Prodigal son Keon not back yet, but Shanahan takes great first step

Ken Campbell
Dave Keon (left) and Dick Duff

As far as repairing the relationship between Dave Keon and the Toronto Maple Leafs is concerned, it’s a good first step. But that’s all it is.

With the player some think is the greatest ever to wear a Maple Leaf uniform due to be honored by the organization tonight, which will be followed in the spring with a statue on Legends’ Row along with Turk Broda and Tim Horton, some have characterized the proceedings as an indication that the prodigal son has come home, that Keon is ready to embrace and re-engage with the organization to which he has been estranged for more than 40 years.

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Remembering Dickie Moore, one of the greatest left wingers ever

Dickie Moore - 1952 (Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios/Getty Images)

Jim Devellano was a 25-year-old Ontario scout for the St. Louis Blues when he first encountered Dickie Moore. It was the spring of 1968 and the Blues had just made a run to the first post-expansion Stanley Cup final with Scotty Bowman behind the bench and the likes of Moore, Doug Harvey, Glenn Hall and Al Arbour.

The Solomon family that owned the Blues also owned a place in Miami called the Golden Strand and, as a reward for such as successful season, rewarded the players and management with a vacation at the hotel. “I’m standing by the pool fully clothed and somebody grabs me by the waist and in I went,” Devellano said. “And it was Dickie Moore.”

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Canadiens legend, six-time Stanley Cup champion Dickie Moore passes away at 84

Montreal Canadiens legend Dickie Moore (Dave Sandford/Getty Images)

Legendary Montreal Canadiens winger Richard ‘Dickie’ Moore, who won six Stanley Cups with the Habs, passed away early Saturday in Montreal. He was 84.

Moore, a Montreal native, lived the dream of many Quebec-born hockey players as he earned his place with the Canadiens by the time he was a 21-year-old.

In his rookie season, Moore was a point-per-game player, notching 18 goals and 33 points in 33 games. He finished third in Calder Trophy voting, and he only improved from there. His sophomore year was an up-and-down campaign and shortened by injury, but he made an impact in the post-season with a three-goal, five-point playoff en route to his first Stanley Cup with the Canadiens in 1952-53. Moore’s career really hit its stride in the 1954-55 season, though, and he would become one of the greatest offensive players of his generation. Read more

Fedorov, Bondra, Quinn headline 2016 IIHF Hall of Fame class

Pat Quinn Featured

The IIHF named its 2016 Hall of Fame class Thursday, and the list of greats heading to the International Hall of Fame are headlined by Sergei Fedorov, Peter Bondra and the late Pat Quinn.

Joining Fedorov, Bondra and Quinn are Valeri Kamensky, Ville Peltonen and Ben Smith, who enters, like Quinn, in the builders category. The IIHF Hall of Fame also awarded the Richard ‘Bibi’ Torriani Award to Gabor Ocskay and the Paul Loicq Award to Nikolai Ozerov. All will be inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame May 22 in Moscow following the final game of the 2016 World Championship. Read more

Scotty Bowman: Stanley Cup winner and hockey encyclopedia

Scotty Bowman  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

This all starts two weeks ago, during Hall of Fame weekend. The legendary Scotty Bowman is on hand since, at one time or another, he has coached three of the four inductees. Bowman is asked how many Hall of Famers he coached in his career, so he starts with the St. Louis Blues, who had Doug Harvey and Dickie Moore at the end of their careers, along with a goaltending tandem of Glenn Hall and Jacques Plante.

“They put up big numbers,” Bowman says. “They had 13 shutouts and only 157 goals against in 76 games. We had 22 one-goal games that year.”

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46 ways to make hockey way, way better. Maybe

If the NHL doesn't want to send its players to the Olympics, how about holding the World Junior Championship there? (Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

In 13 years as Editor-in-Chief of The Hockey News, I’ve made a ton of suggestions on how to improve the game. You’d almost think I didn’t like it.

The truth is, I feel it’s part of my job to help stimulate conversation and debate. While hockey is still pretty darned fantastic, nothing is perfect.

What follows is a list of various things I’ve suggested, conceived, advocated or supported during my baker’s dozen years in my ivory tower.
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Is this year’s stacked Hall of Fame class the best ever?

Brian Costello
Nicklas Lidstrom (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

These are the salad days for the Hockey Hall of Fame. Its list of inductees the past four years is a who’s who of NHL superstars from the turn of the century. The 15 players inducted between 2012 and 2015 represent a four-year run of inductees the Hall has never seen before.

In fact, I rated the top 10 induction classes from 1966 to this year and found each of the past four years to be worthy enough to be on that list. I picked strictly the post-expansion era because that’s when the HHOF reduced the number of inductees each year from unlimited down to three, then later four in the players category.

While this weekend’s Hall of Fame celebrations – and Monday’s induction ceremonies – are an opportunity for hockey fans to reflect and appreciate the exploits of these greats, there’s also a wedge of bitterness to go with all those sweet memories. After all, this crowning achievement in their careers also serves as a reminder we’re no longer blessed with watching them play.

This year’s class of Nicklas Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov, Chris Pronger and Phil Housley rates as the third best class of all-time, by my assessment. But this is one of these subjective evaluations when I don’t mind being overruled by the savvy eye of the everyday hockey fan – yourself. Let us know what you think.

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