This is the first Tuesday edition of the mailbag column. As always, you can submit questions HERE
When's your book going to be on Amazon.com?
John Sager, Houston, Texas
Congratulations for submitting the greatest-ever Ask Adam question thus far.
And at the end of this month, you should also be able to order the book at THN.com. Thanks for the interest.
What's up with Scott Niedermayer? Will he become the Roger Clemens of the NHL? I feel bad for the player who came to training camp, earned a spot on the team and may be told, Â“sorry, Scott's decided he wants to play now, so you're being sent down to the American League.Â”
How can he be helping his team by not making a decision?
Jan, Rochester, N.Y.
Having spoken with Scott a number of times over the years, I can assure you he is nowhere near the type of egomaniac Mr. Clemens is generally regarded as. He's certainly not a reporter's best friend, either, but a more polite and classy NHLer you're unlikely to find.
Still, I understand and agree with your point. I'm sure the rest of the Ducks will publicly state they're fine with whatever choice Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne make, but I don't doubt some of their teammates will be rubbed the wrong way by players who can pick and choose when they want to be part of a championship contender.
If this type of trend continues Â– and some believe it certainly will become more pervasive as the years go on and young players get extremely rich before they turn 30 Â– I'd bet the NHL will step in and attempt to end the practice.
For now, though, the Ducks are the guinea pigs in this regard. That may wind up being a good thing, but it could be a big problem, too.
Why won't Roberto Luongo wear a neck guard? His training camp mishap was the second time he was hit in the neck with a puck in less than a year. Why doesn't the league mandate neck guards?
Unfortunately, when it comes to player safety in the NHL, it's the same old story. Under the guise of Â“free choice,Â” players are left to their own devices to protect themselves Â– and just as in real life, some people just don't get it, no matter how close they come to disaster. It's as if nobody has shown Luongo the Clint Malarchuk skate-to-the-neck incident that almost cost the Buffalo goalie his life.
All I know is, were I the guy who was paying Luongo upwards of $7 million a year for the foreseeable future, not only would I insist every inch of his body be as safeguarded as possible, I'd also hire a food-taster to follow him around and prevent the possibility of poisoning. Better safe than sorry.
I regularly check THN.com for your most recent work, and while I certainly do not agree with everything you have to say, you say it with honesty and integrity. I respect that. Even if you hate (insert random something-er-other here).
I am writing to follow up on your Canadian Women's Hockey League article. Women's hockey is an entertaining sport to watch and I anxiously look forward to the 2010 Winter Olympics. In the meantime, however, I am curious if there is any chance this new league's games will be televised.
I presently live in Nashville, so I remain justifiably pessimistic, but is there a chance I'll be able to watch any of these games? If not, will they at least be televised in Canada?
Thanks for your time, Michael S. Domeracki
Your justifiable pessimism is, um, justified. It's a shame, but women's hockey hasn't grown to the point where any of their league games are televised (except, in rare instances, on local community cable TV).
The problem is, there are far too many mouth-breathers in the hockey world who attempt to compare the women's game to the men's game, belittling it in the process. Nobody says female long-distance runners aren't as tough or as fit as their male counterparts, but for some reason (abject chauvinism, most likely), a lot of hockey fans can't accept and embrace the difference between genders.
Taken on its own merits, the Western Women's Hockey League Â– and now, the Canadian Women's League Â– offers a solid and entertaining product to anyone with an open mind. Kudos to you for being one of those enlightened people.
Great column. I'm a UK-based hockey fan; my question relates to a recent UK elite league match.
During the game, a fiery little Canadian center spent the whole night delivering late hits, mouthing off and getting away with various off-the-puck antics to wind up various home team players (he was playing his agitators role superbly and putting the home team off their game no doubt).
This guy was offered a chance to drop the gloves with three different players (two of similar size and non-regular fighters), but he declined, laughing at them each time as he skated back to the bench. At 53:47, the ref dropped the puck and in the blink of an eye a home player dropped his gloves and drilled the agitator three or four times before he hit the ice.
My question is, was that totally out of order or did he have it coming? What would a true hockey fan like yourself think of that situation? Opinion was so divided as we drove home, I thought there was only one man to ask.
Firstly, I had no idea Theo Fleury was still playing hockey. Secondly, I'm sure the little twerp had it coming Â– at least in a karma-like sense.
The problem I have with such payback is that it is left up to the players to decide who gets it and when. No other sport allows its players to self-police the way hockey does; I think that is to its detriment and a fact that eventually will trigger the most tragic of results.
And I'd hate to be the person who has to tell a newly widowed woman and her kids, or two parents, that the reason they no longer have a father or son is because of some cockamamie Â“codeÂ” concocted by guys who profess to have respect for each other.
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