Varlamov leads Avs past Hawks

Avalanche Trounce Blackhawks

DENVER – Semyon Varlamov and the Colorado Avalanche discovered a treatment for his or her first hunch of the season – play the Stanley Cup champs.

Colorado got here up large in opposition to Chicago last spring, and repeated that performance Tuesday night.

Varlamov stopped 36 shots and Paul Stastny had a purpose and an help for the Avalanche in a 5-1 victory over the Blackhawks.

Gabriel Landeskog and John Mitchell additionally scored during Colorado’s three-aim first period. P.A. Parenteau and Cody McLeod added goals within the second and third for Colorado, which snapped a three-recreation skid.

“You always say a win is a win, and it is. But at the same time our power is our crew morale and confidence,” Landeskog said. “It feels good. It doesn’t suggest something unless we go into Phoenix and play well.”

Brandon Saad scored for the Blackhawks, who did not get at the very least two objectives for the primary time this season. Colorado ended Chicago’s NHL-document streak of 24 consecutive games with no less than a degree to begin a season in a 6-2 win final March.

“Perhaps we tend to respect them slightly more than different groups, which we shouldn’t,” Stastny said. “We should always respect everybody the same manner. If you’re younger, that occurs. They’re the defending champs and you always want to play your greatest towards one of the best.”

Antti Raanta made 14 saves in his NHL debut for the Blackhawks. He played the final forty six:23 in aid of Corey Crawford, who allowed three goals on seven photographs.

“The target on a regular basis was that someday I may play in the NHL, and in Rockford I had good games there, and I know I can do it,” he mentioned. “Solely now it’s the small things, so we now have to maintain doing work and prepare to be even better all the time.”

The Blackhawks had their alternatives in outshooting Colorado 37-23. They’d several quality possibilities to get back within the recreation within the second period but could not put one past Varlamov.

Colorado stumbled after profitable 14 of its first sixteen games however capitalized on its possibilities within the first interval this time. Stastny scored when Brent Seabrook’s move off the boards ricocheted to him in the slot, and he beat Crawford with a slap shot.

Landeskog gave Colorado a two-objective lead when he redirected Andre Benoit’s shot from the point past Crawford with 7:39 left in the period. Just 56 seconds later, Mitchell made it 3-zero.

“We had a extremely good start. We had been actually sharp across the web and scored nice objectives,” Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said.

Raanta, recalled Sunday, changed Crawford after Mitchell’s goal. He confronted solely seven shots over the subsequent 25 minutes however allowed his first objective late in the second period.

After the Blackhawks had a number of robust probabilities in entrance of Varlamov, Parenteau skated down the left boards and beat Raanta with a shot from the circle to make it four-zero with 1:22 left in the second.

“The fourth goal was huge for us. They have been buzzing in our zone and Varly made some key saves for us,” Roy stated. “You’re always afraid being up 3-zero of getting a letdown. But we had been shifting our ft.”

McLeod scored his first goal of the season on a rebound 1:forty four into the third.

Chicago misplaced forward Bryan Bickell within the first interval after he crashed into the Avalanche internet. He did not return, and coach Joel Quenneville mentioned after the game that Bickell may be more than day-to-day.

“But I’m unsure of that,” Quenneville said.

It’s a powerful blow for the Blackhawks, who are playing without forwards Michael Handzus and Marian Hossa.

“Bicksie is obviously a big part of this and you hope it isn’t too long,” Kris Versteeg stated. “Obviously, we’d like him in the lineup.”

Game notes

Colorado ahead Maxime Talbot and defenseman Tyson Barrie had two assists every… There were solely two penalties called in the game, one on every group… Avalanche C Matt Duchene is anticipated to overlook no less than every week with an indirect harm sustained in Saturday’s loss to Florida… Hossa missed his third straight sport with a decrease-body damage… Colorado placed ahead Alex Tanguay (knee) and defenseman Ryan Wilson (back) on injured reserve and recalled C Brad Malone and Barrie from Lake Erie of the AHL.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Hawks defense with beat the Capitals

Blackhawks Increase Banner, Beat Capitals

Blackhawks Increase Banner, Beat Capitals

CHICAGO – The Chicago Blackhawks watched as their championship banner rose to the rafters on the United Center. They took another look at the Stanley Cup, and soaked in the applause from the sellout crowd.

Then Johnny Oduya and Co. went out and reminded the rest of the NHL how they gained that title.

Oduya, Brandon Saad and Marian Hossa scored within the third period, and the Blackhawks kicked off their title defense with a 6-four victory over Mikhail Grabovski and the Washington Capitals on Tuesday evening.

“We wanted a great start. I feel we got that,” Oduya stated. “Possibly in the second we got here down just a little bit, the win is the key thing to that, and to maintain building on that. There’s numerous video games this 12 months, so we’ve got to stay sturdy and get better.”

Patrick Kane, Brent Seabrook and Brandon Bollig also scored for Chicago, which won its first recreation for the second straight season. Corey Crawford made 28 saves, including a couple of big stops when the Blackhawks killed off a late 5-on-three power play.

Chicago ruined Los Angeles’ title celebration with a 5-2 victory in last season’s opener after which set an NHL record by recording at the very least one point in its first 24 video games. The fast start performed a key role within the Blackhawks’ run to the Stanley Cup, and coach Joel Quenneville made it clear in training camp that one other opening surge is a priority.

“The guys have always been in a very good place since Day 1 of the season,” Quenneville stated. “You’ve got to commend them on how they prepared themselves.”

Grabovski had three objectives and an help in his first sport since he signed with Washington in August. Alex Ovechkin had a objective and an help, however the Capitals dropped their opener for the second straight season.

“They received a bit bit fortunate right this moment,” Grabovski mentioned. “We need to learn from our mistakes what we did. We simply need to play better the following recreation.”

Grabovski had consecutive energy-play targets in the third, lifting Washington to a three-2 lead with 14:44 left. But Saad finished a beautiful give-and-go with Michal Handzus, and Oduya transformed a long slap shot at 13:fifty three to place the Blackhawks forward to stay.

Oduya caught a lucky break on his 32nd birthday when his fluttering shot went in off the glove of goalie Braden Holtby on its solution to the net.

“It just completely fooled me,” Holtby mentioned. “I had a clean take a look at the shot, it was simply a kind of sinkers. It happened. It was one I would love to have, but I believe there are a couple of others in the recreation that I should have carried out a better job on, more than that one.”

Hossa finished the scoring when he was dragged down from behind as he skated toward an empty internet in the closing minute, prompting the officers to award him with an insurance coverage purpose.

Cheered on by the rollicking crowd of twenty-two,158, the Blackhawks staged one final celebration of the franchise’s fifth title. The group handed out special wristbands that lit up throughout elements of the pregame ceremony, making the rows of seats look like a transparent night time sky filled with stars.

The wristband lights were joined by digital camera flashes as a group of youth hockey gamers offered the championship banner to the 19 returning players from last 12 months’s squad, who carried it to the spot for its trip to the rafters.

Entrance workplace staff and players posed for a picture with the banner hanging just over the ice. It was then raised to the top whereas the crowd roared.

“It was wonderful,” Hossa mentioned. “A lot gentle within the stands. To face on the ice and look at 20-something-thousand people simply celebrating. It is going to keep in my heart for the recollections.”

Chicago then brushed apart any concern of a letdown brought on by the banner ceremony and grabbed the lead when Bollig stuffed house a rebound four:06 in for his first profession common-season purpose.

After Ovechkin tied it with a power-play purpose, Kane despatched a wrist shot previous Holtby to make it 2-1 at 11:06. Kane received the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP when the Blackhawks made their run to the championship.

Holtby made 29 saves in Washington’s first regular-season game in Chicago since March 18, 2012. NHL groups played video games strictly within their own convention last season after the lockout reduce the campaign practically in half.

“The first 40 minutes I thought that we performed pretty good hockey,” Capitals coach Adam Oates said. “If something, our turnovers gave them momentum and gave them some life. They’ve got a great hockey workforce. It is laborious to play that way.”

Game notes

Chicago beat Washington twice during the preseason, including a 4-3 time beyond regulation win on Saturday night time… The groups will meet again in Washington on April eleven… NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was booed in the course of the pregame ceremony.


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Benn to be named Stars’ captain; Torres on changing again; Schneider’s poor acting skills

Here are your Puck Headlines: a glorious collection of stories and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports activities and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.

