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Buffalo Sabres general supervisor Tim Murray has barely been on the job for twenty-four hours, however he already has plans in movement for how he’ll run the group. The first order of business very effectively may be establishing something extra permanent for interim coach Ted Nolan.
Murray told Daren Millard and Doug MacLean on Sportsnet Radio’s Hockey Central that Nolan’s interim status may quickly change:
“No he would not have to audition,” Murray mentioned of what Nolan has to do going forward. “He is our coach.
“We could speak to him shortly about his future. Proper now, I am proud of Teddy. I’m happy with the hassle. We need some higher players to carry us through. I talked to [Sabres president of hockey operations] Pat [Lafontaine] twice for 15 minutes yesterday and immediately. The interim tag is still on, but we probably will do one thing there for him there that it won’t be on for lengthy.”
The Sabres have posted an 8-11-4 report under Nolan since he took over the staff after head coach Ron Rolston and common manager Darcy Regier have been let go in mid-November.
The workforce is certainly taking part in better, but the solid of characters simply isn’t as much as aggressive standards in the league.
“It’s onerous to win with this crew,” goaltender Jhonas Enroth defined to reporters after the Sabres lost to the Florida Panthers 2-1 on Thursday night time.
Murray knows the items in place must be higher and it appears like he’ll give Nolan a chance to information this roster by way of the transition interval. The highway might be very rocky, however Nolan has regained popularity with the followers and has introduced some optimism to a corporation seemingly in spoil.
If Nolan does have the interim tag removed, he will have accomplished his comeback run to the NHL after years being unofficially blackballed by many GMs since his dispute with New York Islanders common supervisor Garth Snow in 2008 that left Nolan out of a job. If the interim tag is removed, Murray may have given Nolan a fresh start, identical to he’ll need to present the rest of that organization in what will probably be a difficult new job.
The Habs backup stopped 27 shots in shutting out the shorthanded New York Rangers, 2-0, in the Blueshirts’ home opener at the renovated MSG.
No. 2 Star: Brandon Saad, Chicago Blackhawks
Saad was awesome in the Blackhawks’ 5-1 win over the Minnesota Wild, scoring a goal and brilliantly setting up Patrick Kane’s tally with a spin-o-rama pass. He also got his agitation on, running goalie Niklas Backstrom and ticking off the Wild.
No. 3 Star: Matt Moulson, Buffalo Sabres
The Sabres fell to the Dallas Stars, 4-3, but props to Matt Moulson for scoring two goals in his Buffalo debut – without John Tavares!
Honorable mention: Ryan Kesler scored his eighth goal and Daniel Sedin notched his fifth to rally the Vancouver Canucks to a 3-2 win. Mikhail Grabovski scored his fifth fort the Washington Capitals. … Rookie Jayson Megna had a goal and an assist in the Pittsburgh Penguins’ 3-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Sidney Crosby picked up his 20th point with an assist on Chris Kunitz’s fifth goal. … Kane had a goal and an assist, while Corey Crawford made 29 saves. … Tyler Seguin had a goal and an assist. … Tomas Plekanec and Alex Galchenyuk had the Montreal goals.
Did You Know? Alex Ovechkin had a penalty shot against Roberto Luongo. He failed.
Dishonorable mention: Andrej Sekera and Justin Faulk were a minus-3. … Ryan Suter and Mikko Koivu were a minus-2. … Mikhail Grigorenko had an assist but was a minus-2 in just 9:17 of ice time. … Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Marcus Johansson were a minus-2.
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BUFFALO, N.Y. – Buffalo Sabres enforcer John Scott was suspended indefinitely by the NHL on Thursday. And teammate Patrick Kaleta’s appeal to scale back his 10-sport suspension was denied by league Commissioner Gary Bettman.
Scott was suspended pending a disciplinary listening to for a blindside hit to the head that leveled Boston Bruins ahead Loui Eriksson in Buffalo’s 5-2 loss a day earlier.
Scott has been given the chance to attend an in-individual listening to, which has not yet been scheduled. The hearing is offered when a suspension has the potential to exceed 5 video games.
Loui Eriksson is helped off the ice after taking a blindside hit from John Scott in Wednesday’s recreation. Scott has been suspended indefinitely.
Scott defended his fashion of play and likewise stated he didn’t intend to injure Eriksson.
“I do not think I’m a dirty participant. I attempt to play inside the code and within the rules,” he stated after the workforce’s apply at First Niagara Heart on Thursday. “That is my first suspension and I do not suppose I am a grimy player. I don’t try to be a grimy player. I feel really upset. I used to be sick to my stomach final evening figuring out what occurred and watching the video, I simply kind of regret the state of affairs. I don’t wish to be a grimy participant.”
Scott said he texted Eriksson to apologize.
The information did not get any higher for Buffalo, which is now down two roster spots because of suspended players.
Bettman issued a 17-web page choice outlining why he turned down Kaleta’s enchantment to reduce a 10-recreation ban for an illegal hit to the pinnacle on Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson on Oct. 10.
In supporting league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan’s initial ruling, Bettman famous Kaleta was a repeat offender, having been previously suspended 3 times, and added that Kaleta might have prevented hitting Johnson.
“I do conclude that he could have and may have averted the hit altogether,” Bettman wrote. “As Mr. Shanahan testified on the hearing, ‘I think there was additionally the option of not throwing the test. That (is) at all times an possibility.'”
Kaleta wasn’t penalized, and Johnson didn’t miss any ice time.
Kaleta has already missed six video games and stands to lose $152,439 in wage. He has one last choice to appeal Bettman’s ruling by taking his case to neutral discipline arbitrator James Oldham.
Scott’s suspension came after he was issued a match penalty for charging and ejected for his hit on Eriksson early in the third interval of Boston’s 5-2 win Wednesday. Eriksson was skating through the neutral zone and had just dumped the puck into the Sabres zone when Scott skated in from the participant’s right and struck him with a shoulder to the face.
Eriksson was dazed and did not return. He stayed in Buffalo overnight as a precaution.
The Bruins, who host San Jose on Thursday evening, mentioned Thursday that Eriksson was recognized with a concussion and traveled again to Boston. He’s out indefinitely.
There’s a historical past between these groups that almost all not too long ago dates again two years in the past when Bruins star Milan Lucic stunned star Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller, which most individuals consider led to the Sabres acquiring Scott in the summertime of 2012.
The Sabres are now down two roster spots with Scott and Kaleta suspended.
The Sabres (1-9-1), off to their worst begin in franchise historical past, made two roster strikes Thursday in making ready for a two-recreation street swing that opens at Florida on Friday.
Fourth-line ahead Cody McCormick was activated after missing two video games with a leg harm.
The Sabres waived forward Kevin Porter for task to the minors, according to an individual acquainted with the transfer. The individual knowledgeable The Associated Press of the decision on the condition of anonymity as a result of coach Ron Rolston declined to say how the workforce was going to liberate a roster spot to add McCormick.
Information from ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun and The Related Press was used on this report.
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The New York Rangers were absolutely hapless on this night time, struggling an embarrassing 9-2 to the Sharks, and Tomas Hertl had all their haps. The boxscore was Hertls all the best way down. The Sharks’ rookie scored four targets to push his total through his first three NHL games to 6. His fourth objective was an absolute thing of beauty.
