Family, friends, and co-workers of legendary hockey photographer Bruce Bennett gathered recently at The Richmond in downtown Toronto to celebrate the release of his new book ‘Hockey’s Greatest Photos.’ The book celebrates the 40+ year career of Bennett, who personally looked at hundreds of thousands of photos and chose only his 200 or so favorite for the book.
‘Hockey’s Greatest Photos: The Bruce Bennett Collection.’
Bennett signs a book for a fan.
Bennett and former Elmer Ferguson Award winner Eric Duhatschek.
There are more than a million reasons Bob McKenzie is headed for Hockey Hall of Fame recognition.
One for each of his followers on Twitter – although those who know McKenzie best could never imagine him asserting such command of a medium that parcels out information 140 characters at a time.
Because while it’s true the former editor in chief of The Hockey News is a character, he has never been a man of few characters. His greatest talent for writing – recognized with the 2015 Elmer Ferguson Memorial Award – is most definitely not brevity. It is, rather, an ability to gather, distill and disseminate massive amounts of information that has propelled him to the pinnacle of hockey journalism with his writing in print and electronic media.
In the interests of full disclosure, you need to know McKenzie hired me at THN in 1985. I watched him transform “The Bible of Hockey,” chapter and verse, from a soft-focused journal into a hard-hitting, smart, irreverent publication. While of course there were others who contributed mightily to THN’s success during his nine years as editor in chief from 1982 to 1991, he was the undeniable head and heart. He assembled an all-star cast of contributors, demonstrated a skill for imaginative storytelling and brought a modern feel to the brand with the Old English logo.
Three things – a natural hat trick if you will – stand out from his time at THN. He pioneered an independent and authoritative draft-ranking package that was so far ahead of its time it has yet to be equalled, let alone surpassed, three decades later. He tackled a breadth of ideas and stories that set him apart from virtually all others. And he hired Dave Elston, a Calgary cartoonist whose weekly skewering of the hockey world was indescribably brilliant.
McKenzie left THN to become the hockey columnist at The Toronto Star in 1991, where he did more than provide opinion and analysis, he broke stories – perhaps most notably, news of short-term NHL president Gil Stein working behind the scenes to arrange his own election to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993. Stein’s election was eventually overturned.
McKenzie returned to THN for a three-year stint in the late 1990s before leaving for good in 2001 to become TV’s first full-time Hockey Insider for TSN.
McKenzie may have left THN, but THN has never forgotten him. He has been listed among THN’s Top 100 People of Power & Influence every season since 2001 – with the exception of 2005 when only 10 people were listed because of the lockout. It was, by the way, during that ill-fated season McKenzie broke the story of the NHL rejecting a key NHLPA offer; the union said it learned of the league’s rejection from his story on TSN.ca.
McKenzie receives hockey writing’s career achievement award from the Professional Hockey Writers Association some 36 years into a career that has earned the respect of peers. “It’s hard to imagine a more deserving winner of the Elmer Ferguson Award than Bob McKenzie,” said PHWA president Scott Burnside.
While plaques honoring winners of the Elmer Ferguson are hung in the Great Hall, the winners do not become Hockey Hall of Fame members. Instead, they are recognized by the HHOF, an important distinction.
That being said, there is no denying Bob McKenzie has had a hall of fame career in journalism, and the history of The Hockey News is the better for it.
Steve Dryden was THN’s Editor in Chief from 1991 through 2001 and is now TSN’s Sr. Managing Editor, Hockey Content
This week in The Hockey News magazine, it’s our Fan Issue, with stories dedicated to the people who make the game what it is: You! Features include:
Good Things Come In 3s – A Czech, a Russian and an American walk into a…It sounds like a bad joke, but Tampa’s Triplets are the most unlikely trio in the NHL. The Lightning’s trifecta took the league by storm last season and doesn’t expect to have separation anxiety in 2015-16
A Day With ‘Doc’ – THN tags along with Mike Emrick to see a day in the life of one of hockey’s most iconic broadcasters
Fan Suffering Index – Devastating defeats, Cup droughts and annual April golf contribute to this list of the most hurting fans
Get Off The Couch – All diehards should have these 10 must-do fan experiences on their hockey bucket lists
Whose Puck Is It Anyway? – The Barilko mystery grows as long-time Leafs fan claims to have the puck from the historic OT goal
Editor’s Notebook – These five spoiled fan bases can’t complain
What do starts matter? – Don’t put too much stock into first 10 games
Mark Giordano – ‘Gio’ is the ultimate leader on and off the ice
John Carlson – With each passing season, the Caps blueliner is raising the bar
Hockey’s biggest celeb fan – Full-time crooner, part-time WHL team owner and all-time Canucks fan, Michael Buble dreams of taking his NHL fandom to the next level
Prospect Report – Wild in no hurry to rush highly touted Reilly; and how the Firebirds are putting the fun back in Flint
The Straight Edge – Double the fun for dual citizens as Canada and the U.S. battle for the best prospects
Best Of The Books – How The Great One closed his first book deal
Strange But True – The Maple Leafs last won the Cup with a past-their-prime roster and coach with a gut feeling
Backchecking – A generation before Andrew Hammond burst onto the scene, Patrick Lalime, was an unbeatable goalie for the Penguins
Overtime – General managers can’t have it both ways…teams got their cap and poaching compensation, only to pounce on loopholes. How will they mess up 3-on-3 OT?
