Sunday, February 25, 2024

Looking for a pre-deadline mailbag

Hey folks...

It's that time of year. Have questions about this year's deadline? Or maybe something from the past? Got some creative ideas you think you be fun? Want to yell at me about Morgain Rielly's suspension? Or just want to ask a straightforward hockey question? Send them via email at dgbmailbag@gmail.com.

Thanks,
Sean




162 comments:

  1. What would happen if a team went for only 5’9 high skill and speedy players

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  3. What is the worst phrase uttered by sports announcers and why is it "getting untracked"? Don't they really mean "getting on track" and wouldn't that be a better and more sane thing to say and please Gord can you make them stop?

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  4. What is the worst move that won't happen this off season? Left deliberately vague to give you some leeway in answering.

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  5. Which team stands to be the Florida of this coming expansion draft and overpay like crazy to rid themselves of non-problems in a bid to get worse themselves

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  6. What is the longest trade tree you could make for an active NHL player? Like, could you somehow link someone like Phil Kessel to Newsy Lalonde?

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  7. When did players named Anthony stop going by "Tony", and why?

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  8. If you were going to produce a show about this past Leafs season, what would you call it and how would you structure the central plot? Would you emphasize the regular season success? How would you frame the playoffs?

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  9. If you're not allowed to make a line change after an icing, why is a goalie allowed to go back in net if he was off for an EN opportunity?

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  10. What would happen if the IIHF was as loose as FIFA with nationality rules for national teams?

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  11. The greatest trade ever made involving a player that never played for a team that was involved. Like Martin Jones for Boston before he was shipped to the Sharks. Except not that because we know how that turned out.

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    1. while the end was bad for jones he was a really good goalie for us for quite a few years, would still do that trade in hindsight, just not the extention he got!

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    2. Didn’t Iginla get drafted by the Stars before being traded to CGY? Feel like that would be at the top

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    3. Well, Lindros was actually drafted by Quebec, so . . .

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  12. Who is the best team of players you could assemble who have never received a fighting major?

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  13. Do you think the NHL should put in a rule you can no longer ice the puck on a penalty kill? I’ve always wondered why a team should be rewarded for taking a penalty by being able to brake one of the games more basic rules. It’d certainly increase scoring.

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  14. Unsure if this is possible to quantify properly, but which star player's career was most hampered by his team's inability to be close to competitive. (Think Mcdavid's trajectory) Whether it was happenstance, mismanagement, or anything else, who will we look back on as being not as good as we remember because they were on the worst teams?

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  15. Will the NHL take growing the NHL brand more seriously in a post-COVID world? They were doing the NHL Europe series for a while, but I'm thinking outside of Europe where ice hockey is already popular. Maybe somewhere in Asia (very selfishly thinking Australia where the game could take off with the right investment)

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    1. already in discussion to do a few games in australia fyi i think as early as 24/25 season

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  16. How would Eric Lindros do in today's game? Would his style of play be as effective as it was in the 90s? Or would he have to use his size in other ways?

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  17. Given their off season signings and their kids being a year older, any reason to think that the Kings can't contend for a playoff spot this year in a bad Pacific division?

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  18. Could you make a team based on the free agents available today, assuming no salary cap, that would be better than Seattle or Buffalo?

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  19. If you could take any winger from history, scaled to today's game, to play with McDavid, who would it be? (And why is it Pavel Bure)

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  20. I know you've shot down the pick your opponent playoffs many times before, and for good reason. I wonder if it work if the NHL got rid of conference seeding and made it 1-16 qualify. If Tampa finished 1st and in 15th and 16th was Vancouver and Seattle while 14th was the Rangers or a more local team, there's almost no way Tampa would choose to travel across the country for a first round series which could give the intrigue necessary for it to actually work. What say you?

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    1. I don't think the NHL will ever do the pick your oppenent, but they should go with the European Champions League Draw show every year before the playoffs. Have 4 pots -- Top 4 teams in pot 1, next 4 in pot 2, etc. Then have each team have a celebrity/alumni come do the draw. Randomly pick a team in pot 1 to play a team in pot 4, pot 2 teams play pot 3. It could be an awesome 60 minutes of tv to lead into the playoffs.