No. 2 Star: Jussi Jokinen, Pittsburgh Penguins
Jokinen registered a hat trick within the Penguins’ 5-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, scoring twice on the powerplay and as soon as at even-strength. Paul Martin and Tanner Glass scored the other targets for the Penguins, however we won’t maintain that in opposition to Jokinen.
No. 3 Star: Josh Bailey, New York Islanders
Bailey and the Islanders handed the Phoenix Coyotes a 6-1 drubbing, with Bailey picking up 1 aim and a couple of assists alongside the way in which. Michael Grabner had three apples, and John Tavares added two targets within the rout.
Honourable mention: Filip Forsberg scored his first NHL goal and the Nashville Predators added two more in the first interval, skating to a three-2 win over the Minnesota Wild. Seth Jones performed a recreation-high 25:02… The Tampa Bay Lightning rallied for a 3-2 time beyond regulation win over the Buffalo Sabres. Alex Killorn scored the winner:
P.A. Parenteau’s aim was the difference because the Colorado Avalanche handed the Toronto Maple Leafs their first loss, 2-1… Tim Thomas left the Florida Panthers’ recreation after surrendering two early goals and looking to be in some discomfort, and that is all the Philadelphia Flyers would want for a 2-1 win, their first of the season… Daniel Sedin had a objective and an assist to propel Roberto Luongo’s Vancouver Canucks to a three-2 extra time victory over Cory Schneider’s New Jersey Devils. Jason Garrison scored the winner… It came in a loss, however Eric Staal’s deflection on this goal was amazing:
Did You Know? Hertl scored his 4 objectives in a span of twenty-two:46 – the fastest particular person 4-purpose efficiency in Sharks historical past.
Dishonourable point out: Mike Smith was pulled after allowing 5 targets on simply 20 photographs… good Lord, the Rangers had been terrible. Rough evening for Marc Staal particularly. He was a group-worst minus-4.
Getty Images Understanding what motivates John Scott becomes simpler while you consider him as a type of blocky metallic robots from nineteen fifties sci-fi films, with the seen gears and the antennae sticking out from the perimeters of his head and a giant dial on the back with settings like “DESTROY.”
The Buffalo Sabres’ resident pugilist is tasked with two prime directives: “PUNCH”, as in repeatedly into an opponents’ face and “AVENGE”, so when liberties are taken in opposition to a teammate Scott each gets retribution and ensures it doesn’t happen again.
So what motivated him to go after Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who is as far removed form fighting as Scott is from aim-scoring?
According to Scott, talking with the media on Monday (through Buffalo Information), he was following The Code, that time-honored and utterly nebulous set of requirements that dictates who gets punched and when.
Scott believes that Corey Tropp, his Sabres teammate, wasn’t in a fair combat with Jamie Devane of the Maple Leafs within the third period of their Sunday exhibition recreation. Scott was on the ice when the scrap went down. He apparently didn’t discover Tropp ask for the struggle (he did). All he saw was Devane, with a height benefit by at least 5 inches, pummel Tropp, including a punch that landed as Tropp was falling to the ice, hitting his head.
“The last punch and driving his head into the ice, I don’t think that was needed,” stated Scott.
So he stayed on the ice after Tropp went off and Devane went to the penalty field, searching for some measure of retribution. “I might have went after who ever they put lined up next to me,” mentioned Scott.
Maple Leafs Coach Randy Carlyle didn’t have an appetite for further violence. Reasonably than sending somebody out to be pummeled by Scott, he despatched Kessel, the team’s finest offensive participant, out as an alternative to “defuse” the scenario.
It’s the hockey model of “you wouldn’t hit a guy with glasses, would ya?” The concept is that goons received’t go after star players. That’s how Carlyle learn the Code. Scott had a special studying.
“I can perceive his thought behind it. I obviously thought our guy obtained taken benefit of the shift before. I was making an attempt to stick up for him, and send a message to Toronto,” said Scott.
So Scott determined that even if the sacrificial Leaf was Phil Kessel, he was still the sacrificial Leaf.
“I just lined up with him, and I knew I needed to have a response for what happened the shift before, and I mentioned, ‘Phil, we’re going to should go here. Just to let you recognize,’” Scott claimed.
What did Kessel say to him?
“‘Alright, let’s do it,’” Scott claims.
So Kessel and Scott yapped, Kessel put a glove on him, Scott dropped his, began chasing him, Leafs teammates intercepted the Sabres goon and engaged him, all the whereas Kessel was slashing and spearing the Buffalo ahead in self-protection like a frantic Jedi.
“I’ve never seen a stick-swing like that. He’s gotta do what he’s gotta do. It was an even battle if he has his stick. I didn’t have something,” mentioned Scott. “Phil’s OKAY. He came out the higher finish of it. I have bruises all over my leg.”
Again: Scott is a robotic, programmed to battle his opponents. He would have fought David Clarkson or Troy Bodie or any player that Carlyle offered him. But the point is he was going to struggle.
“I used to be stunned. They had some other guys within the lineup. Maybe their coach was attempting to downplay it. I don’t know, I was doing my job,” stated Scott.
“I don’t know what their coach had in thoughts. I wasn’t attempting to hurt him. I used to be just making an attempt to send a message,” he stated.
“Their coach did not should put Kessel out with me. He kinda knew what was going to occur. It was apparent the bench was upset and I used to be upset.”
Would the scenario have been totally different if Scott knew that Tropp asked for the fight he was schooled in? Maybe, or perhaps simply seeing a teammate tuned up was going to get Scott all punchy.
So whether you need to debate the guilty events in the struggle or the function of the enforcer, simply know that John Scott did what John Scott did because he’s John Scott, and that it didn’t matter who was in the Leafs sweater subsequent to him – one thing was happening.
“Hey, I’d be pissed off if somebody went after my star guy too. It is a kind of things,” he said.
The smile on Paul Ranger’s face before his shootout try in opposition to the Buffalo Sabres – within the tenth spherical of a 15-spherical additional time abilities competitors – mentioned all of it: The veteran defenseman, in camp with the Toronto Maple Leafs, had something in his bag of methods he was ready to unleash.
And right here’s the kicker..
No, he actually was the kicker.
In a de facto homage to Toronto FC, Ranger executed a kick-stick shot that was more hilarious than efficient however, nonetheless, hilarious.
OK, hilarious to everybody however Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth, who promptly slashed him as he skated by.
Said Enroth, to the Canadian Press:
“My first reaction was that he tried to embarrass me there just a little bit, but when I take a look at it now, it’s good (the) guy’s attempting to be creative, I assume,” he said.
(Might you think about the emo-rant that Ryan Miller would have gone on after this kind of shot?)
Ranger, who had been making an attempt the shot since he was 10 years previous, stated that he in all probability wouldn’t have made the kick-shot try in a daily-season recreation. A bold statement, contemplating no one’s asked Ranger to participated in a shootout during his five NHL seasons.
On Enroth’s slash, Rangers tells the CP:
“Not the fitting thing to do? I’m attempting to score. Fairly honestly it’s fun and, to be honest, I’m not trying to point out boat, and if he thought that, then it is what it’s. Whatever.”
