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.

Paul Bissonnette’s epic Ice Bucket Challenge video will leave you breathless

Adam Proteau
Paul Bissonnette

As the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge picks up steam with more entertaining videos every day, free agent winger Paul Bissonnette just set the standard by which all other submissions will be judged.

After being challenged by his former Phoenix (and now Arizona) Coyotes teammate Keith Yandle, Bissonnette responded with a helicopter trip to the top of a majestic (unidentified) mountain, and – clad in what can only be described as something that shouldn’t be described – he was doused in genuine glacier icewater: Read more

Isles’ Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin cool down hilariously for charity

Adam Proteau
Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin

In their years as Toronto Maple Leafs teammates, Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin became close friends – and now that they’re playing for the New York Islanders, they’re showing their sense of humor for a great cause.

In this brief video, Kulemin accepts the “ice bucket challenge” – part of a campaign to raise awareness about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease – by dumping a pail of freezing water over his head. But when he’s done…well, watch the video and see what happens: Read more

Leafs, Penguins among the NHL’s five most pressure-packed markets in 2014-15

Randy Carlyle (Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

The NHL has always been a pressure-packed league, but from year-to-year, some teams face more pressure than others. Which franchises are going to be dealing with an especially hot seat once the 2014-15 season begins? These five:

5. Washington Capitals. When the Caps missed the playoffs last year and owner Ted Leonsis cleaned house on the management side, some observers expected them to go the same route with their underachieving roster. They did no such thing, and instead doubled down with two high-priced free agent acquisitions (defensemen Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen). Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee they’ll even make the playoffs in the mediocre Metropolitan division. And if they fall on their faces again and miss the post-season for the second straight year – the first time that will have happened since 2005-07 – what will ownership’s response be then?

4. San Jose Sharks. Sports has a long tradition of identifying underdogs – i.e., teams not expected to do well because they’re lacking in depth or talent – but the Sharks are now officially overdogs: a team not expected to do well despite having all kinds of depth and talent. San Jose GM Doug Wilson’s criticism of his group of players after last spring’s playoff collapse against the Kings should have everyone walking on eggshells as soon as training camp begins, but any kind of serious stumble during the season could lead to major changes. Read more

Should these five aging NHL veterans hang in there or hang ‘em up?

Adam Proteau
Daniel Alfredsson (Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

As we approach late summer, a handful of older NHL veterans remain unsigned. And that begs the question: are they not listening to Father Time telling them they’re due to retire, or are they right to hold out in the hope a job opens up for them? Let’s take a look at five such players and offer an opinion on whether they should hang in there or hang ‘em up:

Saku Koivu, C: At age 39, Koivu had 11 goals and 29 points for Anaheim last season. His Corsi-for number has fallen steadily since 2012 and his ice time has been reduced by an average of more than three minutes a game (to just 15:02 last year) since 2011-12, but remember, he’s been on a deep Ducks team that didn’t need to rely on him. In the right environment – in other words, on a playoff-bound franchise – he can provide help down the middle and on faceoffs. Hang in there or hang ‘em up? Hang in there

Martin Brodeur, G: Nobody questions why Brodeur wants to continue playing. When you’ve accomplished as much as he has and is considered one of the greatest goaltenders in hockey history, it’s only natural you’d want to stick around for as long as possible. But anyone who’s seen the decline in his game in recent years wouldn’t hold it against him if he retired. The lack of interest in him as a starter is telling. If the 42-year-old is willing to play a backup role on a contender, he might have a little bit left in the tank. If not, the writing is on the wall. Hang in there or hang ‘em up? Hang in there as a backup; hang ‘em up as a starter. Read more

NHL logo rankings No. 12: Florida Panthers

Adam Proteau
FLAMAIN

The Florida Panthers have drastically revamped their team for the coming season. However, in THN’s 2014 NHL logo ranking contest, their logo – which hasn’t changed much at all in their 21-year existence – fared well among our in-house panel of judges. They ranked the Panthers’ current logo 12th-best.

Do you think you could improve on the Panthers’ logo? If so, create one and submit it to editorial@thehockeynews.com. Once our logo rankings conclude, we’ll share them online.

