This week we've asked Kelly to answer your questions. Anytime you want an answer from one of our Hockey Night in Canada commentators please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Hockey in southern U.S. cities is faltering from a poor quality of product on the ice that fans in most cities with lots of other entertainment value (except maybe Toronto, Winnipeg or Edmonton) would find hard to stomach. Has the NHL identified the product issue and is it doing anything to help teams be more dynamic and consistent?
From: Bob Palmer
Hey Bob, it seems most markets in the U.S. have highs and lows when trying to attract fans but you're right, when the teams in the southern States struggle it's very hard to draw people to the games. For good reason the NHL does try its best to ensure that each team is putting out a good product but there really is only so much they can do. What has been proven though is if they do market the game properly and have decent teams, people will go watch, and more importantly, play the game too. I was lucky enough to be in California for almost 10 years so it thrills me to see the growth of the game there. California now develops a lot of really good players, so I'm all for trying to grow the game down south.
2. With scoring at a premium, if the Islanders decide to trade P.A. Parenteau, what should they expect to get in return? Teams Like L.A. and Nashville would seem like a fit.
From: Brian, Long Island
I certainly think that P.A. should be an attractive player for a lot of teams at the deadline. He's a very smart hockey player that competes hard and is relatively cheap at $1.25 million US. I guess the issue is would the Islanders feel that because he's a UFA at the end of this season, is it better to try and get something in return for him if they feel he will walk July 1st. I personally would try hard to keep him on the Island.
3. What explanation do you have for the following: One game the Leafs play like they could beat any team in the league. They skate well, escape their zone well, it looks like they are on the verge of a dynasty and they play that way for three games. And then they lose three of the next four by a 16-3 margin ... like they are perennial basement dwellers who don't have enough horses to even have a hope of escaping that basement. Can you explain this Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde performance we've been seeing all year?
From: Owen Thornton
We have a HNIC Sirius Satellite Radio show every weekday and we hear similar complaints throughout most markets in the league, Owen. It seems to me the Leafs are a very fast, energetic but young team that can be very fun to watch but sometimes they have a lot of room for growth still. It certainly hasn't helped that their goaltending has been more inconsistent than we expected. I suggest some patience Owen because I do feel they are on the verge on having a very good team.
4. Who benefits more from the trade deadline, a team rebuilding that receives youth or a team in need of a short-term fix from a much older veteran who may not play for the team at year's end?
From: Lino Cattania
It really depends how successful the team that trades for a veteran player turns out to be during the playoffs. Over the years some late additions have really helped a few teams, especially in terms of depth. Injuries are inevitable so the more a team protect itself the better.
5. Does the World Cup of Hockey still exist? If so when is it and if not, why was it removed from the international hockey community?
From: Kyle Laughton
Kyle, once the NHL and the NHLPA work out a new CBA I've been told that in all likelihood we will be able to enjoy more international hockey, including another World Cup.
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