Whatever indeed. The Leafs gained the glorified scrimmage, 3-2, on Jay McClement’s deke. But it surely was Ranger’s purpose that had everybody kicking themselves that they hadn’t considered it first.
No strangers to using unique approaches in asserting their business (Steve Ott’s third-jersey reveal, the novelty of which was overshadowed by the ugliness of the sweater comes to mind), the Buffalo Sabres signed Cody Hodgson to a six-12 months contract extension Wednesday, then took to Vine for Hodgson to make the announcement:
The term, which wasn’t included within the video because they solely had six seconds, trickled out later: $25.5 million over the subsequent six years. It’s a cap hit of $four.25 million per season.
We await a Vine from Derek Stepan of the Rangers’ RFA rubbing his hands collectively in delight. Either that or one from Nazem Kadri, smacking his brow over and over as he realizes he ought to have heeded the recommendation of Wilson Phillips and held out for yet another day.
Kadri, you see, took the bridge contract — the brief-term, “prove it” deal between contract 1 and contract 3 that is been all the fad this summer season. Hodgson, however, did not.
Good for Hodgson, though one wonders if the Sabres shouldn’t have been more insistent on it. In any case, while Hodgson gave them 34 factors in 48 video games in his first full season in Buffalo, the lockout-shortened year isn’t actually a lot of a full season. Furthermore, while he produced quite a bit, his defensive struggles had been so pronounced that Ron Rolston dropped him to the fourth line late within the season, much like Alain Vigneault typically did with Hodgson in Vancouver.
That’s some huge cash to commit to a man that still hasn’t proven he can play in each ends. A shorter-time period contract would have given the Sabres more time to look at the player — like, say, eighty games, no less than. As an alternative, they gave Hodgson massive-time time period, and now they’re just going to must hope that was wise.
If it wasn’t, the Sabres are going to hate that they just created a video of Hodgson asserting his six-yr extension on a unending loop.
Simon Gagne might get a tryout from the Philadelphia Flyers this month, in line with the Philadelphia Inquirer. He had sixteen points in 27 games for the Flyers final season and could be slotted as a 3rd-line winger for Philly; but he’d attending coaching camp and not using a contract.
Why? Sam Carchidi writes it’s cap house in Gagne’s case:
“The Flyers are about $1 million over the $64.3 million cap; they’ll achieve $four.9 million of cap relief, however, when Chris Pronger is put on the lengthy-time period injured record when the season begins. That will give them greater than enough room to sign Gagne, 33, who collected 5 goals and eleven factors in 27 video games after being acquired from Los Angeles last season.”
Gagne’s one of the fortunate ones. If he doesn’t latch on with the Flyers – and based mostly on the numbers and Paul Holmgren’s affinity for him, one assumes he will – Gagne will find a home somewhere in the NHL.
Others aren’t so fortunate. It’s going to be an interesting month at NHL coaching camps, as a number of acquainted names may need to join teams on skilled tryout contracts.
In truth, we’re already seeing it. Guillaume Latendresse is headed to Coyotes camp on a PTO. Ditto Radek Dvorak with the Hurricanes.
Why? One take a look at Cap Geek should inform you why.
There are 18 teams with less than $three million underneath the $64.three million cap, and 6 teams presently over it. The groups with elephantine cap house are ones that aren’t essentially looking to spend: The Florida Panthers, Buffalo Sabres and Calgary Flames are all in a palpable rebuild. (Even the Flames have stopped deluding themselves about it.)
But past cap space, the true issue: There are not any jobs. Seven teams have lower than 22 players on their projected roster, in keeping with Cap Geek. The good news is that the Chicago Blackhawks, Carolina Hurricanes, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, and Toronto Maple Leafs are amongst them; however in the latter two cases, they’ve RFAs left to sign. Think about rookies on the rise, and a whole swath of veteran players are getting frozen out.
Where does this leave someone like Vinny Prospal? Or Brenden Morrow? Or Ryan Whitney? Or really any goaltender, being that there’s virtually no room on the inn for all 30 groups?
Europe’s at all times an choice, though those seasons are nearing their begin and roster spots are scarce.
Maybe the Scott Gomez Plan with the San Jose Sharks is perhaps in order: Hold across the team, practice and hope that a contract materializes.
Getty Images Yahoo Fantasy Hockey is open for the 2013-14 season. To assist in giving you a greater probability to win your league, our pals at Dobber Hockey are returning for another season. They’re going to be breaking down the highest forwards, defense and goalies, and in addition giving you some sleepers to keep an eye on. At present, the goalies.
By Michael Amato
In most common fantasy hockey leagues, goaltenders make up lower than 10% of your roster, but account for almost 50% of your classes. Choosing properly when it comes to netminders is essential and for those who get caught with a beneath common group your probabilities of success are slim. Tiering your goaltenders prior to drafting is a good way to help your resolution-making process when selecting. You could have a plan of concentrating on two goalies from the second Tier, or perhaps a Tier 1 which implies you may also get stuck with someone from Tier three. It is all personal preference.
The key thing to remember when establishing your Tiers is that it is not all based on talent and production. Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott most likely must be ranked increased primarily based on the numbers they’ve had in St. Louis over the past two campaigns, but the truth that they cut up begins hurts their value. Someone from Tier 1 can give you comparable, if not higher outcomes, and take up much less roster space which lets you give attention to different wants.
Sign up your team and league at present.
The cream of the crop. Posting 35-40 wins must be within the cards for this group in addition to some great GAA and SV% totals. Except something unexpected occurs like a significant damage, or they by some means end up on the Philadelphia Flyers.
Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins
The plan of Rask taking on for Tim Thomas went off and not using a hitch final 12 months in Boston. He tied for the league lead in shutouts and posted a940 SV% in the playoffs, whereas continuing to haunt Leaf followers at each turn. With a strong Bruins squad in entrance of him, you will be arduous pressed to discover a safer choose than Rask.
Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings
Quick’s common season numbers in 2013 have been a slight cause for concern, but his performance within the playoffs should have erased any doubt about his reliability. With Jonathan Bernier now gone and the motivation of earning a beginning spot on the U.S. Olympic group this winter, do not hesitate to seize Fast early.
Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators
Nashville had a rough marketing campaign within the lockout shortened 2012-13 season, but Rinne has averaged 36 wins a season within the three earlier full years. Do not be stunned if David Poile and Barry Trotz figure things out and get the Predators again to playing a strong staff concept that has made them so successful. Rumor has it they’re even wanting right into a radical new idea this low season that will assist out Rinne’s trigger referred to as “scoring objectives.”
Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers
He hasn’t posted a SV% below920 since 2008-09 and recorded 24 wins within the lockout shortened season final yr. I am undecided there may be another participant within the Nationwide Hockey League that means more to his staff than Lundqvist does to the Rangers. Pay that man, Glen Sather. Pay that man.
Antii Niemi, San Jose Sharks
Niemi faced the third most pictures amongst starting goalies final season and still managed a924 SV% and 24 wins. Photographs in opposition to are an awesome stat to take a look at you probably have whole saves as a class in your pool. The Sharks determine to be sturdy again in 2013-14 and Niemi should play a giant position of their success.
