had a huge impact on the NHL and the way the game is played, but their arrival in North America wasn’t without controversy.

In the August, 1989, edition of The Hockey News, a wave of Soviet stars, riding the crest of glasnost, broke down barriers and signed to play with NHL teams. Slava Fetisov and Sergei Starikov inked in New Jersey. Alexandr (that’s how he spelled it in ’89) Mogilny officially became a Sabre. And Igor Larionov and Vladimir Krutov were brought into the Vancouver Canucks fold.

Some natives, however, remained suspicious and opposed.

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Should we have published this photo of Thomas Vanek?

Jason Kay
Contents_Vanek

In the August issue of The Hockey News, in the wake of baseball star Tony Gwynn’s death this past June, columnist Adam Proteau wrote a critical piece about the use of chewing tobacco in hockey.

A few pages earlier, in our table of contents, we published an image of Thomas Vanek throwing out the first pitch in a Minnesota Twins game. In the front right pocket of his shorts is the outline of what appears to be a cell phone. In the front left pocket, there’s something shaped like a tin of chew.

Apparently, the picture was worth about 10,000 words. We received a high volume of letters to the editor (particularly for July), mostly bemoaning our photo choice. Here’s an example:

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Who won the Brad Richards to Dallas trade…six years later?

Jason Kay
Chicago Blackhawks v Dallas Stars

Brad Richards has had a very good, well-decorated career. He’s won a Stanley Cup, the Conn Smythe Trophy and been paid richly for his efforts.

He’s also been the subject of some criticism, particularly in New York the past few years, and was bought out following the Blueshirts’ playoff run.

During his latter days in Tampa Bay, Richards was part of a triumvirate of stars, along with Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St-Louis, who were eating up a healthy helping of the Lightning’s cap space and there was strong speculation one would be moved. The needle landed on Richards.

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The goalie who became famous for robbing banks

Jason Kay
Ambrus

The news of Patrick Cote’s sentencing for two bank robberies the other day was in parts sad, shocking and curious. What happened to lead to his descent from one-time NHL enforcer to a life of crime?

The tale also brought to mind Attila Ambrus, the most notorious and engaging thief hockey has ever known.

If you’re not familiar with Ambrus, he was a Hungarian hard-drinking, womanizing, puck-stopping (sometimes) goalie whose legend reached iconic status. His adventures were expertly told in the 2004 book The Ballad of the Whiskey Robber, written by Julian Rubinstein.

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