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After a lengthy break from answering reader questions, columnist Adam Proteau breaks out the mailbag and deals with a slew of different topics.
Hello again, and welcome to a special edition of the Ask Adam mailbag, last seen around these parts a few months ago after a long and spirited run. The process has remained the same – you question, I answer – but the questions were solicited exclusively via Twitter tonight. I’m rested, rejuvenated and happy to engage with those kind enough to submit something, so let’s have at it.
Adam, why can’t the home team choose what color jersey they wear? The NFL does it. Seems like good marketing to me.
Time for this annual question, I suppose, so it’s good to get it out of the way early. The NHL switched to home dark jerseys and white jerseys on the road in the 2003-04 season, but they do permit teams to make requests to wear either white jerseys at home or special third jerseys on occasion. So there is some choice, but clearly, the league prefers it this way, and not enough teams feel differently to force a change.
Adam, the AHL test of overtime looks good so far. How does NHL/NHLPA feel about it?
You’re right, the AHL adopting 3-on-3 overtime has been a success, at least in limiting the number of games that go to a shootout: through Monday, all six games that went beyond regulation ended before a shootout was necessary. And the tweak – extending overtime to seven minutes, playing the first three minutes 4-on-4, and switching to 3-on-3 following the first whistle after the four-minute mark – hardly is radical.
Virtually all NHL people I speak with want fewer games going to shootouts, so I think it’s an inevitability in hockey’s top league in the next couple seasons. The NHL may choose to tweak the rule a little more, but this idea represents proof-riddled pudding, and it’s hard to imagine they’ll find a rationalization to continue on their present course.
Adam, why does every team I love lose?
As someone who’s lived in Toronto virtually all his days, I can empathize. But although your Caps haven’t won it all, think of how many NHL fan bases have been traumatized in their own special way: The Blues, Sabres, Panthers, Wild, Sharks, Jets and Canucks all have their own horror stories of unfulfilled promise and heartbreak each and every year. The NHL has improved parity in recent years, but the fact is only a handful of teams has had savvy enough management and the right kind of luck to deliver them to the promised land.
If you’re a Caps fan, I’m not sure you’re going to have your love rewarded this year, but who knows, stranger things have happened, right? Anyhow, your love is not a curse. It’s a blessing. Teams that have fewer fans than the Caps can attest to this. It’s just on the management and ownership to bring you and the fan base that Cup.
I think it’s fantastic than NHL teams have extended invitations to elite female players to take part in practice, but I think we’re still a very long time away from women playing alongside men. The physicality of the men’s game wouldn’t allow for it.
That said, having women hone their skills in practice and confer with their NHL counterparts on improving their game is a genuine bonus that will lead to a better women’s hockey product. And yeah, they’re also getting a publicity boost, but it’s not as if this is an empty sideshow exercise. It’s another step in building the women’s game, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Adam, will the BRUINS finally score some goals?
Yes. I’m pretty confident about this.
Adam, who's the best Canadian hair band of the '80s? *may have gone off your implied topic
This is an extremely tough question. Honeymoon Suite, Harlequin and Aldo Nova are all up there for me, but I have to give it to the immortal Helix, who helped young Canadians learn how to spell AND rock all at once. The Canadian way to rock, really.