Tom Thompson's Column

How the NHL Draft Combine has grown over the years

How the NHL Draft Combine has grown over the years

by Tom Thompson - June 16, 2012 11:34 AM EDT

Hockey has changed significantly over the past quarter-century and the combine has, too. But what purpose does it serve?
Approximately 100 top prospects gather in Toronto every year for the NHL Scouting Combine. They participate in club interviews and arduous physical tests in front of team representatives and media.


Becoming an NHL scout

Becoming an NHL scout

by Tom Thompson - March 30, 2012 12:53 PM EDT

The most common question scouts get asked is "how do you get into the business?"
Like all people in the player personnel departments of NHL teams, I spend a good deal of time on airplanes. I get my share of annoying seat-mates as well as others who are engrossed in their own affairs or drift quickly off to sleep.


The disappearance of Canada's goaltending advantage

The disappearance of Canada's goaltending advantage

by Tom Thompson - February 18, 2012 10:41 AM EST

The number of great Canadian goalies has been in decline in recent years, but why?
Usually I am full of opinions in this space. I like to provide answers to questions commonly asked by hockey fans. Today, there is a different approach.


Skating skills separate hockey from all else

Skating skills separate hockey from all else

by Tom Thompson - February 4, 2012 10:50 AM EST

While high-level athletes might be able to play different sports, hockey isn't interchangeable because of one unique skill.
Most sports fans remember when Bo Jackson was the talk of the athletic world. He quickly became an all-star in professional football and baseball.


Merry Christmas to the hockey community

Merry Christmas to the hockey community

by Tom Thompson - December 24, 2011 11:04 AM EST

With the holiday season upon us, the longtime scout and executive wishes all the best to everyone.
To a number of people, Christmas is a religious holy day. To many others, it’s a family holiday. To virtually everyone in North America, the Christmas season is a special time of the year.


Mario Lemieux comeback still greatest of all-time

Mario Lemieux comeback still greatest of all-time

by Tom Thompson - November 26, 2011 11:38 AM EST

The return of Sidney Crosby this week was an exciting time for the NHL, but Lemieux's return in 2000 was miraculous.
Like all hockey fans, I was thrilled by Sidney Crosby's comeback to the NHL. I have witnessed some of the frustrations encountered by world-class athletes as they try to recover from the effects of concussions.


Winnipeg fans soak in NHL hockey

Winnipeg fans soak in NHL hockey

by Tom Thompson - October 26, 2011 2:33 PM EDT

The current New York Rangers staffer and former Winnipegger writes about his experience at this week's game when the Rangers were in town.
Monday couldn’t have turned out better for me as a staff member of the New York Rangers and a former Winnipegger. Our team won a big 2-1 game in ‘The Peg’ to cap an arduous road trip and the entire day's experience provided more evidence that proved the extent of the NHL’s rebirth in the city.


Memories of Howe, Nieuwendyk and Gilmour

Memories of Howe, Nieuwendyk and Gilmour

by Tom Thompson - October 12, 2011 1:08 PM EDT

Growing up in Winnipeg and then working for the Calgary Flames, this insider columnist has some fond memories of three of this year's Hockey Hall of Famers.
At the recent Traverse City Prospects Tournament, I was shaking Mark Howe's hand and extending my congratulations to him on his well-deserved election to the Hockey Hall of Fame.


Should the NHL season start earlier?

Should the NHL season start earlier?

by Tom Thompson - October 7, 2011 11:25 AM EDT

Would the league benefit with a more drawn out schedule? And how would more playoff games influence any potential change?
Change is the one constant in professional sports – from the product on the field to the scheduling of the games themselves and everything in between.


Traverse City tournament signals birth of a new NHL season

Traverse City tournament signals birth of a new NHL season

by Tom Thompson - September 18, 2011 11:17 AM EDT

The long-time NHL scout explains why the longest-running prospect tourney is the perfect way to kick off a new year and help turn the page on a tragic off-season.
When reflecting on the off-season, I’m reminded of the words of Charles Dickens: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.


The reality behind the Winnipeg-NHL relationship

The reality behind the Winnipeg-NHL relationship

by Tom Thompson - June 11, 2011 11:00 AM EDT

The native of Winnipeg talks about the exciting return of the NHL and why it wasn't the league's fault it didn't work the first time.
Like any hockey season, 2010-11 has had its share of highs and lows. From the perspective of Canadian hockey, the return of the NHL to Winnipeg is one of the biggest "good news" stories in many years.


Saying goodbye to Derek Boogaard

Saying goodbye to Derek Boogaard

by Tom Thompson - May 25, 2011 12:45 PM EDT

The former Minnesota Wild assistant GM speaks about the memorial in Minnesota and the funeral in Regina for 'The Boogey Man.'
Oh what a difference two weeks can make. I had planned for this blog to describe some of the highlights of what has been the most exciting spring of Stanley Cup hockey I can remember.


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If the NHL took steps to virtually eradicate fighting, do you think its players would be more safe or less safe?




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