HISTORY OF THE PANTHERS LOGO

(All logos from Chris Creamer’s website.)

The Panthers joined the NHL in 1993 and had their name selected in a fan voting contest. The choice in animal was connected to the Florida panther, an endangered species cougar known to inhabit swamps in South Florida. And their first choice in logo has proven to be such a hit, it’s essentially stayed the same ever since. Read more

Five reasons to be excited about another outdoor NHL game in California

Adam Proteau
Dodger Stadium (Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images)

The NHL announced Wednesday it will stage another California outdoor game – this one Feb. 21, 2015 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara between the host Sharks and the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings. Here are five reasons to be excited about the event:

5. Outdoor games will be more of a novelty this year. Last year the NHL staged six outdoor games – in Detroit, Los Angeles, Chicago, Vancouver, and two in New York City – but NHL brass has said there will be fewer outdoor games this season. So there will be a fresher feel to this one.

4. It’s California outdoor hockey – who knows what can happen? Everything went off without a hitch when the Kings hosted the first NHL California outdoor game in history last season and L.A. lost to the Anaheim Ducks 3-0. But Mother Nature can always be a challenge – and despite the savvy of NHL ice guru Dan Craig, the elements could be an issue. The league has had great luck with weather thus far in its outdoor games, but sooner or later… Read more

Signing Michael Del Zotto an indictment of Flyers’ middling defense corps

Adam Proteau
Michael Del Zotto (Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

After receiving tough news Tuesday about veteran blueliner Kimmo Timonen, the Philadelphia Flyers moved quickly to replace their most experienced defenseman by signing Michael Del Zotto to a one-year, $1.3-million contract. But the fact GM Ron Hextall turned to a former hot property whose stock has fallen precipitously is an indication Philly’s defense corps could be the area that prevents the Flyers from securing a playoff berth this season.

Since star blueliner Chris Pronger had his career ended in 2011 by post-concussion syndrome, the Flyers have been searching to bolster their blueline. Timonen and Braydon Coburn are the only holdovers from Pronger’s time in Philadelphia, and because the organization hasn’t been able to produce a home-grown d-man of impact, they’ve had to look elsewhere – namely, the New York Islanders, from whom they acquired former Isles blueliners Mark Streit (via free agency) and Andrew MacDonald (via trade). They dealt skilled young winger James van Riemsdyk to Toronto for Luke Schenn. And those moves didn’t produce the desired result; Philly was 17th in Corsi-for last season and were in the lower tier of the NHL in goals-allowed (20th overall at 2.77 goals per game).

Those numbers won’t improve with the arrival of Del Zotto, who at age 24 has arrived at a crossroads in his five-year NHL career and who had to accept a major pay cut (from $2.55 million last season) to continue playing in hockey’s top league. Read more

THN logo rankings No. 14: New York Rangers

Adam Proteau
RangersMAIN

The New York Rangers are fortunate to have the aura that comes along with being an Original Six franchise, but in THN’s 2014 NHL logo ranking contest, their reliance on tradition hasn’t pushed them to the top. Our in-house panel of judges ranked the Rangers’ current logo 14th-best.

The Blueshirts have made very few tweaks to the original team logo used in their inaugural season of 1926-27. In many ways, that’s a good thing that speaks to the positive reception it’s had with the franchise’s fan base. But at a time when brands are almost always reshaping their image, the Rangers aren’t standing out with their current logo.

Maybe you think you could improve on the Rangers logo. If that’s true, put one together and submit it to editorial@thehockeynews.com. Once our logo rankings conclude, we’ll share them online.

HISTORY OF THE RANGERS LOGO

(All logos from Chris Creamer’s website.)

The Rangers – initially owned by George Lewis “Tex” Rickard, boxing promoter and president of Madison Square Garden – had their logo designed in part to differentiate from the rival New York Americans, who’d began playing at the famous arena one year sooner. Whereas the Americans’ logo spelled our their name horizontally, Rickard’s Rangers would begin their existence by spelling out their team name diagonally.

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