The big picture

Adam Proteau
By: Adam Proteau
May 23, 2008

Nicklas Lidstrom has 938 points in 1252 career NHL games. (Photo by: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Author: The Hockey News


The big picture

Adam Proteau
By: Adam Proteau
May 23, 2008

With the last remnants of the hockey season upon us, the mailbag will shift to a once-a-week deal – and will appear every Friday – throughout the summer, starting next week.

I’ll do my darndest to expand each week’s file as much as possible to keep up with the volume of questions, so keep directing your intellectual curiosities HERE.

Speaking of intellectual curiosities…


I really like how u call Canadians hosers in your article a******, it is our f***** (sic) game always has been and always will be. On page 32 April 29th edition that article is a bunch of s***...and it’s real nice of you to talk about Don Cherry in a widely spread magazine you idiot. Heres (sic) the question why are you such a piece of s***?

Ben Reed, Hamilton, Ont.


First of all, let me just say it’s absolutely heartwarming to know computer privileges aren’t being severely restricted at the facility in which you reside.

Now, let’s get to the topics you typed of so eloquently. I did indeed refer to Canadians as “hosers” in the THN magazine article that’s received a fair amount of attention. If that’s terribly wrong, I anxiously await your pending slander lawsuit against Bob and Doug McKenzie.

Secondly, I very much appreciate your efforts to help me locate my own column in the magazine I write for. Quite polite of you.

Thirdly, I didn’t realize it was a major faux pas – note to Ben: Avoid the temptation to pronounce those two words as ‘Fox Pass’ – to talk about His Xenophobicness in a ‘widely spread’ magazine. I shall heretofore attempt to keep future comments on said deity limited to local-area ’zines and the like.

As for the last question, that’s really only something ex-girlfriends of mine can properly answer. But thanks for your deep concern. And keep on reading, good buddy!


Do you think Nick Lidstrom will be viewed as the best defenseman in NHL history when his career is over?

Chris F., Windsor, Ont.


No, I believe Bobby Orr has that No. 1 spot locked up for the foreseeable future. However, Lidstrom definitely will be mentioned in the top five of all time. (He’d probably be No. 3 on my list, behind Orr and Ray Bourque and just ahead of Denis Potvin.)

That said, here’s some much more credible praise for Detroit’s captain from Red Wings senior vice-president Jim Devellano (and courtesy of THN’s The Top 60 Since 1967 book):

“I’ve been in the league for 40 years, but I’ve also been following the NHL since 1956,” Devellano said. “The best defenseman and the best player I ever saw was Bobby Orr. But the second-best defenseman I have ever seen or been associated with is far and away Nicklas Lidstrom.

“I’ll tell you why it’s pretty special for a guy like me to say that: I’m the guy who drafted Denis Potvin. And he was a pretty good player in his own right.”


Can the New York Islanders stay in Long Island? They play in a venue that was built in 1973, before an average crowd of 11,740 over the past three years.

The NFL, NBA, and MLB have only two teams each in the same market; the NHL has three teams.

Mark Trail, Hamilton, Ont.


Ah, a non-distressed person from Hamilton. Do you know my new pal Ben Reed? Can you put a cold cloth on his head and get him to lie down and breathe deeply in a dark room somewhere for a week or two? Thanks in advance.

You ask an interesting question, but as someone who was raised watching and admiring the talents of Denis Potvin, Bob Bourne and Butch Goring it pains me greatly to think of the Islanders ever relocating (and whatever happens, don’t any of you forward this column to THN senior copy editor and devout Isles fan Sam McCaig; we could have a hostage situation on our hands before we know it).

I haven’t heard even a rumor that Charles Wang is about to sell or move the franchise and there’s no doubt America’s slipping economy won’t spare NHL teams from feeling its wrath. Combine that with the fact plans for a major renovation of Nassau Coliseum and the surrounding area have become bogged down and I think, at the very least, there’s justification for your question of the Isles’ long-term viability.

For a while, I’ve argued there are other franchises that should be relocated before some of the league’s most storied teams start calling the moving companies, but there’s no guaranteeing a situation couldn’t arise that would force the Isles to hang their shingle elsewhere.

And that would be one of the biggest travesties in NHL history.

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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The big picture