• All-Star Game MVP honor provides a big boost in recent years

    Jared Clinton
    Marian Gaborik was the 2012 All-Star Game MVP, and when he returned to New York his scoring pace picked up. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    Though the All-Star Game usually comes and goes without much praise, there might be reason to pay attention to which player takes home honors as the game’s most valuable player.

    Using statistical data from the last 20 mid-season exhibitions that had a forward or defenseman win the MVP award, you can break down what a player’s performance is like before and after the All-Star Game. For the game’s MVP, it could mean the best is yet to come. Read more

  • Sick of Chicago playing outdoor games? Too bad

    Ryan Kennedy
    Chicago's Patrick Kane in Washington (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

    One of several big announcements made by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Saturday afternoon was the slate of outdoor games for the 2015-16 season. Montreal will take on Boston at the New England Patriots’ Gillette Stadium, Detroit will travel to Coors Field to face the host Colorado Avalanche and Chicago will venture out to the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium to take on the Wild.

    As soon as the Blackhawks were announced as competitors, the Internet crowd got a bit jealous. After all, there are still nine NHL teams that have never played in an outdoor game and don’t have one scheduled right now: Arizona, Carolina, Columbus, Dallas, Florida, Nashville, St. Louis, Tampa Bay and Winnipeg. The Jets could have hosted a fourth outdoor game next year, but an agreement could not be reached with the CFL’s Blue Bombers over a stadium date (Bettman hoped that 2016-17 would work now).

    The Hawks are already on outdoor game No. 4 now. So why Chicago again?

    Read more

  • Time for star players to step up because NHL prepared to ditch Olympics

    Ken Campbell
    Sidney Crosby and Henrik Lundqvist (Photo by David E. Klutho /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

    COLUMBUS – Now is the time for the best players in the NHL to stand up the way they do when the Stanley Cup is on the line. Because if they don’t push the issue on Olympic participation, the NHL will be more than happy to trash the entire concept.

    The NHL and NHL Players’ Association announced the details of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, which will be played in Toronto Sept. 17-Oct. 1, 2016. Both sides spoke of the event in glowing terms and there was much singing from the same songbook. That’s because both sides stand to gain a mother lode of money from a World Cup. The profits for the event are split 50-50 between the NHLPA and the league, meaning they will not be part of Hockey Related Revenues and will have no bearing on the salary cap. Each side is free to take its money and do with it whatever it wants. Read more

  • Opinion: Why does fighting need to go? It’s all about the brain

    Adam Proteau
    George Parros (Richard WolowiczGetty Images)

    In 12 years at The Hockey News, I’ve made my position on fighting clear: hockey, and the NHL in particular, doesn’t do enough to curtail it. It can’t be banned any more than the NBA, NFL, MLB or any other professional league can stop people from punching each other about the face and head, but it can be regulated to a far greater degree. That’s not radical or treasonous, no matter how staunch the game’s traditionalists try making it out to be.

    The encouraging news is how far the debate has shifted. Where once I heard wisecracks from colleagues who’d make half-serious jokes about me fleeing press row when a fight broke out, I now have a steady stream of people (fans and media) saying essentially the same thing: “I used to love all kinds of fighting, but now I’m with you – I can’t get into the staged fights anymore.” Read more

  • Max Domi does the unthinkable for breakaway tally

    Jared Clinton
    (via YouTube)

    For those who didn’t know Max Domi, the World Junior Championship was somewhat of a coming out party. But if he wasn’t on your radar yet, he is now.

    During Friday night’s game between Domi’s London Knights and the Sarnia Sting, the crafty forward pulled off one of the most incredible breakaway moves you’ll ever see. While it’s not a fancy deke or ridiculous shot, it’s one of the most creative efforts you’ll see all year. Read more

  • Toronto to get All-Star Game and outdoor game in 2017: Source

    Phil Kessel  (Richard Lautens/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

    COLUMBUS – The Toronto Maple Leafs will celebrate their 100th anniversary in 2017 with the All-Star Game and an outdoor game, a source with close ties to NHL ownership told thn.com.

    And it looks as though the Winter Classic for 2016 will be held in Boston at Gillette Stadium with a game against the Montreal Canadiens. And, of course, the World Cup is scheduled for Toronto in 2016 with eight teams, including an all-star team made up of smaller hockey countries and a team of 23-and-under North Americans. Read more

  • Opinion: It’s not hockey without fighting

    Ryan Kennedy
    Braden Holtby and Ray Emery square off (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

    It always fascinates me when someone who claims to like hockey says they don’t like fighting. Hockey has always had fisticuffs, so clearly when they fell in love with the sport, they knew what they were getting into. They’re the sort of folks who go to a Chinese restaurant and ask why cheeseburgers aren’t on the menu, I imagine.

    I don’t try to intellectualize fighting because for me it’s a matter of passion – my own and that of the players. Hockey is an intense, physical game played at high speeds. It inspires loyal fans who know the sacrifices players have made to get to the elite ranks and appreciate the danger those same athletes face on a nightly basis just by skating around with each other in ill temper. Are concussions bad? Are hits to the head bad? Sure, but players have known the risks forever and I don’t believe otherwise, even if specific maladies (such as chronic traumatic encephalopathy) have only been named recently. Read more

  • Rumor Roundup: Maple Leafs, Kings, Sabres, Oilers, and Senators all prepared to make moves following break

    (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHL)

    Talk of the the Toronto Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Kings swapping toxic contracts by exchanging defenseman Dion Phaneuf and Mike Richards persists in the rumor mill. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman believes it could make sense for both clubs. He thinks the Kings might go for it but not the Leafs at this point.

    Phaneuf, 29, is in the first year of a seven-year, $49-million contract with an annual cap hit of $7 million. Richards, 29, is in the seventh-season of a 12-year, $69-million deal worth $5.75-million per season. Read more