Kevin Westgarth (2012 Stanley Cup Champ of the L.A. Kings), David Backes (Captain of the St. Louis Blues) and Mathieu Schneider (former NHL player, now Executive Assistant to Don Fehr). Ask us anything about hockey!

We will be signing off using our initials.

We've tweeted our verification: @KWesty19 @DBackes42 @NHLPA

Signing off! Thank you all so much for your questions. We were happy to be able to connect with you today. Back to work now. - KW, DB, MS.

Comments: 722 • Responses: 78  • Date: 

HockeyCrazy176 karma

Would the NHLPA not accept:

50/50 split with $300mil make whole AND 8 year contract limit OR 10% variance year to year

Why is this kind of thing not being discussed right now? It seems to be a numbers game, but both sides are more focused on bringing the media to their side.

The truth is, that as a fan of the NHL my whole life, this whole situation disgusts me. I will not attend a game or buy merchandise for at least a year now or maybe more.

ThePlayers14 karma

I understand your frustration as a life long fan. Trust me, as a former player, I feel the same way.

All the guys grew up as some of the biggest fans of this game. They also understand that they are ambassadors of the game. Each game missed is one they will never get back. We know that fans and people depended on the game are being hurt by the lockout.

In this negotiation the players are the only ones that have made concessions. We have offered the owners changes worth over $1 billion dollars. There are times when you have to say enough and make a stand. The owners do not seem to have the same sentiment as the players, unfortunately.

I hope you will remain a fan when this is all settled. MS

thefootisconstant77 karma

Hello guys! As a Blues fan I wanted to say thank you David for all of the charity work you do here in St. Louis, you are a damn fine human being...I have yet to meet any Blues fan who does not idolize you. And now, a few questions, David my good man:

  • Who is the biggest clown/practical joker in the locker room? What is the greatest prank pulled by a team member (that your willing to share)?
  • How would you compare playing for Hitch to skating under Andy Murray and Davis Payne?
  • What is your favorite bar in St. Louis?

SHAMELESS PLUG: Be sure to have the guys stop by our little subreddit, Feel free to make a clandestine account and subscribe so you can contribute in our discussions. Also if you enjoyed your time on reddit today I know we would love to have you or another player back for an AMA with the Blues fans.

Thanks again and lets play some damn hockey!

ThePlayers47 karma

  1. Biggest clown is Scott Nichol by far, I think he is still 8 years old at heart. He is always up to something.
  2. Hitch has preparation skills similar to Andy but it is hard to compare because my role has changed from coach to coach...
  3. Favorite bar in St. Louis is maybe OB Clarks or JP Fields

Johnald74 karma

If they had a hockey package for fans that you had to be 18 to purchase but instead of commentators, all the players were mic'd and you could just subscribe to whatever player's mic you wanted to listen to during the game, what players would have the most fans subscribed?

ThePlayers63 karma

There are some real colorful words exchanged and some guys that would have insane ratings... As for specifics, hopefully innovative ideas like this can grow our game going forward and give the fans a real inside look. - DB

jonnymox70 karma

Hi all! Kevin, my wife (Carey-Jo) claims she was in the musical Greece with you in high school, and you were Danny, and you were great. Is there any truth to this? She was shocked when she passed by the TV and saw you on the screen! Big congrats from the two of us!

ThePlayers120 karma

There is truth to this. Thank god there weren't any camera phones back then. KW

malkincookies712461 karma

Thanks for doing this guys!

For everyone: As a Penguins fan, I hear the fans' opinions of Sidney Crosby. I would like to hear some players' opinions. What is he like to play against? What is your opinion of him?

Also for everyone: Who is/was your favorite team(s) to play against?

