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Do you think the Flames might make some moves to free up cap space prior to the trade deadline? Assuming they waive their NTCs, I could see Stajan, Bourque and Bouwmeester being moved - what do you think and who do you see Feaster going for?
Adnan Kovacevic, Calgary
A: Adnan, the Calgary Flames could be very active between now and the NHL trade deadline. Flames GM Jay Feaster isn't saying much these days as he, his coaching staff, and the players focus is on moving up the Western Conference ladder, but there is a sense around the league Calgary is willing to listen to just about any legitimate trade offer. Iginla, Kiprusoff, Giordano will always be the usual suspects, but it's far too early to consider trades of this magnitude. However, if the Flames embrace the 'rebuilding' concept as some predict they will this season, it's conceivable one or two of the othwerwise deemed untouchables may be in play.
When did the league approve the players' numbers on the front of their helmets? I can only hope that this isn't a start of being like the European teams of having advertising on their jerseys!
Thanks, and have a very happy and safe holiday to your family.
Terry Dunlap, Saint John, NB
A: Terry, believe it or not, the numbers on the front of the helmets is a TV initiative. The numbers help television directors, producers and camera operators properly identify players on the bench. It's unlikely the NHL will ever go to the extreme of blanket advertising on sweaters, etc. Notice, I use the term 'unlikely' as when it comes to generating revenue, the National Hockey League is willing to consider almost anything. But turning players into skating skating billboards isn't on the radar.
What typically happens when a coach/GM has been released from their duties before their contract is up and then is subsequently hired by another team?
Since he was under contract from their former team, are they entitled to the money remaining on that contract or as part of being allowed to interview the individual under contract does the other team take responsibility for the remaining contract?
A: Ed, traditionally there is a pre-existing dismissal clause that outlines the terms of compensation if the contract is terminated before expiration. In some cases, there is a 'lump sum' payout, in other cases disputes over money owed has been arbitrated by the NHL, while in more amicable arrangements, the fired executive stays on salary for the remainder of his deal. While under contract, any team with interest in the coach/GM must request and receive permission to speak with the candidate from the former employer. Assuming permission has been granted, the coach/GM is free to negotiate with the new club. However, if term remains on this individual's existing contract, the new team inherits the deal, but is free to enhance or negotiate in additional years.
Do you think Teemu Selanne might be traded to a contender or a team in the playoffs battle if (when) Ducks continue to lose and what do you think would be the price they'd be asking for? I think everyone would be thrilled to see Selanne in the playoffs with Winnipeg one more time. Thanks for your time!
Hockey fan from Finland
A: Tirehtoori, thanks for the email. As you would expect, Teemu Selanne is beloved in Anaheim by all. He will retire a Duck. However, I'm sure Ducks general manager Bob Murray has or will speak to Selanne about the many options that may come in to play. I worked in Winnipeg during Selanne's rookie campaign and have enjoyed his career from start to finish, however...with all due respect to Winnipeg, IF Selanne is interested in a deadline day deal, it will be because he wants one more chance to win the Stanley Cup. I would suspect his first choice (if at all) nwould be to go to a solid contender. I like the way you think, Tirehtoori...this type of speculation is what NHL Insiders feed on!! Happy Holidays.
The other day, Garth Snow stated that the 'playoff push starts now.' What is it going to take for Snow to realize he needs to improve this team (especially on defence) to even have a remote chance of playoffs this year or in the next few years? What have you heard about any changes Snow may make or is looking into?
A: Michael, Garth Snow and the New York Islanders need consistancy...at all levels. On paper, the Isles look like a decent team. Early in the season their defence was getting the job done, as was goaltending, but the young forward corps struggled to put the puck in the net. We've seen the Islanders make late season charges and claw back to respectability and I suspect that will be the case again this season. However, it appears too much damage has already been done for New York to do anything but start selling hope for next season. Snow has the assets to attract trades, but he may elect to be patient...allow this young team to grow together before assessing where his most glaring needs are in the offseason. I predict Doug Weight will take on a bigger role, as he seems to enjoy his time on the bench and clearly has a good connection with New York's young talent.