This Week in THN: Jan. 24, 2011

In the Jan. 24, 2011 edition of The Hockey News:

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• ‘The Great One’ Wayne Gretzky turns 50 years old and we recount the most memorable moments from the career of No. 99. And, while it’s impossible to compare players form different eras, it’s hard not to draw parallels between Gretzky and Sidney Crosby. Finally, Sean Couturier, a top draft prospect for 2011, has the skills to take a run at an NHL spot next year and could be the next top-flight Canadian player.

• In his editor’s notebook, Jason Kay writes how Gretzky’s standing as the best-ever hockey player is safe and will be for a long, long time.

• In the THN inbox, the best letters to the editor are printed and the results of an online poll are revealed.

• In Inside Hockey, the 2011 World Junior Championship showed the junior model in Russia is working just fine; two other legends, Ray Bourque and Mark Messier, also turn 50 years old this season; we also take a look at some neat notes on wacky numbers; plus much, much more.

• In the Team Reports, we look at Philadelphia’s Claude Giroux, who has gone from the team forgetting his name on draft day to a big-time player with the Flyers; plus the Avalanche were bad for one season and rebounded, but are they the model or a fluke? And more.

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• We have team-by-team depth charts complete with individual cap hits, first power play units, spares, injuries and who the next call-ups will be.

• The Prospect Report looks at Jussi Rynnas of the Toronto Marlies, Phillip Danault of the QMJHL’s Victoriaville Tigres, and we also look at the plethora of Russian prospects in the Capitals system and wonder when they’ll be making their way to the NHL.

• Inside the Numbers, we compare players from different eras with adjusted figures.

• In Last Minute of Play Larry Humber’s crossword puzzle provides a test for readers, Jersey Hound looks at Bobby Hull’s No. 9 Winnipeg Jets jersey, and our Blast From the Past involves Doug Roberts of the California Seals.

• And in Overtime, Ken Campbell writes that as long as four nations dominate the world juniors as they have in recent events, the competition will suffer and the tournament will lose its excitement.

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