ThePlayers228 karma

Honest answer is that he is the best player in the game bar none. That being said he is always looking for an edge and that includes working the officials which rubs a lot of guys the wrong way. I haven't had kind feelings for him until this summer working with him in the negotiating room and seeing who is as a person. He is a true ambassador for the game and someone who has gained my respect. - DB

ThePlayers59 karma

Thank you for all that have participated in the AMA with Mathieu Schneider, Kevin Westgarth and I. Some great questions that were posted along with a few that could use a bar of Dove in their mouth. That being said, it is great to see fans still passionate about hockey and hopefully we can be back on the ice and playing sooner than later.
Go Blues!! DB

martlet144 karma


ThePlayers59 karma

Very frustrating for all of the Blues players, fans and I can imagine even the ownership. We carried great momentum into this year and I am hoping we dont lose a great opportunity to get the people of St Louis what they have been waiting 45 years for... - DB

gonk36 karma

Hey Guys--thanks for doing the AMA. I'm sure there's lots of hockey (and lockout) questions coming, so I have a little different question for Mr. Backes--I remember hearing during a broadcast that you were studying electrical engineering at Minnesota State. As a physics/math guy myself, I thought it was pretty awesome that one of my favorite players was in engineering, and I always wondered what steered you toward that major.

ThePlayers126 karma

I was and still am someone that math just comes too. Not memorizing procedures, but knowing the why and how so that it translates to other respects, such as engineering. I got through three years as an EE. I am taking two classes currently at MNSU but they wont let me do engineering online so I am getting an applied organizational studies degree with an nonprofit leadership emphasis. - DB

jokanee35 karma

David Backes, you dismantled Team Canada with your fists prior to the 2012 Olympics. Given that you have a very particular set of skills. Skills that you have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make you a nightmare for people negotiating on the other side of the CBA...

Can you unleash Inglorious Backes before it's too late and get us our hockey back?!

ThePlayers68 karma

While the ideas that you present seem to be out there, I can neither confirm nor deny the allegations. And these skills you talk about are not very useful in a board room, let alone one fully occupied by lawyers! - DB

chuck2norris31 karma

This is for Mr. Schneider. How often do you get comments on your amazing teeth? I was so impressed with them and I made my twitter username SchneidersTeeth.

ThePlayers105 karma

Being a hockey player for as long as I was, you can probably figure out why they are "amazing". This is my 4th set. If at first you don't succeed - try, try again. MS

chuck2norris62 karma

Give my regards to your dentist.

ThePlayers74 karma

I'm still laughing about this comment. FYI - Wings team dentist. MS

caldo430 karma

To Mr. Backes: Did you really go hunting specifically for Canadian olympic team members (Toews, Nash, Perry) prior to the 2010 olympics? Please let this be true

ThePlayers84 karma

I can neither confirm nor deny those allegations... If they were true and I am not saying they are by any means, I think it was a an incomplete mission as a different guy scored. DB

DjB8929 karma

Lockouts suck, that is all.

ThePlayers56 karma

Agreed. It's my third one! MS

ThePlayers34 karma

Yep KW

kgreen69er27 karma

I miss the cold behind the curtain at Scottrade Center.

With that said, Dave, have the players given you any trouble yet for the Twitter/Pinterest linking?

Thanks for spending some time on reedit!

ThePlayers67 karma

No, I think that they are well aware that my wife wears the pants in my relationship and if she wants to link her pinterest, then she will. I have gotten that unlinked however, and feel it is a victory for me. Baby steps... - DB

deletefilenewgame25 karma

Really appreciate the AMA guys. I’m a Canucks fan by the way.

For all: • Does the NHLPA really cater to all the players’ needs or is it just a select few elite (Crosby and Kovalchuk perhaps?) • When do you think we will see NHL hockey again? • Do you think that the owners are all unified under Bettman, or do you think that there are divisions within the NHL ownership?

For David: • In 2008, you signed an offer sheet from the Canucks. Did you really have interest in playing with the Canucks, or was it just a negotiating tactic to earn a better contract with the Blues? I think you would have looked sick next to the Sedins in the final against Boston. • How good do you think Vladimir Tarasenko will be? Do you see him as the best player on the team in a couple of years?

For Kevin: • Hi, I don’t know much about you, but congratulations on winning the Stanley Cup! Was the feeling different than one would expect seeing that you played very little in the playoffs? • What is your opinion on some of the more “controversial” hits the Kings had experienced in last year’s playoffs, i.e Brown on Rosival (led to WCF clinching goal), Brown on Sedin, Bernier on Scuderi?

For Mathieu: • What team do you best associate yourself with? • Lidstrom, Yzerman or Fedorov? • How many games would Aaron Rome have received for hitting Nathan Horton if it happened in the 2012 playoffs?

