Wonder Punter NHL Week 3 Power Rankings


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

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


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


John Scott explains why he attacked poor, nearly defenseless Phil Kessel

Getty Images Understanding what motivates John Scott becomes simpler while you consider him as a type of blocky metallic robots from nineteen fifties sci-fi films, with the seen gears and the antennae sticking out from the perimeters of his head and a giant dial on the back with settings like “DESTROY.”

The Buffalo Sabres’ resident pugilist is tasked with two prime directives: “PUNCH”, as in repeatedly into an opponents’ face and “AVENGE”, so when liberties are taken in opposition to a teammate Scott each gets retribution and ensures it doesn’t happen again.

So what motivated him to go after Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs, who is as far removed form fighting as Scott is from aim-scoring?

According to Scott, talking with the media on Monday (through Buffalo Information), he was following The Code, that time-honored and utterly nebulous set of requirements that dictates who gets punched and when.

Scott believes that Corey Tropp, his Sabres teammate, wasn’t in a fair combat with Jamie Devane of the Maple Leafs within the third period of their Sunday exhibition recreation. Scott was on the ice when the scrap went down. He apparently didn’t discover Tropp ask for the struggle (he did). All he saw was Devane, with a height benefit by at least 5 inches, pummel Tropp, including a punch that landed as Tropp was falling to the ice, hitting his head.

“The last punch and driving his head into the ice, I don’t think that was needed,” stated Scott.

So he stayed on the ice after Tropp went off and Devane went to the penalty field, searching for some measure of retribution. “I might have went after who ever they put lined up next to me,” mentioned Scott.

Maple Leafs Coach Randy Carlyle didn’t have an appetite for further violence. Reasonably than sending somebody out to be pummeled by Scott, he despatched Kessel, the team’s finest offensive participant, out as an alternative to “defuse” the scenario.

It’s the hockey model of “you wouldn’t hit a guy with glasses, would ya?” The concept is that goons received’t go after star players. That’s how Carlyle learn the Code. Scott had a special studying.

“I can perceive his thought behind it. I obviously thought our guy obtained taken benefit of the shift before. I was making an attempt to stick up for him, and send a message to Toronto,” said Scott.

So Scott determined that even if the sacrificial Leaf was Phil Kessel, he was still the sacrificial Leaf.

“I just lined up with him, and I knew I needed to have a response for what happened the shift before, and I mentioned, ‘Phil, we’re going to should go here. Just to let you recognize,’” Scott claimed.

What did Kessel say to him?

“‘Alright, let’s do it,’” Scott claims.

So Kessel and Scott yapped, Kessel put a glove on him, Scott dropped his, began chasing him, Leafs teammates intercepted the Sabres goon and engaged him, all the whereas Kessel was slashing and spearing the Buffalo ahead in self-protection like a frantic Jedi.

“I’ve never seen a stick-swing like that. He’s gotta do what he’s gotta do. It was an even battle if he has his stick. I didn’t have something,” mentioned Scott. “Phil’s OKAY. He came out the higher finish of it. I have bruises all over my leg.”

Again: Scott is a robotic, programmed to battle his opponents. He would have fought David Clarkson or Troy Bodie or any player that Carlyle offered him. But the point is he was going to struggle.

“I used to be stunned. They had some other guys within the lineup. Maybe their coach was attempting to downplay it. I don’t know, I was doing my job,” stated Scott.

“I don’t know what their coach had in thoughts. I wasn’t attempting to hurt him. I used to be just making an attempt to send a message,” he stated.

“Their coach did not should put Kessel out with me. He kinda knew what was going to occur. It was apparent the bench was upset and I used to be upset.”

Would the scenario have been totally different if Scott knew that Tropp asked for the fight he was schooled in? Maybe, or perhaps simply seeing a teammate tuned up was going to get Scott all punchy.

So whether you need to debate the guilty events in the struggle or the function of the enforcer, simply know that John Scott did what John Scott did because he’s John Scott, and that it didn’t matter who was in the Leafs sweater subsequent to him – one thing was happening.

“Hey, I’d be pissed off if somebody went after my star guy too. It is a kind of things,” he said.


Paul Ranger’s kick-stick shot in shootout is hilarious to everyone but Sabres goalie

The smile on Paul Ranger’s face before his shootout try in opposition to the Buffalo Sabres – within the tenth spherical of a 15-spherical additional time abilities competitors – mentioned all of it: The veteran defenseman, in camp with the Toronto Maple Leafs, had something in his bag of methods he was ready to unleash.

And right here’s the kicker..

No, he actually was the kicker.

In a de facto homage to Toronto FC, Ranger executed a kick-stick shot that was more hilarious than efficient however, nonetheless, hilarious.

OK, hilarious to everybody however Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth, who promptly slashed him as he skated by.

Said Enroth, to the Canadian Press:

“My first reaction was that he tried to embarrass me there just a little bit, but when I take a look at it now, it’s good (the) guy’s attempting to be creative, I assume,” he said.

(Might you think about the emo-rant that Ryan Miller would have gone on after this kind of shot?)

Ranger, who had been making an attempt the shot since he was 10 years previous, stated that he in all probability wouldn’t have made the kick-shot try in a daily-season recreation. A bold statement, contemplating no one’s asked Ranger to participated in a shootout during his five NHL seasons.

On Enroth’s slash, Rangers tells the CP:

“Not the fitting thing to do? I’m attempting to score. Fairly honestly it’s fun and, to be honest, I’m not trying to point out boat, and if he thought that, then it is what it’s. Whatever.”

Whatever indeed. The Leafs gained the glorified scrimmage, 3-2, on Jay McClement’s deke. But it surely was Ranger’s purpose that had everybody kicking themselves that they hadn’t considered it first.


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

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

Norm Corridor / Coyotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


New Jersey Devils, 2013-14 (Puck Daddy Gold Medal Preview)

(Ed. Observe: It’s an Olympic 12 months in the NHL. So, naturally, we determined to use the trimmings of the Winter Games to preview all 30 teams for the 2013-14 NHL season. Who takes the gold? Who falls on their triple-axel? Read on and find out!)

The New Jersey Devils began the season missing star winger Zach Parise, who left to play back home with the Minnesota Wild. Then, after the season, they noticed their different star ahead, Ilya Kovalchuk, “retire” from the NHL and leave to play again dwelling within the KHL.

Sandwiched in-between was a non-playoff year that followed the staff’s shocking run to the Stanley Cup Remaining. The Devils went 19-19-10, watching accidents gradual Marty Brodeur and Kovalchuk and the workforce’s offense tumble to No. 28 within the NHL in goals for.

While they misplaced their star within the offseason, the Devils gained quite a few veteran players in an try and juice their offense – together with their goalie of the future.

How can one not honor the objective-scoring juggernaut that’s Marty Brodeur, whose third profession goal tied him with Cam Janssen’s career total.

Devils President/GM/Ruler of All He Surveys Lou Lamoriello did what he does when his crew faces adversity and/or loses a key participant: he spent a lot of money on veteran gamers to compensate.

The Devils lost Kovalchuk to Russia and David Clarkson (7 years, $36.75M) to the Toronto Maple Leafs, depriving them of their biggest offensive menace and best energy forward.

Lamoriello’s reinforcements included Ryane Clowe (5 years, $24.25 million), Michael Ryder (2 years, $7 million), and the ageless (nicely, a minimum of till the playoffs) Jaromir Jagr, who signed for 1 12 months and $4 million. The Devils additionally inked Blackhawks castoff Rostislav Olesz for one yr and $1 million.

But the largest transfer Lamoriello made wasn’t on offense: It was his trade of the ninth total pick in the 2013 Draft to Vancouver for goalie Cory Schneider, who turns into Marty Brodeur’s inheritor apparent, whereas Brodeur becomes one more Canadian gold medal goalie that Schneider has to warm the bench behind.

New Jersey also misplaced Matt D’Agostini, Matt Corrente and Alexei Ponikarovsky to free agency, and traded a bitter Henrik Tallinder again to the Sabres.

Forward: In addition to Brodeur, the one fixed for the Devils has been left wing Patrik Elias, who signed a brand new contract this summer season. The franchise’s offensive chief returns and could skate on a line with Travis Zajac and Jagr.

