Maybe this will become a semi-regular thing. It’s the mailbag! I’ll post when I’m doing one on Twitter (or another social site), you send me questions or comments on hockey and what not, and I’ll do my best to respond to it.
There are so many, but five, eh? Hmm. In no particular order…
- Guy Boucher, Head coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning
I had the opportunity to interview him over the phone several times during the 2008-09 season when he was coaching the QMJHL’s Drummondville Voltigeurs and I was writing for RBC Junior Hockey Magazine. He always gave me thorough answers, and wanted to make sure he was being insightful. Steven Stamkos speaks highly of him. I’d love to meet him in person.
- Patrick Burke, Scout for the Philadelphia Flyers, Co-Founder of the You Can Play Project
Another guy I’ve spoken to on the phone, but I’d love to know so much more than that. Guy leads an interesting life! His dad’s is Brian friggin’ Burke, he helped create a good thing with the You Can Play Project out of a tragedy, and lost in all that – he’s a scout! Every hockey fan should talk to a legitimate hockey scout at least once. It’s fascinating.
- Elliotte Friedman, Reporter for CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada
I have met Elliotte once before, but it was in passing, and I doubt he’d even recognize me if I was wearing a name tag. Besides being one of the best hockey reporter/writer/hosts out there, he was at the Fan 590 (now Sportsnet radio) as a lowly intern in his earlier days, and that was my first real “industry” gig 2008. I’d love to know his journey, not to mention some of the stories he’s got.
- Brendan Shanahan, League Disciplinarian and likely future Hall of Famer
I’d love to pick his brain about his current job obviously, but he also lead a pretty interesting career, and played on one of the best teams of the modern era with the Detroit Red Wings. Based on his interviews, he seems like a pretty funny guy, too.
- Mats Sundin, former Maple Leaf and Hockey Hall of Famer
Besides asking him about some career highlights, I’d love to have a candid conversation with him about why he thinks the Leafs never ended up winning the Cup during his tenure.
Play-by-play, and you can call me biased, I’m going with either Joe Bowen or Bob Cole. They’re the voices I grew up with, and to me, they haven’t gotten old. I like Harry Neale as a colour commentator still (Sabres stole him, lucky bastards), and Kevin Weekes is always gaining in my books.
Not terribly comfortable, but it’s not so much that I don’t trust those two. I actually don’t mind a James Reimer and Ben Scrivens duo, but the issue is who’s underneath them. Is Reimer going to get hurt long term again? What if Scrivens has a freak injury? Who goes in next? Mark Owuya has only played one season in North America, and while his AHL numbers are respectable, he played more games in the ECHL. I’m not convinced Jussi Rynnas has what it takes to be an NHL goaltender. Maybe he will one day, but not yet. If you’re afraid of a Reimer/Scrivens duo, remember the Leafs are currently a concussion and a muscle tweak away from a Owuya/Rynnas duo. Leafs could still use another goalie, wherever they place him on the depth chart.
We’ll consider this our pilot blog. Like it? Let me know.