Norm Corridor / Coyotes

• Great job by the Phoenix Coyotes and their followers elevating $a hundred sixty five,198 for the families of 19 firefighters who died in June. [Coyotes]

• During a press convention this afternoon, the Dallas Stars are anticipated to name Jamie Benn as the workforce’s new captain. [Dallas Morning Information]

• HBO began grabbing some preliminary footage for 24/7 with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday. “We’ll have to take care of it and move ahead,” stated a thrilled Randy Carlyle. [Sportsnet]

• Marian Hossa has aggravated an upper-physique damage and can miss Chicago’s next four preseason games. [Madhouse Enforcer]

• Raffi Torres, on changing his ways once more: “Clearly, there are completely different elements of my game that at all times need high-quality-tuning. I’ll must work a bit of better with taking pucks away, and never leading with the massive hit. Just taking part in slightly smarter on the market. Clearly, we don’t wish to go through one thing like [the suspension] once more. I know it’s a damaged tape recorder, but I’ve just got to maintain working the system, and taking part in the proper strategy to stay in the sport.” [CSN Bay Space]

• How will Jonathan Huberdeau comply with up his Calder Trophy winning season? [The Hockey Writers]

• Good learn by Sean Gentille on Steve MacIntyre and the disappearing NHL enforcer. [Sporting Information]

• After struggling a skate laceration to his leg throughout a Tuesday evening recreation, New York Islanders ahead Cal Clutterbuck is anticipated to overlook as much as a month. [Islanders Point Clean]

• Shootout specialist Kaspars Daugavins has signed with Geneve-Servette of the Swiss League. His contract does include an NHL out-clause. [Geneve]

• How the OHL’s combat limit isn’t stopping gamers from dropping the gloves once they reach an NHL coaching camp. [Buzzing the Internet]

• Via Kukla, the Detroit Pink Wings are tops in a social media ranking performed by Emory University. [Emory]

• In Anaheim Ducks proprietor Henry Samueli’s eyes, the workforce is another nonprofit for him. [LA Instances]

• A Q&A with Ian Pulver in regards to the life of a hockey agent. [Sports Agent Weblog]

Mmmmmmmm a goalie masks with a chocolate Mount Rushmore. [In Goal Magazine]

• Maximizing your roster in a wage cap fantasy hockey league. [Dobber Hockey]

• Finally, Cory Schneider: good goalie, not so good thespian:


Winnipeg Jets, National Hockey League of Nations (including the Atlanta Thrashers!)

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(Ed. Notice: Welcome to the Puck Daddy 2013 summer venture, the Nationwide Hockey League of Nations. We’ve recruited 30 writers/blogs to identify the most effective participant in their favorite group’s history for every major nationality that creates the material of our beloved NHL: Canada, USA, Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sweden, Finland and The Rest of The World. It’s their criteria, so long as they’ll justify it. Read, debate and enjoy! If you wish to achieve this on Twitter, it is #NHLoN.)

By Ryan Blight and Arctic Ice Hockey

Disclaimer: We here at Arctic Ice Hockey struggled with the standards for how to do this, because the Jets hold a special place in our hearts right here in Winnipeg. And to tell you the truth, if it weren’t for the Internet, most people in Winnipeg couldn’t name 10 ex-Thrashers outside of those that came up to Winnipeg.

So for the aim of this effort, we’ll include all Jets 1.0 up until the transfer to Phoenix (because we still strongly dislike the Coyotes), the entire history of the Atlanta Thrashers, and the past two superb years of the Jets

And sorry, the WHA years don’t rely both.

Canada: Dale Hawerchuk

In one that basically didn’t take long to determine, Dale Hawerchuk is the very best Canadian to ever lace them up either in Winnipeg or throughout the Thrashers organization. The first-total number of the Jets in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft won the Calder Trophy that season, and within the 9 years in the ‘Peg never finished below 81 points in a season, capping out at 130 (fifty three targets and 77 assists) in ‘84-85. And don’t overlook the help he earned on Mario Lemieux’s GWG within the 1987 Canada Cup victory over the Soviets. Ducky was a tremendous Jet and may be very deserving of this honour.

Honourable mentions: Dany Heatley, Shane Doan (who was only a rookie in Winnipeg throughout the ultimate season of Jets 1.0), Marc Savard, Andrew Ladd, Bobby Hull (who had his WHA contributions disregarded).

Finland : Teemu Selanne

I was tempted to choose Olli Jokinen, simply to bother lots of people after his less-than-stellar opening season as a Jet, but how can we not decide Teemu Selanne?! Despite enjoying solely 4 seasons in Winnipeg, there has never been a much bigger love affair with one single participant in this city. Selanne’s magical rookie season of 76 targets and 132 points continues to be fondly recalled prefer it was yesterday, as is the infamous capturing-his-glove celebration. And any questions on how much we love Teemu within the River City should be answered by trying out the ovation he acquired as a member of the Anaheim Ducks just two seasons ago. On prime of that, he’s medalled in three totally different Olympic Games. We nonetheless love you Teemu! #teemubest

Honourable Mentions: Teppo Numinen, Kari Lehtonen, Olli Jokinen

USA: Keith Tkachuk

Now this was a tough one, as there were very few Thrashers to think about and we aren’t ready to anoint Jacob Trouba with this award just but. Ultimately, I chose Keith Tkachuk to be the very best American player in a troublesome resolution over Phil Housley. What clinched it for me was that Tkachuk performed five seasons in Winnipeg versus three for Housley, served as crew captain, and for a time he was one of the premier power-forwards in the recreation. A 50-objective scorer within the remaining season of the Jets 1.0, Tkachuk put up points and penalty minutes like they were going out of favor, and he represented the USA at four Olympic Video games, incomes a Silver Medal in Salt Lake City. Nonetheless, it should have been him traded as a substitute of Teemu…

Honourable mentions: Phil Housley, Ed Olczyk, Jim Slater, Dave Ellett, Brian Mullen, Blake Wheeler, Dustin Byfuglien, Zach Bogosian.

Sweden: Thomas Steen

Thomas Steen, who is still a local city councilor, is my choice as the best Swede. When it comes to all Jets players previous to the move, Steen put up 264 objectives and 817 factors, each 2nd behind Hawerchuk, but Steen is the chief in assists with 553. However perhaps extra importantly, he played 14 seasons in Winnipeg and has made it his residence ever since despite our horrible winters, massive mosquitoes and lack of parks. Thomas Steen, we salute you!

Honourable Mentions: Tobias Enstrom, Fredrik Olausson, Niclas Havelid, Willy Lindstrom, Johnny Oduya

Russia: Ilya Kovalchuk

This one was simple. Ilya Kovalchuk is the best Russian player to have ever played for the Jets 1.0, Thrashers or Jets 2.0, despite not having dressed as a Jet in the River Metropolis. You cannot ignore the success that Kovalchuk had with the Thrashers, and as we sit right here with the Jets he is still the franchise chief in nearly every offensive stat by large margins. Kovalchuk’s 615 factors in 594 video games during part of the useless-puck period is a testament to the special type of talent he has, and the NHL is worse with out him now that he’s left the NHL to play at house within the KHL. Kovalchuk has taken part in three Olympic video games, successful a Bronze Medal in Salt Lake Metropolis, and will most actually play in Sochi in just a few months.

Slovakia: Marian Hossa

The solely answer here is Marian Hossa, and it’s not simply because solely six Slovaks have laced them up in Atlanta and 0 have performed so in Winnipeg. Though he only played three seasons in Atlanta, Hossa averaged over a degree-per-recreation with 248 factors in 222 games. He has also represented Slovakia at three Olympic Games already. Hossa was a premier talent who was sadly traded away for pennies on the dollar by Don Waddell in what was one of his, nicely, many horrible strikes as GM in Atlanta…

Honourable mentions: Ronald Petrovicky, Lubos Bartecko, Boris Valabik

Czech Republic: Ondrej Pavelec

Hmm. It is a tough one. Do I go with Patrick Stefan, the first-general choice who by no means justified his draft spot but still had a good profession? Do I select Ondrej Pavelec, the current Jets 2.0 netminder with the laughable starting goalie numbers who nonetheless has represented the Czech Republic at one Olympic Video games already? Perhaps Bobby Holik for being such a stable grinder? Frantisek Kaberle? Slim pickings.

In the top, I’m pained to decide on Ondrej Pavelec, and only do so as a result of he has represented his country already as backup on the 2010 games in Vancouver, was the starter at the most recent World Championships and has a strong likelihood to begin for them in Sochi as effectively. If his own country likes him this a lot, who are we to argue?

However, Pavelec has not played in one playoff hockey game in his NHL profession and has persistently put up below league-common save percentages, so this choice will not be primarily based on his NHL career up up to now.

Can he enhance? Hopefully, and he’ll must if the Jets are to be even thought of a playoff workforce, however his international expertise gives him the nod right here. And while Stefan was a productive participant who just simply by no means lived up to his draft standing, may we actually pick him when this is his arguably probably the most recognizable play of his career?

Honourable Mentions: Patrik Stefan, Bobby Holik, Frantisek Kaberle, Michael Grosek, Pavel Kubina


Nik Antropov may be very probably one of the best participant to ever come from Kazakhstan. Not solely has Antro been a very strong NHLer throughout his career, however he’s additionally represented his country at numerous international competitions and put his country on the map in the hockey community by being a 10th-overall choice in 1998. And to be completely trustworthy, I would like to see the big man re-signed by the Jets someday this summer, as he’s presently a free agent.

Meanwhile, the Ukraine was represented by the likes of Alexei Zhitnik and Oleg Tverdovsky, Germany noticed Uwe Krupp and Christoph Shubert lace them up, and Latvia watched as Arturs Kulda and Herberts Vasiljevs took part as properly.