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  22. Hey Sean,

    I know the current version of the mailbag is up, but here’s one I have been mulling over, so maybe fodder for a future edition…

    Besides the well-established fact that Bettman is Satan, and lives only to make hockey fans suffer, what are any actual legitimate reasons the league doesn’t adopt a 3-2-1 points system (with 0 for an OT/shootout loss) or something similar?

    Is there a good reason, or just because the league hates it’s fans with the intensity of a thousand burning suns? To me, that’s the only reason the shootout exists…

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  23. Hi Sean! I've been listening to the Athletic's Football Cliches - podcast (where they talk about the lighter side of soccer) and some time ago they talked about players, that whom you would always refer to by their full names, never just the surname. Daniel Alfredsson, never just Alfredsson. Can you create a competitive starting lineup by only using current players? And you can't use siblings (Brady/Matthew Tkachuk).

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    1. I'm confused. How is it that Daniel Alfredsson was never referred to as Alfredsson? I look up highlights on YouTube and the play-by-play guys don't say "Daniel" every time he touches the puck. "Spezza to Alfredsson. Alfredsson scores!"

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  24. Hey Sean, what stat would you like to know, but no records are kept of it?
    For example, I would love to know what the longest delayed penalty ever was, but nobody's kept track of that.

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  25. My prediction is that Phil Kessel will win the Stanley Cup, again, this year. My question is what team? He will be traded before deadline, which team will step up and get Phil his third cup?

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  26. Why the hell did the Avs sign Jack Johnson

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  27. Hi Sean. Some of my favourite sports content is the Thinking Basketball channel, which breaks down historical NBA players' games via both analytics and video breakdown. I know hockey is a lot more random chaos + blind luck than basketball but, still - will we ever see something similar for hockey? Is it possible to compare, for example, Theoren Fleury and Doug Gilmore by their specific on-ice skillsets? (Rather than just scrolling "Top 10 Hart voting" for every year that those guys played?)

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  28. If you had to make a starting 5 of just one current NHL player, which player would it be and why?

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  29. Which NHL player would have done the best had they focused on one of the other 3 major sports?

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  30. Stuart Skinner is playing lights out, but in the smallest possible sample. At what point should fans consider coming out of the fetal position and watching from their sofas when a rookie goaltender is in their net? -Lowetide

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  31. Andrew Mangiapane: he's very good at both ends of the ice, plays PK and PP, can play both wings and currently only trails Leon Draisaitl in goals. 2 more than McDavid who is the 2nd highest Canadian goal scorer. It seemed like a nice gesture and nothing more when buzz was that he made hockey Canada's 50 man list for the Olympics, but do we think we are getting to the point where it could actually happen?

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  32. What are some tweaks that could be made to goaltender equipment to help increase scoring? Two blockers instead of a glove? No stick for a goalie?

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  33. Is Jack Campbell being considered for the American Olympic team (even as a third stringer)

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  34. In games played in Canada, the Calgary Flames are 3-3-4 with 3 shutouts as of this posting (Nov 22). When will they win a game in Canada where they actually give up a goal?

    (Question asked in honor of the anniversary of the game between two of the most offensively inept teams in NHL history. In 1928-29 George Hainsworth of the Montreal Canadiens posted 22 shutouts and 22 wins in 44 games. Somehow, Joe Miller of the same year's Pittsburgh Pirates had it even worse - he finished with 11 shutouts but only 9 wins. So not one but two teams whose goaltenders finished the season with shutout totals greater than or equal to their win totals. Of course the November 22, 1928 game where Montreal played in Pittsburgh finished in a 0-0 tie.)

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  35. Watching McDavid dance through entire NHL teams got me thinking, if Canada decided to put just him and a goalie out on the ice for a shift when they play team China, could he score a goal?

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  36. As of Tuesday morning, the Calgary Flames have the most points in the Western Conference, and are winless against the Western Conference. They have rampaged through the East (11-1-2) and have somehow have played more games against both the Atlantic (6) and Metropolitan (8) divisions than they have against their own conference (5). My question is: What was the NHL schedule maker smoking?

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  38. Rank all Toronto Maple Leaf OT playoff goals since the 93 season.