Adam Henrique broke the bank after his sophomore season, foregoing a traditional bridge contract for a six-year deal. He might heart Clowe and Ryder, because the Devils hope their younger heart can blossom into a legit No. 1.

Dainius Zubrus missed vital time last season resulting from harm, but is a helpful presence up entrance. The Devils return Andrei Lokionov and usher in Olesz, who performed for DeBoer in Florida.

Mattias Tedenby, Jacob Josefson and Stefan Matteau are young players hungry for ice time. Stephen Gionta, Ryan Carter and Stever Bernier return as essential grinders, with Krys Barch and Cam Janssen along for muscle.

Defense: The Devils’ ice time leader on defense last season was Andy Greene, an underrated backliner who was a plus-12.

Captain Bryce Salvador, meanwhile, was a minus-12 and saw his offensive numbers from the 2013 playoffs disappear in the following regular season. Additionally a minus-12: Marek Zidlicky, who might see an expanded role on the facility play with Kovalchuk gone.

Anton Volchenkov nonetheless brings the bodily sport however appears to have misplaced a step. Mark Fayne is strong however unspectacular. Veteran Peter Harrold is back, whereas the Devils proceed to hope Adam Larsson becomes the defenseman they picked him fourth overall to turn out to be. Young D-men Jon Merrill and Alexander Urbom will push for time.

Goalies: Brodeur will get the opening day start, however one assumes Schneider will get greater than his share of time. The 40-12 months-old Devils legend stays a solid goaltender, but the 2012 playoff run may very well be the final we see of the dominant Brodeur. Until, after all, the presence of Schneider ignites one thing within the veteran netminder, and we’ve got to pry the job out of his crease.

Pete DeBoer struggled for options last season after Larry Robinson and Adam Oates both left his bench following the Cup run. This season poses several distinctive challenges, together with how he plans to mildew a crew out of a patchwork of veteran gamers.

Lou Lamoriello scrambled to fill the Devils roster with scoring, and was extensively criticized for a few of those contracts (like Clowe’s). He remains one of the shrewdest, smartest and most influential GMs in hockey. However because the workforce enters a transitional phase, one wonders how much longer Lamoriello will likely be pulling the strings in Jersey.

Why would it not be something aside from Devils followers chanting “HEY, YOU SUCK?”

The goaltending. Say what you will about Brodeur, however the potential Corridor of Famer paired with one of the top goalies in a generation in Schneider makes for a dynamic battery.

Elias. One of the most underrated offensive stars in hockey, the Devils’ prime scorer in franchise historical past might also be their top offensive expertise this year.


C’mon, such as you gained’t watch a couple of more Devils energy performs with No. 68 lurking near the web.

Team Velocity. There are some completely plodding gamers on this roster, at a time when speed is at a premium within the NHL.

Every time you need to depend the Devils out, they shock you. So whereas many have them pegged for the bottom two within the Metropolitan Division, don’t be stunned if this can be a workforce that battles on the bubble until the top – and doubtlessly snags the No. 4 seed in the division.


Canes’ Joni Pitkanen lost for season; who fills the void?

Training camps are open and all 30 teams face questions of some type heading into the season. For the Carolina Hurricanes, one in all their questions heading was the health of defenseman Joni Pitkanen.

During an April 2 sport towards the Washington Capitals, Pitkanen suffered a broken heel bone while retrieving a puck. And on Wednesday, General supervisor Jim Rutherford introduced that the 29-yr old Pitkanen will miss the complete 2013-14 season.

After undergoing surgery on the bone in April, Pitkanen suffered a setback just a few weeks ago and he underwent a CT scan final week.

From Chip Alexander of the Information Observer:

Pitkanen talked with Rutherford in the course of the summer time and Rutherford mentioned the player sounded optimistic about being on schedule along with his rehab. Pitkanen returned to Raleigh last week and underwent a CT scan, and Rutherford mentioned Wednesday the scan results indicated the surgical procedure was profitable.

“We were taken a little by surprise, three weeks before coaching camo, to learn that it was not progressing higher than it was,” Rutherford stated. “I think Joni hoped it will get better and that he may begin putting extra weight on it. But the stability was not there.”

Making issues worse is that Pitkanen’s contract is up after this season.

Rutherford also stated he’s exploring all options to fill Pitkanen’s place in Carolina’s high six. At the moment, Tim Gleason, Justin Faulk, Jay Harrison, Andrej Sekera and Mike Komisarek are slated for the blue line. Kids Ryan Murphy and Brett Bellemore may consider now that a spot has opened up.

There can also be the commerce route, with the Toronto Maple Leafs doubtlessly trying to possibly shed some salary — John-Michael Liles, anyone? — whereas making an attempt to re-signal Cody Franson. Liles nonetheless has three years and $eleven.625 owed to him, so that would appear unlikely. Engaging Leafs GM Dave Nonis with a trade offer for Franson would be cheaper.

If Rutherford needs to go along with a bit more experience than in-home kids, names resembling Ron Hainsey — who the Canes have spoken with lately — and Tom Gilbert are still on the free agent market, and the Hurricanes have room below the salary cap (perhaps much more if Pitkanen goes on LTIR). It is also 20 days before opening night time, which is an efficient time to chop a deal with a player at the moment with no job.


Nazem Kadri agrees to 2-year deal with Maple Leafs, because what else could he do?

If Nazem Kadri was looking for a protracted-time period contract extension, he wasn’t going to get it.

If he was looking for a huge money bridge contract, he wasn’t going to get it.

The Toronto Maple Leafs had the restricted free agent by the Timbits; it was simply going to be a matter of when he bent to their will.

Turns out it was Tuesday: Kadri and the Leafs agreed to a 2-yr contract, assuring that that the talented center shall be in camp after his breakout 2013 season. Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet had the news. Bob McKenzie of TSN adopted with the financials: $2.9 million per season.

That’s barely more than what Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.Ok. Subban obtained after his contract squabble last season, signing for $2.875 million and clearly setting the market for Kadri – regardless of having a extra substantial work history than Kadri’s cups of espresso and lockout-shortened star season (44 points in forty eight games).

For Kadri, it was greatest to settle this factor earlier than he ended up missing vital time or getting vilified by media and fans for delaying the inevitable.

For GM Dave Nonis, getting Kadri in for under $three million before camp is spectacular. Now comes the heavy lifting: Determining learn how to pay defenseman Cody Franson with the Leafs’ remaining cap area, and/or making the required strikes to create extra.


Simon Gagne and the impending wave of NHL veteran training camp tryout invitations

Simon Gagne might get a tryout from the Philadelphia Flyers this month, in line with the Philadelphia Inquirer. He had sixteen points in 27 games for the Flyers final season and could be slotted as a 3rd-line winger for Philly; but he’d attending coaching camp and not using a contract.

Why? Sam Carchidi writes it’s cap house in Gagne’s case:

“The Flyers are about $1 million over the $64.3 million cap; they’ll achieve $four.9 million of cap relief, however, when Chris Pronger is put on the lengthy-time period injured record when the season begins. That will give them greater than enough room to sign Gagne, 33, who collected 5 goals and eleven factors in 27 video games after being acquired from Los Angeles last season.”

Gagne’s one of the fortunate ones. If he doesn’t latch on with the Flyers – and based mostly on the numbers and Paul Holmgren’s affinity for him, one assumes he will – Gagne will find a home somewhere in the NHL.

Others aren’t so fortunate. It’s going to be an interesting month at NHL coaching camps, as a number of acquainted names may need to join teams on skilled tryout contracts.

In truth, we’re already seeing it. Guillaume Latendresse is headed to Coyotes camp on a PTO. Ditto Radek Dvorak with the Hurricanes.

Why? One take a look at Cap Geek should inform you why.

There are 18 teams with less than $three million underneath the $64.three million cap, and 6 teams presently over it. The groups with elephantine cap house are ones that aren’t essentially looking to spend: The Florida Panthers, Buffalo Sabres and Calgary Flames are all in a palpable rebuild. (Even the Flames have stopped deluding themselves about it.)