Finally, we wouldn’t want to leave out the legend of Rumum Ndur, the first Nigerian-born participant to ever play in the NHL. Although he grew up in Canada and solely played 27 of his career 69 video games with the Thrashers, we felt the necessity to embrace him as a result of it’s such an incredible story.


Fantasy Hockey: Breaking down the best studs and sleepers at forward

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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.

The Studs

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.

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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.

The Sleepers

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.

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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.



Don’t Overrate


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:

Frequency Strength Line Combination
16.fifty seven% EV 36 BOLLAND,DAVE – 39 HAYES,JIMMY – 88 KANE,PATRICK
8.06percent EV 36 BOLLAND,DAVE – 88 KANE,PATRICK – sixteen KRUGER,MARCUS



Pittsburgh Penguins, National Hockey League of Nations

(Ed. Notice: Welcome to the Puck Daddy 2013 summer season venture, the Nationwide Hockey League of Nations. We’ve recruited 30 writers/blogs to identify the perfect player of their favourite team’s historical past for each major nationality that creates the fabric of our beloved NHL: Canada, USA, Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sweden, Finland and The Remainder of The World. It’s their standards, so long as they’ll justify it. Learn, debate and enjoy! If you want to do so on Twitter, it is #NHLoN.)

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By Penguins Initiative

Canada: Sidney Crosby by @ChicksDigHockey

The greatest hockey participant from Canada on the Pittsburgh Penguins simply happens to be one of the best hockey participant on this planet.

By all accounts, Sidney Crosby has had a life-lengthy love affair with hockey. Stories abound of Sidney as young as age two being able to maintain a stick correctly whereas hitting a tennis ball. At age ten he scored an incredible 159 objectives in fifty five games taking part in hockey in his hometown of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. He had a season point total of 280 points. While at Shattuck- Saint Mary’s Prep School in Minnesota, Sidney set new scoring data by getting seventy two goals and 110 assists for a total of 182 points in simply 57 games. He was also the one participant under the age of eighteen to play in the Canadian Junior Hockey match and the youngest to ever rating a aim in the championship. By the 2004-2005 season, Crosby was thought of one of the best hockey prospect on the earth.

Crosby was famously drafted first in 2005 by the Pittsburgh Penguins He finished his rookie season with 102 factors, which included 39 objectives and sixty three assists. Crosby became the youngest player within the Nationwide Hockey League to attain 100 points in a single season. Crosby was additionally the primary NHL rookie to file over 100 factors and one hundred penalty minutes in a season. Because the Pittsburgh Penguins didn’t make the playoffs that season, Crosby was capable of characterize Workforce Canada on the World Championships, the place he turned the youngest player ever to win a World Championship title. He recorded a tournament-greatest eight goals and eight assists in 9 video games.

His listing of awards is simply too quite a few to detail but embody: Artwork Ross Trophy 2007, Lester B. Pearson Award/Ted Lindsay Award 2007 & 2013, Hart Memorial Trophy 2007, Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy 2010, Mark Messier Management Award 2007 and 2010, and the Stanley Cup 2009. Sidney has been a star on the international stage as well. Crosby scored the successful objective in overtime towards the United States in the Olympic gold medal recreation in 2010.

During the 2007 season, the Penguins provided Sidney Crosby the captaincy however he turned it down. His explanation:

“I just thought it wasn’t proper for me. As a workforce, we had been taking part in nice and you don’t wish to disrupt issues like that. Individually, I used to be not prepared to just accept that duty quite yet. Going by means of the playoffs and having that have has most likely given me extra confidence.”

On May 31, 2007, after experiencing playoff hockey, Sidney Crosby was named captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins making him (at 19 years, 9 months, and 24 days) the youngest workforce captain in NHL historical past.

Crosby is a poised captain who’s an articulate spokesman not just for the Pens however all of hockey. He has suffered 2 main injuries prior to now two seasons but faced every restoration with drive and dedication to return to his place at the entrance of the pack. His mental toughness is surpassed solely by hockey aptitude. He sees the ice and understands the ins and outs of the game like no different. He has otherworldly puck dealing with abilities and can rating from anywhere on the ice including while lying on his back. He has that uncommon skill to let the circulate of the game decide his next move. He elevates the game of anyone fortunate enough to play on his line as evidenced by the remarkable 2013 season of Pascal Dupuis and Chris Kunitz.

Sid is very neighborhood-minded and philanthropic. Crosby and the Pens sponsor Sidney Crosby’s Little Penguins. One thousand children, aged four to eight, have every season for the past four years acquired full hockey equipment paid for by the Pittsburgh Penguins, their 25-year-outdated captain and several sponsors. He also established the Sidney Crosby Foundation. The Foundation, created in his residence province of Nova Scotia in 2009, is dedicated to providing monetary help to charities that are useful to the neighborhood as a whole, specifically charities benefitting youngsters.

In order to be referred to as the greatest hockey participant not only do you have to have the abilities to dominate on the ice however be an amazing chief as well. Sidney Crosby greater than fills the bill.

Much like the Penguins themselves, we at are a crew from different reaches of life, both individual and parody, brought collectively to form a much bigger and larger group. Every member took one country and gave their opinion on who’s one of the best and why they’re the very best.

French Canada: Mario Lemieux by @ChrisRBarron

There was a number of inside debate amongst our group of Pens fans about whether to do only one entry for Canada or to separate the country in two: French Canada and then the rest of Canada.

Quite frankly, splitting them into two is sensible as a result of they are basically different cultures, with different languages and completely different traditions. There have at all times been a lot of nice French Canadians on the Pens roster. One need look no additional than the present roster that includes Marc Andre-Fleury, Kris Letang, Pascal Dupuis and Simon Despres for proof of that. And whereas the current roster and roster of years past has always been littered with French Canadian gamers, there’s really only one: Le Magnifique – Mario Lemieux.

Mario will not be solely the greatest French Canadian to ever don a Pens sweater, he’s additionally the greatest player – regardless of birthplace – to skate for the Penguins.

Indeed, an argument might be made – and I have made it before – that Lemieux is the greatest hockey player of all time. His stats speak for themselves: 690 career goals (ninth all time) and 1033 profession assists (tenth all time) for a complete of 1,729 profession factors (seventh all time). Even more amazing, Lemieux racked up those career numbers despite lacking 3 full seasons at the peak of his career and parts of several extra to again injuries and lymphoma. He received two Stanley Cups (as a participant + one as an proprietor), three Hart Trophies, 4 Ross Trophies and two Conn Smythe Trophies.

Not only did Lemieux put Pittsburgh on the hockey map throughout his time on the ice, he also saved the franchise as a part of proprietor of the crew helping to negotiate the deal that led to the building of Consol Energy Center.

United States of America: Kevin Stevens by @ExcitedBobErrey

Discussing the very best American player in the historical past of the Pittsburgh Penguins begins and ends with one identify: Kevin Stevens. He presently ranks 5th in franchise historical past in targets scored (260) and 7th in factors (555), while additionally being the franchise chief in PIMs (1,048). In addition to his place in workforce historical past, Stevens had some of the productive 2 year stretches ever by an American-born participant, scoring fifty four targets and 123 factors through the 1991-ninety two season and following that up with a 55 goal, 111 point marketing campaign the subsequent year. The aim totals remain the 1st and 2nd highest single season totals by an American player, while the point totals are 2nd and 3rd behind only Pat Lafontaine’s 149 points in 1992-ninety three.

Stevens also performed an enormous role in serving to the Penguins to back to back Stanley Cup championships, scoring sixty one factors over 45 video games within the 1991 and 1992 playoffs. A late begin to his profession and a bodily fashion of play limited his profession longevity, but Kevin Stevens still managed 726 factors over the course of 874 NHL video games, including 106 points in 103 career postseason video games. Whereas his numbers are some of the greatest in franchise history, it’s the greatness Stevens displayed while enjoying for the workforce in the early 1990s, along with being a major contributor on two Stanley Cup successful teams, that cements his place as one of the best American participant in Pittsburgh Penguins history.

Russia: Evgeni Malkin by @Nick422

Though not a deep or long history, the Penguins have had some extremely gifted and notable Russian players flit out and in of their line up over the previous 20 years when the inflow of Russian talent finally actually hit the NHL: Alexei Kovalev, your enigmatic methods and moonwalking captured the hearts of many a Penguins fan. Sergei Gonchar, you put the biggest exclamation point on a Corridor of Fame profession winning a Stanley Cup and being amazing. Alexander Pechurskiy… you had been a Penguin. All of you are notable, but none of you are Evgeni Malkin.

No matter the result of the 2004 Draft Lottery the Penguins see their Russian pick on this record. In some bizarro alternate universe the place all men have mustaches, people put on hats on their ft and hamburgers eat folks, Alex Ovechkin tops this checklist. Instead it’s Conn Smythe winner, two time MVP and scoring champion Malkin.

