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Wonder Punter NHL Week 3 Power Rankings

nhl

Wonder Punter NHL Week 3 Power Rankings

 

With about 3 weeks in the books for all the NHL teams this week… let’s take a look at the Power Rankings throughout the league.

 

1) San Jose Sharks (7-0-1)- Plus-23 goal differential thus far and beating teams soundly.

 

2) Colorado Avalanche (7-1-0)- Unbeaten on the road and playing for a coach who truly cares.. Patrick Roy.

 

3) Pittsburgh Penguins (7-1-0)- The early team to beat in the Eastern Conference.

 

4) Anaheim Ducks (7-1-0)- Have won seven straight since being blown out their opening game by the Avalanche.

 

5) Chicago Blackhawks (5-1-2)- Still looking for more offense early on for the defending champs.

 

6) St. Louis Blues (5-1-1)- Beat their division foe Chicago, but still not ready to put them ahead of the Blackhawks just yet.

 

7) Los Angeles Kings (6-3-0)- All the pieces are there, just need Jonathan Quick to get back on track.

 

8) Boston Bruins (5-2-0)- Plus-10 goal differential thanks to goalie Claude Julien.

 

9) Detroit Red Wings (6-3-0)- Need to get back to a more physical style of play.

 

10) Phoenix Coyotes (5-2-2)- Have points in six-straight games (4-0-2).

 

11) Nashville Predators (5-3-2)- Are on a nice little 4-0-1 run.

 

12) Carolina Hurricanes (4-2-3)- Have earned points in seven of their last nine games.

 

13) Montreal Canadians (5-3-0)- The Habs have allowed just 15 goals early on.

 

14) Vancouver Canucks (5-4-1)- Need better improvement from their power-play that ranks 27th in the league.

 

15) Ottawa Senators (3-3-2)- Should have a better record, but have only played two-home games thus far.

 

16) Toronto Maple Leafs (6-3-0)- Have lost two in straight, but goalie James Reimer appears to be ok following collision last week.

 

17) Tampa Bay Lightening (5-3-0)- Goalie Ben Bishop is 5-1-0 between the pipes.

 

18) New York Islanders (3-3-2)- Are underachieving early on.

 

19) Minnesota Wild (3-3-3)- Have scored just 19 goals in the early season.

 

20) Calgary Flames (3-2-2)- Overachieved early, now have slowed down.

 

21) Dallas Stars (3-5-0)- Still without goalie Keri Lehtonen.

 

22) Winnipeg Jets (4-5-0)- Inconsistent play.

 

23) Washington Capitals (3-5-0)- Lack of scoring depth.

 

24) Florida Panthers (3-6-0)- Potential is there, but need to be more consistent.

 

25) New Jersey Devils (1-4-3) Goalie Cory Schneider is solid, but no help defensively.

 

26) Columbus Blue Jackets (3-5-0)- Only 19 goals in eight games.

 

27) Edmonton Oilers (2-6-1)- Goalie Devan Dubnyk having his problems in the nets.

 

28) New York Rangers (2-5-0)- Have given up 29 goals and are injury plagued.

 

29) Buffalo Sabers (1-8-1)- Just a bad team.

 

30) Philadelphia Flyers (1-7-0)- Fired their coach three games in and now are in a four-game losing streak.

By Mario Martinez- WonderPunter

For more NCAA NBA MLB NFL, Scores, Reviews, Previews, and Picks, feel free to check out our sections from the tabs on top of the page where I will be updating on a daily basis

Would you like to show off your writing skills? opinions? for the sports world to see? If so feel free to contribute and we will publish your stories and reviews Info@wonder-punter.net

 

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NHL Three Stars: Hertl power; Jokinen pulls trick on Hurricanes

NHL3stars

No. 1 Star: Tomas Hertl, San Jose Sharks

The New York Rangers were absolutely hapless on this night time, struggling an embarrassing 9-2 to the Sharks, and Tomas Hertl had all their haps. The boxscore was Hertls all the best way down. The Sharks’ rookie scored four targets to push his total through his first three NHL games to 6. His fourth objective was an absolute thing of beauty.

No. 2 Star: Jussi Jokinen, Pittsburgh Penguins

Jokinen registered a hat trick within the Penguins’ 5-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, scoring twice on the powerplay and as soon as at even-strength. Paul Martin and Tanner Glass scored the other targets for the Penguins, however we won’t maintain that in opposition to Jokinen.

No. 3 Star: Josh Bailey, New York Islanders

Bailey and the Islanders handed the Phoenix Coyotes a 6-1 drubbing, with Bailey picking up 1 aim and a couple of assists alongside the way in which. Michael Grabner had three apples, and John Tavares added two targets within the rout.

Honourable mention: Filip Forsberg scored his first NHL goal and the Nashville Predators added two more in the first interval, skating to a three-2 win over the Minnesota Wild. Seth Jones performed a recreation-high 25:02… The Tampa Bay Lightning rallied for a 3-2 time beyond regulation win over the Buffalo Sabres. Alex Killorn scored the winner:

P.A. Parenteau’s aim was the difference because the Colorado Avalanche handed the Toronto Maple Leafs their first loss, 2-1… Tim Thomas left the Florida Panthers’ recreation after surrendering two early goals and looking to be in some discomfort, and that is all the Philadelphia Flyers would want for a 2-1 win, their first of the season… Daniel Sedin had a objective and an assist to propel Roberto Luongo’s Vancouver Canucks to a three-2 extra time victory over Cory Schneider’s New Jersey Devils. Jason Garrison scored the winner… It came in a loss, however Eric Staal’s deflection on this goal was amazing:

Did You Know? Hertl scored his 4 objectives in a span of twenty-two:46 – the fastest particular person 4-purpose efficiency in Sharks historical past.

Dishonourable point out: Mike Smith was pulled after allowing 5 targets on simply 20 photographs… good Lord, the Rangers had been terrible. Rough evening for Marc Staal particularly. He was a group-worst minus-4.

Read The Original Article

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Brutal hockey hit from Finland’s Jere Karalahti would get all the Shanabans in NHL

Remember Jere Karalahti? He performed three seasons with the

Los Angeles Kings

and had a cup of coffee with the

Nashville Predators

. In case you don’t remember him from the NHL, you’ll no doubt keep in mind him after

this hit from a SM-liiga recreation

, during which Karalahti almost decapitates Markus Poukkula of JYP.

Poukkula was skating although the impartial zone with the puck and made a brief dump go to a teammate when Karalahti, playing for Jokerit, got here in like a freight prepare, his shoulder concentrating on the top of Poukkula.

He linked, sending Poukkula’s body horizontal and then all the way down to the ice head first. Poukkula went limp, and his teammates – together with the goaltender – rushed over to are inclined to him. He was ultimately helped from the ice, skating to the back.

In case you had been questioning how lights-out Poukkula was, try this picture from KUVA. The puck subsequent to him was extra acutely aware.

According to reader Urpo Koskinen, who hipped us to the examine, Karalahti wasn’t given any penalty for this hit. Poukkula’s teammate Jani Tuppurainen advised Ilta-Sanomat after the game (Google Translated):

“I have no idea fairly what to say, even in this enterprise. However in spite of everything it was only a case incomprehensible [crap]. It doesn’t have any respect for the opponent. Totally made ​​for malicious function of the problem.”

Would Brendan Shanahan even have to explain this one if it happened in the NHL? May he simply stand there, present the clip and say, “Yup…”?

