Adam Proteau

Adam Proteau, currently the brand's columnist/writer, has worked for The Hockey News since 2002 and won the Professional Hockey Writers' award for best column in 2006. He also won the Esso Medal of Achievement for most improved player as a 13-year-old at the 'A' level in 1985, but he's less proud of that.

White-hot Stars rookie John Klingberg scores a long-distance goal

Adam Proteau
John Klingberg (Glenn James/NHLI via Getty Images)

Dallas Stars rookie defenseman John Klingberg is just 22 years old, but he may never score a goal further away from the net than the one he did Tuesday night against the Oilers.

The Swedish blueliner, who was selected 131st overall by Dallas in 2010, grabbed the puck between center ice and Edmonton’s blueline and fired a slapshot from there – well, something that started out as a slapshot, anyway – at Oilers goalie Viktor Fasth, who had a clear look at it, but whiffed on it completely:
Read more

Leafs, Canucks to honor Pat Quinn on their uniforms

Adam Proteau
Maple Leafs Pat Quinn jersey (via Maple Leafs Twitter account)

Like the rest of the hockey world, the Canucks and Maple Leafs are grieving the passing of Pat Quinn, who died Sunday at age 71. But given that Quinn was a key figure for those two franchises – leading both to as close as they’d come to a Stanley Cup championship in the many years before his arrival and after his departure – it’s only fitting that Toronto and Vancouver would do something extra to honor their former coach and GM.

The Maple Leafs announced they would wear a special patch on their jerseys for their next two games; the patch features Quinn’s initials and a green clover in reference to his Irish heritage: Read more

Be A Better Hockey Fan 101: Hands off the glass – and quit it with The Wave

Adam Proteau
An Anaheim Ducks fan pounds on the glass at Honda Center. (John W. McDonough /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

By the simple act of reading this column, you’ve confirmed yourself to be a hockey fan. And you probably want to be the best hockey fan you can be, right? Of course you do. This is why you’re going want to heed the advice on being a better hockey fan I’m about to lay out for you in the words that follow these ones.

Right off the hop, I want to speak directly to each and every one of you fans who is compelled to pound on the glass at ice level whenever the play or a camera is in your vicinity. And here’s what I want to say: Stop doing that. There’s no need for it. You’re not affecting the play or the players, other than to make them embarrassed for you. When I watch you banging your fists and palms, it makes me think only one of two things could be going on: some voice inside your head has convinced you that you’re trapped behind the glass and you’re desperately attempting to “escape”; or you’re proudly demonstrating to the world your brain still has the ability to control your arm movements. Either way, this doesn’t reflect well on you or fans in general.

It also doesn’t reflect well on you or any fan if you’ve stooped to doing The Wave. Read more

After significant health issues Stephen Weiss returns, hits career milestone

Adam Proteau
Stephen Weiss (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

It wasn’t all that long ago Stephen Weiss was considered one of the NHL’s brighter young talents, but he’ll be 32 in April, has struggled mightily with health issues for the past two seasons and looked to be following that pattern this year when a groin injury forced him out of the Detroit Red Wings’ lineup for 13 games. But after a conditioning stint in the AHL, Weiss made his return Monday against Ottawa – and the veteran center made people remember that talent with a two-goal performance – and a milestone in points – in Detroit’s 4-3 win over the visiting Senators.

Now in the second year of a five-year, $24.5-million contract with the Wings that carries an average cap hit of $4.9 million, Weiss scored his first of the night and season during a goalmouth scramble midway through the second period:

The goal was Weiss’ first since Oct. 14, 2013, but he didn’t have to wait nearly so long for his next one: it came about four minutes later on another close-range shot – although this one was one Sens goalie Craig Anderson would usually save: Read more

Remembering Pat Quinn: watch him break down his (in)famous hit on Bobby Orr

Adam Proteau
The big screen outside the Air Canada honors late NHL great Pat Quinn (Getty Images)

The passing of NHL great Pat Quinn Sunday night has brought back into focus his famous on-ice run-in with Boston Bruins icon Bobby Orr. And in this interview Quinn gave, he describes his view on the “cleanliness” of the incident – which saw the then-Maple Leafs defenseman launch himself into an unsuspecting Orr and knock him unconscious – and his relationship with Orr after it took place on April 2, 1969: Read more

