Saku Koivu has accomplished a lot in Montreal.
If it’s Tuesday (or Friday for that matter) it must be mailbag time. As always, everyone who takes the time and effort to send in questions is much appreciated. Any extra time and effort spent towards applying proper spelling and grammar to those questions is even more appreciated.
Have the Toronto Maple Leafs had 100-point seasons?
Dave Sasaki, Abbotsford, B.C.
Do you mean, 100-points in the standings? If so, yes, the Leafs had their first in 1999-2000, their second in 2001-02 and their best-ever year (103 points) in 2003-04.
Or, do you mean players with at least 100 individual points? If so, yes, the Leafs have had premier offensive producers such as Doug Gilmour (127 points in 1992-93 and 111 points the following season) and Darryl Sittler (100 points in 1975-76 and 117 two seasons later).
Or, do you mean seasons in which fingers were pointed at other people in the organization at least 100 times in an effort to shift blame over not winning a Stanley Cup?
If so, yes, every year since 1967.
What do you think about the Saku Koivu controversy? Do you think he is still an icon in Montreal even if he can't speak their language fluently?
Justin Gavendo, Toronto
Controversy? Perhaps for certain vested political interests in Quebec, but to anyone outside the Montreal area Koivu’s fluencies (other than on-ice related ones) are of absolutely zero interest to those in the industry. Nor should they be.
If what the man has already accomplished – both for the team and for his own personal health – hasn’t endeared him to Canadiens fans nothing will. But, I believe Habs fans are sophisticated enough to understand just how cynical of an attempt this is to draw him into an issue he isn’t a part of and they’ll continue to support him at the level he deserves.
Can you explain why Mel Bridgeman’s likeness is on Wade Dubielewicz’s mask? I'm a Flyers fan and should probably know this but I don't.
Jeff McCartney, Haddon Township, N.J.
Thanks to Islanders PR honcho extraordinaire Chris Botta, I can tell you that Dubielewicz’s mask serves as a visual highlight history of the franchise.
Bridgeman happens to be there because of his close on-ice proximity to Bobby Nystrom, whose overtime goal against Bridgeman’s Flyers in game six of the 1980 Stanley Cup Final won the Isles their first-ever championship.
You are really mailing it in when you refer to the Devils’ troubles and mention the “loss” of Stevens (last game January 2004) and Niedermayer (last game April 2004).
It’s November 2007 now, right? The pre-season injuries of Colin White and Jamie Langenbrunner are more applicable to the Devs’ slow start. That's objective.
Jim Schlick, Butler, N.J.
Mailing it in? Listen, you’ll know when I’m mailing it in. It’ll probably be a dead giveaway, say, if I’m unintentionally repeating two sentences in a row. It’ll probably be a dead giveaway, say, if I’m unintentionally repeating two sentences in a row.
I believe what I said in my answer was, “when you combine (Scott Gomez’s and Brian Rafalski’s) departures with that of Scott Niedermayer and Scott Stevens and a Hall-Of-Famer goalie in Martin Brodeur who clearly has been worn down by overuse, the cumulative negative effect would be difficult for even a model franchise like the Devils to recover from.” (emphasis added).
Now, if you think it’s easy to replace giant talents such as those of Stevens, Niedermayer, Gomez and Rafalski that’s your opinion – one that’s subjective, might I add – and you’re entitled to it. But I don’t believe many in the hockey business feel the same way.
And with all due respect to Messrs. White and Langenbrunner, neither guy could hope to fill those giant, empty shoes.
With Jeremy Roenick playing like the old J.R. and seeing him probably the happiest since his post lockout slump, do you think we will see him back with the Sharks for one more year?
Jeff, Chicago IL
For both player and team, Roenick’s current situation in San Jose certainly is going better than expected. But I think rewards must be reaped by both sides for it to continue beyond the end of this season.
Frankly, the way the Sharks are struggling right now there may not be enough for general manager Doug Wilson to commit to offer Roenick another contract. Even if it does end for J.R. this season, I think he’d happily tell you that getting one more kick at the can – and reaching the NHL’s 500 career goal-plateau – was a gift in and of itself.
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