from Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun,
- It’s easy to talk about firing Kyle Dubas at the end of the season or, in the more demure way, not re-signing him as general manager. The better question: Who do you replace him with? And who would do a better job? Montreal fired Marc Bergevin after a long run as GM and replaced him with Jeff Gorton and Kent Hughes. If there’s a Jeff Gorton out there and available, Toronto would be wise to investigate.
- I’ve never heard a bad word said about Zdeno Chara. Not by those playing with him. Not by those playing against him. It’s hard to find any player who was as universally respected as Chara was. He will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer in 2022. Probably alongside Duncan Keith, who won three Stanley Cups with the Chicago Blackhawks and also won two Norris Trophies and, maybe the most important award, one called the Conn Smythe.
- Not sure P.K. Subban, great as he was, electric as he was, so much the personality, did enough to make the Hall of Fame. He did win the Norris and that works in his favour. The only retired Norris winner not to make the Hall is Randy Carlyle. One day in history we’ll look back and see that Chris Pronger, Scott Niedermayer, Drew Doughty and Victor Hedman only won one Norris, and collectively we’ll shake our heads. And to think, Brad Park never won but he did finish second eight times, usually behind a guy named Bobby Orr.
- In 2004, Jaromir Jagr was the highest-paid player in the NHL at $11 million a season. There was no salary cap then. All these years later, Nathan MacKinnon is the highest-paid player at $12.6 million. No athletes in pro sports have been as underpaid, big picture, as NHL stars. The salary cap hasn’t done a thing for hockey stars but limit their value … By comparison, the highest-paid player in the NBA in 2004 was Shaquille O’Neal at $27 million a year. Steph Curry is the highest paid now at $48 million. Second highest-paid player in 2004 was Dikembe Mutombo at $19.4 million. The second-highest paid player in the NHL today is Connor McDavid at $12.5 million. The second highest-paid player in the NBA today is Russell Westbrook at $47 million.
a few more hockey topics...