The Hockey News

Calgary’s Sam Bennett beginning a Flaming ‘C’ of change

The Hockey News
Sam Bennett (Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)

By Randy Sportak

Based on his rookie season, Sam Bennett could be in line for a nickname. Or a different set of digits on his sweater.

The Calgary Flames’ up-and-coming center/winger was known as ‘18-year-old Sam Bennett’ during the team’s 2015 playoff series against the Vancouver Canucks (a phrase that apparently drove some Canucks fans absolutely bonkers), and that number followed him to the end of 2015-16. Just check out the stats from Bennett’s freshman campaign: 18 goals, 18 assists and not just one but two 18-game goal-scoring slumps.

It could be enough for a spinoff version of the theory that most events in the world can be connected to The Number 23, and the basis for one of the stranger Jim Carrey movies in his eclectic career.

As Bennett looks back on his first full NHL year and forward to his sophomore season, the biggest element he vows to address is consistency, not so much an indictment on his production but those lengthy goal droughts. “That’s part of my job and part of my role with the team, to generate offense,” said Bennett, who actually threw an imaginary monkey off his back after snapping the first of those goal-scoring slumps. Read more

Rapid Fire: with Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman

The Hockey News
Victor Hedman. (Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

With Ryan Kennedy

Who was your role model growing up?

Nick Lidstrom was a big role model, but I wouldn’t say we play the same game. I like the way Ray Bourque played. I liked guys who skated with the puck, like Paul Coffey.

Why do you wear No. 77?

That was Ray Bourque. I watched a lot of Colorado growing up, with Peter Forsberg. Joe Sakic gave Bourque the Cup right away, and I thought that was pretty neat. I was No. 41 back home, but that was taken by Mike Smith in Tampa, so No. 77 came to mind pretty quickly.

Read more

This Week in The Hockey News magazine: August 15, 2016

The Hockey News

THN_7002-400In the latest edition of The Hockey News: it’s our Training Issue, with tips and tricks for players of all ages and skill levels. Features include:

Muscle Men – From fit to freak, these are the 30 NHL teams’ strongest

Meet The Trainers – How do NHL stars get ready to shine? These six men bring the summer polish

No Stopping Smith – Most players shut it all down well before 50. Jeff Smith? He runs the world’s hardest race

Gym? Rats! – These are the brutal exercises players love to hate

Like A Pro – The knowledge around training is more in-depth than ever, but plenty of myths still exist

Matthews & Laine – Auston and Patrik will be fan favorites, no doubt, but will the pair be the second coming of ‘Sid’ and ‘Ovie’? The comparison isn’t outlandish. One’s a soft-spoken, motivated-like-crazy jack of all trades; the other’s a larger-than-life, bull-in-a-china-shop super scorer. Let the debate begin.

Welcome to Vegas – Sin City finally gets its big-time pro team. But questions still abound

An Expansion Team Like No Other – Matt Larkin explains why Vegas is set up for on-ice success right off the hop

Down Goes Brown – Five expansion cities that came oh-so close

Youngblood at 30 – Behind the scenes of the cult classic, three decades after its silver-screen debut

Brighter Dog Days – The Coyotes have struggled, but hockey’s still taken hold in the desert

No Olympics, No Problem – So what if the World Cup is a money grab, says Jason Kay

The New Breed Management – Want to be an NHL coach or GM? Here’s the door

NHL Summer Roster Wrestling – Who won and who lost

Prospect Report – Vinny? Jamie? No, No. 3 pick Pierre-Luc Dubois is one of a kind. Plus draft grades for all 30 teams.

The Last Word – P.K. Subban’s a Predator because of “The Code,” says Ken Campbell

Pick up a copy at your local newsstand, buy it from the THN store or digitally on your IPad or through Molto, PressReader, Kobo, Google PlayZinio or Nook. You can also subscribe at thehockeynews.com.

Hired Guns: South Korea has loaded up on Canadian hockey talent ahead of hosting the 2018 Olympics

The Hockey News
Matt Dalton, Eric Reagan, Mike Testwuide, and Brock Radunske. (Jo Turner)

BY DAVE HAZZAN

It’s Saturday evening in the Seoul suburb of Anyang, and life is proceeding apace. Couples are canoodling in the cafes, groups of older men are getting drunk at the barbecue restaurants and families are glued to that evening’s episode of I Have a Lover on Korean television.

Yet at Anyang Ice Arena, Goyang High1 have just upset Anyang Halla 4-2, finishing with a shorthanded empty-netter, six seconds before the end of the game. It’s High1’s first win in 10 games and Anyang’s first home loss in 18. It wasn’t supposed to happen his way, and the home fans are incandescent, screaming, booing and slagging off that cross-cultural punching bag, the referee.

Read more

Rapid Fire: with Blue Jackets left winger Nick Foligno

The Hockey News
Nick Foligno and Sergei Bobrovsky. (Getty Images)

With Matt Larkin

Why do you wear No. 71?

It was given to me when I first got to camp in Ottawa (as a Senator). The trainers thought it would be funny, because that’s what number my dad (Mike Foligno) wore. I don’t think they realized I was just was just happy to be there, so I didn’t care what number I was going to wear (laughs).

Whom do you model your game after?

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to model my game after him, but Peter Forsberg, besides my dad, was my idol growing up. He was a guy I was lucky enough to get to know a little bit when my dad was coaching in Colorado, too. He was an outstanding player in terms of how physically he played the game and how good he was, too. He was someone I looked up to big-time.

What was your favorite team growing up?

Usually it was whatever team my dad was playing for or coaching, and it was always the Avalanche after that, because of Peter Forsberg.

Read more

NHL free agency 2016: deal tracker and analysis

The Hockey News
2016_Free_Agency_644x427

Welcome to NHL free agency day 2016.

Stay tuned to THN.com for up-to-minute analysis of all the biggest deals, as they happen.

The Lightning kicked things off in a big way on Wednesday by signing Steven Stamkos to an eight year extension. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t big names that will be on the move Friday, and beyond.

Get acquainted with who’s available by checking out our list of the Top 30 (now 29) free agents. You can also check out a list of every move made so far this off-season in the Transactions Log.

Read more

Former NHLer Bill Muckalt a rising star in the coaching game

The Hockey News
Bill Muckalt. (Getty Images)

BY MURRAY PAM

Fifteen years ago this week Bill Muckalt was on an emotional high. A piece in one of the most lopsided trades in NHL annals, Muckalt was dealt by the Islanders along with Zdeno Chara and the 2001 second-overall draft pick (Jason Spezza) to the Senators for Alexei Yashin.

The former Michigan Wolverine was elated to play for a contender. However, Muckalt’s season didn’t go as anticipated. In limited ice-time, the right winger failed to notch a goal in 70 games. After netting 11 the previous campaign and scoring 105 at Michigan, Muckalt compared his Ottawa experience to “missing the cut at the Masters.”

Inking a deal with the Wild during the summer, he quickly returned to form, scoring five goals in his first five games. Then disaster struck. Muckalt suffered a debilitating shoulder injury, limiting him to only eight more games the remainder of the season including playoffs, which turned out to be his last in the NHL.

Read more

TheHockeyNews.com 2016 NHL draft live blog

The Hockey News
(Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

Join The Hockey News crew live from the draft floor as we track every pick, give instant analysis, share our stories, answer your draft questions, and more.

Live Blog THN.com 2016 NHL draft live blog