Before we get to this week’s mailbag, I want to pay my respects to the memory of Garnet ‘Ace’ Bailey and Mark Bavis, two L.A. Kings scouts who were killed eight years ago in the 9/11 atrocities. Though I never knew either man, I know enough of the hockey community to understand how very much they meant to their friends and family. (HERE is a nice video tribute the Kings composed to honor them.)
If you’d like to donate to the charitable foundations founded on behalf of Mark and Ace, you can do so HERE and HERE.
Now, your questions – oh, and remember, if you tune in to THN Radio on XM Home Ice today and email or call in (the number is 877-645-6696) with a question, we’ll be happy to set you up with a free THN subscription.
Hi Adam. If the Leafs want Phil Kessel, should they force the Bruins’ hand by giving him an offer sheet just before training camp? Doing this would cause the Bruins a few problems with their cap numbers and possibly give the Leafs a good chance of getting him.
I understand Brian Burke had the "dirty" done to him by Kevin Lowe on the Dustin Penner offer sheet, but Burke has always said it was the blindsiding that he didn’t like, so he should pick up the phone and tell them he's going to make the offer to allow himself to sleep at night. Ha ha. Any thoughts?
Andrew Bowman, Durham, U.K.
I think that’s precisely what Burke’s intent is. Unlike the Penner situation, Burke has the luxury of being the hunter and not the hunted and he’s all but telegraphed his intent here. By waiting until the start of the season when rosters must be set, he is hoping to tie the Bruins’ hands and force them to accept Toronto’s draft picks in return.
That’s not to say Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli is necessarily going to sit back and wait for Burke to make that move. For all we know, he could be working behind the scenes to free up salary or be considering whom he might demote to the American League in order to match Burke’s offer and keep Kessel around.
Therein is a big part of the fun of being a GM; much of their job is a high-stakes poker game of subterfuge – and until the flop is revealed, it’s all about posturing.
Adam, I was wondering if any thought has ever gone into attempting to have an NHL schedule that looked more like a Major League Baseball schedule. By this I mean, set the season up on a series of three games in four nights, or something like that, against the same teams. A home-and-home series between two opponents could be something like six-to-seven games in 10-11 days. This would help to build rivalries and could give almost any game a playoff atmosphere.
I have monkeyed around with it a bit and believe that it could be an interesting concept. Of course, I didn't have to worry about trivial things like arena availability, etc. I do think it would cut down drastically on travel costs, at least as far as related to air travel. Thanks for any info you may have on this.
Ian Thoreson, Swift Current, Sask.
I see where you’re going with this, but the idea of watching the same teams play night after night in a schedule even more condensed than the NHL’s current structure is an idea that does nothing for me.
First of all, I think the league recognized a couple years ago that having the same two divisional teams play each other eight times – in an entire season – was overkill. Can you imagine the reaction that would take place if something similar were to go down in less than half a month? I think arenas would resemble something out of The Warriors if that happened.
Besides, the NHL already has a circumstance wherein two franchises play only each other in a concentrated stretch. It’s called “the playoffs” and I think you’d see some of the luster come off the post-season if the league adopted your suggestion.
Dear Adam: I am sick of people ragging on Daymond Langkow. They say he is not good enough to play with Jarome Iginla, but facts speak for themselves – he has an average of 60 points and almost 30 goals a year with Iginla. What do you think? P.S. – Cup in Calgary ‘09?
Zac Kachuck, Calgary
I’m also a big appreciator of Langkow. He’s no-maintenance, has scored at least 20 goals in each of the past seven seasons and the only reason he didn’t break the 50-point mark for the seventh straight campaign last year was that he missed nine games with a bruised hand and finished with 49 points. Yeah, he was involved in a 2001 trade between Phoenix and Philadelphia that wound up giving the Flyers a draft pick that turned into Jeff Carter, but attempting to compare the two is a crock.
As for the Cup coming to Calgary in ’09, I can say with absolute authority that it will never happen – mainly because the next NHL championship will be decided after Dec. 31st of this year. But Cup in Calgary ‘10? Certainly a possibility.
Hello Adam. Is there any way you can tell me what's going on with the Rangers and Brandon Dubinsky? This situation is starting to annoy me as well as other Rangers fans. How can Glen Sather not give this kid what he wants? It's not like he's asking for three million dollars a year. We love Dubinsky and it would be sad to see this kid just leave after this year. Thanks and have a great day!
Anthony Giovi, Babylon, Long Island, N.Y.
According to venerable Rangers reporter Larry Brooks, Sather isn’t willing to do anything but give the 23-year-old Dubinsky a pay cut on a one-year contract – this, after his second consecutive 40-plus point season. I wonder how Dubinsky feels about that, especially after he sees Sather dole out $1.4-million a year – for two years! – to Donald Brashear.
Often, I’m accused of harboring a hatred for Sather. Not true. The problem is I’ve only rarely been able to make a smidgen of sense of any move the man has made since he arrived in Manhattan. And this isn’t one of those rare occasions.
Why any GM would want to disillusion a player who could be a key piece of the puzzle is beyond me, but I’m sure Sather’s anti-Midas touch will somehow reverse itself in this and all other Blueshirts matters.
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 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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