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Ask Adam - Aug. 31

Off on a couple of week's holidays, Adam Proteau will return for his mailbag column on Sept. 7. In his absence several THN staffers have stepped up to answer your questions.

I know it's been a few years, and time (and a Cup win) heals wounds, but everyone seems to forget Teemu Selanne was in Colorado when Todd Bertuzzi ended Steve Moore's career. Selanne was one of the more outspoken Avs at the time against what happened. He couldn't have been too happy with the addition of Brad May (who showed he hasn't changed by getting suspended in the playoffs), but the addition of Bertuzzi in the off-season seems like it would be a real turn-off for such a class act as Selanne. Teemu wants to play hockey, Burke seems to want to form a team of thugs, so, why is everyone so sure that if Selanne returns it will be with the Ducks?

Kurt Alan

Interesting question. While I am certain Selanne has not forgiven Bertuzzi for attacking his teammate, players generally stick to playing the game and can be very tolerant of players they once disliked if they are in a winning circumstance.

The defending Stanley Cup-champion Ducks feel they have what it takes to repeat and as long as Bertuzzi doesn't come in and mess with the team's chemistry, Selanne, should he decided to continue playing, probably wouldn't kick up a fuss at having to play with Bertuzzi.

As for Burke forming a team of thugs, his team won the championship last season so it is difficult to poke too many holes in the way he built the Ducks. - Mike Brophy

I can't help but notice the apparent mass exodus of players to European leagues. Am I just uninformed, or are we seeing unprecedented movement across the Atlantic? With another potential labor dispute looming ahead, we might wonder if this trend foreshadows the end of the NHL as we know it. Once a truly pan-European league forms, professional hockey will retreat like a Pleistocene glacier. In the end this might be a good thing.

Dan, Three Rivers, Michigan

Dan, I'm not quite as pessimistic as you are about the NHL's future.

It's still seen by the players as the best (and best-paying) league in the world, but I agree Russia has proven to be a continuing problem for the NHL.

The reason for that is because a number of the teams in the Russian Super League can pay players - particularly mid-range guys - as much or more to play in Russia. And with Russia opting out of the IIHF's transfer agreement with the NHL, these teams seem to feel free to poach players in the NHL, even those who are under contract (see Alexander Svitov).

I don't think this spells the end of the NHL as we know it, but there's no doubt it's something that needs to be addressed. Getting the Russians into the fold of the IIHF transfer agreement would be a good start.

Hope that helps. - Ken Campbell

When is The NHL Network coming to television in the USA?

Brian Vattimo

Brian, Real simple answer: Now. According to the league, the NHL Network will be available in the U.S. for the 2007-08 season, so stay tuned for more details. - Ryan Kennedy

I had heard on a late-season broadcast last year that the white jerseys would return to being the "home" jerseys for the 2007-08 season in the NHL. Is this true? I think it would be great to have the clean look of the whites at home and the bright team colors on the road. Just wanted to see if this was true. Thanks for the info.

Dan Walker, Buckhannon, W. Va.

Hey Dan,

According to the NHL, there has been no change from last season. Home teams will continue to wear their dark jerseys; road teams will wear the whites. - Sam McCaig

Fantasy leagues are starting in the next few weeks and we all know the clear cut No. 1 pick is Crosby, but what I want to know is who you think should be the No. 2 pick because I can't make up my mind on who should go second. Also, who would you take as your first goalie and what round would you pick him.

Thanks, Michael Craig

The 1-2-3 of any rotisserie league draft (be it keeper league or one-year) should be Crosby, Alex Ovechkin and Roberto Luongo.

As for when to select a goaltender, that will always depend on the scenario. When do you pick? How many people are in your league? What does your gut tell you about your competition?

Your strategy should start with one fact: Miikka Kiprusoff, Ryan Miller, Henrik Lundqvist, Martin Brodeur and Marc-Andre Fleury will all put up a pile of wins and solid numbers in general this season. Call that group of five "Tier 1." If you like Evgeni Nabokov and Nicklas Backstrom, stick them in "Tier 1," as well. That will be up to you.

The next step will depend on the three questions I asked above, but all three of those queries can be summarized into one key question: “Will one of the members of your ‘Tier 1' be available the next time you draft?”

If the answer is yes, then select a skater. If the answer is "no way, all the goalies I put in Tier 1 will be gone by the time I pick next," then grab your goalie right away.

The point is - you have to get an upper echelon goalie - it doesn't really matter which one, that's splitting hairs. Just make sure you get one of them.

As for selecting your second goalie - follow the same process: Create a second tier that will include Marty Turco, J-S Giguere (who can't be considered Tier 1 because his backup goalie will eat so many of his starts), Vesa Toskala, Tomas Vokoun, Chris Mason, etc. - Darryl Dobbs

If a player signs for $1 million and has $3 million more in incentives, which year do the incentives go against the cap? Is it the current year or the next year?

Peter Hollman

Dear Peter,

All salaries and bonuses are applied to the cap for the season in which they are designated. - Ken Campbell

Although the 2010 Vancouver Olympics are still a ways off...I have been looking at the talent pool available for Canada to draw on and it seems to me that up front, (with the likes of Sidney Crosby, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry coming in to fill the void left by the Ryan Smyths and the Joe Sakics and with Rick Nash, Vinny Lecavalier, Rick Nash, Jason Spezza, Brad Richards and Simon Gagne all still in their prime by 2010) the Canadian squad will be set for forwards.

However, on the blueline matters seem worse. The core of the Canadian defense corps over the last eight years (Rob Blake, Chris Pronger, Ed Jovanovski, Wade Redden, Scott Niedermayer) will all be well past 30 when 2010 rolls around and the "next generation" of Canuck rearguards like Jay Bouwmeester, Scott Hannah and Shea Webber seem far less impressive than the Norris-like caliber of Blake, et al. Perhaps I'm being pessimistic or just uninformed...but do you think this is a problem? And who do you think will be on the blueline when the puck drops for the 2010 games?

Cheers! Stuart Lynam

While Canada's blueline might not have the top-end talent that has been seen in past Olympics and Canada/World Cups, there's no shortage of contending defensemen and it wouldn't be surprising at all to see 4-5 of today's youngsters blossom into legitimate star defenders.

It's difficult to project two, almost three years ahead, but here's an attempt:

(Defensemen listed with age in 2010.)

The Locks

Chris Pronger-36

Ed Jovanovski-34

Jay Bouwmeester-27

Dion Phaneuf-25

(We'll assume Scott Niedermayer, even if he plays this season, will retire before 2010 Olympics.)

The Contenders

Brian Campbell-31

Robyn Regehr-30

Brent Seabrook-25

Duncan Keith-27

Shea Weber-25

Chris Phillips-32

Wade Redden-33

Eric Brewer-31

Dan Boyle-34

The Long Shots

Cam Barker-24

Scott Hannan-31

Kris Russel-23

Sheldon Souray-34

Francois Beauchemin-30

Bryan Allen-30

Brad Stuart-31

Nick Schultz-28

Brent Burns-25

Dan Hamhuis-28

Marc Staal-23

Braydon Coburn-25

Kris Letang-23

Marc-Edouard Vlasic-23

Jay McKee-33

Barret Jackman-29

Paul Ranger-26

Carlo Colaiacovo-27

Willie Mitchell-33

Kevin Bieksa-29

Karl Alzner-21

- Sam McCaig

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