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Proteau's Blog: There's the door

• It's Black Thursday for Ted Saskin. Most expect the suspended NHLPA director will be fired when a conference call involving NHL player representatives takes place this afternoon.

Some might say this is another stain on an oft-troubled union. Those people are correct, but this can also be the beginning of a bright new chapter for the players. If they choose to hire Saskin's replacement the proper way, the next leader should have little or no connection to the Bob Goodenow era. That can only be good news.

• How's this for a backhanded compliment:

“Sometimes the (New) Jersey crowd almost put you to sleep a little bit,” Senators center Jason Spezza told Canadian Press Wednesday. “I think that's the way their team almost wants it.”

Has anyone ever heard of a fan base in any sport that intentionally tries to lull the visiting team to sleep through silence? Besides those that gather in the Air Canada Centre to watch Maple Leafs games, I mean.

I wonder whether the Devils instruct their fans to make like librarians when entering the arena. “Shhhh – We're Trying To Win A Hockey Game Here!” sounds like a fitting slogan to me.

• After a horrendous season, the Phoenix Coyotes certainly needed to make widespread changes to their operation. However, was firing longtime play-by-play man Curt Keilback a necessary part of those changes?

Keilback had spent 27 years with the Coyotes/Jets organization and thus carried with him an unequaled viewpoint fans could benefit from. Everybody in this business knows nothing is forever, but throwing away links to a team's history isn't something that ought to be taken lightly.


Ryan Graves and Timo Meier

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