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  39. Couple of St. Louis Blues questions, entirely unrelated. First, a what-if: back in 1996, what would've happened to that iteration of the Blues had they kept Gretzky over Keenan? Second, among active players, where do you rank Charlie Lindgren's 'stache?

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  40. What is your favourite NHL-related stocking stuffer you ever received? I had a pack of NHL playing cards. They were awesome.

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  41. Back in the olden days when we still thought the NHLers were going to the Olympics, me and my roommates were arguing over whether Canada could score a goal of it was just McDavid and a goalie against a full team China line. Thoughts?

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  42. Who's your favorite one season wonder? Let's call it the Jonathan Cheechoo - award, because he might be mine.

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  43. Vegas just put on a few All Star Skills Competitions that were tailor made for that market with the Fountain Faceoff and the 21 in 22 events. What unique events could we get for other markets? Attempting to shoot pucks at oxygen tanks in the Jaws of sharks in San Jose? Some kind of classic Nintendo Duck Hunt but with shooting pucks in Anaheim?

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  44. Which realistic first round opponent would be the most satisfying for the Leaf's to beat? Which opponent would the funniest to lose to?

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  45. Evgenii Dadonov would have had to pay around 500k in additional income taxes had he been traded to Anaheim. I imagine this was in the hopper of reasons why Anaheim was on his no trade list. Do you think a salary cap and player compensation structure that quantitatively relates to local taxes rates makes sense?

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  46. Do you cut your spaghetti?

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  47. You just wrote about theories why a Canadian team has not won the cup in almost 30 years.

    What sort of galactic alignment or other conditions would be needed for a Canadian team to win within the next 2 years to keep it at 30 years or less? How much more extreme are the circumstances for Toronto to win?

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    1. Other than cumulative Canadian team wins.

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  48. If by some chance a Canadian team won a conference final next year, would you recommend they touch the trophy or not?

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  49. What will be the reason for the next controversially/annoyingly overturned goal in a Stanley Cup Final? Could it all be avoided if the NHL just listened to you?

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  50. If Tampa Bay wins again, what's the go to excuse as to why *this* cup is *also* illegitimate?

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  51. Any player who is part of 4 Stanley Cup winners is clearly a good player. Stanley Cup champs can't afford passengers. That being said, would Pat Maroon be the worst 4-time cup champ who won with two different teams since the 1980s and Billy Carroll?

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  52. Summertime roster construction idea: Team Superlative Body Features vs Team Superlative Niche Skills. 3F-2D-1G. Team Superlative Body: tallest, heaviest, shortest, lightest, biggest arms, biggest legs etc. vs. Team Superlative Skills: hardest shot, fastest skater, best fighter, best goalie puck handler, best post-game cliche giver etc.

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  53. What % of goal pucks are collected for player milestones? I feel like it used to just be first NHL goal, or century milestones. Now it seems like every player needs a room dedicated to stacks of taped up pucks. What’s the most trivial milestone deserving a collection?

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  54. You mentioned on Puck Soup that you wished Colorado Edmonton went more than 4 games. What are the best playoff series (modern and historical) that only went 4 or 5 games, or the series that absolutely deserved more games based on the teams that were playing?

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  55. Why are people so quick to say there are asterisks on the two Tampa Cups when you talk about success and comparisons to Hawks/Penguins, but never want to remember that the Hawks '13 cup was less games then either of the last two seasons?

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  56. Does Tampa Bay have the most points of any team ever to reach the final and not have home ice in any round?

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  57. How many players do the Leafs loose to waivers this next season?

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  58. Do we win the cup if #99 gets tossed? I kind of think we do but then again the Habs seemed like they had the hockey gods behind them with the OT streak? Also, which Leaf do the Habs call for the stick measurement. I will now try to get on with my life. Thanks, Steve

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  59. Should the NHL introduce a 30-second penalty for puck over the glass? This would allow for one offensive faceoff/possession which seems equal to the opportunity lost.

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  60. What would the sport of hockey look like if the rules suddenly changed to give each player two shorter sticks instead of one full length stick? What sort of player would benefit the most from that fundamental change? Would it make it easier to play offense, or easier to play defense? Would it change offensive zone strategies in any way? Would most NHL players be good enough to get off a quality shot with one hand on a shorter stick?

