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.

Pens’ Marc-Andre Fleury robs Caps’ Michael Latta of highlight-reel goal

Adam Proteau
Marc-Andre Fleury (Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was getting the business at the NHL All-Star Game in Columbus for surrendering seven goals on 16 shots, but that game meant nothing. And in his first regular-season game since All-Star weekend, Fleury was showing the form that got him named an all-star in the first place, robbing Washington’s Michael Latta of what would’ve been a highlight reel goal.

Latta split the Penguins’ defense and looked like he was about to deke Fleury out of his equipment, but the veteran netminder jutted out his left leg just enough to stop the puck from crossing the goal line: Read more

Remembering hockey friends we’ve lost via the scourge of mental illness

Adam Proteau
Rick Rypien (Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)

Once again, Bell Canada’s admirable “Let’s Talk” campaign, which focuses on raising mental health awareness, has dominated social media via the #BellLetsTalk hashtag and in part due to the communications giant’s pledge to donate five cents for every tweet or retweet it got on Twitter. But it wouldn’t be doing much good if we didn’t continue the conversation beyond one designated day each year. And we’d be remiss in the hockey world if we didn’t stop and remember the people mental illness has taken from this community.

Mental illness took away Rick Rypien, the Canucks enforcer who was engulfed by clinical depression and committed suicide in August of 2011. Mental illness claimed the life of Daron Richardson, daughter of former NHLer Luke Richardson, who ended her life when she was only 14 years old. Mental illness robbed us of a full life for Terry Trafford, the OHL player who killed himself days after his 20th birthday in March of last year. It took Wade Belak, another physically tough customer who endeared himself to NHL fans on and off the ice, at age 35 in August of 2011. Most recently, it took Clint Reif, the beloved Blackhawks assistant equipment manager, just days before Christmas at age 34.

And that’s to say nothing of hockey people who’ve attempted to hurt themselves or been affected by mental illness. Read more

Penguins trade Marcel Goc to Blues for Max Lapierre in a curious deal for more grit

Adam Proteau
Marcel Goc (Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images)

Penguins GM Jim Rutherford is known around the NHL to be fond of working well in advance of the NHL trade deadline, so news he had made another move Tuesday night was not terribly surprising. What was, though, was the deal he made, sending useful center Marcel Goc to St. Louis in exchange for rugged center Maxim Lapierre.

The 31-year-old Goc, who came to Pittsburgh late last season from Florida, had become a dependable penalty-killer under coach Mike Johnston – he led the team’s forwards in average PK time (3:00) in 43 games this year – and Blues coach Ken Hitchcock will be licking his chops looking forward to utilizing him. Coming to the Penguins in return is the 29-year-old Lapierre, who was averaging only 10:21 per game in St. Louis. He’s spent time on the Blues’ PK, but he’s clearly coming over to give the Pens more toughness and edge. Read more

Whoops – Penguins game program bungles Sidney Crosby’s name

Adam Proteau
Sidney Crosby (Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images)

Anyone who has worked in journalism long enough knows that, despite the best efforts of all involved, mistakes happen – and they’ve certainly happened here at THN. So it’s easy to empathize with the error Pittsburgh Post-Gazette hockey reporter Seth Rorabaugh discovered on the cover of the Penguins’ game program distributed before the Pens’ tilt against Winnipeg Tuesday night.

That said, to call it glaring is to understate it. They got the captain’s name wrong.

Yes, Pens star Sidney Crosby’s given name was misspelled. Read more

Radek Dvorak calls it quits on 18-year, 1,260-game NHL career

Radek Dvorak (Paul Bereswill/Getty Images Sport)

Veteran right winger Radek Dvorak, who played 1,260 career regular-season NHL games with eight teams over 18 years, retired Tuesday.

The 37-year-old Dvorak was drafted by the Florida Panthers 10th overall in 1995, and developed into a solid, if unspectacular forward who could play defense (he still holds Florida’s team record for most shorthanded goals, with 16). He had a 31-goal campaign for the Rangers in 2000-01, but never scored more than 20 in a single season after that. Having had two separate stints with the team, he’s second in Panthers franchise history in games played (613), but also spent time with the Blueshirts, Edmonton Oilers, St. Louis Blues, Atlanta Thrashers, Dallas Stars, Anaheim Ducks and the Carolina Hurricanes. And he represented his homeland at the 2002 Olympics, the 2004 World Cup of Hockey, and numerous IIHF World Championships. Read more

Don’t rip Sidney Crosby for missing the All-Star Game – he gives more than enough of himself

Adam Proteau
Sidney Crosby  (Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images)

Let me see if I’ve got this straight: Sidney Crosby was selfish for missing the NHL’s All-Star Game weekend? It wasn’t enough that he was injured, and would have to sit out the Penguins’ first game after the break – he wasn’t there to shake hands and kiss babies, and that’s all the evidence we need of his moral turpitude? Is that what we’re going with?

If so, one question: just how much of Crosby’s time – or any athlete’s time – is the public entitled to? Who do we think we are, and when did we decide a star’s every waking moment was going to be ours? Why do some of us think there’s a string to be pulled in each player’s back, and all we need to do is stretch that string back, let it snap into place between his shoulder blades, and sit back as they perform for our enjoyment?

This is what I’m talking about: the NHL just announced the return of its World Cup of Hockey in 2016, adding another event to an already-overpacked calendar for its best players. As it is, between the conclusion of the Stanley Cup playoffs in mid-June and the kickoff of NHL training camps in early September, those players have only a handful of weeks to themselves and their families before they’re back on a sheet of ice somewhere or training in a gym. With another destination for Crosby now in 2016, he’ll be busier than ever.

The NHL Awards. The Olympics. The Winter Classic. The list never ends, and because he’s involved with all high-profile events, a player of Crosby’s stature opens up his life to the public at virtually every turn. He’s been in the spotlight since he was a seven-year-old phenom in Nova Scotia. This is to say nothing of his promotional efforts for the team and the NHL’s annual media tour, his endorsement work that also helps the community, and of course, the time he gives to charity.

Does this sound like an individual hoarding their time from the fans and the world around them? How can anyone rationally argue Crosby hasn’t been an incredible ambassador for the sport? Read more

Flyers’ Zac Rinaldo suspended eight games for charging, boarding Pens’ Kris Letang

Adam Proteau
Zac Rinaldo (Getty Images)

The NHL’s department of player safety Monday suspended Flyers winger Zac Rinaldo eight games – a career-best, or a career-worst, depending on how you look at it – for charging and boarding Penguins defenseman Kris Letang in a Jan. 20 game.

This is the 24-year-old Rinaldo’s third NHL suspension and it’s double the number of games he received in April for taking out Sabres defenseman Chad Ruhwedel. He’s a repeat offender likely to repeat again after this, and everyone knows it. If the league was truly intent on creating the safest possible working environment, it would punish team owners, GMs and coaches for every wanton act performed by a professional agitator such as Rinaldo. But the absence of such a punishment system speaks volumes. Read more

Erik Johnson’s knee injury a brutal blow to Avs’ post-season hopes

Adam Proteau
Erik Johnson (Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson, who was a late cut from the NHL All-Star Game due to injury, will miss the next three-to-eight weeks after having knee surgery, the team announced Monday.

Before being pulled from the all-star game in Columbus, the 26-year-old was enjoying a career year on offense, setting a personal best in goals (12) in just 47 games when his previous high was 10 goals in 79 games. Read more