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NHL on TSN Quiz: Spezza, Lecavalier and candid coaches

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TSN.ca Staff
1/14/2009 10:23:42 PM
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Each week, the NHL on TSN panel voices their opinions on the hot topics of the day in the Wednesday Night Hockey Quiz.

As a follow-up, TSN.ca offers you the opportunity to chime in on the big issue with our insiders. Read up on the questions and answers from TSN's hockey experts, and put in your own two cents on our popular Your Call feature.

Question No. 1: Is Jason Spezza part of the problem or the solution in Ottawa?

Keith Jones: He is part of the solution. He's only 25 years old and has a tremendous amount of upside and skill is the key word. The talent is too good to move on; you will never get as much back in return. Fix the transition game first and get some defenceman for him.

Bob McKenzie: I agree. Spezza needs to be part of the solution. There's no question he's had some shortcomings and flaws in his game but are the fatal? No, build your team around what he gives you offensively and fill in the holes. Defensively and all the rest of the things you need elsewhere.

John Tortorella: I think he's definitely part of the solution. I haven't been hard on him in the past; I've been honest in the assessment of his play. He's a tremendously talented player but he has to do the other things to be a leader in those parts of the game for that team to move forward.

Question No. 2: If you were running of the Tampa Lightning, would you trade Vincent Lecavalier?

Bob McKenzie: No, I would not unless there was some huge financial pressure to do so. They say that there isn't that pressure in Tampa. There's no reason why a team can't spend between $50- $56 million to build around the face of the franchise. If they trade him now, there will be a huge negative short-term financial impact from season ticket holders and sponsors. Build around Lecavalier if you can spend towards the cap. If you can't, well than maybe you should get rid of him.

Keith Jones: Yes, I absolutely would trade Lecavalier. Think back to the Boston Bruins and moving Joe Thornton. Look where the Bruins are today. They've freed up enough cap space to be able to sign Zdeno Chara and defence is the key to building a team in the National Hockey League. Get that money available and build your blueline.

John Tortorella: No chance you trade him. He is a legitimate superstar in this league, although he's not playing that way right now. In that market there, he's that important. You cannot move him out of there.

Question No. 3: Who is the NHL's most candid coach?

John Tortorella: I'll go with Craig MacTavish. The thing I like about Mac T is that he brings some humor to it, he's hard on people but he's also positive when he has a chance to be with his players.

Keith Jones: For me it's Ron Wilson. I think he's the most candid coach in the NHL, especially with a rebuilding team. And I love his one-liners.

Bob McKenzie: I will say MacTavish as well. He's liable to say anything about anyone at any time.

Question No. 4: Who is the most out-of-the-box thinker in hockey today: the OHL's David Branch, Montreal's Bob Gainey, Mike Gillis in Vancouver or Detroit's Ken Holland?

Bob McKenzie: I don't think there's any question it's David Branch. Is the rule about taking the helmets off revolutionary? No, not per say but I do believe it's evolutionary and it's an anti-fighting measure as well as a safety measure. I don't believe there's anybody else in hockey who would take the step that David Branch took on Wednesday.

Keith Jones: For me it's Ken Holland, doing a terrific job in Detroit winning the Stanley Cup with a European based hockey club. He's a phenomenal out-of-the-box thinker.

John Tortorella: I'll say Bob Gainey. I was fortunate enough to sit with him in a couple of meetings as far as the rule changes. I sat with him and listened to his ideas, I think he's the guy.

Jason Spezza (Photo: Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)
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