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Friday, 12.07.2007 / 12:00 PM / Ice Age

By Phil Coffey - NHL.com Sr. Editorial Director

One reader from Québec wrote in to ask Ice Age if NHL hockey will ever return to the city.
While this week’s mailbag has failed to produce season’s greetings, there are still many topics on the season to address.

***

Hello Phil,

What’s up dude? (lol) Anyways … I would like to know your opinion on the Nordiques! I know that they don’t exist anymore, but what if they would come back to Québec. Take the Nashville team to bring it to here! They would be even more popular, plus the hard competition between Habs and Nordiques would be awesome to see! Plus, here in Québec, we still love them. We are still faithful to them.

Thanks to have at least read what I wrote!

-- Meggie

P.S. I'm sorry for my mistakes I tried my best!!!

Hi Meggie. No worries on the note, I’m sure your English is better than my French!

I still have a soft spot in my heart for the Nordiques and there is little doubt that Quebec City is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Used to love my visits there.

As far as getting an NHL team to return, there are plenty of issues that I’m probably not even familiar with, but the one that sticks out in my mind is the lack of a new arena. If you look around the sports landscape these days, a team’s success is very much attached to the ability of its arena/stadium to deliver the modern conveniences that have become part of the business.

Again, I’m sure there would be many other things to address, but this one immediately sticks out in my mind.

***

Hello Mr. Coffey,

First off, always a pleasure reading Ice Age, whether it's the column, the mailbag, or the quotes. Keep up the great work.

I write to you concerning a topic that's gotten more than a little discussion, and that's the Flyers' suspensions. With (Riley) Cote out, I think this makes five total suspensions so far? Not positive. I have to agree with Brian Engblom that the Flyers don't seem to be a necessarily "dirty" team, rather a "stupid" team. They seem to be letting their emotions get way out of hand. I guess my question is whether or not the NHL should start making the suspensions and/or fines bigger, because they don't seem to be solving anything the way they've been doing it. Perhaps toss the coach a suspension or some fines too maybe? Maybe make a rule that you can't return before the player you injured is back in their respective team's lineup (e.g. the Ohlund-Koivu incident)?

Just want to hear your thoughts on this one.

Always a pleasure,

-- David Livenspire

Hi David. I’m of the opinion that as odd as it seems, there isn’t a concerted effort by the Flyers to play this way. In large part we have seen young players – Randy Jones, Steve Downie, Riley Cote – trying to secure places in the lineup by playing an aggressive game. Clearly, they have significantly crossed the line here, hence the suspensions. Brian Engblom’s tact seems pretty close to the mark here, with the players more guilty of not thinking than going headhunting. I’m not sure suspending John Stevens is going to solve the problem since he isn’t thrilled about having to kill off a lot of penalties either. But the team has to get the point across to the players that you simply CANNOT make dangerous plays on opposing players.

***

Hey Phil, just a few thoughts that popped into my head while reading the latest edition of Ice Age.

* If you were starting a franchise, say named the Las Vegas Phils or the Kansas City Coffeys, and had to pick between Henrik Lundqvist or Rick DiPietro (with no contracts standing in your way for either player) to base your team around, who would it be and why? Gotta pick one.

* That English Mastiff you have is going to grow to be over 250 pounds!

* Have you been to the new Devils arena? Pretty cool, if unfinished, I think. I hear they took bits and pieces from other arenas, like having local school jerseys hanging throughout the arena. What are the coolest arenas you've been to, and are there any you haven't been to yet?

For the record, I think the Wachovia Center in Philly is very cool, but Boston's Garden and Jersey's Rock have better nachos. I haven't seen any buildings out West (aside from where the Blues play when it was the Kiel Center), so I'm curious to see which arenas in the League I have to see firsthand.

-- Zach, NY

Rangers' goaltender Henrik Lundqvist would start in goal for the K.C. Coffeys.

Great conversation fodder here Zach!

Man the goalie question is a tough one. I love Lundqvist’s play around the net, but also like DiPietro’s mobility and competitiveness.

OK, I’m going to sign Lundqvist for the Kansas City Coffeys (sort of rolls off the tongue, don’t you think?). He has won an Olympic gold medal and has been the picture of consistency since joining the Rangers and I believe that consistency is a huge part of goaltending, unless the masked man is consistently bad. Then we have another big problem on our hands.

Regarding arenas, “The Rock” is terrific. What I like about it is it feels like the home of a hockey team, what with the high school jerseys on the concourse, the various murals that have Devils players featured prominently and having the practice rink attached is another great touch.

Like you, I love the Wachovia Center. The fans are awesome, Lauren Hart’s rendition of the national anthems rival the stunning performances we see in Canadian cities and the sightlines are great.

Haven’t sampled the nachos, however.

Let me see, arenas I have yet to visit. I’ll check off Atlanta’s Phillips Center with the All-Star Game this season. Haven’t been to St. Louis yet, that’s on my list because I want NHL.com columnist Larry Wigge, who calls St. Louis home, to show me around town.

***

Got a questions about waivers, actually quite broad. OK. How do they work? I have somewhat of an idea on how they work, if the player has a one-way contract, he must go through waivers in order to go down to the minors and hope he doesn’t get picked up.

Well what I want to know is who gets first shot? Or is there like a special say website you sign onto as a GM or what not and see if there’s anyone added? Must all NHL teams say no in order to go down? If not then does it first go out to the division first? Say Pacific gets first crack, then it’s blasted to the Western then to Eastern? Reason I ask is I am a Phoenix fan and how they got about acquiring Ilya. Did anyone have a shot before the Coyotes? Or what? Thanks for your time and your knowledge. Cheers.

-- Will Hellenberg

Hi Will. Waiver claims are relatively simple. Say Will Hellenberg is placed on waivers. The other 29 teams can all make a claim, but the team with the fewest points gets first crack. If that team opt not to make a claim, the club with the second fewest points gets a shot, etc. If all teams pass, then the player can go to the minors.

In the computer age, teams find out about things like waivers right away and there is a time frame to place a claim.

 


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