Though his entrance into the league took time, first extraditing himself from Russia two years after his draft and then John LeClaire’s accidentally taking out his shoulder, Malkin made a fast affect scoring a goal in his first six games. Displaying flashes of his boss Mario Lemieux, Malkin’s quantity will no doubt hang from the rafters of Consol when all is completed. At solely 26 Malkin’s numbers are impressive with 217 targets, 343 assists for 560 factors in only 458 NHL games. Perhaps a decade left in his career (at the least eight left in Pittsburgh) and he already ranks highly amongst the Penguins all time leaders in points: 7th all time in targets scored, 8th all time in assists, and 8th all time in factors.

Evgeni Malkin, one of the best Russian born participant in Pittsburgh Penguins history.

Sorry Aleksey Morozov, you left too soon.

Czech Republic: Jaromir Jagr by @MadChad412

The Pittsburgh Penguins have been lucky sufficient to make use of among the most interesting players from the Czech Republic in NHL historical past. Actually, the Pens have had 5 of the highest eight all-time NHL scoring Czech gamers in NHL play for his or her franchise. Players comparable to Petr Nedved, Martin Straka, Robert Lang, and Petr Sykora, and even Michal Rozsival, who also had a pretty good stint with the Pens.

On high of that, the Pens had the pleasure of employing the best participant from the trendy-day Czech Republic in NHL historical past, the tantalizing Jaromir Jagr. Jagr captivated the eyes and hearts of Pens’ fans for over a decade with memorizing play, serving to the Pens win two Stanley Cups. Over the course of Jagr’s tenure with the Pens, he received four scoring titles in a row, the Lester B. Pearson Award ,and won a Hart Memorial Trophy as the league’s most precious participant (1999).

Jagr’s superstardom in Pittsburgh was second solely to Mario Lemieux, who is the one one that scored more points than Jagr in a Pens’ sweater thus far. Jagr is at present the eighth all-time scorer in NHL historical past, and leads all Czech Republic gamers in points all-time.

Unfortunately, Jagr’s time with the Pens came to a nasty finish when he demanded to be traded in 2001. Since then Jagr has now been employed with six totally different teams, including the Pens’ arch-rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers. Before signing with the Flyers, Jagr stated publicly that he was “dying alive” to play for the Pens once more.

That induced a “Jagr Watch” on the web, having everybody believe the Jagr was coming again to the Pens, only to sign with the Flyers. Jagr’s history in Pittsburgh is filled with amazing recollections and accomplishments, matched only by a foul taste left by his actions off the ice. Nonetheless by far the greatest Czech player not solely the history of the Penguins, but your entire NHL.

Sweden: Markus Naslund by @ToonsBrian

While he would be the Pittsburgh Penguins’ biggest fish story, Markus Naslund continues to be, arms down, the best Swede to have donned a Pens sweater. Drafted in the first round by the Pens, as the 16th general decide in the 1991 NHL Entry Draft, Naslund joined the group for the 1993-94 campaign. Over the next three seasons, he used his easy skating and a wicked wrister to score sixty seven factors in 151 games (25 G, 42 A) before being sent to the Vancouver Canucks in one of the vital lopsided deals in league history, netting the black and gold only F Alek Stojanov.

Stojanov would only rating 2 objectives and four assists for the Pens whereas Naslund went on to change into an 8-yr Captain for the Canucks and later close out his 1117 recreation NHL profession with the Rangers. His leadership, skill set and production have contributed to his being thought-about one of many prime ten Swedish born gamers ever in the NHL, not to mention to play in the Steel City.

Slovakia: Marian Hossa by @Evil_Shero

The listing of great Slovakian players is lengthy and profound and the Penguins were fortunate enough to have three of the top 10 all-time Slovakian gamers to wear the black and gold. The duty was to seek out one of the best Slovakian player to ever don the Pittsburgh crest and I thought of a number of players earlier than making my determination.

Miroslav Devil who gained a Cup with the Penguins in 2009 is the fifth highest scoring Slovakian participant of all-time but his common season with the crew was unremarkable, to say the least. Not far behind was the enigmatic Ziggy Palffy, who scored at some extent-per-game tempo earlier than his sudden retirement in 2006. Each players are arguably a number of the finest Slovakia needed to supply but my choose had to be Marian Hossa.

Hossa’s time with the Penguins was quick and may very well be thought-about controversial but he is undoubtedly one of the most gifted players to move by the 412 space code.

Hossa’s arrival was the final transition for the Penguins from “younger upstart workforce” to “Cup contenders” as they battled to the Stanley Cup Ultimate with Hossa’s 26 points in 20 games leading the group with 12 objectives in the put up-season.

Hossa’s departure was not very best from Pittsburgh but he matured into one of the vital complete gamers in the NHL profitable two Cups with the Blackhawks. Hossa is now only behind the legendary Peter Stastny in all -time scoring from the Slovakian nation cementing his legacy not only for his country but for the complete NHL.

Finland: Jussi Jokinen by @KyleFourTwoOne

To be completely sincere, It didn’t take long to dissect the heaps of Finnish Hockey Legends that laced ‘em up for the Pittsburgh Penguins, principally because the heap by no means really existed. What I was in search of greater than anything while strolling by way of the forest filled with forgettable puck handlers and fewer than spectacular defensemen, was someone that brought one thing a bit more particular to the group.

After sifting through familiar names like Ville Siren, Jarkko Ruutu, and Peter Ahola, I discovered the Shootout Objective, and 10 feet behind it pumping his stick within the air was Jussi Jokinen. Although he has a restricted, albeit a powerful number of games performed with the Penguins (7 Targets and 4 Assists in 10 Regular Season video games played), we all know what makes Jussi particular to the groups he plays for.

Jokinen holds the document for all-time shootout objectives with 28, nine of which he scored on his first nine makes an attempt. His laser-guided shot accuracy coupled together with his faceoff prowess makes him the deadliest Finn to grace the ice within the Steel City, and the hero of many an everyday-season game that couldn’t quite be determined in regulation.

Korea: Jim Paek/Richard Park by @Nick422

The nice nation of Korea (South) has given us two completely different NHLers and each had been drafted and played for the Penguins. Each have a unique claim to fame. For this, Richard Park and Jim Paek are one of the best Korean born Penguins.

Jim Paek was the very first Korean born NHLer to take the ice. Drafted by the Pens 170th total within the 1985 NHL Entry Draft, Paek made his debut in 1990. He went on to play until 1994 for the Penguins earlier than being traded. Most importantly he was a part of two Cup champions, making him the primary (and solely) Korean born participant to have his name etched on to Lord Stanley.

Richard Park may not have his identify on the Stanley Cup however he had an extended and more illustrious NHL career. The 50th general pick in the 1994 Draft, Park played for six different NHL teams together with two stops with the Penguins.

Neither have been All Stars or hockey gods however both had been notable for his or her nation and for their contributions. Jim Paek and Richard Park, the perfect Korean born Pittsburgh Penguins.

Brunei: Craig Adams by @ChicksDigHockey

The Pittsburgh Penguins are proud to make use of Craig Adams, the greatest Bruneian-born hockey player in the NHL. Scratch that…..on the planet (learn in Austin Energy’s voice). The present Penguin middle was born in Seria, Brunei on the Island of Borneo in Southeast Asia whereas his father was on business with Shell Oil. Paradoxically, there aren’t any other NHL players born in Brunei. He was raised in Calgary, Alberta.

Adams also boasts the distinction of being the last participant ever drafted by the Hartford Whalers. He went in the ninth round, 223rd overall, in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft after his freshman season at Harvard College. He has hoisted the Stanley cup twice; as soon as with the Hurricanes in 2006 and once more with the Penguins in 2009.

At 6’ 200 lb., Adams has proven himself versatile on the 4th line able to contribute at middle in addition to proper wing. He isn’t often known as a prolific aim scorer however Adams has confirmed himself as an aggressive penalty killer and fearless scrapper.

On July 5, 2013, Adams was re-signed once more to a two-yr contract and can probably retire a Penguin.


Ottawa Senators, National Hockey League of Nations

Getty Images (Ed. Note: Welcome to the Puck Daddy 2013 summer time project, the Nationwide Hockey League of Nations. We’ve recruited 30 writers/blogs to determine the perfect player of their favorite team’s historical past for each major nationality that creates the fabric of our beloved NHL: Canada, USA, Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sweden, Finland and The Rest of The World. It’s their criteria, as long as they will justify it. Read, debate and luxuriate in! If you wish to do so on Twitter, it is #NHLoN.)

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By Bonk’s Mullet and Ryan Traditional from Silver Sevens

It can be fruitless to argue that the Ottawa Senators have as rich a historical past as their division rivals. If you take out your official copy of The NHL Board of Governors Atlas and check out the opposite seven teams scattered along the Atlantic coast, you’ll quickly spot four Authentic Six opponents in the proximity of Ottawa.

Despite the shortcoming to draw in massive title free brokers, Ottawa’s all-time international team is as spectacular as any. Thanks to prolific drafting and the event of young gamers within the group, the Senators have managed to place collectively a strong worldwide forged of characters.

More impressive within the group’s quick historical past is the abundance of gamers who have ended their tenure in Ottawa on lower than amicable terms with the crew. The truth is, this list of players could go pound for pound with Ottawa’s all-time workforce.

