Hey gang – did you hear, courtesy of NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, that fan reaction to his league’s participation in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics was “a mixed bag?”
It is to laugh – and it is to laugh heartily, for an extended stretch of time, and possibly to the point of internal injury.
I think Bettman is taking this “team owners as fans first” thing a little too seriously. If you’re a hockey fan who didn’t like seeing NHLers at the Olympics, you’re definitely taking the NHL too seriously – and fantastic hockey not seriously enough.
And now, on to your submissions and my emissions.
Hey Adam, I had heard some rumors about the Vancouver Canucks taking the captaincy away from Roberto Luongo. I want to know who you think would be a good choice for the Canucks?
Steven Hutchins, Coquitlam, B.C.
The Canucks had better find a way to remove the captain’s duties from Luongo’s to-do list. After the shaky playoffs he had for Vancouver last spring, he needs to singularly focus on one job and one job only.
It’s clear some people yearn to see the ‘C’ worn by one of the Sedin twins – or ‘The Swedish Sweetballs,’ as a girl I know called them the other week – but if I got to choose, I’d be awarding the honor to an American.
Ryan Kesler’s on-ice talent may not be superior to the Sedins’, but that’s not what the captaincy is all about. It’s about having the respect of your teammates and an ability to communicate with them, the coaching staff and the media. Kesler qualifies on all counts.
Hey Adam, What ever happened to Manny Fernandez? He just sort of disappeared.
Tommy “The Big Toe” Hall, Pasadena, Md.
Hey Tommy “The Big Toe,”
Fernandez had a decent year for Boston in 2008-09 – a 16-8-3 mark, 2.59 goals-against average and .910 save percentage – but hasn’t played in the NHL or anywhere else since then.
As a goalie older than 35 – as a matter of fact, he just turned 36 –Fernandez appears to have been one of the first veterans to be squeezed out of work by what this summer’s pool of free agent netminders all now know to be a huge goalie glut.
To see him return with any NHL team probably is a long shot, but if Dominik Hasek can still play in Europe at age 45, nobody should be shocked if Fernandez did secure employment again.
Hey Adam, when are you going to write a hockey book in the poetic form you are capable of a la Stephen Brunt?
David Goldberg, Kitchener, Ont.
That’s a very nice question and a flattering comparison. I wish I had something specific to announce, but I don’t. Yet. Stay tuned. Er, clicked. Stay clicked.
Adam, if the NHL does not agree to send players to the next Olympics, would that not put Russia in a very enviable position going in? One would think the KHL would be shutting down operations for the duration of the tournament and would in turn be feeding far superior professional players to Team Russia, while all other nations stock up with amateurs.
I know there are several nations represented in the KHL, but unless I’m mistaken the vast majority are Russian. What say you?
Gary Beckhusen, Prud’homme, Sask.
With the 2014 Games taking place in Russia, the Russian Hockey Federation already has a significant motivation to funnel as many resources as it can into the Men’s Olympic Team.
Were the NHL to decline to send players, I’m sure the Russians would smell blood in the water and redouble their efforts to avenge their pathetic showing in Vancouver. Of course, even without NHLers at the Games, there’s no guarantee Russia would emerge victorious; smaller countries have been known to upset heavy favorites (even ones with elite professionals on those favorites) at that tournament and I can’t imagine any reason that would change.
I’m a THN subscriber whose favorite day of the summer is when your Yearbook arrives in the mail. But here’s my problem: I’m a transplanted Leafs fan living in Alberta and the Yearbook I get each year has a Flames player on the cover.
I know you guys publish other editions of the Yearbook. Is it possible to order one specifically with a particular player or team on the cover? Thanks a lot.
Jesse O’Reilly, Camrose, Alta.
Thanks for being a subscriber. Unfortunately, we can’t process individual requests from readers (subscribers or otherwise) who would like one of our regionalized covers.
However, if you purchase the Yearbook through our online store you can order the specific cover you want (this year’s Ontario cover features Toronto’s Phil Kessel on the front).
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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