The long road
Anaheim goalie J-S Giguere won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP despite the Ducks losing to New Jersey in the final. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
The long road
It feels like the first day of spring in Toronto on this lovely Friday and that development – along with the fact I won’t have to deal with trade rumors until after the Stanley Cup is decided – puts me in a cheery mood. Let’s see if your questions can change that.
How does an undrafted player make the NHL?
Kevin Gomolchak, Erie, Pa.
There is no set path for any player, drafted or undrafted, to make the NHL. Some carve out a name for themselves on an American League team; others have to go to Europe before catching a pro scout’s eye; some bounce around all kinds of minor leagues for years before an opportunity arises; and some stick it out through their entire college eligibility until a team comes calling with a contract.
In any case, it all has to do with hard work, good timing and, yes, a little bit of luck. I’m sure you could say the same for successful people in any walk of life.
Has there been a Conn Smythe Trophy winner who didn’t play on the Stanley Cup winning team of that year?
Nico and Matthew, Bidin, Ont.
Nico and Matthew,
There have been five playoff MVPs who didn’t win a championship in the same season. The late Roger Crozier was the first to do it when he starred in net for Detroit in 1966, while his Red Wings fell in the Cup final to Montreal.
Veteran Glenn Hall was the next to achieve the feat two years later in his first season with the St. Louis Blues. Philadelphia sniper Reggie Leach earned the distinction eight years later; and 11 years after that, another Flyer, goalie Ron Hextall, won the Conn Smythe in defeat – and as a rookie. The last to win it was Ducks netminder Jean-Sebastien Giguere in 2003.
First, good work. Second, I have a question about the next outdoor winter classic game. I've been hearing rumors, besides the crazy talk about Las Vegas, that the Rangers and Bruins playing in Yankee Stadium might be an option.
Now, I know they are two Original Six teams with history, but don't you think it would be better for the fans and everyone to have two teams with active rivalries going on? I know those two may have been rivals back in the day, but if you live around the NYC/NJ area, you know the true rivalry is between the Devils and Rangers.
I know for a fact a Giants Stadium game between those two would be overflowing with actual fans from both sides of the river, not just curious spectators and would probably be the loudest NHL event you'll ever see.
Plus, wouldn't you want to see the Devils break out the Christmas colors again?
James, New Jersey
I understand what you’re getting at, but consider what the Bruins/Rangers setup gets you: two of the biggest media marketplaces in the world, as well as a chance to siphon off some of the heat generated from a Yankees/Red Sox rivalry that, I’m sure you’ll agree, makes the Devils/Rangers history pale in comparison.
With the New York Rangers picking up Sean Avery off waivers, I was just wondering if Dallas picks up half his salary just this year or if the Stars pick half of it up for the remainder of his contract.
Steve deWeerd, Egmondville Ont.
The Rangers split half of Avery’s salary with the Stars for the duration of his deal. No word on whether the same deal goes for the cost of Avery’s anger management classes.
This probably won't make the cut in getting printed, but I just wanted to call your attention to this little tidbit of trivia (one which you may have noticed, but I didn't until two days ago).
I was watching the DVD of a film that you and I (and many others among us) love, namely "Slap Shot." In the scene before the opening credits, as the Chiefs are being introduced by the PA announcer prior to the Hyannis Port game, there's a rather interesting blooper. As Dunlop is announced and begins skating toward the blueline, we see Ned Braden standing against the boards with Drouin. Braden is wearing the standard-issue Chiefs gloves (blue with white trim) like his teammates.
But as Braden is introduced, Hill cuts to the medium shot of him skating to his place next to Reggie on the blueline. For this one shot, Michael Ontkean is seen wearing a pair of weather-beaten brown hockey gloves that look like they date back to Cyclone Taylor's heyday. We then get the shot of the woman in the stands yelling "I hate you, Braden!" then back to Ontkean who is, once again, wearing the Chiefs blue with white trim gloves as he continues to do through the remainder of this sequence.
Ever notice this little film flub?
Jim Reinecke, St. Louis
Nope, I hadn’t noticed that at all. But somebody else did and pointed it out at moviemistakes.com.
Continuity definitely should count for something in the entertainment business. But I don’t think moviemakers should be held to impossible standards, given the drug-fueled haze many movies were made under during the late ‘70s and early ‘80s.
I mean, around that time, somebody thought it was a fantastic idea to make not one, but two Cannonball Run movies. I like Mel Tillis, Adrienne Barbeau and the incomparably frightening Jack Elam as much as anybody, but the passage of time has not done that series any favors.
I was looking at the hardest slapshot event at the All-Star Game in Montreal and a question came to my mind. Why don't they do the same with the wrist shot?
It could be very interesting to see how hard the wrist shot of Ilya Kovalchuk, Alex Ovechkin and players like that are.
Keep up the good work,
Alexandre Bouchard, Jonquiere, Que.
I can see why hardcore hockey junkies would be into a wrist shot competition, but honestly, I think it’d be a bit of a stretch to say that would entertain anybody else.
Imagine if baseball, in addition to holding a home run contest at its All-Star Game, also put on a “best bunter” showdown. I’m sure some would watch it, but for all others, it would be a cure for insomnia. The same goes for your suggestion, unfortunately.
Can you tell me all the players in the Mike Green draft, both for the first and second rounds?
Jonny Stats, Brooklyn, N.Y.
I cannot. Or rather, I will not. But I can direct you to this wonderful little site. It can be of great help.
Ask Adam appears Fridays on TheHockeyNews.com. Proteau also answers readers' question in every issue of The Hockey News magazine and on The Hockey News Radio Show every Friday from 3-4 p.m. EST on XM Radio channel 204. To send us your question or comment, click HERE.
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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