At last – all the hype, anticipation and analysis has ended and we can get down to what everybody’s been waiting for: another Friday mailbag.
I absolutely loved your column about removing Gary Bettman from the Stanley Cup-awarding ceremony. But I saw in the comments section some people believe having the NHL commissioner hand it over to the winning team’s captain would be fine if it wasn’t the much-hated Bettman who was commissioner. What are your thoughts about that? Thanks,
David K., Windsor, Ont.
I believe that, unless the NHL replaces Bettman with (a) some dude in a Santa suit or (b) a baby panda bear, the league is always going to have a commissioner who isn’t universally beloved by the fans (and thus always would get booed).
I mean, really, commenters; have you ever heard of Gil Stein or John Ziegler? How ’bout Clarence Campbell, the one-time league president who became Public Enemy Nos. 1 through 10 in Montreal when he suspended Maurice Richard for the final three games of the 1954-55 regular season and the entire post-season?
Face it, the very nature of the commissioner’s role – i.e. doing the bidding of NHL owners – will forever make that person a target for fans. Taking that political element out of the mix is the best way to protect the handover of the Cup from the pitfalls of rank tribalism.
How clueless is the NHL? First they decide to give an extra-day rest between Games 5 and 6 and then compete with the NBA final by playing on the same night. Then, to top it off, they put Game 7 on a Friday night, completely shutting out their Jewish fan base (of which there is a large percentage). Why the extra day, why not play on Thursday night? Will they ever learn how to manage the league?
Aharon Goldwasser, N.J.
How clueless is the NHL? Will they ever learn how to manage the league? Congratulations – you’ve just asked the two most loaded questions in Ask Adam history. I’d have to schedule a week-long question-answering camp to properly address them.
I will say that, in the era of multipurpose-use arenas and TV network-pleasing, all sports leagues have their work cut out for them in attempting to construct schedules that will cater to all their fans.
That’s probably small consolation to you and other Jewish hockey-watchers. I guess the legendary Jerry Seinfeld “I’m taping the Mets game, so don’t tell me what happened” approach doesn’t work for you, eh?
Buffalo Sabres prospect Jhonas Enroth was recently drafted by the Kontinental League. What does that mean?
Sheila Dobrowolski, Portland, Me.
Not much. I suppose if Enroth felt the Sabres weren’t going to give him a chance to ascend through the American League and carve out an NHL career for himself, he could abandon the organization and seek out a potentially bigger payday in the KHL.
However, Enroth signed a three-year, entry level contract with Buffalo in 2008. To imagine he would throw that pact into the trash – especially this early in the soon-to-be 21-year-old goalie’s career – would be a serious stretch.
With the possibility of Sidney Crosby & Co., going home empty-handed for a second time, I was left with one question: What player has been to the Cup final the most times without winning? I know Rhett Warrener has been three times (with Florida, Buffalo and Calgary). Who tops the list?
Sean Giesler, Sunrise, Fla.
The modern-day Cup futility mark is held by Brian Propp, who played in the league final five times (three times with Philadelphia, once with Boston and once with the Minnesota North Stars) between 1980 and 1991, yet came away with sweet bugger-all to show for it.
I heard you on THN Radio on XM Satellite last week and almost drove into oncoming traffic from laughter after Mike Ross read the Ask Adam letter accusing you of needing “Drew Carey coke-bottle glasses.” You and Rossy have a great rapport together. Anyhow, I also heard you mention the show won’t air weekly in the off-season, but I missed out on the details. Do you mind repeating what the THN Radio summer schedule will look like? Thanks,
Henry Freeman, Reno, Nev.
Thanks for listening to our show. The first (half-) season with Rossy and all the NHL Home Ice staffers has been a blast; I know all of the guys at THN are looking forward to building on that next year.
Today’s show will be our last weekly edition of THN Radio until the fall, but we’ll start things up again June 26 with a live roundtable show discussing the NHL draft that night and the free agent period that begins July 1. (Oh, and we’ll also be moving the show to the 4-5 p.m. Eastern timeslot throughout the off-season, so adjust your schedule accordingly.)
Every other week for the remainder of the summer, we’ll continue to keep you posted on all hockey matters, as well as the stories and opinions you can find only in the pages (paper and web) of THN.
Ask Adam appears Fridays on TheHockeyNews.com. Proteau also answers readers' question in every issue of The Hockey News magazine and on The Hockey News Radio Show every Friday from 3-4 p.m. EST on XM Radio channel 204 (moving to every other Friday from 4-5 p.m. EST in the summer). To send us your question or comment, click HERE.
Adam Proteau is writer and columnist for The Hockey News and a regular contributor to THN.com. 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.