I’ll be off on vacation next week, but, as always, the mail around here never stops being answered, so keep submitting your questions. Until then, stay hockey fans, my friends.
Hey Adam, who do you believe will perform better in their new surroundings: Tomas Kaberle in Carolina, Dany Heatley in Minnesota, Kris Versteeg in Florida or Nikita Filatov in Ottawa?
Dan Cearns, Janetville, Ont.
That’s easy: Heatley. As we saw after his trade to Boston, Kaberle’s best days are behind him and I believe Canes fans quickly will come to see that three-year, $12.7-million contract as a millstone.
Filatov certainly has offensive skills, but the Blue Jackets didn’t dump him for no reason. He’ll have to prove he has the strength to stick in the NHL, as well as a modicum of defensive awareness. No guarantee he will, so I don’t think you can choose him, especially on a Senators team that is far from a juggernaut.
Meanwhile, Versteeg has become a 25-year-old journeyman on his fourth NHL team and while you can look at the positive side – that four teams wanted him – it’s clear he isn’t the first- or second-liner some believed he could be. Maybe that changes with the Panthers, but that may be more about him being a good player on a bad team.
That leaves us with Heatley. Now, I don’t think anyone can presume he’ll return to his 50-goal-scoring peak with Ottawa, but he is going to be more of a crucial component to his new team than Versteeg, Filatov or Kaberle will be to theirs. As such, the Wild will give him all kinds of ice time and opportunities.
Heatley turned 30 in January – and though he looked too slow and tentative for the Sharks in the playoffs, I think he’s got enough left in the tank to come out as the most productive of the quartet you mentioned.
Hey Adam, ever since Glen Sather decided to give over the drafting process to Gordie Clark and building the team from within rather than expensive free agents who turned out to be busts, has he redeemed himself from his past failures (Bobby Holik, Wade Redden, Scott Gomez, Chris Drury)?
Robert Demmett, New York
There’s no doubt the Rangers have been much better identifiers and developers of talent since the organization put power in Clark’s hands. But remember, it was only last summer that Sather gave out a laughable contract to the late Derek Boogaard. Sather’s overpayment tendencies haven’t disappeared.
Ultimately, my biggest problem with Sather has always been the near total lack of accountability Rangers ownership has put on him for more than a decade of disappointment. Look around other NHL markets and try finding a similar situation of a GM keeping his job after a similar streak of futility that included his team never making it past the second round of the post-season. You can’t.
So give credit to Sather for some of his internal hires and the successes they’ve had under him. Then revoke credit for the constant roster reshuffling and mulligans he has received along the way.
Adam, why does everyone (or nearly everyone) hate the new Jets logo? I like it better than the old one, which reeked of the WHA. I think it's pretty cool and I'm not a militaristic Don Cherry-ite. I'm not even Canadian. I was surprised at all the angry reactions.
Kiva Offenholley, Brooklyn, N.Y.
To be honest, I don’t have a preference between the new or old Jets logos. You’re going to see a mix of them at every Winnipeg home game anyway, so I don’t know why people are up in arms over one or the other.
Actually, I do know why: The Internet has demonstrated the utter inability of the general public to be universally pleased about anything. You could put a picture of a beautiful newborn baby on the web and within seconds web ogres would cheerlessly post critiques of the kid’s nose, weight and hair.
Someone on Twitter said it best – the Jets new logo looks like the clothing company Roots designed it. But does it really matter? Not to me, it doesn’t. Jets fans will love the jerseys if the players inside them are winning. If not, they’ll be sniped at and picked apart, because that’s all that losing teams and their fan bases can do.
Adam Proteau, co-author of the book The Top 60 Since 1967, is writer and columnist for The Hockey News and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Thursdays and his Ask Adam feature appears Fridays.
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