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George Zoran
Top Prospect

55 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2005 :  11:13:53  Show Profile
Taking a look back at the past twelve months is the normal exercise around this time of year. Unfortunately, this past year was one to forget for the National Hockey League. There were no playoffs to enjoy and no Stanley cup awarded for the first time since 1919 when an outbreak of the Spanish influenza caused the league to cancel the finals.

It didn’t take a flu epidemic to cancel the 2005 playoffs. All it took was 30 greedy owners and about 700 greedy players. It is an episode that we would all like to forget and we will … eventually. In order to forget the negative we must embrace the positive, so let’s take a look back at the 10 most memorable stories/moments of 2005:

10. The new collective bargaining agreement is signed – Game On!

9. The emergence of Eric Staal and Jason Spezza as the league’s new superstars – they are on the Canadian Olympic team taxi squad for Turin; their first of many to come.

8. Wayne Gretzky steps behind the bench as head coach of the Pheonix Coyotes. The Great One has turned a bad team on paper into a half decent team on the ice.

7. Arguably some of the best hockey we will see this year – The World Junior Championships have just started and with Malkin back playing for Russia, Canada at home, and the U.S. favored to win, it will not disappoint.

6. The announcement of the Canadian and US men’s Olympic teams. The build up was more exciting than the naming of the teams. No real surprises on either squad.

5. Boston trades Joe Thornton to the Sharks for Sturm, Stuart and Primeau. Most agree that the Sharks won this deal as Thornton has turned it up and the Sharks are playing well. Boston is still a bad team. Both will most likely miss the playoffs.

4. Jaromir Jagr finally deciding to play like we all knew he could. The best player in the world is playing like the true superstar he is. Enjoy.

3. It was the play of the year for hockey fans – the Marek Malik shootout goal. Did he just…? Yup.

2. Dany Heatley, Daniel Alfredsson, and Jason Spezza resembling the Oilers of old. What a great way to sell the new NHL – let these guys play together.

1. The Sidney Crosby sweepstakes - It marked the return of the NHL. Like him or not, he is the future of the game.

Let us all look forward to the 2006 Stanley Cup playoffs. Happy New Year everyone.

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