Olaf Kolzig will hit the UFA market July 1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
On account of a mini-vacation, this here is the last mailbag column I’ll be doing until next Tuesday. You can keep sending questions to the usual spot (firstname.lastname@example.org), but Friday’s mailbag will be cobbled together by a crack squad of answerers who work alongside me.
Now that Olaf Kolzig has stated he is not returning to the Washington Capitals next season, which team do you see Kolzig fitting in with best?
Cameron Paul, Winnipeg
At this stage of his great career, Kolzig will fit in best as a backup somewhere or in the same kind of platoon setup that worked so well for the Red Wings this season.
If he’s good with that – and a major pay decrease – maybe a potential playoff team such as the Senators, Sabres or Hurricanes takes a chance on him. With the goalie market as watered-down as it is, he won’t have a lot of choice in the matter.
What has happened to Bill Clement? He was a fixture on Versus and now he is nowhere to be seen. One of my all-time favorites!
Harry Williams, Mansfield, Texas
Clement has been working for a number of broadcasters, including Sportsnet TV in Canada, XM Radio, and Comcast’s Flyers broadcasts, since parting ways with Versus.
I also believe he’s scheduled to do some work with NBC when the 2010 Olympic Winter Games are held in Vancouver.
Did John Ferguson Jr. overrate the Leafs’ free agent signings, or was he a victim of bad luck and bad timing? Can the next GM turn it around as quickly as Paul Holmgren did in Philly?
John Yates, Stamford, Conn.
Let’s put it this way – until I see another 34-year-old NHLer land a five-year contract like Jason Blake did, it’s safe to say he is one example of the players Ferguson thought a little too highly of.
The Flyers were able to rebound quickly in part because of the number of great young players developing in their system, as well as a couple of timely deadline trades that added highly-rated prospects to the team.
The Leafs had and have neither of those things, so the only shot they’ve got to even get close to a playoff berth next season is if management finds creative ways to pare down the payroll by buying out, waiving or demoting high-profile pooches off the roster.
I’m not guaranteeing that won’t be the case, but given the history of Toronto’s current ownership and management, I’ll believe it when I see it.
I love your column, and I always look forward to reading it. Why aren't goalies allowed to wear the C?
Will Hayden, Nicholasville, Ky.
Thanks for the kind words. But why aren’t you loving my mailbag column, too? And what about my blogs? Man, you’re tough to please.
Goaltenders haven’t been allowed to be captain because their on-ice movements during a game are highly restricted. For instance, a goalie can’t even head to his own bench for equipment repairs or a new stick during a play stoppage without first receiving permission from a referee.
Obviously, the captain needs to converse with his coach and teammates a little more freely than that.
I don't have a question this time, I just wanted to say have fun in Las Vegas! My wife and I are going in August. It will be our first time. We usually go to Florida, but a certain 62-year old diva playing at Caesar's has forced us to change our travel plans this year.
Thanks for using so many of my questions on your site. I always love reading your columns, and watching all the THN guys on Off The Record. As always, keep up the great work!
Steve Dicker, Paradise, Nfld.
Thanks for the compliments. It’s my second time in Vegas and the hotel I’ll be at is a bit of an improvement from the dump I patronized last time.
I’m looking forward to the sun and the, um, “attractions,” but I’m also excited to see a number of NHLers trying to gamble and/or imbibe their on-ice troubles away.
Last time I was there, I saw six or seven high-profile types – a couple of whom are still playing in this post-season – enjoying themselves at both the casinos and the discotheques. And I’m sure I’ll see a few again, though I won’t name names. At least, for public consumption.
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