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Watching and waiting

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Just think – by this time next week, the NHL draft will be over, as will the first manic days of unrestricted free agency. However will hockeyphiles survive for the following couple months?

Beats me. But remember when I said The Hockey News Radio Show on XM Satellite Home Ice would kick off its biweekly summer show schedule today (June 26)? Well, that’s now delayed until next Friday, July 3. I was going to blame it on the fashionable “exhaustion” excuse so popular these days, but it’s really just a scheduling conflict.

On to the questions:

Adam, I’ve seen enough NHL drafts now to know that watching the first round is exciting, but unless you’re friends or family of a prospect, the rest is painfully dull. Do you feel the same way or is there something that holds your attention after the first round?

Bruce Wilkinson, Duluth, Minn.


I don’t see enough junior games to make the later rounds interesting in terms of which players might beat the odds and make it to the NHL in spite of their draft slot.

What makes it interesting for me is, as always, the inspirational and interesting stories and backgrounds behind the prospects. There’s never any shortage of those, not to mention the standard, heartbreaking tales each year of those players who showed up to the draft and didn’t hear their name called at all.

So yeah, there’s something there of interest. But if you’re asking me if I’d love to sit through each and every round live and in person at the arena… ummmm…

Adam, 75 percent chance Jay Bouwmeester ends up in Philly. Agree?

Bob Wolf, Hamilton, Ont.


Ninety-five percent chance I disagree. The Flyers would be an attractive option for Bouwmeester, but GM Paul Holmgren has an awful lot of work to do to free up enough salary cap space to make it a reality.

If Philly can find a taker for Daniel Briere, Bouwmeester in orange and black could come to pass. But ask Ottawa GM Bryan Murray how easy it is to deal a hugely compensated player with some question marks about him. His answer should reduce your suggested percentage by a whole lot.

Adam, Who do you think are the best three fighters in order?

Terry Blizzard, Fredericton, N.B.


My three favorite fighters are as follows:

1. Foo

2. Tie

3. Fire

Adam, Who do you think is going to win the Stanley Cup next year? I think Minnesota is going to win the Stanley Cup.

Dell Welton, Baddeck, N.S.


Call me a procrastinator, but, given that the Pittsburgh Penguins’ skates are still a little damp, I think I’m going to reserve my initial judgment on the 2010 championship favorite until, oh, about September. Or April.

That said, I believe your pick of the Wild is more than a little optimistic. True, you never know what new GM Chuck Fletcher and coach Todd Richards will be able to accomplish, but I think that organization is going to be in tough just to make the playoffs, let alone be the last post-season team standing.

Hello Adam, The other day, Brian Burke spoke in less than flattering terms about Dany Heatley's request for a trade. Burke took a shot at Heatley and his agent and said he would not trade for a player who went public with his demand for a trade.

But didn't Chris Pronger go public with his request for a trade out of Edmonton? And wasn't Burke all over that? Or am I missing a subtle difference in the two requests? Thanks.

Dan Doughty, Lindstrom, Minn.


I believe Burke clarified the difference between the two by noting that Pronger’s initial trade request to Edmonton management was made in the middle of his final season with the Oilers and was kept out of the media until the season was over.

When nothing had materialized by season’s end, the news of Pronger’s demand leaked out. But most people believe the Oilers, and not the player, allowed the story to get into the public arena.

A subtle difference, perhaps. But establishing and defending subtle differences is what being a lawyer is all about.

Ask Adam appears Fridays on Proteau also answers readers' question in every issue of The Hockey News magazine and on The Hockey News Radio Show every other Friday in the summer from 4-5 p.m. EST on XM Radio channel 204. To send us your question or comment, click HERE.

Adam Proteau is writer and columnist for The Hockey News and a regular contributor to His blog appears Mondays, his Ask Adam feature appears Fridays and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.



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