The countdown to the start of the regular season is on. Are you feeling excited yet? More importantly, are you feeling like you want to ask someone a hockey-related question and don’t know who to pose it to? If the answer is yes, send your inquiries to the usual address and I’ll do my best to get to them.
Dear Adam, I was just reading about the Canucks in THN’s Yearbook. I do not doubt they are an elite team, but could the fact they can't get it done in the playoffs be due to an exaggerated regular season record because of the division they are in?
It's hard to believe they would be just as elite if they were in the Central or Pacific division. I will admit my bias here in being a diehard Hawks fan, but I am trying to look at this from a purely hockey standpoint.
Braden Thompson, Champaign, Ill.
The Canucks were one victory away from winning the Stanley Cup last season. I have a tough time believing their division had anything to do with the skill, depth and resilience they demonstrated on the way to getting there.
Now, they may have benefitted in the overall Western Conference standings by playing the Oilers, Avs and Wild six times a season. But their deep playoff run had nothing to do with that. Nor does their power play (ranked No. 1 in the league last season at 24.3 percent), penalty kill (tied for second-best in the game at 85.6 percent), or five-on-five goals-for/against average (1.32, second only to Boston).
The Canucks are good because they’re good. Any suggestion to the contrary smacks of blind hatred.
Hey Adam, this probably gets asked all the time, but why on earth has Brian Burke not signed Luke Schenn yet? I hope I don't get the cliche "he's waiting on Doughty" answer. Luke proved last year that he undoubtedly is one of the best defensemen in the league. Plus with always having to take all the garbage from the media in Toronto and enduring it like an absolute pro, I say he gets nothing less than $5 million a season for at least five years. Burkie is crazy to let him linger like he's not the most important piece to lock up right now.
Mitch Wood, Battleford, Sask.
Where to begin? Maybe with your assertion about the “garbage” Schenn receives from the local media here in Toronto. As a card-carrying member of that group, I reject that picture you’re painting. Schenn, like the rest of the Leafs, has it relatively easy in this town. The only thing he has to deal with is volume of requests.
I also think you’re quite optimistic to believe Schenn will get $5 million a season from Toronto – at least, at this stage in his career. His game grew by leaps and bounds in the 2010-11 campaign, but Brian Burke would be roasted by media (and likely, his GM colleagues) for giving that much money to a kid who had five goals and 22 points last season.
As for your initial question, Schenn is currently engaged in the same game of late-summer/early-fall staredown that many players get caught up in at one point or another in their NHL days. Neither he nor the Leafs can afford to have him miss any of the season, which is why I still think he gets his contract done before opening night.
Adam, as much as I love talk about relocation and realignment in the NHL, I must admit that I'm starting to tire of it. But with so much uncertainty surrounding the Isles and Coyotes this year I have to ask: what do you think the NHL will look like in three-to-five years?
Brian Quast, Minooka, Ill.
It’s a tough question, because you never know what out-of-nowhere factors will influence the NHL community. Did anyone believe Atlanta would lose its team before Phoenix? No, not at all.
That said, I think the NHL will have a team in Quebec City, Kansas City and, yes, a second team in the Southern Ontario market. Whether those areas get a franchise by relocation or expansion is the real question. And I don’t think anyone could answer that with authority.
Hey Adam, Love all the columns. I have a two-part question for you: If you could have attended any hockey game in history which one would you pick? Also which hockey-related person in history would you love to do a one-on-one interview with? Thanks!
Mike Collins, Stormville, N.Y.
Great question(s). I’m a 1972 baby and would love to have been of adult age for the entire Summit Series. The emotional roller-coaster ride it provided was unmatched in many regards; and the nationalism that swept across Canada would have been fascinating to observe. So with that, I’d say Game 8 of the historic Canada-Russia series.
As for a player…hmmmnnn…I’ve already interviewed Wayne Gretzky and all of my childhood idols, so I guess I’d have to say the late Maurice Richard. His place as a historical figure in Canada has so many interesting angles (including the infamous Montreal riots in 1955) and I’d be thrilled to explore them with him.
Adam Proteau, co-author of the book The Top 60 Since 1967, is writer and columnist for The Hockey News and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Thursdays and his Ask Adam feature appears Fridays.
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