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The Neutral Zone: Episode 1

Since being acquired at the trade deadline last season to provide a veteran presence to a young roster, the ageless Jaromir Jagr (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Since being acquired at the trade deadline last season to provide a veteran presence to a young roster, the ageless Jaromir Jagr has scored 24 goals in 48 games as a Florida Panther and leads the team in scoring (21 points) so far this season. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Channeling the famous Nike advertising campaign featuring Bo Jackson, A Lot of Sports Talk certainly knows hockey as well. Finally, we’ve dedicated a whole show just to the sizzling action that occurs on the ice.

We debut our first episode of The Neutral Zone today, with A Lot of Sports Talk founder and editor-in-chief Adesina O. Koiki joined by NHL.com French-language contributing writer Emna Achour as co-hosts of the podcast. In our first segment, we discuss how much Patrick Kane’s point-scoring streak, which just ended at 26 consecutive games on Tuesday, should be celebrated, especially given all of the uncertainty that surrounded him this summer in relation to a rape accusation made by a woman who encountered Kane on a night out in Hamburg, N.Y. back in August. Also, we tackle what has and is going wrong with the Pittsburgh Penguins, who recently fired head coach Mike Johnston and replaced him with former Wilkes Barre-Scranton head man Mike Sullivan in an effort to jumpstart the slumping Pens. Is it possible that, as Emna suggests during the conversation, that, among other maladies with the team, superstar Sidney Crosby currently is going through a crisis of confidence?

During the intermission, we were honored to be joined by current Florida Panthers television color commentator and Hockey Hall of Famer Denis Potvin for a bilingual (English-French) discussion about the Panthers. Potvin gives his opinion as to why Jaromir Jagr has maintained his high level of play at 43 years old, as well as how the Panthers front office balances growing its young talent with thinking about possibly of trading some of that away to acquire another veteran forward to boost the offense. Also, the four-time Stanley Cup champion defenseman with the New York Islanders talks about returning to the Big Apple this week, as the Panthers took on the Islanders in Potvin’s first trip to the Isles’ new arena, the Barclays Center. (Click here for the English translation of the French portion of the interview.)

In our final segment (On the Power Play/Icing the Puck), both Emna and Adesina took two uninterrupted minutes (well, more like five) to talk about specific topics they had on their mind relating to the National Hockey League, and both chose to discuss teams that reside in the Great White North. To finish, both co-hosts preview some of the key games in the league for this week.

Please enjoy the podcast, and leave us any and all comments that you have. Click here to go to the A Lot of Sports Talk podcast page on iTunes, and from there, you can download this show as well as subscribe to our podcast page and receive new episodes on your device the second it is posted. You can also open iTunes, and in the Podcasts section, type in “A Lot of Sports Talk” in the search box to find our shows.

Show Rundown: First segment/Even Strength (0:00-32:42); Denis Potvin Interview (32:49-50:10); Third segment/Power Play & Ice the Puck (50:17-1:25:49)

[Cover photo (Patrick Kane) courtesy of Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]

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