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The Hockey News

The Hockey News

• Sidney Crosby’s high ankle sprain is not only a sizeable blow to the NHL’s marketing department – especially with the All-Star Game just a few days away – it’s also, obviously, a huge obstacle for the Penguins as they attempt to continue their hot play without him, as well as a potential impetus for GM Ray Shero to make a move prior to the Feb. 26 trade deadline.

Shero was likely in the market to make a move anyway, but with the Pens still fighting for their post-season lives in that tough Atlantic Division, it is more or less a necessity that he acquires a veteran forward and goaltender. If I were Erik Christensen, Darryl Sydor or Ryan Malone, I’d keep an emergency travel bag packed at all times.

• I’m already receiving a crap-load of feedback regarding my vision for a perfect NHL. And, just as I suspected, there are a lot of you who’ve given this much thought. Look for a recap of some of the most intriguing concepts in a couple weeks.

• My favorite NHLer is Washington’s Alex Ovechkin. My second favorite is Kings sophomore Anze Kopitar. But running a very close third is New Jersey’s Zach Parise.

Parise had another two goals Tuesday against Philadelphia, putting him back on pace to match his career high of 31 from last season. However, he’s also become a better all-around player and playmaker, as evidenced by the fact he’s just five assists behind matching his best total (31).

And the best part? He’s just 23. The sky’s the limit for this kid.

• The NHL hasn’t been known for putting together the grandest of off-ice entertainment packages at its marquee events, but kudos to them for lining up a couple of artists for the upcoming All-Star Game in Atlanta – soul singer Ne-Yo, and Swedish rockers The Hives – who are actually known by fans under age 25.

And I know I speak for THN Art Director Jamie Hodgson when I say the choice of bringing aboard Alyssa Milano to host some of the festivities in Atlanta was an inspired one. If you’re in attendance, be sure to look for Jamie, stalking Alyssa.

Adam Proteau is The Hockey News' online columnist and a regular contributor to His blog appears Mondays and Wednesdays, his Ask Adam feature appears Tuesdays and Fridays, and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.

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