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The subtlety of communication

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

First off, let me extend my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Luc Bourdon, a young man I’d never been fortunate enough to meet, but heard only good things about.

There is nothing beneficial that can come of his tragic death, but it’s already apparent his memory will be cherished and kept alive by the many people he touched in his too-brief time among us. And that’s all anybody can hope for.

Now, onto your questions.


Remind me again what year we are in? I've seen on TV where even the NFL coaches wear Motorola headsets to speak with their staff from the rooftops. Any particular reason why the NHL won't acquire these similar devices? Get out of the Stone Age!

Troy Martinson, Oil Country


They may not use those bulky headsets seen in the NFL, but rest assured, assistant coaches on most NHL teams do use earpieces to communicate with another member of the organization who’s usually situated high in an arena’s press box area.

If you want to talk Stone Age, ask me about the league’s visor policy…


If you see Mike Myers walking the streets of Toronto, will you kick him straight in the b@*#$? If he wanted to base a movie around the Leafs, why didn’t he play a billionaire who tries to buy the team and move them to Hamilton? And throw in the McKenzies.

DJ, Western New York


Um, sure, DJ, no problem whatsoever. But since I haven’t seen Love Guru yet, can my special delivery gonad-kicking on your behalf be more about The Cat in the Hat and 54? My conscience would feel better about it that way.


Do you think Joe Sakic will retire?

Kelley Stern, Orlando, Fla.


This is only the opinion of a “so-called” expert, but I’m guessing that, one of these years, Sakic will have no choice but to retire.

Oh, you mean will he retire before next season, don’t you? In that case, no, I suspect he’ll stick it out for his 20th NHL campaign.


I'm always happy to see someone pushing the brilliant show The Wire, and especially when that someone is a hockey fan, too. That said, where's the love for the Capitals in your article on fun teams? A local sportswriter even termed them ‘The Cardiac Kids’ for their play late this season. I can't imagine hockey being any funner.

Barbara Greene, West Hollywood, Calif.


Great to hear from a fellow Wire appreciator. I already miss it terribly, just like I miss Deadwood and The Hilarious House of Frightenstein. (Hey, we’ve all got our quirks.)

As for the “Fun Teams” piece, in the immortal words of Eddie Murphy (and the less immortal lyrics of Shaggy): It wasn’t me (who wrote it). And there’s nobody at who remembers that article, either. Send along a link to the piece and perhaps you’ll refresh my fading memory.

Regardless of the person responsible for that glaring omission, believe me, there are few in the world of hockey journalism who enjoyed watching the Caps play this season more than I did.

Give them a full season under Bruce Boudreau, and another year of experience for their astounding young players, and the sky’s the limit for that bunch.


Your mailbag column last Friday was the best ever; great humor and hockey knowledge! Bobby Orr is the greatest defenseman ever. Thanks for no revisionist analysis of his fabled career. But please, please, please – I beg you, why was Claude Julien fired in New Jersey? We think he's a great Bruins coach!

Robert Donald, Pawtucket, R.I.


Glad you enjoyed that one. There were all kinds of rumors as to why Devils boss Lou Lamoriello tied the can to Julien so late in the 2006-07 season; one person I spoke with insisted that a few veteran Devils told Lamoriello the players had turned mutinous on Julien, and so the GM acted swiftly to correct the team’s course before the 2007 post-season began.

But the last laugh seems to belong to Julien; he took a Bruins team that had far less talent than New Jersey did this season and got them two more playoff wins than the Devils put up.


Normally I love your column and your ability to gently mock people who write you with half-cocked stupid inquiries, and I laugh as you mock them for trying to deride you with broken, terrible English and spelling, littered with needless expletives, but now I find I must join their ranks in asking what justifies you first getting me addicted to two servings of the mailbag smack you so freely dole out and then scaling it back to only one day before the playoffs are even over? Do they reduce your pay? Are there really that many fewer questions? Is there a medical issue you’re not sharing with us, maybe a musculoskeletal injury from excessive typing? Did you lose too much cash in Vegas and are now working part time at the local rink teaching figure skating? Maybe you didn't feel the need to be any more productive than Penguins forwards? Whatever your excuse, it's not good enough. What if I need to settle a bet made on a Saturday – I'd have to wait a whole week for the answer! What if I want to gripe about something bigoted and ignorant that by some impossible chance escapes Don Cherry's mouth – who can I turn to for confirmation of my righteous indignation? Adam, have you considered the adverse effect your selfish actions will have on others? Feel free to mock my questions – it's not like you haven't already wounded me with your mailbag news.

Craig, Vancouver


I’m humbled by your appreciation for my typings. And I’ve probably done enough mocking in this edition, so I’ll just say that I’ve got a lot on my plate – special book projects for THN, magazine responsibilities, other work that will appear via the magic of the innernet tubes – and anyway, can’t a gentleman enjoy what brief off-season the hockey world permits nowadays?

I mean, work a guy like an unloved donkey and soon enough you’re bound to get a donkey kick. Or is it donkey punch? See, I’m starting to unravel already, and it isn’t even June yet.

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

Adam Proteau is The Hockey News' online columnist and a regular contributor to His blog appears Mondays and Wednesdays and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.

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