Grab a tissue as we walk down reminiscence lane to revisit Ottawa’s International All-Scorn Staff.

Canada : Dany Heatley (Honourable point out: Alexandre Daigle, Wade Redden)

Dany proved that even “good Canadian children” can leave for greener pastures and that Hell hath no fury like a beauty requested to do one thing aside from camp out in the excessive slot.

The Good:

• After being acquired for Marian Hossa in 2005, Heatley put up two straight 50 goal, 100 level seasons; solely the second player in NHL historical past to take action in his first two campaigns with a brand new membership. Some guy named Wayne beat him to it.

• Buying and selling him landed Milan Michalek, who has supplied the Sens with a constant presence in the coach’s room.

• Holds Ottawa’s single-season franchise information for objectives (50) and factors (one hundred and five)

The Dangerous:

• Additionally holds the franchise record in tone deafness.

• Infamously demanded a commerce from Ottawa in the summertime of 2009, citing his diminished position with the staff.

• Handcuffed Ottawa with his no-commerce clause, together with blocking a trade to Edmonton

The Ugly:

• Resulted in Ottawa flea markets, thrift stores, and homeless shelters being clogged with remaindered Jonathan Cheechoo Sens jerseys, most of which at the moment are being used as automobile shammies.

Finland Jarmo Kekalainen
In case you thought for a moment that no Finn has ever wronged another human being, we stretched so far as we may to find one that has performed something mildly unfavourable to the Senators.

The Good:

• Played 28 video games with the Senators, tallying a aim and 5 assists.

• Turned director of player personnel from 1999 to 2002

• Helped draft players like Martin Havlat, Chris Kelly, Anton Volchenkov, Antoine Vermette, Jason Spezza, Ray Emery, and Brooks Laich.

The Unhealthy:

• Didn’t cease the Senators from drafting Mathieu Chouinard for a second time.

• Blasphemously wore number eleven for the Senators.

• Abandoned the Senators to change into assistant GM in St. Louis.

The Ugly:

• The primary draft after Kekalainen left, the Senators’ first two picks had been Jakub Klepis and Alexei Kaigarodov, neither of which have ever been seen again.

USA: Joe Corvo

Joe’s self-prescribed unhealthy boy image didn’t sit well with the native Ottawa media in his first stint with the crew, however it must be effective now that hockey media coverage has died down.

The Good:

• Averaged50 factors per sport with Ottawa in one and a half seasons; a formidable pace for a defenceman.

• Averaged50 new tattoos per recreation over that same stretch; a formidable pace for a whole biker gang.

• Founding member of Loopy City:


• Helped Ottawa attain the Stanley Cup Finals in 2007.

The Bad:

• Helped Ottawa lose the Stanley Cup Finals in 2007.

• “Turnover” now refers to both his play on the ice and his current employment historical past.

• Requested a commerce out of Ottawa, criticizing town for having a “small-city angle” where he was topic to “ridiculous scrutiny.”

The Ugly:

• He is back, apparently as a result of Sons of Anarchy would not want any extra extras.

Sweden: Daniel Alfredsson

[Psalm 11:11] My Alfie, my Alfie, why hast thou forsaken me?

The Good:

• All-time leader in every main offensive and video games performed statistical class for the Senators.

• Principal supplier of happiness to the Ottawa area since 1995.

• Calder trophy winner, Olympic gold medal winner, and certain Hall of Fame inductee.

• Pretended to throw a stick into the gang in Toronto, mocking fellow Swede Mats Sundin. Legend has it it is still planted firmly up the collective ass of Leafs Nation.

• Named considered one of his sons “Fenix.”

The Bad:

• Needed to rename his son “Arizona” in an try to attraction to a wider audience.• Well-known for his playoff predictions, through which he has been right solely once.

• By no means managed to win the cup in Ottawa, or even beat the Toronto Maple Leafs within the playoffs for that matter, regardless of heroic and clear performances like this one:

• Infamously shot a puck in frustration at Scott Niedermayer within the 2007 Stanley Cup finals, though he later apologized, saying “I was aiming for Pronger on the bench.”

The Ugly:

• In a move that shocked your complete NHL, on July 5th, 2013, Daniel Alfredsson introduced he was signing with the Detroit Pink Wings.

• Alfie’s sudden change of coronary heart was attributed to 1 dangerous negotiation.

• Each joke about Alfredsson choosing Detroit has already been made. This can be a time for mourning.

Russia: Alexei Yashin

Like most Bond villains, Ottawa’s first villain hailed from the Motherland, sporting his country’s most interesting turtlenecks.

The Good:

• Ottawa’s first-ever draft pick and franchise participant.

• Was a part of one of the lopsided trades in NHL historical past when he was dealt to the New York Islanders in 2001 for 2nd total pick Jason Spezza, future Norris winner Zdeno Chara, and Bill Muckalt, legendary in Ottawa for his 70 game, 0 purpose season. Muckalt impressed the creation of the Invoice Muckalt Trophy, awarded to each Ottawa Senators player who plays at least 25 video games in a season with out scoring a goal.

• Yashin’s stripped captaincy was given to Daniel Alfredsson, who would definitely never desert the staff on short notice.

• Donated $1,000,000 to the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

The Bad:

• His donation required the NAC to pay Yashin’s dad and mom $425,000 in “consulting charges”, forcing the NAC to reject the donation

• Demanded a new contract and lift before his present deal had expired.

• Demanded a new contract and lift earlier than his current deal had expired (again).

• Demanded a new contract and raise earlier than his present deal had expired (yet again).

• Was suspended for the complete ninety nine-00 season over his closing contract dispute with the membership before finally demanding a commerce a yr later. He was thought-about untradeable, which is why he was highly sought-after by Mike Milbury.

The Ugly:

• His wardrobe decisions:

The Traditional Yashin The Russian Bill Cosby

How do you spell “Prime Gun” in the Cyrillic alphabet?

His worst style faux pas.

Slovakia: Zdeno Chara

While no one in Ottawa bears any sick will towards Zdeno Chara, letting him go was the largest mistake in franchise historical past. The joke is that he’s huge.

The Good:

• Top-of-the-line defencemen in Ottawa Senators history, incomes the team’s first-ever Norris trophy nomination.

• Sens followers had been fortunate sufficient to study who the shortest player on the opposing crew each night time when the TV crew inevitably gave a size comparability.

• Representing Ottawa within the 2003 All-Star game, Chara placed 2nd behind Al MacInnis for the all-time hardest shot document, marking the first time Ottawa got here near any positive league information.

The Bad:

• “6 foot 9” is now repeated time and again within the nightmares of every Ottawa native.

• Adoring Sens followers gave him the nickname “the Large Zed,” which didn’t translate in US markets.

• Strapped for cash, Ottawa needed to choose between two-time NHL all-star defenceman Zdeno Chara and two-time NHL all-star defenceman Wade Redden.

The Ugly:

Chara went on to win a Norris trophy and the Stanley Cup because the captain of the Boston Bruins, while Wade Redden went on to purchase each participant on the Connecticut Whale an iPod.

Czech Republic: :Dominik Hasek

“The Dominator supplied the Ottawa Senators a lesson in why it will not be beneficial to have your gamers attend the Olympic Games,” mentioned Jason Spezza, wistfully.

The Good:

• Arguably the perfect goaltender of all-time.

• Marks the one time an Ottawa GM (John Muckler) lured a noteworthy free agent to Ottawa. And yes, we see you Alex Kovalev. Hold transferring.

• Was having a wonderful season for the Senators (28-10-four, 2.09 GAA,925 SV%) main into the 2006 Olympic break before succumbing to an adductor muscle harm enjoying for his native Czech Republic.

• Taught the town of Ottawa what an adductor muscle is.

The Bad:

• Presumably made up the adductor muscle.

• Accused of quitting on the team by making little to no effort to rehab.

• May have also mentioned Ottawa was a “small-minded city”, but nobody may understand what he stated.

The Ugly:

• Fled to Detroit as a free agent and went on to win the Stanley Cup, setting the example for future Ottawa Senator veterans.


Martin Gerber, Switzerland

If you thought the Swiss remained ceaselessly neutral, you have been flawed.


• Served as a superb luck allure, as he made Stanley Cup appearances in 3 out of four seasons as a backup goalie in 2003 (Anaheim), 2006 (Carolina), and 2007 (Ottawa).

• Marked one of many first questionable moves of the Brian Burke period when the Leafs claimed Gerber off waivers in 2009. Gerber played properly sufficient to maneuver them out of a lottery pick, a feat your entire Toronto Maple Leafs group couldn’t accomplish

• Had an awesome plain black masks which earned him the nickname “Darth Gerber”, which he adopted up with sporting a legendary Darth Vader mask.


• Solely had the plain black masks because he refused to commit even short-term to the Ottawa Senators.

• Wore the Darth Vader mask solely a handful of instances earlier than deciding it was dangerous luck.

• Was an enormous baby (get it?) and requested a trade out of Ottawa after losing the starter’s job to Ray Emery.

