Sidney Crosby has five points in four games since his latest return from injury and has 24 goals and 72 points this season. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images)
After an April Fools Day semi-hiatus, we’re back with a normal edition of your wonderings and my replies. We begin with a gentleman who seems somewhat confused by my last mailbag column.
In your last mailbag, you wrote: "As a general rule, I always trust government institutions to tell me and my fellow citizens the truth. Politicians and political bodies never ever allow the interests of industry leaders or monopolies to undermine what's best for the public."
Adam – are you 11 years old or really that naive? Governments act in the best interest of their citizens? I laughed out loud when I read your response. Ever heard of the tobacco industry? Or maybe the price of gas rings a bell, no – still nothing? Let's see – the Iraq war? Just thought you could use an update concerning the world around you.
I suppose you never got down to the bottom of that column before writing; if you had – or if you’ve read any of my writing prior to Tuesday – I’m sure you’d have realized the joke.
But don’t worry; you’re not the only sarcasm-challenged reader out there (this means you, Fred C. in Montreal). Just thought you could use an update on the hockey journalism world around you.
Have any of the NHL's GMs considered a conditional no-trade clause for players? It would essentially say if a player records X number of points, they can't be traded; but if they fail to reach the target, they're fair game.
As much as I enjoy watching the Leafs writhe in agony (go Habs!), I feel such a contract would have allowed them to be free of Darcy Tucker and Bryan McCabe. Those players would have nobody to blame but themselves for sucking their way out of their no-trade clause.
Chad, Shenandoah, Pa.
Finally, a Chad who makes some sense! I like this idea a lot, though I don’t know that very many agents – particularly the ones who have an honest sense of their clients’ abilities – will be overly thrilled by it. But your suggestion does show there are more creative ways to dole out NTCs, and I hope GMs follow your lead.
If they can’t - or won’t - the league ought to ban them altogether during the next collective bargaining agreement. (The NTCs, not the GMs – don’t want another angry email from Chad in Edmonton.)
Just wondering which of the Mike Lange-isms you think will win the NCAA-style tournament I'm running on my blog, Going Five Hole.
Sean Leahy, North Babylon, N.Y.
Hilarious stuff, especially for a longtime Lange fan like me. I’m torn between “Look out Loretta,” “He doesn’t know whether to cry or wind his watch,” and “She wants to sell my monkey!”
I think I’m going with selling the monkey, because there are some non-sports interpretations of that line that make me giggle uncontrollably. Thanks for the laughs.
Is Sidney Crosby the best player of all-time? Judging by how the hockey media portrays him, he is.
I'm sick of this Crosby propaganda. If the NHL wants to attract more American fans they need to promote all of its stars, not just one, who is injury prone. What do you think?
Jeff Evkovich, Welland, Ont.
I’ve written earlier this year about the need for the league to push more players than just Crosby, but I don’t harbor any ill will towards Sidney because of the hype that follows him everywhere he goes.
I don’t know you can say he’s injury-prone at this point in his career, but there’s no doubt his lengthy absence this season should’ve served as a warning shot across the bow of the league’s marketing ship.
Judging by the mania currently surrounding Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals’ chase for a playoff berth, it’s clear hockey fans are happy to spread the adulation around. The challenge for the NHL is to extend the spotlight past those two young stars, and into every corner of the league.
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