NEWARK, NJ – DECEMBER 31: New Jersey Devils defenseman John Moore (2) lies motionless on the ice after getting hit into the boards by Washington Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (43)(not pictured) during the first period of the National Hockey League game between the New Jersey Devils and the Washington Capitals on December 31, 2016, at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

This NHL Mailbag was compiled on an (observed) holiday, so it’s possible many of the people that posited questions were doubly hung over from New Year’s Eve. In an effort to appease all customers, I have answered every question received, making the effort of the exhausted people on Twitter worth it. Why wasn’t Tom Wilson suspended for murdering John Moore? Will Vegas get an outdoor game? Let’s play 20 Questions. Let’s mailbag.

1. Sticking It

No. Many people do not like Gary Bettman and that sometimes manifests itself in the form of hoping for negative outcomes in his life.

2. Playoffs

The Red Wings aren’t making the playoffs. The Leafs probably aren’t, but they’ve got a real shot. I’d be surprised if Detroit made a run, but not if Toronto got there. They’re good and young.

3. Vegas Heat


Well, no, with one caveat: Do the Blackhawks want to play Vegas in an outdoor game? If yes, then yes.

4. Strong Armed

Yes. The rink is a great distance from the closest seats, so the hats would not reach the inside of the rink. Even if someone with a very strong arm tried, the weight and physics involved in throwing such a light object would prevent the headwear from reaching the playing surface.

5. Evgeni Mal-scoring-kin-g

Of course. Evgeni Malkin is very good at hockey. Sidney Crosby is better and scoring at a much higher rate, so if each player continues at his current pace, you have to like Crosby’s chances of winning the scoring title. But each player could have fluctuations in scoring. Crosby could miss time with an injury. Life is full of possibilities and Malkin winning the scoring title is one of them.

6. Feeling contented

Yes. As Benjamin Franklin once wrote, “We are all content, eligible to be consumed by a mass audience on various platforms with the help of key influencers designed to attract casuals to your base… now where’s my kite?” Your tweet is content. This mailbag is content. We are living in a content world and I am a content… girl. Or boy. Whatever.

7. Cold Bruin

I think they’re good enough to win two rounds and bad enough to finish just short of the playoffs again. They did this last year, so it’s easy to be nervous, but I think the three best teams in the Atlantic are Montreal, Tampa Bay and Boston, but I also think the three best Friends are Joey, Phoebe and Monica. Maybe I’m wrong. Some people like Ross (Florida Panthers).

8. Prospect Respect

I have no idea. To answer this, I would need to study the development and managerial strategies for the other 29 teams over the past 10 years or so and draw a conclusion based on the patterns I discovered. But really, I’m writing this in between trips to my toilet because I had some chicken kebab last night that’s tearing me apart like Natalie Portman’s love for Anakin in Revenge of the Sith.

9. What?

How did you know I mentioned my uncomfortable bowel movements in the previous questions? Was that too much information? Or was the Star Wars prequel reference incorrect? Look, I’m sorry, OK? Uh oh. My stomach is rumbling again. BRB.

10. People Call Me…

Detroit Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks was fired in 2014. Please do your best to stay abreast of current events so we can avoid questions like this in the future. Thank you.

11. Eat This

This looks great, but it also looks suspiciously Canadian, so I’ll pass. I’ve been burned too many times by subpar Canadian candies that I won’t go through it again. Smarties in Canada are not Smarties in America. Fool me once, shame on Canada. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, Canada apologizes for the misunderstanding.

12. Wherever I Jarome

In the NHL. I’m confident in this answer. Take it to the bank.

13. Annoying Fan

You won’t believe this, but I did not keep tabs on personalities of Red Wings fans over a 12-year period from 1997 to 2008, nor have I done sociological studies on Blackhawks fans today. And really, my opinion on this, even if I had done the research, would be subjective and thus not worth discussing. If you’d like to fund this project, hit my PayPal account with a million dollars by the close of business this Friday.

14. Outside

Two — one in Canada, one in the United States, neither involving the Chicago Blackhawks.

15. More Outdoor

Neither! Wait, if Florida becomes Quebec, and Quebec gets an outdoor game, does that count as an outdoor game for Florida? If yes, then Florida. This also applies to Florida relocating to Seattle too. I’ll take Florida either way.

16. Devils Details

John Hynes is good. Cory Schneider is good. Ray Shero is not. And I understand he was left with the roster in shambles after years of Lou Lamoriello’s latter-day ineptitude, but Shero got the Penguins off-track when they were a can’t-miss team, so I’m not going to defend him. The Devils are a long way from being really good again.

17. Fight On

The rules are simple:

  • Play at least one game in a major professional league that has fighting
  • Be the first person to say, “Have you ever played the game?” even if you, the asker, have never played the game

Both items give you the high ground to tell someone to spend time in a pro locker room before you say something about banning fighting, even if you yourself have only played in a beer league you take too seriously.

18. Wilson!

If you’re not suspending a hit like that, you may as well disband Player Safety and rebuild it from the ground up. John Moore’s numbers are facing Wilson from the moment he decides to deliver the hit, then he delivers said hit through Moore’s back. There’s nothing “routine” about leaning into a player like that with all your weight.

Wilson didn’t clip Moore’s shoulder while he was turning. He hit him with full force from behind. It’s insane that didn’t result in a one-game suspension, at least.

19. Squad Goalies

It’s amazing how badly the Islanders screwed up their three-goaltender situation. There were teams that needed goaltending in the offseason and instead went with the untenable three-man rotation before getting zilch in return for Jaroslav Halak, who had value in the summer. The Islanders are a mess. Save John Tavares, someone. Work something out with Dallas. For Halak, not Tavares.

20. In And Out

Whenever the Blackhawks play an indoor game now, it’s like the scene from Man of Steel when General Zod and his Fighting Zods get their bad CGI masks cracked during an Earth battle and become all disoriented. They need to slowly acclimate to the strange surroundings.

OK, that’s it. See ya.