September 17 2014 03:03PM
This is John Ferguson. 50 years ago he was an enforcer in the NHL. During Ferguson's career, being an enforcer involved playing alongside Jean Beliveau, or Henri Richard—skilled men who delivered a pass and expected it back on the tape and on the fly. The role of enforcers has changed over the decades, but may be returning to the Ferguson-era definition in the future.
September 17 2014 01:28PM
Last week we designed a survey to get a better understanding of what works on the Nation Network and what doesn't. The answers that came back were all across the spectrum - some provided great insight, others provided a good laugh, others made us want to rethink our chosen profession.
We sat down at Nation HQ this morning with a fresh glass of thinking Rye and read everyone's responses - over 1100 in total! - from bow to stern. A big thank you goes out to everyone who took the time to answer this thing. Surveys are SO annoying - we appreciate you taking time out of your life to provide us with key information to drive our redevelopment.
Our summary findings can be found after the jump.
September 17 2014 12:16PM
The first time I watched the Oilers rookies battle the U of A Golden Bears was in 1993. Jason Arnott was a rookie and my brother was a free agent invitee to training camp. He played with Arnott for the first few days of camp, and I vividly remember him calling me at home after the second day of training camp and talking about his experience.
He told me Arnott was going to be an excellent player. He was big, strong, had a great shot and played with an edge. Arnott went on to score 33 goals as a rookie, so his scouting report was pretty accurate.
My brother grew up a diehard Mark Messier fan, so wearing the Oilers jersey, even against the Bears was a fun experience for him.
September 16 2014 03:22PM
Pretty much without exception, there is always at least one surprise during the lead-up to the NHL season, and generally there are multiple surprises. How much weight should we give a standout performance from an unknown? How worried should we be about a struggling veteran?
Oddly enough, an 18th century Englishman can help us with the answer.
September 16 2014 07:47AM
Taylor Hall enters his 5th NHL season as one of the most dangerous scorers in the NHL, but the 22-year-old spent the summer analyzing his game in hopes of becoming even more dominant this season.
How much better can he be? According to the first overall pick in 2010, he can improve significantly.
"I believe that I’m far from a finished product," responded Hall when I asked him where he feels his game is at. He spent the summer getting stronger, but also watching video from last season and picking out aspects of his game that he wants to improve.