  • Ice Hockey
  • Sports & Recreation
  • Jere Karalahti
  • NHL
  • Nashville Predators
  • Los Angeles Kings
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Florida Panthers explain embarrassingly low preseason game attendance

The Florida Panthers opened their 2013-14 preseason schedule on Monday with a doubleheader on residence ice: two cut up-squad games in opposition to the Nashville Predators at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Erin Brown, Florida Panthers correspondent for Fox Sports activities Florida, tweeted the next image in the course of the national anthem of the afternoon sport. And it wasn’t fairly:

BREAKING: Crew expected to complete final in its conference attracts no one on a September weekday afternoon in opposition to a non-conference opponent in a meaningless sport …

So much for that “Panthers followers excited for preseason” angle..

The picture and others taken by the few followers in attendance at BB&T Heart quickly went viral, led by Deadspin’s sarcastic take on the matter.

We have been left baffled by a couple of issues. Like why the Panthers would schedule this recreation within the first place. Like if the team expected this attendance when the video games started to actually matter.

Puck Daddy reached out to Panthers President Michael Yormark with those queries, and acquired the next response:

“This is the third consecutive full season (excluding final year) we have now hosted a weekday preseason doubleheader with Nashville and one of many major causes we started this sequence was to afford both franchises the chance to judge their full coaching camp rosters in a sport scenario in just sooner or later. And while the day game attendance isn’t as high as we want we imagine the doubleheader still represents a singular opportunity for our fans.

“However, on no account does in the present day’s attendance mirror our expectation for the upcoming season. Actually we fully anticipate an Opening Night time sellout, our new full season equal ticket gross sales are up 41-percent over final year and we also count on the 2013-14 season to be the fourth consecutive year wherein we see a median dwelling attendance increase at the BB&T Middle.”

It’s necessary to note that the Panthers additionally charged $20 for parking for this opportunity, per George Richards.

Look, the empty seats are embarrassing, however so is claiming the Panthers should relocate to Quebec primarily based on its attendance for a glorified scrimmage. This isn’t a full-throated defense of the franchise’s solvency. It’s not exactly on the sturdiest footing. However choose the regular-season gate or the suite sales or the player finances or one thing aside from a Monday afternoon on Sept. 16 against Nashville.

(And for the love of all things good and logical, don’t be that fan who pumps up Canadian preseason sport attendance as some religious justification that American markets that don’t draw as effectively are unworthy. Yes, it proves that markets with excessive ticket demand will sellout exhibition video games. And maybe our cultures simply see the preseason differently, very similar to we disagree on easy methods to spell “ton.”)

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Jeff Skinner bestows jersey upon Taylor Swift, ignoring NHL curse

Carolina Hurricanes star Jeff Skinner is someone who proudly promotes the sport to new fans. He’s additionally an avowed Taylor Swift fan. So, given the chance to “develop the game … one particular person at a time,” Skinner proudly gave her his hockey jersey. And by proudly we mean completely naïve to the potential ramifications of doing so.

In a related story, Taylor Swift released a new track detailing how she felt receiving a hockey jersey was real love till she came upon it was a duplicate and he or she’s lying on the cold laborious ground and boo-hoo.

Shortly after this picture was taken, Kayne West bum-rushed the stage and proclaimed he’d let her end but the Hartford Whalers had been the very best workforce of all-time.

The previously mentioned ramifications for Jeff Skinner are, in fact, a part of Taylor Swift hockey lore.

In 2009, members of the Pittsburgh Penguins gave her a “SWIFT 09” jersey. These members have been Max Talbot, Jordan Staal, Alex Goligoski and Tyler Kennedy. 4 years later, all four have been ex-Penguins, disappearing from the photograph like the McFly household as Ms. Swift clutches her sweater.

She additionally attended a Los Angeles Kings recreation in 2009. They missed the playoffs.

She revealed the Nashville Predators third jerseys in 2009. They had been eliminated within the first round.

She as soon as wore a Leafs jersey. They haven’t received the Cup since 1967 …

Case closed.

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Fantasy Hockey: Tiering goaltenders to improve draft success

Getty Images Yahoo Fantasy Hockey is open for the 2013-14 season. To assist in giving you a greater probability to win your league, our pals at Dobber Hockey are returning for another season. They’re going to be breaking down the highest forwards, defense and goalies, and in addition giving you some sleepers to keep an eye on. At present, the goalies.

By Michael Amato

In most common fantasy hockey leagues, goaltenders make up lower than 10% of your roster, but account for almost 50% of your classes. Choosing properly when it comes to netminders is essential and for those who get caught with a beneath common group your probabilities of success are slim. Tiering your goaltenders prior to drafting is a good way to help your resolution-making process when selecting. You could have a plan of concentrating on two goalies from the second Tier, or perhaps a Tier 1 which implies you may also get stuck with someone from Tier three. It is all personal preference.

The key thing to remember when establishing your Tiers is that it is not all based on talent and production. Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott most likely must be ranked increased primarily based on the numbers they’ve had in St. Louis over the past two campaigns, but the truth that they cut up begins hurts their value. Someone from Tier 1 can give you comparable, if not higher outcomes, and take up much less roster space which lets you give attention to different wants.

Sign up your team and league at present.

Tier 1

The cream of the crop. Posting 35-40 wins must be within the cards for this group in addition to some great GAA and SV% totals. Except something unexpected occurs like a significant damage, or they by some means end up on the Philadelphia Flyers.

Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins

The plan of Rask taking on for Tim Thomas went off and not using a hitch final 12 months in Boston. He tied for the league lead in shutouts and posted a940 SV% in the playoffs, whereas continuing to haunt Leaf followers at each turn. With a strong Bruins squad in entrance of him, you will be arduous pressed to discover a safer choose than Rask.

Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings

Quick’s common season numbers in 2013 have been a slight cause for concern, but his performance within the playoffs should have erased any doubt about his reliability. With Jonathan Bernier now gone and the motivation of earning a beginning spot on the U.S. Olympic group this winter, do not hesitate to seize Fast early.

Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators

Nashville had a rough marketing campaign within the lockout shortened 2012-13 season, but Rinne has averaged 36 wins a season within the three earlier full years. Do not be stunned if David Poile and Barry Trotz figure things out and get the Predators again to playing a strong staff concept that has made them so successful. Rumor has it they’re even wanting right into a radical new idea this low season that will assist out Rinne’s trigger referred to as “scoring objectives.”

Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers

He hasn’t posted a SV% below920 since 2008-09 and recorded 24 wins within the lockout shortened season final yr. I am undecided there may be another participant within the Nationwide Hockey League that means more to his staff than Lundqvist does to the Rangers. Pay that man, Glen Sather. Pay that man.

Antii Niemi, San Jose Sharks

Niemi faced the third most pictures amongst starting goalies final season and still managed a924 SV% and 24 wins. Photographs in opposition to are an awesome stat to take a look at you probably have whole saves as a class in your pool. The Sharks determine to be sturdy again in 2013-14 and Niemi should play a giant position of their success.

Tier 2

Many goalies from Tier 2 may easily fall into the Tier 1 category if just a few bounces fall their approach. Then again, it wouldn’t take a lot for them to slide down to Tier three either. If you happen to can draft two from this group you should be in good condition although as all of them have the capabilities for 30 win seasons.

Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres

Miller hasn’t been in a position to get back to the level he played at in 2009-10 and the Sabres are trending in the wrong direction. With that being stated, nonetheless, Miller’s talent is still there and he does have a shot at 30-35 wins. Sadly for poolies, complaining and publish-sport rants usually are not relevant classes.

Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes

He’s missed a large chunk of the yr in two of the previous 4 seasons due to damage, but when healthy he’s a stable choice. Maybe being left off Workforce Canada’s Olympic orientation camp roster offers Ward some motivation to channel in 2013-14.

Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks

Crawford could be very near being in Tier 1 due to setting several profession bests in many statistical categories final season. Much of his success, however, is thanks to playing on the juggernaut Blackhawks. The dearth of consistency in his transient career is sufficient to keep him in Tier 2 for this 12 months, but with the workforce in entrance of him he has a shot at 40-plus wins.

Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets

There’s no question Bobrovsky had an incredible run final yr, however remember that was a very small pattern dimension. In 2011-12 he wasn’t even capable of put up a900 SV% and he’s nonetheless relatively inexperienced by NHL requirements. The Blue Jackets made a number of strong off-season acquisitions they usually performed properly as a staff in entrance of Bobrovsky in 2013, however hitching your complete goaltending wagon to a Columbus netminder simply sounds like a foul concept.

Getty Images Jimmy Howard, Detroit Purple Wings

Detroit goalies have a fame for being overrated and just being along for the ride whereas amassing wins, however Howard seems to be doing an excellent job of dispelling that idea. In three of the last 4 campaigns he has posted a SV% of at least920 and he made the sixth most saves among starters in 2013.

Carey Worth, Montreal Canadiens

Price was inconsistent at times last year and has solely hit 30 wins once in his profession. He has the talent to take him to the Tier 1 degree, but Montreal most likely overachieved last season and are more likely to regress barely in 2013-14, which means he will likely be in tough to hit 35 wins. He’s nonetheless a viable option with plenty of upside if the Canadiens can rebound from a tricky playoff exit.

Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators

Anderson is a borderline Tier 1 man, however the tempo he was on final yr is simply too torrid to keep up. He posted a941 save share in solely 24 video games in 2013 and if he places up anything even close to that in 2013-14, it may make poolies very glad. Issue in the Senators bettering their roster this summer season and that should equate to more W’s for Anderson.

Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks

Luongo was relegated to backup duties final yr and was essentially fantasy irrelevant. Now with Cory Schneider off to New Jersey, he’s a stable option to carry your staff as soon as once more. Earlier than last season, Luongo had averaged 37 wins a 12 months as a starter since 2005-06. The one factor to observe this season, nevertheless, is the NHL’s realignment when it comes to the Canucks. The previous couple of campaigns Vancouver had feasted on weak groups in the Northwest Division, however now Minnesota and Colorado have been changed with the likes of San Jose, Los Angeles, and Anaheim.

Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals

Although Holtby’s time in the NHL has been temporary, he still boasts a career923 SV% and a 2.39 GAA. He appears to have claimed the number one spot within the longstanding goaltending carousel in Washington, so he ought to be good for loads of wins this season.

Sign up your crew and league today.

Tier 3

Many of the goalies in Tier 3 are irritating within the sense they could be a lot larger in the event that they didn’t share so many begins, have damage issues, or battle with consistency. It is important to keep a close eye on this group as increased playing time and hot streaks can result in a steal in your draft if you choose right.

Jonas Hiller and Viktor Fasth, Anaheim Ducks

On their own they might be nice starters on your fantasy squad, but paired collectively they simply develop into first rate. Each had sturdy campaigns in 2013 and will possible split time once more this season, though if someone falters it is going to open the door for increased playing time for the other. Consider the Geese’ organization is stocked full of goaltending talent in the intervening time with prospects John Gibson and Frederik Andersen, so it’s not loopy to suppose they could deal Hiller or Fasth at some point next yr.

Semyon Varlamov, Colorado Avalanche

Varlamov has battled injuries throughout his profession and had a GAA of over three last season. Colorado is still rebuilding so his stats aren’t prone to be too fantasy friendly within the near future. He should still get plenty of starts although if he stays healthy and may also help you hit your weekly minimal necessities if wanted.

Kari Lehtonen, Dallas Stars

Lehtonen has 30-plus wins in two of the last three seasons, but he is one other man who must have attended Carlo Colaiacovo’s seminar on the way to perpetually get injured. If he’s healthy he will help you, simply proceed with caution the place Lehtonen is anxious.

Devan Dubnyk, Edmonton Oilers

Dubnyk has slowly but surely impressed over the past three seasons, culminating in 2013 the place he finished with a solid921 SV%. The problem is that he performs for an Oilers team that struggles to choose up victories. People have been waiting for Edmonton to show signs of enchancment for years now, however this needs to be the year they turn a nook does not it? If the squad is receptive to new Coach Dallas Eakins’ goalie friendly defensive system, then Dubnyk might be a sensible play.

Niklas Backstrom, Minnesota Wild

Any thoughts that the Wild might part with Backstrom were put to rest when the team prolonged him for three years this summer season. His numbers aren’t what they have been when he first arrived in Minnesota, but he nonetheless has 35-win potential.

Cory Schneider and Martin Brodeur, New Jersey Devils

Schneider left one goaltending controversy for one more, though this one would not determine to last as lengthy. Brodeur isn’t likely to play more than one other yr or two, and if the Devils were smart they’d give Schneider the bulk of the begins. That is simpler said than performed although once you think about all that Brodeur has finished for the franchise, so the long run Hall-of-Famer continues to be likely to vulture 30-35 begins away from Schneider in 2013-14.

Getty Images Mike Smith, Phoenix Coyotes

Anyone who took Smith last year hoping he may duplicate what he did in 2011-12, was left sorely disillusioned. Apart from that unimaginable campaign, he hasn’t been capable of put up stable numbers with regularity. However, Dave Tippett continues to be behind the bench in Phoenix and a extra goalie friendly coach you’ll not discover.

Marc-Andre Fleury and Tomas Vokoun, Pittsburgh Penguins

Fleury is often a regular Tier 1 man, but his efficiency in current playoffs is likely to give Vokoun more starts this 12 months. Both guys will get wins after they’re between the pipes, but sharing the duties hurts each their values.

Brian Elliott and Jaroslav Halak, St. Louis Blues

Ken Hitchcock’s love affair with the “Dead Puck Period” isn’t great on entertainment value for hockey followers, however it’s a thing of beauty for Elliott and Halak house owners. The two have mixed for 21 shutouts during the last two seasons. Sadly splitting time makes it tough to depend on them.

James Reimer and Jonathan Bernier, Toronto Maple Leafs

Reimer hasn’t backstopped the Leafs to consecutive Stanley Cups but, which is basically what it appears he has to do to be declared the starter. Reimer has arguably carried out better than Bernier of their younger careers, however due to the significance of the commerce, Bernier is likely to see loads of action in 2013-14. Look for Randy Carlyle to go with the new hand.

Ondrej Pavelec, Winnipeg Jets

It at all times seems that Pavelec is performing higher than his numbers point out. Final yr it looked as if he was one of the main reasons the Jets were contending for a playoff spot, as he was seemingly making spotlight reel saves on a nightly basis. Then you definitely take a look at his SV% and it barely breaks900. Fun to observe, however not always fun for his owners.

Tier 4

Let’s simply hope it does not come to this.

Karri Ramo and Joey MacDonald, Calgary Flames

Ramo has recorded stable numbers in the KHL in recent years, however that is the NHL and he is bought the Flames in front of him now. That sound you hear is Jay Feaster pulling up in entrance of Miikka Kiprusoff’s home with a dump truck full of cash, attempting to convince him to not retire.

