Entries Tagged 'Uncategorized' ↓
April 3rd, 2013 — trades, Uncategorized
The Buffalo Sabre’s declared themselves sellers. Not trading for change, sellers. Today Darcy Regier might have moved a couple pens across his desk, but players? Not so much. Moving Jason Pominville is a start, and they got solidly rated prospects back, but this is a sellers market. This is a team that should be blown up, they have talent to get pieces that fit together, they have an owner committed to winning, and they have a fan base who is getting really, really sick of losing.
The Calgary Flames certainly shipped out a lot of talent, but there wasn’t so much an earth shattering kaboom as a muddy plop, or at least a sound involving fluid and darkly hued stuff. The return on Bouwmeester and Iginla doesn’t appear to be worth the cost of the trade call to NHL HQ.
The Florida Panthers are excused, nearly everyone who was or should have been on their NHL roster opening night, is injured. They could still have shipped out a few people.
The Washington Capitals, did nothing. The team is certainly playing better now than at the beginning of the season, but that said they are still an incredibly mediocre team on the ice. Sure on paper with Ovechkin, Carlson, Backstrom, Alzner, as part of the long term core, the rest of the team is of a lot less value, and not built to win. For some reason, today they chose to add an aging Erat with two years left on his contract, and a guy who racks up penalties, for top prospect Forsberg.
The Colorado Avalanche are just pathetic. The team isn’t good at much. They’re 26th in goals for, 28th in goals against, 23rd on the powerplay, 22nd on the penalty kill. There is no reason to hold on to anyone, for any reason if the price is solid. If someone offers a big enough return, even Gabriel Landeskog could and should be moved. Only eight players are in double digits in points, and the drop off between the second highest scorer Matt Duchene, and the third Paul Stastny is 14 points. When you have Matt Hunwick lead your team in time on ice per game, you’re doing not a little wrong.
The Philadelphia Flyers had so many injuries it is tough to say what the could have done, but they deserve a public shaming for trading for Steve Mason.
April 2nd, 2013 — Uncategorized
With the addition of future first ballot hall of fame inducted Jaromir Jagr, the Bruins field Marshall Julien has some thinking to do. He can slide Jagr into a line, but with the roster 100% intact it means someone is going to be demoted to a lower line and or removed from the ice.
Here’s a couple looks at what the lines could be L-C-R depending on how things shake out.
Of course whatever lines are decided with Chris Kelly expected back, things are only going to get messy again. Peverley and Seguin may have more speed than Kelly, but neither is as good at faceoffs, and Kelly is more than sound defensively. Depending on the opponent, and who is in the lineup and healthy on defense, I can see the Merlot line getting spelled out for a mix of Pandolfo, Caron, Daugavins, and various AHL call ups.
April 2nd, 2013 — Uncategorized
Jaromir Jagr and his still impressive hair and high speed release fly into Boston just a day after the Bruins engage in the sixth annual Cuts For a Cause (coincidence?) and on a day that might make him miss the Texas warmth. Jagr is a quirky, (we can call him that because he produces), driven, experienced, skilled as hell player who will be among the three or four most driven players on a team that includes the ever consistent, possibly soon to be two time Selke winner Patrice Bergeron, and the under awarded Zdeno Chara who had to be locked out of the gym when he younger. Jagr departs the Stars the season’s leading scorer. But, for the sake of perspective it needs to be remembered he is 41. He’s missed time with a groin strain this year, the same injury that plagued him last season. On top of his 33 games with the Star’s this season, he played 34 in Europe and had to deal with the compressed NHL schedule and the western conference travel.
The Dallas Stars, per Bob McKenzie will receive;
Lane MacDermid is a solid and very reliable bottom six forward who has killed penalties and can provide the sort of physicality that left with Krys Barch.
Cody Payne is a lanky, Floridian picked in the fifth round by the Bruins last year who has an explosive upturn in production in the OHL this year for the Plymouth Whalers, and gotten a taste of the playoffs.
