For a change of pace, I thought this installment of the mailbag should focus strictly on questions regarding my political views.
(pause for effect…)
Just indulging my facetious side, Lunatic Fringe. It’s nothing but puck talk today.
How’s it going? I am doing good, but I gotta know something: when do the NHL All-Star Game tickets go on sale and where can I buy ‘em? Would really appreciate you letting me know; keep up the good work!
Jordan Philbert, Sherbrooke, Que.
I too am doing well, although my neck is kind of stiff this morning. Oh, and the big toe on my right foot makes a strange popping sound anytime I’ve flexed it over the last seven or eight years. And though I’m 36 years old, I still can’t grow anything close to a beard, goatee, or even a moustache that looks like it wasn’t drawn on with a pencil.
C’est la vie, I suppose. Anyhow, tickets for the Jan. 25 All-Star Game haven’t gone on sale yet. There are rumors an on-sale date will be announced sometime in late November; however, it’s not likely the amount of available tickets will be plentiful, given the fact Canadiens season ticket holders and the NHL’s corporate partners will get first crack at them before the general public does.
In other words, if you really want to go, start sleeping outside the Bell Centre now.
Hello Mr. Adam Proteau of The Hockey News,
I would like to say that I love your Ask Adam blog. As a busy real estate agent, I always take time to check in and see if you have written a new column.
I have this one question of you. Do you see a future for an NHL team in Las Vegas? Many of my clients are interested in real estate in the city, and a team would certainly boost the economy. Your thoughts are eagerly awaited.
Yours Truly, Mr. Jason M. Cyr, Seattle, Wash.
Hello Mr. Jason M. Cyr of Seattle,
I appreciate and am impressed by your taste in blogs and columns.
Regardless of Gary Bettman’s protestations to the contrary, there is no doubt Las Vegas is on the NHL’s radar – and the main reason why is TV/movie producer Jerry Bruckheimer’s transparent interest in owning a franchise in that city.
Many hockey industry types believe the only question left is whether a franchise is placed in Nevada via expansion, or through a relocated team.
My guess? Relocation to Vegas, sometime within the next five years. And then relocation out of Vegas, sometime in the decade after that.
I was so excited to see Roberto Luongo named captain of the Canucks! Since then, I have heard a lot of sports commentators talk about why it was such a bad idea.
I have heard snippets about goaltenders not being able to come out and speak to officials, but can’t seem to get the whole story.
Please help me out!
Thanks, Georgianna Dunn, Gloucester Point, Va.
You heard correctly – many of the concerns regarding a goalie as captain have to do with a captain’s duties (i.e. taking ceremonial faceoffs, meeting with officials at center ice) that couldn’t be handled in a practical sense by a netminder.
To their credit, the Canucks figured out a way to deal with those issues, while underscoring Luongo’s importance to, and influence in, the dressing room.
Now, will it make a discernable difference? I doubt it; star goalies such as Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur have been the de facto leaders of their respective teams for years and didn’t need a ‘C’ to legitimize their authority.
The Luongo situation is as much a sales pitch to keep him in Vancouver as it is recognition of his leadership abilities.
Could the Colorado Avalanche be in the hunt for Mats Sundin?
The organization is very quiet about making deals, or at least their GM is, so you could expect the unexpected. Plus, they do have two of his former Maple Leaf teammates on the team and are the organization that drafted him.
Patrick Palmer, Armstrong, B.C.
While I get where you’re going with this, I have to respectfully disagree. If Sundin does choose to return to the NHL, it’s highly unlikely he’d choose to join the Avs, who’ll have a tough enough time just making the playoffs, let alone getting past the true Western Conference powerhouses.
Stranger things have happened, of course. But if Sundin sees the presence of ex-Leafs Darcy Tucker and Andrew Raycroft as one of the main reasons to set up shop in Denver, I fear he may have suffered a few undiagnosed concussions in previous seasons that should preclude him from playing now.
I really enjoy your column. I have a question about the Flames jerseys. What is the blue patch on them, and what does it represent?
Thanks, Walter Wallace, Lebanon, Tenn.
Thanks. The blue patch on the Flames jersey is the provincial flag of Alberta.
In light of the recent Anze Kopitar signing, why is it that teams announce a new deal without releasing the financial terms? Is it because the terms are not finalized? Sooner or later it becomes public knowledge, so why the secrecy?
Mark M., Sudbury, Ont.
Beats me. Just about everyone I speak with – from the folks at the NHL Players’ Association to Capitals owner Ted Leonsis – sees absolutely no reason for the secretive approach to salary disclosure.
It makes even less sense in a salary-capped league. As you noted, the numbers eventually become public knowledge anyway, so you’d think teams would want to encourage fan awareness in an aspect of the game that matters now more than ever.
Mark my words: considering the league’s typically slow reaction time, this will be one of those issues the NHL decides to correct three or four years from now, long after everyone has acknowledged the lack of logic behind it.
Do you still think the Rangers are going to suck, or have your opinions changed since they started the season 5-0-0?
Omar Kashef, New York
Perhaps I’m getting forgetful in my dotage, but I don’t recall writing that the Rangers were going to suck. Granted, I picked them to finish 11th in the East this season, but as I’ve noted numerous times in the past, the difference between the last post-season qualifier and the non-playoff teams can be miniscule.
For instance: at the conclusion of the 2007-08 campaign, the 11th-placed team (Florida) finished nine points behind the 8th-seeded Boston Bruins. That’s four wins and a tie’s worth of difference.
Back to your point: would I be beside myself with amazement if the Blueshirts proved to be a Cup contender? Not in the least. To me, they’re a team that’s high-risk, high-reward.
But don’t start counting your chickens just yet. Remember how good the Senators looked last year in their first 17 games? And remember how horrendous they looked the rest of the season?
I do. And that’s why I’m reticent to pass judgment on any team just yet.
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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