Many goalies from Tier 2 may easily fall into the Tier 1 category if just a few bounces fall their approach. Then again, it wouldn’t take a lot for them to slide down to Tier three either. If you happen to can draft two from this group you should be in good condition although as all of them have the capabilities for 30 win seasons.
Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres
Miller hasn’t been in a position to get back to the level he played at in 2009-10 and the Sabres are trending in the wrong direction. With that being stated, nonetheless, Miller’s talent is still there and he does have a shot at 30-35 wins. Sadly for poolies, complaining and publish-sport rants usually are not relevant classes.
Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes
He’s missed a large chunk of the yr in two of the previous 4 seasons due to damage, but when healthy he’s a stable choice. Maybe being left off Workforce Canada’s Olympic orientation camp roster offers Ward some motivation to channel in 2013-14.
Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks
Crawford could be very near being in Tier 1 due to setting several profession bests in many statistical categories final season. Much of his success, however, is thanks to playing on the juggernaut Blackhawks. The dearth of consistency in his transient career is sufficient to keep him in Tier 2 for this 12 months, but with the workforce in entrance of him he has a shot at 40-plus wins.
Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets
There’s no question Bobrovsky had an incredible run final yr, however remember that was a very small pattern dimension. In 2011-12 he wasn’t even capable of put up a900 SV% and he’s nonetheless relatively inexperienced by NHL requirements. The Blue Jackets made a number of strong off-season acquisitions they usually performed properly as a staff in entrance of Bobrovsky in 2013, however hitching your complete goaltending wagon to a Columbus netminder simply sounds like a foul concept.
Getty Images Jimmy Howard, Detroit Purple Wings
Detroit goalies have a fame for being overrated and just being along for the ride whereas amassing wins, however Howard seems to be doing an excellent job of dispelling that idea. In three of the last 4 campaigns he has posted a SV% of at least920 and he made the sixth most saves among starters in 2013.
Carey Worth, Montreal Canadiens
Price was inconsistent at times last year and has solely hit 30 wins once in his profession. He has the talent to take him to the Tier 1 degree, but Montreal most likely overachieved last season and are more likely to regress barely in 2013-14, which means he will likely be in tough to hit 35 wins. He’s nonetheless a viable option with plenty of upside if the Canadiens can rebound from a tricky playoff exit.
Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators
Anderson is a borderline Tier 1 man, however the tempo he was on final yr is simply too torrid to keep up. He posted a941 save share in solely 24 video games in 2013 and if he places up anything even close to that in 2013-14, it may make poolies very glad. Issue in the Senators bettering their roster this summer season and that should equate to more W’s for Anderson.
Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks
Luongo was relegated to backup duties final yr and was essentially fantasy irrelevant. Now with Cory Schneider off to New Jersey, he’s a stable option to carry your staff as soon as once more. Earlier than last season, Luongo had averaged 37 wins a 12 months as a starter since 2005-06. The one factor to observe this season, nevertheless, is the NHL’s realignment when it comes to the Canucks. The previous couple of campaigns Vancouver had feasted on weak groups in the Northwest Division, however now Minnesota and Colorado have been changed with the likes of San Jose, Los Angeles, and Anaheim.
Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals
Although Holtby’s time in the NHL has been temporary, he still boasts a career923 SV% and a 2.39 GAA. He appears to have claimed the number one spot within the longstanding goaltending carousel in Washington, so he ought to be good for loads of wins this season.
Sign up your crew and league today.
Many of the goalies in Tier 3 are irritating within the sense they could be a lot larger in the event that they didn’t share so many begins, have damage issues, or battle with consistency. It is important to keep a close eye on this group as increased playing time and hot streaks can result in a steal in your draft if you choose right.
Jonas Hiller and Viktor Fasth, Anaheim Ducks
On their own they might be nice starters on your fantasy squad, but paired collectively they simply develop into first rate. Each had sturdy campaigns in 2013 and will possible split time once more this season, though if someone falters it is going to open the door for increased playing time for the other. Consider the Geese’ organization is stocked full of goaltending talent in the intervening time with prospects John Gibson and Frederik Andersen, so it’s not loopy to suppose they could deal Hiller or Fasth at some point next yr.
Semyon Varlamov, Colorado Avalanche
Varlamov has battled injuries throughout his profession and had a GAA of over three last season. Colorado is still rebuilding so his stats aren’t prone to be too fantasy friendly within the near future. He should still get plenty of starts although if he stays healthy and may also help you hit your weekly minimal necessities if wanted.
Kari Lehtonen, Dallas Stars
Lehtonen has 30-plus wins in two of the last three seasons, but he is one other man who must have attended Carlo Colaiacovo’s seminar on the way to perpetually get injured. If he’s healthy he will help you, simply proceed with caution the place Lehtonen is anxious.
Devan Dubnyk, Edmonton Oilers
Dubnyk has slowly but surely impressed over the past three seasons, culminating in 2013 the place he finished with a solid921 SV%. The problem is that he performs for an Oilers team that struggles to choose up victories. People have been waiting for Edmonton to show signs of enchancment for years now, however this needs to be the year they turn a nook does not it? If the squad is receptive to new Coach Dallas Eakins’ goalie friendly defensive system, then Dubnyk might be a sensible play.
Niklas Backstrom, Minnesota Wild
Any thoughts that the Wild might part with Backstrom were put to rest when the team prolonged him for three years this summer season. His numbers aren’t what they have been when he first arrived in Minnesota, but he nonetheless has 35-win potential.
Cory Schneider and Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils
Schneider left one goaltending controversy for one more, though this one would not determine to last as lengthy. Brodeur isn’t likely to play more than one other yr or two, and if the Devils were smart they’d give Schneider the bulk of the begins. That is simpler said than performed although once you think about all that Brodeur has finished for the franchise, so the long run Hall-of-Famer continues to be likely to vulture 30-35 begins away from Schneider in 2013-14.
Getty Images Mike Smith, Phoenix Coyotes
Anyone who took Smith last year hoping he may duplicate what he did in 2011-12, was left sorely disillusioned. Apart from that unimaginable campaign, he hasn’t been capable of put up stable numbers with regularity. However, Dave Tippett continues to be behind the bench in Phoenix and a extra goalie friendly coach you’ll not discover.
Marc-Andre Fleury and Tomas Vokoun, Pittsburgh Penguins
Fleury is often a regular Tier 1 man, but his efficiency in current playoffs is likely to give Vokoun more starts this 12 months. Both guys will get wins after they’re between the pipes, but sharing the duties hurts each their values.
Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak, St. Louis Blues
Ken Hitchcock’s love affair with the “Dead Puck Period” isn’t great on entertainment value for hockey followers, however it’s a thing of beauty for Elliott and Halak house owners. The two have mixed for 21 shutouts during the last two seasons. Sadly splitting time makes it tough to depend on them.
James Reimer and Jonathan Bernier, Toronto Maple Leafs
Reimer hasn’t backstopped the Leafs to consecutive Stanley Cups but, which is basically what it appears he has to do to be declared the starter. Reimer has arguably carried out better than Bernier of their younger careers, however due to the significance of the commerce, Bernier is likely to see loads of action in 2013-14. Look for Randy Carlyle to go with the new hand.