But past cap space, the true issue: There are not any jobs. Seven teams have lower than 22 players on their projected roster, in keeping with Cap Geek. The good news is that the Chicago Blackhawks, Carolina Hurricanes, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, and Toronto Maple Leafs are amongst them; however in the latter two cases, they’ve RFAs left to sign. Think about rookies on the rise, and a whole swath of veteran players are getting frozen out.

Where does this leave someone like Vinny Prospal? Or Brenden Morrow? Or Ryan Whitney? Or really any goaltender, being that there’s virtually no room on the inn for all 30 groups?

Europe’s at all times an choice, though those seasons are nearing their begin and roster spots are scarce.

Maybe the Scott Gomez Plan with the San Jose Sharks is perhaps in order: Hold across the team, practice and hope that a contract materializes.


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.

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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.

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

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Yahoo Fantasy Hockey is open for the 2013-14 season. To assist in giving you a greater chance to win your league, our buddies at Dobber Hockey are returning for one more season. They’re going to be breaking down the top forwards, defense and goalies, and also supplying you with some sleepers to control. First up, forwards.

by Jeff Angus

Coming out of a lockout-shortened season, fantasy hockey poolies are much more liable to fall sufferer to any number of biases as they prepare for his or her drafts. Over eighty two games, the perfect players in the league are likely to separate themselves from similarly proficient – but extra inconsistent – contemporaries. Nevertheless, in solely forty eight games there isn’t always sufficient time for that to occur.

Some players are infamous slow starters and never having a full coaching camp undoubtedly had a major affect throughout the league. And of course accidents at all times play an element, but exterior of Martin Havlat a number of slam dunks, how simple are they to predict?

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The beneath lists aren’t comprehensive, but they will arm you with some vital data as you put together your Yahoo fantasy draft lists. For a complete breakdown of all 30 golf equipment (including sleepers, rookies to observe for, superior statistical evaluation, and much more), you may also decide up DobberHockey’s 2013-14 Fantasy Information.

The Studs

These forwards will go in the first few rounds in your fantasy pool (and in the event that they don’t, it could be time to find some higher competition).

Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, Anaheim Ducks – With a powerful 2013 season, Getzlaf proved that his terrible 2011-12 was just a bump within the highway. And should you play in a fantasy league that rewards PIM, there are few higher fantasy choices up entrance than Perry. Few teams rely on their high line greater than the Ducks do with Getzlaf and Perry, they usually have a much-improved supporting solid around them (together with a really underrated checking line with Andrew Cogliano and Daniel Winnik).

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, Chicago Blackhawks – Kane and Toews. Toews and Kane. No matter order you wish to put them in, know that Chicago’s two elite skills will go very early on draft day. That being said, Toews could also be a solid value pick even for those who use one of your first choices on him. He has scored 52 targets over the previous two regular seasons (in only 106 video games). Of these fifty two objectives, only seven have come on the facility play. Ten of his 32 objectives in 2010-eleven were scored with the man advantage. Might this be the year Toews scores forty?

Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars – A move again to the left wing will bring with it extra targets and assists for Benn. He made a very smooth transition to center (never a straightforward position to be taught, especially for a younger ahead), however his size and puck possession sport are finest suited for the wing. Count on the Canadian evaluation camp snub to offer additional motivation. Benn is able to become a household title in hockey.

Taylor Hall, Edmonton Oilers – It is a matter of “when” and never “if” Corridor scores 50 targets. He is learning how you can balance his dynamic (see: reckless) skating style along with his impressive skill set, and that spells hassle for the rest of the NHL. He has separated himself from Edmonton’s other younger weapons as the face of the franchise.

Zach Parise, Minnesota Wild – With enormous contracts come enormous houses wallets expectations. And Parise delivered in year one for the Wild, leading a really mediocre offensive membership in both goals and factors. With improved teammates on his line (Jason Pominville) and behind him in the depth chart (significantly a more ready Mikael Granlund), count on a return to the 35+ objective mark in 2013-14.

John Tavares, New York Islanders – His year-to-12 months improvements have been nothing short of spectacular. Tavares entered the NHL as a one-trick pony and he now ranks among the many top 4 or five most full forwards in hockey. Oh, and he’s signed to 1 heck of a contract, too.

Jason Spezza and Bobby Ryan, Ottawa Senators – What number of poolies had been banking on 50 objectives from Dany Heatley after the commerce to San Jose? How concerning the duo of Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik lighting up Broadway collectively? Dynamic duos on paper regularly fizzle on the ice. However Spezza and Ryan might buck that trend. Ryan hasn’t been the focal offensive participant on a group since his days in the OHL with Owen Sound, and Spezza has quietly developed right into a stable two-manner player and leader (in addition to an incredible offensive talent).

Fool me once, disgrace on you. Fool me twice? I assume we are going to find out if Ryan and Spezza fail to click on for the Sens.

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Steven Stamkos and Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning

– One of the best objective scorer in hockey (though Alex Ovechkin is coming again for his seat on that throne) and the ageless St. Louis will continue to make magic in Tampa for the foreseeable future.

Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals – It took a number of months for Adam Oates to get through to Ovechkin, but his positional hunch (transferring Ovechkin to the best wing) paid off. And with the Capitals now with out a second line center as soon as once more, the two big guns will probably be relied upon for the majority of the offense.

Don’t discount the added motivation of the Sochi Olympics for the NHL’s top Russian talent.

The Emerging Studs

Give it a 12 months or two, and these guys will simply be thought of “studs.” A few of them have already had their breakout season, but all of them needs to be counted on to take another huge step or two forward in 2013-14.

Matt Duchene, Colorado Avalanche – Duchene shook off a disappointing 2011-12 marketing campaign with 17 objectives (only two of them scored on the facility play) in 47 video games. He’s the closest factor the NHL has to Pavel Bure proper now – few players can accelerate with the puck up the ice, and he’s a threat to score whenever he has the puck in the offensive zone. As a pleasant bonus, the Avalanche are moving their defensive ace, Ryan O’Reilly, to Duchene’s wing this season. Count on him (and the underrated P.A. Parenteau) to build off of the moment chemistry they established last season.

Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars – The Seguin-for-Loui Eriksson commerce might end up being a win-win for each Dallas and Boston. Just like the Jarome Iginla-for-Joe Nieuwendyk trade from 1996, one group received essentially the most value within the type of a young asset (Seguin), whereas the other received a proven commodity (Eriksson). Eriksson brings with him consistency, reliability, and a heck of a contract. Seguin has celebrity upside, and can profit from a change of scenery after a bit of a witch hunt in Boston. The Stars are going to do all the things they’ll to give him a chance to succeed.

Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers – It doesn’t matter who he traces up with (be it Alexander Barkov, Drew Shore, or Nick Bjugstad), Huberdeau will keep away from the dreaded sophomore hunch. Why? He’s just too good. Although he seems to be like Quentin Tarantino with a blowout, he’s going to be top-of-the-line offensive players in the NHL for the next decade.

Alex Galchenyuk, Montreal Canadiens – Born Feb. 12, 1994. Let that one sink in. He has the potential to be the first superstar in Montreal since Guy Lafleur (no, Vincent Damphousse doesn’t depend).

Jakub Voracek, Philadelphia Flyers – The perfect Flyer skater in 2013 (yes, together with Claude Giroux) finally confirmed why poolies have been drafting him based solely on upside and potential for the past 5 or 6 years. Voracek is from the identical city in the Czech Republic as Jaromir Jagr, but his recreation more intently resembles Marian Hossa’s: energy, two-manner play, and an general offensive bundle that causes nightmares for opposing coaches.

Jonathan Drouin, Tampa Bay Lightning – Let’s say that an extremely gifted left wing prospect is given his selection of the place to begin his NHL profession. If he doesn’t choose Tampa Bay, he’s loopy. Drouin will probably be given every opportunity to line up with Stamkos and St. Louis and Lightning coach Jon Cooper did a phenomenal job teaching and growing Tampa’s younger expertise over the past few years within the AHL.

James van Riemsdyk, Toronto Maple Leafs – Fortunately for the Flyers Luke Schenn truly began to resemble an NHL defenseman again in 2013 (and a reasonably good one, at that), as van Riemsdyk is nicely on his technique to turning into one of many extra dominant objective scorers in hockey.

