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Reflections 2009, The NHL Hockey Year in Photographs, will be a most welcome addition to their library.
There are dozens of photographs of great goals, great saves and great checks. The writing, by NHL.com's Rocky Bonanno, is excellent.
From the Naomi MacDougall-designed front cover of Andy Marlin's photograph capturing Hart Trophy and Lester B. Pearson Award winner Alexander Ovechkin celebrating one of his league-leading 56 goals, to the back cover, a dynamic Bruce Bennett shot of Martin Brodeur robbing an incredulous Rod Brind'Amour, while Brendan Shanahan and Ray Whitney look on in disbelief, Reflections 2009 captures the spirit of the exciting 2008-09 NHL season.
Nearly 150 photographs chronicle the season, including images of the sport's greatest stars. Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, the Vezina and William M. Jennings Trophy winner, blocks the net against Scott Gomez. Art Ross and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Evgeni Malkin is pictured lifting the Stanley Cup after his Pittsburgh Penguins downed the Red Wings, reversing the previous year's outcome.
Norris Trophy winner Zdeno Chara angles Eric Staal into the boards in a battle between two of the NHL's strongest players. NHL Foundation Award winner Rick Nash gets upended by Patrick Marleau. Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award winner Jarome Iginla crumples Patrick Sharp with a shoulder check.
Calder Trophy winner Steve Mason is seen battling Pascal Dupuis for a puck behind the Columbus Blue Jackets' net. ScotiaBank/NHL Fan Fav Award winner Roberto Luongo is pictured saluting the Vancouver Canucks' fans in a great shot by Jeff Vinnick.
The ceremonies for honoring the uniform numbers of former NHL stars Trevor Linden, Doug Gilmour, Wendel Clark, Pierre Pilote, Keith Magnuson, Glen Wesley, Mike Gartner, Glenn Anderson, Adam Graves and Patrick Roy are here, as is a photo of Hockey Hall of Fame inductees Igor Larionov, Ray Scapinello, Anderson and Jeff Chynoweth, the WHL team executive who accepted on behalf of his late father, Ed Chynoweth.
If you've ever spent a winter in Chicago, you know the city never looked better on a New Year's Day than it did for the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic 2009 at Wrigley Field. Over 40,000 fans looked on in the "Friendly Confines" as the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings downed the Chicago Blackhawks, 6-4, on the strength of Jiri Hudler's two goals. Hudler's second goal, beating Cristobal Huet, is featured.
Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson is the picture of concentration as he skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2008 NHL Premiere game, Oct. 5, 2008, at the Globe Arena in Stockholm.
You'll undoubtedly pick one of these pictures as your favorite, perhaps the solo shot of Teppo Numminen as he skated onto the ice for opening night in Buffalo last season. Numminen missed the previous season with a heart ailment but returned for one final season last year. No European has played more NHL games than Numminen, who retired at season's end.
Other departed NHL players seen in Reflections 2009 include Mats Sundin scoring his first goal as a member of the Vancouver Canucks, and longtime Boston Bruins left wing P.J. Axelsson celebrating a goal with Chara.
John Russell's photo on page 18 perfectly captures the differing pre-game approaches between Nashville Predators starting goalie Dan Ellis and his backup, Pekka Rinne. Ellis is caught, head down, eyes closed, in contemplation of what lies ahead, while Rinne hasn't broken a sweat and probably won't.
Phoenix Coyotes players Zbynek Michalek, Kurt Sauer, Brandon Prust and Viktor Tikhonov form a seemingly impenetrable wall in front of their goalie in another great shot.
A photo of Penguins captain Sidney Crosby and team owner Mario Lemieux holding the Stanley Cup reminds you that Crosby, by age 21, won the 2007 Art Ross and Hart trophies and captain his team to the 2009 Stanley Cup.
The final photo in Reflections 2009 is traditional. It shows the 2009 Stanley Cup-winning Pittsburgh Penguins arrayed on the ice, surrounding the Stanley Cup.
Reflections 2009 is an art book as well as a single-season, pictorial history book. The photographs nearly fill each 8 3/4-by-11 1/2 inch page and there is no text on those pages. The captions for the photographs are contained in four pages at the back of the book.
Reflections 2009, The NHL Hockey Year In Photographs, is a joint production of the NHL and the NHL Players' Association, together with Getty Images, NHL Images and Greystone Books, for the benefit of Hockey Fights Cancer. To date, more than $10 million has been raised and donated by Hockey Fights Cancer and a portion of the proceeds from this book also will be donated.
There are plenty of ways to find Reflections 2009 -- at NHL.com, at many team stores in their arenas, at the NHL Powered by Reebok Store on Sixth Avenue in New York City, and in many fine bookstores.
Author: John McGourty | NHL.com Staff Writer