Tom Thompson's Column

Canucks centers key to Stanley Cup success

Canucks centers key to Stanley Cup success

by Tom Thompson - May 11, 2011 12:44 PM EDT

Throughout hockey history a common thread among powerhouses has been superiority down the middle of the ice.
During the playoffs, performances of star players are magnified and become a constant subject of discussion as the long and arduous road to the Stanley Cup goes on.


Comparing the 2011 Canucks to the 1989 Stanley Cup champion Flames

Comparing the 2011 Canucks to the 1989 Stanley Cup champion Flames

by Tom Thompson - April 27, 2011 1:42 PM EDT

The 1989 Flames fought through a tough first round with playoff failures in their recent past, just like this year's Canucks.
Lewiston, Maine - The bar of a Mexican restaurant in Lewiston, Maine may seem a long way removed from the center of Stanley Cup action. However, watching Game 7 of the Vancouver-Chicago series on television after scouting the Saint John-Lewiston junior game brought me flashbacks of Stanley Cup action from 22 years ago that were so vivid they sent chills down my spine.


Tom Thompson's Blog: How Dr. Gerry Wilson changed the NHL

Tom Thompson's Blog: How Dr. Gerry Wilson changed the NHL

by Tom Thompson - March 31, 2011 1:00 PM EDT

The hockey world lost one of its pioneers this week when Winnipeg's Dr. Gerry Wilson, an important piece of Jets history, passed away.
As a native and long-time resident of Winnipeg, it is my habit when visiting the city to read the obituaries in the Winnipeg Free Press. On Monday, I was shocked to see the obituary of Dr.


Tom Thompson's Blog: Hockey debate about danger, not violence

Tom Thompson's Blog: Hockey debate about danger, not violence

by Tom Thompson - March 16, 2011 11:21 AM EDT

The long-time NHL scout and executive writes that rational thought needs to be tabled when discussing what has to change to make the game safer.
As a 26-year veteran of National Hockey League scouting staffs and a life-long hockey “addict” I am naturally concerned about the recent controversy surrounding head shots.


Tom Thompson's Blog: Who helps construct an NHL team?

Tom Thompson's Blog: Who helps construct an NHL team?

by Tom Thompson - February 16, 2011 12:08 PM EST

It takes a lot more than just the GM to put together an NHL roster - it takes a whole team of hockey people.
Among the questions most commonly asked of me during my hockey travels are, "How does an NHL team acquire players? Who makes the decisions? How do they get information on the players?" The questions are asked by avid hockey fans, knowledgeable business people who do not have close ties to the game and by youngsters who are just old enough to have developed a passion about everything connected with hockey.


Tom Thompson's Blog: How NHL teams decide which coach to hire

Tom Thompson's Blog: How NHL teams decide which coach to hire

by Tom Thompson - February 2, 2011 12:08 PM EST

The former Wild assistant GM explains how the team decided on Jacques Lemaire as coach in Minnesota.
There are many important tasks for any GM in the NHL and many competing factors that demand his time. None are as crucial to the success of his franchise, though, as the selection and ongoing relationship with his head coach.


Tom Thompson's Blog: Will 2014 Olympic team be Canada's best international entry ever?

Tom Thompson's Blog: Will 2014 Olympic team be Canada's best international entry ever?

by Tom Thompson - January 5, 2011 12:05 PM EST

If the NHL goes to Sochi in 2014, the Canadians will be stocked with superstar talent that will rival some of the great past entries.
Over the years, Canada has iced some strong teams for international tournaments and hockey fans have engaged in passionate debates over which Canadian team was the best.


Tom Thompson's Blog: Reflecting on a great year in hockey

Tom Thompson's Blog: Reflecting on a great year in hockey

by Tom Thompson - December 22, 2010 11:25 AM EST

The former assistant GM of the Minnesota Wild extends his thanks to the people and teams who made 2010 a success for hockey.
Christmas is a time for giving and New Year's is a time for reflection as well as anticipation for the year to come. In the spirit of the season and confident that my sentiments are shared by many fans throughout the hockey world, I would like to extend hearty thank yous to the following teams and individuals for their contributions to hockey in 2010: 1.


Tom Thompson's Blog: In hockey, the team always comes before the individual

Tom Thompson's Blog: In hockey, the team always comes before the individual

by Tom Thompson - December 8, 2010 3:35 PM EST

Where basketball and baseball focus on individual accomplishments, hockey is always about the team structure.
I opened a recent copy of Sports Illustrated and read an article by one of their best writers. He surveyed a number of people whom he respected to pick the best covers in the history of the magazine.


Tom Thompson's Blog: Hockey's beauty comes from the unique team-oriented environment

Tom Thompson's Blog: Hockey's beauty comes from the unique team-oriented environment

by Tom Thompson - November 24, 2010 10:55 AM EST

When striving to make hockey as popular around North America as other major sports, we can't forget to embrace its unique nature.
Sometimes we all get caught up in the business of trying to copy our competitors. Being "the same" as other, more celebrated sports may not be the route to a deeper popularity in the North American sporting community.


Tom Thompson's Blog: How the North American-European divide has narrowed

Tom Thompson's Blog: How the North American-European divide has narrowed

by Tom Thompson - November 10, 2010 11:30 AM EST

Once upon a time there was a distinct difference between the style of play and type of player coming from Europe and North America. Not anymore.
As a lifelong hockey fan, I had the good fortune to grow up in Winnipeg in the 1960s. Back then, the city was home to Canada's national hockey team.


Tom Thompson's Blog: Five points to understand the plus-minus stat

Tom Thompson's Blog: Five points to understand the plus-minus stat

by Tom Thompson - October 27, 2010 11:40 AM EDT

The plus-minus stat category can be very misleading to the untrained eye, but holds value if put in the right context.
I believe the plus-minus category is the least understood of hockey's commonly used statistics. It is basically used to determine whether more goals are scored by your team or the opposition when a particular player is on the ice.


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