The Ugly:

• To make matters worse, submit-trade request, Emery underwent wrist surgery, forcing Gerber into the total-time starter’s role.

• To make matters worse, Gerber ultimately misplaced the starter’s function to Alex Auld, a career backup.

• To make issues worse, this was a comparatively stable time in Ottawa Senators goaltending historical past.

And so you might have it. The impressive all-star worldwide roster of gamers who have burned the Ottawa Senators in some unspecified time in the future or one other.

In case you have been considering Silver Seven’s actual greatest listing of gamers, as voted by the weblog workers, here they’re:

Canada: Jason Spezza (Honourable point out: Wade Redden)

• Second all-time in Ottawa Senators scoring. Profession level per sport player.

Star of one of the best GIF in hockey

USA: Craig Anderson (Honourable point out: Shawn McEachern)

• Although Shawn McEachern is ninth all-time in group scoring, Andy edged him out by finally bringing stability in the crease to Ottawa.

Russia: Alexei Yashin

• Spiteful choice.

Sweden: Daniel Alfredsson Erik Karlsson

• Alfredsson is the all-time biggest Senator, but Erik Karlsson had the all-time greatest season as a Senator and appears to be on monitor to be the most effective participant in franchise history.

This vote may have been totally different a month ago.

Finland: Sami Salo (Dishonourable point out: Jarkko Ruutu)

• Sami’s clapper was as hard because it was for him to stay off the IR.

Czech Republic: Martin Havlat (Honourable point out: Radek Bonk)

• Havlat was a dynamic offensive participant for Ottawa, and another sufferer of the crew’s tight price range. He sits eleventh all-time in crew scoring, despite having solely played 298 video games with the membership.

“I disagree with our selection” – Bonk’s Mullet

Slovakia: Marian Hossa (Honourable mention: Zdeno Chara)

• This vote was shut. Though we agreed Zdeno Chara is the better participant, Marian Hossa had an extended and generally more impactful stint with the membership, sitting 6th all-time in group scoring.

Rest of the World (Poland): Peter Sidorkiewicz (Honourable mention: Christoph Schubert)

• That’s NHL All-Star Peter Sidorkiewicz to you. Sidorkiewicz wanted only 60 video games with the Ottawa Senators to safe his spot in the record books. His impressive three wins by the 1992-1993 All-Star break earned him a spot within the All-Star game as a consultant Ottawa’s expansion squad.


Puck Daddy’s 2013 NHL Free Agent Frenzy Report Card

AP The NHL’s 2013 Free Agent Frenzy began at noon on Friday, July 5. Teams spent well over $400 million on contracts that they’ll either celebrate or regret for years to come.

Here are our hasty, myopic grade assessments for free-agent feast, which began roughly five days ago.

Who won? Who lost? Enjoy the hair-trigger reactions!

Anaheim Ducks

The Bobby Ryan trade was going to happen at some point – signing Perry and Getzlaf guaranteed that.

Maybe your expectations for an eventual Ryan trade where more than what the Ottawa Senators sent back to Anaheim; if so, they likely didn’t take the Ducks’ salary structure or the marketplace into account. Fact is that Jakob Silfverberg could be the fantasy darling of 2013-14 if he’s moved onto the Perry/Getzlaf line; Stefan Noesen is a former first-rounder and a tenacious player; and the Ducks get a first-rounder in 2014 as well.

Meanwhile, Ryan has two years left on his deal before a UFA bonanza. And if you think he’s going to re-sign there, allow me to point out he has an American girlfriend who has been living in California and thought Ottawa was a suburb of Detroit.

The Ducks also re-signed Saku Koivu (1 year, $2.5 million) after other alternatives at center didn’t pan out, as well as Ben Lovejoy for three years and $3.3 million on defense.

GRADE: B-plus

Boston Bruins

After a few years of consistency of roster, the Bruins saw dramatic changes around the Frenzy.

The biggest move was the seven-player deal with the Dallas Stars that saw the Bruins trade forward/former second overall pick/hater of moderation Tyler Seguin, center Rich Peverley and defensive prospect Ryan Button for left wing Loui Eriksson, young forwards Reilly Smith and Matt Fraser and defense prospect Joe Morrow.

In the short term, the Bruins win the deal. They cleared $4.75 million in cap space and acquired the best player in the trade in Eriksson, who averages around 30 goals a season. He’s a perfect fit for the Bruins’ system.

In the long term, Morrow projects to be a top four defenseman in the NHL. But the long-term success or failure of the deal rests with Seguin, who either becomes yet another cautionary tale of talent wasted on a misguided young player or the next Patrick Kane reclamation project. In the meantime, where guaranteed at least a few more months of photos depicting him sloshed at BBQs, so we all win.

The Bruins let Jaromir Jagr walk – slowly, and never at the pace of his linemates – and saw Nathan Horton leave for the “quieter” environs of Columbus, and decided to replace him with the most surreal choice possible: Jarome Iginla, who infamously chose the Penguins at the trade deadline last season over a deal to the Bruins.

He has a one year deal, an incentive-laden $6 million contract. He moves back to his natural position on the right with the Bruins, but one wonders how he’ll fit in Boston – and how much he has left as a top line player. But the sheer joy that is Bostonian sports fan brains exploding at the notion of Iginla signing with “The Second Choice” is priceless.

The loss of Andrew Ference on defense was expected but could hurt in the room and on the ice, despite the Bruins having some quality young defensive depth. Goalie Anton Khudobin left for Carolina, while the Bruins signed goalie Chad Johnson (Phoenix) and defenseman Aaron Johnson (Rangers).

They might regret it down the line, but in the short term the Bruins get …

GRADE: A-minus

Buffalo Sabres

The Sabres believe Henrik Tallinder is going to help Tyler Myers figure out what the hell happened to Tyler Myers. He was his mentor before leaving for the Devils, who wanted to shed his salary. Their loss is Buffalo’s gain. Otherwise, it was quiet for the Sabres, which is a nice change of pace for Pegulaville (Population: All On 10-Year Free-Agent Contracts) Still, their inability to trade Ryan Miller as the rest of the goalie market started to settle is a little frustrating.


Calgary Flames

The Flames made two small moves that have some upside. TJ Galiardi was plucked from the San Jose Sharks, and has a 1 year deal worthier $1.25 million. Defenseman Kris Russell was jettisoned from the Blues after he turned down a 1-year deal. He was a spare part there; maybe he gets his ice time in Calgary. Brian “Big Ern” McGrattan re-signed for 2 years and $1.5 million, and he’s always good for punches.


Carolina Hurricanes

That Mike Komisarek is an upgrade to the Carolina defense should speak volumes, but he is: At the very least, he’s doesn’t seem like a redundancy, which has been that group’s problem for the last few years. Maybe without that contract and the Toronto media asking when he’ll be bought out, he thrives. The Anton Khodobin/Dan Ellis swap saved the Canes $100,000 and gained them someone who can push Cam Ward. GM Jim Rutherford has other irons in the fire, but for now …


Chicago Blackhawks

All of the exoduses were expected for the champs, as Viktor Stalberg (Nashville), Ray Emery (Philly) and Rostislav Olesz (Jersey) all departed. That opened up salary space to re-sign Bryan Bickell and Michal Handzus, so that’s a fair tradeoff. Nikolai Khabibulin as a $2 million backup goalie isn’t as risky as it sounds, especially if Corey Crawford’s ready to carry more of the freight next season in starts. They could have probably found a cheaper alternative, but we imagine Stan Bowman’s still buzzed from the parade.


Colorado Avalanche

Nick Holden! Andre Benoit! J.T. Wyman! Guillaume Desbiens! Nate Guenin! If any of these names mean something to you, you’re probably an Avalanche fan. Our only surprise: That with Patrick Roy’s Ego now in player personnel, only two of these players are French-sounding. Bottom line: The Avs weren’t looking to be players in free agency, and weren’t.

GRADE: C-minus

Columbus Blue Jackets

How anyone can view the Nathan Horton contract as anything but a win for this team is baffling. Yes, he’s going to undergo shoulder surgery. Yes, he has a concussion history – funny how that’s an issue for a free agent signing but never for, say, Patrice Bergeron re-signing.

Horton is a power forward the Jackets need. The $5.3 million cap hit is actually lower than you’d expect a desperate team to hand out. The seven years are about two too long, but who cares? The Blue Jackets won a free agent derby because a guy wanted to play in Columbus and they didn’t pay significantly over market value. Two summers ago, they had to trade for Jeff Carter because no one wanted to play there; now, Horton picked them.


Dallas Stars

Well, Jim Nill certainly didn’t waste any time, did he?

The Tyler Seguin/Loui Eriksson seven-player swap puts his mark on this team in dramatic fashion. Seguin’s maturation as a star player will determine its success, because the Stars sent significant assets back to Boston. Rich Peverley adds much needed depth to the middle. So does Shawn Horcoff, acquired for Phillip Larson and a 2014 seventh-rounder. He has a relationship with Lindy Ruff and Nill, and desperately needed a change in scenery – his points per game were down to 0.39 in Edmonton, as he fell down the depth chart.