ThePlayers24 karma

The offer sheet is part of hockey as a business. I like Vancouver and have some great memories there during the Olympics and regular season. That being said, I love playing for the Blues and St Louis has treated me like one of there own, I am proud to call it home. Tarasenko is a great talent and I cant wait to see how his game translates to the NHL, hopefully sooner than later. - DB

ThePlayers17 karma

For me it would be Montreal / Detroit; All great, different players; ask Brendan Shanahan MS

[deleted]9 karma


ThePlayers34 karma

TOTALLY didn't you see my blog when I was with the Canucks. Short lived until Vigneault ran me out of town :) . My kids have taught me everything I know about Reddit. MS

ThePlayers14 karma

Thanks for coming on and joining the dialogue. I've found the NHLPA is the most democratic organization I've seen. Every player has a voice and is united to get a fair deal ASAP, keeping in mind future of the game and the NHL. I struggle to understand why we don't have a deal yet, as the League is as healthy as its ever been.

Thanks for the Congrats. The Stanley Cup Playoffs are the most exciting and arduous two months in sports, and they did not disappoint to be a part of. Dustin Brown is one of the most underrated players in the league, (though maybe not anymore) and is so valued because of his leadership, physical play and skill.

I'll try to be faster/better next time! Thanks KW

djs9pd22 karma

This is for David Backes

Oshie talked a lot about using Barrett Jackman for his pool last summer. Do the Jackmans' put on awesome pool parties or is Oshie one of those guys that just sort of shows up to your house in swim trunks?

Also, when flying your plane to rescue animals, do you ever wear a superhero cape or a cowl?

Thanks for doing this, and appreciate you wearing the "C" for the Blues.

ThePlayers28 karma

Osh is a great team guy that would do anything for any of his teammates, I can say that for all of our guys, yes Jax has a nice pool, but it seems that door is always open for guests.
When I fly to rescue dogs, I usually wear something grungy as the places we get some of these animals from are pretty dirty and my wife like to let some of them hang around on laps en route.

ShitcagoChickenhawks21 karma

For Backes: Let me just say, huge Blues fan! Cannot wait to see you guys on the ice once again! What was your favorite moment from last season?

For Westgarh: Who is the toughest guy to drop the gloves with? John Scott perhaps?

ThePlayers28 karma

John Scott is certainly a monumental opponent. Steve MacIntyre is still the toughest guy I have had the pleasure of fighting, although maybe I've just "forgotten" the tougher ones...KW

bigleaguechyut20 karma

Hey guys,

Thank you for doing this! We appreciate it.

What is your favorite city to play in?

Most fun team to play against?

Which city has the best fans, outside of the teams you've played for?

ThePlayers48 karma

City: Nashville - country music Fans: Anywhere in Canada DB

ThePlayers42 karma

City: Chicago Team: Phoenix (weather) Fans: Having played for 10 teams, you have eliminated a 1/3rd of the league for me to comment on. Philly has some great fans.


ThePlayers34 karma

Favourite City: Detroit (close to home) Most fun team to play: Philadelphia, a hardnosed game with great chirps from the stands Best fans: Philly fans are insane, ie the best KW

PsyRockFan2117 karma


ThePlayers42 karma

... no comment KW

ncsuftw116 karma

What do you have to say to the every day people who are going to lose their jobs if this goes any longer?

ThePlayers19 karma

Along with the lost fans this is a terrible fallout from the lockout... - DB

tinymarae15 karma

Hello from a hockey fan in India. All I want to say is stay strong and many fans support you. As much as I want hockey to be back, I want players to stand up to NHL for young players today and tomorrow. Bettman and the owners have locked out the players every time CBA has been up. If the players cave in this time,expect Bettman to lock you out again the next time and then you can say goodbye to guaranteed contracts, some contracting rights and further share of the revenue.

As far as the AMA question is concerned, what are your thoughts on Hamrlik' recent outburst? I know that Brouwer, Cole and Marty Brodeur have called him out on it.

ThePlayers13 karma

India, wow! Thanks.

We have over 700 members and they are all encouraged to voice their opinions, attend meetings internally and with the NHL. Sometimes you'll see frustration, but we have a very strong membership. MS

VC6115 karma

Hey guys, thanks for doing this I have a couple questions regarding trash talking on the ice.

How often do people take things too far? Any examples if willing?

