We've got a handful of quick-hit Â‘Q's and Â‘A's today. Let's get right to Â‘em:
Many pundits are suggesting Patrick Marleau is done in San Jose. How likely is it Bob Gainey can swap him for Saku Koivu (whose best friend, Craig Rivet, is in San Jose)? The Sharks would get a fiery veteran with juice left in the tank, and Montreal would get a big center.
I'm a die-hard Montreal fan and love Koivu, but I think we need to?give up on championing him as our team's savior. What do you think?
First thing's first: Rivet is an unrestricted free agent this summer. Though he certainly played well for San Jose, there are no guarantees he'll be back next season.
Would I swap Koivu for Marleau? I would if I were Gainey, not only because I'd be making my team younger with the trade, but also because Marleau's contract is up after next year. But those are the same reasons I wouldn't do the deal if I were Sharks GM Doug Wilson.
I do agree with you about the folly of seeing Koivu as the Habs' centerpiece. Like Mats Sundin in Toronto, he's a gutsy warrior, but one with many miles on him. At this point in Koivu's career, he is more a complementary piece of the puzzle.
Is it just me, or is the amount of fans chanting the visiting team's goalie's name getting kind of ridiculous in these playoffs? It probably started with the Ottawa fans chanting Â“FleuryÂ” after he let in 3 quick goals in Game 1 of the first round, but why do you think everyone is doing it every single game?
Wray Perkin, Sackville, NB
I noticed that disturbing trend, too. It does seem to be over-the-top, especially when the home crowd starts tearing into the opposition goalie after he's given up only one goal.
But I'm always hesitant to rip arena fans who pay top dollar to watch NHL games. Sometimes, depending on which team you're watching, the frivolities in the stands are the most exciting part of the night.
That said, here's hoping the goalie name chants go the way of pyramid power, the Isles' Captain Highliner logo, and the glowing puck. The sheer simple-mindedness of it does nothing for me.
Last week you dealt with the issue of the Preds trading Tomas Vokoun. What are your thoughts/insights on the Wild trading Manny Fernandez?
It appears they are going to go all out to sign Niklas Backstrom, and Josh Harding is in the fold. Would there be any Manny takers?
Fernandez has two years and $7.5 million remaining on his contract. That's not a Theodore-ian financial albatross, but it isn't chump change either.
However, when you consider the weak nature of the unrestricted free agent market for goalies this summer Â– after J-S Giguere, you're looking at guys such as David Aebischer. Robert Esche, Curtis Joseph and Ed Belfour Â– it's clear Fernandez would be one of the better talents available.
So yes, I think he gets moved. But not until a few more deals for goalies get done first.
Many years ago, when I was a young boy (back in the Â‘60's) The Hockey News used to have a section called, Â“Where are they now?Â”. It focused on a recollection of retired players and what they were involved in long after retirement from professional hockey. Do you still feature this topic today?
Frank Gallo, Ancaster, Ont.
The Hockey News still has that feature, but we now call it Â“BackcheckingÂ”, and it's in every issue of the magazine.
One of my first regular duties at THN was writing the Backchecking column, and speaking with guys I grew up watching was a real treat. It's now in the talented hands of my colleague Ryan Dixon. Make sure you check it out.
What is TSN thinking having Pierre McGuire call games? I was wondering if you know of 5 people who actually like him?
I know of more than five people who like Pierre. I also know of more than a few folks who don't, but when you reach the level he has, you're never going to make everyone happy.
Personally, I enjoy McGuire's enthusiasm for the game. I'd rather see his personality pot bubble over than tune in to some NHL broadcasters, who make Ben Stein sound like Andy Dick.
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