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.

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

One of NHL all-star weekend’s brightest stars is Darryl Sutter’s son, Chris

Adam Proteau
Darryl Sutter and Chris Sutter (Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Although hometown hero Ryan Johansen was voted MVP of the 2015 NHL All-Star Game Sunday night, the person who best embodied the spirit of the event was Chris Sutter, son of L.A. Kings (and Team Foligno) coach Darryl Sutter.

Chris Sutter, who lives with Down Syndrome, was helping his father coach Team Foligno in Columbus, and took the game as seriously as anyone in the building. The 21-year-old was on the bench offering support to Bobby Ryan after his goal, as well as advice to superstar Patrick Kane (while fellow star Alex Ovechkin looked on amusedly): Read more

Here’s your first look at the NHL’s latest groundbreaking technology

Adam Proteau
The NHL's new player tracking system

As the NHL modernizes its approach to advanced statistics, it’s also striving to change with the times as it pertains to the technology surrounding the sport. And at the 2015 All-Star Game in Columbus, league officials provided the first look at one of those new technologies: an in-game tracking system for players that looks to be the next level of the real-time, actively connected sports experience.

The new system, developed by sports broadcasting company Sportvision, tracks players by microchips implanted in their jerseys and with microchips in pucks, registering and displaying information from ice time to shot velocity. For a program in its infancy, the results look impressive: Read more

Four reasons to love the new World Cup of Hockey format

Adam Proteau
NHLPA Executive Director Donald Fehr (L) and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman reveal plans for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. (Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

The NHL announced Saturday a new, radical format for the returning World Cup of Hockey. Although many have criticized the inclusion of a team comprised of the best North American players 23 or younger and one stocked with the best players from the non-”big four” European countries, there’s plenty to like about the structure of the tournament. Here are the top four things to like about the 2016 World Cup.

4. The future possibilities. With the NHL appealing to other countries via the European combined team and the league clearly intending to extend its imprint on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, there could be a day the tournament takes place in its entirety there. Does anyone doubt a World Cup in Sweden or Russia would be a smashing success? They shouldn’t. The league is building the event safely by choosing Toronto, but it’s not going to stay in that city forever.

3. The controversy. The format is already paying off, as hockey fans of all degrees are discussing the difference between this tourney and the standard, IIHF-sanctioned hockey showdown. Be honest – if the NHL and NHL Players’ Association had simply said, “Everything we did at the last World Cup, we’ll do again in 2016,” the hype over the event would have faded in the immediate months to come, before it began to spike at the end of next season. Now, people will debate all the angles – the rosters, the eventual transition to a more traditional format – and they’ll stay more engaged with it for a longer period. That can only help fuel interest and anticipation. The status quo wouldn’t have done any of that. Read more

Opinion: Why does fighting need to go? It’s all about the brain

Adam Proteau
George Parros (Richard WolowiczGetty Images)

In 12 years at The Hockey News, I’ve made my position on fighting clear: hockey, and the NHL in particular, doesn’t do enough to curtail it. It can’t be banned any more than the NBA, NFL, MLB or any other professional league can stop people from punching each other about the face and head, but it can be regulated to a far greater degree. That’s not radical or treasonous, no matter how staunch the game’s traditionalists try making it out to be.

The encouraging news is how far the debate has shifted. Where once I heard wisecracks from colleagues who’d make half-serious jokes about me fleeing press row when a fight broke out, I now have a steady stream of people (fans and media) saying essentially the same thing: “I used to love all kinds of fighting, but now I’m with you – I can’t get into the staged fights anymore.” Read more

Ill Sens GM Bryan Murray likely to step down at end of season, but will choose successor

Adam Proteau
Bryan Murray (Getty Images)

Ottawa Senators GM Bryan Murray is in the midst of battling Stage 4 cancer that began in his colon and has since spread to his lungs and liver. He is answering a bleak future by carrying on every day as normally as he can, and in doing so, he’s become a model for anyone facing adversity. But the 72-year-old veteran NHL executive is realistic enough to know his days running the franchise are nearing an end – most likely at the conclusion of the current season – and to the credit of Sens owner Eugene Melnyk, Murray has been given free reign to select his successor.

In a moving interview with the Ottawa Citizen’s Wayne Scanlan, Murray said that, because of his condition, he’ll likely resign as Sens GM this summer, but added that Melnynk is giving him the chance to decide on the best person to replace him.

“I think I’ve got to take a look at it at the end of this year,” Murray said of stepping down. “All Eugene said to me was, ‘You’re going to pick the next guy, Bryan. Work with me on it, but you come up with when you’re going to transfer it over.’”

Read more

Predators’ Filip Forsberg will replace Evgeni Malkin at all-star game

Filip Forsberg (Getty Images)

The NHL didn’t take long to fill the all-star game void created by injured Penguins star Evgeni Malkin, naming Predators rookie Filip Forsberg as his replacement at the 2015 game in Columbus.

Malkin was declared unable to play early Thursday afternoon due to a lower-body injury, and Forsberg was a relatively easy choice to replace the veteran center. The 20-year-old Swede leads all Preds scorers with 15 goals and 40 points in 45 games, and was already scheduled to participate in this year’s all-star festivities as one of six freshmen selected to take part in the skills competition. Read more