Scott Clemmensen and Jacob Markstrom, Florida Panthers

You would possibly need to dangle on to Markstrom for those who’re in a keeper league, however this 12 months figures to be exhausting times for goalies in the Sunshine State.

Evgeni Nabokov and Kevin Poulin, New York Islanders

Nabokov hasn’t been terrible since his return from the KHL and he might be a Tier three man if the Islanders proceed to play the way they did last season.

Anders Lindback and Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning

Both goalies have some potential, however it’s a must to assume brief-term in fantasy hockey. If either of them gets on a run and claims the starting job you might be able to seize lightning in a bottle.

Ray Emery and Steve Mason, Philadelphia Flyers

Emery has a good shot at overtaking Mason as the clear starter by Christmas. He had a 17-1 document final 12 months, albeit as a backup with Chicago. That is Philadelphia though, where goalies usually overlook easy methods to save pucks.

Sign up your group and league as we speak.

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

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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
36.08percent EV 36 BOLLAND,DAVE – 88 KANE,PATRICK – 10 SHARP,PATRICK
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

 

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Philadelphia Flyers, National Hockey League of Nations

Getty Images (Ed. Notice: Welcome to the Puck Daddy 2013 summer project, the National Hockey League of Nations. We’ve recruited 30 writers/blogs to determine the most effective player in their favorite staff’s historical past for each main nationality that creates the material of our beloved NHL: Canada, USA, Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sweden, Finland and The Remainder of The World. It’s their standards, as long as they will justify it. Learn, debate and luxuriate in! If you want to achieve this on Twitter, it’s #NHLoN.)

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By The Orange Update

Canada

Throughout his 15-12 months career in the National Hockey League, Bobby Clarke personified what it means to be a Philadelphia Flyer. Having captained the group for seven years of the franchise’s Broad Street Bullies era, Clarke delivered two Stanley Cups to the city of Philadelphia.

The biggest Flyers captain of all-time spent his total career with the group. In those 1,280 video games, Bobby Clarke recorded 1,329 factors and over 1,600 penalty minutes. After his sensational profession, which included three Hart Trophies and eight all-star video games, concluded in 1984, No. 16 was raised to the rafters of the Spectrum.

Three years later, the best Canadian participant to put on the Flyers’ sweater was inducted into the Hockey Corridor of Fame.

Finland

A native of Kuopio, Finland, Kimmo Timonen was drafted in the tenth round of the 1993 NHL Entry Draft by the Los Angeles Kings, but made his NHL debut in 1998 with the Nashville Predators.

In his six seasons with the Flyers, Kimmo Timonen has embodied everything that Philadelphia asks for from its athletes. Timonen’s toughness and dedication despite his measurement has endeared him to the followers. His 235 factors in orange and black are third among the many staff’s defensemen all-time, behind only Eric Desjardins and Mark Howe. Of a potential 458 regular season video games throughout his time in Philly, Timonen has performed in 442.

He uses his entire body at both ends of the ice and for those who requested every fan in attendance to explain him in a single word, most would reply “warrior.” Kimmo Timonen is one of the classiest players on this metropolis’s historical past and personifies everything a hockey participant must be.

USA

The son of the great Gordie Howe made a name for himself on the blue-line. Mark Howe, a native of Detroit, was the backbone of the Flyers’ defense for ten seasons of his skilled profession. In 929 common season games, Howe totaled 742 points and had a profession rating of plus-400. He was not only probably the greatest two-way defensemen in the nineteen eighties, but one of the best of all time.

However, Howe didn’t take residence the Norris Trophy in any of the three seasons by which he was a finalist. Though he did not win a Stanley Cup with the Flyers, the group made two appearances in the Finals during his time in Philadelphia. Mark Howe was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2011, and his No. 2 was the fifth quantity to be retired by the Philadelphia Flyers.

Sweden

The Flyers, having deep roots in Sweden, have been graced by a number of gifted gamers from the nation. Nevertheless, none have been as great as Pitea’s Mikael Renberg. The legendary right winger was a member of the famend line generally known as “The Legion of Doom” together with Eric Lindros and John LeClair. In his debut season with the Philadelphia Flyers, Renberg played in 83 video games, racking up eighty two factors.

He continued to be a high producer, bringing an offensive prowess to the Broad Avenue Bullies, serving to them reach the Stanley Cup Finals in 1997. Renberg was traded within the 1999-2000 season, but certainly left his mark on the workforce. He made a name for himself within the metropolis, one which has by no means been lived up to. His two-means model of play was one that helped keep the Bullies’ picture.

Renberg, an distinctive participant for the town, was the perfect Swedish player to represent the Philadelphia Flyers.

Russia

Many Flyers fans may not have viewed Dmitri Yushkevich because the organization’s all-time best Russian. Nevertheless, he was. The defenseman was drafted by the Flyers in 1991 within the sixth round and played 215 games in a Flyers jersey. That number leads all Russian-born gamers in team history. Additionally, Yushkevich’s eighty points leads the organization in whole factors by a Russian-born participant. In his NHL career, Yushkevich played in 786 common season games and recorded a total of 225 factors.

He played for the Philadelphia Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers and the Los Angeles Kings. Yushkevich was chosen to the NHL All-Star Game in 2000 as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Dmitri Yushkevich might not have been as flashy as other Russians, but he certainly was the most effective to ever play in Philadelphia.

Slovakia

In three, quick seasons with the Flyers, Michal Handzus ingratiated himself with the Philly devoted like few others. His two-approach game, acumen in the face-off circle and flowing, curly mane made Handzus an immediate fan favorite in Philadelphia. Handzus leads all Slovak-born Flyers with 166 factors in 274 video games. He was not a superstar, but Handzus was a key part of a group that made playoff appearances in every of his three seasons in Philadelphia.

Michael Handzus is honored right now as one of many rarest breeds of former-Philadelphia athletes: a participant that Flyers followers proceed to root for, despite the ever-altering coloration of his sweater. That claims loads about a participant, particularly in this town.

Czech Republic

Jaromir Jagr is the greatest Czech player to ever lace ‘em up in the Nationwide Hockey League. Though he spent majority of his career with the Pittsburgh Penguins, his quick stint with the orange and black was something to remember. Jagr proved each on and off the ice why he is the greatest Czech-born participant to ever put on a Flyers jersey. In simply eighty four games with the Flyers, Jagr registered 62 total factors. He performed a key position in the progress of youthful gamers resembling Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell.

The nice sixty eight has played in 1,593 profession NHL video games and counting, registering 759 goals and 1,128 assists for an astounding 1,887 points. If his legendary mullet wasn’t sufficient, Jaromir Jagr’s taking part in profession and short stint with the Flyers is why he’s the best Flyer to come out of the Czech Republic.

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Dainus Zubrus (Lithuania)

Of the few players which have graced the Philadelphia Flyers’ roster that didn’t hail from a significant country, Dainus Zubrus was the greatest. The native of Lithuania performed three seasons with Flyers before he was traded to the Canadiens in 1998. Throughout his three-season stint with the Flyers, the best winger produced sixty two points. Alongside more skilled players, Zubrus, then a rookie, aided the Flyers in reaching the 1997 Stanley Cup Finals. His knack for each offensive and defensive play has made him a key part of the Devils’ franchise.

Dainus Zubrus will be coming into his twentieth season in the National Hockey League. It is fair to say that he has established himself and that he was the best participant from a lower-profile hockey country to play for the Philadelphia Flyers.

