December 22 2012 11:37AM
If the NHL starts up again in January, the Edmonton Oilers might be one of the league’s most improved teams. The shorter season means that low probability events – things like Nikolai Khabibulin's red hot start to 2011-12 or Jeff Deslauriers' five consecutive road wins back in 2009-10 – will have more impact than they would over an 82-game schedule. More than that, however, the Oilers have a competitive advantage.
December 22 2012 09:36AM
NHL scouts knew Aleksandr Barkov was something special a year ago, when he delivered a solid season at age 16 in Finland's top pro league (the SM-Liiga). Barkov's 7 goals and 9 assists in 2011-12 was 4th best among skaters aged 21 and under. This season? He's in the top 10 in league scoring and pushing up the draft rankings.
December 21 2012 10:10PM
The momentum is growing. Every day the calls to decertify or otherwise disband the NHLPA are growing. And I don't mean from NHL players.
No, hockey fans and media alike are now so fed up with what passes for collective bargaining in the NHL that they want to blow up the entire system. We're not talking just decertifying for the purposes of forcing the NHL to actually make a deal under threat of anti-trust lawsuits, i.e. what the NHL is alleging and what the NHLPA surely intends to do.
No, there are now calls to permanently abolish the NHLPA and in so doing completely free up all restrictions to player movement, including the NHL draft.
Personally, I'm not so sure this is a great idea...
December 21 2012 06:31PM
Malkin drops the gloves and scores some goals, Ovechkin looking better and better, and if the NHL ever comes back, you better watch out for St. Louis Blues prospect Vladimir Tarasenko.
December 21 2012 04:39PM
As a sportswriter, I've been guilty of letting my gut overrule my head more than once, with decidedly mixed results. I find myself rolling the dice again as I contemplate the possibility of the Edmonton Oilers making the playoffs this season – assuming the NHL gets around to playing one in January.