Best of the Nation - 12.16.12

Jonathan Willis
December 16 2012 11:23AM

The lockout keeps rolling on, but that doesn't mean we lacked for quality content this week. We had another entry in our "Worst to First" jerseys series, talked about the frightening salary cap situation for a bunch of teams, looked at how forward usage by NHL coaches has evolved over the last few seasons, talked about the World Juniors and buyouts, the lockout and the league's very best prospect, as well as half a dozen things I'm not even mentioning.

More after the jump!

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ALMOST BEATEN TO THE PUNCH

Lowetide
December 16 2012 10:49AM

The day Edmonton selected Taylor Hall, there was a lot of back and forth about "Taylor versus Tyler" from fans, the hockey industry and the media. What if Steve Tambellini had been able to get both? Would the price paid be too much?

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Is Justin Schultz the best prospect in the NHL?

Jonathan Willis
December 15 2012 11:26AM

According to former Calgary Flames general manager Craig Button, the answer is “yes.”

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BOTTOM OF THE DECK

Lowetide
December 15 2012 08:04AM

Photo by Rob Ferguson. all rights reserved.

The first Baseball America I ever bought was at Pike Place Market in Seattle, summer 1987. The cover photo was of Casey Candaele--he'd hit a flyball and was leaving the batter's box with (as my mind remembers it) much the same look as Nathan Deck in this photo from last night. The photographer caught Candaele from the left field side, so the angle is wrong, but the Candaele story is represented each winter in hockey by guys like Deck. No draft pedigree, hell even nerdy fans like me haven't one damn clue who the hell he is (he looks like the bat boy for crying out loud); doesn't matter. If Nathan Deck can play every game like he did last night, he's going to zoom past the first rounders on his way to the land of Casey (Candaele) at the bat.

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POSITIVE VIBES

Jason Gregor
December 14 2012 01:08PM

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was named captain of Canada's World Junior team this morning. It is a huge honour for him, and it will be a great opportunity for him to evolve and grow as a leader. Considering the lockout negotiations are moving slower than a snail, I doubt the Oilers will have to worry about making decision whether to recall him back to the NHL or let him play the entire tournament.

But if that option comes up, it will be a hotly debated topic.

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