A bit of a shorter mailbag today, but that's because we're getting prepared for some big, great changes at The Hockey News starting next week. More on that below:
With all the awesome improvements that The Hockey News has made, especially over the past several years, my question is:
Where are the complete team-by-team player stats? I just received my Oct. 30 issue and again I see only Top 50 in each scoring categories. Yet, complete AHL stats and so on.
Please, advise if this is a change that THN is making, (for worse), or just a temporary thing. THN without complete stats is like having a "crisp, warm beer."
Thank you, Rich C.
Nobody likes a crisp, warm beer less than I do, but I've got some unfortunate news for fans of THN's team-by-team stats: they are indeed history, at least as far as the magazine edition goes.
Now, before you begin your email campaign to bring them back, hear me out. As part of our upcoming redesign (the results of which will be clear to the public by this time next week), we made a strategic decision Â– as we've done in the past, when, for example, we stopped running complete NHL game summaries Â– to scrap our standard stats package.
Our reasoning? Simply, that team-by-team stats are available from a wide variety of sources, including the soon-to-be-unveiled, new-and-improved THN.com, so taking up valuable space with the same old stat sorts (which are already dated when they arrive in your mailbox) was not the best route to take.
However, in its place, we are inserting custom-made statistical breakdowns you simply won't get anywhere else. And trust me, when senior writer Ken Campbell Â– the closest thing we have to a stats weenie among the editorial staff Â– saw the first batch of new stats, he practically fell to his knees and began weeping with joy.
I think readers are going to be impressed Â– not just by that, but by everything we've got in the works. Stay tuned.
In fantasy hockey, my brother wants to trade Miikka Kiprusoff to me for Martin Biron. I know Biron is HOT (oh don't touch), but will it last and would you make this trade?
Kevin H., Rochester, N.Y.
As evidenced by his ranking in goals-against average (26th in the NHL) and save percentage (29th in the league), this is the second consecutive season Kiprusoff has gotten off to a slow start. But he'll be looking for a new contract after this season, which should guarantee he'll also bounce back for the second straight year.
Still, I think you should stick with Biron, who has been downright Brodeur-like for Philly thus far, and a major component of the Flyers' early success. Unforeseeable changes to the roster aside, there's no reason to suspect that will change.
First off: thanks for the reminder about your book. I have been getting my Christmas shopping done early and, while I haven't bought the book yet, it will be done on the next payday.
I am wondering what your take on the recent changes that have taken place with the Chicago organization? While I am sorry the changes were prompted by the death of Bill Wirtz, I personally have a cautious optimism that things will be changing.
Thanks for spending some of your hard-earned cash on our little endeavor. Sales have been going well, I hear, although the invitation to tout it on Oprah has yet to arrive.
As for the Hawks, I'm ecstatic to see the changes Rocky Wirtz has made so far. I've always said this league needs strong teams in major media markets if it is to work its way back into the U.S. mainstream.
Removing Bob Pulford from the mix may have been only a cosmetic change to the organization, but it was a necessary one nonetheless. And airing home games on local TV Â– even if it's only a few to start out with Â– is like manna from heaven for Chicago fans and the team's marketers alike.
But the best changes are taking place where they ought to: on the ice. Simply put, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are two of the most exciting young talents to hit the league in years; and elite player developer (and assistant GM) Rick Dudley is stocking the rest of the roster with up-and-comers who will complement their dynamic duo.
You're right, it is a shame Bill Wirtz had to pass on before a new direction could be embarked upon in Chicago, but that's precisely what many industry observers predicted would have to happen. Old folks are notoriously stubborn in their ways, and there was no better, nor more unfortunate example of that, than in the Windy City.