Today’s mailbag is in honor of these two upstanding gentlemen, both of whom I imagine probably are big fans of fighting in hockey. (Just kidding, fight-lovers! Don’t bombard me with emails that prove you’re as thin-skinned as some suspect!)
Is Detroit better off sticking with Chris Osgood or should they return to Dominik Hasek despite his injuries? When Hasek has played, he's been OK. There isn't a better backup than Osgood, but I've never been sold on Hasek. They both have won a Cup in net. With a solid defense core in front, whom would you go with?
Brian Leibler, Michigan
The way both of Detroit’s goalies have complimented each other this season, I honestly don’t believe it matters which of them get the nod heading into the playoffs. Clearly, Mike Babcock has got to choose one of the two for the first round, but either way, he’ll have a great second option – one I think he’ll hesitate to go to – should the Red Wings lose a game or two.
With that qualification out of the way, I’d go with Hasek. No slight to Osgood, but when the Dominator is on his game, only Martin Brodeur and Roberto Luongo are better.
I was wondering if Cristobal Huet would return to Montreal after he is a free agent in July? Or do you think he will stay in Washington?
Dianne B., Ottawa, Ont.
The only way Huet returns to Montreal is if Carey Price quits hockey to join a Zen Buddhist retreat, and Jaroslav Halak receives an eight-year, $80-million restricted free agent offer from Kevin Lowe in the off-season.
In other words, Huet is not coming back to the Habs, and many think it’s very likely he will sign a contract extension to remain a Capital before he even makes it to unrestricted free agency this summer.
Can you tell me where the 2009 NHL All-Star Game is being played and on what days? Thanks,
Pat Murphy, Brewer, ME
Next season’s All-Star tilt is scheduled to take place in Montreal on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2009. And, contrary to what happened in Atlanta this year, I doubt tickets will be easy to come by.
What are some of the best summer hockey camps in the United States for youth players?
Andrea Krusko, Atlanta, Ga.
I never feel completely comfortable answering questions like yours, partially because it’s been nearly 30 years since I’ve attended any youth hockey camp, and partially because I’m not familiar with your particular situation.
The best thing you can do to discover what camp best suits your needs is (a) ask around your local arena, and find out which organization has the best reputation; and (b) pick up a copy of THN’s Summer Hockey School Guide, which ran in our Feb. 5, 2008 edition (with Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger and Mathieu Schneider on the cover) and in the Ontario edition of our April 1, 2008 magazine (with Daniel Alfredsson on the cover).
Canadian fans love to complain about the NHL, but continue to provide it with vital revenue. Do you think organizing a Canadian consumer boycott of the NHL is a viable option? That way, Canadian fans could starve the league of revenue and force vital changes such as contraction, relocation, etc. They might even force it to fold.
Richard Beamish, Budapest, Hungary
While I’d be fascinated to see Canadians rise up en masse and assert some of their power as consumers of the game, I think there’s less likelihood of a fan boycott than there is of Cristobal Huet signing with Montreal this summer.
I mean, if the unrivaled disrespect the owners and players demonstrated toward fans during the lockout couldn’t kill off Canadians’ passion for the game, nothing will.
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