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  61. Would it be better if the icing rule was changed so that it is determined by your defensive blue line instead of the red line? This would preserve the purpose of the rule, which is to discourage dumping the puck down the ice from your own zone, while eliminating the annoying icing calls on missed neutral zone passes.

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    1. Accidentally commented as anonymous there. Replying to attach my name to the comment.

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  62. Could they make the ice surface crystal clear and then sell seats under the ice?

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  63. When was the last time an NHL team move cities mid-season? And could it happen this year if the Arizona State Coyotes arena deal gets shot down? Playing in a college rink will be fun for a game or two, but it's going to look terrible on TV after a week. How much more embarrassment can this franchise take in this market?

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  64. Has anyone ever had a worse off-season (when you state you have a goal for the team, then fail to move towards that goal) than Chuck Fletcher?

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  65. Who is the worst GM in the league today, and why is it Chuck Fletcher?

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  66. Sean- article idea for you (as only you can do it): team of All time greats; left shot team versus right shot team.
    Goalies may be thin pickings for team Left shots

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  67. What’s the best team you can assemble from players who wore a number that matches their overall draft position?

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    1. Oops didn’t mean to post this anonymously.

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  68. What does future considerations actually entail? Are there any interesting examples of future considerations turning into useful players?

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  69. Did the Ottawa senators win the Erik Karlsson trade?

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  70. What is the best intermission on-ice entertainment?

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  71. Over/under 0 for Johnny Gaudreau’s plus/minus for the year?

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  73. Do we need position quotas to get more goalies in?

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  74. What players are in the HOF that shouldn’t be?

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  75. How many more female players does the hall need to induct before the women's game is properly represented? Would you be in favour of a one-time mass induction of female players to rectify the unbalance?

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  76. People love to use the quip, "It's not the Hall of Very Good," but does anyone care that it's not called the "Hall of Great" either? Have we been evaluating wrongly all along? Shouldn't we induct players to the Hall of Fame based on how famous they are, not how great at hockey they are? Who are your top picks for a hypothetical very exclusive literal Hall of *Fame*?

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  79. Given that Ryan Reynolds is now basically guaranteed to be part of a team ownership group, and this is a copycat league if nothing else, which celebrities would you like to see added to the other 31 teams ownership groups?

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  80. How many divisions should the NHL have in its current 32-team league?

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  81. Gary Betamax (Thanks, autocorrect, I’m leaving it) hands you the keys to design the ideal World Cup of hockey. How do you make the best event possible? How many teams, what time of year, etc.?

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  82. Has there been less shootouts this year? Sure seems like there’s been less shootouts this year. What’s up with that?

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  83. Who would win between a team of players who scored own goals and a team of the players the goals were credited to?

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  84. What are the five worst goal songs in hockey? And what would you replace them with?

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  85. How does Gary Bettman hold so much sway over the owners? Presumably teams like the Leafs, Bruins and Rangers, who would probably prefer not to have a hard cap, should be able to dictate terms. What is the source of Bettman's awesome power? And does this suggest that when he leaves, things might radically change?

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  86. Any chance of Bedard doing "the Lindros" if Arizona wins the lottery?

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  87. Why, when a player loses his stick and it's lying on the ice, doesn't a referee pick it up and get it out of the way, especially when the action moves to the other end?

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  88. Based on your perception of fan wants, can you craft a 32 team trade where every team is able to get rid of the guy fans hate and get the guy fans want?

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  89. If Doug Armstrong flips the assets he received from the O'Reilly/Tarasenko deals (+ eventully Barbashev & maybe one of the Dmen) for Timo Meier AND Jakob Chychrun, where would that rank on your list of most savvy deadlines by a team, and how far behind is #2?

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  90. These last games of the season are brutal. I'm starting to come around on the idea of relegation. This could also be because of my recent binge of Ted Lasso, but give me your best case scenario for what NHL relegation would look like if you were Commissioner.

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  91. Based on the Gold plan how would the Bedard sweepstakes shake out?

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  92. Fellow Leafs fan here…this is the year we do this, right? Lucy can’t pull back the football every time, can she?