Evander Kane, Winnipeg Jets – Kane’s 2013 season was a bit of a dilemma – he has to learn to use his linemates better, however how can he do this when he’s stuck playing with Olli Jokinen most of the time? Count on Kane to line up with prized prospect Marc Scheifele in 2013-14, who the Jets neatly returned to the OHL for 2012-thirteen.

Blake Wheeler, Winnipeg Jets – Wheeler has recorded a hundred and five factors over the past two NHL seasons (ok for 30th among all skaters). He has developed right into a bona fide prime line star for the Jets, and he is now paid like one ($5.6 million for the following six years). Many within the hockey world consider he is simply scratching the floor of his upside.

The Sleepers

Sven Baertschi, Calgary Flames – Somebody has to attain in Calgary, proper? Baertschi is a lightning-quick winger who performs a surprisingly gritty recreation for a player recognized more for his skill and offensive capability. If healthy, he’ll contend for the rookie scoring lead.

Cam Atkinson, Columbus Blue Jackets – Atkinson has spent the previous few summers training with Martin St. Louis. And as an undersized winger he couldn’t have discovered a greater coaching companion or mentor. Atkinson has been an effective participant in the NHL, and an elite one at lower levels. The Jackets are going to surprise a lot of people this season, and count on Atkinson to be among their most vital gamers.

Gustav Nyquist, Detroit Crimson Wings – Nyquist may be the way forward for the Purple Wings following within the footsteps of Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, two players who he resembles in each taking part in style and demeanor. Detroit continues to unearth late round gems and develop them with patience and care at the AHL degree. Nyquist will slip on draft day as a result of his NHL manufacturing to date doesn’t match his upside or skill.

Tyler Toffoli, Los Angeles Kings – For all of their strengths (physicality, defensive skill, goaltending), the Kings have struggled to score goals over the past two seasons. Enter Toffoli, who lit the lamp 109 occasions over his final two OHL campaigns with the Ottawa 67’s. He’s a natural right winger but has been learning to play the left aspect, as the Kings have an enormous (literally, not figuratively) hole to fill within the top six with the departure of Dustin Penner. Toffoli has a great shot at sticking for the complete season alongside Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.

Colin Wilson, Nashville Predators – When was the last time that Nashville had a ahead price taking in a fantasy draft? Paul Kariya? The manufacturing totals for Nashville’s forwards are inclined to clump collectively, partly as a result of playing style, partly as a result of truth they gown principally checking-type players, and partly attributable to the truth that Barry Trotz balances his ice time throughout three or four lines. Of all current Predator forwards, Wilson has one of the best opportunity to break by way of the offensive glass ceiling.

Ryane Clowe, New Jersey Devils – Clowe scored three goals on 87 pictures last season (a three.four% shooting price). For his profession, he has been an eleven.2% shooter. Anticipate a optimistic regression in 2013-14.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard – New York Islanders – Bouchard has a chance to step into one of the best gigs in hockey (the third wheel to the John Tavares-Matt Moulson duo). P.A. Parenteau and Brad Boyes have both had great success in that spot, and Bouchard is a artful playmaker who would find a variety of his passes to Tavares and Moulson at the back of the web. Nonetheless, he’s some of the injury-susceptible players in hockey. Tread rigorously.

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Brad Richards, New York Ranger

s – 2013 was an unmitigated catastrophe of a season for the 2004 Conn Smythe winner. Richards wasn’t purchased out this summer season, however he is nonetheless coming into the season with a Texas-sized chip on his shoulder. Richards wants to show that he nonetheless has quite a lot of hockey left in his legs and he should benefit from enjoying beneath Vigneault, a coach who does what he can to get probably the most out of his offensive gamers.

Beau Bennett, Pittsburgh Penguins – Bennett’s solely competition for the second line emptiness in Pittsburgh is Jussi Jokinen. Whereas Jokinen is a more proven commodity, his expertise may go towards him. Pittsburgh would like to have Jokinen on a checking/two-means line over Bennett, who remains to be studying find out how to play with out the puck. And if he sticks with Evgeni Malkin, that play without the puck will lead to plenty of points.

Brent Burns, San Jose Sharks – Assuming Burns maintains defensive eligibility in Yahoo Fantasy Hockey, he will be among the many most useful fantasy “defensemen” in 2013-14. I use citation marks as a result of Burns is being transformed to wing by the Sharks on a full-time basis. Burns needs to be thought of a lock for 20 objectives as a forward.

Jaden Schwartz, St. Louis Blues – Determining St. Louis’ line mixtures is about as straightforward as scoring a aim against A Ken Hitchcock-coached crew, however the sophomore winger from Colorado School has one thing going for him – position. The Blues don’t have many pure left wingers on the roster, and Schwartz might land a spot on the go-to scoring line (doubtless alongside Derek Roy and Chris Stewart… but your guess is nearly as good as mine).

Alex Killorn, Tampa Bay Lighting – If Drouin struggles to adapt to the NHL, Killorn is the following logical candidate to play on the top line in Tampa Bay. He is very aware of Lightning bench boss Jon Cooper from their time collectively in the AHL, and is already a sophisticated two-method ahead. His offensive potential goes from 40-50 points to 60-plus if he traces up with Stamkos and St. Louis.

Zack Kassian, Vancouver Canucks – Cue the compulsory “finest shape of his life” remark. A match and trim Kassian has an enormous opportunity this season underneath John Tortorella. The combative bench boss apparently wants to reunite Ryan Kesler and Alex Burrows on line two, leaving a vacancy alongside the best hockey enjoying twins on the planet.

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The Deep Sleepers

If you might be in a league that closely resembles the NHL (30 groups, large rosters), here are some extra names to remember on draft day.

Brandon Pirri, Chicago Blackhawks – Chicago needs a second line middle. Pirri has confirmed about all he can on the AHL stage. Brandon Saad could get a have a look at taking part in center, however the transition from wing is never an easy one.

Steve Downie, Colorado Avalanche – The gritty winger missed all of 2013 with a knee harm. Now totally wholesome, he is being pencilled in alongside Nathan MacKinnon, and the duo has the potential to be a very productive one. Downie is well-recognized for his physical play and associated antics, but he’s a heck of a playmaker, too.

Mark Letestu, Columbus Blue Jackets – The Pittsburgh castoff was among Columbus’ greatest players in 2013. He could line up anyplace from wing or heart on line one to line three. His versatility will permit him every alternative to proceed his productive ways for the Jackets. And if he sticks alongside Artem Anisimov and Marian Gaborik on line one, Letestu could possibly be among the league’s largest offensive surprises in 2013-14.

Alex Chiasson, Dallas Stars – While the lanky winger will probably be in tough to repeat his per-recreation scoring tempo of 2013 (six goals in seven games), he’ll very doubtless discover himself alongside Ray Whitney on Dallas’ second line. Whitney didn’t earn the nickname of “Wizard” for nothing (go to the two:15 mark of this video for some evidence).

Drew Shore, Florida Panthers – Shore was one in all Florida’s greatest forwards in 2013, but his production didn’t mirror that (thanks to a foul luck scoring charge of three%, mostly). He’ll someday be Florida’s two-method ace behind the likes of Huberdeau, Bjugstad, and Barkov, and that day may be on the speedy horizon.

Cal Clutterbuck, New York Islanders – He is recognized extra for what he does together with his body than together with his fingers, but Clutterbuck is a former junior linemate of Tavares. At the very least, he will be the other man to Matt Martin’s Fulton Reed. And in a greatest-case state of affairs, he pops in 25 or 30 objectives alongside Tavares and Moulson on line one.

Tomas Hertl, San Jose Sharks – Hertl is one of the most NHL-ready prospects in hockey, having spent the past few years developing in the high men’s league again dwelling in the Czech Republic. Hertl has an important shot at playing regular high-six minutes for the Sharks.

Marcus Johansson, Washington Capitals – The speedy heart-turned-winger was an necessary part in Ovechkin’s 2013 comeback tour. Anticipate him to set career numbers in all classes with a full season alongside Washington’s dynamic duo. Johansson missed the primary few weeks of the 2013 season with a concussion and had just one point in his first 9 video games back, but completed the season on a sixty nine-point pace.



