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Top Shelf: Time to cut ties with Kovalev

Top Shelf: Time to cut ties with Kovalev

by Ryan Dixon - February 18, 2009 3:22 PM EST

In sending Alex Kovalev home the Habs seem set to trade their big scorer, which isn't such a bad idea at this point in time.
Even by Alex Kovalev’s standards, things are getting a little kooky. Bob Gainey, the GM of a team that’s coming completely unraveled, told his most skilled player to stay home while the Montreal Canadiens hit the road for back-to-back games beginning Wednesday night in Washington.


Top Shelf: Trading Kovalev a path worth exploring

Top Shelf: Trading Kovalev a path worth exploring

by Ryan Dixon - February 11, 2009 1:13 PM EST

Montreal's GM has been known to stray off the conventional path when it comes to deadline deals, so don't be surprised about this option.
Bob Gainey has shown some pretty serious gumption around the trade deadline the past few years. Increasingly, though, the question for the Montreal Canadiens GM this season is, in which direction should he be applying force? There are a lot of things that come into play when evaluating the state of the Habs right now.


Top Shelf: Frolik forces way to Florida forefront

Top Shelf: Frolik forces way to Florida forefront

by Ryan Dixon - February 4, 2009 1:29 PM EST

After a slow start, the rookie Panthers winger has proved himself as a scoring threat and is a key cog in Florida's playoff push.
It has become common the past couple of years to see rookies make themselves right at home in the NHL. It’s reminiscent of the neighbor’s kid who breezes through your front door uninvited, grabs a Coke from the fridge then plops down in your recliner.


Top Shelf: Anaheim Getz what it needs

Top Shelf: Anaheim Getz what it needs

by Ryan Dixon - January 28, 2009 1:46 PM EST

Even though the Ducks are dropping in the standings like a stone, their future is still steady with players like Ryan Getzlaf.
There’s a lot of gum flapping going on around the Ducks these days. Falls from grace typically happen with Ferrari-like speed and it has been no exception in Anaheim, where a club we’ve grown accustomed to seeing beef up at the trade deadline is suddenly being spoken about in the context of “seller.


Top Shelf: High picks not enough to reach higher ground

Top Shelf: High picks not enough to reach higher ground

by Ryan Dixon - January 21, 2009 12:16 PM EST

To be a successful team in the NHL, you have to round out your team with hidden draft and free agent gems.
Tear it down. Blow ’em up. Cut it to the wood. All of the above are popular refrains of the disenfranchised fan who believes the best path to glory for their favorite franchise is through a handful of can’t-miss, top-of-the-class draft picks.


Top Shelf: Lecavalier deal would be Vin-Vin for Montreal

Top Shelf: Lecavalier deal would be Vin-Vin for Montreal

by Ryan Dixon - January 14, 2009 11:57 AM EST

If the rumors are true and Montreal has a shot at landing Vincent Lecavalier, they could acquire a piece that's been missing for a long time.
By their standards, the Montreal Canadiens are in the midst of some very lengthy droughts. If they don’t win the Cup this year, it will mark the 15th consecutive spring Stanley avoided the banks of the St.


Top Shelf: Why Mats does matter

Top Shelf: Why Mats does matter

by Ryan Dixon - January 7, 2009 2:19 PM EST

He may not put up the lofty point totals of some, but Mats Sundin can play with the best of them and will greatly help the Canucks.
The Vancouver Canucks must understand better than most that not all point-per-game players are created equal. Their dogged and eventually successful pursuit of Mats Sundin certainly indicates as much.


Top Shelf: A gift for every NHL team

Top Shelf: A gift for every NHL team

by Ryan Dixon - December 17, 2008 11:33 AM EST

'Tis the season, and even the worst-behaving NHL clubs deserve a visit from the fat man in the red suit.
The Hockey News holiday gift exchange is not unlike the NHL season itself: plenty of surprises, both good and bad. The main difference is, we set our salary cap at $20 per gift, so even if you donate a considerate, useful present to the pile only to unwrap four cans of beans, an Archie comic and a roll of toilet paper for yourself, the sting is still quite bearable.


Top Shelf: Streit going straight on the Island

Top Shelf: Streit going straight on the Island

by Ryan Dixon - December 10, 2008 1:00 PM EST

After splitting time between the blueline and forward in Montreal, the Isles' Mark Streit is showing where he belonged all along.
The era of Mark Streit, swingman, is over. And the Swiss – get ready for it – defenseman couldn’t be happier. “I play 100 percent, full-time defenseman so I’m happy with that,” said Streit, now 28 games into his New York Islanders career after joining them as a free agent last summer.


Top Shelf: Avery’s act finally played out

Top Shelf: Avery’s act finally played out

by Ryan Dixon - December 3, 2008 1:59 PM EST

The Dallas agitator's latest kurfuffle with the NHL shows Sean Avery is only out for one thing: Promoting Sean Avery.
I have to admit, I’ve always had a soft spot for Sean Avery. Making the old boys network bristle came so naturally to him. When a prominent Canadian TV personality asked him on air to finish the sentence, “Most hockey players are very…” Avery didn’t even blink before answering, “simple.


Top Shelf: Hainsey proving his worth in Atlanta

Top Shelf: Hainsey proving his worth in Atlanta

by Ryan Dixon - November 26, 2008 11:57 AM EST

Many snickered when the Thrashers handed out big bucks to the unproven blueliner, but the 27-year-old is holding his own.
Ron Hainsey has consistently made good decisions on the Atlanta Thrashers blueline this year and his head isn’t any less level once the helmet comes off.


Top Shelf: Applauding Savard’s latest spin-o-rama

Top Shelf: Applauding Savard’s latest spin-o-rama

by Ryan Dixon - November 19, 2008 2:09 PM EST

Denis Savard was miscast as a head coach from Day 1, but in returning as an ambassador he shows a knack for leadership.
It’s a good thing Denis Savard is not a proud man. If he was, that pride would be standing in the way of his happiness. As it is, he’s back where he belongs, serving as an ambassador for the hockey family he loves, the Chicago Blackhawks.


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