This Week in THN: Feb. 2

In the Feb. 2 edition of The Hockey News:

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• The Best of Everything in Hockey: THN ranks the top scorers, stoppers, smashers and other criminally great players in 19 different categories. The guilty parties include thief Tim Thomas who robs his opponents nightly and arsonist Alex Ovechkin who continues to set the league on fire.

• Senior writer Ken Campbell takes a hard look at Wayne Gretzky’s trade from Edmonton to Los Angeles and how it ultimately hurt the NHL.

• In Overtime, back-page columnist Eric Duhatschek discusses how veteran defenseman Rob Blake’s move to San Jose has rejuvenated his play and taken the team one step closer to the Stanley Cup.

• Columnist Adam Proteau writes about how the loyal fan base in Minnesota deserves a better product on the ice and a better shot at a Cup win.

• Editor in Chief Jason Kay discusses the changing of the guard in terms of who the best are in the NHL.

• Inside the NHL looks at playoff-legend Claude Lemieux’s tough road back to the big league, examines how some teams are getting something for nothing down the stretch, and reveals how a nine-year-old girl earned a starting goaltender role in the NHL.

• Our THN Player Poll asks 90 NHLers who they think has stood out in the first half of the season.

• THN’s correspondent in Los Angeles, Rich Hammond, looks at how the Kings are growing into a contender, not with hot-shot offense, but through a steady, defensive conscience.

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• Beyond the Spotlight profiles Don Parsons, minor-league hockey’s all-time goal-scoring king.

• NHL Team Reports examine the best story so far this season for each of the 30 franchises, from Chicago’s fan revival to the long-awaited breakout of Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan.

• Prospects Unlimited profiles new London Knight John Tavares, Corey Crawford of the Rockford IceHogs, Chris Minard of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, and Riley Nash from Cornell University. We also expect Alexander Sulzer to get the call from the Nashville Predators and rank the top game-winning goalies in the American League.

• The International Report looks at Aleksey Morozov’s popularity and financial success in the Kontinental League, and Eye on Europe examines the best European goalie you haven’t heard of (yet).

• In Crowd Shots, the best letters to the editor are featured, Adam Proteau answers readers’ questions in Ask Adam and Patrick Sharp of the Chicago Blackhawks serves 2 Minutes in the Box.

• The best and worst of hockey in Plus/Minus.

• Depth charts, including first power play unit and next in line, for each of the 30 NHL franchises.

• Last Minute of Play features a hockeysockpuppettheatre cartoon, Larry Humber’s hockey crossword puzzle and Ryan Kennedy’s Jersey Hound, this week featuring an International League classic from another motor city.

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