Don’t Overrate


Brad Marchand, Boston Bruins – Will Marchand build off of his 18-objective campaign (45 games played) in 2013? Except the NHL decides to extend web size only for the Bruins, don’t depend on it. Marchand scored on 19.8% of the shots he fired on goal last season. And though he has been a capturing share outlier for a lot of his career (15.3% for 218 games), the Little Ball of Hate 2.0 simply can’t sustain his 2013 success.

Thomas Vanek, Buffalo Sabres – Vanek had 23 points within the first 11 video games of 2013, but solely 18 within the final 27. Jason Pominville is now in Minnesota, and Buffalo’s middle scenario is a large number. Assuming Cody Hodgson inks a brand new contract earlier than camp, Vanek will at least have one competent linemate, as things are fairly bleak after Hodgson – Ennis and Ott are both higher as wingers and Mikhail Grigorenko was over his head as a rookie in the NHL last season.

Perhaps the Sabres can name up Taro Tsujimoto?

Jiri Tlusty, Carolina Hurricanes – Tlusty was one of many largest offensive surprises in all the league final season. However, his success won’t carry over into 2013-14, as the former Maple Leaf scored on practically 20% of the photographs he fired on purpose last season (effectively above his profession number of 13.eight%). He shall be a productive ahead so long as he remains alongside Eric Staal and Alex Semin, but count on his per-recreation manufacturing charge to regress.

Pascal Dupuis and Chris Kuntiz, Pittsburgh Penguins – Even when Sidney Crosby is ready to keep wholesome for 70+ video games this season, Dupuis and Kunitz can be lucky to once again approach their 2013 ranges of production. To his credit, Dupuis was effective even when Crosby as on the shelf, and Kunitz finished 2013 with an 82-recreation-schedule pace of 38 targets and ninety two factors. How usually do teammates set profession numbers on the age of 33?

Dave Bolland, Toronto Maple Leafs – If the Leafs acquired Bolland to anchor their checking unit, they made a stable move. Nonetheless, in the event that they count on him to contribute in a high-six role… they should prepare for disappointment. Bolland was an anchor alongside Patrick Kane final season, and that ought to be cause for concern. For those who can’t produce alongside Patrick Kane, how are things going to be higher with Joffrey Lupul and David Clarkson?

Bolland’s most frequent linemates from 2013, courtesy of Dobber Hockey’s Frozen Pool Fantasy Tools:

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



Toronto Maple Leafs, National Hockey League of Nations

Getty Images (Ed. Be aware: Welcome to the Puck Daddy 2013 summer mission, the National Hockey League of Nations. We’ve recruited 30 writers/blogs to establish the very best player in their favourite workforce’s history for every 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, as long as they will justify it. Learn, debate and revel in! If you want to accomplish that on Twitter, it is #NHLoN.)

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By Maple Leafs Scorching Stove

Canada: Dave Keon

Dave Keon was an exquisite Maple Leaf for 15 seasons but may have been, if not the “best”, definitely probably the most complete all-round player within the NHL for a five-12 months interval within the nineteen sixties.

I would argue that between 1962 and 1967, no other player did extra things properly than the diminutive Leaf middle. He was arguably the fastest skater in the league, and a peerless penalty-killer. Remarkably, he just about never took a penalty himself, averaging maybe two minors a season all through most of his profession. He was robust on face-offs, however perhaps most importantly was typically tasked with shutting down the most effective heart on the opposing teams, a job he dealt with splendidly.

While not primarily a purpose-scorer, his trademark was nonetheless scoring big goals, including at playoff time. He gained the Conn Smythe Trophy within the spring of ’sixty seven when the underdog Leafs final won a Cup, however it’s troublesome to imagine he wouldn’t have received it extra typically had that trophy been in existence when the Leafs ruled the NHL between 1962 and 1964. He was a relentless forechecker and whereas not known as a physical player within the typical sense, he used angles so expertly that he led his group in ‘take-outs’ — whereby he eliminated the person who just had the puck from the play solely — every season.

While I have many vivid memories of particular person plays and moments involving Keon (his ‘hat trick’ in Game 7 of the 1964 semi-finals in Montreal, when the Leafs won 3-1 jumps to mind, alongside along with his clinching markers within the final game of the ’63 and ’sixty four Cup finals towards the Pink Wings), what stands out most for me, even in any case these years, was his consistency. Virtually each recreation was, for Keon, a carbon copy of the game that preceded it. He was that constant by way of high quality, effort and dedication. Having mentioned that, I’d nonetheless make the case that in big games and key moments, especially come playoff time, he by some means discovered an excellent higher gear.

How good was Keon? I’ll always recall listening (on the radio this night time, not television) to the legendary broadcaster Foster Hewitt calling a late-season Leaf recreation at Maple Leaf Gardens towards the end of the 1972-’seventy three NHL schedule. After losing a number of key young gamers to the fledgling World Hockey Affiliation earlier than that season started, the Leafs struggled mightily that 12 months. Yet Keon had another standout season, inflicting Hewitt to comment that night, “The place would this Maple Leaf team be without Dave Keon?”

Indeed. One line said it all.

There have been many other Canadians who wore the Leaf crest with pleasure and distinction, and I’d not argue if any one in all them had been named the best “Canadian-born” Maple Leaf. But nearly as good and important as all these gamers had been, my guess is few, if any, would take umbrage with the notion of Keon standing at the top of this checklist.

- Michael Langlois, Classic Leaf Memories

Finland : Niklas Hagman

If you wish to gain an understanding of the place the Leafs have gone incorrect in the past couple of decades, you need to look no further than the checklist of Finnish Maple Leaf gamers. Each mistake this franchise has made be represented with a Finnish player.

The Leafs trying to get the final drop of blood out of an growing old veteran: Jyrki Lumme.

Taking a chance on a player who might need a change of scenery: Aki Berg.

Giving up a excessive draft pick for a backup goaltender: the pile of flaming sizzling garbage that’s Vesa Toskala.

That leaves one Finn that Toronto fans haven’t tried to erase from our recollections: Niklas Hagman. Nik was introduced in to the Leafs group in that magical time after the firing of John Ferguson Jr. and before the hiring of Brian Burke when Leafs followers thought something was doable. Cliff Fletcher was quickly in charge and was going to proper the ship by constructing a basis for success in Toronto.

One of his first strikes was bringing in Hagman as a free agent. Hagman would deliver two 20-purpose seasons and would be one of many few penalty killers who didn’t make our eyes bleed on these teams, however really he’s memorable for 3 causes:

1. Having an extremely sizzling wife

2. This goal

3. And being sufficient of an asset that he could possibly be bundled with Jamal Mayers, Ian White and Matt Stajan to deliver Dion Phaneuf to Toronto, giving us one of the biggest message board threads of all time.

Kudos to Niklas Hagman, but a solemn honourable point out goes to Tuukka Rask. He was robbed of his alternative of turning into the greatest Finnish Maple Leaf of all time and will have to settle for that recognition with a lesser franchise. And better of luck to Christopher Gibson (great Finnish name). Breaking Toronto’s Finnish goaltending curse now rests on you.

-Jon Steitzer

USA: Phil Kessel

When Wendel Clark was traded for Mats Sundin, one thought on the time that there would never be a extra polarizing trade for fans of the Maple Leafs.

In September of 2009, a challenger emerged.

Phil Kessel arrived in Toronto with the stigma of being part of a trade in which the Leafs were viewed as getting completely hosed: A 2nd general decide (Tyler Pig-Pen Seguin), a 2nd round decide (Jared Knight) and a 1st round pick (seventh total) the next yr (Dougie Hamilton).

It couldn’t have looked worse because the Leafs stumbled to consecutive lottery decide finishes, but time has a funny means of adjusting the way in which you view hockey trades. As of the previous two seasons, it’s began to slide into Toronto’s favour as Kessel continues to stake his declare as one of the crucial talented gamers to swimsuit up for an almost 100-12 months-old franchise.

His velocity, his shot and his launch make him one of those rare combos each group appears to be like for in a winger. You would argue that whereas he isn’t the very best Leaf of all time, he is within the dialog for probably the most gifted. The last few seasons have seen Kessel grow to be extra than simply the one-dimensional scoring winger he was often pigeon holed as in his Boston and early Leaf days; he’s equally elite at playmaking as he’s ending.