With two guys over 200lbs being added to the mix, and both of them solid skaters, the Stars future looks a bit black and blue, at least for their opponents.
March 31st, 2013 — Uncategorized
The Calgary Flames and the twice traded Jarome Iginla may end up being the biggest trade of the year, but the first general manager to say they are listening to everything is Darcy Regier. Mike Harrington reports in the wake of the Jordan Leopold to the Saint Louis Blues that the embattled general manager is talking to every front office in the league. Nobody is off the market at this point, so let’s take a romp through the roster.
- Ryan Miller should be an easy chip to move if he’s willing to get gone no goalie with more games played has a better save percentage than his .911, his $6.25m contract isn’t ridiculous, and at 32 he’s probably got four to five more years of solid play ahead of him minimum. When you look at guys around his size like Tim Thomas, Martin Broduer, and even Hedberg and Biron, you get the idea he might have another 8-10 years in him. He’s putting up solid numbers despite an awful season from the team, and that means even teams starting to rebuild might want to consider him.
- Drew Stafford, the 27 year old right wing is having an off year, his point percentage is usually a bit closer to .66 per game, versus the less than half a point per game this season. With two more years at four million he’s in the price range where he should be getting second line minutes, but if he’s outperformed by someone, or just fits better on the third line most competitive clubs won’t have sunk their chances of success. At six-two tall and two hundred pounds and change the former 30 goal scorer presents a pretty compelling , where he plays in all situations, even if his scoring touch isn’t there he can still contribute.
- Cody Hodgson is not a player I would want to trade if I were the Sabres, but he’s one that might draw some pretty nice offers is anyone is paying attention. He’s young, he’s already taken part in a run into the Stanley Cup finals, and he’s a skilled one or two center. While he’s hardly large or physical, he plays on both the powerplay and the penalty kill and plays big minutes.
- Thomas Vanek might be hard to move, not because of his skill set or age, but because his contract is a bit large to shuffle into the mix with the salary cap going down. This might be a situation where a team like say the Islanders or Red Wings takes on the player and most of the contract. When you can be more than a point per game on less than 19 minutes of ice time a game on a bad team in a compressed season your skill set is worth taking note of.
- Jason Pomminville, another year with 5.3m left on the contract should really only slow down those with no cap flexibility at all. Twice a 30 goal man, five straight years of more than 20 goals, and a career points per game percentage of .79? The biggest question should be is anyone worth keeping wearing his number on your roster.
- Tyler Ennis, low risk, potentially high reward. The small forward is tenacious, a great skater, a good passer, and should easily fit in at anywhere from the 4th-10th forward spots. A bit over 2 million for his cap hit for one more year, a twenty goal year to his name, and just 23.
- Tyler Myers, high risk, but the reward could be huge, or a perpetual drain on the payroll. He’s got a forever long contract and has taken a couple dozen steps back from his Calder Trophy form. A team that has a solid defenseman who can coach up the towering Texan into better play is probably in the best position to get the most from Myers. That defenseman might not even need to be on ice, Lidstrom played recently enough that he could likely make big strides Myers.
- Christian Ehrhoff, while most defensemen age pretty well, this one has had more than one knee injury, and carries a cap hit of four million through 2012. The actual pay out is only only one million a year in the last three seasons, but a guy who relies on his speed and skating signed for that long with those problems already is worrisome. On the other hand, he’s only increased his minutes in the last two or three years and is playing in all situations. The contract length could mean the German defenseman stays in Buffalo even if someone has some interest.
I can’t see anyone targeting most of the rest of the roster. Marcus Foligno might garner a bit of interest, and defensemen are always in demand so shuffling out the current blueline for some prospects and picks is possible, and the fact that Regier traded for Ott shows there’s at least two people who think he’s got value (aside from his agent). Overall this team isn’t horribly built, it just can’t seem to ever get on the same page or four games in a row.
