The natural thing to lead off with for this week’s mailbag would be some sort of slick Halloween reference.
However, seeing as the real news has been more of a sphincter-tightening scare than any Vincent Price, Christopher Lee or Hilarious House of Frightenstein memory, I’ll avoid the obvious and get right down to business.
I completely agree with you about the recent Sarah Palin promotions in Philadelphia and St. Louis. These are horrible PR stunts using the captive audience of a hockey arena to promote a non-objective cause. I also agree that it’s no surprise both the Flyers and Blues had a case of bad luck after.
My question is: when is it appropriate to use hockey for a PR stunt? I am not sure if you heard what happened in Sioux City, but the Musketeers of the USHL donned pink uniforms, asked a breast cancer survivor to drop the puck, and raised more than $38,000 in the (local) fight against breast cancer.
This is a gimmick I can live with, even if it is also not objective.
Mike C., Texas
Forgive me if this sounds naïve, but I’m having a hard time seeing the breast cancer cause as especially partisan. If there are pro-breast cancer groups of people out there, it is my sincerest hope they all contract it and cut down on their membership as rapidly as possible.
Excessive use of sarcasm aside, I’m all for hockey teams associating themselves with organizations formed in the spirit of benevolence and compassion. It’s only when I see teams allow themselves and the sport to be used for craven political subterfuge that I get ornery.
What exactly is the process for deciding if and when a certain player gets his jersey retired by a team? Do you think Jaromir Jagr’s jersey is going to be retired by Pittsburgh or New York? For a guy with so many accomplishments it seems unfair for his jersey to go un-retired.
Jonathan Connery, Bronx, N.Y.
There is no defined process in the NHL for jersey retirements. That’s why a team like the Toronto Maple Leafs can get away with the harebrained notion of simply “honoring” their greatest players and not retiring anyone’s number.
Jagr? I doubt he’ll get the treatment in Manhattan. But if the Penguins don’t retire his number, Mario Lemieux should have his ownership license revoked by the league.
Oh wise and overworked Adam,
Would you be so kind as to share your opinion on my pondering? I will do my best to frame a question. With all this silly talk of another team in Toronto somehow absconding all media attention in Canada, and the ridiculous assertion by the NHL that they will relocate to Kansas City or Las Vegas, do you think these are really the best options?
Or do you think a market like Seattle, with an available building (the now vacant Key Arena), four notable billionaires (Paul Allan, Howard Shultz, Billy Gates and former Canucks owner John McCaw) and three world-class giants (Boeing, Microsoft, Starbucks) might be more viable?
And yes, I suppose that was really two questions. I will work on this for next time. Thanks kindly.
Oh perceptive and regular question-submitter Craig,
First of all, although I am down with jive-talking terms that sound only half as awkward when a 36-year-old Caucasian man writes them as they do when he says them out loud, I’m certainly not down with Nevada or K.C. as first choices for relocated NHL teams.
Another team in Toronto, though, is something I couldn’t be downer with. Which is not to say Seattle wouldn’t be a good option; it just seems to me that, if the name of the NHL’s game really is about the generation of revenue, the absence of a second Southern Ontario team is a league philosophy that borders on the criminally stupid.
Is it still possible to include money in trades for players?
David Simon, Oakville, Ont.
It is not. Although if birthday wishes really do make dreams come true, give Brian Burke about 10 more years and it will be again.
I love your columns and I read them every week. My question is, do you think the Flyers are going to stand pat with the team and coaches they have now, or is Paul Holmgren going to pull the trigger on some moves to shake things up a bit, considering the poor start they got off to?
I understand they are right up against the cap, but they could sorely use some blueline help and I hear Toronto has an excess of D-men. Any chance of something happening there? Thanks!
Kyle Creelman, Philadelphia
Your Flyers have picked up the pace after losing six straight, which is the reason I doubt Holmgren’s trade trigger finger is all that itchy right now. Still, there were rumors last year about his interest in Leafs blueliner Tomas Kaberle – and with the injuries Philly already has suffered to its defense corps, it’s natural to believe that interest hasn’t gone away.
What you should be hoping for is an extended slide in the standings by Toronto; the more they lose, the more willing Kaberle may be to waive his no-trade clause and accept a deal to a true contender.
Ask Adam appears Fridays only on TheHockeyNews.com. To send us your question or comment, click HERE.
Adam Proteau is writer and columnist for The Hockey News and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Mondays, his Ask Adam feature appears Fridays and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.
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