Today, a flurry of quickie questions, and slightly less quick answers.
What do you think the chances of the Penguins coming to Winnipeg are?
Unfortunately for the good folks of Winnipeg, the chances aren't good. And with whispers of fruitful arena negotiations between Pennsylvania state officials and team ownership, I'm lowering the odds of the Pens moving to Kansas City, from 65/35 to 55/45. It's still not a sure thing, but it looks better than it did last week.
That said, there are other teams in the league with financial issues nearly as large and troubling as Pittsburgh's (I'm looking at you, Florida, New Jersey, Nashville, Phoenix and Washington.) So, though there are a number of hurdles Manitobans will have to overcome to bring back NHL hockey, there's still reason to keep hope alive.
I have a quick question that I cannot find the answer to:
Which NHL team arena has the largest seating capacity and what is the number?
Officially, the Bell Centre, home of the Montreal Canadiens, has the largest seating capacity (21,273). But the Tampa Bay Lightning drew more than 22,000 last season for their home opener against Carolina, even though the official limit for the St. Pete Times Forum is 19,500.
How do you explain the discrepancy? Well, it is the state of Florida we're talking about. They haven't done too well at the counting game over the last decade.
What's going on with Eric Daze?
I know he had some back problems. Is he done, or does he just need more time to heal?
Daze was at a Hawks practice this week, but he wasn't playing. His back has not improved enough to allow him to play again, and though he hasn't officially filed retirement papers with the NHL (contrary to popular belief, the NHLPA has little to do with the process) it is but a formality.
I have now joined the many who disagree with rewarding points for losing. They talk about teams being .500 when in reality they are not. Sure, it makes for exiting playoff races but a loss is a loss in my opinion.
With ideas of awarding 3 points for a regulation win and so on, which would make the standings even more confusing, my question is...why not go to percentage ranked standings like the other sports? People don't seem to have a problem with that. It would be a simple win-loss record with games behind leaders.
It has seemed to work forever in baseball and basketball.
Well argued. I swore allegiance to the Â“all or nothingÂ” camp this season, mainly because I think it adds even more drama and intrigue to the shootout. If it's good enough to end games, the league needs to fully embrace Â– and milk Â– the process for all it's worth.
I also like the idea of percentage-based standings. Depending on how the league re-jigs their divisions, you'd think it best to follow the pro sports industry norm, and help the elusive casual fan to understand where their team ranks. But this being the NHL, there's no guarantee the obvious will be grasped.
The trading deadline is getting closer and closer. Do you see any big names being traded from the teams that probably will miss the playoffs, like Peter Forsberg or Bill Guerin? If yes, which teams can afford to get a player Forsberg with his big salary?
Do you think teams like Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Washington, N.Y. Islanders, Colorado, that are close to get a place in playoffs will trade away some draft picks and young players for a better player?
The Forsberg trade rumors just won't go away, even if they're wholly dependent on his always-precarious health. And as you can imagine, there are no shortage of NHL GMs salivating like frat boys during Spring Break at the prospect of bringing Foppa aboard for a playoff run.
Like Forsberg, Guerin has a no-trade clause in his one-year contract, but Blues GM Larry Pleau understands the massive reconstruction project that lies ahead, and he'll probably be asking Guerin (and fellow no-trade clause-holder) Keith Tkachuk to waive them before the deadline.
Obviously, every team's willingness to deal will depend on its place in the standings by mid-February. Of the teams you inquired about, the Penguins and Capitals have the most cap room with which to acquire a big-money player or two.
The Islanders and Coyotes dumped salary earlier in the season, and if they're out of the playoff race, expect them to continue the cost-cutting process, albeit with an eye toward contending right away next season.
Lump the Avs, who have the least amount of cap space to play with, in that group as well. They're not at all far away from a full-blown raze-and-rebuild job, meaning guys such as Milan Hejduk could be on the block.
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