• It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but the Tampa Bay Lightning will name Vincent Lecavalier their captain sometime in the coming weeks, a Bolts official told The Hockey News.
“You would not be in the wrong to expect that kind of announcement,” said the official, who requested anonymity. “There’s no doubt this is Vinny’s team and we’re going to recognize that officially.”
I thought signing Lecavalier to an 11-year, $85 million contract in July meant he was the cornerstone of the franchise, but the added prestige of the captaincy should help him dictate the tone of a Tampa Bay dressing room that will have more new faces than returning players this season.
• The Quebec Major Junior League’s highly anticipated committee studying violence in hockey revealed its recommendations Saturday and once again demonstrated why the sport is unable to police itself.
Although there were many admirable aspects to the committee’s proposals – including an anti-violence campaign, penalties for on-ice verbal abuse and automatic fines for coaches whose teams are involved in over-the-top acts of viciousness – the fact it wouldn’t automatically eject participants in any fight, as virtually all other professional sports leagues do, speaks volumes in regards to the lack of progressiveness among this game’s gatekeepers.
I understand you’re never going to completely put a halt to on-ice fisticuffs. In fact, depending on the situation and players involved, it’s obvious why fights will happen from time to time.
However, the idea hockey is inherently separate from every other sport in the way it disciplines those acts of over-aggression is simply preposterous.
The QMJHL still has the chance to smarten up and adopt the much more sensible suggestions – such as a two-game suspension for any player who fights and an indefinite suspension after a player’s third scrap – recently made by Hockey Quebec.
But if the league takes the coward’s way out and sticks with a slightly altered version of the status quo, it shouldn’t be too long before another one of their players winds up being charged with assault. Or worse.
• Acting legend Paul Newman has been battling cancer for the past couple years – and sadly, it looks as if the disease is about to claim him.
Of course, the hockey world always will see Newman as player/coach Reg Dunlop in Slap Shot, still the greatest film ever made about the sport. That role is the one I’ll associate most with the racecar enthusiast and amazing philanthropist, but Slap Shot isn’t quite my all-time favorite Newman film.
My three favorite Newman movies:
1. Fort Apache, The Bronx
2. Slap Shot
3. Nobody’s Fool
Adam Proteau is The Hockey News’ online columnist and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Mondays and Wednesdays, his Ask Adam feature appears Tuesdays in the summer, and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.
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