For this first column, I wanted to clear up a few misconceptions.
Misconception No. 1: The Hockey News Hates The Oilers And Everything They Represent. Not true. This rumor began making the rounds when THN predicted the Oilers would finish 12th in the Western Conference in 2006-07 – a year after their stirring run to the Stanley Cup Final – and wound up being correct.
Judging by the furious correspondence we received from Oilers fans, you would’ve thought we’d crowned Peter Pocklington “NHL Team Owner Of The Century.”
We took the hate mail in stride, because each of our predictions are made with a complete and utter absence of malice. We calls ‘em like we sees ‘em, folks; sometimes we’re wrong and sometimes we’re bang-on. However, we never make it personal.
Misconception No. 2: The Hockey News Hates (Or Favors) Any NHL Teams. Also untrue. Believe it or not, I don’t root for or against one particular organization.
Yes, I cheer on NHL coaches, GMs or players I’ve met and found to be fantastic people – and yes, I might occasionally derive pleasure from watching some s.o.b’s around the league suffer a serious butt-whoopin’ – but by and large, I always try to remain impartial.
Misconception No. 3: The Hockey News’ Staff Are ‘Experts’. Although part of me wishes this were true, the reality is, all of us who work at THN understand we’re just like any other hockey fan – only we’re fortunate enough to be paid to watch games and provide opinions on the game.
So whatever you do, don’t take anything I say as gospel. Except for the sentence before this one.
The column also appears in the Edmonton Metro newspaper.
Adam Proteau is writer and columnist for The Hockey News and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Mondays, his Ask Adam feature appears Fridays and his column, Screen Shots, appears Thursdays.
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