In the Dec. 14 issue of The Hockey News:
• In the glare of Hollywood lights, Anze ‘The Giant’ Kopitar is flourishing in his fourth NHL season, racing for the top of the scoring race and taking his place as the face of an emerging young Kings team. Kopitar, a native of the small country of Slovenia, is featured in the cover story.
• In Overtime, Eric Duhatschek writes that an extension isn’t out of the question for
Cristobal Huet, who once considered expendable by a Hawks team up against the salary cap.
• In Proteau Type, Adam Proteau explores the dark world of depression and why hockey should take the disease seriously.
• In the Slot, Ken Campbell gives his views on some recent hockey news, including former NHLPA executive director Paul Kelly’s new role in college hockey.
• The Opinion Page explains why the new ownership team in Florida may finally lift the clouds in Sunrise and work towards bringing the Panthers back from obscurity.
• Inside the NHL showcases Rich Peverley, who was a free waiver-wire pickup by the Thrashers a year ago, but is now paying dividends by being one of the team’s offensive catalyst. Also, the Goals and Dreams program spearheaded by the NHLPA to help underprivileged children play the game is a worthwhile cause.
• Plus/Minus has the best and worst around the league.
• In Crowd Shots, we present the best Letters to the Editors, Adam Proteau answers readers’ questions in Ask Adam and we spend two minutes in the box with Tampa Bay’s James Wright.
• The Olympic Tracker follows the latest on the Finnish goalie factory and why Miikka Kiprusoff’s comments might keep him off a team full of ‘tenders.
• Get the latest depth charts, including the first power play unit, spares and who’s next in line for a call-up.
• NHL Team Reports look towards the Olympics in February and explore which players are in contention to represent their country at the world tournament.
• The International Report follows Sweden’s Mattias Weinhandl, who is taking the Kontinental League by storm, and why he is the first Swede to make such an impact in that country since Sven ‘Tumba’ Johansson. Our Eye on Europe turns to the Champions League and how Russian hockey kingpin Alexander Medvedev a wrench into its operation.
• In Prospects Unlimited, Raymond Sawada of the Texas Stars is sticking to the basics to get to the next level before worrying about incorporating a stylish flavor into his game. Also, the Lowell Devils’ Matt Taormina, an undrafted graduate of Providence College, was signed to an American League-ECHL deal by New Jersey prior to this season, but if his early-season play is any indication, he’s a future NHLer. We also notify Cal O’Reilly to expect the call from the Nashville Predators.
• Inside the Numbers is up, down and all around as we pinpoint which players’ point totals are fluctuating the right way and which are headed the opposite direction.
• Jason Kay writes about an international dream team that could easily be concocted by taking the best players whose nations aren’t being represented at the Olympic tournament.
• Last Minute of Play features Charlie Teljeur’s hockeysockpuppettheatre cartoon, Larry Humber’s hockey crossword puzzle and Ryan Kennedy’s Jersey Hound showcases the very first Montreal Canadiens jersey, which didn’t have red anywhere.