Any time you've ever regretted something you said or maybe told a teammate they need to lay off a little?

Ever had any kind of friendship ruined because of something someone's done on the ice?

Lastly, regarding the lockout, how far apart are the NHLPA and NHL, what are the actual chances of a season this year?

Thanks again guys.

ThePlayers31 karma

Things go to far on occasion but for me it occurs when the trash talk goes to family, race, religion or beliefs. Outside of that you need thick skin. I would police anyone on our team who takes it too far, but thankfully we haven't had that situation come up. DB

ThePlayers15 karma

There are a few players who take it too far, but I haven't played with them. Respect for each other is one of the hallmarks of the hockey culture, and I am very proud of that. There is definitely some bad blood that occurs, but generally its dealt with at some point. Can't wait to get back out there, so I hope we have a willing negotiating partner at some point KW

ThePlayers14 karma

Thanks for all the great questions, hope we were able to give you a bit of insight. We have to head off now. It's been fun, but back to work now. MS

Mmanion1814 karma

David, huge Blues fan here.

2 Simple questions.

  1. What is your favorite restaurant in Saint Louis?
  2. What's your favorite food of all time?


ThePlayers19 karma

Tani and Flemmings


sterlingarcher006913 karma

Who is your favourite player to play with? Are they the same player you want to share a hotel room with? Why or why not.

How did you 3 meet? Did you guys decide after a PA meeting, "You go on Reddit? I go on Reddit. We should do an AMA."

ThePlayers17 karma

I love playing with TJ Oshie, he leaves everything on the ice and makes me a better player. I room with Alex Steen and they are not the same because it is good to get to know your teammates on different levels, on and off the ice.
Reddit was offered to us as a way to connect with the fans and answer any questions that we can to keep you guys interested and let you know we want to be on the ice more than anyone and we hope you will be back when we are. - DB

puckhead7312 karma

David, no one can deny the impressive turn around the team went through last year, and as a fan, I have to see it was an incredible ride. What in your opinion best enabled Hitch to bring about the instant 180 the team went through? Also, what is your favorite kind of dog?

ThePlayers14 karma

Instant credibility with his history and knowledge as deep as anyones. A clean slate for the guys who relished in the opportunity.
I have four rescued dogs and my favorite dog is anything rescued and I love mutts, particularly Pitty mixes. - DB

ThePlayers12 karma

Thanks so much for joining us for this Q & A. We're all glad to be able to connect with a wider fan base than we are able to see on a day to day basis. I hope we gave some insight about our lives, the game of hockey, and this unfortunate lockout. Please don't lose faith in us and the game, I assure you we're going to get back to work on figuring out this deal. I have to go and get a bar of soap for Backes... Thanks, KW

vingt-deux11 karma

Hi Mathieu, habs fan here, I'm sure you expected this question :

What exactly happened between you and Patrick Roy in the dressing room?

ThePlayers21 karma

It was a big misunderstanding. We kissed and made up years later. We're friends today. MS

ryanj2111 karma

Why couldn't you guys get a deal done during the summer?

ThePlayers21 karma

We were available throughout the summer, unfortunately it seems the NHL was hell bent on putting pressure on the players with the Lockout. I wish it was as simple as spending a certain amount of time together, negotiating, but its very frustrating to see how little progress can be made with a seemingly unwilling partner. KW

killallthebugs11 karma

For David, What do you feel is the most important quality a captain must possess?

ThePlayers20 karma

Loyalty, it encompasses the job entirely. An ability to put the logo on the front above the name on the back and expect that from all of your teammates as well. - DB

TheMurdocktor11 karma

Hey guys, thanks for doing this AMA. Coyotes fan by the way...yes, we do exist!

For Mathieu: You spent about two months with Phoenix after getting traded during the 2009-10 season and were a big boost to their lacking (and still lacking) power play. What was it like to be part of something like that playoff push, considering the team's struggles at that time (and still happening) off the ice?

For David: I've always considered you one of my favorite players and if the Coyotes weren't around, the Blues would easily be on high on my list. How tough was last year's playoff loss to the Kings, especially after being labeled as favorites going into the postseason?

For Kevin: I was at last year's Game 5 of the West Finals and obviously was not happy afterward. There's still some bitterness, but I've gotten over most of it. What was the party like in the locker room that night and/or the night when the Kings clinched the Cup?


