The Best of the Nation – 10.14.12

Jonathan Willis
October 14 2012 10:03AM

Across the Nations this week: the fantasy world some bloggers are living in, what the lockout is doing to careers, the value of a starting goalie, full team previews for every club in the NHL, how a trade 25 years ago is still powering the Pittsburgh Penguins, and much more.

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Chicago Wolves Take Two Points in Season Opener

Thomas Drance
October 13 2012 11:17PM


Eddie Lack was often the 1st star for the Chicago Wolves last season, and he was again tonight.

It wasn't always pretty, actually with the exception of the shootout it was downright difficult to watch, but the Canucks' AHL affiliate the Chicago Wolves won their home-opener on Saturday night over the Rockford IceHogs.

The Wolves deserved the win in Saturday's game, as they out-chanced their opponent 24-14 and 19-12 at even-strength. Until the shootout, however, the Wolves were unable to get to Icehogs' netminder Carter Hutton, who was dynamite through sixty-five minutes, before being beaten soundly by three of four Wolves shooters in the skill competition.

Read on past the jump for a full recap (with a focus on the Canucks' prospects, of course).

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Wolves season preview: Interview with Chicago hockey writer Paul Latour

Patrick Johnston
October 13 2012 05:25PM


Is it really that funny, Eddie? (Chris Jerina/AHL in Photos)

The AHL kicks off this weekend, and the rosters league wide are swollen by a surplus of talent thanks to the NHL lockout. For the Chicago Wolves, their lineup has been bolstered by the likes of Zack Kassian and Chris Tanev, two players who were penciled in as regulars in the Canucks' lineup. Players on the cusp of 'making it,' like Jordan Schroeder, Eddie Lack and Kevin Connauton are also in Chicago, making for an intriguing fall season for the Chicago Wolves.

All five players are keen to make an impression on their bosses, wanting to show that they don't need any more seasoning and that their NHL-time is now.

To set up tonight's season opener for the Wolves, Paul LaTour joins us to share his thoughts. LaTour covers the Wolves for the Chicago Tribune and has as good a feel for the Allstate Arena-based squad as anyone in the Chicagoland area.

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Game Day Preview: Game #2 Oilers @ Canucks

Thomas Drance
October 13 2012 02:31PM

In an ideal world, Canucks fans would be spending this afternoon excited about the team's home opener against the upstart (but realistically still moribund) squad known as the Edmonton Oilers. Tonight's game would've marked Nail Yakupov's NHL debut, and Canucks fans surely would have cheered deliriously every time a Canucks forward dumped the puck into Justin Schultz's corner and lined him up for a big hit. Also, it would've been hilarious to hear the Rogers Arena faithful chant "Seatt-le! Seatt-le" all game long.

Instead, of course, there's no NHL hockey tonight. But all is not lost, there's plenty of other things that might occupy your time this Saturday evening! Let's explore some options after the jump.

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Alternative Reality: The $20 Million Man?

Jeff Angus
October 13 2012 10:59AM

What would have happened if Mats Sundin had agreed to the original two-year, $20 million contract offer from Mike Gillis and the Canucks back in July of 2008? A lot, apparently....

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