Top 5

Kyle Clifford

Los Angeles Kings forward Kyle Clifford is known for taking — and receiving — some of the most punishing checks in the NHL. He lists teammates Dustin Brown and Matt Greene among the hardest hitters in the game. Who are his hardest-hitting opponents?



  1. Ryane Clowe

  2. Milan Lucic

  3. Niklas Kronwall

  4. Cal Clutterbuck

  5. Alexander Ovechkin



NHL Confidential

Willie MitchellFlorida Panthers defenseman Willie Mitchell, formerly of the Vancouver Canucks, recommends Hawksworth restaurant in downtown Vancouver, located inside the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. "Kind of a west coast with a little bit of a French twist to it – a lot of depth to it," he says. "A lot of meat and a little bit of texture. … The scallops are outstanding – anything for that matter."

JP

Author Archive

Blaine Byron is putting himself (and tiny Kemptville) on the map.

This is another in an occasional series of pieces spotlighting 2013 NHL Draft hopefuls

KEMPTVILLE, Ontario — Blaine Byron isn’t hard to spot, but guys like him are really hard to find.

Huh?

Well, to watch him skate the pivot for the Kemptville 73’s of the Central Canada Hockey League, you’d swear there were two of him. There he is, swiveling through the offensive zone, looking, and usually finding, a friendly stretch of tape to put the puck on.

Blaine Byron

Kemptville 73's center Blaine Byron has a chance at being chosen in the 2013 NHL draft All photos by Dan Hickling

But wait a moment.

There is No. 9 again, this time streaking into the D-zone to thwart yet another opposing puck carrier.

In between there are the faceoffs won, the penalties killed, the minutes chewed up and the leadership rendered, all for a 73’s club, named for the year that junior hockey came to Kemptville, that lately has been losing games by five tallies per tilt.

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Sean Monahan drawing interest as top-three pick in 2013.

OTTAWA — The third pick in the NHL draft isn’t such a bad thing to have, you know. Any general manager (most of them, anyway) would much rather have picks No. 1 or 2 than to deal away a chance at grabbing a sure tap-in of a franchise player.

Brian Burke

Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke | All photos by Dan Hickling

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One year later, remembering the victims of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl tragedy.

One year later and the mind is still numbed at the very thought, how the lives of 44 members of hockey’s global family could be snuffed out in an instant.

Words – fluent and articulate, moving and mournful – have poured forth like a torrent of tears at the advent of the first anniversary of the Lokomotiv air tragedy.

Words have housed a host of tones in the 366 days since the news emerged from the woods near Yaroslavl that something terrible had happened to the aging, wheezing YAK-42D which was to ferry Lokomotiv to its KHL season opener with Dynamo Minsk, less than a minute after takeoff.

Words of shock and disbelief at the horrific news.

Words of contradiction – at first it was reported in error that former NHL veteran d-man Ruslan Salei had cheated death by planning to meet the team in Minsk.

Words beseeching the Almighty to give rest to the souls of the victims, and comfort to the many mourners left behind.

Jimmy Howard's mask

Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard decked out the back of his mask to honor three Yaroslavl Lokomotiv crash victims | Photo by Dan Hickling

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Introducing the most famous name among 2014 NHL draft prospects.

Maxim Tretiak

Maxim Tretiak | all photos by Dan Hickling

SACO, Maine – The name, the legacy, even the very number. All of it a load gladly born on the broad shoulders of a 16-year-old-goaltender, Maxim Tretiak.

Does that last name sound familiar? It should.

In Russia the name of Vladislav Tretiak is legendary. North America, too: Member of the Hockey Hall of Fame; the Gold standard (Olympic and otherwise) in goaltending during heart of the Cold War; the backbone of those mighty Russian Central Red Army juggernauts.

Now the question is, does the apple (or the grandapple, as it were) fall from the tree?

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A softer touch: Worrell handles youngsters with kid gloves

Peter Worrell Brad Church

Peter Worrell (left) with Brad Church. All photos by Dan Hickling.

PORTLAND, Maine – Back in the day, Brad Church, coach of the Portland Junior Pirates, had himself a pretty good professional career.

A coupla games in the NHL (with Washington), a lengthy tour of the minors, following which he began his coaching path.

He had enough of a career to have known about feared enforcer Peter Worrell, and known enough not to even think about tangling with him.

Now, in a much different place and time, Church is plenty grateful that hockey games are still settled by play on the ice, not by fist-fights between the each team’s head coach.

“It would be a forfeit,” said Church.

Now Church was tough enough and big enough to answer any bell when that rang.

But Worrell?

That would have been another matter.

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That guy used to be Pierre Dagenais. He still is.

Pierre Dagenais“Hey, wait a minute. Didn’t you used to be….?”

Hang around the assignment desk long enough and you’re bound to do one of those kind of stories.

Or a bunch of them.

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Kevin Dineen nose best

It was often said that Kevin Dineen had a nose for the net.

Dineen backed up the assertion, goal by goal, 355 times over a distinguished two-decade NHL career.

And while there were a few tap-ins, and a few more empty netters to pad the count, most of those hundreds of tallies involved equal parts skill and will.

It was said too that Dineen had a nose for trouble. For further proof, I would direct you to the 2,229 PIMs he racked up as a Whaler, Flyer, Hurricane, Senator, and Blue Jacket.

You wanna guess how he amassed that much box time?

Not for diving, that’s for sure.

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The tomb of the unknown hockey team resides in Boston

BOSTON

Like the word “stanchion,” the term “quiet room” has managed to worm its way into the hockey conversation.

While each of the NHL teams have now had to set aside a spot of serenity for suspected concussion sufferers, no such measure is really necessary in Boston’s TD Garden.

These days, the quietest room in the joint, and maybe all of New England, is the visiting team’s dressing room.

Especially post-game.

hockey shoulder pads

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On sticks, bubbles and the process of hockey

I love hockey.

Not just the 60-minute game, which ticks away one second at a time.

I love the process of hockey.

The parts of the game that attacks the five senses – the unique smell of the dressing room, the unmistakable sound of sharp steel making slivers of crisp ice.

Etcetera, etcetera.

And the parts of the game that mostly go unnoticed, but are really worth paying attention to.

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