ThePlayers11 karma

The Kings were on a mission and were all in. I think that it was terribly tough, but hopefully a learning experience for our team going forward. DB

bmt3229 karma

Mr. Backes – Two questions: 1) If there is hockey this year, how do you feel about the asterisk that would be applied to the Stanley Cup Championship team? 2) How do you honestly feel about the lockout putting an abrupt halt to the amazing progress the Blues franchise has recently made?

ThePlayers23 karma

No asterisk, you still have to get through the other 29 teams to claim the prize. I hate the halt to the progress first of all to the momentum of hockey all together and second of all especially to the Blues who I think are just starting to realize the benefits of the painful rebuilding years we went through. - DB


Hey guys, thanks for doing this AMA, especially since I am a Blues fan and David is my favorite player!

My question (for any of the 3) is:

If you could play on a line/defense pair with any current NHL players, who would you pick?

ThePlayers38 karma

Alex Steen David Backes TJ Oshie Kevin Shattenkirk Alex Pietrangelo

          Either Blues Goalie

All of hockey..... Call me a homer.... - DB

ThePlayers22 karma

I would like to play center between David Backes and Kevin Westgarth MS

cherrywhiteblue9 karma

Hi David, thanks for all your hard work on and off the ice! I have a question-what made you want to get your pilot's license?

ThePlayers16 karma

Ty Conklin was on our team and had his pilot's license, which is where I got the idea. It seemed like a great feeling of freedom. -DB

Enigma5189 karma

Hows the unscheduled vacation? What Have you guys been doing during all of this?

ThePlayers53 karma

I am taking two classes to try to finish my degree and also starting a charity with my wife to improve animal welfare... DB

Bigtmac199 karma

Hey guys. I just wanted to stop by and say I hope everything gets worked out soon. We all miss hockey around here.

Edit: Hey Kevin, I almost forgot. I don't live too far from Amherstburg. Everyone from around was real excited when the Kings won the cup. Wish you would've gotten your name on it.

ThePlayers26 karma

Thanks for the support. It was amazing to bring the cup back to Essex County, and see how passionate people were to see the Cup. (ps. Lucky me, my name snuck on the Cup:)) KW

Densttom9 karma

This is for all of you guys. Who is the most respected player in the league in your minds.

ThePlayers30 karma

Teemu Selanne. He's an honest player. He plays the game the right way and he's been doing that his entire career, which has been long and successful. -DB

ThePlayers11 karma

Shane Doan (he does more on and off the ice in his community than anyone I've ever played with) MS

tech-bits8 karma


I got to meet you briefly once and shake your hand. I just want to say how incredibly humble and attentive you were. I could tell you actually cared about your fans and that's one of the most important parts about a sport to me.

I never got to mention all of that because I'm sure I was drooling on your loafers as you shook my almost certain limp wristed half hand that I presented you.

Also, another shamless plug for Hopefully sometime you guys could come and do an AMA on our little community. Even if you don't, we will love you all the same.

Yours truly,

Limp Wristed Drooler

ThePlayers17 karma

Thank you for the kind words, I am a first time reddit user today and cannot believe the response!!! - DB

andrewmarshall198 karma

Great idea as a means of getting the players in touch with fans. I commend the NHLPA for it and to Westgarth, Backes and Schneider for stepping up to the plate for it. Just a quick question regarding lockout. What did the previous bargaining agreement for player pension plans? To a outsider looking in that seems to me to be the biggest issue because its so important

ThePlayers5 karma

The benefits all come out of the players share, therefore it is tough to see that how they are allocated is a big deal in any regards... DB

roadslaya7 karma

Worst Experience in Hockey? Best One?

ThePlayers30 karma

Worst: Putting on wet equipment... Best: Winning the Stanley Cup KW

sleazy_E7 karma

In your experience, do you think it's harder for former college players to break into the NHL than it is for players who came out of juniors? Why or why not?

ThePlayers9 karma

I think it's evened out over the last decade. When I first came into the league, players who came out of of juniors had a big advantage. It was mainly an advantage for playing a 70+ game schedule, making the adjustment to the NHL. MS

Garth_the_Butcher7 karma

Question for all of you, especially Schneider.