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  93. What player jerseys are no longer acceptable for a fan base to wear? I’m looking for players that spurned a team i.e. Tavares and Islander fans

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  94. Since McDavid has scored more than 150 points in a season, can we definitively say he's better than Bernie Nicholls?

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  95. Is Connor McDavid in the hall of fame if he retired after this season?

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  96. Greg in PittsburghApril 9, 2023 at 9:57 PM

    What would be your favorite "and the trade is 1 for 1" of the off-season?

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  97. Sean, I know you love to write about the draft lottery, and changes to the system. You should also write about how no #1 overall pick has won a cup with their same team since the 2008 draft - except the Avalanche. That’s a lot of concern about something that doesn’t matter that much

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  99. Roster Builder challenge (assuming you have not done this one yet). Best 23-man roster (13F, 7D, 3G) built using players who started the NHL season at each age between 18 years old and 40+ years old. Let's make ages as of October 1st of a given year (since the actual start of the season fluctuates from year to year), you can only use a player once (you can't have 20-year-old, 92-goal scoring Wayne Gretzky from the 81-82 season as your number one centre AND 24-year-old, 215-point scoring Wayne Gretzky from the 85-86 season as your number two centre) and you only get credit for what they did in that season. Curious to see if there is a correlation between a particular age range and a particular position.

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  100. If the Olympics were held today, and the gold medal final was US vs Canada…who’d you have?

    And how confidently?

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  101. I've read in multiple places that NHL ATOs are one day contracts, for use in emergency situations only. Yet as I write this, it seems the Maple Leafs will have Nick Chenard on an ATO as their backup goalie for the rest of the season. Are they signing him to new one day ATO contracts the morning of every game? That seems shady (aka as against the spirit of the rule). Is there any limit on how often teams can do this?

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  104. Do you think the NHL is the league most likely too see a “LIV” type attempt at a new league to compete with it, in North America. Given where salaries are how scared should the league be that major stars would leave.

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  105. Do you miss going to Pokémon conventions during the Cup final like the old days?

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  106. Which historic goals in NHL history would be overturned/ erased by video review?

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  107. Why is TOI always dominated by defensemen? I understand that there are less D pairs than forward lines, but it seems weird to me that McDavid isn’t even in the top 25 for TOI. Is it more exhausting being a forward, or are coaches scared to move outside of the 4 line forward structure? Even a tired McDavid feels like he’d be a better option than a fresh 4th liner.

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  108. How many coaches, GMs, FO guys have CTE? Or as percentage.

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  109. Help me understand the rules about when there is a broken stick on the ice. The player to whom it belonged can't touch it. Can someone else on his team pick it up and get it off the ice? Can the referee/linesman? I've seen games where it seems like a stick is lying on the ice for 3-4 rushes up and down the ice. Why doesn't the official trailing the play pick it up and take it to one of the benches?

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  110. I get why players ask for and are granted no trade clauses, but if a player demands to be traded do you think the NTC should be revoked? It's a collective bargaining issue and the PA would never go for it, but it's kind of ridiculous a player can say I hate it here and I'm only going to Team X (St. Louis forcing his way to NYR).

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  111. With the recent bankruptcy of Bally Sports, the ongoing troubles of local sports broadcasts, and more and more people cutting the cord, is it possible that NHL add revenues could decline. If so, how would this affect the cap?

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  112. What is the most goals ever scored in a single day by all NHL teams combined?

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  113. A team on the penalty kill should be allowed to put the puck over the glass without being penalized, same way they can ice the puck with impunity.

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  114. What's the longest delayed penalty in NHL history, and why isn't that documented at all?

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  116. Hi Sean, If you were a billionaire that didn’t care about losing money, would you rather buy your favorite team to try and make them a winner (which isn’t guaranteed) or buy your favorite team’s rival and be a sleeper agent to prevent them from ever being good?

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  117. What’s your #1 player used on Puckdoku? Mine is Paul Coffey but even tho I refuse to acknowledge he played for anyone other than Leafs, Wendel is #3 for me

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  118. What percentage of coaches, GMs, front office types have CTE? Hockey is obviously an old boys club, but isn't it weird to hire people with likely brain injuries?

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  119. What is the best team by listed height? In other words, if a team of 5’11” players played a team of 6’3” players, who would win?