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Nashville Predators, National Hockey League of Nations

(Ed. Note: Welcome to the Puck Daddy 2013 summer time challenge, the National Hockey League of Nations. We’ve recruited 30 writers/blogs to identify one of the best player in their favorite group’s history 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 standards, so long as they will justify it. Read, debate and enjoy! If you want to achieve this on Twitter, it is #NHLoN.)

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By Jeremy Okay. Gover, Section303.com

Canada: Shea Weber

Shea Weber just isn’t only one of the best Canadian player ever to don a Predators sweater however he’s the perfect participant, period.

Weber’s 291 factors all-time is fourth-most in franchise historical past and his 108 objectives is third most. Solely Kimmo Timonen has extra factors from the Nashville blueliner (301) and Weber ought to go him in the first a part of the 2013-14 marketing campaign.

But Weber’s value is way more than just stats. He’s the first dwelling-grown captain in club history, he’s a two-time Norris Trophy runner-up, he’s one of many faces of the franchise locally and he’s one of many few gamers in Music Metropolis that may really be acknowledged as one of the faces of the league. He fashioned among the finest defensive pairings within the NHL alongside Ryan Suter but, when Suter jumped ship, Weber didn’t miss a beat skating with young Swiss-phenom Roman Josi. He’s within the prime of his profession at 27 years previous and – as much as Philadelphia Flyer followers would like to believe otherwise – he’ll be main this staff for a long time.

There’s nonetheless a protracted method to go, clearly, but the Predators have been in existence for 16 years now and Weber is their first legit shot at a Nashville-drafted and developed Hall of Famer.

Finland : Pekka Rinne

Kuopio native Kimmo Timonen is third on the franchise’s all-time checklist in points (301) and assists (222). He was also the staff’s third captain, an unique Predator and a gradual presence on the blueline for eight seasons. He would be a shoo-in were it not for a sure netminder.

Pekka Rinne was drafted so late in 2004 that that spherical doesn’t even exist anymore. An eighth spherical pick of Finland, Rinne is a textual content e-book example of how Nashville likes to develop its prospects. He spent three full seasons with their farm club in Milwaukee earlier than incomes a full-time roster spot with the massive membership in 2008. Once in Music Metropolis, however, he wrestled the starting role away from incumbent Dan Ellis and never regarded again.

Going into this season, he leads all Nashville goaltenders in shutouts (30), save proportion (.919) and targets-against common (2.36) and he’s second in wins (153) and video games performed (293). Of course, being a two-time Vezina Trophy finalist doesn’t hurt either.

Rinne was snubbed by Group Finland at the 2010 Olympics. They selected then-Tampa Bay Lightning netminder Antero Niittymäki as the third goalie. Fairly protected to say they won’t make that mistake once more come February 2014.

USA: Ryan Suter

As painful as it’s to offer Ryan Suter any Preds-associated accolades at all, it must be achieved. His 238 factors in Music City ranks third on the franchise’s all-time listing and he was the other half of the league’s best protection pair till he left Nashville last summer.

Which brings us to the controversy.

General Supervisor David Poile believed with every once of his being that Suter wished to stay a Predator. Poile is a man who rarely shows emotion somehow. So, when he was visibly frustrated on July four, 2012, it was obvious what had happened.

“I used to be looking at all my notes (from our conversations) yesterday and Ryan had said in November that he’s not going anywhere else. He is signing with the Nashville Predators. That’s a quote,” Poile stated.

Poile was tremendously loyal to Suter via your complete course of. He stored in fixed contact along with his agent, Neil Sheehy, he tried to adjust to Suter’s “listing of demands,” he refused to area gives at the trade deadline despite understanding the return could be enormous and he didn’t even commerce his negotiating rights on the draft when he might’ve at least acquired something for the approaching free agent. He wanted to stay loyal to his 2003 first spherical draft pick but, apparently, the choose didn’t want to return the favor.

Suter, of course, went onto the Wild and bought himself a Norris nomination of his own, one thing he in all probability wouldn’t have gotten whereas below Weber’s shadow. However competition for personal trophies might price him the final word staff trophy. The Wild edged the Columbus Blue Jackets (thanks only to tie breakers) to get into the playoffs despite playing in a division with perennial-basement teams Edmonton, Calgary and Colorado, the group reportedly misplaced $30 million final season and Hockey Prospectus has Minnesota’s system slotted twenty second of their 2013 Organizational Rankings so the longer term doesn’t precisely look vibrant either.

Regardless of all the drama surrounding him in Nashville, Suter deserves the glory of greatest American-born player in franchise historical past.

Sweden: Patric Hornqvist

This organization knows their Swedes and has had no scarcity of them playing inside 501 Broadway. So whereas Filip Forsberg may get the crown (pun supposed) as soon as it’s all said and done, Patric Hornqvist is the rightful proprietor presently.

His eighty four profession goals and 163 career factors have been amassed in 287 video games. Only Jason Arnott (107 goals, 229 points) has been more productive in less games (275) while donning a Predators sweater.

At just 26 years old, Hornqvist is simply getting into the prime of his career and, on April 30, Nashville signed him to a 5 yr extension. The truth that he never takes a shift off is his biggest attribute. The truth that he isn’t afraid to face in entrance of the web and do what is critical to score objectives is a bonus. He has led the Preds in objectives in two of his 4 full years and finished ninth in team scoring (and third in photographs) regardless of missing half of last season resulting from two separate injuries.

With fellow high-octane, always-hustle guys like Gabriel Bourque and Taylor Beck within the fold now, Predators fans are chomping on the bit to see how Hornqvist rebounds in 2013-14.

Russia: Alex Radulov

Speaking of controversy. Alexander Radulov was the first – and nonetheless the one – proven dynamic scoring winger the Predators have ever drafted.

After posting 18 points in his first 11 skilled games, it was clear that Radulov was too good for the AHL-level. As soon as up with the big club full-time, he posted 37 factors in 68 contests, the franchise’s rookie scoring file. He followed that up by tallying 28 objectives and fifty eight factors in his sophomore marketing campaign. Nashville had lastly found the cog they can build their offense around.

Then he bolted.

In the summer time of 2008, the KHL in his native Russia came calling and, on the worst possible moment, he caught a flight again dwelling to the mother land. The draft had already occurred, the top free agents had already been wolfed up and Nashville’s scoring prodigy had left them excessive and dry with no viable options.

After four seasons within the KHL by which he had change into a 4-time All-Star, a KHL MVP award winner and a Gagarin Cup Champion, Radulov made his triumphant return to North America by rejoining the Predators in time for their playoff run in 2012. He was thought-about by most to be “the ultimate piece” to a Stanley Cup puzzle. As a substitute, he turned the scapegoat (fairly or unfairly is up for debate) for his or her second spherical collapse to the overachieving Phoenix Coyotes.

Radulov would return to the KHL that summer season and proceed to be a controversial figure in Music City.

Czech Republic: Martin Erat

The second longest tenured Predator till his trade to the Washington Capitals this previous March, Martin Erat went from a fringe draft choose to one of many franchise’s finest forwards.

A seventh round alternative in 1999, Erat would go onto register 163 goals, 318 assists, 481 factors and log 723 video games in his eleven seasons with the Preds. Only David Legwand has higher numbers in each class. A constant 55-level guy when enjoying a full yr, Erat even represented his native Czech Republic in both the 2006 and 2010 Olympic Video games, proving his attain goes effectively beyond Nashville.

