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Proteau's Blog: Speak your mind

• Solid, solid work by Ron Wilson Friday night in at least temporarily removing the King Grumpus crown from John Tortorella's head and claiming it as his own. (If you missed it, the Sharks coach, still furious over Alexander Radulov's dirty hit on Steve Bernier, strolled into the post-game news conference room, picked up a microphone, said, "I have no comment," put down the microphone and left.)

Wilson had every right to be angry, but he was wrong to stomp off in a snit – the same way the league was wrong in not disclosing how Wilson was punished for contravening its media rules. In case folks have forgotten, allow me to remind them that the NHL still is trying to sell the game in California and Tennessee, among other locales. As such, they'll need all hands on deck – especially the ones virtually bubbling over with emotion.

Chalk it up as another in a long line of missed marketing opportunities for a sport that can't sell out playoff games in more than one town.

• I don't care if Buffalo is tied with the Islanders 1-1 and Ottawa only leads Pittsburgh 2-1 at this point in the post-season. The Sabres and Senators appear to be on a collision course to decide the Eastern Conference champ, just as the Red Wings look primed to pummel any Western Conference opponent who dares get in their way of an appearance in the Stanley Cup Final.

• Even if I wasn't born on April 15th, I'd have had a fond place in my heart for that corner of the calendar. It is, after all, the day the Titanic sunk and the day Jackie Robinson broke major league baseball's color barrier.

A man-made tragedy and a man-powered triumph. Humanity's worst and best, all inside the same, artificial umbrella. That's why I like April 15th.


With all that has happened between the Preds and Sharks, your biggest complaint is about Ron Wilson's press conference, or lack thereof? That's kind of a sad statement. I typically like your blog but I think that is kind of comical. Ron Wilson never met a mic he didn't like, so his no comment had more to do with irony than anything else. To me it said more than any answer he would have given to a generic question. As far as growing the game in San Jose, the Sharks have a very loyal following. The TV ratings may not be huge but the arena was 97% full this year and they've had more than 20 consecutive sell outs. When it comes to growing the game in less conventional markets the NHL should consider giving input to who the local announcers will be. Especially in expansion markets these guys are more responsible than anyone else with regard s to how fans view, learn about, and enjoy the game. I expect local announcers to favor the local team, but there has to be a limit. If they are unable or unwilling to place blame on their guys, they shouldn't be broadcasting. What good does it do the NHL if these fans learn the game incorrectly?

- Aaron

Well Adam, it appears you don't like the Ducks much. I read your predictions and you have MInnesota? What planet do you live on? Coach Carlyle has beaten Jacques to the punch in every game. As for Ron Wilson, what he did was wrong. Regardless of how you feel or your emotion, as a coach you have to be professional at all times. You are correct that he set a bad example.

- P Robinson

Ron Wilson's reasoning for not talking to the media was the right thing to do. Barry Trotz blammed San Jose for the fights nearing the end of the game, thus Coach Wilson was angered by that comment due in part that Nashville had run not two, but three players...considering Joe Thornton, was slewfooted driving to the net in game 1. Yes it is the playoffs, but the series is not about giving your opponent cheap shots, however it about being respectful, and in doing so competing your heart out. I think most T.V. viewers would agree with Coach Wilson and his emotions or lack there of in front of the media on Friday evening. Nashville knows they don't have the size San Jose has, thus they feel that they need to HURT their opponent. Barry Trotz may be gone at the end of the year if this Nashville team doesn't go any furt her in the playoffs...which they won't San Jose in 5.

- Brian Mahoney-Wilson

Is it just me, or does anyone else think that the league's ruling on Scott Hartnell was a joke? I remember players getting suspended for their fight strap coming off in the past (some of them even used pants that would tear easily so it would come off during a fight). They didn't accept excuses in the past on that, so I'm wondering why Hartnell got to slide on that rule. If there has been some change, I'd like to know (but I doubt that there has been a change on that rule).

- Eric S.


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