So three additions down the middle, which will allow Jamie Benn to move back to the wing, which is a good thing. Lindy Ruff said he expects Seguin to play with Benn from the start, which is either a way to further fuel his sense of entitlement or to give him a ball he shan’t drop.

Dan Ellis is a nice backup to Kari Lehtonen without being threatening.

It’s tough to judge this one, because if Seguin stops pretending he’s auditioning for an E! reality show (tentative title: “Ty One On”) and fulfills his potential, this could be a banner day for the Stars franchise. As of now, a lot of needs filled by Nill.

GRADE: A-minus

Detroit Red Wings

The Wings missed on Ryan Suter last summer, then entered into a “transition year” that saw them transition right into the conference semifinal. So GM Ken Holland went into the off-season ready to spend – little did he know what opportunity would arise.

Daniel Alfredsson at $5.5 million for one season is a classic “hired gun wants to win Cup” scenario, but this gun has more than a few bullets left. He’s a perfect addition to the top six for this team. So is Stephen Weiss (5 years, $4.9 million) who costs less and might even be a shade better than Valtteri Filppula. Much like Nathan Horton when he left Florida, Weiss has been waiting years for this chance.

The Wings are losing Damien Brunner (bummer) and potentially Dan Cleary.

They still need to address the blue line, but adding two top-six forwards makes Detroit a lot closer to that Cup Alfie’s chasing. Hey, remember when Marian Hossa went to Detroit to chase one? Good times …


Edmonton Oilers

Is it OK to really, really love what the Oilers did here?

Andrew Ference is exactly what the team needed on the back end: Veteran presence, some physicality and leadership from a guy with a ring. Some have complained that Ference hasn’t played against top competition thanks to Zdeno Chara with the Bruins, but Tyler Dellow goes the distance in explaining why that’s a bit of a misnomer. At a $3.25 million cap hit, it’s a great deal, even if four years is perhaps one too many for a player his age.

The Boyd Gordon signing is even better. He’s terrific on draws, kills penalties and isn’t an offensive black hole despite his role. Edmonton might have overpaid a bit at $9 million over 3 years, but you try convincing a guy to leave the golf courses of Glendale for Edmonton in December and see how much it takes. Jason Labarbera, also from the Coyotes, is a serviceable backup at $1 million.

They also found a taker for Shawn Horcoff’s $5.5 million cap hit through 2015.


Florida Panthers

Stephen Weiss wasn’t coming back; not with Detroit and St. Louis in the mix. The Panthers added Washington Capitals fourth liner Joey Crabb for 2 years at $1.2 million and Toronto spare part defenseman Mike Mottau at 1 year and $700,000. Remember when Dale Tallon signed, like, all the free agents? We miss those days. For now, they deserve an incomplete, because other moves have to be made. But for now …


Los Angeles Kings

The Kings lost The Piece, Rob Scuderi, to the Penguins and checking winger Brad Richardson to the Vancouver Canucks. They re-signed Keaton Ellerby for one year and inked Jeff Schultz, who was bought out by the Capitals, for one year. Schultz is, as they say, not good. But hey, they’re still in the “pulling Matt Frattin for Bernier” afterglow, so …


Minnesota Wild

The Wild spent the gross national product of Belize on two free agents last summer, so this was quiet by comparison – but more controversial. Matt Cooke is still considered the scum of the Earth by Western Conference fans who get their news from Mike Milbury and/or morons who think he intentionally Ginzu’d the leg of Erik Karlsson. At 3 years and $7.5 million, he’s a guy who plays on the edge (like the departed Cal Clutterbuck) but is a more-than-serviceable depth player (unlike Cal Clutterbuck).

Keith Ballard gets 2 years with a $1.5 million cap hit and is another player that should thrive without the crushing weight of his cap hit smothering him. Matt Cullen (Nashville) was allowed to leave so Mikael Granlund could slide up the depth chart. Pierre-Marc Bouchard also left, for the Islanders.

GRADE: B-minus

Montreal Canadiens

The Danny Briere signing was expected but nonetheless impressive for the Habs, who get a versatile forward who’s money in the playoffs and can be an insufferable [expletive] to play against, which seems to be the only requirement for Marc Bergevin to give you money and a Montreal sweater.

Gone were Michael Ryder (NJ) and Yannick Weber (Vancouver). But George Parros has arrived to punch people with a funny mustache. Like, he has the funny mustache, we mean. We assume he’d also punch people with one too.

GRADE: B-plus

Nashville Predators

The Predators needed goals. That’s it. That was the mission for GM David Poile this summer. Find goals.

Viktor Stalberg had 22 of them for the Chicago Blackhawks in 2011-12, so that’s promising. Matt Cullen had 14 of them that season, which isn’t bad. Eric Nystrom had 16 that season too, which is even better.

The problem is that none of these players can be counted on consistently for offense, and that they eat up $8 million in cap space. These are fine players. These are nice players. But these are not players that you enter next season with wiping your hands and saying “offensive problems solved!” Which, again, was the mission.

The Cullen signing was, I think, the best of the lot. But again: Briere went for $500,000 more. It speaks to Nashville’s inability to attract top line offensive talent, which speaks to either the market or the team’s philosophy.

Also: Matt Hendricks was one of my favorite players to watch and cover with the Washington Capitals, but a 4-year contract (even with a small $1.85 million hit) is truly bizarre for a player the Predators seem to already have five of.

GRADE: C-minus

New Jersey Devils

When Lou is good, he’s very good: Michael Ryder for 2 years and $7 million is very good. Patrik Elias back for three years and a $5.5 million cap hit shows that Lou’s Kool-Aid remains strong. Rusty Olesz for 1 year and $1 million … sure, whatever. Shedding Henrik Tallinder’s salary was a plus as well.

When Lou is bad, it’s usually in reaction to someone leaving the Devils: When Niedermayer left, it was Malakhov and McGillis. When Clarkson left on Friday, it was 5 years and $24.25 million for Ryane Clowe, a player I believe is sliding on the downside of his career like a snowboarder trying to avoid an avalanche.

GRADE: B-minus

Getty Images

New York Islanders

The most significant move for the Islanders was re-signing Travis Hamonic for 7 years at $27 million. In typical fashion, it was a move trashed by uppity Canadian media types that watched the Islanders for the first time in seven years during the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, which ignores the fact that Garth Snow locked up a 23-year-old minutes-eating two-way defenseman at $3.857 million through 2020.

Assuming Evgeni Nabokov gives them exactly what he did in 2012-13, it’s not a bad move to bring him back for another year, even at $3.25 million. But you’d like to see the Islanders add another goalie to that mix.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard has been called “tentative” and “soft” by Minnesota Wild observers that have seen his game diminish in the last few injury-riddled seasons. One year, $2 million, and the chance to resurrect his career with Tavares and Moulson? That’s a better investment than relocating to Brooklyn.


New York Rangers

The Rangers decided not to buy out Brad Richards for some misguided reason, let Ryane Clowe become the Devils problem, re-signed Ryan McDonagh to a great deal, traded for Justin Falk and Danny Syvret and signed both Benoit Pouliot (1 year, $1.3 million) and Aaron Johnson (1 year, $600K). GM Glen Sather has to take care of his own – Derek Stepan needs a contract, too – before bringing in more bodies. As it stands:

GRADE: B-minus

Ottawa Senators

The Daniel Alfredsson controversy overshadows everything else the Senators did, which is a shame, because they’re a better team now than they were on July 3.

Bobby Ryan is an elite goal scorer with size – essential in the East – and one assumes he’ll keep Jason Spezza in girlish giggles for the next two years if the two find chemistry. You have to give to get, and the Sens paid up for Ryan, but he’s a star.

The Clarke MacArthur signing is great because (a) he’s an essential replacement for Silfverberg on that second line and (b) because the next two years of Leafs fans bitching about an overpaid Clarkson while Sens fans celebrate an underpaid MacArthur ($3.25 million cap hit) are going to be glorious.

Joe Corvo is back again as a spare part defenseman, while Peter Regin’s disappointment output is now with the New York Islanders.

Tough losing Alfie, but it might be his loss.

GRADE: A-minus

Philadelphia Flyers

Remember when the Flyers signed Vincent Lecavalier at $4.5 million annually for five years and everyone went apoplectic? Welp, he’s going to earn less than Iginla, Ribeiro, Alfredsson, Horton, Clarkson, Filppula, Weiss and Clowe next season against the cap.

Yeah, horrible signing, Philly, coming in under market value like that.

Oh, and what’s this: Ray Emery is back for just $1.65 million after going 17-1-0 last season with Chicago?

Adam Hall was also signed for $600,000 and one season. Which is obviously why they bought out Bryzgalov and Briere.

For some reason, these signings are being demonized as terrible. Maybe you don’t feel they needed Lecavalier; you weren’t saying the same thing when the lack of a veteran winger, in the wake of Jagr’s departure, helped sink the team during the season.

