With all four remaining NHL playoff series looking as if they’re headed to a seven-game finale – and with Jim Balsillie looking as if he’ll make bids on at least seven franchises until Gary Bettman allows the BlackBerry baron to play in the league’s yard – there are all kinds of pressing questions to deal with this week.
I want another NHL team in southern Ontario as much as anyone. But I think the hysteria that’s gripped the region since Jim Balsillie’s latest team purchase attempt is a little insensitive to the people in Phoenix who really adore the game. I know the reason the Coyotes are in trouble is because there aren’t enough dedicated hockey fans out there, but it bothers me when Canadians are openly celebrating another city losing its team. We’ve been through this ourselves a few times now and we shouldn’t be rubbing it in other fans’ faces. How do you feel about it?
Joseph A., Sarnia, Ont.
I feel exactly as you do. The writing looks like it’s on the wall for NHL hockey in Arizona, but though one fan base’s famine is another’s feast, a little more empathy toward the good people in Phoenix who’ve fully embraced the game would add a much-needed touch of class to the situation.
Without doubt, those folks have as much right to keep their franchise as the hockey-appreciating citizens of Hartford, Quebec City, Cleveland, Oakland and Winnipeg had to hold onto their franchises.
Who is your MVP of the playoffs thus far?
Linda L., Portland, Ore.
Prior to Game 4 of the Ducks/Red Wings series, it would’ve been Jonas Hiller. Now it’s Carolina’s Cam Ward.
Why should the league name a trophy after Wayne Gretzky? Have they named one after Robert Gordon Orr? Get serious. That is a ridiculous statement.
Pat Giancola, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
I hope you didn’t pull a hamstring jumping to that conclusion. Go back and read what I wrote again. Did you see anything in there about only renaming one of the NHL’s awards? Can you point out a passage where I suggested excluding Orr from such an honor?
If you did, it’s official: you’re seeing things. To me, there’s room to rename an award for Gretzky, an award for Gordie Howe, for Joe Sakic and/or Steve Yzerman and/or Patrick Roy and/or Orr. It’s up to the NHL which of the more modern hockey legends gets the honors, but the original point of the answer was to acknowledge the time has come to bring modernity into the awards process.
Besides, the way you reacted, it seems you don’t believe Gretzky’s name deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Orr’s. Talk about ridiculous statements.
I was wondering what the Anaheim Ducks will do with J-S Giguere since Jonas Hiller has been playing unreal. I think they could trade him on draft day; it's not like he is a bad goalie. Maybe Giguere goes to Philly with James Wisniewski and the Ducks get Simon Gagne and a second round pick. This would give Philly a proven winning goalie and the Ducks would get another great top-three forward and still have Chris Pronger to possibly deal for some young talent for depth. What are your thoughts?
Kevin, Pickering, Ont.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s great your passion for the game extends far enough into the world of trade proposals, but there’s a reason why people on my side of the business don’t count dealing with trade debates as one of their favorite aspects of their jobs.
Your idea presupposes a couple things that I don’t think are a given: first, that the Flyers would give up on Gagne after his stellar comeback season; and second, that Philly has enough cap room to add another couple million dollars to the payroll.
The deal makes more sense from Anaheim’s perspective, but finding the money and talent matches to make both teams happy isn’t at all easy these days. Which is why deals of this magnitude happen at such an infrequent rate.
I love your blog and enjoy reading it. Before I ask my question I would like to say my two favorite teams are Toronto and Colorado. Would this be a good trade: Toronto's No. 7 overall pick, Tomas Kaberle or Pavel Kubina and Vesa Toskala, for Colorado's No. 3 overall pick and Brett Clark or Scott Hannan? My reasoning is this: Toronto acquires a pick in which they can draft Matt Duchene (a first-line center) or trade it to get John Tavares and get a solid defenseman in return for their pick; a defenseman they are going to trade anyways and a goalie they probably won't keep next year. Colorado doesn't need Duchene (they have Paul Stastny) and they can draft Brayden Schenn to have a Stastny-Schenn-Wojtek Wolski trio of centers. More importantly, they upgrade their defense and goaltending.
Jordan Lee, Toronto
See my comments above on trade proposals. They very much apply here as well.
I grant you the Leafs would be very pleased to acquire Duchene. I don’t think, however, they have the slightest modicum of interest in Hannan (who’s on the downside of a solid NHL career) or Clark (a virtual clone of Leafs blueliner Jeff Finger, both in terms of salary and on-ice ability). Moreover, they’d be dealing away their only NHL-proven goalie as well as a high-end blueliner they could parlay into a bigger bounty come next trade deadline.
Also, look at it from the Avs’ perspective: After a season of Andrew Raycroft, I think they’ve had their fill of taking chances on former Toronto goalies.
And instead of acquiring a long-term, cheaply-paid franchise cornerstone like Duchene, you think they’d rather bring in Kaberle or Kubina – neither of whom will lift them from the basement of the league to the penthouse – for just a couple years before they move on via unrestricted free agency?
Not a hope, my friend. That’s not to say there isn’t a deal out there for Brian Burke to make leading up to the entry draft – only that it’ll take a lot more than the components of your offer to make it attractive to both trading parties.
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Ask Adam appears Fridays on TheHockeyNews.com. Proteau also answers readers' question in every issue of The Hockey News magazine and on The Hockey News Radio Show every Friday from 3-4 p.m. EST on XM Radio channel 204. To send us your question or comment, click HERE.
Adam Proteau is writer and columnist for The Hockey News and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Mondays, his Ask Adam feature appears Fridays and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.
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