Eyes and ears

Adam Proteau
By: Adam Proteau
May 6, 2008

Does 'The Kid' get special consideration from referees? (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) Author: The Hockey News


Eyes and ears

Adam Proteau
By: Adam Proteau
May 6, 2008

A little advance warning – I’ll be putting together a mailbag feature this Friday and next Tuesday, but Friday the 16th, I’ll be recovering from my first night in Las Vegas and thus unwilling to work.

In my absence, the mailbag will be cobbled together by our writers and editors who aren’t on vacation. So if you’ve ever wanted to ask editor/writer Ryan Kennedy about Norwegian Death Metal, or editor Edward Fraser about his deep and lasting appreciation for the movie Sideways, or designer Matt Filion about how to get raccoons out of your attic, now’s your chance. Send your questions to the usual location ( and I’ll forward them along for a response.


I'm wondering why The Hockey News would put a picture of Alex Ovechkin on your cover holding a left-handed stick? I'm sure this wasn't a simple oversight.

Grant Schoenberger, Calgary


I wouldn’t be so sure. The Hockey News art director Jamie Hodgson – who was at that photo session the league conducted with Ovechkin – tells me the Capitals superstar was simply handed a random stick to hold for the shot and there was neither malice nor a subversive mindset behind it. You’re probably disappointed with that answer, but them’s the facts.

Yo man!

How come you didn't respond to my question before? I'm doing a project for school and I need info from you.

P. Singh

Yo P!

Dude, I like, totally did respond to your question! How come you didn’t read my response? You must be one of those “so-called readers.”

Dear Adam,

I am a season-ticket holding, die-hard Rangers fan who loves the game itself only slightly less than my team. I state this knowing the diving issue with Sidney Crosby has become a huge focal point and have watched enough hockey to know that one fan's dive is another’s major/match penalty, but in all of my life, whether watching or playing I have never seen a player have or be allowed to have as much interaction with referees as Crosby.

Whether during TV timeouts or stoppages, Sid always has one of the refs’ ears (sometimes both refs) and the conversations seem to be back and forth. Sometimes these conversations seem to be quite heated, but even when they are not, the refs seem to entertain him.

Have you in your experience ever seen another player have what appears to be as cozy a relationship with the refs as what Crosby seems to enjoy?

Thomas O'Reilly, Engelwood, N.J.


Believe it or not, NHLers of bygone eras had a ton of interaction with the officials. You think Wayne Gretzky just politely skated away when he disagreed with a referee’s decision?

Crosby is the Penguins’ captain, so he’s bound to deal with the zebras more often than his teammates. And I think he’s learned his lesson from his rookie year in the league when he was privately lambasted by some officials for being overly vocal toward them on the ice.

He’s better about picking his spots now, but because there’s always at least one camera on him during games, it probably appears as if he’s constantly complaining. And that’s one of those unfair aspects of a marquee star’s existence they learn to deal with.


Darren McCarty has been the feel-good story of the year. When I heard he was coming back, I thought "Oh great, just a crappy three- minute-a-game fighter." However, not only is he playing more minutes, he's also a force. He's creating good scoring chances for his teammates and is a physical threat. This is the best hockey I've ever seen him play.

How does a player go from the pits of life to being a huge piece in Detroit's success?

Brian B., Rochester, N.Y.


My colleague Mike Brophy wrote a great column on McCarty you need to read. In it, he describes the personal problems that drove him out of the league and the dedication he needed to demonstrate to give himself another shot in Detroit.

Like the ‘80s glam metal band Cinderella said, sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone, and that’s obviously the case with McCarty. As seen in the play of veterans Mike Modano and Jeremy Roenick, a ticking clock on your career makes for great motivation.


How many Canadians are on the Montreal Canadiens right now? Are any from Quebec?

Katherine Kidd, Kingston, Ont.


So you didn’t read my last mailbag either, eh? I addressed it there, but because you’re not ‘Yo-ing” me like P. Singh, I’ll recap quickly here.

According to their roster, the Habs have 17 Canadians, including seven from Quebec. And if I get another question from you asking what a Hab is, I’m telling you right now it’s not making the cut for the next mailbag.

Ask Adam appears Tuesdays and Fridays only on The Hockey To send us your question or comment, click HERE.

Adam Proteau is The Hockey News' online columnist and a regular contributor to His blog appears Mondays and Wednesdays and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.

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Eyes and ears