As a Vancouver Canucks fan:

1) Are we really the most hated team in the league?

2) Schneider, what happened between you and Vigneault?

3) How hard is it to play against the Sedins?

ThePlayers15 karma

1) Yup. KW

ThePlayers8 karma

1) I'll defer to KW & DB 2) Let's just say...he made it into my top 10 least favorite coaches list (keep in mind, I played for 10 teams). 3) Very hard. MS

Louis_Tully6 karma

  1. Best player you've ever played against?
  2. Best Player in the league right now?
  3. Most under appreciated player in the league?
  4. Most under appreciated player on your team?
  5. Player that plays you or your team the hardest?

ThePlayers11 karma

1: Lidstrom 2: Crosby 3/4: D. Brown, R. Scuderi 5: Doan, Backes (that's for real) KW

AbeFroman19866 karma

Kevin and David, besides your own teams, who has the best goal horn/song in the NHL in your opinion?

Also, as much as it pains me to say it as a Devils fan, congratulations on the Cup win, Kevin.

ThePlayers19 karma

Chicago. You can't even think when it's going off. -DB

ThePlayers13 karma

Thanks for the congrats. I wish I didn't have the Chicago goal song stuck in my head so much when leaving the United Center... KW

Floyd_Lawton6 karma

Who were your hockey idols growing up? Who is your favorite current player?

ThePlayers12 karma

Larry Robinson & Steve Shutt. Favorite current players = Kevin Westgarth & David Backes. MS

00TylerDurden006 karma

  1. FAVORITE/ LEAST favorite places to play?
  2. What player did you play against that you couldn't help but be in awe of?

ThePlayers9 karma

Being on the ice with Nick Lidstrom was surreal. Growing up across the river, I got to see the Wings play a lot growing up. Such an aura around their team. KW

CatchHerInTheEye6 karma

Do you guys ever get annoyed when a fan comes up to you to ask for an autograph or picture? I'm a huge hockey fan, and if I were to see one of you on the street I'd like to ask for a picture or autograph, but I'd be worried I'm bothering you.

ThePlayers13 karma

Not at all, ask away! KW

Piranhamonkey6 karma

what got you into sports?

ThePlayers17 karma

Coming from a smaller town all of my school friends were going to play baseball and I joined, they then went to hockey and I followed. I guess I owe them a lot for helping me on my way to playing professional hockey... - DB

ThePlayers8 karma

My parents, they always had us in everything. I think they were trying to keep my brother and I out of trouble. KW

ThePlayers6 karma

My dad Sam MS

unhhoh126 karma

I won't ask you anything about the lockout, since everyone else is probably going to do that

Kevin: How has the hockey atmosphere changed in LA since you started playing there? Are people getting more involved in hockey from what you can tell?

David: Love your style of play, it's the way I tried to play when I was younger. When did you begin to emulate this style of play, or did just happen?

Schneider: What made you decide to become an executive assistant to Don Fehr?

ThePlayers14 karma

My style of play came out of necessity. When I was growing up we didn't have tryouts some years, sign up and you make the A team. When you play against huge associations that have huge talent pools you have to fight for everything on the ice and not back down from anyone. I was PP, PK and even strength player my whole life and and often as I could catch my breath they were sending me back out there. - DB

ThePlayers9 karma

Our Cup run was incredible to see. We have had great fans for many years, but it was amazing to have the support that won us the Stanley Cup. On top of that, it's great to see the young players that are coming out of California these day. The best way to grow the game is to get people to play.KW

DasChop6 karma

For Kevin

What's Thanksgiving with Coach Cowher like? Did he ever try to use the powers of his chin on you? What's more intimidating, his chin or having to drop the gloves?

Steelers/Penguins fan here.

ThePlayers4 karma

I have been lucky enough to stay in his good graces for the most part, so I hope the Chin stays tucked away. KW

Thronedgorilla5 karma

  1. What players who absolutely shock you that don't get enough spotlight?
  2. Who do you look forward to playing against?
  3. As people who have short careers compared to most people being athletes and all, what do you guys want to do when you retire/what did you do when you retired?

ThePlayers19 karma

1)Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar and Jonathon Quick (among others...) are on their way now to getting the appropriate spotlight they deserve. 2)Can't wait to see the Devils again 3)I was Pre-Med in university, so maybe one day I'll be doing some surgery on you with my fight-shaped hands...KW

bicarbonates5 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA!

