Last Word on Hockey

Vegas Golden Knights' chance to do something special starts now

On October 1, 58 people were killed and over 500 injured when a gunman opened fire on a country music concert on the Las Vegas Strip. The disaster ranks as the worst shooting in United States history. It eclipsed the 49 killed at an Orlando, Florida nightclub last year. It is the worst tragedy in the history of Nevada, and the city of Las Vegas. The tragedy has nothing to do with sports; however, sports and tragedies have been inextricably linked over the years. A community rallying around the
Last Word on Hockey

Was Ken Hitchcock the right hire for Dallas?

A year after finishing first in the Western Conference, the Dallas Stars were barely recognisable last season, crashing from 109 to 78 points and not surprisingly, out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The collapse resulted in head coach Lindy Ruff not being invited back for a fifth season, replaced by 65-year-old Ken Hitchcock, who took Dallas to their only Stanley Cup triumph, in 1999. Hitchcock spent 50 games of last year coaching the St. Louis Blues before being fired, and had planned to retire
Last Word on Hockey

Will Chicago Resist Temptation of Alex DeBrincat?

Not since 2007 has there been this much excitement among the Chicago Blackhawks over a teenager who is still a long shot to start the season in the NHL. Back then it was Patrick Kane. Now it’s Alex DeBrincat. Listed at 5’7″ and 165 pounds, the 19-year-old forward recently helped the Erie Otters to an OHL title. He is unequivocally Chicago’s most exciting prospect. At the team’s annual training camp festival on Saturday (sold out, I might add), he impressed at left wing alongside captain Jonath
Last Word on Hockey

Philadelphia Flyers Leaving Claude Giroux Behind

“When the best player in the world comes up to you and tells you, ‘I don’t know who you’re planning on starting tonight, but I want that first shift’, that says everything.” This was said of Claude Giroux by former Philadelphia Flyers Head Coach Peter Laviolette after the monstrous 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals Game 6 put in by his captain. Giroux scored the opening goal of the game in his opening shift, his sixth for the playoffs, crunching fellow “worldy” Sidney Crosby with a huge hit
Last Word on Hockey

Puck Drop Preview: 2017-18 Chicago Blackhawks

Welcome to Puck Drop Preview 2017-18, where LastWordOnHockey.com gives you a detailed look at each team from around the NHL leading to the start of this hockey season and offers our insight and analysis. Make sure to stick around until the end of the series, where we’ll offer our full predictions for the standings in each division, and eventually our 2017-18 Stanley Cup pick. You can check out all our articles on our Puck Drop Page. Today the series continues with the 2017-18 Chicago Blackhawks.
Last Word on Hockey

Does Travis Green Have Time?

In his first four months as an NHL head coach, without a puck having yet been dropped, new Vancouver Canucks mentor Travis Green seems to be preparing his employers for what they may be in for the foreseeable future. “I’m not sitting up here saying, ‘We’re going to win the Stanley Cup next year’, but we’re going to get better. We’re going to start the process of building the right culture,” he said, in his very first press conference as head coach in Vancouver. Perhaps it was a brave thing to
Last Word on Hockey

Starting Six: Chicago Blackhawks All-Time Lineup

The Starting Six series comes to you to dive into the best player at each position all-time for every organization. The biggest and best at each position, with the most memorable moments in franchise history. Here is the Chicago Blackhawks all-time lineup. Obvious to Chicago fans would be the agonising over whether Tony Esposito or Glenn Hall gets this distinguished spot as the Blackhawks’ all-time goaltender. Both boast formidable resumes; Esposito featured in the NHL’s First All-Star Team thr
Last Word on Hockey

Stan Bowman has the Chicago Blackhawks Flying in a Different Direction

The Chicago Blackhawks were hosting the 2017 NHL Entry Draft in their building, the United Centre. Perhaps Chicago’s vice-president and general manager Stan Bowman forgot that, when, just hours before the commencement of the annual talent dispersion, he traded away two of the team’s most popular players. The same day that Bowman decided to move three-time Stanley Cup Champion defenceman Niklas Hjalmarsson and talented young winger Artemi Panarin; he had to front the Chicago locals on the podium
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Will Nolan Patrick come back to haunt the New Jersey Devils?

The first overall pick in the NHL Entry Draft is a funny thing. In a year like this, all the Philadelphia Flyers (picking 2nd) have to do is select whomever the New Jersey Devils (picking 1st) do not. The privilege New Jersey have been gifted also carries great responsibility. They used the honour of their franchise’s first ever Number 1 pick to select Swiss centre Nico Hischier out of the Halifax Mooseheads. In a class possessing no real knockout Number 1 prospect, such as Auston Matthews and
Last Word on Hockey

Chicago Blackhawks Defence Undergoing Significant Overhaul

On Wednesday, the news came that the Chicago Blackhawks had added highly sought after Czech free agent defenseman Jan Rutta. The 26-year-old blue liner signed a one-year deal with Chicago for $925,000. It also carries almost $500,000 in potential bonuses. That same day, reports also filed through that retired former NHLer Ulf Samuelsson was to sign with the Blackhawks as an assistant coach. He takes over the defensive and blue line duties of the fired Mike Kitchen. Defence and penalty kill were
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