NHL.com has presented a weekly Sunday Long Read since the start of the season in October. If you have missed any of the in-depth stories, please take the time to catch up with them here.
Mike Modano, with his chiseled face, blond locks, flapping jersey, incredible skill and all-American soul, was, and still is, the perfect guy to sell hockey in Texas. Twenty years after the Minnesota North Stars became the Dallas Stars, Modano remains the one and only face of the NHL's franchise in the Lone Star State.
Neil Smith was sure of two things when he began his day on March 21, 1994: His New York Rangers were atop the NHL standings, and they weren't good enough to win the Stanley Cup. There was a third thing: With the NHL Trade Deadline hours away, he had work to do.
The Chicago Blackhawks have risen from the depths of the NHL to become one of its premier franchises. After years of playing to small crowds and being an afterthought for much of the city, the Blackhawks have seized Chicago's attention with the arrival of generational players Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, a much more fan-friendly approach to marketing the club and, of course, success.
Neal Broten said he doesn't keep up with the game and at no point has given the faintest thought to pursuing a career as a coach, scout or executive. One of America's most influential hockey players lives without a hint of ego or pretension, and he couldn't be happier.
Sidney Crosby etched his mark in Canadian lore, into the annals of international hockey history, when he scored in overtime of the gold-medal game of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics against the United States on Feb. 28, 2010. This is the story of how Canada got to the top of the medal stand and what it has meant since, told by the characters who participated in this real-life drama.
Despite more than 1,200 regular-season and 136 Stanley Cup Playoff games coached, Ken Hitchcock doesn't view his position as a job. He compares what he does to a favorite pastime.
With proof New York City is ruefully underserved when it comes to ice sports, Kevin Parker's ambitions grew, as did the team assembled to chase those ambitions. Mark Messier, a friend of Parker's from serving on a charity board, joined the effort. An area legend since he captained the New York Rangers to their first Stanley Cup in 54 years in 1994, the Hockey Hall of Fame member lent legitimacy and visibility to the project.
Twenty-five years after the arrival of Wayne Gretzky in Los Angeles, NHL rosters are spotted with California born-and-trained players, and more are in the pipeline.
Since arriving in South Korea via China at age 21, Hwangbo Young has become one of Asia's most successful and influential women's hockey players. Hers is a story that doesn't get told often in a country where ice hockey is far from the most popular sport.
With a little help from the massive annual spectacle that is the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, many modern players are discovering the joy of the outdoor game.
The list of players who made Grand Forks, N.D., site of the 2005 International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Championship, one of the most memorable tournaments in history should be among the participants who will make the 2014 Sochi Olympics arguably the most competitive Olympic hockey tournament since NHL players officially began competition in the Games in 1998.
Melissa Samoskevich left Sandy Hook, Conn., a little more than a year before her village would change forever, packing her hockey bag and heading for Shattuck-St. Mary's, a school that has earned a well-deserved reputation for producing world-class players.
There was no way former NHL player Craig Johnson to know it at the time, but his decision paved the road for a high school hockey program in California to make history a few years later.
The 1996 World Cup was a milestone USA Hockey has been building on ever since in international tournaments at home and abroad.
The individual rivalry between Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals has defined an era, and a team rivalry that was once great and soon could be again.
For the NHL, a flight of fancy from a group of beer drinkers provided the impetus for the outdoor-game boom that has shaped the past decade for the League.
The strategy for rebuilding an NHL team is simple, but not easy to execute: Strip down the roster, lose enough to collect high draft picks, develop those picks and the other choices/prospects who have been collected -- and be patient.
The love affair between the city of Winnipeg and its hockey team was rekindled in 2011 when the Atlanta Thrashers announced the organization was moving to become the second iteration of the Jets for the start of the 2011-12 season.
Though some athletes today have entourages befitting rock stars and attitudes suggesting they're bigger than the game, Bobby Orr has never basked in being Bobby Orr. Instead, he's been hockey's version of John Lennon, brilliant but purposefully in the shadows, a thoughtful yet unassuming icon.
The dichotomy between starting a young player in the NHL or letting him grow at the junior level is again shining a light on the inexact science of player development that executives grapple with on an annual basis.
The economics of goaltending in the NHL have changed a lot since 1998, dramatically in recent seasons. The League is entering an era of unparalleled contract security at the position.