World Cup of Hockey 2016: Projecting the North American Youngstars

Matt Larkin
Good friends Nathan MacKinnon and Seth Jones should compete together on the North American Youngstars squad. (Getty Images)

The dust has finally settled on the next World Cup of Hockey, set to commence Sept. 17, 2016. The rumored format came to fruition, with the eight-team field including Canada, USA, Russia, Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic, a Euro all-star squad and the North American Youngstars team.

The latter two groups are highly polarizing, of course. Will the Euro all-stars have any motivation to succeed without playing for their nations? Is the Youngstars team a cheap gimmick? I’m fine with both entries – It’s not like we know this tournament replaces the Olympics – though it’s surprising to learn any players 23 and younger can only play for the Youngstars. That means a Nathan MacKinnon or Johnny Gaudreau can’t even make Canada and the U.S, respectively, on merit.

After forecasting Canada, the U.S. and the Euro all-stars, it’s time for the difficult task of predicting the 23-and-under group. Here goes. I’ll deploy 25 players again, even though the official designation is 23, as I’m factoring in the taxi squad members. Also worth noting: the league has not yet designated an age cutoff date. In this case, we’ll go with players 23 and younger on Sept. 17.

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Why no one will ever break Martin Brodeur’s records

Martin Brodeur (Getty Images)

When Martin Brodeur retires on Thursday, he’ll take with him the two most important regular season goaltending records: wins and shutouts. With 691 victories and 125 blank slates, there’s reason to believe his records will be left standing for a long, long time.

It’s not that the figures Brodeur posted are so astronomical that they can’t be matched, it’s that the way the NHL works now will likely never allow for a player to reach them. Brodeur had suited up for 168 games before his fourth professional season, and played more than 70 games in 10 straight campaigns. Today, most goaltenders don’t break into the NHL until they’re 24 or 25, and once they do they’re brought in slowly.

That said, how do today’s best goaltenders stack up to Brodeur’s behemoth totals? And is there any present day netminder who can come close to his records? Read more

Marty! Marty! The top 10 moments of Martin Brodeur’s career

Matt Larkin
Martin Brodeur earned himself many curtain calls over his illustrious career.. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

We knew it was coming, and now it’s official: Martin Brodeur does not play hockey in the NHL anymore. The man who rewrote the goaltending record books as a New Jersey Devil will end his brief stint in the St. Louis Blues’ crease and join their front office.

How do we say goodbye to Marty? For starters, let’s fondly reflect on his best career moments. Here are 10 to ponder.

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From Selanne to Howe, the top 10 All-Star Game moments

Jared Clinton
Owen Nolan picks his spot at the 1997 All-Star Game in San Jose. (via YouTube)

Even if the All-Star Game is nothing more than a star-studded exhibition game with all the intensity of a pond hockey game on Christmas morning, it doesn’t mean there hasn’t been a memorable moment or two at the midseason game.

While the Skills Competition usually brings the best out of the players and is always good for a few big shows, the game itself has been there to act as a big stage for players who are leaving the game or as an impressive night where one star shines brighter than the rest. From Gretzky and Howe to names like Heatley and Damphousse, here is the top 10 All-Star Game moments. Read more

Five things to watch at the All-Star Skills Competition

Jared Clinton
Patrick Kane in a cape at the skills competition is just the beginning. What else could make the actual All-Star Game more exciting?  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

While the All-Star Game may not be the most exciting event on the NHL schedule, the Skills Competition is always good for a few fun moments. This year the format has changed, if only slightly, and there could be some new and exciting things to watch.

The teams will be selected tonight, but once the remaining 36 skaters are divided into Team Foligno and Team Toews, it’s only a matter of time before one team or the other gets the nod as the Skills Competition favorite. But regardless of the rosters, it’s never too early to look at a few things to watch when the NHL’s best and brightest hit the ice for a bit of fun. Read more

World Cup of Hockey 2016: projecting Canada’s roster

Matt Larkin
P.K. Subban, Jonathan Toews, Ryan Getzlaf and John Tavares should all return for Canada in 2016. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Admit it – you missed this game. It’s been more than a year since Canadians have done what they love to do most over a couple beers: play Steve Yzerman and build a national team roster for the next best-on-best tournament.

With the World Cup of Hockey announcement dropping this all-star weekend, giving the NHL a nice new revenue stream, we can finally start projecting Team Canada again. Let’s get down to business on a 25-man roster, alphabetized by position, keeping in mind it’s for summer 2016, meaning some vets age out and some youngsters age in.

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Ranking every NHL All-Star Game jersey of all-time

Matt Larkin
The new "Motocross" look didn't go over well on the THN voting panel.

How would you describe the process of examining every NHL All-Star Game jersey ever made and debating the merits of each at the THN office until we’d hammered out a definite set of rankings?

Silly? Stupid? Fun? Pointless? Nothing to do with the actual sport? Cool?

See the parallels to the All-Star Game itself? If you hate the whole idea, jersey rankings likely don’t excite you. If you’re OK with one day of on-ice zaniness, read on. We assessed every set of threads, starting with the first branded All-Star Game in 1947. We even put our biases to the test by having our far more fashionable friends at Elle Canada (Lisa Guimond, fashion features editor, and Ava Baccari, assistant fashion editor) audit our choices after the fact. The results were interesting. Where does the newest abomination incarnation fall?

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Goalies scoring goals: a fluky and fabulous history

Mike Smith scores

Reto Berra joined some heady company on Friday when he scored a goal by shooting the puck down the ice in an AHL game. It’s a rare occasion when a goalie gets credit for the other team scoring on their own net, but it’s even rarer for a goalie to actually score on a shot.

It’s such a tremendous freak occurrence that each instance is a footnote in the history books.

Fourteen goalies have received credit for scoring a goal in NHL history, but only seven of those goals were scored by a goalie who actually shot the puck down the ice.

In honour of Berra’s great goal (and even greater celebration), here’s a look at those goals.

Note: If they sound repetitive, they are. The goalie’s team gets a two-goal lead, the goalie stops a dump-in, the goalie throws it over everyone’s heads and hits the net at the other end.

And yet it never gets old.
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