A good Friday to everyone except those reading this on another day. Some quick housekeeping items before a selection of your questions and my answers:
I’ll be on vacation starting at 4:30:01 p.m. Eastern time July 23 (not that I’m counting) and won’t be back online – other than the intermittent Tweet or Facebook posting – until my Screen Shots column Aug. 19.
(Where will I be vacationing? Most likely Saint-Tropez, Monte Carlo or anywhere highly compensated sportswriters can be found. If you spot a translucent-skinned freckly dude looking lost without an arena to go to, that’s probably me.)
That said, there will be a mailbag next Friday – and more importantly, I’ll be conducting an extended ask-and-answer session this afternoon (July 16) from 4-5 p.m. during The Hockey News Radio Show on XM Home Ice 204. You can call in with your question (the toll-free number is 877-645-6696), tweet it, or email me and I’ll do my best to include you in the mix.
Does that sound like a plan? And does that sound like a rhetorical question? Because that’s what it was.
Adam, how did the Boston Bruins end up having the No. 2 pick in the NHL draft this year?
Doug Fabio, Milwaukee
The full story behind that trade really begins in Toronto in 1967, but you probably haven’t the time nor the stomach to sit through it.
The quick version is that the Maple Leafs’ pick went to the Bruins in last summer’s trade for Phil Kessel. Boston also got Toronto’s first-rounder in 2011 in that deal, so if you know anybody who was thinking of asking me a similar question this time next year, let’s be pro-active and head that sucker off at the pass.
Adam, I’ve got a question about the Kontinental League: What about it makes NHL players want to flock to it? They’re not going to get (as much) fame and glory there compared to the NHL, and there aren’t as many good players. So why?
Mike Park, White Rock, B.C.
First thing’s first: I wouldn’t say players are flocking to the KHL. There certainly are some quality talents in that league who could more than hold their own in the NHL, but as Ray Emery and others have shown, it’s usually a last resort – at least for North Americans.
For Russian players, enjoying the comforts of home plays into their choice to ply their trade in the KHL. But other than that, the central reason why anybody plays there is simple.
Adam, with all the talk over which NHL team should come back to Canada, wouldn’t you think Quebec deserves it the most? It’s the homeland of Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur, Maurice Richard, Guy Lafleur and deserves a second team more than New York. Our determination and love for this sport is greater and stronger than any other province or state in North America.
Simon Bergeron, St-Omer, Que.
“Deserve” is such a loaded word.
I’ve got all the appreciation in the world for Quebec’s contributions to the sport and I’d love to see NHL hockey return to Quebec City. But is there something that separates the love Quebeckers have for the game from the love Winnipeggers or Hamiltonians have for it? I don’t think so, which is why I hesitate to say any Canadian city should be first in line for a relocated franchise.
The reality is that so many factors – corporate and fan support, arena feasibility, etc. – ultimately are going to decide who gets one first. Love, native sons and history, unfortunately, have little to do with it.
Adam, when does your Fantasy Poolbook come out with all the player point projections for the coming year? Please let me know.
Russ Penner, Winkler, Man. (Home of Dustin Penner)
Our Fantasy Poolbook hits newsstands Aug. 9. If your newsstand bites and doesn’t carry THN products, once you’re finished protesting that crime you can order it online via this corner of our website.
Adam, I am a native English speaker who knows both French and Russian. How would I go about trying to be an interpreter for the NHL? I’m a big hockey fan and I think translating would be only second to being on the ice myself.
Mellissa Burk, Las Cruces, N.M.
If this were the early ‘90s and you were fluent in DominikHasekSpeak, we might be on to something. However, I’m afraid I can’t point out a quick route to help you realize that dream.
You can always apply for available jobs through this link at NHL.com – but as far as I know, the league has few, if any full- or part-time interpreter jobs.
In practice, players who aren’t conversant in English either depend on a fellow countryman on the roster to help them communicate, or they learn the basics in order to function on a daily basis.
Hey Adam! I was wondering why there are no European head coaches in the NHL. It’s been a while since Ivan Hlinka was coaching the Penguins and he did a pretty good job considering the circumstances.
Guys like Slava Bykov and Bengt-Ake Gustafsson are both world-class coaches with success on the world stage. Surely a league as diverse as the NHL could take a chance again on a coach not from North America. Thanks.
Hayden Moher, Winchester, Ont.
Yours is a question I’ve asked for a number of years now. The NHL has European assistant coaches in Phoenix’s Ulf Samuelsson and New Jersey’s Tommy Albelin, but other than that, the cupboard is fairly bare.
Some of the reason for the lack of coaching diversity is that most European players head home after their NHL playing days are over. And once you’re out of the sight of NHL GMs, you’re also out of their minds.
That said, there’s little doubt in my mind the old boys’ network still plays a huge role in deciding who gets to call the shots behind an NHL bench – and it will take some time and a concerted effort before the hockey establishment’s ingrained xenophobia is made irrelevant.
Adam Proteau, co-author of the book The Top 60 Since 1967, is writer and columnist for The Hockey News and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears regularly, his Ask Adam feature appears Fridays and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.
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