Each week, the NHL on TSN panel voices its 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, and put in your own two cents on our popular Your Call feature.
Question No. 1: What should the Canadiens do with Scott Gomez and a contract that pays him $7.4 million for two more seasons?
Aaron Ward: Buy him out at season's end. Last goal scored was February 5; that's last season. 44 games, zero goals. You buy him out, recoup some of that money. You ought to be able to find someone for those millions to score goals over that period of time. I think he's almost worn out his welcome at this point in Montreal.
Bob McKenzie: I would demote him to the minors, not necessarily this second, but if the Montreal Canadiens can go out and find a big centre or use the cap space - it's almost $7.4 million cap hit - more effectively than with Scott Gomez (the Montreal Canadiens have lots of something - and that's money). They've got a place in Hamilton and if they can make their team better by moving him down at the appropriate time, why not do it? The buyout can still be expensive in terms of the actual cap hit for the next four years. There would still be a cap hit for Gomez - not at the full value - but still enough that it might be a detriment. You want him out and pay the extra money.
Marc Crawford: I would buy him out at season's end and to me it's a simple math question. He's on the fourth line and he makes too much money. Don't complicate it, keep it simple.
Question No. 2: Bob and Aaron agreed Milan Lucic should have been suspended one or two games for steamrolling Ryan Miller; here's the question - how would you describe what he did?
Crawford: I'd say it was cheap, but cheap in that he deserved a minor penalty for it, nothing more.
McKenzie: I would say opportunistic. I think it was probably a little cheap as well but when you're barreling down for a loose puck and the goaltender comes out to play it and you look up and you say, 'free shot at Ryan Miller. I'm going to take it.' And as it turned out it was well worth the two minutes.
Ward: I'm going to go with cheap - very cheap. I would never use the term gutless to describe a hockey player so maybe I'll go in between and call it 'geap.' But Lucic has an ability to adjust to hits and it also couples with the fact that he's a mobile, punishing guy and when he sees that puck I know, whatever he's trying to sell, he can get out of the way. So this guy's got a reputation for hitting hard, but he's also mobile and capable of avoiding Miller in this circumstance.
Question No. 3: In light of the incredibly shrinking NBA season and the potential for spillover into hockey, do you think there will be a full 82-game NHL season in 2012-13?
Ward: I believe there will be a season. I think that both sides will understand there is an opportunity to seize right now - NBA is in a lockout - so many eyes on the game of hockey. I cannot believe that we would lose this opportunity.
McKenzie: I will say no, not a full 82-game schedule. I don't think we'll lose a lot but right now the players get 57% of hockey-related revenue. In the NFL, they settled for 47%, in the NBA it's going to be 50% or less. I would suspect the NHL will be looking for another claw back after taking 24% of the players' salary last time as well as a hard cap. With a new guy - Don Fehr - it wouldn't surprise me if it took a little more time to sort this out. Then we might not get our full 82.
Crawford: I think yes, we will see a full 82-game season. I've been through three lockouts/work stoppages and the players (now) at least have been in one - most of them - and they don't want to see that again.
Question No. 4: Which Boom-Boom has the best Boom-Boom slap shot of them all?
McKenzie: Boom-Boom Geoffrion, that's the one and only. Come on, it's got to be the Boomer. Geoffrion.
Ward: I'll go with Boom-Boom Garrison. I don't know about you old farts on the panel but I wasn't alive for two of them. Garrison: seven goals this season, seven goals before that in his entire career in the National Hockey League. Seven goals assisted on by Brian Campbell. This guy is setting up every goal he's scored this year. Notice his slap shot. He has a bomb from the point and much like a player when he's feeling it and he's in the zone, he'll use it at every opportunity at every angle on the ice.
Crawford: I will go with Boom-Boom Geoffrion. He was the Boomer - second guy to score 50 goals. But I liked him more as a coach and I had two players that played for him in and they told me the story about Boom-Boom and they said in his best French accent he said, "I want you guys to go out there and do three things tonight: skate and shoot."