Still receiving a lot of questions related to the Feb. 26 trade deadline, and I promise to try and get to as many as I can in the next couple weeks.
Why don't the Leafs get rid of Andrew Raycroft?
Devin Matharu, Kitchener, Ont.
Why? Why don’t pale bald men with very dark toupees realize they’re not fooling anybody? Why hasn’t somebody drafted and passed a law to prevent Michael Buble from ever making another record? Why can’t a six-pack of beer give you a six-pack of abs?
In other words: I couldn’t tell you if my life depended on it. Raycroft should’ve been demoted to the American League in November, and the fact he remains a Maple Leaf speaks volumes about the utter paralysis in the organization that has landed this team at the bottom of the NHL.
If Raycroft hasn’t changed locations by the trade deadline, it’s official – he’s got untoward pictures of somebody in high places.
What's the deal with the N.Y. Rangers’ sulking defenseman Marek Malik? He pouts and leaves the team when he's a healthy scratch and after a subsequent game he snubs his coach, draws the ire of his teammates and cleans out his locker. For a guy who's slow of foot, limited offensively and defensively challenged, and coughs up the puck in his own zone too much, he seems to hold his own game in higher esteem than the fans, coaches and scouts.
John Kelly, Wantagh, N.Y.
Believe me, 99 percent of NHLers hold their game in higher esteem than everyone else. To some degree, you need that type of attitude in a player, because if he doesn’t believe in himself, few others will.
The downside of that attitude is many players don’t know when the game has passed them by. I’m not saying that’s specifically the case with Malik, who has been hobbled by a number of injuries the past few years, but it’s got to be hard on a player to fall out of favor with his team, especially when he’s in need of a new contract this summer as Malik is.
So the NHL spends untold millions hyping the All Star Game on the networks, NHL network and Center Ice, then it comes to game time and the only place to view the game is Versus. I watched by streaming it on CBC because Versus isn’t available within 100 miles of Cincinnati. Is this really the best way to sell our sport?
Jeff Clark, Cincinnati
No. No it isn’t.
Do you think the Sabres will be able to come back and make the playoffs? They are not too far out of it point-wise, but they have to leap over several teams to do so.
Barbara Tosti, Rochester, N.Y.
You took the words right out of my mouth/fingers. The Sabres don’t appear to have given up on their season, but the unbalanced schedule and inane points system means they’ll have an extremely tough time making up ground on the five teams ahead of them for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference.
The good news is, after their current road trip ends next week, Buffalo won’t have a lot of traveling to do the rest of the year. But one more bad week here or there could do them in for good.
What is Tampa Bay going to do about their goaltending issues?
Matthew Camp, Sarasota, Fla.
Not much, judging by their lack of significant trade activity thus far. It’s still a buyer’s market for goalies, but apparently GM Jay Feaster hasn’t seen anything worth buying, and until he wants to deal one of his stars, he won’t be offered much either.
I hear Andrew Raycroft is available, though.
First off, I just want to let you know that the "Ask Adam" section is still the best part of the Hockey News website. I have a couple questions regarding the Phoenix Coyotes. Do you think the Coyotes will be buyers at the trade deadline? If so, what would be the best moves for them to make? I personally think they should just stick it out with the players they've got. I would hate to see a great prospect go for just a rental player who will probably do little in return to help the Coyotes.
Cameron Paul, Winnipeg, Man.
Thanks again for your support (and in your face, rest of The Hockey News website!).
I don’t think the ‘Yotes will do much at all before the deadline. As you noted, they’ve got a lot of burgeoning young players in the system, and they’ve already learned their lesson about leaning too heavily on veteran acquisitions.
Another factor to consider is the Coyotes’ financial state. They haven’t exactly been selling out the arena in Phoenix every night, which means younger – and cheaper – players make more sense for them on a number of levels.
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