This is Riley Nash. He should really take two plates at supper right through the end of the decade. He’s listed at 6-1, 170 but he looks like Ron Howard in the Love American Style pilot that became Happy Days.
I’ve been reading the Hockey News since maybe 1971 and for many years they were pretty much the bible for pro and junior hockey. Players and fans alike would read it cover to cover, from the latest news to major features, updates from each team, AHL, IHL, CHL, college, junior and on it went (much later came European information).
I have a copy of a 1968 HN that mentions that the Czech national team might release Vaclav Nedomansky from his contract and allow him to play for the New York Rangers. Great historic value, the past issues of the Hockey News.
Current editions? Not so much. By the time an edition hits the stands we’ve read everything in it long days ago on the internet, and probably responded to it.
I think a publication like HN is in deep trouble, and it’s more pronounced because their website isn’t close to being as popular as one like tsn.ca and they don’t appear to be blinding us with innovation (their “salaries” page for instance still has 06-07 prices and rosters).
I don’t know if they’ll go under, but they’re being passed like a house on the side of the road and the gap appears to be widening.
In these circumstances, it’s always fun to see if the publication under pressure can turn it around, by finding unique and relevant information to pass along that gives the reader enough value to pick up the paper despite reduced value.
Things like very deep stats issues (they did one, but you can get everything at nhl.com the HN offers and more), or maybe a very good prospects database (McKeen’s is out of this world with their summer issue) or something that gives me an excuse to buy their paper.
The HN’s summer edition (the big one that goes for $10 or whatever) is just out, including their list of the 10 best prospects in the system:
This is not a good list. Leaving aside the guys that some of us prospect nuts like better than the rest (Trukhno, Chorney, Hrabel), there’s O’Marra, Grebeshkov and Kyle Brodziak not on the list.
The HN used to exclude picks from the same summer in their list, waiting instead for the following summer to include them in the ranking. For instance, Jason Arnott never made an HN list because he was in the NHL in his draft season. This season, they include the three first rounders in the top 6, and passing over quality in other areas.
The HN used to be known for including guys who are more NHL ready than those with more potential as skill positions. Now, they seem to have waffled on that, too. There’s nothing you can say about a publication that like JDD’s future more than Salva Trukhno’s or Ryan O’Marra’s.
It’s a poor list. If you only buy one summer hockey magazine, make it McKeen’s. And if you buy two, make it McKeen’s and something else.