Iconic Russian coach Viktor Tikhonov dies at age 84

Adam Proteau
Viktor Tikhonov (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Viktor Tikhonov, the iron-willed coach who helmed the Soviet Union’s best hockey teams during the height of the Cold War’s peak, died in a Moscow hospital Monday. For better and worse, the 84-year-old was one of the most influential figures in Russian hockey history, winning three Olympic gold medals, eight IIHF World Championship gold medals, 13 consecutive Soviet titles as head coach of CSKA Moscow, and one Canada Cup. Tikhonov had been admitted to hospital suddenly in late October, and was reported to have had lost the ability to “move independently”. Tikhonov is predeceased by his son, Vasily, who died at age 55 in 2013. His grandson, also named Viktor Tikhonov, played in the NHL with Phoenix in 2008-09 and currently plays in the Russian-based Kontinental League.

Born in 1930, Tikhonov first gained prominence on the Russian hockey scene playing for the Air Force’s team and Moscow Dynamo; he scored 35 goals in 296 games during a 15-year career in the Soviet Elite League, but it wasn’t until he retired and moved behind the bench that Tikhonov truly made a name for himself. Read more

Martin St-Louis: still crazy for goals after all these years

Adam Proteau
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Martin St-Louis may be 39 years old, but the reason he’s headed for the Hockey Hall of Fame when his career is over is because he’s never stopped playing with the hunger of a rookie. You could see that on display Sunday night when St-Louis‘ New York Rangers hosted the Montreal Canadiens and the right winger scored a beautiful goal that was all about extra effort.

The Blueshirts were already up 2-0 on the Habs late in the second period when St-Louis turned on the jets chasing a puck into Montreal’s zone, then picked the pocket of defenseman Alexei Emelin before flipping the puck up and past goalie Dustin Tokarski for his eighth goal of the season: Read more

Oilers legends were impeccable in Edmonton, but since they’ve moved on? Peccable. Very Peccable.

Adam Proteau
Kevin Lowe (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

When you consider what the glory-days Edmonton Oilers accomplished as players, you have to stand back in awe. Few teams were ever as ferocious. Fewer could boast of the stunning depth and breadth of their talent. From Wayne Gretzky to Mark Messier to Paul Coffey to Jari Kurri to Grant Fuhr and so many more, the franchise was like a Hockey Hall of Fame Factory that churned out legends the way potato chip companies now churn out preposterous flavors (coming soon: butterscotch pine blueberry guacamole mortadella cheese omelette), and their fans were treated to nightly exhibitions of the best the sport had to offer.

But since the Oilers won the last of their five Stanley Cups nearly a quarter-century ago, things rarely have gone the Oilers’ way. In fact, things have usually gone out of their way to avoid going the Oilers’ way. And if you look at the exploits of Edmonton’s key figures from those peak years after they left Edmonton – as coaches, as GMs – it becomes readily apparent that on-ice success doesn’t translate to the management suite.

In Phoenix, Gretzky had a slew of different titles (including alternate governor, managing partner, head of hockey operations and head coach), but he was unable to steer that team to any success before departing in 2009. In Manhattan, former Oilers coach and GM Glen Sather has been a success if you judge success by Eastern Conference championships (one in 13 seasons) and perpetual roster turnover, but not by any other metric. And of course, In Edmonton, Kevin Lowe and Craig MacTavish have been at or near the Oilers’ reins of power since Sather left the organization in 2000, yet they’ve proven utterly incapable of pushing the franchise back into relevance.

And quite frankly, it’s shocking owner Daryl Katz continues to operate as if they’ve got the answers.

It may have felt great for Katz to bank on Lowe and MacTavish when he bought the team in 2008, and it’s easy to see why: Katz is an Edmonton native who was in his early twenties when the duo were playing integral roles in the Oilers’ dynasty, and bringing them aboard was always going to play well in the press. Lowe and MacTavish are confident, intelligent men who could inspire many who count themselves as hardened cynics. These weren’t snake oil salesmen.

The only problem with hiring former stars as management figures to deliver you a Cup is this: it doesn’t work.

Take a look through the list of Cup champions, and you will find few, if any who were being led by former star players for the franchise. Read more