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Anze Kopitar #11 Of The Los Angeles Kings Gives Team Captain Dustin Brown #23 A Playful Elbow Bump As Brown Carries Getty Images

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 14: Anze Kopitar #11 of the Los Angeles Kings gives team captain Dustin Brown #23 a playful elbow bump as Brown carries the Stanley Cup to center ice during the rally in Staples Center after the Los Angeles Kings Stanley Cup Victory Parade on June 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

Top 5 NHL stories of 2012

Look back at the NHL in 2012,  there is emptiness. There were the accomplishments of Evgeni Malkin, Steven Stamkos and Erik Karlsson; big moves like Rick Nash going from Columbus to Broadway; the endless Phoenix Coyotes saga. But what did we get this fall and early winter? Nothing. No hope. No anticipation. No build-up to the best stuff. Just labor battles and cancellations. As we count down the top five stories of 2012, we can only wonder what stories were never written and never will be. — By Nicholas J. Cotsonika

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