Will Gabriel Landeskog win the Calder Trophy this season?
Jean-Michel St. Laurent, Ottawa
Jean-Michel, Landeskog will have the opportunity to be a Calder favorite. Coming onto a Colorado lineup that needs wingers, the sturdy Swede will have a chance to line up with either Matt Duchene or Paul Stastny, two very talented centers. Landeskog’s 6-foot-1, 204-pound frame is NHL material and his ability to play in all situations will increase his ice time, should he earn it.
And that’s the key here: Landeskog can’t win the Calder on hype alone – he needs to play the season first. John Tavares, Taylor Hall and Steven Stamkos all looked like Calder favorites heading into their rookie campaigns, but none took the trophy in the end. – RK
I’m kind of angry goaltenders are not normally penalized for initiating contact with another player. Heaven forbid a skater makes a little contact with them. I understand goalies should not be checked, but is there a rule saying goaltenders can’t check a player, too?
Ken Boris, Roscoe, Ill.
Hi, Ken. What you’re talking about here is a double standard and it’s alive and well when it comes to body contact involving the goaltender. The only contact a skater is allowed make with a goaltender when he’s outside his crease, whether he has the puck or not, is incidental and only if the player has made a “reasonable” effort to avoid it.
According to the rulebook, there is only one provision that deals with goalies initiating body contact and it comes in Rule 69.4, which relates to contact outside the goal crease. It states, “the goaltender may (italics are mine) be penalized, if by his actions outside of his crease he deliberately interferes with an attacking player who is attempting to play the puck or an opponent.”
You’ll recall in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final, Tim Thomas laid Henrik Sedin out with a huge bodycheck without getting a penalty and it doesn’t look as though hits such as that one will be penalized any time soon. – KC
Fifteen years from now, who do you think wins the trade that sent David Rundblad to Ottawa from St. Louis for a first round pick in 2010? Rundblad is considered a favorite for the Calder Trophy, but the Blues used the pick on Vladimir Tarasenko, a very highly rated prospect.
Kody Farrow, Dalmeny, Sask.
Kody, I hate to sit on the fence, but can we call it a draw? Rundblad projects to be an excellent offensively inclined defenseman with size and puck-moving ability, but Tarasenko is equally gifted up front.
Sure, the Blues will have to wait a bit longer to get the Russian into their lineup, but when they do, Tarasenko has the ability to put up major points in the NHL, especially with his tank-like frame.
When it comes down to it, one team gets a power play QB who can log big minutes, while the other gets a potential 90-point man on the right wing. Both seem pretty valuable to me. – RK
How long has there been a rule that if an NHL player comes out for his shift solely with the intent to start a fight he gets suspended or fined? Also, are they shortening the depth of the nets this year to make more space behind the net?
Scott Barta, Sioux City, Iowa
Hi Scott. I believe the rules to which you’re referring are 70.2 and 70.3 that deal with players leaving the bench to either start or join an altercation. That rule was basically introduced during the 1980s to curb the number of bench clearing brawls and it has worked. In fact, you almost never see them anymore.
As far as the depth of the nets, that was an experiment carried out during the Research and Development Camp over the summer, but that change won’t be in effect this season. – KC