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Cops and Roberts

Gary Roberts played only 30 games this season before being dumped by the Lightning. (Getty Images)

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Gary Roberts played only 30 games this season before being dumped by the Lightning. (Getty Images)

It’s Good Friday – and if you listen to Home Ice Channel 204 on XM Satellite Radio today from 3-4 p.m. EST it could be a very good Friday for you.

The reason? This particular show – minus our regular radio Ask Adam segment, of course – is all about listener calls. And everybody who does get on the air with co-host Mike Ross and myself will get a year’s subscription to our magazine. Good luck getting through.

Hey Adam,

I have been stumped ever since the trade deadline. I am wondering why the Chicago Blackhawks did not pick up Gary Roberts off waivers.

It makes sense for them to pick him up – he has experience, grit and wisdom – especially since Chicago is heading to the playoffs for the first time in a while with a pretty young team.

Dylan Kelly, Edmonton

Hey Dylan,

Yes, Roberts has possessed those attributes for a long time, which is why he was so valuable to so many teams for so many years.

Nevertheless, he was offered around the league (along with a lot of other veterans in the final stages of their playing careers) and there wasn’t a single taker. In a league whose teams look for any possible advantage, that ought to tell you something.

I know the Hawks are super-tight against the salary cap this year, but if they or any other contender really thought Roberts had something worthwhile left to offer, he’d still be playing.

Adam,

If a player is on a breakaway and the other team's defender slashes him hard and the ref calls a penalty shot, what would happen next if the player who got slashed was injured? Would they pick another player to shoot the penalty shot or is it an automatic goal? Please explain if you can.

Thanks,

Kevin Cam, Edmonton

Kevin,

Allow me to direct your attention to Rule 25.3 of the NHL rulebook:

If by reason of injury, the player designated by the Referee to take the penalty shot is unable to do so within a reasonable time, the shot may be taken by a player selected by the Captain of the non-offending team from the players on the ice when the foul was committed. Such selection shall be reported to the Referee and cannot be changed.

Got that? The captain (read: the coach) chooses who’ll fill in for the injured player, but he only can choose from one of the non-injured skaters who were on the ice at the time the penalty was called.

I know what you’re thinking – well, what happens if all of the skaters on the non-offending team also got hurt at the same time?

At that point, it seems to me the only alternative would have to be (cue the drum roll)…the NHL’s first goalie-on-goalie penalty shot! Say what you want about that far-fetched scenario, but I know I’d be glued to the boob tube to see the result.

Adam,

Do you think the Thrashers will be able to re-sign Ilya Kovalchuk? If not, where will he go?

Tom Dean, Edmonton


Tom,

I’ve believed for a long time now that Kovalchuk is as good as gone once his contract expires at the end of the 2009-10 campaign.

I understand the Thrashers’ strong finish to this season will be a good selling point the team will use to convince him to sign an extension, but as was the case with his former teammate Marian Hossa, every day that passes without Kovalchuk’s name on a new pact convinces me that he wants out.

Where would he go? Thanks to the world’s uncertain economic conditions and shrinking salary cap, the market for him (and the $8 million a season he’ll likely command) may not be as big as people believe.

I think the rebuilding Maple Leafs will be in the mix for any top-end NHLer in the next couple years; as well, the Canadiens could have the requisite cap room to bring him aboard this summer – if they don’t deal for Vincent Lecavalier first.

Adam,

Are NHL players/coaches allowed to have Facebook or other social networking sites?

Geoff Wong, Edmonton


Geoff,

First of all, was there a special promotion on sending me questions from Edmonton this week? I suppose it beats imagining all the different ways you could serve Craig MacTavish with a pink slip.

There is no ban on what websites NHL employees can or cannot be a part of. (Although I believe this one is only used by them anonymously.)

That said, as we saw last year with Leafs prospect Jiri “What, you mean to tell me <i>other people can see my nekkid pics?” Tlusty, using discretion on those sites always is the better part of valor.

Dear Adam,

Long-time reader, first-time asker. I was wondering with my sister about the Leafs’ signing of Christian Hanson.

How could the Leafs sign him after the trade deadline, but still play him in a game? I thought you would have to sign a contract before the deadline to play, as Peter Forsberg did last year? Keep up the good work! :)

George Funn, Toronto


Dear George,

Firstly, thanks for not temporarily relocating to Edmonton this week. It saved you from experiencing my anti-emoticon wrath.

Hanson’s late-season signing still allowed him to play for the Leafs – but only in the regular season. If Toronto was in the playoffs, he’d be watching them from the sidelines.

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.

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

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