Best of the Nation - 12.9.12

Jonathan Willis
December 09 2012 08:59AM

Lots of interesting stuff across the Nation websites this week, including an exclusive interview with an NHL head coach, 2013 Draft talk, a look at how goalies perform as they age, and obligatory stuff on the NHL lockout. Read more, after the jump!

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December 08 2012 05:35PM


Any league that has the sense not to lock themselves out through Christmas and any team that has the sense to mysteriously drive off Theo Peckham gets our business. Where do you go when there is nothing to do and you are still riding high on having survived a Raiders game?

It's time to go to an ECHL game.

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December 07 2012 05:18PM

With the heart warming news that the Lockout negotiations are extraordinarily poorly, your ol' pal Wanye decided to go to a place where rage and danger are the norm. A place where most people rightfully fear to tread. When there is nothing left to live for you have nothing left to lose. 

Time to take in a home game of the Oakland Raiders.

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Number Chains - December 7, 2012 Links

Josh L.
December 07 2012 02:48PM

This new, regular feature on NHLNumbers will share interesting stats-related posts from around the web almost every day.

Welcome to edition number 18 of the rebooted Number Chains. In this space you will be able to find the best analytical hockey writing from around the internet on a close-to-daily basis. Subject matter will include statistical evaluation, financial analysis, contractual issues, and (sometimes) closely-related tangential works. If you have something you would like to submit for a future edition (your writing or that of someone else) feel free to send it to me via Twitter @JoshL1220 or leave a comment.

Back in November Chris Stevenson of The Ottawa Sun introduced the hockeyworld outside of North Texas to the thriving megalopolis of Plano, TX. He begins his story with an amusing data point:

This suburb in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex could very well be home to the top pick in the 2013 NHL draft, giving Plano two first-round picks in the last three years.

That's potentially two more than, say, Montreal has produced in that time.

He goes on to describe the successful efforts made by the Stars organization, which spurred the growth of these young players:

Plano is a prime example of the growth of hockey in the U.S. A non-traditional hockey market, the arrival of the Dallas Stars in 1993 -- the year Noesen was born -- planted another hockey seed in the American west.

Recognizing they needed to grow a generation of hockey fans -- what better way than to get them playing the game? -- the Stars, led by president Jim Lites (he's back for a third term under new owner Tom Gaglardi as president and CEO) and then-general manager Bob Gainey started an aggressive program that led to rink building (there are now six Dr. Pepper StarCenters in the Metroplex), a program that reawakened the passion for hockey in older fans and started a love for the game among younger ones.


"The surprising part when we got there was there were a lot of latent hockey players from the Northeast, from Michigan, from different places in Canada who had put their skates away because they didn't think they had anywhere to play," said Gainey. "When we opened up the arena that we used as our practice facillity, one way to manage the ice and make some money was to run these rec leagues and they just exploded. There were a lot of people there already who had interest, but for lack of a way to express it had let it go."

And it continues to grow, despite what attendance figures would suggest. After the jump, a week's worth of hockey statistical-related content.

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Negotiations between NHL, NHLPA fall apart

Jonathan Willis
December 06 2012 06:43PM

Donald Fehr and Gary Bettman held dueling press conferences on Thursday night, and the news was not good. After initially suggesting both sides were close, Don Fehr announced that the NHL had rejected the players’ associations’ latest offer. Gary Bettman followed Fehr up, and announced that the NHL was removing all of the concessions placed on the table in the last meeting.

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