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fastest skater

Made possible by Lexus.

You don’t make the highest level of professional hockey without being a high-end skater. It’s generally well accepted that it’s skating the separates the minor leagues from the bigs, and the players that fans tend to think aren’t good skaters – Douglas Murray, Ryan Smyth, Hal Gill, and Colton Orr come to mind – are better skaters than your average hockey player by miles (the biggest difference tends to be balance). The current speed of the game throws context all out of whack.

So to be able watch NHL games and notice players that are quite clearly faster than others is a real compliment to those exceptional few.

With the 2013-14 NHL season taking shape it seemed like the right time to pay homage to the 10 most exceptional skaters in the NHL today, from household names to burgeoning stars. In the interest of narrowing down the list, we went with straight-up speed as our focus.

From the top:

#10 Mason Raymond

Mason Raymond

Mason Raymond might be the most pure north-south skater on this list. It’s not that he’s not great at the east-west stuff, he’s just a machine built for a drag race, not NASCAR. Which is to say, if the 10 players on this list were to hop on a frozen river and race for 500 feet or so, there’s a good chance his nose is in the mix at the finish line.

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Win money playing fantasy hockey

Two words: Backhand Shelf

Made possible by Draftstreet.

The National Hockey League season is still in its infancy, but if you took the exclusive opportunity that Draftstreet offered last week, you’re already a seasoned pro at daily fantasy hockey competitions.

Sadly, all the experience in the world wouldn’t have allowed us to crack the top ten in last week’s competition, at least not with Mikkel Boedker on our roster. We ended up finishing 69th out of 1,341 competitors.

Not bad, but our 42.7 points paled in comparison to the winner’s score of 57.5. We overpaid for Sidney Crosby, who didn’t dominate like he’s capable. Games like these are all about finding bargains, and our best value was found in Lee Stempniak who had eight shots on net and Marc Staal who had a power play goal. It was a valiant effort, but not quite enough.

Hopefully, you fared better, but if not, don’t fret. Draftstreet is once again extending an exclusive offer to theScore readers that will allow you entry into a $500 contest by selecting a fantasy team for Saturday’s NHL action. Your entry in the contest – if you use this link – is absolutely free.

Just as before, there are guaranteed cash prizes for the top 50 entrants, including $100 for first place. All for free.

Selecting a team is incredibly simple. You’re given a $100,000 salary cap, and each player is assigned a price by DraftStreet. You select a roster of players to cover these positions: 1 Goalie, 2 Right Wing, 2 Left Wing, 2 Center, 2 Defensemen and 1 Flex. Once you’ve selected a roster for the coming week’s action, you receive points based on how the players on your team perform. The teams with the most points get the prize money. It’s just like a regular fantasy league, only you’re not stuck with bad decisions from a single draft.

Here’s how our team is shaping up this week:

We went with a roster full of guys with typically high shot totals, while buying low on defense and hoping for the best with Henrik Lundqvist in net. If you think you can do better than this, make sure your roster is submitted by Saturday October 12th, 2013, at 11 AM ET. You have until then to create a winning team.

Every week over $20,000 is won playing fantasy Hockey on DraftStreet. To get in on the money, all you have to do is follow these three steps:

1.  Sign up at Draftstreet;

2.  Pick your favorite NHL players; and

3.  Finish in the top 50 entrants.

Best of luck from theScore and Draftstreet.

Win money playing fantasy hockey

Made possible by Draftstreet.

The sound of skate blades on ice, like the voice of a loved one, is unmistakable. Carbon and chrome meet ice in a repeated collision. It results in a crashing, clanging noise with a recognizable rhythm that signifies progress. Moving with a puck toward a net. Moving with intent toward the opposition. It’s the sound of scores and hits. It’s the foreshadowing of the sport’s most exciting elements.

Forgive the flowery writing. We’re all a little bit excited around here because it’s back. The puck dropped on the NHL regular season Tuesday night, and the hockey season is once again upon us. The enthusiasm that the opening of the NHL season prompts in its fans is almost childlike, reminiscent of the times playing road hockey, telling our friends what player we would be impersonating during the impromptu game.

If we still play pick-up games or rec league hockey, informing our linemates what current player we’re pretending to be would likely cause dead stares looking back at us. We’re a bit older now, and instead of pretending to be NHL players, we pretend to be general managers of NHL players. Of course, that’s what fantasy hockey is all about – owning and managing your own team.

Now, imagine if a current GM had the opportunity to switch up his entire team night-to-night and dress any player he wanted in the NHL. He’d jump at the opportunity, and that’s why we hope you’ll do the same with this chance.

Right now, Draftstreet is extending an exclusive offer to theScore readers that will allow you entry into a $500 contest by selecting a fantasy team for Thursday night’s NHL action. Your entry in the contest – if you use this link – is absolutely free.

There are guaranteed cash prizes for the top 50 entrants, including $100 for first place. All for free.

Selecting a team is completely intuitive and incredibly simple. You’re given a $100,000 salary cap, and each player is assigned a price by DraftStreet. You select a roster of players to cover these positions: 1 Goalie, 2 Right Wing, 2 Left Wing, 2 Center, 2 Defensemen and 1 Flex. Once you’ve selected a roster for the coming week’s action, you receive points based on how the players on your team perform. The teams with the most points get the prize money. It’s just like a regular fantasy league, only you’re not stuck with bad decisions from a single draft. Next time you enter a competition – whether it’s daily or weekly – you’re completely free to select new players.

Here’s how our team is shaping up:

hockeyfantasy

We went top heavy with Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Milan Lucic, which meant we had to take a chance on Tim Thomas picking up where he left off and not experiencing too much rink rust. We filled out the rest of our lineup with some sleepers like Troy Brouwer, and a player who could have a breakout season in Mikkel Boedker.

If you think you can do better than this, make sure your roster is submitted by Thursday October 3 at 6:50PM ET. You have until then to create a winning team.

Every week over $20,000 is won playing fantasy Hockey on DraftStreet. To get in on the money, all you have to do is follow these three steps:

1.  Sign up at Draftstreet;

2.  Pick your favorite NHL players; and

3.  Finish in the top 50 entrants.

Best of luck from theScore and Draftstreet.