How much contact do you think teams are having with their players during the lockout?
According to the NHL's edict, the answer should be "none," unless that player is (a) injured or (b) playing in the American Hockey League. Should those guidelines be ignored … well, you're begging for a Devellano'ing from Mr. Bettman.
According to what we probably all suspect … c'mon, these are multi-million-dollar investments we're talking about here, and team executives whose livelihoods depend on wins and losses. You're telling us they aren't making sure they can hit the ice without missing a beat when a truncated run to the Stanley Cup begins?
You're telling us, like, Dan Bylsma has never had a single conversation with the dozen or so Pittsburgh Penguins skating throughout the lockout together. Mr. Players' Coach himself?
But going with the notion that the NHL's coaches and general managers aren't in contact with their players … are they following their lockout playing careers overseas?
Buffalo Sabres GM Darcy Regier was asked that very thing on WGR on Wednesday, and said:
"We track their games, really just over the Internet. And we may be able in some cases to communicate with their coaching staff over there or the management over there. We're able, in an aloof way, to keep track with what's going on, their injury status.
"We don't speak directly with the players. It's for the most part secondhand."
All of these lines probably get blurred when, say, defenseman Tyler Myers injures his ankle while playing for Klagenfurter AC in Austria. That ankle is in the first year of a seven-year contract, after all.
How much contact do you think your team has had with its players?