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  120. If you put Connor McDavid and Igor Shesterkin on a current AHL team's lineup (it can be the best AHL team), how many NHL games do you think that team wins? What about a CHL team? An NCAA team?

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  121. You're told that you get to be temporarily in charge of one NHL team, but you're responsible for making it as successful as possible with only its current roster. However, you also get to make one rule change to the NHL -- it has to apply to every team the same, but it can be as biased to your team's particular strengths as you want (although it can't be anything to the effect of "your team wins every game"). What team and what rule are you picking?

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  122. Which centers get their linemates large contracts? Aleksander Barkov centers Johnathan Huberdeau who goes to Calgary and gets $10mm. Now he is centering Sam Reinhart who is up for a new contract at the end of the year and is line for a lot of money.

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  123. What do people assume is the worst and best parts of your job? What is the actual worst and best parts of your job?

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  131. If Canada, USA, Russia/USSR, Sweden and Finland could all ice a roster of their best players of all-time, which team would win in an Olympic-style tournament? Any other countries that could ice a surprisingly competitive roster?

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  132. I feel like good two-way middle-six forwards (i.e. those who can score 50-60+ points per year, be defensively responsible, kill penalties, play on PP2) provide great value in a cap world, and that a team full of these players could compete with (and likely beat) teams with more traditional line structure/cap hit allocation. Similarly, a lineup of 6 top-4 dmen could be very effective. What is the best team of players you could put together where no one had a cap hit higher than $5M (excluding entry-level deals), and how would that team do in a playoff series against any of the top teams in the league today?

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  133. Could a team of hockey writers beat a team of retired NHL players currently doing NHL media, if the team of retired NHL players had to play wrong-handed (i.e. lefties had to play right-handed)?

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  134. This season, even the best teams have significant weaknesses. For the Rangers, Zibanejad, Kreider and Panarin will be a year older next year, while the Devils' top forwards, for example, will still be young but more experienced, so I feel this is the Rangers' best chance to win. And while Pittsburgh at the same time wants to be competitive next season but preferably a bit younger, how does it sound to trade Guentzel for Kakko (and a little something extra)?

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  135. If you were Devils GM would you hold or push in all your chips to get an NHL goalie?

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  136. Why does my favorite team make me sad?

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  137. Flames are retiring Kiprusoff's number 34. He played a ton, not just because he was very, very good, but also because his backups were horrifically bad. Has any workhorse goaltender ever had worse backups than he did?

    I would argue the Flames never began a season with a competent backup for Kipper. A couple of times they found late season fixes for the issue (the best of which was probably Vesa Toskala - think about that!) but whoever it was would leave in the off-season.

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  138. In honor of the fact that the Flyers might do it this year: has any team (I guess outside of the original six era, six teams doesn't seem like enough for this) ever ended the year with a number one penalty kill and league-worst power play, or vice versa? What was that team like? Basically, let's Remember Some Weird Teams (if they existed).

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  139. Who is this year's team that absolutely shouldn't be buying at the deadline and yet makes a huge splash/overpay anyways?

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  140. How many NHL playoffs teams need a Tom Wilson, and how many Tom Wilson’s are there in the league?

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  141. Having seen the PWHL live, and now hearing about some of the rule changes they've announced (using the Gold Plan, top seed picking their playoff opponent), what are your thoughts about the league halfway through its first season?

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  142. What are your concerns about the costs of the Gold Plan on the trade deadline? I worry rentals would be a thing of the past if all teams are incentivized to win. Maybe that’s worth it, but still something I’ve been stuck with.

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  143. We all know how hard it is for GMs to make a "hockey trade." What do you think was actually the hardest trade in recent, or even league history? Feel free to go off of information that came out after the fact, the number of teams/trade components involved, etc.

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  144. Has a player ever been dealt twice in the same trade deadline? I.E is traded to a team chasing a playoff spot, that team goes into freefall and the player is dealt again to a contender.

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  145. Why can't coaches coach unless they have extra years on their contract?

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  146. Wouldn't the Gold Plan still encourage tanking since a team would want to get eliminated as early as possible? And wouldn't it nuke the trade deadline and leave a bunch of good players on bad teams playing for a random draft pick rather than competing for a Cup?

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