If you need any more proof about the improbable magnetism of hockey, there’s this: the last taste of the sport we got was an almost perfunctory Stanley Cup-winning goal from a fairly anonymous defenceman who plays in a market where palm trees outnumber hockey sticks. And yet that’s been enough to leave us salivating for more, for 118 long days. That ends tonight. We may have relished in summer, but the winter of our contentment is about to get under way. Get ready with our in-depth coverage of the National Hockey League:
INSIDE THE NHL
DION PHANEUF IS THE CROSS-BEARER.
They loved him, at first. But Leaf fans are desperate for wins.
MAX DOMI IS THE PRODIGAL SON.
His dad was a notorious enforcer. But the kid’s a pure scorer.
GRAHAM SKILLITER IS THE OFFICIAL.
The NHL had one open spot for a new referee this season. He earned it.
WILLIE DESJARDINS IS THE COACH
All he does is win. His next stop? The moribund Canucks.
KYLE DUBAS IS THE GEEK.
Hockey loves its traditions. But the analytics nerds are coming.
SAM BENNETT IS THE FUTURE.
The Flames rookie has longed to be a star. He may have to wait just a bit longer.
MANNY MALHOTRA IS THE COMEBACK KID.
He nearly lost his sight. Now all he’s eyeing is a return to form.
MAPPED: NHL PLAYERS BY PROVINCE
New Brunswick, step up your NHL game.
MAPPED: TWEETS ABOUT HOCKEY OR CHURCH
Which parts of Canada see hockey as truly a religion?
THE NEW HOCKEY FIGHTS
How parents (and their lawyers) are killing minor hockey.