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Back in action - Top 36 Finale on Monday

After taking a couple of days break camping out at my favorite campground at Kleanza Creek provincial park, I'm back and reading for action.

Below I've already covered some of the stories I missed while I was away, including Sam Pollock's death at 81, Rick Tocchet's sentencing, and the US Hockey Hall of Fame enshrinements.

Elsewhere NHL Digest is looking for stories about your favorite hockey card, Canucks and Beyond lists the HNIC and TSN schedules, my HITME simulation hockey team is looking a little bit stronger thanks to the acquisitions of Bobby Rousseau, Murray Wilson and Reggie Leach, and Robert at Eyes on the Prize continues his campaigning to include Henri Richard among the greatest 36 players ever.

Speaking of the top 36, I'm about close to deciding, and will officially end this drawn out affair on Monday when I post my final list. I've made two more changes, which are unannounced right now.

As it stands right now I'm really happy with my top 36. In total I have 11 centers, 10 defenseman, 6 RWs, 3 LWs and 6 goalies. I have 4 players from pre-1950, 11 from the Original Six days, 6 from 1967-1980, 10 from 1980-1994 and 4 from 1995 through present. I'm really happy with that balance. I have 29 North Americans and 7 European trained players. Some say I've included too many International stars, some say not nearly enough.

I'm trying to decide if the legacies of Borje Salming and Vsevolod Bobrov are enough to supplant one of the other guys, while Peter Stastny, Sergei Makarov and Paul Coffey are also still in the running. I'm still a big fan of Syl Apps, Teeder Kennedy, Henri Ricahrd and Frank Boucher but I'd have a tough time justifying removing anyone at this stage.

Bottom line - 36 is an incredibly confining number!

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