Best of the Nation – 12.2.12

After the jump, the answer to every question you’ve ever had. Provided, of course, that "every question you’ve ever had" relates to the NHL’s return to Winnipeg, the true meaning of "one billion dollars," which NHL prospect got caught drunk and in a Teletubby costume, or something else that’s answered in one of the excellent links below.

Has the NHL’s return to Winnipeg been a success? If judged solely by financial return, the answer would seem to be, “Yes, Yes, YES, YES, YESS!! [Jets Nation]

The Leafs are worth “one billion” dollars. For those of you unfamiliar with these new-fangled “dollars”, Steve Dangle is here to convert the Leafs value into something more concrete and easy to understand, like the number of Eggo waffles one would need to collect to trade for the team, or how many times the team could have purchased the State of Alaska if they had a time machine to go to 1867 (though if they had a time machine, I’m betting they’d settle for one century less than that). [Leafs Nation]

The NHL has 47 days to make a deal. 46… 45… 44… 43…42… 41… 40. Time is running out. [Oilers Nation]

Can we predict how much ice-time a forward will get next season? Ben Wendorf goes into some serious detail on this question. [NHL Numbers]

Zone starts and Manny Malhotra. The combination of Manny Malhotra and Alain Vigneault in Vancouver is the NHL’s best example of a coach using a player in a specialized role (unless, of course, you’re one of the few who has no clue that this is going on). In 2011-12, Malhotra’s role was specialized even further – he is the premium defensive zone forward in the league, and it really isn’t even close. Has Vigneault gone too far with this strategy? [Canucks Army]

The best goalies in the NHL. Look, here’s James Reimer… stop laughing… seriously, I have math… Fine. You’re right. He doesn’t belong on this list. [Leafs Nation]

Random thoughts: Crazy mediators and drunken prospects. There has been plenty of nasty news – both lockout and non-lockout related in the last week – but it did give us something valuable: a federal mediator with a Sarah Silverman obsession and a legitimate NHL prospect caught driving drunk while wearing a Teletubby costume. Doesn’t get much better than that. [Flames Nation]

Top-25 Under 25: Atlantic Division. Which team in the Atlantic has the best young talent in its system? [NHL Numbers]

Should Ryan Nugent-Hopkins represent Canada at the World Juniors or stay in Oklahoma? Some may believe that Oklahoma is the best choice, development-wise, but realistically a few weeks isn’t going to make a huge difference and given that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, the choice seems obvious. [Oilers Nation]

Speaking of the World Juniors… Is Laurent Brossoit the solution to Canada’s problems in net of the past few years? [Flames Nation]

A really good read on Ben Scrivens. It’s Leafs-specific, but the general point of this piece is broadly applicable to every single team in the league, and shows one of the difficulties with valuing goaltenders. [Leafs Nation]

Where are NCAA players taken in the NHL Draft? Looking at the draft day tendencies of NHL teams scouting the U.S. college system. [NHL Numbers]

And finally, Graphic Comments:

Check out the full Graphic Comments post at Canucks Army for a complete take on how the NHLPA is starting to crack under pressure.

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