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Huat about Huet?

Cristobal Huet has played only 20 minutes in this year's playoffs. (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

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Cristobal Huet has played only 20 minutes in this year's playoffs. (Photo by Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

We haven’t started the Stanley Cup final yet, but most of you question-posers are focused on anything other than the Blackhawks or Flyers this week.

Is that a coping mechanism that kicks in when your favorite NHL team is kicked out of active competition or an indication of post-season weariness among hockey fans outside Philadelphia and Chicago? Look for no answer in my new online feature “Adam Asks Adam (Yet Fails To Respond)”.

Actually, don’t look, because that feature does not exist (in spite of much lobbying on my behalf). Instead, look below at actual reader inquiries and responses.

Adam, it has been well publicized that the Hawks are heading into salary cap problems next year. With that said, is it possible for the Hawks to send Huet down to the minors in the off-season without risk of someone claiming him for half the salary cap hit? Is there a buffer-zone timeframe when teams can do this for those players without the non-movement clauses? Thanks,
Tom White, McKinney, Tex.


Tom,

The short answer is no, the Hawks would have to risk Huet being claimed as soon as they waived him with the intent to demote him to the American League. That said, it isn’t likely he would be claimed, especially after other NHL GMs have seen lower-paid goalies have deep playoff runs this spring.

Adam, do you think the Montreal Canadiens will keep Carey Price or Jaroslav Halak?
Travis Thoen, Langley, B.C.


Travis,

I think that, if the Canadiens trade Halak after the post-season he had, Montreal management’s collective gonads should be dropped into the Gulf Coast to soak up that god forsaken oil spill. What does a goalie have to do to claim a No. 1 job in this league these days?

Dear Adam, personally I think the NHL’s old, classic jerseys are very overrated. In THN’s jersey rankings all of the old ones were at the top of the list, which I think was very wrong. New ones are much more stylish and creative.
Bryan Siwik, Pittsburgh


Dear Bryan,

Honestly? You think a Hawks jersey – so gorgeous, Russell Brand tried to date it numerous times – can’t compare to a Predators, Panthers, Thrashers or Coyotes jersey?

Wow. To each, their own, I guess. But…wow.

I’m not sure how old you are, but maybe our extreme difference in hockey fashion tastes is a product of generational preferences. For example, when it comes to baseball caps for NHL teams, I’m a devout believer in the single-color-plus-the-logo template, which means I detest any hats that resemble a Jackson Pollock or Salvador Dali painting.

At the risk of sounding like Yoda or Mr. Miyagi, sometimes a simple choice is the most stylish and creative of all.

Adam, being that the Minnesota Wild have next-to-nothing for assets in the system, should they get bad before they get good to acquire top picks or should they make some moves to make room for some high-quality free agents (possibly even Minnesota-born Zach Parise in 2011).
Ryan Niemela, Corcoran, Minn.


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Ryan,

I don’t think Minnesota GM Chuck Fletcher needs to tear apart the roster and hope for some good fortune with future drafts and classes of free agents. Everybody knew the 2009-10 season would be a transitional year for the franchise – and Fletcher made some smaller trades that worked out well for the Wild.

Not every team in the league can expect to tank and rebound as strongly as the Penguins and Capitals have in recent years. Some start from scratch and stay scratching for decades (achooNewYorkIslanders).

With solid drafting, development and a bit of good fortune, the Wild will be in a position in a couple years to add marquee players – and although signing Parise would be a massive coup, something tells me a certain Mr. Lamoriello in New Jersey is fashioning a Martin Brodeur-like contract extension for his best forward.

Hey Adam, I've got a couple of questions relating to the Penguins and free agency. What do you think our chances of keeping Sergei Gonchar are? Around here people are saying he's gone not because of money, but how long the contract would need to be.

Also, who do you think we should sign first: Mark Eaton or Matt Cooke? I'd preferably like to sign both, but if I could only sign one I would go with Eaton. Thanks,
Paul Schreiber, Pittsburgh


Hey Paul,

I think it’s 50-50 that Gonchar stays a Penguin. Like any older player, he’ll likely be looking for security more than a giant payday – and anytime a player 35 or older (Gonchar is 36) signs a contract, the money associated with it stays on a team’s salary cap for the entirety of the deal – so Pens GM Ray Shero will have a tough decision on his hands.

I’m with you on signing Eaton before Cooke. Cooke is probably the better player, but I’d guess Shero sees what the Flyers have done with their defense corps and realizes he needs to re-focus on the Penguins’ blueline first and foremost.

Ask Adam appears Fridays on TheHockeyNews.com. Proteau also answers readers' questions 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.

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

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