March 30th, 2013 — Uncategorized, What We Know
The deadline is coming!
The deadline is coming!
And it is a glorious thing, the western conference has a lot of interesting parts that make it hard to say who will be buyers or sellers. Some of the bottom teams have improved a lot, some of the middle teams aren’t as good as they look, and some of the top teams are just scary.
Chicago: If there’s anything this team could use other than better centers not named Toews, I’m not sure it really matters, they are scoring lots, allowing little, and beating people on a regular basis (at least the ones who aren’t from Anaheim). Extra depth for the playoffs wouldn’t hurt but how do you tinker with a team that’s lead the league since the word go?
Anaheim: With just one player in the top 40 in the NHL’s scoring race, and a defense where the TOI split between #1 and #6 is about four minutes, one wonders how this team has been the the second most consistent team in the NHL this season. This team doesn’t seem to have any weaknesses, unless it is a lack of playoff experience up and down the roster.
Vancouver: We know the Canucks are desperately trying to win he very last northwest division title. We know they have less ROW’s than Minnesota who also have a game in hand. We know the team traded away the talented young Hodgson even though Kesler is rarely healthy and they don’t have a viable 2nd center without them. We know after year of being at the top o the NHL’s scoring race, the Sedins who sat on the couch during the lockout are behind guys like Sam Gagner, Patrice Bergeron, Mikko Koivu, and Chris Stewart in the scoring race.
Minnesota: We knowWild will be the word for the emotions of fans in the state of hockey when they get to see their first playoff game in a few years. There’s still a good chance they win the division. We know that Mikko Koivu might finally get some of the adulation and national attention he deserves if they win a round or two in the playoffs. We know they need to do something pretty damned extreme to get their goalie and a respectable roster put together by opening night this fall. We know it is a crying shame Jonas Brodin won’t even make the long list for the Calder.
Los Angeles: We know the Kings who weren’t notoriously good at scoring last year are very quietly number seven in goals for this year. We know that their number one goaltender has had a performance dip year over year. We know this team will be a different variety of difficult to beat in seven games than last spring.
Detroit: With the trade of Huskins for a conditional 2014 draft pick, and hometown boy Danny DeKeyeser, we’re starting to get a look at what the team will look like in a year or two. We know that with 27 skaters having taken the ice in 34 games and just two players with 10 or more goals, long term answers need to be found.
San Jose: 82 goals for, 82 goals against tells us this team is rather mediocre. I can’t see a high price on some of their middling talent, but I can’t see this team selling big before the deadline, ownership has apparently decided to drive this core group into the ground, meaning Sharks fans can expect another year or two of making the playoffs and getting made into chum in the second season.
Saint Louis; Good news, bad news. We know the team is scoring better than last season, we also know the team is allowing more goals than last season. We know the team needs to find an identity, and see if they can get more recognition for Pietreangelo.
Dallas: We know this team needs to find defenders who can get the puck out of their own zone. We know this team has lots of old guys left and the team wouldn’t be made worse medium term to get rid of every forward over thirty.
Columbus: We know if this team won half their games on the road instead of one fourth they’d not only be a playoff team, they’d be poised for home ice advantage at least through the first round.
Nashville: What ails this team isn’t just the loss of Suter, they are missing some of the same drive the New York Rangers and Boston Bruins lack. They also still don’t know how to score.
Edmonton: We know the Oilers defense is made out of wet tissues, we know the offense is struggling despite the nearly point per game production of Sam Gagner, we know the team isn’t going to be fixed until the leadership is changed.
Phoenix: Like the desert they play in, this team is hot and cold, last season they won the division and went to the conference finals last season, and this season they are in the basement. We know the ownership drama may never end. We know the Coyotes need both depth and quality.
Calgary: We know handing out too many no movement clauses makes rebuilding difficult. We know failing to acquire good young talent makes rebuilding difficult. We know being publicly shown to have no clue, and no ability to make deals makes rebuilding difficult.