Since 2010-eleven, Kessel has change into a dominant participant in the NHL. 5th in goals scored, 7th in factors – all carried out with out having a No. 1 centerman to play with. Playoffs? Small samples sizes, certain, however he was 2nd within the league for targets per sport in the playoffs against a workforce that isn’t recognized for given up many targets.

Knocks about being a bad teammate from his NHL combine days have been far off the mark. In actual fact, the other is true—he is extensively lauded as being one of the most fashionable players within the room. It’s definitely true that Kessel will never be a pure in entrance of the digicam, which is more hilarious than legit grounds for criticizing a hockey player. As it stands, he appears to be like prone to break into the highest-25 Leafs of all time this season for objectives and bust into the highest 30 for points, forward of Doug Gilmour. He’s still just 25 years of age.

Fans ought to be hoping that Kessel indicators long-time period for the Leafs (he turns into a UFA next summer time), and his contract will most certainly make him one of many highest paid gamers in the league. He deserves it. His common season and put up-season play have been fantastic, he’s the most offensively-gifted player on the workforce and, whereas he lacks a true #1 centerman by his side, he continues to pile up level-a-game numbers and sit among the league leaders in the most important categories.

- Declan Kerin

Sweden: Mats Sundin

Let’s get the runner up’s tremendous-worthy honourable point out out of the best way: Börje Salming delivered an incredible combination of talent and toughness in a black-and-blue-hued period of the NHL, breaking floor for each European player that adopted. A type of gamers – and the one we now have to go with for best Swede – is Mats Sundin. The hockey player’s…uh, Swedish Army knife: a whole package of potential, management, and integrity. An enormous-bodied first line centre and longtime captain whose legendary backhand helped cement him atop the Leafs’ all-time scoring record with 987 factors. His Torontonian tenure is marred only by its lack of a Stanley Cup – a failure that was far from being his personal, given that his providers and legacy stand up alongside another man privileged to have worn the Leafs’ “C”.

- Matt Mistele

Russia: Alex Mogilny

The Leafs have had some success with Russian hockey gamers prior to now two and half a long time. Naming the perfect one presents a bit of a problem. There have been two strong defenders who definitely deserve a salute. Danil Markov, and particularly Dmitri Yushkevich were largely responsible for the previous few seasons the Leafs truthfully could call their blue line “intimidating.” Sergei Berezin, Nikolai Kulemin, and Nikolai Borschevsky have all been “unbeeleelaba” and every managed 30-goal seasons in Toronto, though the participant who seems to be the slim favorite of the Russian Leafs is Alexander Mogilny.

Mogilny’s best contribution the Leafs is within the following dialog:

“The Leafs would have been a decent crew in the event that they ever discovered somebody to play on Sundin’s wing.”

“What about Mogilny?”

“Oh yeah, he was good.”

The numbers that back that up got here during 2002-03, his finest season in Toronto. Alex Mogilny put up 33 objectives and 79 factors in a seventy three sport stretch, profitable the Woman Byng, which would be the final main recreation play related award won by a Leaf until the NHL adopts their own model of the Razzies (Jason Blake did win the Masterton in 2008). Essentially the most memorable stretch of hockey played by Mogilny as a Leaf was when Sundin was down for the 2003 playoffs and Alex put up 5 goals in six video games in a futile effort. Not precisely on par with Borschevsky’s OT winner towards Detroit, however I suppose as time marches on first round playoff victories within the early 90s don’t imply as a lot because the uncooked expertise of Alexander Mogilny, who provided us with a tease of what the Leafs could have been in the event that they ever dressed two excessive-finish forwards on the same line.

- Jon Steitzer

Slovakia: Peter Ihnacak

Unfortunately, Ihnacak played with the Leafs within the 1980s (it’s good to know this wasn’t enough to discourage him from working with the Leafs in the scouting capacity afterward in life). While he never matched his 1983-’eighty three rookie season (he was already in his mid-20s by then, nonetheless) in terms of offensive manufacturing, when he netted 66 factors, he played the sport with aptitude and creativity. A superb skater who had glorious on-ice vision and a fantastic really feel for the sport, Ihnacak was a heady heart.

While hardly a bodily presence, he was a nifty playmaker for the Leafs throughout the high-scoring ‘80s. He played his last video games for Toronto during the 1989-’90 season. In simply over four hundred NHL games with Toronto, he finished with 267 common-season career factors, and 14 more in 28 lifetime playoff video games.

- Michael Langlois, Classic Leaf Memories

Czech Republic: Tomas Kaberle

When taking a look at Leafs all time leaders, he’s eighth in games played, fifth in assists, and eleventh in factors. Once you examine him to other defensemen, he’s solely behind Salming for factors and assists and solely Salming, Horton and Turnbull for targets. He also holds the NHL career record for number of assholes yelling “SHOOT!” at him while quarterbacking a power play. Of course, I’m talking in regards to the one and only Tomas Kaberle, who’s the no-brainer alternative for Top Czech (sorry, Slava Duris).

Besides the Kaberle capturing fable, Tomas was also known for being involved in each trade hearsay involving the Leafs following the primary lockout, with the favourites being a deadline deal for Jeff Carter and the draft day deal for Phil Kessel that died attributable to miscommunication over a primary round choose. When Kaberle was eventually traded he stored his loyalty to the Leafs by ensuring he added absolutely no worth to the Bruins, a follow that he would then carry ahead with the Hurricanes and Canadiens as effectively.

Focusing more on what he did whereas he was a Leaf, Kaberle used his skating skill combined with his accuracy to be one of many league’s top offensive defensemen and a 4 time All-Star. Sadly possession hockey was banished from the Better Toronto Area in 2012 so it’s unlikely we’ll see another participant like Kaberle anytime soon. (I assume Carlyle has Colton Orr mentoring Jake Gardiner and Morgan Rielly).

Presently unemployed, odds aren’t great that Kaberle might be persevering with his NHL career, but it surely’s debatable that his numbers are good enough that he might be the subsequent participant to have his number honoured by the Leafs, changing into only the third European player in Toronto’s historical past to have his quantity in the rafters. If that is the case, I hope he brings along these guys.

- Jon Steitzer


Steve Thomas (England)

With all due respect to the Polish Prince Mariusz Czerkawski, it wasn’t too troublesome to come up with a reputation for the Best of Relaxation. That player is Steve “Stumpy” Thomas from jolly ol’ England.

There have been 18 gamers in Maple Leafs history that come from exterior the massive seven hockey countries together with the hockey hotbeds of Estonia, Ireland and the Bahamas, but of these players Thomas leads the group in points, points per recreation, and seasons suffered underneath Harold Ballard. Nikolai Antropov has Thomas beat on objectives by seven, but that came to visit the course of 132 more video games for the Leafs.

While Thomas’ greatest seasons came on Lengthy Island, he had a few notable ones in Toronto both on the increase and decline of his career within the NHL. In 1986-87, Thomas had a 35-objective season which set off the alarm in Toronto that they needed to rid themselves of this good young player instantly. When he eventually returned to Toronto in the ninety eight-99 season, he put up seventy three factors after only managing 24 the earlier season in New Jersey.

Thomas additionally spent part of his time in Toronto as an extra in Youngblood, famously getting towel snapped by Patrick Swayze, which because of Nik Antropov and Alexei Ponikarovsky is only the second strangest video by players on this grouping.

Here’s the arduous working Thomas dismantling the Sens within the 2000 playoffs (please note the rare Sergei Berezin go on the OT winner).

-Jon Steitzer


USA Hockey motivated by gold loss; Saad’s amazing year; big ice questions

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ARLINGTON, VA — When the hockey world descends on Sochi for the 2014 Olympic Video games, they are going to be greeted with a bigger ice floor, a floor not see within the event for the reason that 2006 Games in Torino.

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The elevated measurement of the ice sheet was a scorching matter on the opening day of Crew USA’s Olympic orientation camp Monday. Some gamers have experience on the large ice, while others do not. Some fancy the extra room to maneuver round on, while others would possibly concern their lack of speed will hurt them. Those are among the factors that general supervisor David Poile and his employees will need to take into account when they sit down to pick out the ultimate roster.