Ondrej Pavelec, Winnipeg Jets
It at all times seems that Pavelec is performing higher than his numbers point out. Final yr it looked as if he was one of the main reasons the Jets were contending for a playoff spot, as he was seemingly making spotlight reel saves on a nightly basis. Then you definitely take a look at his SV% and it barely breaks900. Fun to observe, however not always fun for his owners.
Let’s simply hope it does not come to this.
Karri Ramo and Joey MacDonald, Calgary Flames
Ramo has recorded stable numbers in the KHL in recent years, however that is the NHL and he is bought the Flames in front of him now. That sound you hear is Jay Feaster pulling up in entrance of Miikka Kiprusoff’s home with a dump truck full of cash, attempting to convince him to not retire.
Scott Clemmensen and Jacob Markstrom, Florida Panthers
You would possibly need to dangle on to Markstrom for those who’re in a keeper league, however this 12 months figures to be exhausting times for goalies in the Sunshine State.
Evgeni Nabokov and Kevin Poulin, New York Islanders
Nabokov hasn’t been terrible since his return from the KHL and he might be a Tier three man if the Islanders proceed to play the way they did last season.
Anders Lindback and Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning
Both goalies have some potential, however it’s a must to assume brief-term in fantasy hockey. If either of them gets on a run and claims the starting job you might be able to seize lightning in a bottle.
Ray Emery and Steve Mason, Philadelphia Flyers
Emery has a good shot at overtaking Mason as the clear starter by Christmas. He had a 17-1 document final 12 months, albeit as a backup with Chicago. That is Philadelphia though, where goalies usually overlook easy methods to save pucks.
Yahoo Fantasy Hockey is open for the 2013-14 season. To assist in giving you a greater chance to win your league, our buddies at Dobber Hockey are returning for one more season. They’re going to be breaking down the top forwards, defense and goalies, and also supplying you with some sleepers to control. First up, forwards.
by Jeff Angus
Coming out of a lockout-shortened season, fantasy hockey poolies are much more liable to fall sufferer to any number of biases as they prepare for his or her drafts. Over eighty two games, the perfect players in the league are likely to separate themselves from similarly proficient – but extra inconsistent – contemporaries. Nevertheless, in solely forty eight games there isn’t always sufficient time for that to occur.
Some players are infamous slow starters and never having a full coaching camp undoubtedly had a major affect throughout the league. And of course accidents at all times play an element, but exterior of Martin Havlat a number of slam dunks, how simple are they to predict?
Sign up your group and league in the present day.
The beneath lists aren’t comprehensive, but they will arm you with some vital data as you put together your Yahoo fantasy draft lists. For a complete breakdown of all 30 golf equipment (including sleepers, rookies to observe for, superior statistical evaluation, and much more), you may also decide up DobberHockey’s 2013-14 Fantasy Information.
These forwards will go in the first few rounds in your fantasy pool (and in the event that they don’t, it could be time to find some higher competition).
Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks – With a powerful 2013 season, Getzlaf proved that his terrible 2011-12 was just a bump within the highway. And should you play in a fantasy league that rewards PIM, there are few higher fantasy choices up entrance than Perry. Few teams rely on their high line greater than the Ducks do with Getzlaf and Perry, they usually have a much-improved supporting solid around them (together with a really underrated checking line with Andrew Cogliano and Daniel Winnik).
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks – Kane and Toews. Toews and Kane. No matter order you wish to put them in, know that Chicago’s two elite skills will go very early on draft day. That being said, Toews could also be a solid value pick even for those who use one of your first choices on him. He has scored 52 targets over the previous two regular seasons (in only 106 video games). Of these fifty two objectives, only seven have come on the facility play. Ten of his 32 objectives in 2010-eleven were scored with the man advantage. Might this be the year Toews scores forty?
Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars – A move again to the left wing will bring with it extra targets and assists for Benn. He made a very smooth transition to center (never a straightforward position to be taught, especially for a younger ahead), however his size and puck possession sport are finest suited for the wing. Count on the Canadian evaluation camp snub to offer additional motivation. Benn is able to become a household title in hockey.
Taylor Hall, Edmonton Oilers – It is a matter of “when” and never “if” Corridor scores 50 targets. He is learning how you can balance his dynamic (see: reckless) skating style along with his impressive skill set, and that spells hassle for the rest of the NHL. He has separated himself from Edmonton’s other younger weapons as the face of the franchise.
Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild – With enormous contracts come enormous houses wallets expectations. And Parise delivered in year one for the Wild, leading a really mediocre offensive membership in both goals and factors. With improved teammates on his line (Jason Pominville) and behind him in the depth chart (significantly a more ready Mikael Granlund), count on a return to the 35+ objective mark in 2013-14.
John Tavares, New York Islanders – His year-to-12 months improvements have been nothing short of spectacular. Tavares entered the NHL as a one-trick pony and he now ranks among the many top 4 or five most full forwards in hockey. Oh, and he’s signed to 1 heck of a contract, too.
Jason Spezza and Bobby Ryan, Ottawa Senators – What number of poolies had been banking on 50 objectives from Dany Heatley after the commerce to San Jose? How concerning the duo of Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik lighting up Broadway collectively? Dynamic duos on paper regularly fizzle on the ice. However Spezza and Ryan might buck that trend. Ryan hasn’t been the focal offensive participant on a group since his days in the OHL with Owen Sound, and Spezza has quietly developed right into a stable two-manner player and leader (in addition to an incredible offensive talent).
Fool me once, disgrace on you. Fool me twice? I assume we are going to find out if Ryan and Spezza fail to click on for the Sens.
Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning
– One of the best objective scorer in hockey (though Alex Ovechkin is coming again for his seat on that throne) and the ageless St. Louis will continue to make magic in Tampa for the foreseeable future.
Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals – It took a number of months for Adam Oates to get through to Ovechkin, but his positional hunch (transferring Ovechkin to the best wing) paid off. And with the Capitals now with out a second line center as soon as once more, the two big guns will probably be relied upon for the majority of the offense.
Don’t discount the added motivation of the Sochi Olympics for the NHL’s top Russian talent.
The Emerging Studs
Give it a 12 months or two, and these guys will simply be thought of “studs.” A few of them have already had their breakout season, but all of them needs to be counted on to take another huge step or two forward in 2013-14.
Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche – Duchene shook off a disappointing 2011-12 marketing campaign with 17 objectives (only two of them scored on the facility play) in 47 video games. He’s the closest factor the NHL has to Pavel Bure proper now – few players can accelerate with the puck up the ice, and he’s a threat to score whenever he has the puck in the offensive zone. As a pleasant bonus, the Avalanche are moving their defensive ace, Ryan O’Reilly, to Duchene’s wing this season. Count on him (and the underrated P.A. Parenteau) to build off of the moment chemistry they established last season.
Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars – The Seguin-for-Loui Eriksson commerce might end up being a win-win for each Dallas and Boston. Just like the Jarome Iginla-for-Joe Nieuwendyk trade from 1996, one group received essentially the most value within the type of a young asset (Seguin), whereas the other received a proven commodity (Eriksson). Eriksson brings with him consistency, reliability, and a heck of a contract. Seguin has celebrity upside, and can profit from a change of scenery after a bit of a witch hunt in Boston. The Stars are going to do all the things they’ll to give him a chance to succeed.
Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers – It doesn’t matter who he traces up with (be it Alexander Barkov, Drew Shore, or Nick Bjugstad), Huberdeau will keep away from the dreaded sophomore hunch. Why? He’s just too good. Although he seems to be like Quentin Tarantino with a blowout, he’s going to be top-of-the-line offensive players in the NHL for the next decade.
Alex Galchenyuk, Montreal Canadiens – Born Feb. 12, 1994. Let that one sink in. He has the potential to be the first superstar in Montreal since Guy Lafleur (no, Vincent Damphousse doesn’t depend).
Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers – The perfect Flyer skater in 2013 (yes, together with Claude Giroux) finally confirmed why poolies have been drafting him based solely on upside and potential for the past 5 or 6 years. Voracek is from the identical city in the Czech Republic as Jaromir Jagr, but his recreation more intently resembles Marian Hossa’s: energy, two-manner play, and an general offensive bundle that causes nightmares for opposing coaches.
Jonathan Drouin, Tampa Bay Lightning – Let’s say that an extremely gifted left wing prospect is given his selection of the place to begin his NHL profession. If he doesn’t choose Tampa Bay, he’s loopy. Drouin will probably be given every opportunity to line up with Stamkos and St. Louis and Lightning coach Jon Cooper did a phenomenal job teaching and growing Tampa’s younger expertise over the past few years within the AHL.
James van Riemsdyk, Toronto Maple Leafs – Fortunately for the Flyers Luke Schenn truly began to resemble an NHL defenseman again in 2013 (and a reasonably good one, at that), as van Riemsdyk is nicely on his technique to turning into one of many extra dominant objective scorers in hockey.
Evander Kane, Winnipeg Jets – Kane’s 2013 season was a bit of a dilemma – he has to learn to use his linemates better, however how can he do this when he’s stuck playing with Olli Jokinen most of the time? Count on Kane to line up with prized prospect Marc Scheifele in 2013-14, who the Jets neatly returned to the OHL for 2012-thirteen.
Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets – Wheeler has recorded a hundred and five factors over the past two NHL seasons (ok for 30th among all skaters). He has developed right into a bona fide prime line star for the Jets, and he is now paid like one ($5.6 million for the following six years). Many within the hockey world consider he is simply scratching the floor of his upside.
Sven Baertschi, Calgary Flames – Somebody has to attain in Calgary, proper? Baertschi is a lightning-quick winger who performs a surprisingly gritty recreation for a player recognized more for his skill and offensive capability. If healthy, he’ll contend for the rookie scoring lead.
Cam Atkinson, Columbus Blue Jackets – Atkinson has spent the previous few summers training with Martin St. Louis. And as an undersized winger he couldn’t have discovered a greater coaching companion or mentor. Atkinson has been an effective participant in the NHL, and an elite one at lower levels. The Jackets are going to surprise a lot of people this season, and count on Atkinson to be among their most vital gamers.
Gustav Nyquist, Detroit Crimson Wings – Nyquist may be the way forward for the Purple Wings following within the footsteps of Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, two players who he resembles in each taking part in style and demeanor. Detroit continues to unearth late round gems and develop them with patience and care at the AHL degree. Nyquist will slip on draft day as a result of his NHL manufacturing to date doesn’t match his upside or skill.
Tyler Toffoli, Los Angeles Kings – For all of their strengths (physicality, defensive skill, goaltending), the Kings have struggled to score goals over the past two seasons. Enter Toffoli, who lit the lamp 109 occasions over his final two OHL campaigns with the Ottawa 67’s. He’s a natural right winger but has been learning to play the left aspect, as the Kings have an enormous (literally, not figuratively) hole to fill within the top six with the departure of Dustin Penner. Toffoli has a great shot at sticking for the complete season alongside Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.
Colin Wilson, Nashville Predators – When was the last time that Nashville had a ahead price taking in a fantasy draft? Paul Kariya? The manufacturing totals for Nashville’s forwards are inclined to clump collectively, partly as a result of playing style, partly as a result of truth they gown principally checking-type players, and partly attributable to the truth that Barry Trotz balances his ice time throughout three or four lines. Of all current Predator forwards, Wilson has one of the best opportunity to break by way of the offensive glass ceiling.
Ryane Clowe, New Jersey Devils – Clowe scored three goals on 87 pictures last season (a three.four% shooting price). For his profession, he has been an eleven.2% shooter. Anticipate a optimistic regression in 2013-14.
Pierre-Marc Bouchard – New York Islanders – Bouchard has a chance to step into one of the best gigs in hockey (the third wheel to the John Tavares-Matt Moulson duo). P.A. Parenteau and Brad Boyes have both had great success in that spot, and Bouchard is a artful playmaker who would find a variety of his passes to Tavares and Moulson at the back of the web. Nonetheless, he’s some of the injury-susceptible players in hockey. Tread rigorously.
Brad Richards, New York Ranger
s – 2013 was an unmitigated catastrophe of a season for the 2004 Conn Smythe winner. Richards wasn’t purchased out this summer season, however he is nonetheless coming into the season with a Texas-sized chip on his shoulder. Richards wants to show that he nonetheless has quite a lot of hockey left in his legs and he should benefit from enjoying beneath Vigneault, a coach who does what he can to get probably the most out of his offensive gamers.
Beau Bennett, Pittsburgh Penguins – Bennett’s solely competition for the second line emptiness in Pittsburgh is Jussi Jokinen. Whereas Jokinen is a more proven commodity, his expertise may go towards him. Pittsburgh would like to have Jokinen on a checking/two-means line over Bennett, who remains to be studying find out how to play with out the puck. And if he sticks with Evgeni Malkin, that play without the puck will lead to plenty of points.
Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks – Assuming Burns maintains defensive eligibility in Yahoo Fantasy Hockey, he will be among the many most useful fantasy “defensemen” in 2013-14. I use citation marks as a result of Burns is being transformed to wing by the Sharks on a full-time basis. Burns needs to be thought of a lock for 20 objectives as a forward.
Jaden Schwartz, St. Louis Blues – Determining St. Louis’ line mixtures is about as straightforward as scoring a aim against A Ken Hitchcock-coached crew, however the sophomore winger from Colorado School has one thing going for him – position. The Blues don’t have many pure left wingers on the roster, and Schwartz might land a spot on the go-to scoring line (doubtless alongside Derek Roy and Chris Stewart… but your guess is nearly as good as mine).
Alex Killorn, Tampa Bay Lighting – If Drouin struggles to adapt to the NHL, Killorn is the following logical candidate to play on the top line in Tampa Bay. He is very aware of Lightning bench boss Jon Cooper from their time collectively in the AHL, and is already a sophisticated two-method ahead. His offensive potential goes from 40-50 points to 60-plus if he traces up with Stamkos and St. Louis.