Colorado: We know if this team was playing in a top tier hockey market the media bludgeoning would make their record and team stats look pleasant. We know this team will probably draft a high end talent and then fail to develop them.
March 27th, 2013 — Uncategorized
If there’s anything more prone to producing hysteria and hysterical behavior in the hockey universe than the humongous big trade deadline, I’ve never seen it. This is the time of year when my follow list and the blogs I read have the most turnover. Why?
Well, you get things like this:
Just thinking out loud, the Kings trade Bernier+ for Iginla. Turn around and then trade Kiprusoff to the Leafs for Joe Colborne+? #NHL
That get taken seriously, grow legs, and inspire flame wars and silly amounts of swagger.
That’s the part most people hate.
For me, it is amusing. But, the really fun part is finding out what people know about the systems of various teams, and of course what general managers think of various players and prospects in their systems.
Dean Lombardi of the LA Kings:
I don’t think that’s feasible at all right now.
of trading backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier back in January, and hasn’t changed his tune at all as of this week.
Or his Boston counter part Peter Chiarelli on a 19 year old prospect:
I’m not trading Malcolm Subban
Which when you consider how rarely Chiarelli, a former lawyer, makes definitive statements, this is a landmark statement. If he does go ahead and trade Subban, players who are told “we won’t trade you” but we can’t give you a NTC are going to have their entire world into question, but that’s not the point of this post. We now know for sure, that Subban looms large in Bruins plans, and arguably is the top prospect in the minds of the Bruins front office. Lombardi has effectively said the same thing.
With Doug Wilson of the San Jose Sharks saying it is “very doubtful” he’d seek a rental player, you have to wonder if the time for an earth shattering kaboom in San Jose.
That’s why even more than the draft, or the Cup finals, or even the ever disappointing July first free agency kickoff, I love the trade deadline.
March 25th, 2013 — Uncategorized
The Duluth Bulldog’s loss is the Boston Bruins gain. Chris Casto a solidly built, right shooting, stay at home defenseman. Casto has completed two years at Duluth in addition to a year playing in the USHL for the Lincoln Stars. For his year in Lincoln he was in the top third of the team’s point race, 3rd in +/-. The undrafted Minnesotan spent two years at the Bruins development camp learning along side Ryan Spooner, Jared Knight, Tommy Cross, Malcolm Subban and other top prospects.
I lean towards his starting in Providence, with a chance at a one or two game stint similar to Torey Krug’s last season in the NHL. When you add in the mystery recall of Adam Morrison (also a free agent, also a development camper) it looks more and more like the Bruins will be making a move at the deadline, but don’t be surprised if the Bulldog turned Bruin is around for years to come.
March 25th, 2013 — Uncategorized
Obviously it’d be nice for Calgary Flames fans if the general managers teams on Iginla’s list suffered some sort of stroke and had them offering up the whole farm system and three roster players. That is however unlikely to happen, even if you disagree with some of the choices, or even the general philosophy of the GM’s in question, all four have won a cup recently.
If I’m sitting in Jay Feaster’s chair, here’s what I’d ask from each team that is fairly reasonable:
Los Angeles Kings:
Centerpiece: Slava Voynov, an offensively talented defenseman who at 23 was part of the Stanley cup win and is still on his entry level deal through July first.
Tyler Toffoli a well regarded center prospect who has 3 games of NHL experience, and about a season in the AHL with good numbers.
a conditional 1st round pick either in 2013 or 2015, Calgary’s choice.
Defensive prospects Scott Harrington, and Derrick Pouliot
A first and a second round picks.
Centerpiece: Alexander Khokhlachev, a young center, a position the team is deep at.
Rich Peverley a versatile forward with speed, a bit of grit and who is affordable enough to be worth keeping around through the rebuild, Peverley does have a NTC, if he’s unavailable:
Niklas Svedberg who is 9th in the AHL in GAA and 7th in Sv%, with more games played than anyone ahead of him in the latter category except Curtis McElhinney who has never managed to stick in the NHL, this in Svedberg’s 1st season in North America.
