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Sunday Long Read

Six WHL prospects to watch

Scouts assess 2017 NHL Draft candidates

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

The 2017 NHL Draft is three months away (June 23-24 in Chicago), and the full-time scouts at NHL Central Scouting are hard at work.

In addition to charting players within their respective regions throughout the course of the season, two of those scouts, David Gregory and Matt Ryan recently took a 13-day trip through the Western Hockey League to evaluate the top prospects available in the area.

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Sunday Long Read

On road with NHL Central Scouting

Inside look at League's well-traveled talent evaluators in action

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

REGINA, Saskatchewan -- David Gregory and Matt Ryan of NHL Central Scouting arrived in the lobby of their hotel with no time to spare.

Gregory, who had just driven 225 miles here in just under four hours from Brandon, Manitoba, approached the receptionist, provided identification, got his room key and asked, "When does the kitchen close?" She responded, "Fifteen minutes."

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Sunday Long Read

Montreal spotlight can be positive, negative

Current, former Canadiens players, coaches discuss pressure of performing in 'hockey heaven'

by Arpon Basu @ArponBasu / LNH.com Senior Managing Editor

MONTREAL -- Twenty-four.

It is a symbolic number in Montreal for two reasons: It is the number of Stanley Cup championships the Montreal Canadiens have won in their 107-year history that predates the NHL, and it is also the number of years since they last won the Cup in 1993.

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Sunday Long Read

Phil Esposito, Tony Esposito share stories, laughs

Brothers, Hall of Famers discuss memories from childhood, NHL, beyond

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

TAMPA -- So where do you begin with brothers Phil Esposito and Tony Esposito, the Hockey Hall of Famers who are sitting in a quiet corner of a hotel restaurant, spinning one fabulous yarn after another for 90 minutes?

You could start with the adolescent joyride they took in their hometown of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario; two teenage boys, neither with a driver's license, tooling up and down the main drag in their father's nearly new 1956 Mercury Monarch, cruising for girls with their baby sister, Terry, howling in the back seat because Phil had accidentally safety-pinned her cloth diaper to her skin.

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Sunday Long Read

40 years later, Hanson Brother embraces 'Slap Shot'

Life after classic film not always easy for former NHL player Steve Carlson

by Shawn P. Roarke @SRoarke_NHL / NHL.com Director of Editorial

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Becoming one of the Hanson Brothers was easy for Steve Carlson.

Then a 20-year-old free spirit, he was suited for his role in the cult-classic film "Slap Shot."

Remaining Steve Hanson for the past 40 years has been a bit more difficult.

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Sunday Long Read

Beanpot has truly stirring history

Key figures share memories of storied Boston college hockey tournament

by Amalie Benjamin @AmalieBenjamin / NHL.com Staff Writer

EDITOR'S NOTE: Each February, TD Garden in Boston is the site of the traditional showdown between four of the city's college hockey programs: Boston College, Boston University, Harvard and Northeastern. With the 65th edition of the tournament having been completed this past Monday, NHL.com takes you through the rich history of the event, from its inception through another memorable finish this year, with participants reflecting on the highs, lows and oh-so-predictable snowstorms that make up Beanpot lore.  

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Sunday Long Read

Greg Devorski details life as NHL linesman

Longtime official tells of preparation, travel, adrenaline rush

by Tim Campbell @TimNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

Editor's note: The life of an on-ice NHL official can be both thrilling and a grind. It involves pregame rituals, extensive travel and, believe it or not, coming up with creative ways to do laundry.

There is plenty of unseen work to do before and after games, and little glory.

NHL.com spent time with linesman Greg Devorski at three games in January to get an inside look at the life of an NHL official.

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Sunday Long Read

For Wayne Gretzky, history is hockey's cornerstone

'The Great One' reflects on sport's past, his place in it, as NHL100 event nears

by Lisa Dillman @reallisa / NHL.com Staff Writer

Wayne Gretzky is keenly aware there will be considerable debate Friday, and presumably for much longer, when the League unveils the rest of the 100 Greatest NHL Players.

Given that pitched arguments break out whenever people compare hockey dynasties and eras, it is also a given that emotions will be shaken and stirred about the inclusion or exclusion of a favorite player on such a list

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Sunday Long Read

Hockey legends enjoy legendary night

NHL.com goes behind the scenes at New Year's Eve dinner honoring League's greats

by Dave Stubbs @Dave_Stubbs / NHL.com Columnist

TORONTO -- The photographs had been taken behind the closed doors of a hotel conference room on New Year's Eve shortly after 7 p.m., the fabulous stories bouncing around as crazily as a warm puck.

And now these five hockey icons were preparing to walk down the hallway with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to a dinner being held in their honor, and that of 28 more of the League's greatest players of all time.

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Sunday Long Read

Greater Toronto Hockey League: Where NHL dreams begin

Youth program in home of Centennial Classic has helped make Maple Leafs what they are today

by Nicholas J. Cotsonika @cotsonika / NHL.com Columnist

TORONTO -- The game is over. The rink is quiet. Cody Morgan comes out wearing a business suit and a Toronto Junior Canadiens toque. He greets his parents, drops his equipment bag and sits at a picnic table in the lobby. His body, finally, for a few minutes, is at rest. But his heart and mind are still going hockey, hockey, hockey.

When he was younger, his father would take him to see the older kids play. Morgan saw Max Domi, Sam Bennett, Robby Fabbri, Connor McDavid and Mitchell Marner play in the Greater Toronto Hockey League.

Now he's 15, a top prospect himself with the Junior Canadiens in the GTHL. He sees those older kids he watched so recently in the NHL already: Domi with the Arizona Coyotes at 21; Bennett with the Calgary Flames and Fabbri with the St. Louis Blues at 20; McDavid with the Edmonton Oilers and Marner with the Toronto Maple Leafs at 19.

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