San Jose Sharks ahead Joe Pavelski is not any stranger to the bigger floor. He played on it when he was younger and for a short time whereas he was with Dynamo Minsk in the course of the NHL lockout final season.

“It did cross my thoughts when I used to be going over [to Minsk] it would be an excellent thing to go experience again,” he stated.

For Pavelski, the extra ice permits for more creativity, however it also offers a unique problem.

“It’s just fun taking part in,” he said. “It was undoubtedly a bit of completely different sport, holding on to the puck just a little longer, be affected person in certain areas and situations. It was a change of pace. It did take me somewhat bit to get used to, but I used to be actually glad I went over [to the KHL]. [Around] sport eight or nine things began to click a bit bit higher. It was abruptly you knew the conditions [and] the areas of the ice you are able to do certain things on.”

Keith Yandle of the Phoenix Coyotes, meanwhile, sees his sport as a defenseman change with some added room, and he’s relishing the possibility.

“We watched a little video right now and I got a excited to perhaps have the opportunity to be on the massive ice,” he stated. “I’d say probably my finest power is my skating and having the ability to skate out of trouble. With the big rink you can do that. You will get pucks and escape hassle just a little simpler than in an NHL rink simply because there’s that much more room.”

Ryan Kesler and David Backes had to watch Group Canada celebrate after Sidney Crosby’s goal in overtime received the gold medal in 2010. Regardless of Team USA overcoming the doubters previous to the event, a silver medal was fairly the achievement.

But for Kesler, the loss nonetheless hurts and the photographs of the Canadians celebrating stay.

“That’ll never leave. A whole lot of guys are returning and we all know that feeling still.”

David Backes, alternatively, modified his focus within the aftermath of the gold medal game.

“I’ve sort of suppressed these ideas,” he said. “After the Video games you go proper into your NHL season and there’s not a whole lot of time to mirror. I since have and I’ve concentrated less on what the Canadians did and more on what we did and the successes and the place we probably fell just a little quick.

“The feelings that we had and what I was feeling, somewhat than the elation that they had been feeling are driving elements for me still to improve one spot and convey home the gold.”

Brandon Saad of the Chicago Blackhawks has had quite a yr. In case you told him a year ago all the things he would expertise within the following 12 months, he in all probability would have said you have been loopy.

He began the 12 months with Rockford of the AHL, and after making the Blackhawks in January, Saad finished with 10 objectives and 27 points, adequate to warrant being named a Calder Trophy finalist. But there was one other trophy he had his eye on: the Stanley Cup.

Saad contributed six points as the Blackhawks gained their second Cup in four seasons. Not lengthy after the Cup win, Saad was named to Team USA’s Olympic orientation camp roster. Now with a little bit of a summer season break, he is been capable of lastly process just exactly what’s occurred to him over the past 12 months.

“It’s been pretty unbelievable,” he stated. “It’s been surreal. When it happened, it didn’t fairly sink in at the time, however having my occasion and seeing footage an seeing the Cup again, it’s really sank in.”

Between the preparation for subsequent season and his celebrating with the Cup, Saad discovered time to lastly shave the mullet he grew during the playoffs.

“I feel people were completely satisfied to see it go,” he joked.


“I was actually playing in the course of the recreation, so I heard concerning the rating after … I bear in mind not being blissful I didn’t get to look at it, but catching the scores and hearing it throughout the intermissions.” – Brandon Saad on where he was during the 2010 gold medal sport.

“I want to play for this staff for greater than something and symbolize it again. But I do know that one of the most important things is making sure I play well the primary half of the season.” – Jack Johnson

“You attempt to erase them. You don’t want to hold these recollections in your thoughts. They happen and you simply move on from them.” – Phil Kessel on not holding reminiscences of losing the gold medal game and Game 7 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“We tried to maintain it out of the locker room as much as possible. However it does take a toll on you. You’re thinking about it every day in case your group’s going to be moving. Even in the summer, you didn’t know if the group was actually going to be there. Simply to have the possession and have them come in and take us in the precise route, that’s going to be nice.” – Keith Yandle on the Phoenix Coyotes’ ownership scenario lastly being settled.


Why Mikhail Grabovski remains in free-agent exile

Gary Greenstin has seen Mikhail Grabovski excel when the match was proper and battle when it was unsuitable.

So while the veteran agent has watched a multitude of comparable gamers sign contracts during the summer season, he mentioned the priority has all the time been to find Grabovski “the right team for this 12 months,” somewhat than beating the clock as a free agent.

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It’s a course of that’s stored him with no contract, at the same time as we’re nearer to coaching camps than to the free-agent frenzy.

Of course, there’s are differing opinions on why Grabovski, 29, stays unsigned after the Toronto Maple Leafs used a compliance buyout on him in July. He had 4 years remaining on a 5-12 months, $27.5-million contract.

Via Steve Simmons of the Toronto Solar final weekend:

According to 1 NHL GM, he wished an excessive amount of money and an excessive amount of time period in the early days of free company. “He was trying to cash in on getting the buyout and double dipping,” a basic supervisor mentioned. “And once everybody who wanted a centre signed them, there was no place for him to get the type of deal he needed.”

If term was the focus earlier within the course of, it no longer is. Greenstin told us on Tuesday that Grabovski would likely take a 1-year contract with whichever NHL crew signs him, which is the desire for each the participant and his agent.

Then there’s that different facet of Grabovski’s messy divorce from the Leafs: The truth that he trashed the pinnacle coach after his buyout, in an interview with TSN:

“I play within the [expletive] Russian KHL, I make a lot of [expletive] points and what is going on to happen? He make me [expletive] play on the fourth line and he put me in the playoffs on the fourth line and third line again,” Grabovski spewed. “Yeah, I don’t score targets. I need to work extra about that. I know that. But in the event you feel assist out of your coach [you will find success]. I don’t really feel any help from this [expletive] fool.”

Calling your former coach an idiot within the media … not precisely something you want in your résumé.

Greenstin was quick to say that “in my place, the coach is all the time proper,” but agreed that his consumer wasn’t given the identical offensive opportunities below Randy Carlyle that he was under Ron Wilson when Grabovski flourished offensively. Beneath Wilson, for example, he was the Leafs’ finest possession player. These numbers fell off a cliff beneath Carlyle, as Grabovski’s offensive opportunities were extra limited and his position was diminished.

“He just played the third and fourth line,” Greenstin stated.

So ice time and a major offensive position are paramount in Grabovski’s seek for a new staff, which brings us to a salient question: Is there a workforce keen to deliver him on as a second-line heart, which is where he clearly wants to play?

Allan Muir of sees a match with the Vancouver Canucks, though one wonders how Grabbo plus John Tortorella’s calls for would end up. The Washington Capitals have at all times appeared like an excellent match given their need for offense on the second line, but they seem content material to give Brooks Laich a look there.

Greenstin mentioned that there’s interest from NHL teams in Grabovski, which is something he’s mentioned throughout the process. He stated, specially, there is one with whom there appears to be a match, however that nothing could be introduced within the brief time period.

He mentioned Grabovski will signal before camp. He also mentioned that regardless of many overtures from the KHL, Grabovski doesn’t anticipate taking part in in Russia this season – at the very least at this juncture.

“There’s no panic,” he mentioned. “For us, what’s most essential proper now is the workforce.”


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Ottawa Senators, National Hockey League of Nations

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

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By Bonk’s Mullet and Ryan Traditional from Silver Sevens

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Good:

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

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

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

The Dangerous:

• Additionally holds the franchise record in tone deafness.

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

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

The Ugly:

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

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

The Good:

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

• Turned director of player personnel from 1999 to 2002

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

The Unhealthy:

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

• Blasphemously wore number eleven for the Senators.

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

The Ugly:

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

USA: Joe Corvo

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

The Good:

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

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

• Founding member of Loopy City:


• Helped Ottawa attain the Stanley Cup Finals in 2007.

The Bad:

• Helped Ottawa lose the Stanley Cup Finals in 2007.

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

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

The Ugly:

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

Sweden: Daniel Alfredsson

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

The Good:

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

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

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

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

• Named considered one of his sons “Fenix.”

The Bad:

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

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

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

The Ugly:

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

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

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

Russia: Alexei Yashin

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

The Good:

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

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

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

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

The Bad:

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

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

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

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

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

The Ugly:

• His wardrobe decisions:

The Traditional Yashin The Russian Bill Cosby

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

His worst style faux pas.