A conditional 1st round pick either in 2013 or 2015.
Brandon Saad is technically a rookie, but he played two regular season games last season, two
Adam Clendening, a young defenseman with USNDTP experience, two years of college play at Boston University, and in his first year in the AHL.
A 1st and a 2nd round pick.
Given Jarome Iginla’s age, the fact that he will be a UFA in just a couple months, and the fact that the Penguins and Blackhawks as the number one and two offenses really don’t need him, not to mention the Morrow trade, I think these are fairly reasonable prices. If the bidding got heated, particularly if Iginla expands the list, I can see more being paid, but even as good as Iginla would be with a legitimate 1st or 2nd line center for the first time in a decade, there’s less than 20 games left in the regular season, and then the uncertainty of the playoffs. Each of theses teams should at least hit the second round. Also to be considered is when other teams decide to sell off. If for example Martin St. Louis becomes available, or if there’s suddenly a fire sale in a city whose GM has one foot out the door, prices could actually go down.
March 17th, 2013 — Uncategorized
As the playoffs loom ever nearer, the time to take a look at what teams need to elevate them to contender status is here.
The Columbus Blue Jackets are 11th in the west and just two points out of a playoff position. That said they’ve played two more games than most of the teams ahead of them. They are currently the 11th ranked defense, and Bobrovsky is the owner of a gaudy .932sv%, good for second in the NHL.
The team needs goal scoring. Currently they are dead last in the NHL in goals for and their powerplay isn’t much better. A mentor or two for Seth Ambroz and Dalton Smith either via trade or picking up the right free agents (even if they have to overpay a little) this off season makes this a playoff team easily, and if Bobrovsky stays near his current level of play, then they aren’t far off from contender status.
The Detroit Red Wings are nursing their playoff streak, which might be good setting records, but isn’t good long term for the teams chances of hoisting a cup. Their powerplay is 22nd, their penalty kill is 17th.
After Jimmy Howard all of this teams best remaining players are on the shady side of thirty. They number of high first and second round picks that could be piled up by moving Datsyuk, Cleary, Zetterberg and when he is healthy, Helm is more than enough to rebuild the team if they show their usual knack for picking prospects.
The New York Islanders have been rebuilding for almost as long as their centerpiece John Tavares has been alive. Coming into today they have about a 30% chance of making the playoffs.
The team has real offensive ability, plays well together and is very young. Adding one or two pieces on the backend that gives the team a chance to play better from day one next season, and better the rest of this season will let them earn their way into the playoffs and be a vote of confidence for the coach, players and fans.
The Carolina Hurricanes are in the midst of one of their better seasons in a while. They could easily win the very last south east division title.
Right now the team is in solid shape, they arguably have a goaltending controversy. I’m still convinced letting Allen go in the offseason was a mistake. Adding a two way defenseman who can contribute to their special teams might just push this team beyond the second round.
The Calgary Flames are 24th over all in the NHL, 13th in the West, and doing little right.
While the Flames have some talent on the ice, and some interesting prospects in the system they have zero chance of going anywhere with this roster. Like the Red Wings, the stars of this roster are worth more to other teams than they are to the franchise short, medium, or long term. Iginla, Cammalleri, Bouwmeester, Tanguay, and Glenencross comprise almost 100% of the rosters talent, what they can return in players, prospects and picks would give the team much, much, much needed youth and depth.
The Nashville Predators had one of their best seasons ever last year. They looked like legitimate contenders for the Stanley Cup. This season, they are not at that level. Right now they sit outside the playoffs.
The Predators need what they have needed for years: offense. Patrick Hornquist can’t do it alone. In fact if he were on any other team his career points numbers would be about 20% higher. They have the defense and goaltending to compete, they need to revamp their offense.