Zack Kassian, Vancouver Canucks – Cue the compulsory “finest shape of his life” remark. A match and trim Kassian has an enormous opportunity this season underneath John Tortorella. The combative bench boss apparently wants to reunite Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows on line two, leaving a vacancy alongside the best hockey enjoying twins on the planet.
Sign up your workforce and league in the present day.
The Deep Sleepers
If you might be in a league that closely resembles the NHL (30 groups, large rosters), here are some extra names to remember on draft day.
Brandon Pirri, Chicago Blackhawks – Chicago needs a second line middle. Pirri has confirmed about all he can on the AHL stage. Brandon Saad could get a have a look at taking part in center, however the transition from wing is never an easy one.
Steve Downie, Colorado Avalanche – The gritty winger missed all of 2013 with a knee harm. Now totally wholesome, he is being pencilled in alongside Nathan MacKinnon, and the duo has the potential to be a very productive one. Downie is well-recognized for his physical play and associated antics, but he’s a heck of a playmaker, too.
Mark Letestu, Columbus Blue Jackets – The Pittsburgh castoff was among Columbus’ greatest players in 2013. He could line up anyplace from wing or heart on line one to line three. His versatility will permit him every alternative to proceed his productive ways for the Jackets. And if he sticks alongside Artem Anisimov and Marian Gaborik on line one, Letestu could possibly be among the league’s largest offensive surprises in 2013-14.
Alex Chiasson, Dallas Stars – While the lanky winger will probably be in tough to repeat his per-recreation scoring tempo of 2013 (six goals in seven games), he’ll very doubtless discover himself alongside Ray Whitney on Dallas’ second line. Whitney didn’t earn the nickname of “Wizard” for nothing (go to the two:15 mark of this video for some evidence).
Drew Shore, Florida Panthers – Shore was one in all Florida’s greatest forwards in 2013, but his production didn’t mirror that (thanks to a foul luck scoring charge of three%, mostly). He’ll someday be Florida’s two-method ace behind the likes of Huberdeau, Bjugstad, and Barkov, and that day may be on the speedy horizon.
Cal Clutterbuck, New York Islanders – He is recognized extra for what he does together with his body than together with his fingers, but Clutterbuck is a former junior linemate of Tavares. At the very least, he will be the other man to Matt Martin’s Fulton Reed. And in a greatest-case state of affairs, he pops in 25 or 30 objectives alongside Tavares and Moulson on line one.
Tomas Hertl, San Jose Sharks – Hertl is one of the most NHL-ready prospects in hockey, having spent the past few years developing in the high men’s league again dwelling in the Czech Republic. Hertl has an important shot at playing regular high-six minutes for the Sharks.
Marcus Johansson, Washington Capitals – The speedy heart-turned-winger was an necessary part in Ovechkin’s 2013 comeback tour. Anticipate him to set career numbers in all classes with a full season alongside Washington’s dynamic duo. Johansson missed the primary few weeks of the 2013 season with a concussion and had just one point in his first 9 video games back, but completed the season on a sixty nine-point pace.
Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins – Will Marchand build off of his 18-objective campaign (45 games played) in 2013? Except the NHL decides to extend web size only for the Bruins, don’t depend on it. Marchand scored on 19.8% of the shots he fired on goal last season. And though he has been a capturing share outlier for a lot of his career (15.3% for 218 games), the Little Ball of Hate 2.0 simply can’t sustain his 2013 success.
Thomas Vanek, Buffalo Sabres – Vanek had 23 points within the first 11 video games of 2013, but solely 18 within the final 27. Jason Pominville is now in Minnesota, and Buffalo’s middle scenario is a large number. Assuming Cody Hodgson inks a brand new contract earlier than camp, Vanek will at least have one competent linemate, as things are fairly bleak after Hodgson – Ennis and Ott are both higher as wingers and Mikhail Grigorenko was over his head as a rookie in the NHL last season.
Perhaps the Sabres can name up Taro Tsujimoto?
Jiri Tlusty, Carolina Hurricanes – Tlusty was one of many largest offensive surprises in all the league final season. However, his success won’t carry over into 2013-14, as the former Maple Leaf scored on practically 20% of the photographs he fired on purpose last season (effectively above his profession number of 13.eight%). He shall be a productive ahead so long as he remains alongside Eric Staal and Alex Semin, but count on his per-recreation manufacturing charge to regress.
Pascal Dupuis and Chris Kuntiz, Pittsburgh Penguins – Even when Sidney Crosby is ready to keep wholesome for 70+ video games this season, Dupuis and Kunitz can be lucky to once again approach their 2013 ranges of production. To his credit, Dupuis was effective even when Crosby as on the shelf, and Kunitz finished 2013 with an 82-recreation-schedule pace of 38 targets and ninety two factors. How usually do teammates set profession numbers on the age of 33?
Dave Bolland, Toronto Maple Leafs – If the Leafs acquired Bolland to anchor their checking unit, they made a stable move. Nonetheless, in the event that they count on him to contribute in a high-six role… they should prepare for disappointment. Bolland was an anchor alongside Patrick Kane final season, and that ought to be cause for concern. For those who can’t produce alongside Patrick Kane, how are things going to be higher with Joffrey Lupul and David Clarkson?
Bolland’s most frequent linemates from 2013, courtesy of Dobber Hockey’s Frozen Pool Fantasy Tools:
ARLINGTON, VA — 4 years ago, Jonathan Quick was the No. 3 goaltender for Crew USA behind Tim Thomas and starter Ryan Miller. He did not see any motion within the 2010 Olympic Games, nor was he expected to. Coming off his rookie season in the NHL, Quick’s presence in Vancouver was strictly with an eye towards the longer term.
Four years later, that future is now, and with a Stanley Cup victory under his belt and four seasons of strong play, Fast has discovered himself now combating for the No. 1 job when Crew USA heads for Sochi in February.
As a 24 yr old on the Vancouver Video games, Quick was nonetheless studying his craft, and getting the opportunity to spend two weeks working alongside NHL veterans in Ryan Miller and Tim Thomas was useful.
“I used to be pretty young in the league at that time in my profession,” Fast stated at U.S. Olympic camp on Monday in Arlington, Va.
“I didn’t know many guys, especially guys around the staff. It gave me a possibility to meet a bunch of the guys and likewise watching [Ryan Miller] and how he prepared for games of that magnitude. It’s little issues here and there that you just decide up on.”
Part of the criteria that Team USA’s administration workers will use to judge gamers is their physique of labor and how they’re playing through the primary three months of the 2013-14 NHL season. Making a call on three goaltenders include the largest stress.
“I believe goaltending is the one position that’s extra in order that than the body of work,” said Group USA head coach Dan Bylsma. “How you’re taking part in and your play within the subsequent three-and-a-half months goes to be most essential for on the subject of that position and making choices in that regard.”
No matter who the Group USA staff decide will be the three goalies they take to Sochi, it’ll be a powerful bunch. Fellow gamers like Ryan Kesler and Keith Yandle have already recognized the staff’s biggest strength as goaltender, with Fast and Miller joined by Craig Anderson, Jimmy Howard and teenager John Gibson.
