As long as the feature story this week is the NHL, this is a perfect time to write this editorial. My hat is off to Gary Bettman, Commissioner of the NHL, and the NHL owners for doing what Bud Selig and MLB owners should do. Sum and substance; no salary cap means no season! The NHL mess is not the playersí fault, but the league has a definite problem. The players have to be partners in discovering a cure, and that cure is a salary cap. NHL owners need a salary cap just to exist. MLB owners donít, unfortunately, for the most part; whether their teams can be competitive or not, their idiotic fans still support them, in general, and at ludicrous prices at that. You want parity? Youíll absolutely find it in the NFL, to a lesser degree in the NBA as theirís is not a true salary cap, soon to be in the NHL, I hope, if there is such a league in the future, and not at all in MLB. It all comes down to the magic words "salary cap."
Story of the Week
Here we are in mid-January. Weíve spent this entire NHL season without the NHL due to the strike. I miss going to a fight, and watching a hockey game break out. I havenít written a hockey article since Sept. 30. This one is dedicated to some of my favorite NHL trivia.
Who is the only member of a NHL team who canít serve as captain or alternate captain? The goaltender.
Which Hall of Fame goaltender popularized the goalie mask? My favorite goalie of all-time, Jacques Plante.
When did NHL players first begin wearing helmets? It was started in 1959. By 1979, all players entering the NHL were required to wear helmets.
Who was the last helmet-less NHL player? Craig MacTavish, and he played without a helmet his entire 18-year NHL career.
Who was the first player to score hat tricks (three goals in a game) in consecutive periods? On February 7, 1976, Torontoís Daryl Sittler turned the incredible trick against the Boston Bruins.
Who is the only player to tally five points in his very first game? On February 14, 1977, Al Hill did it for the Philadelphia Flyers. That magic never returned as he spent his eight-year career bouncing back and forth between Philadelphia and the minors.
Who holds the record for the highest plus/minus rating (his teamís points scored versus the opposing teamís points scored while heís on the ice) for one season? The legendary defenseman, Bobby Orr, registered an incredible +124 during the 1970-71 season. Bobby Orr also has the most points by a defenseman in one season with an equally incredible 139 that same year.
Who has scored the most goals in a career? Wayne Gretzky with 894. The great Gretzky also has the record for most assists in a career with 1,963.
What family boasts the most NHL players ever? The Sutter family produced six brothers. The first brother, Brian, came to the NHL in 1976. In 1982, all six were active NHL players. Amazing!
What player has been a member of the most Stanley Cup winning teams? Henri Richard of the Montreal Canadiens raised the Cup 11 times.
What player won an Olympic gold medal and the Stanley Cup in the same year? Ken Morrow did it in 1980-81. He was a member of the US "Miracle On Ice" Gold Medal team, and the New York Islanders Cup champs.
Who is the youngest goalie ever to guide his team to the Stanley Cup? Patrick Roy was 20 when Montreal won the Cup during their 1986 title drive.
Which two teams hold the record for most penalties committed by both teams in one period of a game? On February 26, 1981, the Minnesota North Stars and the Boston Bruins combined for a mind-boggling 67 penalties in one period.
Which coach has won the most NHL games? Heís the best ever, my all-time favorite, Scotty Bowman.
Where is the NHL Hall of Fame? Itís in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Itís a treat for any hockey fan.
Who wants the NHL to resume play ASAP? Me, thatís who!
Last Weekís Trivia
The very first MVP of the NBA was the great Jerry West in 1959. He is also the symbol for the NBAís logo.
Trivia Question of the Week
In the 1962 World Series, a former and famous Yankees pitcher won a game against the Yankees while pitching for the Giants. Who? See next weekís Sports Junkie for the answer.