To put it in U.S. perspective, Darren Dreger going from Sportsnet to TSN a few years ago would be like Peter King leaving NBC for CBS - and taking all his NFL sources with him.
When it comes to hockey, Dreger’s about as hard-working and connected as they come. He’s also opinionated. When Dreger, Bob McKenzie, Glenn Healy and Mike Milbury are all in the same TSN studio on Wednesday nights, sometimes you wish they’d skip the game and just do a three-hour show.
Now that Philly has signed Richards for 12 years and Washington signed Ovechkin for 13 years, is the deal the Islanders signed with Rick DiPietro viewed any differently just over a year later? Especially when you consider Rick’s importance to this team and the cap number.
Yes and no. Rick continues to prove he's a world class player and well worth the money he earns, regardless of term. Because of his play and the belief he'll continue to develop, Charles Wang will soon be able to boast a great bargain. However, the double-digit term is not something most teams or players think makes a lot of sense. When DiPietro is starring for the Islanders in 2014, making 4.5 million and Sidney Crosby has agreed to another 5 year extension at 12-15 million per year, this story may take a different spin.
How would you grade Garth Snow as a general manager in his second season?
B+. I'd give him an A-, but he yelled at me in public once. More importantly, I'll offer the opinion of Garth's peers, fellow managers who tell me he is a very hard worker who continues to study the craft of managing in a cap world by doing more listening then talking. Pulling off the Ryan Smyth trade proves Snow has the jam to not just make a deal while bound in a tough economic system, but he has the creativity which shows he and the Islanders may always be a threat in trade circles.
Aside from the Minnesota fracas, how does the rest of the league view Kyle Okposo as a prospect?
Too soon to tell. I did notice James Van Riemsdyk and Colin Wilson for team USA at the World Juniors. Okposo didn't stand out, at least not to me.
Lately the talk has been that next month’s trade deadline will be quieter than in years past. Do you think so, and what are the reasons?
We’ll see a similar run to what transpired last year. A few of the big names will go in the days leading up to the deadline, players like Marian Hossa and Brian Campbell, potential unrestricted free agents looking for the summer payout. Maple Leafs captain Mats Sundin will also continue to be a hot topic until he or Leafs management snuff out his availability. If that doesn't take place the Sundin sweepstakes will dominate all lead-up conversations right up to the deadline.
How are you, Heals, Milbury and McKenzie getting along on the TSN set? That’s quite a mix.
There's no shortage of opinion!!! We get along well because on most nights we have differing views which encourages debate. Once in a while it gets a tad out of hand, but there's a mutual respect that assures no hard feelings. Plus, Milbury still travels with the shoe he once beat a poor unsuspecting fan with, so I always approach Mike with caution.