His commerce request rubbed some followers the unsuitable manner however Nashville might have gotten a key to their future in return. Swedish phenom Filip Forsberg was the lone piece that came over from the Caps in the deal for Erat and prospect Michael Latta. If Forsberg can do half the things the consultants say he can, Erat’s influence on this group will stretch long after his departure.

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Marcel Goc, center, Calw, Germany

Just one of the many diamonds-in-the-tough that Basic Supervisor David Poile and the Predators have been so good at discovering, Marcel Goc came to visit from the San Jose Sharks in the course of the summer season of 2009. He signed a two-manner deal but by no means sniffed Milwaukee.

Typically a 3rd line heart who may contribute often, the versatile Goc could play anywhere in the lineup. When the Preds had been decimated down the center due in 2010-11 due to injuries to Matthew Lombardi, David Legwand and Cal O’Reilly, he spent a while as the top line center and didn’t look misplaced at all. In 124 games donning a Preds sweater, the Calw, Germany, native bagged fifty four points. Not unhealthy for somebody who’s imagined to be bottom-six forward.

The oft-injured Goc moved onto the Florida Panthers after two seasons with Nashville but there are still some followers who miss him. Heck, you’ll still see the occasional German Olympic jersey round Nashville with “GOC” on the again. And on a membership just like the Predators where lines are blended and matched on a regular basis, the 29-yr outdated pivot would have been good to have had around throughout last season’s parade to the IR.

Roman Josi, Protection, Bern, Switzerland

Only 100 video games into his NHL career and some are already calling him the inheritor-obvious to Ryan Suter. And, after a season of skating alongside Suter’s previous protection partner with out trying out of place, why shouldn’t they?

Wanting to lock up all the key cogs in the protection corps, the Predators inked Josi to a seven-12 months extension this summer value a really reasonable $28 million. The Bern, Switzerland, native tallied just 18 points during the lockout-shortened campaign but was one of the lone shiny spots in an in any other case hellacious season for Nashville. Josi was certainly one of simply three Predators who skated in all 48 games and his poise with the puck – even when their season was collapsing around them – was one thing to marvel at.

Nashville’s second round decide in 2008 was named event MVP, was the highest scoring defensemen and took dwelling a silver medal at this summer time’s IIHF World Championships. No Swiss player had ever won a person award in the event’s 83-yr history.

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The top 10 goalies in the NHL

Getty Images Who’s one of the best goalie on the planet?

The answer, as at all times, is Dominik Hasek, and might be till he takes his final breath on this mortal airplane.

But being that Hasek is 48 and the Nationwide Hockey League is completely ageist, we’re left to ponder which goaltender is the most effective in the NHL.

Y! Sports NHL editor Sam McCaig just lately did his rating of the NHL’s 30 starting goalies, with the standard debates about who is or is just not a starter – personally, I don’t see how Martin Brodeur isn’t the starter till he’s injured – and the general ranking of the netminders. (In the event you’re a Mike Smith fan or a Marc-Andre Fleury basher, this was your record.)

Sportsnet additionally had some bizarre-ass eight-tier ranking system for its beginning goalie countdown, wherein Semyon Varlamov has as “a lot to prove” as Ben Bishop and Jakob Markstrom despite, you already know, being a beginning goalie in the NHL while the others were busing between AHL arenas.

Both lists are nice and all, but I figured I’d share what’s obviously the definitive list of the NHL’s prime 10 goalies, as a result of it sprung forth from my mind bone. Take pleasure in.

Here are the highest 10 goalies within the NHL proper at this very moment, offered in reverse order to really amp up the drama:

10. Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets

I agree with everybody that’s taking a wait-and-see method with Bob, together with Blue Jackets management’s determination to present him a two-year deal. His numbers had been stellar final season, and a case might be made for him as each the Vezina winner and a Hart finalist. That’s ok to get him in the Top 10; whether he remains there is dependent upon whether or not he’s Jim Carey or the subsequent Kiprusoff. Or the next Vokoun: Awesome goalie on a non-playoff group. (Hey, we hope for the best with Columbus, however have you seen the Metrosexual Division?)

9. Jimmy Howard, Detroit Pink Wings

The greatest indication that Howard’s the actual deal is that he pressured the Pink Wings to really make investments actual dollars within the goaltending spot underneath GM Ken Holland. That his numbers didn’t fall off post-Lidstrom was a major test passed for Howard, who frankly made the blueline corps in entrance of him better than it looked on paper. His playoff numbers could be better, but he’s as dependable as they arrive. Plus we’re fond of any goalie with the “-y” nickname, very similar to Timmy Thomas and the various Cor(e)ys. Memo to Mason: Go together with “Stevie.”

8. Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks

Winning the Stanley Cup doesn’t make you a better goalie anymore than a crappy contract makes you a worse one. (Extra on that later.) Crawford was every part the Blackhawks wanted throughout their run to the Cup, even when he didn’t begin feeling the love until the Closing. He had Conn Smythe worthy numbers for the postseason, and received some duels with Tuukka Rask. That said, Ray Emery gave us 17 causes last season why playing in again of the Blackhawks’ lineup can flip excellent goalies into all-stars.

7. Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators

The distinction between Anderson and Howard/Crawford is that the Senators goalie will be downright Hasek-ian in his performances. Anderson wins games on his own, and that’s been the case by each stop in his career. Last season, he was the very best goalie in the NHL (1.69 GAA) and would have waltzed away with the Vezina have been it not for his injury. That level of consistency isn’t commonplace for Anderson, but if 2012-13 wasn’t an anomaly he’ll move up this checklist faster than a sweat bead falling off his bald noggin while he ogles an ice girl.

6. Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins

Look, there’s no denying that Rask was incredible last regular season and maybe even higher within the postseason. He erased any lingering desire to take a can opener to Tim Thomas’s bunker door and pry him out. However he’s not the fourth-best goalie within the NHL, by way of McCaig; and I’m unsure how he doesn’t fall into the “show it once more” territory Sportsnet believes Bobrovsky inhabits. He sung for his supper on a present-me contract, and managed to place up Thomas-like numbers while playing behind Zdeno Chara for 28 minutes (as well as Seidenberg, Ference, Boychuk and Bergeron). The system didn’t make him, but let’s not pretend it doesn’t affect his numbers.

5. Antti Niemi, San Jose Sharks

Getty Images Niemi didn’t arrive in 2012-thirteen – it’s extra like he finally acquired the credit he’s deserved. He’s a workhorse that places up superb numbers and offered the Sharks with constantly sturdy efforts, especially on particular groups. Does he have his mushy stretches? Positive, and every goalie does. But a 1.87 GAA within the postseason through 11 begins gave the Sharks an opportunity to advance to the Western Convention Final had it not been for his or her offensive struggles against the Kings. Oh yeah: He has a Cup ring he earned. That too.

4. Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators

Rinne gained 43 video games with a923 save share in 2011-12. He was one recreation under500 with a910 save share in 2012-thirteen, his first with out Ryan Suter on the Predators blueline. I’m inclined to imagine that Rinne sub-2.40 GAA netminder who faces a ton of shots and might single-handedly maintain his staff in competition even when he’s given zippy aim assist. I’m also inclined to imagine he’ll never be worth a $7 million cap hit. But judging a goalie by his contract is fairly foolhardy. Which brings us to …

3. Roberto Luongo, Vancouver Canucks

Sorry, but remind me once more when Luongo out of the blue turned terrible? Was it when the Canucks determined to go the baton? Was it when his contract was deemed un-tradable? I’m keen to chalk up a few of his underwhelming stats to mitigating circumstances, similar to loathing the way one’s employer has handled them. But he’s proven sufficient flashes that I don’t believe his expertise have eroded. For my cash, he’s nonetheless the third finest goalie in the League. For his money, he had better be, for the Canucks’ sake.

2. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers

This can be a ‘1’ and a ‘1-A’ situation between the primary and second goalies on this record. Mix’em up, flip’em round, you’ll get no quarrel from me. Lundqvist is unbeatable when he’s on, can win games on his own and deserves each accolade and dollar he’s given. He covers for mistakes and barely makes one in all his own. The Rangers would have given him a hoop by now if their offense wasn’t so pathetic in the postseason. However that’s Vancouver’s downside now. (OKAY, it’s been their drawback, which is ironic considering their man is now the Rangers guy while the Rangers guy is their … my head hurts.)

1. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings

In the final full season they played, Quick was better than Lundqvist. There’s no question Hank was the better of the 2 within the truncated season, and Quick has an extended option to go to match the Rangers goalie’s career accomplishments. However in 50 playoff games, he has a 2.03 GAA and a929 save proportion with seven shutouts. He’s simply as unbeatable when he’s on as Lundqvist is, and his athleticism and reflexes have earned him comparisons to Hasek and Ed Belfour.

Again: ‘1’ and ‘1-A’ between these two. However proper now, I’d nonetheless give Fast the nod. Wonder if they will settle things in Sochi …

The Snubs:

I’d have Carey Value at No. 11 on this listing, and have been it not for Bobrovsky’s emergence he’s Top 10. Proper there with him: Jonas Hiller (one other game-stealer) and Kari Lehtonen, whose only problem is health. Mark me down in the “Mike Smith is a product of the Coyotes’ system” naysayers … however hey, he makes that system work. McCaig had Cam Ward at No. 10 – method too excessive – and Ryan Miller at No 16 – method too low. I’m not completely certain where Martin Brodeur and Cory Schneider slot in a high 30. Ditto Fleury, who’s Prime 12 in the regular season and the worst goalie alive in the postseason.

What’s your prime 10?

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U.S. Olympic Camp roster announced; who was snubbed for Sochi 2014?

Getty Images Now that the Canadians and Russians have released camp rosters for their inevitable Olympic runners-up in Sochi, USA Hockey has released its own 48-player pool from which the 2014 gold medal-winning team shall be plucked.

(Ed. Note: The author is from New Jersey. Deal with it.)

The roster represents 24 NHL teams, including three players – Seth Jones, John Gibson and Jacob Trouba – who have yet to appear in the League as professional players. U.S. Men’s National Team Orientation Camp is from Aug. 26-27, at Kettler Capitals IcePlex in Arlington, Va.

Of the 48 players invited to the camp, 16 have previous Olympic experience. That includes Zach Parise and Ryan Suter of the Minnesota Wild; Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks; Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings; and Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Let’s take a look at the camp roster, shall we?

Goalies

Miller was, of course, the starter for the U.S. team in 2010 in a star-making performance. Quick was his under-understudy, as Tim Thomas was not invited back.

Miller’s inclusion here makes for a rather interesting debate for U.S. starting goalie, as this is the position at which the Americans have a blessing of riches. Quick is the prohibitive favorite for the job; said Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi, who is part of the U.S. Olympic brain trust, last month: “Judging from our meeting, it’s certainly trending that way.”

But Ryan Miller was, uh, pretty incredible in Vancouver.

Anderson, Howard and Schneider will all push for roster spots. We’ll just go ahead and assume this is Gibson’s reward for his World Junior mastery.

Defense

Zach Bogosian Massena, N.Y. Winnipeg Jets (NHL)
Dustin Byfuglien Roseau, Minn. Winnipeg Jets (NHL)
John Carlson Colonia, N.J. Washington Capitals (NHL)
Dan DeKeyser Clay Township, Mich. Detroit Red Wings (NHL)
Justin Faulk South St. Paul, Minn. Carolina Hurricanes (NHL)
Cam Fowler Farmington Hills, Mich. Anaheim Ducks (NHL)
Jake Gardiner Minnetonka, Minn. Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL)
Erik Johnson Bloomington, Minn. Colorado Avalanche (NHL)
Jack Johnson Ann Arbor, Mich. Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL)
Seth Jones Plano, Texas Nashville Predators (NHL)
Nick Leddy Eden Prairie, Minn. Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
Paul Martin Minneapolis, Minn. Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)
Ryan McDonagh St. Paul, Minn. New York Rangers (NHL)
Brooks Orpik San Francisco, Calif. Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)
Kevin Shattenkirk Greenwich, Conn. St. Louis Blues (NHL)
Ryan Suter Madison, Wis. Minnesota Wild (NHL)
Jacob Trouba Rochester, Mich. Winnipeg Jets (NHL)
Keith Yandle Boston, Mass. Phoenix Coyotes (NHL)

Remember: The Sochi Games will be held on an international ice surface. Does that mean someone like Brooks Orpik, a much better player on a smaller surface, might not make the cut? Potentially. But he’s also a player with plenty of experience on a team that needs it.

Lambert projected the starting six as Suter, Kevin Shattenkirk, Keith Yandle, Ryan McDonagh, Paul Martin and Dustin Byfuglien, with Jack Johnson and Justin Faulk in reserve. Personally, it’s hard to imagine Erik Johnson not making this roster, but we shall see.

SNUBS: Alex Goligoski would seem to be a glaring one, at least for a camp invite. Matt Carle had a terrible 2013 season, but many thought he’d get an invite here. Tim Gleason, Tom Gilbert and Ron Hainsey might have been deemed from another generation of American Olympian – all three are 30 or older. As for Rob Scuderi, what part of “international ice surface” didn’t you understand?

Forwards

Justin Abdelkader Muskegon, Mich. Detroit Red Wings (NHL)
David Backes Minneapolis, Minn. St. Louis Blues (NHL)
Beau Bennett Gardena, Calif. Pittsburgh Penguins (NHL)
Nick Bjugstad Minneapolis, Minn. Florida Panthers (NHL)
Dustin Brown Ithaca, N.Y. Los Angeles Kings (NHL)
Ryan Callahan Rochester, N.Y. New York Rangers (NHL)
Alex Galchenyuk Milwaukee, Wis. Montreal Canadiens (NHL)
Patrick Kane Buffalo, N.Y. Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
Ryan Kesler Livonia, Mich. Vancouver Canucks (NHL)
Phil Kessel Madison, Wis. Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL)
Trevor Lewis Salt Lake City, Utah Los Angeles Kings (NHL)
Kyle Okposo St. Paul, Minn. New York Islanders (NHL)
T.J. Oshie Warroad, Minn. St. Louis Blues (NHL)
Max Pacioretty New Canaan, Conn. Montreal Canadiens (NHL)
Kyle Palmieri Smithtown, N.Y. Anaheim Ducks (NHL)
Zach Parise Minneapolis, Minn. Minnesota Wild (NHL)
Joe Pavelski Plover, Wis. San Jose Sharks (NHL)
Bobby Ryan Cherry Hills, N.J. Ottawa Senators (NHL)
Brandon Saad Gibsonia, Pa. Chicago Blackhawks (NHL)
Craig Smith Madison, Wis. Nashville Predators (NHL)
Paul Stastny St. Louis, Mo. Colorado Avalanche (NHL)
Derek Stepan Hastings, Minn. New York Rangers (NHL)
James van Riemsdyk Middletown, N.J. Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL)
Blake Wheeler Robbinsdale, Minn. Winnipeg Jets (NHL)

Again, it’s going to be interesting to see how the ice surface influences the roster. There’s a lot of speed here, and some significant offense in the younger players like Galchenyuk. How many role players do the Americans take vs. how many skill players to they bring to Sochi?

