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.
Today’s trends, tomorrow’s humor.
We’re pretty proud of our history at The Hockey News, with our rich and unique library dating back to 1947. But some of the content in our rearview mirror is curious, and some is downright hilarious.
Take the advertising. For the first few decades of our existence, the primary purchasers of space were alcohol and tobacco companies, targeting predominately a male audience. There were smaller, quaint ads, selling everything from local restaurants to skate sharpening to ice paint, but the vices drove the revenue machine.
In the post-screening interview he conducted with the audience at the Toronto International Film Festival, Red Army director Gabe Polsky said he reviewed about 10 percent of the archival hockey footage made available to him. The vault, it turns out, is massive.
We can only imagine the gems still to be unearthed in the remaining 90 percent, because what viewers are treated to in the 76-minute chronicle is a series of fascinating visual revelations.
We’re exposed to the “other side”; the formative years of the program through Anatoli Tarasov, the unique training methods, clips from Soviet TV, Slava Fetisov on home video.
If you’re a fan of the possibility of 3-on-3 overtime in the NHL, pay close attention to the United States League this fall. The NHL will be.
The junior developmental loop is experimenting with the format during its pre-season contests; any games tied after regulation will go directly to five minutes of 3-on-3 play. Further, any game played during the USHL’s “Fall Classic” week (it began yesterday and runs through Sept. 20) will automatically go to 3-on-3 overtime regardless of the score.
Since the USHL is such a prolific producer of prospects – it had 35 players/alum selected in the 2014 NHL draft – big brother will indeed be watching.
The Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings are, in the opinion of the deep thinkers at The Hockey News, the class of the NHL. Chicago is our pick to win the Cup, while the defending champs have, by far, the best chance of preventing that from happening.
It’s a virtual two-horse race with the co-favorites, having remarkably similar pedigrees.
But what if…we’re wrong? Unlikely, we realize, but not impossible. If both clubs get eliminated from contention, which dark horse is best positioned to come from the outside and bask in the winner’s circle?
The New York Rangers finished dead last in the Patrick Division in 1992-93, out of the playoffs and searching for answers.
Yet, remarkably, entering the subsequent season, THN senior writer Mike Brophy predicted they’d win the Stanley Cup when most figured Pittsburgh was a shoo-in for their third in four years. He explains why in the Oct. 15, 1993 issue of The Hockey News, and this edition of Throwback Thursday.
Dawn Mounce bleeds black and silver. Or purple and gold. Or whatever color scheme the Los Angeles Kings are sporting that day.
Now, with the help of graphic designer Eric Poole and tattoo artist/pal Sean Heirigs, Mounce is oozing every shade of her team spirit and then some via a stunning playoff-themed tattoo.
The NHL took a hard stand during the 2012-13 lockout when it came to maximum contract length, fighting fervently for five years, then compromising at eight (for re-signings).
Since then, up to the pact agreed to by P.K. Subban in early August, 11 players had won max term. In the big picture, it’s a small number, representing a tiny fraction of all deals. But due to the dollars and profile involved, the question remains: is eight great?
The answer depends on your perspective. If you’re demanding equal value across all seasons, prepare to be disappointed. The evidence shows that, apart from notable exceptions, returns diminish on players beginning in their early 30s.
If Scott Gomez and/or Tomas Kaberle make the New Jersey Devils this season and contribute in a meaningful way, GM Lou Lamoriello will be able to claim another feather for a cap that is already bursting with plumage. The veterans are reclamation projects, looking to revive careers that are ever-so-gently flickering.
Barring the spectacularly unforeseen, however, those potential additions won’t be able to match the magic Lamoriello performed 23 years ago.
In this edition of Throwback Thursday, we remember the incredible summer of 1991, when the Devils acquired Scott Stevens and Scott Niedermayer via a series of head-scratching events.