Best of the Nation – 12.30.12

Jonathan Willis
December 30 2012 09:00AM

We're now in the thick of the holiday season and there's no NHL hockey, but there's still lots to talk about. The league made a new CBA offer this week, the World Juniors and Spengler Cup are on, and the Toronto Maple Leafs continue to butcher the handling of their top young players.

A new offer from the NHL. Jason Gregor breaks down the league’s latest proposal. [Oilers Nation]

Five things the NHL can do to win fans back. Note: not one of these things is “paint ‘Thank You, Fans!’” on the ice. [Flames Nation]

Nazem Kadri takes elbow to head, plays on ensuing power play. Then, later in the game he is removed from the lineup for “headaches” and subsequently sat out for the team’s road trip. This is the second case – Jake Gardiner, earlier in the year, was the last one – of the Toronto Marlies letting a highly valuable prospect continue to play after taking a serious blow to the head. This follows a long track record of similarly ignoring injuries. It is incredibly stupid to keep playing star prospects in meaningless minor league games after they’ve taken big blows to the head; there’s simply no other way to describe it. Yay, Toronto. [Leafs Nation]

Nail Yakupov adds spark to the World Juniors. Do Canadians play “dirty”? Nail Yakupov thinks so, while Don Cherry goes off on some meaningless tangent about ungrateful Russians. [Oilers Nation]

How to rebuild the Calgary Flames: a four year plan. Rex Libris wanders over to Flames Nation and writes a multi-part series on a long-term overhaul of Calgary’s team:

Talent show. The top-10 draft eligible players to keep an eye on at this year’s World Juniors. [Oilers Nation]

The bitter pill of NHL fandom. It’s been an ugly few months for hockey fans. [Canucks Army]

Fun stories with Nail Yakupov and Alex Galchenyuk. Exactly what it sounds like. [Oilers Nation]

Hey, jealousy! Jason Strudwick doesn’t get jealous all that often, but he wishes he was playing in the Spengler Cup this year. [Oilers Nation]

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 gongshow
December 30 2012, 09:20AM
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Thanks for another great year of articles JW. Hopefully, you guys have some more upbeat NHL material to write about in 2013. Happy New year.

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#2 RexLibris
December 30 2012, 10:34AM
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Is there some cynical juxtaposition at play in an article about the Best of the Nations featuring a picture of Fehr and Bettman?

I hadn't heard about Kadri. That can't be good news. Baertschi has been sitting out quite a spell of games in Abbotsford lately as well due to concussion/neck issues.

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