The Flyers didn’t solve all of their issues, but these were shrewd financial moves from a team we weren’t sure knew had to make them. So, with the bar set there:

GRADE: B-plus

Phoenix Coyotes

Mike Ribeiro wanted five years, got four years and signed with the Coyotes for $5.5 million against the cap annually. If you expect last year’s numbers, you’re an idiot: No Alex Ovechkin, no Adam Oates’ orchestrated power play, no contract year. Better to expect him in the neighborhood of 60-70 points, most likely playing with Shane Doan. Dave Tippett’s had Ribeiro before, and this is good reunion for the center – even if that’s a mighty high price for what amounts to a second line center.

The Coyotes will miss Boyd Gordon’s defense. Thomas Greiss backs up Mike Smith for $250,000 less than what Jason Labarbera wanted.

The major failing, thus far: The Coyotes still haven’t addressed a lack of veteran scoring on the wing.

GRADE: B-minus

Pittsburgh Penguins

Rob Scuderi is a nice, safe move by the Penguins, at four years and a $3.375 million cap hit. He still has plenty left, and folds right back into the Pittsburgh system with ease.

The Penguins let Iginla and Matt Cooke walk, traded Tyler Kennedy, and made the smart decision to bring back Craig Adams at two years and $1.4 million. Oh, and Pascal Dupuis got paid: Four years and $15 million.


San Jose Sharks

The Sharks were really, really quiet during the Frenzy, dealing away T.J. Galiardi to Calgary and watching Thomas Greiss leave for the Coyotes. They re-signed Scott Hannan for one year and a million dollars, so that’s something. They flirted with Alfredsson, so that’s another thing. Also, they didn’t do anything stupid, which is the important thing.

GRADE: C-minus

St. Louis Blues

Look, Maxim Lapierre is a nice signing for a team that’s at its best when it’s at its most annoying. Re-signing Jordan Leopold is a positive move (2 years, $2.25 million). But the Blues chased Stephen Weiss, Valterri Filppula and Lecavalier and couldn’t convince them to sign in St. Louis. Instead, they spent $4 million on Derek Roy for one season, his third team in two years. GM Doug Armstrong rationalized it: “We’re still bringing back the same centermen that got us home-ice advantage the last two years in the playoffs.” Yeah, that must be why you were desperately seeking an upgrade. For now, a..

GRADE: D-plus

Getty Images Tampa Bay Lightning

The Lightning buy out Vincent Lecavalier, and everyone celebrates the end of a regrettable contract. Which leads to GM Steve Yzerman … entering into another regrettable contract.

Filppula as a $5-million player annually over five years makes Jiri Hudler seem underpaid. This is another Matt Carle signing, made worse because Yzerman was part of the Red Wings and should know better.

Cardinal rule: If the master signs a better player at $4.9 million annually over five years, best not give his castoff more money if you’re the student.


Toronto Maple Leafs

By now, the Tyler Bozak (5 years, $21 million) and David Clarkson (7 years, $36.75 million) contracts have been picked apart to the cent. Bozak is the overpaid faux first liner who’s actually a drag on his buddy Phil Kessel’s stats. Clarkson’s contract promises value in the first couple of seasons, before what Mirtle believes will be a sharp decline.

The Bozak signing is nepotism; you can almost feel the tap on the shoulder to Kessel saying, “Hey, champ, see what we did for your boys? How about that contract extension?” The Clarkson signing would be a good one at the right price; but at seven years and a cap hit of $5.25 million, he will be afflicted with Chris Drury Disease – player with great intangibles seen as a hapless bust because his numbers don’t sync up with his contract – by Year 3 at the latest.

They won’t miss Komisarek. They will miss MacArthur and, especially, Mikhail Grabovski, inexplicably allowed to walk in order to pay Bozak.


Vancouver Canucks

The Canucks had addition by subtractions, as Derek Roy and Keith Ballard left for St. Louis and Minnesota. Vancouver will miss Max Lapierre’s particular brand of whimsy, but Brad Richardson’s a nice addition to the bottom six. Yannick Weber’s a depth defenseman on the cheap. Now, about that Luongo issue …

GRADE: C-plus

Washington Capitals

Gone are Mike Ribeiro, Matt Hendricks, Jeff Schultz and Joey Crabb. Coming in is … nobody. The Capitals were quiet during the Frenzy, keeping with Adam Oates plan to maintain consistency on the roster from year to year. Which is all well and good but who the [expletive] is playing second-line center next season?

GRADE: C-minus

Winnipeg Jets

The Jets traded for Devin Setoguchi and watched Alex Burmistrov leave for the KHL, so at least their offensive enigma quota remains sufficiently filled.

GRADE: C-minus


Conn Smythe Watch: MVP race tightens as Blackhawks, Bruins are tied up

Getty Images The morning after every Stanley Cup Final game, Puck Daddy takes an expanded look at the race for playoff MVP. Here’s the one from after Game 3.

1. Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins

Rask’s numbers (1.83 GAA,941 save percentage) are still the best in the playoffs despite giving up six goals in Game 4. The Bruins didn’t give him the defensive support he’s used to; is Rask the backbone of the team or a product of the system?

2. David Krejci, Boston Bruins

Krejci’s 24 points in 20 games leads the NHL postseason, but he’s gone five games without a goal. (He has three helpers in that span.)

3. Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks

The second-best goalie in the NHL playoffs statistically, Crawford’s arguably been the Blackhawks’ best player in the Final … but how many more glove-side goals are going to fly by him?

4. Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins

Bergeron now has nine goals in the playoffs to go along with his defensive prowess and face-off dominance. His candidacy is gaining steam as he continues to hit the score sheet.

5. Patrick Sharp, Chicago Blackhawks

Sharp has 10 goals to lead the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and has been the Hawks’ best forward in the Final.

6. Zdeno Chara, Boston Bruins

The Bruins’ man/mountain had a rough Game 4, skating to a minus-3 and on the ice for five Chicago goals. But he remains the symbol of the Bruins’ defense and has 14 points in 20 games.

7. Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks

Kane’s 17 points lead the Blackhawks. If his reunion with Jonathan Toews produces significant offense, he could make a Conn push.

8. Nathan Horton, Boston Bruins

The shoulder injury dogging Horton has put a damper on his goal-scoring, as he hasn’t tallied one since June 3. But he still has 19 points in 20 games and is a plus-23.

9. Marian Hossa, Chicago Blackhawks

Hossa returned from injury with an assist in Game 4, giving him 16 points in 20 games. If he’s a factor in two more Chicago wins, he could challenge for MVP.

10. Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks

Welcome back to the goal-scoring column, Mr. Toews. The captain scored a goal for the first time since Game 5 against Detroit in the semifinals. His defensive play alone should have him in the MVP conversation; what if his offense catches fire in the next few games?


Stanley Cup Final Three Stars: Rask best backstop, Blackhawks blanked

Getty Images BOSTON – Marian Hossa’s absence from the Chicago Blackhawks’ lineup for Game 3 wasn’t being used as a defense for their 2-0 loss to the Boston Bruins on Monday night.

“He’s a key player. But no excuses this time of year,” said captain Jonathan Toews.

But the fact is that Hossa is tied for the team lead in points, and the Chicago offense was punchless – especially on the power play, where Hossa ranks fourth in average ice time.

His loss was significant; the timing of that loss made things downright chaotic.

The Blackhawks were aware that Hossa may not play earlier on Monday, although the star winger participated in practice. He took warmups before Game 3, but was a late scratch.

But despite knowing Hossa was questionable for Game 3, it wasn’t Smith in warmups before the game. Jamal Mayers, a scratch in every playoff game for the Blackhawks, took the warmup.

Why? Speculation is that Quenneville might have been mulling another lineup change. But when Hossa went down, he called a huge audible and opted for Smith, a sparkplug player who can bring some offense.

Smith was told he’d be playing about 20 minutes before the puck dropped.

“I didn’t really know what was going on. I was ready to ride the bike and work out, as we do in the first,” he said.

“It was a scramble to get ready and get warm.”

Smith played 10:23 and was a minus-1. The Blackhawks went 0-for-5 on the power play, and are now 0-for-11 with the man advantage.

So what happened to Hossa? Initial reports that he was injured taking a shot, or being hit with one, in warmups were erroneous. Coach Joel Quenneville said it’s an “upper-body injury” for Hossa.

“We’ll say day-to-day. We’re hopeful he’ll be ready for the next game. It was a game-time decision after the warm-up there. That’s when we made the call, after warm-up,” he said.

Even if there was a chance it could happen, the Blackhawks were left scrambling when it did happen. Why choose a player to fill Hossa’s role that didn’t even skate the warmup?

“Benny, he can play both sides of the puck, brings a responsible game. That’s what we’re looking for,” said Quenneville.

Coach Claude Julien of the Bruins watched the odd drama play out.

“I was surprised as anybody else,” he said. “I can definitely tell you they lost a pretty important player on their roster, but that doesn’t mean we change our game. I think it’s important we stick with what we believe in.”

The Bruins did, and are up 2-1. The Blackhawks, meanwhile, felt the blow of losing arguably their most consistent forward this postseason, and scrambled to fill the hole.

“It’s happens sometimes when you’re missing one of your best players, but you have find a way to play without him,” said Toews.