Slovakia: Zdeno Chara

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

The Good:

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

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

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

The Bad:

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

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

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

The Ugly:

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

Czech Republic: :Dominik Hasek

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

The Good:

• Arguably the perfect goaltender of all-time.

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

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

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

The Bad:

• Presumably made up the adductor muscle.

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

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

The Ugly:

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


Martin Gerber, Switzerland

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

The Ugly:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Star of one of the best GIF in hockey

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

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

Russia: Alexei Yashin

• Spiteful choice.

Sweden: Daniel Alfredsson Erik Karlsson

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

This vote may have been totally different a month ago.

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

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

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

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

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

Slovakia: Marian Hossa (Honourable mention: Zdeno Chara)

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

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

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


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?


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.


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?


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.


Winners and losers in NBC Sports’ 2013-14 NHL TV schedule

Getty Images NBC and NBC Sports Network will air 103 NHL regular season games during the 2013-14 season, with 13 games in NBC and 90 games in NBC Sports Network.

The NBC schedule can be found here. The NBC Sports Network schedule can be found here. If that wasn’t enough puck, the NHL Network schedule can be found here.

Among the highlights:

The 2014 NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings on January 1 at 1 p.m. ET on NBC.

The inaugural NHL Stadium Series, featuring four games played in iconic outdoor venues between January 25 and March 1, including: Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif., Yankee Stadium in New York, N.Y., and Soldier Field in Chicago, Ill. Plus the NHL Heritage Classic at BC Place in Vancouver, B.C. on March 2.

The return of Wednesday Night Rivalry on NBC Sports Network. The 2013-14 NHL season on NBCSN will feature 24 Wednesday Night Rivalry telecasts — up from 15 last year.

A Stanley Cup Final rematch between the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins on Sunday, January 19 on NBC.

So that’s fun. But what are some of the lowlights? Here is our annual look at the winners and losers in the 2013-14 NHL TV schedule on NBC.

Here is the 2013-14 NHL schedule tabulation for NBC and NBCSN. The “flex” games, which could air on NBC or on cable, are counted under NBC’s total. In parentheses on the NBCSN side are last year’s total games on NBCSN during the lockout-shortened season.

Check out Steve Lepore’s schedule fun here for more analysis.

Winner: Philadelphia Flyers. If you tally up their appearances on NBC, NBCN and NHL Network, the Flyers have 30 appearances on national television next season for a non-playoff team in 2013. The Pittsburgh Penguins, by comparison, have 27, which makes total sense when you consider that they have Sidney Crosby and the Flyers are owned by Comcast. Uh, right?

Loser: The Pacific Division. As Steve Lepore notes, “only 5 of NBC and NBCSN’s 106 NHL broadcasts in 2013-14 will be Pacific Divisional matchups.” One Anaheim vs. Los Angeles matchup on NBCSN is about two away from where that total should be.

Winner: The Sedin Twins. Finally … the Vancouver Canucks … HAVE COME BACK TO NBC SPORTS NETWORK! Mark it down: March 2, 4:30 p.m., it’s the Canucks vs. the Senators on your American television network! Granted, it took an outdoor game to get a team that actually got ratings in 2011 in the Stanley Cup Final back on NBCSN after no game last season, but hey, they’re back.

Loser: Anyone Who Wants To See The Oilers. Once more, with feeling. This is the fourth straight season the Oilers don’t have a single game on NBC, which once again boggles the mind. Terrible team? Sure. But this network (or its precursor) showed the NHL Drafts in which Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov were taken first overall. And American fans, despite their allergy to non-Montreal, Toronto or Vancouver teams, want to see the next wave of NHL stars. How can you not sell that, even if for one night against, say, the reigning Cup champs?

Winner: Carolina Hurricanes. Huzzah! The Hurricanes have one big huge whole game on NBCSN, which is a welcome change from their goose egg last season. (Who really wants to see the Staal brothers anyway, right?)

Loser: New Jersey Devils. The Devils had 11 potential appearances on NBC and NBCSN during last season’s lockout-shortened campaign. That’s down to seven in this full season, with their outdoor game against the Rangers as their only appearance on NBC. Also, Kovalchuk left for Russia, in case you didn’t hear.

Winner: St. Louis Blues. The Blues have 13 potential appearances on NBC and NBCSN this season, which is up from what they would have had in a full season in 2012-13.

Loser: New York Islanders. Nearly upsetting the Penguins, having John Tavares as a Hart candidate, and that only gets you four appearances on NBCSN? Prediction: 82 games on NBC when they move to Brooklyn. Because hipsters is why.


Who were the luckiest and unluckiest NHL teams in 2013 season?

Getty Images Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than be good, and sometimes you’re good because you’re lucky.

Trying to quantify an abstract concept like “luck” would seem rather difficult, but that’s why we have people like Rob Vollman in our lives. He’s the founder of Hockey Prospectus, and developed an equation that attempts to glean which NHL teams were “luckier” than others each season.

From Vollman:

There are five basic ways that luck can influence a team’s position in the standings: injuries, shooting and save percentages (which is called PDO when added together), their power play and penalty killing percentages (which is called Special Teams Index when added together), their record in one-goal games (regulation time only), and their record in overtime and shoot-out games.

So who were the teams that got lucky in 2013?

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Pittsburgh Penguins were lucky indeed, as the top seven tells us:

Hockey Abstract “CHIP” is the combined cap hit of all injured players. “PDO” is team shooting percentage plus save percentage. “STI” is power play plus penalty killing percentage.

As Hockey Abstract notes, the categories here are ones that involve skill and luck, and there’s some overlap. So the site allows you to adjust the parameters of each category as you see fit. Which is good, because I don’t consider special teams to be primarily a product of luck, but of skill, coaching and execution.

The Leafs’ PDO was the best on the chart; ditto their special teams index. Their only failing was in overtime games, where Toronto was 2-5.

Six of the seven were playoff teams; Edmonton is the oddball, powered by their strong special teams. Take that out, and they drop to ninth.

The Columbus Blue Jackets, incidentally, came in 10th on the luck list, which might seem low for a team that played above its head last season. But without special teams factored in, they jump to sixth.

What about the teams deemed “unlucky” on the list? Here are the bottom six:

OBVIOUSLY the Devils and Hurricanes had some voodoo hex on them. Yep. That’s it. Florida, however, was just terrible.

As you can see, no playoff teams. You have to go to No. 21 on the luck list, the Minnesota Wild, to find your first one, at a minus-2.61. (Florida is a minus-22.50, by comparison.)


Puck Daddy’s 2013 NHL Free Agent Frenzy Report Card

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

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

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

Anaheim Ducks

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

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

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

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

GRADE: B-plus

Boston Bruins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GRADE: A-minus

Buffalo Sabres

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


Calgary Flames

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


Carolina Hurricanes

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


Chicago Blackhawks

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


Colorado Avalanche

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

GRADE: C-minus

Columbus Blue Jackets

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

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


Dallas Stars

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

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

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

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

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

GRADE: A-minus

Detroit Red Wings

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

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

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

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


Edmonton Oilers

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

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

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

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


Florida Panthers

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


Los Angeles Kings

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


Minnesota Wild

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

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

GRADE: B-minus

Montreal Canadiens

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

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

GRADE: B-plus

Nashville Predators

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

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

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

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

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

GRADE: C-minus

New Jersey Devils

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

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

GRADE: B-minus

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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.


New York Rangers

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

GRADE: B-minus

Ottawa Senators

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

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

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

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

Tough losing Alfie, but it might be his loss.

GRADE: A-minus

Philadelphia Flyers

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

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

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

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

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

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

GRADE: B-plus

Phoenix Coyotes

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

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

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

GRADE: B-minus

Pittsburgh Penguins

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

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


San Jose Sharks

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

GRADE: C-minus

St. Louis Blues

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

GRADE: D-plus

Getty Images Tampa Bay Lightning

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

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

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


Toronto Maple Leafs

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

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

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


Vancouver Canucks

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

GRADE: C-plus

Washington Capitals

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

GRADE: C-minus

Winnipeg Jets

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

GRADE: C-minus