The Hockey News

In the AHL, friends are also enemies in battle to reach the NHL

The Hockey News
Tommy Cross (Susanna Esina)

By Lauren Beaven

Pro hockey is all about winning, but getting to the NHL and earning the riches that come with it requires a different type of competition – one in which teammates are also rivals.

In minor-pro leagues, the teammates that players train with, travel with, win with and lose with are the same ones they compete with to achieve their NHL dreams. It’s a psychological conundrum all non-NHL players face but most acutely in the AHL. Read more

Former NHLer Ludzik wants to help change hockey’s culture

The Hockey News
Steve Ludzik (Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

By Tucker Wilson

An NHL dressing room harbors a lot of secrets—some with good reason. But the environment also encourages players to remain silent on the physical and mental tolls of the game, something that Steve Ludzik wants to change.

The former Blackhawk player and Lightning coach was in Toronto Thursday for a speaking engagement, and he talked about some of the stigmas associated with hockey culture.

“You sit in a dressing room and the guys, if you have a good team, you’re a brother,” Ludzik said. “It’s not good enough to say, ‘I’m hurt.’ You get hurt some nights and you just play. That’s the mentality that you grow up with throughout your career. You’re pressured. But it’s just part of the code.” Read more

Backchecking: Tommy Soderstrom

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(Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

By Ty Dilello

When you think of Tommy Soderstrom, the first thing you remember is the big Jofa helmet and cage he wore. This was a goaltender who never put tape on the blade of his stick and was known to keep his whole body inside his net when the play was away from him.

The seemingly quirky Swedish netminder, though, felt he was incredibly normal. Former teammate Kevin Dineen once said, “He’s the most relaxed goalie I’ve ever seen. Nothing rattles him.”

So maybe the quirk about this goalie was that he was normal, which is abnormal for a goalie. Read more

Stats say MacKinnon, Hossa, Sharp could be second half studs

The Hockey News
Nathan-MacKinnon-3

By Dom Luszczyszyn

The first half of the season is officially in the books, which makes the perfect opportunity to look at who can bounce back after under performing during the first 41 games.

Thanks to recent advances in NHL analytics, it’s become much easier to pinpoint why certain players aren’t scoring at their normal rate. Whether it’s bad luck or bad play, the answer can usually be found in the numbers. Read more

This Week in The Hockey News magazine: January 26, 2015

The Hockey News

THN Jan 26 2015In this edition of The Hockey News, it’s our Money & Power Issue. The features include:

-    Our 16th annual Top 100 People of Power and Influence list, counting down and profiling the men and women who hold the most clout in the world of hockey.

-    Within the countdown you’ll find expanded features on cover boy Don Cherry, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, chief NHL disciplinarian Stephane Quintal, Russian hockey legend turned agent turned movie star Slava Fetisov, Senators GM Bryan Murray, Avalanche coach Patrick Roy and the ever-controversial Mike Milbury.

-    How Rogers $5.2 billion investment is paying off.

-    Why AHL teammates are both friends and foes.

-    An analytical breakdown of what players give you the best bang for the buck.

-    Can the NHL really thrive in Las Vegas? We take an expansive look at whether gambling on a second team in the desert is really a good bet.

-    They make millions, but what can NHLers do to ensure they protect their fortune for the future and not get taken advantage of.

-    The female pro game wants to be taken seriously and to do so it needs more sponsorship and increased day-to-day commitment from its athletes. But how can one happen without the other?

-    We say goodbye to the legendary Jean Beliveau with a first-person article from his teammate and friend for 50 years, Yvan Cournoyer.

-    What can the NHL do to stem the tide of the mumps outbreak?

-    Are we headed for another lockout? NHLPA boss Don Fehr thinks we might be. Adam Proteau explains in Proteau Type.

-    Profiles of Tyler Seguin, Sami Vatanen, Kris Versteeg, Tomas Tatar, Patrik Elias, Evgeni Malkin and Bryan Little in our NHL Team Reports package
-    The 2014 MVP for each of the 30 NHL clubs.

