Hello again. I used to answer the mail on a weekly basis around here, and still will on special occasion. Thanks to those who submitted a question for the first, far less regular edition of Ask Adam in 2015. Here's this file's batch:
Vince, I wish I could be the NHL version of
Antique Roadshow – and in a few years, that may in fact turn out to be the case – but alas for now. It's next to impossible to judge just from a picture like that – a
google image search had no matches – and it could be from any era. I'd have it appraised at a reputable memorabilia dealer near you. You don't want to sell something like that online and wind up not getting sufficient value for what could be a valuable piece of hockey history, so go to the people who do this type of thing for a living.
Adam, Can we believe NHL injury reports, or are they just something that is put out to satisfy a league requirement? For example, when Patric Hornqvist went out, he had taken a shot to the leg. It was almost immediately reported he had a lower body injury but would be out "a few weeks". Now he is listed as having an upper body injury. Smells like post-concussion to me. Can you enlighten me? Thanks in advance.
Raymond, Yes, I think the reports aren't fashioned out of thin air and you should for the most part believe team diagnoses of player injuries. That's not to say I think each and every team is 100% honest about them – and that goes for teams in just about every sport – but there's no evidence to suggest teams are actively fabricating the nature of injuries their players are facing. That said, I'm still an advocate for independent team doctors, because the only way you can be sure teams are honest about head injuries (or any other injuries) is to ensure the physicians examining the players have no emotional or professional stake in the outcome. So long as doctors are paid by each team, that perception will linger. And as NHLPA boss Don Fehr
told me in December, the issue of independent doctors isn't going away.
Mitch, The team that picks first in the entry draft. (Sorry,
Mr. Eichel.) You can't make any assumptions as to which team that will be, especially given the NHL's
new rules about the draft lottery, but I do think McDavid goes first overall regardless. Safe to say the team that chooses him won't be Chicago or Anaheim, but at this point in the season, all bets should be off. Nevertheless, I'm going to tell you my hunch, just to look back on it a few months from now and see how close I was: McDavid to Buffalo, and Eichel to Arizona.
Adam, How does the NHL track playing time by each player?
Zack Brandon Zack, The NHL's team of off-ice officials is tasked with that job, and there are individual people at every NHL game –
two, to be exact; one for each team – and it's all synchronized by laptop computers and high-tech programs. Other off-ice officials use the same tools to chart shots, takeaways, faceoffs, etc. It's a well-honed process that's helped feed the stats revolution we're currently experiencing in the game.