The Best of the Nation - 9.24.12

Jonathan Willis
September 24 2012 10:34AM

Nathan MacKinnon is the consensus pick as the best player eligible for the 2013 Draft. Who else is available? What NHL list that nobody wants to be on did Ryan Kesler just make? What kind of livestock did an NHL executive compare NHL players to? Why is Toronto slamming the “best goalie coach on the planet”? When will the NHL lockout end?

All that and more, after the jump.

The consensus top-30 for the 2013 NHL Draft. With no NHL season as of yet, expect to hear a lot about at the guy at the top of this list: Nathan MacKinnon. Particularly since an entire season down the drain would likely mean that any team in the league could end up drafting first overall. Derek Zona explains how such a lottery would work, and recaps the consensus top-30 prospects. [NHL Numbers]

Ryan Kesler is going on a list of NHL divers. My suggested name was Colin Campbell’s List of Little Fake Artists, but whatever (lamer) title the league chooses, Kesler’s going to be one of the guys listed. The really awkward part is that teammate Kevin Bieksa’s a big fan of a diving list. [Canucks Army]

Red Wings’ executive refers to players as “cattle.” Not only does Jimmy Devellano compare the players to livestock, he also talks about the “unwritten rule” not to give restricted free agents massive offer sheets. Naturally, the NHL quickly responded with a fine to the team (reportedly worth $250,000). [Oilers Nation]

Interview with Pat Quinn. When it comes to hockey, Pat Quinn’s seemingly been everywhere and done everything. The well-respected, well-travelled player, coach, executive and owner talks to Patrick Johnston. [Canucks Army]

On Rebuilding: The Calgary Flames. Rex Libris’ epic series on the art of rebuilding an NHL franchise hits Part 10 with this look at the situation in Calgary. While Flames-specific, a lot of the points Libris considers are translatable to other franchises. [Flames Nation]

Maple Leafs G.M. blasts the “best goalie coach on the planet.” In March, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke was bragging that Francois Allaire the world’s best goalie coach. By September, Burke was tossing the world’s best goalie coach (I wonder if that comes complete with a coffee mug?) under the nearest bus. Why? The answers are here. [Leafs Nation]

Remember when Sweden wasn’t going to take NHL’ers? Well, now they’ve lost a court case, and NHL’ers are starting to sign with Swedish Elite League teams. [Canucks Army]

Deconstructing Cody Franson. We recently added the talents of Gus Katsaros, the professional scouting coordinator with McKeen’s Hockey to the Nation Network. He takes apart Cody Franson’s game in this piece, which features a combination of scouting reports, video review, and advanced statistics. [Leafs Nation]

Zone Entries: Comparing the Flyers and Wild. Eric T. has been doing some ground-breaking work on the importance of how players enter the offensive zone, and now with extra information (oddly enough, on the Minnesota Wild) he expands on what he’s done so far. [NHL Numbers]

When will the lockout end? The NBA went through a lockout last season – can their timeline help us determine when NHL hockey will return? [Leafs Nation]

Interview with Stuart Percy. The Toronto Maple Leafs prospect talks to Cam Charron about his game and the upcoming season. [Leafs Nation]

Winners and losers under the current CBA, part 3. An awesome series concludes here. Our “Graphic Comments” section is known mostly for humour, but here does serious digging into the NHL’s finances and reveals a lot. [NHL Numbers]

The IIHF fires back. It’s been implied that the International Ice Hockey Federation is holding up the transfer of NHL players to European leagues, and it seems the IIHF is sick of such implications. The organization lashes out, calling such reports “entirely incorrect, false and fabricated.” [Oilers Nation]

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including the Edmonton Journal, Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.