-    Kasperi Kapanen and Brock Boeser are profiled in our Prospects Report and Ryan Kennedy tells us why high school hockey is dying in once-fertile Minnesota.

-    Stan Fischler takes us through the crazy but successful methods of Toronto’s Lil’ Major, Conn Smythe, in Strange But True.

-    We catch up with Clint Malarchuk, who’s using his experiences battling mental illness to educate others, in Backchecking.

-    And Ken Campbell says goodbye to his childhood hero, Jean Beliveau, in his Overtime column.

Pick up a copy at your local newsstand, buy it from the THN store, digitally on the IPad or through Zinio, or subscribe at thehockeynews.com

This Week in The Hockey News magazine: January 5, 2015

The Hockey News

THN Jan 5 2015In the Jan. 5 edition of THN, it’s our XL-sized World Junior Championship Preview, with 32 pages of previews, predictions and analysis on the world’s best youngsters, on top of our standard top-to-bottom coverage of the NHL and beyond. In the issue:

•    Who’s No. 1? Much more than gold is on the line at the WJC as phenom prospects Jack Eichel and Connor McDavid get set for an epic showdown. Plus 10 scouts weigh in on who’s the best in 10 categories – and the results are razor thin

•    McDavid And Eichel are this year’s 1A & 1B prospects, but they’ve got a long way to go to become the best top two draft picks of all-time, says Jason Kay

•    Blowout previews on Canada and Team USA, looking at each country by position and breaking down strengths and weaknesses

•    Features on WJC hopefuls Sam Reinhart, Max Domi, Julius Honka, Kevin Fiala, Robert Hagg, Thatcher Demko, Josh Morrissey, J.T. Compher, Jakub Vrana, William Nylander, Juuse Saros, Ivan Barbashev, Noah Rod, Martin Reway, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Dominik Kahun…and even Leon Draisaitl

•    Our scene setter tells you where to go and eat in the WJC’s host cities, Toronto and Montreal

•    How did the world juniors begin? The inside story of Murray Williamson’s baby turned beast

•    Ryan Kennedy explains why a U.S.-style NTDP would benefit Canada on the world stage

•    The Best WJC Team Ever. The lockout and a burning desire for redemption made Canada’s 2005 squad one the world will never forget

•    What does the future of scouting hold? Old-school vision meets new-school precision as the many ways to assess talent evolves to include analytics

•    Meet the man you’ve (likely) never heard of who helped the Kings reach the top and is now part of the Flames turnaround

•    The hockey world says goodbye to Pat Quinn & Viktor Tikhonov. We remember two giants of the sport whose impact lives on

•    We catch up with former goalie Tommy Soderstrom, whose NHL stay was a short but memorable one

•    Adam Proteau has Christmas gifts for NHLers – who’s naughty and who’s nice?

•    The touching story of Mike Nichols, who was left paralyzed by a hit from behind but is determined to walk – and skate – again

Pick up a copy at your local newsstand, buy it from the THN store, digitally on the IPad or through Zinio, or subscribe at thehockeynews.com

The world’s best hockey fan? It might just be the Winnipeg Jets’ Dancin’ Gabe

The Hockey News
Dancing Gabe has become a fan favorite in Winnipeg. (John Woods/Winnipeg Free Press)

By Geoff Kirbyson

Aside from the odd player on the opposition bench and a few on the home side, Gabe Langlois is the best-known person at every Winnipeg Jets home game. Known simply as ‘Dancing Gabe,’ the 51-year-old has ingrained himself in Winnipeg’s sporting culture over the past quarter century for his unparalleled fandom and his unmatched dancing skills.

Whether it’s the Jets, the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers, baseball’s Winnipeg Goldeyes or high school sporting events around town, Langlois is there, showing off a soft sneaker whenever the music plays.

You want popularity? Cults would kill to have the following he has. Consider the fans who gathered at the intersection of Portage and Main in Winnipeg to celebrate the return of the NHL in May 2011. When Langlois joined the throng, the chants of “Go, Jets, Go!” were quickly replaced by “Gabe, Gabe, Gabe!” and he was mobbed for pictures and high fives. Read more