Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Q & A With The Shadow

First, few notes to pass along. Orpik has finally re-signed with Pittsburgh. Jason Allison is recovering from a hip flexor, which is why he was kept out of the scrimmage today. He will still practice with the team every day, and could be back into the scrimmages as early as tomorrow. He suffered the injury 10 days ago, and it's close to being healed. I'm hoping he's ready for the Blue and White game this Saturday. O'Neil and Lindros are said to be looking amazing. Tonight I had a moment, a moment where I realized it's training camp and there is still a lot to do for a lot of NHL teams. Kovalchuk, Datsyuk, Raycroft and Boynton are all still unsigned. Witt still hasn't gotten his trade, which he demanded. New Jersey is still over the cap. 10s of UFA's are still available. Things will pick up eventually.

I was really busy tonight, and didn't get a chance to update the power rankings. They will be done by week's end though, hopefully Thursday night. Because I feel bad, I have decided to post another Q & A I have done. This Q & A session is with The Shadow, who NHL fans (most being Leaf's fans) have relied on all lockout and summer long for the latest news and rumours. He provided a free email service to anyone who wanted one, and always gave accurate news. This Q & A is a little different from the rest, as I could ask Shadow some things I couldn't ask some of the writers. Enjoy, and feel free to leave comments on the blog and/or forum.


Question #1 : You have spoken that Daly and Saskin did get a deal done that could have solved the lockout long before it ended. I know you can't get into specifics, but can you tell us when this deal was reached, and why it didn't go through?

Shadow: They reached the deal on Sept. 2nd, 2004 in Montreal at the World Cup. Saskin brought the deal to Goodenow and the player reps for their ok and Goodenow said that he could get the players a better deal by Christmas because the owners would cave by then. BG was way off on this one, one of the reasons why he was asked to re-sign.

Question #2: There are several new rules in the "new" NHL. Which will have the most positive impact? Which will have the most negative impact?

Shadow : Allowing two line passes will have the biggest impact as teams will be able to break out faster, this will lead to more attempts on net and a lot of open ice hits. Not allowing goalies to play the puck or only allowing them to play it in a certain area is the dumbest rule in all of sports next to awarding a team one point for a missed field goal in the CFL.

Question #3: Which teams improved the most over the offseason? Which ones went downhill the most?

Shadow: Pittsburgh is much better, their first two lines are incredible, perhaps the two most gifted offensive lines in the NHL. Although the Pens still have question marks on defence and in net, they should score a ton of goals this year. The team that is on the slide I would have to say Philly. Yes they picked up Forsberg, but he is coming off of a May concussion. The Flyers also lost Roenick, Leclair, Amonte, Zhamnov and Recchi. Are Forsberg and the rookies going to make up for the loss of those five? I don't think so, but the proof is on the ice. On defence the Flyers added Hatcher and Rathje, Hatcher is hurt again and his status is unknown for the start of the year.

Question #4: What player(s) do you think will benefit the most from the new rules? Are there any players that could see their stats slip because of them?

Shadow: Goalie stats will slip, smaller equipment, two line passes permitted, more action less protection. I think we'll see the quicker players see their numbers on the rise, Paul Kariya could have a huge year.

Question #5: If the rosters were locked today, and no movement could be made until next July, who would win the East, the West, and The cup?

Shadow: Tampa and Calgary, Flames will win this time.

Question #6: You provided the hockey world with a lot of rumours this summer, some turned out to be true, others didn't. Any rumours for us today?

Shadow : Rumour: Owen Nolan will play for Toronto this year.


Thank you to Shadow for that, we really appreciate it. The story about the World Cup deal continues to facinate me. I've heard this story many times, and it makes me so happy that Goodenow is gone. With a re-vote about to happen in the NHLPA, I really hope Saskin wins, because he's the right man for the job.