Lambert’s projections seem fairly bang-on, although one wonders if either T.J. Ohsie or Kyle Okposo can finally break through. Remember, sometimes it just takes one wake-up call to get a player’s stock on the rise; how great was Okposo for the New York Islanders in the playoffs last season?

SNUBS: Jason Pominville has dual citizenship; there has to be something more to him not getting an invite. Brandon Dubinsky is also among the most prominent, but one assumes the addition of Stepan made him expendable. Hey, just like with the Rangers! Invitees from 2009’s camp that didn’t come back this year included Ryan Malone of the Tampa Bay Lightning and David Booth of the Vancouver Canucks, whose stock has tumbled at an Enron-like level. All of these players can get together at a venue of their choosing and lament the fact they’re not at camp and Trevor Lewis, inexplicably, is.

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Puck Daddy’s five can-miss dates of the 2013-14 NHL season

Friday on Puck Daddy, Leahy took a highlighter to the NHL schedule like it was a college textbook, making special note of a few can’t-miss dates.

Jarome Iginla’s return to Calgary. John Tortorella’s return to New York. The Winter Classic. Undoubtedly, some games are better than others.

And some are lesser. Let’s be honest. If there are can’t-miss dates, and there are, there are also some seriously can-miss dates.

I have found them for you. Here are five games that, unless you’re being paid to watch, you can probably skip.

1 | Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013: Edmonton Oilers at Dallas Stars

No offense to either of these teams — I’m sure they’ll be playing some truly entertaining hockey — but no one is going to be watching this game. Across the country, a half hour earlier, the traitorous Daniel Alfredsson will be in Ottawa in a different jersey for the first time in his nearly two-decade NHL career. Shawn Horcoff’s second game versus his old team probably doesn’t have the same drawing power.

2 | Sunday, Mar. 2, 2014 – Ottawa Senators at Vancouver Canucks

Yeah, you can probably go ahead and skip the Tim Hortons Heritage Classic. For one thing, it will be in BC Place stadium, which has a retractable roof — that’s hardly an outdoor game. For another, there will already have been five real outdoor games, so this one is likely to underwhelm. Furthermore, it almost always rains on March 2 and there’s no flipping way it will be cold enough to snow, so for all we know they might close the roof. It might not even be an outdoor games. Finally, Vancouver and Ottawa have no rivalry to speak of and they’re both Canadian, leading one to wonder why this game is scheduled to take place, inexplicably, on Hockey Day in America.

3 | Thursday, Mar. 20 – Florida Panthers at Phoenix Coyotes

There are nine games scheduled for Thursday, March 20. At the top of the list, and included on our list of can’t-misses, is Zach Parise’s return to New Jersey. At the bottom is this one. Puck drop is just after 10 p.m. ET, and if you’re planning to stay up for the late game after Parise’s homecoming, you’ll have your choice of Washington versus Los Angeles, Anaheim versus San Jose, or this intra-conference game featuring the impenetrable defensive shell of the Phoenix Coyotes.

4 | Friday, Mar. 21 – Calgary Flames at Nashville Predators

We’re late enough in the schedule that the Flames will likely have nothing left to play for, and it’s entirely possible the Predators won’t either. So why would you stay in on a Friday night to watch this game or watch it over Boston visiting Colorado, which begins at the same time? I submit that you would not.

5 | Sunday, Apr. 13 – NY Islanders at Buffalo Sabres

And speaking of teams that won’t be in the playoff hunt, who, outside of Buffalo, is watching the Sabres’ last game of the year? This one takes place on the final day of the season, a day which is sure to feature all sorts of divisional playoff battles and struggles for seeding. Meanwhile, the schedule also gives us this match between two likely non-playoff teams that aren’t even in the same division, and it begins at 5 p.m. ET when four games that could all have playoff implications are just finishing. The only guy watching this game will be Arthur Staple.

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Tuukka Rask re-signs with Bruins for $56 million over eight years

The Boston Bruins and Tuukka Rask have finally come to an agreement as to how much and for how long he should be paid.

The verdict: a lot. For a long time.

On Wednesday, Rask agreed to terms on an extension that will pay him $56 million over next eight years. It’s max term for the restricted free agent, and if there was such a thing as max money, this might be it. At $7 million per season, Rask ties Nashville Predators’ goalie Pekka Rinne for the league’s highest cap hit among goalies, according to CapGeek.

(One assumes Glen Sather wishes this was the max contract. Henrik Lundqvist going to get more than this.)

It couldn’t have worked out better for Rask, who’s coming off a one-year deal that paid him $3.5 million in 2012-13. It was something of a show-me contract, as the Bruins set him up for a massive payout this offseason if he could prove he was the franchise goalie he appeared to be.

Prove it he did, as Rask went 19-10-5 with a 2.00 goals against average and a929 save percentage, leading the league in shutouts and finishing fifth in Vezina voting for his work during a season.

He kicked it up a notch in the postseason, leading the Bruins all the way to the Stanley Cup Final. He would likely have been their Conn Smythe winner had they managed to eke out two more wins over Chicago.

That’s the sort of season that’ll get you paid, and man alive, did it ever.

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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.

GRADE: B

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.

GRADE: C

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 …

GRADE: B

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.

GRADE: B

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.

GRADE: A-

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 …

GRADE: A-

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.

GRADE: A

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 …

GRADE: D

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 …

GRADE: D

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

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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.

GRADE: A

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.

GRADE: B

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.

GRADE: D

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.

GRADE: D

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

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Andrei Kostitsyn is staying in the KHL

Hey, keep in mind Andrei Kostitsyn?

The last time we noticed AK-forty six in the NHL was Might 7, 2012, as a member of the Nashville Predators in a playoff recreation towards the Phoenix Coyotes. That was the identical postseason during which he infamously broke curfew with Alexander Radulov.

As the NHL lockout began, Kostitsyn decided to take his talents to the KHL as an unrestricted free agent. He signed with Traktor Chelyabinsk, and that’s the place he’s staying – inking a one-12 months deal to remain within the KHL next season.

From Belta:

Andrei Kostitsyn has signed a new contact with HC Traktor Chelyabinsk with which he reached the 2012/2013 Gagarin Cup ultimate. Though the contract has not but been formally registered within the KHL, the deal has been settled and no adjustments are anticipated, Yevgeny Tsybuk is quoted as saying to the Russian media. The details of the new one-year contract have not been revealed.

In the most recent championship (the common season and the playoff) Andrei Kostitsyn made sixty seven outings in the HC Traktor Chelyabinsk colours incomes 31 (sixteen+15) points. He also collected 92 penalty minutes and had the plus-minus ratio of +17

Andrei Kostitsyn, 28, may return to the National Hockey League (NHL) in which his younger brother performs. HC Florida Panthers was interested by signing the former Montreal Canadiens and Nashville Predators participant.

We’re not sure if the Panthers’ interest in Andrei Kostitsyn is current or a reference to final season’s coaching camp invitation. But there might need been interest in him had he decided to head back to the NHL.

One extra observe from that article: Kostitsyn missed some practices and was “was excluded from the Belarusian national staff prior to the 2014 Sochi Olympics qualification.” By no means probability, AK-46.

s/t Linda Sparks for the tip