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11 April 2007

A 'Spec' tacular interview...

Lyle Richardson, also known as Spector or "The Prince of Pucks" is the founder of the well-rounded and popular hockey rumour website Spector's Hockey since 1998, in which he posts rumours collected from legitimate media sources around North America daily.
He's contributed to several hockey sites; more notably McKeen's Hockey and Fox Sports.
He lives in Prince Edward Island and is a diehard Montreal Canadiens fan.
Lyle was also kind enough to answer 20 questions regarding the NHL and some of its teams and players...

1) Knowing you are a Habs fan, what did you feel after the Canadiens lost to the Maple Leafs in that all-important game Saturday night?
Disappointed, but it wasn't the end of the world.

2) With the Canadiens out, are you bandwagoning, or has playoff hockey left you?
I'll be following all the playoff games as it's my job. As a fan, however, I confess that I like the Penguins and Sabres in the East and the Canucks and Wild in the West.

3) In your opinion, which team will win the Stanley Cup?
I'd love to commit, but I can't. Most of the teams are so close and there's so much parity now that picking a winner is very tough. I'll say the Sabres and Red Wings have the best chances.

4) Bob Gainey said that the Canadiens will have "the resources" to go after that big-name free agent this offseason (Daniel Briere, Chris Drury, Scott Gomez, Bill Guerin), what do you think he means by that?
Cap space and some assets to trade. Gainey has over $20 million in available cap space, plus two picks in the first round and depth in young talent that he can offer up as trade bait if required. I don't see him selling the farm, but it wouldn't be a shock if he shopped one or two youngsters.

5) The Maple Leafs have missed the playoffs the last 2 seasons in a row, what does this team need, what are their plans for the upcoming season?
Their most obvious need is experienced offensive depth, a quality backup capable of sharing the load with Andrew Raycroft and perhaps a little more defensive grit on the blueline.

6) Will Mats Sundin still be in Toronto next season?

7) Which playoff series will be the least exciting?
I think they'll all be exciting, but the Wild and Ducks could come close, with the Canucks-Stars another candidate.

8) Who has been the biggest disappointment among last season's free-agent crop?
Sergei Samsonov.

9) Bryan Murray has said he doesn't appreciate his team being associated with the word "choke", do the Sens finally have what it takes to go deep into the playoffs?
Yes, but they've got to shake off that well-deserved label of "choke".
Murray may not like it but the truth hurts. Too many times over the past ten years the Senators have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

10) Well all know Tampa Bay has goalie issues, but If they fail once more in the playoffs and Johan Holmqvist is to blame, do you think Jay Feaster should move a guy like Brad Richards or Dan Boyle to get a top-notch quality goaltender?
No, Feaster's already on record saying he won't move those guys. Besides, Boyle has a no-trade clause and cannot be moved without his consent. Richards' $7.8 million salary is as good as a no-trade clause because few teams would have the available cap space to absorb that salary or depth in talent to move the players needed to free up space for that salary.

11) Your 2007 Cinderella run team is the _________?
New York Islanders.

12) What's going on in Phoenix? They have management problems, but really, who is to blame or what is to blame for the team's miserable season?
Everyone from the top down. They haven't drafted well, their trade record isn't good, they lack experienced coaching and on-ice leadership.

13) If there was no point for overtime losses, Montreal, Carolina and Toronto would have made the playoffs while the Rangers, Lightning and Islanders wouldn't have, do you think the league needs to take a look at these numbers and get rid of this notion of teams earning a point if they lose in extra time?
Regardless of who would or wouldn't have made the playoffs, I don't like awarding points to losers. It should be two points for a win regardless of when that win occurs and no points for the loser. Period.

14) What is the biggest problem of the new NHL?
The lack of visibility in the all-important US sports market. The lockout killed the NHL in the States and it'll be a long road back to the pre-lockout modicum of visibility.

15) Who is currently your favourite broadcaster in the NHL?
Actually, I don't have a favourite, to be honest. My favourites are all dead now (Danny Gallivan, Dan Kelly) or retired (Dick Irvin).

16) Will Eric Lindros ever play hockey again?
Time is running out for Lindros, no question. He continues to be plagued by injuries and he's no longer the great player he once was.

17) Who will win the Hart Trophy?
Sidney Crosby.

18) Does Nicklas Bacstrom, the goalie for the Minnesota Wild that carried the team into the playoffs after Manny Fernandez got injured and that boast the best save percentage and goals against average in the NHL, have a realistic chance of winning the Vezina Trophy?
No. It'll go to either Brodeur or Luongo.

19) Who's the worst enforcer in the NHL?
Cam "Cheapshot" Janssen.

20) And finally, the question everyone will be discussing during the next decade, will Sidney Crosby have a better career than Wayne Gretzky?
Who can tell? Crosby's only 19 and has years ahead of him in an NHL that has better goaltending and is more defensive minded than in Gretzky's day. I think he'll be this generation's dominant player and might break some of Gretzky's records. In fact, he's already set his own record as the youngest player to win the Art Ross.

I hope you enjoyed this interview.

Thanks again Lyle!

Bleu, Blanc et Rouge

2 fanatics have replied:

CapsChick said...

Great interview! I didn't realize Spector was a Habs'd be nice if the Canadiens can do something in the offseason, they've been an average team at best for far too long - I'd love to see them step it up.

Bleu, Blanc et Rouge said...

Yes, he is a Habs fan, oh, and I loved your interview with Leonsis, tell me, would it be possible for me to contact the Habs owner (George Gillett) and ask him for an interview?

The Habs had a good run going but Dec 23rd was that fateful day that the Bleu, Blanc et Rouge turned into black and white, that's the day our troubles began.

Some say the Habs were having their best season in the last decade (before that fateful day).

I would love to see the Caps have a good year as well, they started off decently but faded down the stretch.

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