Each week, the members of the NHL on TSN panel voice 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 all the big issues with our insiders. Read up on all the questions and answers from TSN's hockey experts, and put in your own two cents on our popular Your Call feature. This week, the panel discusses Niklas Hjarlmarsson's suspension, the most intriguing storyline of the NHL season, helmets in fighting and hypothetical Maple Leafs statues.
Question #1: Buffalo Sabres' goaltender Ryan Miller says the NHL needed to set a precedent with its punishment of Niklas Hjalmarsson. How do you think Colin Campbell did on his first player-on-player violence suspension of the year - too lenient, just right or too harsh with that two-game suspension?
Darren Pang: I'm going to go with "just right". I know a lot of people wanted more, and some people, like Stan Bowman of the Blackhawks, wanted nothing whatsoever. But my feeling is, it's not exactly the criteria for the blindside hit. There has to be some responsibility on Pominville, who's a right hand shot, he's got his shoulder awkwardly over on one side, he sees him coming and yet he doesn't brace for it, nor does he move out of the way and go for the puck.
Bob McKenzie: I will say "just right" because, as Darren points out, most fans I think were calling for a ten-game suspension. I think most of the people in hockey - a lot of coaches, a lot of managers, a lot of players that I talked to - didn't think that it should be suspendable at all. I think there should be something there to modify a player's behaviour a little bit, and two games is fine.
Craig MacTavish: It was too lenient for me. Two things: blind side and the angle into the boards. He's got his shoulder right into the numbers of Pominville; he's not a dirty player, but it's too lenient in that case.
Question #2: What's the most intriguing storyline early in the NHL season? You have boys behaving badly - we have suspendable hits, obscene gestures, public drunkenness, throat slashes...the salary cap crunch - we have the Devils skating with 15 guys with Redden and Jeff Finger on waivers down in the minors...Colorado (TSN's consensus to finish 10th in the West) being 2-1-0 vs. Chicago, Philly and Detroit...or Jordan Eberle and Tyler Seguin's first NHL goals?
McKenzie: Let's stay with something positive and the Colorado Avalanche. A lot of people thought they might have the sophomore jinx from coach Joe Sacco on out, but last year was all Craig Anderson. This year, Peter Budaj gets the shootout win against the Red Wings, they're getting Brandon Yip, Ryan O'Reilly, the kids who come back strong. I like the way Colorado has played early.
MacTavish: It's first goals for me. As excited as everybody is here in the east with Toronto, the Oilers are 2-0, and a large part of that is because of the youth. Eberle had a great goal, a terrific goal, so I'm saying "first goals".
Pang: Boys behaving badly. In the era that "Mac T", you and I played in the old 21-team league - and you played a bit longer than me - there were not that many cameras, but for now, the amount of times that the guys are getting caught, what with the throat slash...I really feel that Nick Boynton really felt bad about that and apologetic about that, and what happened the other day, it's a two-way street certainly with Avery and Wisniewski, you just can't have that happen. You're representing a lot of people when you're putting on the jersey of an NHL team.
Question #3: Should the NHL introduce a rule prohibiting players from taking their helmets off before fights?
Pang: No, if they want to fight, if they want to take off their buckets, take off their buckets. I've got no problem with it whatsoever.
MacTavish: I'm going to yes, that they should have the rule. It's ludicrous to me that you put the helmet on for protection, but the time that you need it most, you take it off.
McKenzie: I'll say no. If you're going to allow fighting, and the NHL does allow fighting - it's a big part of the game - then you've got to allow skill guys like Green and Kovalchuk to decide, 'I'd rather take a chance on hurting my head than hurting my hands. I make my living with my hands'. If they're prepared to risk their hands, then you've got to be prepared to let them risk their heads.
Question #4: Montreal has four statues of legendary players and even St. Louis has three. The Maple Leafs have none. If they start doing statues in Toronto, which Hall of Famer (or future Hall of Famer) Maple Leaf should be the first to be bronzed - Syl Apps, Turk Broda, Charlie Conacher, Teeder Kennedy or one of Tim Horton, Dave Keon, Frank Mahovlich, Borje Salming, Darryl Sittler or Mats Sundin?
MacTavish: Charlie Conacher. Big, strong, skilled, anybody with a hockey stick like that that is known for his shot, deserves to have a statue made of him.
Pang: How could you not have the great Turk Broda and Johnny Bower as a tandem right there in immortality?
McKenzie: I'm going to go with an entire six-man unit. Put a whole team together. You could do Broda in net, Salming on the blue line, and Horton - my favourite hockey player of all-time - and you've got Keon and Kennedy up front.