“It’s a deep, deep pool with a whole lot of good players who have good expertise,” stated Bylsma. “They’ve executed a good body of work. They’ve received championships; so it’s a tricky determination not just for the starter, but who are going to be the three goalies on our team.”
Even Fast’s rivals know he could be an asset for the U.S.
“I see [Fast] loads as a result of he’s in the West,” stated Yandle. “He’s normally shutting us out quite a bit, so it’s not a lot of fun playing against him, but it surely’s good to see him here the place he may doubtlessly be on this team.”
Miller was the most effective participant of the 2010 tournament, however his game, along with the Buffalo Sabres has slid. What was as soon as thought of as a lock is now anybody’s guess as to who will get the reigns for Sochi. That’s opened the door for Fast.
He wasn’t on the ice four years in the past, however to Fast, there was a lot to take out of that experience and use this time round.
“We completed quite a bit,” said Fast. “We weren’t anticipated to do much as a staff getting into to that match and the way in which we came together as a group and what we had been capable of accomplish means loads. It’s one thing that we will construct off.”
No offense to either of these teams — I’m sure they’ll be playing some truly entertaining hockey — but no one is going to be watching this game. Across the country, a half hour earlier, the traitorous Daniel Alfredsson will be in Ottawa in a different jersey for the first time in his nearly two-decade NHL career. Shawn Horcoff’s second game versus his old team probably doesn’t have the same drawing power.
2 | Sunday, Mar. 2, 2014 – Ottawa Senators at Vancouver Canucks
Yeah, you can probably go ahead and skip the Tim Hortons Heritage Classic. For one thing, it will be in BC Place stadium, which has a retractable roof — that’s hardly an outdoor game. For another, there will already have been five real outdoor games, so this one is likely to underwhelm. Furthermore, it almost always rains on March 2 and there’s no flipping way it will be cold enough to snow, so for all we know they might close the roof. It might not even be an outdoor games. Finally, Vancouver and Ottawa have no rivalry to speak of and they’re both Canadian, leading one to wonder why this game is scheduled to take place, inexplicably, on Hockey Day in America.
3 | Thursday, Mar. 20 – Florida Panthers at Phoenix Coyotes
There are nine games scheduled for Thursday, March 20. At the top of the list, and included on our list of can’t-misses, is Zach Parise’s return to New Jersey. At the bottom is this one. Puck drop is just after 10 p.m. ET, and if you’re planning to stay up for the late game after Parise’s homecoming, you’ll have your choice of Washington versus Los Angeles, Anaheim versus San Jose, or this intra-conference game featuring the impenetrable defensive shell of the Phoenix Coyotes.
4 | Friday, Mar. 21 – Calgary Flames at Nashville Predators
We’re late enough in the schedule that the Flames will likely have nothing left to play for, and it’s entirely possible the Predators won’t either. So why would you stay in on a Friday night to watch this game or watch it over Boston visiting Colorado, which begins at the same time? I submit that you would not.
5 | Sunday, Apr. 13 – NY Islanders at Buffalo Sabres
And speaking of teams that won’t be in the playoff hunt, who, outside of Buffalo, is watching the Sabres’ last game of the year? This one takes place on the final day of the season, a day which is sure to feature all sorts of divisional playoff battles and struggles for seeding. Meanwhile, the schedule also gives us this match between two likely non-playoff teams that aren’t even in the same division, and it begins at 5 p.m. ET when four games that could all have playoff implications are just finishing. The only guy watching this game will be Arthur Staple.
Getty Images GM Darcy Regier warned Buffalo Sabres fans that building a Stanley Cup champion “may require some suffering.”
One assumed that meant more tough decisions on significant players, like the trade of captain Jason Pominville at the deadline last season. Specifically, one assumed that meant goalie Ryan Miller and winger Thomas Vanek would be moved this summer, as both enter the final years of their contracts in what should be a rebuilding year for the Sabres.
Yet here we are in the middle of July, and Miller and Vanek are both Sabres.
Regier did say he wanted to see what “the marketplace will make available” for the Sabres in the offseason. Now he’s seen it, and it sounds like Miller and Vanek could start the season in Buffalo.
From Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News, on Regier’s chat on Friday:
As with every chat with Regier, the topic of Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek came up again and the response was much the same. Asked if he’s getting resigned to the fact he may have both of them at training camp, Regier said, “I think that’s fair. The nature of this business is that as we move through July lineups get more and more settled, there’s less movement. Once training camp starts, things begin to change some again.”
Regier said most conversations he’s had with other GMs involve taking in money, a clear reference to the fact the Sabres aren’t likely to be able to move the entire contract of either Vanek or Miller in a year the salary cap is shrinking to $64.3 million.
Furthering that, via Sabres.com:
When it comes to looking at making trades, Regier said that the cap coming down is playing a significant role and many teams are working up against that ceiling.
“The cap is a real big part of it. Any discussions that I have now involve taking back money, moving money. Money plays a very big role,” he said. “I think you can look at clubs you wouldn’t expect to be up and around $60-million-plus and they’re there.”
So Ryan Miller is a still a Sabre, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing because (a) the goalie marketplace changed dramatically in the last few weeks, leaving few dance partners for Regier at the moment and (b) he’s a damn good goaltender and better than anything the Sabres could bring in to replace him in short notice.
Vanek’s a different story. He’s one of those players you’d have expected to be gone at the draft or in the early part of free agency. So why hasn’t he moved?
The GM said there would be suffering. And the Sabres are suffering through trying to move this contract.
As Regier said, teams want the Sabres to share the freight on a deal that ships a $6.4 million salary and a $7,142,857 cap hit onto their salary cap. (Thanks again, Kevin Lowe.)
Under the CBA, the Sabres can absorb up to 50 percent of that money and hit in trading Vanek, and from the GM’s comments it’s rather clear that his peers are asked for something like that as the cap drops.
He’s a superior offensive talent – it’s not a stretch to see him replacing Ilya Kovalchuk on the Devils, if a player like that is every replaceable. He can carry a team for several games on his own. There are few players in the NHL that can claim that.
Again, though: At what cost? His contract is inflated and elephantine; if the Sabres aren’t willing to absorb some of it this season, it’s nearly toxic.
It’s also a contract that runs out next summer, which begs the next question: What is Thomas Vanek worth as a pending UFA with a huge cap hit?
Would you give up a top six forward, a prospect and a pick for one year of Vanek? One assumes a Vanek trade would resemble the Bobby Ryan trade to Ottawa, and that cost the Senators a bright young NHL player, a prospect and a pick.
But they get at least two years of Bobby Ryan. Vanek’s only there for one year if he’s acquired by a team with whom he doesn’t want to re-sign.
As Regier said at the Draft:
“Unless you’re a highly competitive team, it’s very difficult to have players on your roster whose contracts are going to expire if you either choose not to or don’t have the ability to re-up them.”
Someone – COUGH, New Jersey, COUGH – in desperate need of that kind of goal-scoring might still ante up for Vanek. But this is starting to feel like a trade deadline move for the Sabres, when his cap hit and salary are pro-rated, the price for him drops and teams willing to rent him are looking to pay it.
And then he becomes a free agent and signs with the Minnesota Wild. Oh, c’mon, we all know it’s going to happen, right?