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.

Jordan Leopold’s daughter, and the heartwarming fan letter behind her father’s trade to the Wild

Adam Proteau
Jordan Leopold (Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Minnesota Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets pulled off a relatively minor trade before the 3 p.m. Eastern trade deadline, but when Minnesota landed Jordan Leopold from the Jackets, they not only acquired a veteran defenseman, but granted the wish of a young hockey fan – Leopold’s 11-year-old daughter, Jordyn.

Due to his duties with the Jackets this season, Jordan Leopold, a native of Golden Valley, Minn., hadn’t been back home since November. And in a letter sent to the Wild in January – and obtained by Minneapolis-St. Paul-based radio station KFAN 100.3 – his daughter Jordyn made a heartfelt request for the team to consider acquiring her father: Read more

Bolts make pair of late-night trades, send Radko Gudas, Brett Connolly packing in separate deals

Adam Proteau
Radko Gudas (Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman is known as one of the hardest-working GMs in the NHL, and in the wee hours of Monday morning, he showed why by pulling off two separate trades that address both his team’s present and future: the first sent blueliner Radko Gudas and Tampa’s first-and-third-round draft picks in 2015 to Philadelphia for veteran defenseman Braydon Coburn; the second moved out young right winger Brett Connolly to Boston for the Bruins’ second-round draft picks in both 2015 and 2016.

The Coburn/Gudas deal has the more immediate impact on the Bolts, as the 30-year-old Coburn comes in and adds depth, edge and post-season experience to a defense corps that already was formidable thanks to players such as Victor Hedman, Anton Stralman and Matt Carle. Coburn’s average ice time of 20:14 in 39 games for Philly this year is down more than two minutes from last season (22:27), but he’s a big body (6-foot-5) and he’s got enough snarl left in him to make up for the loss of Gudas, who had been lost for what was presumed to be the rest of the season after knee surgery in January. Coburn also is signed through next season at a manageable $4.5 million salary cap hit, and his 72 games of playoff experience are going to help Tampa once the regular-season ends. Read more

Someone stop Glen Sather before he transacts again: Busy Rangers GM signs Mats Zuccarello to four-year deal

Adam Proteau
Mats Zuccarello (Jared Silber/NHL)

Rangers GM Glen Sather was far and away the busiest GM on the day before the NHL trade deadline, making deals with Arizona and Winnipeg. But going into the day, the biggest question was the future of winger Mats Zuccarello, a pending restricted free agent who had been credibly rumored to be on the trade block due to his contractual uncertainty. And according to ESPN.com, Sather managed to get that situation cleared up before the clock struck midnight, signing Zuccarello to a four-year, $18-million deal to keep him in Manhattan for the long term.

With 12 goals and 35 points in 59 games this year, the 27-year-old Zuccarello isn’t enjoying the same success on offense has he did in the 2013-14 campaign (19 goals and 59 points in 77 games). Nevertheless, the speedy Norwegian has shown enough in more than five seasons with the team to have almost certainly received on the open market a significant raise from the $3.5 million he earned this year. Could he have received closer to $5 million a year instead of the $4.5 million he accepted? Read more

Red Wings land veteran winger Erik Cole from Stars as insurance for concussed Johan Franzen

Adam Proteau
Erik Cole (Glenn James/NHL)

The Red Wings are en route to their 24th consecutive playoff appearance, but may be without concussed key winger Johan Franzen for its entirety. With that in mind, GM Ken Holland moved Sunday and made a deal with his former assistant GM and current Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill for veteran Erik Cole.

The trade also sends a third-round draft pick in 2015 from Dallas to Detroit, while the Stars receive a second-round pick in 2015 as well as two 22-year-old prospects: centre Mattias Janmark, and defenseman Mattias Backman. But the Wings get the most recognizable asset in the Cole, who at 36 is nearing the end of his 13-season NHL career, yet still is contributing a better-than average amount of offense (he’s got 18 goals and 33 points in 57 games this year after posting 16 goals and 29 points in 75 games last season) and plays a physical game coach Mike Babcock will appreciate. Read more

Jets continue adding scoring depth/experience in trade with Rangers for winger Lee Stempniak

Adam Proteau
Lee Stempniak (Jared Silber/NHL)

With the NHL trade deadline less than 24 hours away, the Winnipeg Jets continued tinkering with their lineup, adding veteran right winger Lee Stempniak from the very busy New York Rangers Sunday in exchange for right winger Carl Klingberg.

Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff pulled off a trade for former Hurricanes winger Jiri Tlusty on Wednesday, and the deal for Stempniak mirrors that pattern insofar as there’s not a huge upside or downside to it. Read more

Jaromir Jagr scores first goal as Panther, ties legend Phil Esposito for fifth-most career goals in NHL history

Adam Proteau
Jaromir Jagr (Eliot J. Schechter/NHL)

As one of the few guaranteed first-ballot Hockey Hall of Famers playing in hockey’s top league, Jaromir Jagr is used to setting new milestones on the regular. And on Sunday, in his second game as a member of Panthers team that just acquired him, he added another two achievements to the list: his first goal for Florida, and his 717th career regular-season goal, tying him with legend Phil Esposito for fifth on the list of all-time NHL scorers.

The 43-year-old Jagr, dealt from New Jersey to the Panthers Thursday for a pair of draft picks, scored his first in a Florida uniform after picking up an attempted pass that took a bad bounce, and rifled it past Lightning goalie Ben Bishop: Read more