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Past and Present Players: Kyle Turris and Steve Yzerman posted on 01/03/2008
In the second installment of my Past and Present National Hockey League player comparisons, I'll take a look at two B.C. boys with the make-up and toolset that any coach in the right mind would want on their team.

New Westminster, British Columbia is about a nine and a half hour and 953.72 km drive to Cranbrook, British Columbia. It is a long and grueling ride in which you would pass many different cities on the way including Seattle and Spokane from below the 49th parallel. Cranbrook has been already put on the map by ten-time National Hockey League all-star Steve Yzerman. And if it hasn’t already, New Westminster will soon too be put on the map by a nineteen year-old NHL prospect who wears number nineteen in honor of Steve Yzerman, who is listed as his all-time favorite player.

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The Best Player Ever? posted on 12/27/2007
He’s no Maurice Richard, he’s no Wayne Gretzky, he’s no Mario Lemieux, he’s no Bobby Orr and he’s no Sidney Crosby, but could he be the greatest player of all time? In wake of Nicklas Lidstrom’s 2 year contract extension which should keep him in “Hockey Town USA” through the 2009-10 season, I’ll take a look at several reasons why the native of Västerås, Sweden should at least be considered as one the greatest players in the history of the National Hockey League.

During his illustrious 15-year tenure, Lidstrom has won three Stanley Cups, countless NHL awards and has been voted into the NHL All-Star game a whopping nine times. Lidstrom has won the Norris Trophy (awarded to the league’s top defenseman) 5 times, and was the first European born player to bring home the hardware. In addition, Lidstrom was the first European born player in the NHL to win the Conn Smythe Trophy (awarded to the playoff MVP), which he did in the 2001-2002 season. The list of Lidstrom’s accomplishments goes on and on and in all honesty, I could probably write a two-page essay simply listing all the awards he has won and all the records he holds to date however; that is not the purpose of this blog posting.

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Past and Present Players: Sidney Crosby and Wayne Gretzky posted on 12/20/2007
In the first installment of my Past and Present National Hockey League player comparisons, I'll take a look at two forwards with non-traditional hockey numbers, who took the league by storm in their respective eras.

Only seven players have reached the 100 point benchmark in their rookie season, only five players have represented the Canadian National Junior team at the age of 16, only two players have been among the Time Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People, and only two players have been deemed the saviors of the National Hockey League in their respective eras. If you haven’t figured it out already, I speak of the “Great One,” number 99, Wayne Gretzky, and the “Next One,” number 87, Sidney Crosby.

Wayne Gretzky, the native of Brantford Ontario, is widely considered to be the greatest National Hockey League player of all time. He set 40 regular-season records, 15 playoff records, 6 All-Star records, won four Stanley Cups with the Edmonton Oilers, and won 9 MVP awards and 10 scoring titles. While Sidney Crosby, who hails from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, doesn’t have a trophy case just as illustrious as Wayne’s just yet, he is in the process of writing a script that will in all likelihood land him a comfortable spot next to the “Great One” in the Hockey Hall of Fame. In almost every opposing city that Crosby visits, half the fans in the building come to watch the home team while the other half usually come to catch a glimpse of Crosby in person. No player has ever had such an everlasting positive effect on the game since Gretzky, and Crosby is barely out of his teenager years!

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A Sweet-ish Beginning Marks a Not So Sweet-ish End posted on 12/19/2007
Swedish rookie sensation Alexander Edler has recently adopted the nickname “Mini-Ohlie” courtesy of his teammates in Vancouver. They claim that Edler’s play on the ice coupled with his demeanor off it, are indistinguishable to that of Mattias Ohlund, thus the nickname “Mini Ohlie.” But putting aside their uncanny equal height and weight of 6’3” and 220 Ibs, their similar birthplaces in small municipalities of Sweden (Östersund for Edler and Piteå for Ohlund) and their interchangeable Swedish accents which stress the letter “s,” Alexander Edler and Mattias Ohlund are no more alike than Sidney Crosby and Donald Brashear.

Alexander Edler displays maturity far beyond his fresh age of 21, and has a calming effect on not only his teammates, but also the fans whenever he touches the puck. Edler’s composure and excellent ability to read the ice, ala Nicklas Lidstrom, allows him to constantly make the right plays as he seldom finds himself out of position. If Edler keeps up his consistent play from the back end, the Calder Trophy (awarded to the league’s most outstanding rookie) should be a distinct possibility.

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