Thoughts on Some Recent NHL News

by | Sep 16, 2018 | Soapbox | 8 comments

Silly Pacioretty debate

Even though the Montreal Canadiens traded Max Pacioretty last week to the Vegas Golden Knights. there’s ongoing debate amongst Habs followers over whether he requested a trade.

At this point, does it really matter anymore? This pointless finger-pointing doesn’t change the fact he now belongs to another club.  It won’t change how most Canadiens fans feel about Pacioretty or general manager Marc Bergevin.

Move on, Canadiens fans! You’ve got bigger things to worry about this season.

What next for Yzerman?

Steve Yzerman surprised everyone last Tuesday by stepping down as general manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning. He did it for the right reasons, as the constant travel between Tampa Bay and his home in Detroit was took a toll on his family life.

There’s already speculation Yzerman could take over next summer from Ken Holland as GM of the Red Wings. However, Holland’s signed through 2019-20 and Yzerman isn’t about to back-stab his old boss to get that job.

Some suggest Yzerman could be in line for the GM’s role with the expansion Seattle franchise. Given his desire to be closer to home, it’s unlikely he’ll be taking a job on the west coast.

Weirdness in Ottawa

Did anyone in the Ottawa Senators’ front office really believe that weird-ass video featuring defenseman Mark Borowiecki interviewing team owner Eugene Melnyk about the club’s future plans was a good idea? If it was Melnyk’s idea, it certainly says a lot about the unwillingness of his staff to reject his wackier notions.

Melnyk’s got a reputation as an outspoken guy. Over the past year, however, his public statements about the team have raised questions about the caliber of his ability as a franchise owner.

Senators fans are growing fed up with his antics while some pundits are calling for his ouster. They’re questioning the steadiness of the hand on the tiller, even more so since they traded Erik Karlsson last week to San Jose. For my thoughts on that move, follow this link.

While among the NHL’s best two-way forwards, Henrik Zetterberg was never rewarded with the Selke Trophy. (Photo via NHL Images)

No Selke for Zetterberg

Through most of his 15-year NHL career, now-retired Detroit Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg was among the league’s best two-way forwards.

One reason why he won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 2008 was his defensive play. His efforts killing off a five-on-three against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 of the ’08 Stanley Cup Final became the stuff of lore among Wings fans.

Nevertheless, Zetterberg was never honored with the Selke Trophy as the NHL’s top defensive forward. Indeed, the closest he came was finishing third among the finalists in 2008.

To be fair, Zetterberg was in his prime at the same time as such noteworthy two-way forwards as Pavel Datsyuk, Patrice Bergeron and Anze Kopitar. Still, it’s unfortunate that he was never properly recognized for his efforts.

McQuaid to the Rangers

Overshadowed by the trades of Pacioretty and Karlsson this week, the Boston Bruins shipped defenseman Adam McQuaid on Tuesday to the New York Rangers. Entering his 10th NHL season, this will be his first with a different club.

A big, physical stay-at-home blueliner, the 32-year-old McQuaid was one of the Bruins’ last links to their 2011 Stanley Cup championship roster. However, he was being squeezed out by the Bruins’ depth in promising young rearguards.

McQuaid has one year remaining on his contract and a long injury history. One wonders if the Cornwall, PEI native has a future with the Rangers.

Players to decide if there’s another lockout?

The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun recently suggested the potential for a future NHL lockout rests with the players. Seems many team owners are happy for the most part with the current collective bargaining agreement.

The players, meanwhile, aren’t happy about the escrow claw-backs from their salaries. However, the ongoing rise of league revenue and a new franchise expected to open in Seattle within two-to-three years might persuade them not to take the early opt-out from the CBA next September.

Because I cover the NHL for a living, I’m hoping there’s no early end to this CBA. For that matter, I hope both sides to reach an agreement on a new deal before the current one expires in 2022. I’ve had my fill of NHL labor disputes.



  1. You’re spot on about the Pacioretty trade-request debate.
    And about fans of the Habs having other more-pressing concerns.

  2. Max is ecstatic!

  3. We will support you if betman fails us again.

  4. We will support you if the nhlpa fails again!

    • Thanks, guys! I’ll certainly need it if there’s another lockout.

  5. It’s so ridiculous that the players constantly bring up escrow as a sore point. It’s simply a mathematical mechanism to ensure a 50/50 revenue split.
    One way to limit the impact would be to stop agreeing to the yearly escalator in the cap number.

    • Greed knows no bounds.

      Money is not the root of all evil, the love of money is.

      • I’ve often wondered – if money is indeed the root of all evil, as many in the pulpits preach, why do those same churches always have their hands out?