by Patrick Hoffman on 09/18/11 at 10:00 AM ET
If you do not subscribe to it already, The Hockey News is simply the top hockey publication out there. It is the perfect fit for any hockey fan or hockey team fan and is something that will always provide for top-quality hockey reading.
With that in mind, Hockey News Managing Editor Ed Fraser, who I have interviewed for Kukla’s Korner before, was kind enough to answer some questions about the offseason as well as what is to come for the NHL in 2011-12:
PH: If you had to pick one word to describe the hockey offseason this year, what would it be? Why?
EF: Loss. It’s a shame that’s the word that comes to mind, but all positives that have come out of the summer have been overshadowed by the shocking Lokomotiv plane crash and the deaths of Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak.
PH: There was a lot of tragedy this offseason in the sport. How do you think everyone will come together this season to help get over it, heal, and move on?
EF: That’s one of the beautiful things about hockey: in a sport that is so violent and necessitates the hatred of all wearing colors other than your own, it is paradoxically an extremely tight community that pushes aside partisan pride in times like these.
PH: Now onto some actual hockey talk, which teams impressed you this offseason with their moves? Why?
EF: Washington is certainly one. They brought in, at the right price, some key players who I believe will work well with the current core. I also liked what Kings did. This has been a “next year” team for too long and GM Dean Lombardi deserves credit for taking a “win now” attitude this summer.
PH: On the other side of the coin, which teams disappointed you this offseason? Why?
EF: Winnipeg has been very disappointing. I expected them to make an on-ice splash, but they appear to be content to rely on a young group that I don’t believe is much closer to the playoffs than last season.
PH: Which players are you looking forward to watching this season? Why?
EF: I think Ovie will have a big comeback year. THN is picking him as the early favorite for the Hart, Art Ross and Rocket Richard. Gabriel Landeskog is another I’m looking forward to seeing. Fans in Colorado are going to find out what people in Kitchener and other OHL clubs have known for awhile: This kid is for real.
PH: If you had a crystal ball, which two teams does it show meeting in the Stanley Cup Final come June? Why do you think it is telling you that?
EF: Washington and Chicago. Both teams improved an already talented lineup this off-season. (And I, and THN, like the Caps to win it all.)
PH: Anything else you’d like to share with Kukla’s Korner readers?
EF:The “loser point” is the most ridiculous thing not only in the NHL, but all of sports. Why there isn’t an uproar over the continued use of this system boggles my mind.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at email@example.com.