Back at it on a rainy Friday morning in Toronto, where there’s still some debate as to whether or not Darcy Tucker should have his contract bought out by the Maple Leafs. Which tells you we’re really hurting for debate topics in the city right now. But never in the mailbag!
Although I don’t always agree with your opinion, I do respect you and consider you to be “in the know.”
Having said that, what do you think the chances are of Doug MacLean getting hired in Florida? As well, please explain to me how it is news that someone who has had such a dismal record in the past decade can get press coverage when he says that he is interested in a vacant job.
Robin Ripley, Taichung, Taiwan
Thanks. And I’m glad you don’t always agree with me. Makes it easier to tell when you’re clearly mistaken. (Ba-zing!)
Jokes aside, you ask a very good question. It’s impossible to deny MacLean is the only coach to have any real on-ice success in South Florida. However, bringing him back would continue to keep the Panthers’ stock at “laughing” level.
I chalk up talk of MacLean’s return as a specific mental syndrome that invades the minds of long-suffering fans/team owners and causes them to (a) look for any glimmer of positivity in their franchise’s history, and (b) turn to the person responsible for it to improve the present, horrendous situation.
The Maple Leafs were the most recent organization to be afflicted by the disease, turning to former GM Cliff Fletcher to temporarily steady their ship until a younger captain came aboard.
Perhaps it’s just my lousy memory, but I don’t recall any instance in which the philosophy has worked out and won a team a championship. And it almost certainly won’t happen if MacLean goes behind the Panthers’ bench again.
Besides, if I’m Jacques Martin, do I really want to hire someone who could easily replace me as GM if Florida stinks it up to start the season? I don’t believe I do.
I’m doing a research project for school and I want to ask you a question. What are some strategies GMs use to build a roster?
For example: Bob Gainey and the Montreal Canadiens. Their roster is mostly French people.
P. Singh, Mississippi
Um, I’m just going out on a limb here, but I’m guessing GMs build teams with the sole strategy of putting the best group of players on the ice as possible.
And just so you know, the Canadiens have four Russians, three Czechs, four Americans, and 10 Canadians from outside of Quebec on their roster.
What I’m saying is, you really need to redefine “mostly.”
Love the column; keep it up, sarcasm intact.
Well, it’s NHL awards time of year, and it got me thinking about the different trophies. Every year there seems to be some talk of adding another trophy for defensemen, whether it’s best defensive defenseman or something else.
Do you think the NHL will ever add another trophy for the D-men? And if yes, who do you think they will name it after? My guess is that the league waits until Lidstrom retires and then creates a new trophy named after him.
Mike Darragh, Ottawa, Ont.
If the NHL is not going to name an award for Wayne Gretzky, I doubt the retirement of Lidstrom will be the impetus for a rush toward modernizing the manner in which they honor people.
As usual, it’s the league’s turtle-quick response time that’s to blame. It’s funny, because it didn’t think twice about dumping the history associated with the old names of its divisions, but it’s hanging on hard to its past in this area. Just another legendary NHL mystery, I suppose.
I’ve watched Sergei Fedorov for a long time now. After he left Detroit and after the lockout you could tell he was turning into a seasoned vet, but it was great seeing him in the playoffs for the first time in a long time this year.
Now that his NHL playing days are numbered, where do you think he might sign? If he does, I think it would be great to see him in a Red Wings jersey again.
Stephen Smith, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Judging by the joy Fedorov got from his short stint in Washington, I’d say there’s a better-than-average chance he returns to continue mentoring the Capitals’ cache of talented youngsters.
I’m sure Detroit fans would welcome him back for one last tour of duty in Motown. But as noted in my answer to Robin, those types of reunions rarely work out as planned.
Now, I’m not going to side with Don Cherry. Can’t stand him. And I do agree that we shouldn’t be bringing the Stanley Cup “back to Canada” because it’s our game. It’s a game, and it belongs to no one. Very simple.
However, does it surprise you that we get defensive? The Montreal-Philadelphia game on April 28 was a very good example. Canada’s national anthem was booed by the American crowd, despite the fact that 11 players on Philadelphia are Canadian. Steve Downie (native of Newmarket, Ont.) started a scuffle and had the crowd chanting “U-S-A.”
I don’t remember hearing any boos for the American anthem when the games were in Montreal (though I watch RDS, and it often skips the anthems). I don’t remember hearing “Go Canada” chants, whether it was Calgary, Ottawa or Montreal. So who’s really at fault for this mentality, of bringing the Cup back to Canada – Canadians, who just love the game for what it is, or Americans who taunt us?
I remember a couple years ago, I got in an argument with an American in a video game over the Carolina-Edmonton series, because he kept taunting me about how the Americans were better or what not. I didn’t provoke him with Canadian superiority; he went after me. I’m not saying all Americans do this, nor am I saying no Canadians taunt them, but all of my experience works that way.
Besides, why taunt Americans when I can taunt Leafs fans?
Kevin Smith, Ottawa
I see your point. I’m going to counter it with a question to you: Why do Canadians need to sink to a jingoistic, ultra-nationalistic, narcissistic level like a fair chunk of Americans do? Just because they go there doesn’t mean it’s the right place for us to go.
God, I hate sounding like my mother.
Here’s another question: If we did turn into this hugely, nauseatingly prideful country, how would Canadians hold onto our smug sense of superiority toward our neighbors to the south?
(There, I’ve probably angered people on both sides of the border. Gotta keep things “fair ‘n balanced,” like the news professionals do.)
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