by Patrick Hoffman on 07/20/12 at 09:00 AM ET
Just because it is the off-season does not mean there is no hockey to talk about.
This is why NHL Home Ice is one of the best hockey outlets out there. The Sirius/XM channel continues to bring the latest news, notes, interviews with people in the hockey world and much more.
One of NHL Home Ice’s great hosts, Terry Mercury, was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to give us his thoughts on what has gone on this off-season, his thoughts on the Wild, the Rick Nash situation and much more.
PH: What are your general thoughts regarding what has happened so far this off-season whether it has been a trade, signing, draft pick, etc.?
TM: The rich are getting richer…as they’re the only ones who can offer these incredible multi-year, hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars deals. I’m curious to see if this will be one of the major sticking points in the Collective Bargaining Agreement talks. I mean…it’s even affecting the kinds of offer sheets Restricted Free Agents are getting.
PH: How much of an impact do you think Zach Parise and Ryan Suter will have on the Minnesota Wild? Do these two signings automatically make the Wild a playoff team or is there still a lot of work to be done to make that happen? Why?
TM: Not only do the Minnesota Wild become playoff contenders….they’re now on the map as a place future top-flight free agents will seriously consider signing with. Mind you…with those signings they now trail only the Boston Bruins as having the league’s highest payroll…so both Suter and Parise are really under the gun to produce.
PH: Why do you think this Rick Nash situation is taking so long to solve? Do you see this saga ending this summer or do you see it going into next season? Why?
TM: Columbus general manager Scott Howson knows he has a huge chip to deal…and he’s not going to bow to pressure to “get it over with”. He’s going to do what he’s paid to do as Blue Jackets G-M….and get the best possible deal. I think he’s doing the right thing…and even if it takes until the coming season…whenever THAT starts…to get a deal done he won’t get fleeced on a deal.
PH: What do you see happening with Shea Weber of the Nashville Predators? Do you think the Predators will end up matching or do you think he’ll be going to the Flyers? Why?
TM: I think the Predators won’t be able to match the Flyers’ offer sheet….and Weber is as good as gone. I think just before…or just after he’s signed in Philly…you’ll see Chris Pronger retire.
PH: Tell us about how things are going over at NHL Home Ice this off-season? You fellas never take an off-season off, eh?
TM: No, Patrick…we here at NHL HOME ICE never take the summer off. Hockey news doesn’t…so we don’t. We all knew this when we hit the air all those 7 seasons ago…and we all know it’ll never change and we’d have it no other way.
PH: Is there anything else you’d like to share with Kukla’s Korner readers?
TM: Nothing new to say. Just keep it on NHL HOME ICE for all your hockey news. Our pledge is to continue to keep you up on all the happenings surrounding the greatest game in the world.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.