It’s our first Versus Issue, where in a cornucopia of categories, we pit the best players, coaches, tournaments, expansion cities, logos and leagues in head-to-head throwdowns to see who comes out on top. The competition includes:
Crosby vs. Toews, the Canadiens vs. the Maple Leafs, Eichel vs. McDavid, the NWHL vs. the CWHL, Stamkos vs. Ovehckin, Quenneville vs. Babcock, the AHL vs. the KHL, Las Vegas vs. Quebec, the Olympics vs. the World Cup, and more.
Other features in the magazine include:
Evander Kane – Winnipeg’s problem is now Buffalo’s solution, but Kane remains bitter about how the Jets (mis)handled him
San Jose Sharks at 25 – Original Sharks reflect on the team’s wild and wacky first three years, as San Jose celebrates a quarter century in the NHL
The Fix Is In – Stephan Moreau helped develop a new tool to change skate blades, and in the process he began to repair his PTSD
Editor’s Notebook – It’s time to take a stand against fighting
Inside Hockey – West vs. East is no longer a lopsided fight
Team Reports – ‘Sid’ and ‘Nate’ killin’ it in Cole Harbour
On Tuesday night, the red-hot Montreal Canadiens fell one game short of tying the NHL record for the longest winning streak to start a season. They have to settle for a 9-1 record to start the 2015-16 season. Do you know which two teams started 10-0, and when? Take our quiz to test your knowledge.
Tomorrow’s NHLers won’t resemble Robocops, but they will take off quicker and fly on the ice with lighter, streamlined skates, sticks and protective gear. The future New York Rangers will probably look more the like the Power Rangers, with a dash of Speed Racer.
Equipment will help players maneuver more naturally and perform better. And despite the reduction in bulk, gear will be more protective to compensate for faster shots and harder impacts. New materials and technologies handed down from the aerospace industry are already propelling the evolution. They’ll be more prominent as the composites and foams that make a Boeing 787 Dreamliner lighter and fuel-efficient land in the sporting goods industry.
Which major junior team or NCAA program has churned out the best and brightest NHL stars over the years?
Is it the Oshawa Generals, who produced John Tavares, Eric Lindros and the great Bobby Orr? Maybe it’s the Peterborough Petes, whose graduates include Hall of Famers Steve Yzerman, Chris Pronger, Larry Murphy and Bob Gainey.
Dream Teams is a commemorative magazine produced by The Hockey News that ranks the top 50 NHL hockey factories from the Canadian Hockey League and U.S. colleges and universities. Our panel of judges studied the all-time rosters from all 108 active major junior and NCAA Div. I teams and established a lineup of six first-team all-stars from each organization, based on what they did in the NHL.
How did an all-time Kamloops Blazers team that includes Jarome Iginla, Mark Recchi and Scott Niedermayer stack up against an all-time London Knights group with a lineup boasting Hall of Famers Brendan Shanahan, Darryl Sittler and Dino Ciccarelli?
We traced each hockey hot house’s lineage through the decades since the dawn of major junior hockey. So don’t be surprised to see a young team like Cape Breton (formerly Sorel, Verdun and Granby) with a cast of all-stars including Patrick Roy, Ray Bourque and Pierre Turgeon? Or Mario Lemieux and Mike Bossy on Acadie-Bathurst (formerly Laval). And an all-time Guelph team with Drew Doughty on it has to include Toronto Marlboros greats Brad Park and Steve Shutt.
Let’s not forget about European hockey factories. Dream Teams ranks the top 10 producers of NHL stars, from Moscow Red Army to Jokerit Helsinki to the Frolunda Indians.
Dream Teams is packed full of photographs of NHL superstars in their amateur jerseys – Denis Potvin in his Ottawa 67’s colors, Carey Price in his Tri-City Americans duds, Joe Sakic in his Swift Current sweater, Wendel Clark in his Saskatoon Blades garb, Brett Hull flashing Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs blue, and dozens more.
Dream Teams also catches up with some of these major junior stars – Tom Lysiak in the heart of Georgia, Kevin Stevens bouncing back in Boston and Tim Kerr’s successful second career in New Jersey, and many more.
Homerism ain’t what it used to be. That’s good news given what we now know about how one NHL official nearly tainted the first Art Ross Trophy race in 1948.
Of course, controversies back then typically involved Montreal’s Maurice Richard, who unwittingly became the first of only two NHLers to record an unassisted hat trick. Unfortunately, his never should have counted. Read more