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The Hockey News

Back to the mailbag we go. As always, thanks for your diverse, rarely-embarrassing curiosities.


Do you think the Calgary Flames are the most overrated team in the NHL?

John Maughan, Oakwood, Ont.


Nope. That honor goes to the intermittently-mighty Lightning of Tampa Bay. (Release the hate-mailers!)

If the true nature of a team is seen in its play on the road, the Bolts – a league-worst 2-10-1 away from home this season – are truly in trouble. Break up the Big Three, Jay Feaster – before your replacement does it for you.


Why do we not enforce the icing rule on the penalty-killing team? It is the dumbest rule in sports. We actually help the team that took the penalty! If we want more offense and excitement, all we have to do is enforce the icing during penalty-kill situations. Can anyone say ‘turnovers?’

Dustin Hughes, Winnipeg


When you frame it like that, it’s very difficult to argue with you. I’d also like to see what games would look like if the NHL made penalized players serve the full two minutes, regardless of whether the non-penalized team scores on the power play. That rule was put into place thanks to the special teams dominance of the Rocket Richard-era Habs, but if we’re looking at boosting scoring, is it not time to revert back to the old standard?

Judging by the power play alone, there are all kinds of ways to improve the flow and excitement of the game; protestations of the fundamentalist hockey establishment aside, it’s time the NHL woke up and began paying those potential innovations more than just lip service.


So, having transplanted myself from Raleigh (yep, my favorite team is the Hurricanes, not always an easy thing to be) is there any chance Seattle will get an NHL team?

Mike Foley, Seattle, WA


Las Vegas and Kansas City are the NHL’s preferred targets 1 and 1A, followed by Houston and Seattle. If you want to believe the league would go for another Canadian franchise somewhere such as Winnipeg or Quebec City, I’d put their chances between those of the Vegas/K.C. interests, and the other two.

Ergo, if you want a team in Seattle, you’ve got to hope: (a) the Predators go to Kansas City in three years; (b) the league expands by two teams, giving the Vegas slot to Jerry Bruckheimer; (c) Bettman really doesn’t want another team in Canada; and (d) Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander sours on wanting a second NHL franchise in Texas.

That’s a lot of conditions.


If a suspended player has to sit out for the total length of time it takes for the injured player to return plus his suspension, he would think long and hard about idiot hits. With this scenario, Todd Bertuzzi would still not be playing hockey, a fate he deserves. We may even still be watching Cam Neely.

Ken Doner, Niagara Falls


Though you fell into the “didn’t Ask Adam a question” trap, I appreciate your sentiment, so I’ll go against my better judgment and answer it anyway.

There are holes in every supplemental discipline theory out there, including this one. For example, why wouldn’t teams send out some low-level thug to take out another team’s superstar? Under your plan, both would be out of their respective teams’ lineups, but who wins in that tradeoff?

I’m not completely against this type of approach, but why don’t we try the novel philosophy of severe suspensions, before we try something even novel-er and more severe?

Wait a second…I’m starting to sound like an NHL official. Assistance, si vous plait.


A recent newsletter included the headline, “Byfuglien records natural hat trick.” What’s an unnatural hat trick? I've heard of a hat trick and the “Gordie Howe hat trick.” As always, thanks for the education and opinions.

John Sager, Houston


A natural hat trick is when one player scores three consecutive goals in game without anyone else tallying in between. An unnatural hat trick –sounds like a Criss Angel stunt, no? – occurs when the three goals come non-consecutively in the same game.

And what can I say about that THN newsletter headline, other than I’m glad that wasn’t the actual subject header; would you not assume a Viagra/Cialis ad or worse to, um, pop-up on your screen if you saw that link?

Ask Adam appears Tuesdays and Fridays only on The Hockey To send us your question or comment, click HERE.



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