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.
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This week, the panel discusses Ilya Kovalchuk's night as a healthy scratch, the possibilities of a ban on headchecks, potential time limits on reviewing plays and when the Canucks should trade Cory Schneider.
Question #1: Did John MacLean do the right thing scratching Ilya Kovalchuk for reportedly being late for a team meeting?
Keith Jones: It is a no. It's an unnecessary distraction that the New Jersey Devils did not need this season. MacLean and his hockey team are off to a terrible start, and the scratching of Kovalchuk just provided everybody with the opportunity to go after the Devils. They are 15th in the Eastern Conference, they were coming off a 3-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. It was a major mistake and the way the team performed that night really told me that was wrong.
Bob McKenzie: MacLean was right to scratch Kovalchuk. Nobody knows better than the coach, and he also knows better that this is New Jersey. Whether he was 10 minutes later for a meeting, whether he missed the meeting, whatever the case may be, everybody thinks that he was putting his job on the line by taking Kovalchuk out of the lineup. When you've got Lou Lamoriello as your general manager and there's a sense that maybe the inmates are running the asylum, he might have lost his job if he didn't take him out of the lineup.
Darren Pang: No to the scratch.
Question #2: Should the NHL ban headchecks like the one Niklas Kronwall administered on Teemu Selanne? They already have the blindside rule in; do they need to extend it and put in normal headshots like that? Ban them or continue with the status quo?
Pang: Headshots are a grey area. So I think you maintain the status quo and deliberate everything based on that situation. Heads can be low, guys can jump up, I think every scenario is a different one.
McKenzie: I'll say ban them with a twist, with a condition, if you will. I'd really like the players, the membership of the National Hockey League Players Association, to have the ultimate say, and if more than 50 percent or more than 55 percent of the players in the NHL want that out of the game, then take it out. Otherwise I would be prepared to live with it, but I'd say ban them.
Jones: I'm all for maintaining the status quo. I love the open ice checks, they're very difficult to perform, and that's a skill that I enjoy watching. I want to see physical play, I want to see contact, and I enjoy a big-time hit when I watch games in the NHL.
Question #3: In the wake of a minimum 8-minute-plus video review in overtime of the Lightning-Islanders game last week, should the NHL imposes a time limit on reviews? Are they too long?
McKenzie: No time limit, especially in overtime. That one was in overtime. The NHL was waiting for a replay coming down from Madison Square Garden Network and they've got to get that. Otherwise, if they rule and then 10 seconds later it comes out, they look foolish and everybody says they didn't wait long enough.
Jones: I would impose a limit. I want it done quickly, as fast as possible. Let's say it's three minutes, let's get it over with. If you're a fan in the stands, it's a pretty long process to sit through like what happened in the Tampa Bay game the other night. I want it done quickly and fast and move on.
Pang: I want the referee to get out there and tell the people what the heck they're doing and explain that right away, but I don't think you should have a time limit. I think with local, regional broadcasts, you can have someone that just hides it for a little bit longer - 'Hey, wait for a couple of minutes and we'll be okay', and then all of a sudden you've got it right there and it's hidden, and one producer actually paid the price for something like that.
Question #4: When should the Vancouver Canucks trade Cory Schneider - at the deadline or before the deadline, next off-season, or never?
Jones: Never. I think he's going to be a tremendous goaltender, I think he puts pressure on Roberto Luongo and you don't have to sign him to huge money because he's in a backup role right now. Absolutely, keep him forever.
Pang: I say he's a great asset; you know Luongo's your long-term guy. It's in the off-season for me.
McKenzie: It's in the off-season if at all. We didn't have an option to say, 'just wait and see what happens over the course of the year', but I'll say off-season.