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Proteau's Blog: Hiring Hull a good step for NBC

Adam Proteau
By:
The Hockey News
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Proteau's Blog: Hiring Hull a good step for NBC

Adam Proteau
By:
• Many are debating the decision to hire Brett Hull as an analyst for NBC broadcasts. Not me. Hull was one of the few players with the stones to correctly peg the old, trap-and-grab NHL as the travesty it used to be and most of the suggestions he made on changing the game in The Hockey News a few years ago have since been adopted by the league.

This game needs less politically-correct pussyfooting and more zip from the lip.

The only thing that will be better than Hull in the studio is when Jeremy Roenick joins him there next season.

• There were many highlights from Hull's first conference call as an NBC employee. But his opinion on Martin Brodeur's success this year was the best.

“(It's) only because the Devils don't cross the red line any more,” Hull said. “(The Devils are) the most boring team on earth – still.”

• The Blues have won eight of their past 11 games. The Coyotes have won seven in a row. Yet St. Louis is tied for last in the Western Conference and Phoenix is four points out of a playoff spot. I think that proves my argument earlier in the year that a bad month or two out of the gate can all but bury a team, don't you?

• My new most hated player cliché is the increasing use of this sentence-starter: “Obviously, any time you…”

Note to players: we're not looking for you to re-state the obvious. Find something new to say or pay an eloquent teammate (or Brett Hull) to say it for you.


FEEDBACK:
You may be impressed by his "stones", but Hull didn't say anything that hasn't been said a hundred times before by hockey "journalists" all over the league. As for the hackneyed jab at the Devils, they must be the best snipers in the league if they can score enough goals to win enough games to lead the division from center ice! Does Brett - or you for that matter - even watch NHL games any more? Or did you both stop watching in 1996? It doesn't surprise me that Hull thinks you need to never leave your own end to play solid defense, considering he had no clue how to play it himself! In his last full year in the league, he put up 25 goals and 43 assists for 68 points on a Detroit team that won 48 games and the Presidents Trophy, yet he was still a -4 on the year. The year his Stars lost (to the Devils...) in the Stanley Cup Finals, he was a -21 on the season. This was for a team that was 3rd stingiest in GA for the year (184), and even stingier than the Devils (203) that beat them for the Cup. Coincidentally, the Devils were the second highest scoring team in the league that year, a full 40 goals more than Brett's Dallas team. I guess Brett must've never crossed the red line that year (and still been awful at defense to boot). I also find it amusing that once the league was "opened up", Brett realized he couldn't keep up and retired. Enough of my tirade. My point is that if Brett can't think of anything original to say, maybe he should do us all a favor and keep his mouth shut. Mr. Proteau, you may want to follow that advice as well.
- Jason Maxwell

Too bad Brett Hull the player didn't have the stones to pay attention to defense once in a while. Just because Mr. Hull was a one-dimensional player who either couldn't, or simply chose not to, doesn't mean he should chastise teams and players who can. For all of his goal-scoring, in two of the three seasons he scored 70 or more goals he was a -1 and a -2. The fact that such a prolific goal-scorer was just +23 for his entire career speaks volumes as to how much his lack of attention to defense hurt his teams at their own end. And not once did Big Bad Brett lead his Blues past the second round of the playoffs; only when he became a complimentary player on stacked teams did he actually win anything. As for his "commentary" on Martin Brodeur...all it takes is a quick peek at Marty's statistics and some trips to a few Devils games to know that Marty is making great saves and is hardly facing less than 20 shots a game. This Devils team has struggled to score goals, which means more often than not Brodeur is under intense pressure to make every save. Unlike Hull, Brodeur has shown time and time again that he is more than capable of carrying his team on his back when it needs him the most.
Eric Olson

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Proteau's Blog: Hiring Hull a good step for NBC