Alex Radulov bolted back to Russia after only two seasons with the Predators. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
Adam Proteau is out mentally preparing himself for the stretch drive, so for this week’s mailbag we turn to other members of THN’s esteemed staff. On to the questions…
What is the situation with Alexander Radulov? Is he going to make an NHL return? Was he just unhappy in Nashville? Would a team even try and sign him in the summer once his contract with Nashville expires? I, for one, love Radulov. I think he could be a star in this league. A team like Minnesota, Pittsburgh, Chicago or Carolina could be dangerous if they got him. Thanks for answering my 1,000 questions.
Brennan Dixon, New Brunswick
The latest talk surrounding Radulov doesn’t have him any closer to an NHL return, despite the fact his KHL season is finished thanks to a first round playoff upset at the hands of Jaromir Jagr’s Omsk squad. Money and the comfort of playing in front of his native fans were big reasons for his departure and considering the hole he left in the Nashville depth chart, it certainly wasn’t because the Preds weren’t going to play him enough. A-Rad is obviously a super talent that any NHL team would want, assuming they had assurances he wouldn’t bolt back home again. Thanks for writing! – RK
Who was the third member of the Stan Mikita-Bobby Hull line? I think his last name started with "P."
Tom Maley, Jackson Heights, N.Y.
Like Wayne Gretzky and Jari Kurri, who shared a lot of linemates over the years, Hull and Mikita were more regarded as a dynamic duo rather than having a special line. Hull and Mikita mixed and matched for most of their 13 seasons as teammates together in Chicago. They played with Bill Hay in their early years together.
Mikita also teamed with Ken Wharram and Ab McDonald on the ‘Scooter Line’ for a while. You might be thinking about Jim Pappin, who spent parts of four seasons on a line with Hull and Mikita. Pappin, however, is best known for some excellent years on the ‘MPH line’ with Pit Martin and Dennis Hull. There was a stretch in the early 1970s when that was among the best lines in the NHL (after Bobby Hull went to the WHA). – BC
If sooner or later the New York Islanders do relocate, should a Canadian city like Hamilton or Quebec City be considered, or somewhere else?
Chris Arsenault, Hamilton, Ont.
If the Islanders relocate – as owner Charles Wang has indicated is a growing possibility because of his increasing frustration with the inability to get a new arena deal approved by local politicians – a Canadian city such as Hamilton, Quebec City or Winnipeg would be a great choice.
But I would imagine that Wang would prefer to keep the Isles in the U.S. and the fact they’re playing an exhibition game in Kansas City next fall has been interpreted, in some circles, as a bit of test game for the Islanders in that market. Las Vegas, of course, is another American city that keeps coming up, as is Portland, Ore.
Canada’s best bet for another NHL team probably rests with BlackBerry billionaire Jim Balsillie, who’s based out of Kitchener-Waterloo and has been chasing an NHL team for several years. – SM
Could you break down why Kings blueliner Kyle Quincey is not a rookie this year? My understanding is for a player to be a rookie he must play less than 25 regular season games and be under the age of 25. Please clear up how to classify a rookie for me.
Jim Evans, Dartmouth, N.S.
You’re correct – other than it’s less than age 26 by Sept. 15 of that season – but there’s one additional stipulation and that’s the reason why Quincey isn’t considered a freshman: A player must not have played in “six or more games in each of any two preceding seasons.” Playoff games do not count.
Quincey, a Kitchener, Ont., native who’s been a revelation in L.A. this season after coming over on waivers from Detroit, played six games with the Wings in 2006-07 and six more in 2007-08, making him ineligible for Calder consideration. – EF
Who was the first American-born NHL player to score a playoff hat trick?
Bill Amrhein, Philadelphia
As near as I can gather, the first American-born NHL player to score a playoff hat trick was current Flyers GM Paul Holmgren, who scored three goals on Billy Smith in the Philadelphia’s 8-3 win over the New York Islanders May 15, 1980. It would be almost eight years before U.S-born player would score another playoff hat trick, with Aaron Broten scoring three for the New Jersey Devils in a 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals April 20, 1988. Hope that helps. - KC
I hear a lot of announcers talk about "the half-boards." What exactly does that mean? When I look at the boards, they're all the same height.
Robyn May, Trenton, Ont.
The term ‘half-boards’ refers to an area along the boards in the offensive zone, halfway between the goal line and the blueline. The term is most often used while announcers describe power play strategy. As in: “The puck goes to Mats Sundin on the half-boards. He dishes to the defenseman. Gets the puck back and skates to the top of the circle…” Thanks for the question. - JG
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. 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.
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