Last year, the playoff run by the resurgent Blackhawks, lead by a talented young core including cover athletes Marian Hossa, Cristobel Huet, Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, was one of the most compelling stories in hockey. But after a summer of woes – failing to re-sign top players Nikolai Khabibulin and Martin Havlat, the firing of GM Dale Tallon, Patrick Kane’s legal troubles and Hossa’s unfortunate rotator cuff injury – many are wondering if the young team is back to square one. In “Winded City?,” in the new issue of ESPN The Magazine on sale now, writer Lindsay Berra takes a look at what the Hawks have on their plate this fall, including their chances of rebounding—again.
Additional NHL preview features include, Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin? Writer Eric Adelson seeks to answer what hockey fans have been debating for years – and The Magazine’s NHL Power Rankings. All 30 teams are ranked according to shootouts, injury, defense, goaltending, 5-on-5 and more to create a scientific prognostication of which teams are dominant and which teams are desperate.
In his third column for The Magazine, “Player X,” an anonymous NFL star, gives rookie players a veteran’s perspective on hazing.
- “Believe it or not, though, there’s a purpose to this idiotic stuff: It’s an initiation into a culture of respect for the men who played before you…We want to see how you respond when things get unpredictable, when the tension is high. Because that’s life in the NFL.”
- “Every team has its bullies, the guys who enjoy pushing people around just to see how far they can take it. When I was a rookie, I didn’t resent it. I just treated it as part of the game.”
ADDITIONAL FEATURES IN THE NFL PREVIEW:
THIS NUTCRACKER ISN’T A BALLET. They may call him Crazy Eyes, but Mike Singletary has the Niners seeing the sanity of back-to-basics football. Chris Jones reports.
LIGHTS, CAMERA, KEMP! Matt Kemp has wowed Dodger fans all season. For those who slept, don’t worry. He’s saving something special for October. Eric Neel reports.
THE WATCH LIST. ESPN’s 30th anniversary “30 for 30” series of original sports documentaries kicks off soon. They can only hope to be as powerful as these 10 all-timers. Eric Neel reports.
DESTINATION 2010. It’s been a grueling road for the U.S. soccer team. How do we know? The Magazine tagged along to two of its qualifiers. Luke Cyphers reports.
SECOND CHANCE U. Johnnie Cole lures blue-chip talent to Texas Southern with a simple plan. Take hard-luck transfers from big-time schools and wipe the slate clean. Carmen Renee Thompson reports.