Mr. David, I have a question concerning realignment. How do you feel about either Columbus or Nashville moving to the SE Division, and Winnipeg moving into Central?

Also, I have to ask all three of you the obligatory question. Would you guys prefer to fight one horse-sized duck, or one hundred duck-sized horses? :3

Edit: For clarification.

ThePlayers21 karma

I think the idea of realignment makes sense if there is balance in ability to make playoffs and the travel is lessened. That is a big if that was not accounted for in the proposal that was given to us in season.

The second question is either as they are both relatively tame creatures. Both of which are herbivores. - DB

smittyks5 karma

Glad to see players reaching out to fans!

Are you able to pinpoint one thing that you would say is the biggest differentiator in the game today (well last season) vs the game 20 years ago?

ThePlayers14 karma

I can't speak for Schneids, but I think we're all way better than he was back then. JK, but I think the speed and strength of players has increased to a scary degree. Goaltending is way too good nowadays, for sure, so I would love to see standup goaltending make a comeback. KW

Shayc565 karma

Who is your favorite player to be on a team with and most hated player in your opinion?

ThePlayers14 karma

Hockey generally has the team-oriented players in sports. I have played with countless guys who are willing to sacrifice themselves for the team. That's why teams win Championships. Most hated: David BackesKW

TTUGoldFOX5 karma

Hey guys. I'm a Nashville Predators fan and write about hockey on a normal/consistent basis. Here is my question:

There isn't anything to stop the owners from just canceling the season whenever they want to, we all know this. But, is it possible the players cave just to get back on the ice?

Now, hear me out. I know how important being equal in terms of the share and what everyone deserves, however there seems to be a good difference between players who are "willing to do what it takes to keep things fair" and "willing to do what it takes to get back on the ice".

Where does the majority lie and which is more important?

ThePlayers10 karma

There is not a division among players, we have always maintained we want a fair deal. Current players understand that previous generations sacrificed so players could make the most of their short careers (avg. 3 years).

The guys understand if they agree to the owners demands today, it will only ensure another lockout 5 years from now. MS

LifelessOne5 karma

Who do you think is currently the toughest player in the league?

ThePlayers13 karma

Rob Scuderi (see Bernier, Game 6 SC Finals...) Best fighter(s): Steve MacIntyre, John Scott (see my nose, broken)KW

fuhfuh4 karma

Thanks for the AMA guys! I just want to ask Mathieu what it was like to play with Nicklas Lidstrom. How good of a teammate was he, on and off the ice?

ThePlayers5 karma

Nick was the best partner i've ever played with. It never seemed like he had a bad night, and he might of been the nicest guy I've ever played with. At least in the top 3. MS

tech-bits4 karma

What drove all of you to play hockey? Was it family/friends?

What is your favorite part about the sport as a whole ie Fans, the smell of fresh ice in the morning.

What is your most memorable moment off the ice during your career?

ThePlayers4 karma

1) My parents put my brother and I in hockey at an early age (I am Canadian after all), and our motivation was due to the love of the game after our first taste. 2) The Fans are why we get to do this for a living, so thank you. Just being on the ice and the camaraderie with my teammates will be what I always remember. 3)The moments after winning the Cup were some of the most special of my life. The emotional exhaustion combined with the bliss of winning was shared with everyone in the organization. Also, I got married two summers ago, so that was awesome.KW

BulkUpTaru4 karma

@ Mathieu Schneider, what was harder to deal with; this years CBA negotiations or the Montreal media?

ThePlayers39 karma

Talking to the Montreal media about this year's CBA negotiations. MS

LifelessOne3 karma

What was your most memorable hockey moment in your entire career?

ThePlayers9 karma

Hugging my teammates and family after winning the Cup. KW

LifelessOne3 karma

What is one thing even die-hard fans might not know about being a professional hockey player?

ThePlayers12 karma

It's a 12 month of the year job, your body is beaten down by the end of the season. That's why the Stanley Cup is the hardest trophy to win in all of professional sports. MS

thefootisconstant3 karma

Who is the smartest player on your team?

ThePlayers5 karma

Anyone who is smart enough not to fight for a living...KW