The mailbag is back in your life once again and it wants to know what Gerard Gallant’s life will be like in (Las) Vegas. There’s also a pondering of how the NWHL can survive without help from the NHL. There’s also a Die Hard question. And another about a player’s hygiene. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get, let’s get into it.
1. Golden Ticket
I’ve been wrong before — here are my five coaches most likely to get fired in November — and I’ll be wrong again, but there’s no way in hell Gerard Gallant is taking the (Las) Vegas job. After he was fired, there was all that annoying back-channel stuff about how revered he is in NHL front offices. That happens when guys get fired, but this was at Bruce Boudreau levels of effusiveness.
Gallant has two years left on his contract, so it’s not as though he’s desperate for work after this season. He can continue to put food on his table without setting foot in a rink. Really, he’s living the dream. He’s Ed Norton in Fight Club without all the fighting and terrorism. He’s Kevin Spacey in American Beauty without all the murder. He can sit on his ass all next season and wait for the right job.
So he has no pressure to get a job and is loved around the league. If the New York Islanders ever decided to pony up decent money for a coach, he should be there next season.
2. System Failure
It’s wild that Capuano is in his seventh season already. I was going to link to Wayne Gretzky’s coaching record, but even the Coyotes realized it wasn’t working after four full seasons. To last this long, you need to land in the perfect situation, which is low expectations and a low salary.
So, to answer your question, no.
3. Fish Sticks
4. First Ward
Cam Ward could have a .925 save percentage with five games left in the regular season and I’d still think he was going to allow enough goals over those games to get down to .908. I’m not buying the Hurricanes until the final second tick off Game 82 and they’re in the playoffs.
Also: Cam Ward is at .918 through 16 games and .919 at even strength. That’s not top-tier. It’s fine but again, a giant chunk of his recent history says it’s only going to get worse.
5. Donational Hockey League
I think… nothing? Not like, “F off, we’re not giving you crap” nothing. More like, “Hey this is your thing and you’ll figure it out without our help” nothing.
What about an NHL player as an investor or part-owner? Wouldn’t it be great if Phil Kessel started running the Riveters, who have sister Amanda Kessel? He could change the name to Hot Dogs and have jerseys with giant hot dogs on them. I want that really badly now.
If the NHL wanted to become partners or have the NBA/WNBA relationship, that’s one thing, but the big difference between the NHL and the NBA is the NBA makes money, so that’s probably not even an option for the NHL now.
But yeah, you’d need investors with deep pockets in it for the long haul. You’d have to show the league can make money because people love making money. Like, if I were running the league and money was thin, I’d do everything I could to sign sponsors (not that that’s not what’s happening already). I’d have to be at the very end of my rope to solicit loans or donations. I’d totally swallow my pride to keep paying my players, but the NWHL either isn’t there yet or doesn’t want to go there, which is fine either way.
The NBA/WNBA model is probably the best one but maybe we’ll look back on this in a couple years and laugh about how far the NWHL has come. I mean, the people that took the pay cuts won’t laugh, because who wants a pay cut that wasn’t cleared with you before it happened? But it’s Year 2. Maybe the goal for the NWHL should be to show it’s a profitable business worth the NHL’s partnership. I don’t know. I just spent 10 minutes trying to fix my PayPal’s connection to my bank account, so maybe I’m the wrong person to answer this for as long as I’ve been answering this.
6. Dirty Alexei
I’ve never smelled him.
7. Range Of Emotions
Nope. Don’t care. I have no concerns over the success of a sports team in the NHL.
8. Rover Took Over
Yes, the NHL needs more dogs on ice. I’m on board here.
9. X-Mas Checking
The answer is always Die Hard. It’s the only Christmas movie. Ever.
True story. A few years ago, me and my buddies went to Toronto for a weekend to see a Blue Jays game. Around that game, we drank a lot of beer in a lot of bars. We are all degenerate sports fans that can stare at a TV and mumble to each other, no matter the sport.
At this one bar, a CFL game was airing. No lie, instead of sipping beers and staring at the TVs, we sat down in a TV-less room and talked to each other. For like, an hour. We chose conversation over sports.
So curling. Because it’s like bar shuffleboard where you stand on the table.
Anyway, congrats to the Senators fans who made a wish for a championship while Erik Karlsson was still in Ottawa but never specified the sports league.