McDavid vs. Eichel is hardly Taylor vs. Tyler; Seguin for Art Ross? and more …

***

Here is an interesting one - the Chicago Blackhawks have signed Michael Leighton to a one-year deal. His window - which was quite promising at one point - has come and gone. It was destroyed by injuries that had the worst timing. Antti Raanta's job is safe.

I agree with Ryan Lambert's take on the Kevin Hayes situation here. I also think Hayes makes an excellent dark horse pick for this season. He should either sign with his brother in Florida... which is unlikely because Florida has a logjam of forwards and that's the reason he didn't sign with Chicago. Or he will sign with Calgary, where his two college linemates play (Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold). Hayes is profiled extensively in the Fantasy Prospects Report.

***

Alright! Back with some fresh ramblings after pinch-hitting for Drance yesterday with ramblings that I wrote Thursday because I was camping with the kids. Now I'm back for good, other than one-day trips here and there. Nothing more to interfere with the site. So the Fantasy Guide will get some attention again - I hope to do the projected final NHL standings, my annual Calder candidate list, and the NHL team "goals for" projections all this week.

*

Just a quick thought on TSN's attempt to drum up a Taylor vs. Tyler type of interest in next year's draft with McDavid vs. Eichel - Stop. Just stop. McDavid is a generational player. He's a Crosby who comes around every 10 years or so. Eichel is a likely Eric Staal or Mike Modano type, or at best a Stamkos. Eichel may be No.1 in most drafts, but not this one and not close. For example, Eichel would have gone first this past summer against that crop. But let's build the hype of next year's draft properly - a generational player, and a potential superstar, will go one-two. That still sells, there is no need to make up a fake "hmmm, I wonder who will go first" bit of drama.

Dobber for TSN president!

*

I got my copy of the Sports Forecaster Friday, and once again I'm a contributor to that esteemed summer annual. This year I only contributed a small part - the smallest in 10 years. But proud to help those guys out once again.

They were pretty ballsy in projecting Tyler Seguin to win the Art Ross Trophy and kudos to them. My hat is off. Because it takes balls to stick your neck out on some projections, especially an important one like that. And Seguin could absolutely do it, too. He is a great player on a team that will score a ton of goals. He's also an 82-game player, which helps. But I'm not on board, I'll stick with Crosby. The Forecaster did have Crosby playing 77 games and I'll guarantee you this - if Crosby plays 77 games, he's winning the scoring title.

*

I also contributed to THN's Ultimate Fantasy Guide this year, for the 11th time in 12 years (I missed one due to my honeymoon). You can find me in my usual spot - inside back cover.

*

The Ducks signed Jakub Silfverberg Friday and I know Amato touched on it but I wanted to as well. I think the contract is a great one for the Ducks, but a terrible one for Silfverberg's fantasy owners. At $850,500, it gives him virtually no status with the team. No "allure". No "buzz". There is no reason for the coach (Bruce Boudreau) to play him through slumps, or give him extended looks on the Getzlaf or Kesler lines. Think about it. If he was making $2.5 million, he'd get lots of looks on the scoring line. But a contract this low is easy to ignore.

Odd that Patrick Maroon was given $2 million per year for three years starting 2015-16. Speaks volumes to me in terms of hierarchy.

*

Advanced Stats site Extra Skater went dark a few days ago, and he hasn't said a thing about it on his Twitter account. So speculation is rampant, with theories ranging from the NHL clamping down on its data sharing, to the NHL or an NHL team enlisting the help of Darryl Metcalf (creator and owner). But the NHL adding what Extra Skater brings - and paying Metcalf a salary to set it up and maintain it - make a ton of sense to me. It's what I would do if I were running NHL.com.

*

Speaking of advanced stats, the bridge between regular stats and advanced stats - Frozen Pool - is now fully fixed and functional. And free. Completely free. With reports that pull things such as the total number of hits for a player within a specified window that you set, or the best goaltenders for facing shots from 'X' feet from the net, to preseason stats from 2007, etc.

*

I missed this last week, but Michael Russo reported in on a few Wild players. He quotes the following from Chuck Fletcher:

“Everything’s a go with both goalies,” Fletcher said of Backstrom and Harding. “Everybody seems to be feeling pretty good, and at this stage, knock on wood, all of our players who were banged up at the end of the season is feeling better. Josh has felt good. Right now we’re not expecting any issues for anybody with respect to passing training camp medicals. Now’s the time of the year, with about a month to go, you want to reach out and make sure there’s no issues you don’t know about so if there is something you have time to help the process…There’s still some quality goaltenders out there. Ilya’s out there and a few others, so there’s that type of option out there. But we’re happy with the quality of our goaltending. When guys have been healthy, they’ve performed well. Darcy [Kuemper] also showed some glimpses of what we hope he’ll become, so we’re comfortable with those three goaltenders. People always ask if I’m worried about it, and I’m not worried about it. You never know what’s going to happen. Injuries can happen to anybody and certainly you can’t predict things, but guys are healthy and typically when Backstrom and Harding are healthy, they play well. If something happens, like any player at any position, we’ll react. There’s always a way to react if you need to, but at this point, we’re comfortable with our situation. They’re quality goaltenders and I’m not losing any sleep over it.”

So there you go.

*

Some minor prospect news - Columbus draft pick Sonny Milano has opted to play in the OHL (Plymouth) instead of college. Milano is ranked 81 on my Fantasy Prospects List and probably has the highest upside of anyone in their prospect pipeline. But he is about three years away, maybe more. Both Kerby Rychel and Alexander Wennberg should make the team before Milano does. The Plymouth vs. college hockey inner debate has been a summer-long theme for Milano, so it was obviously a tough decision.

*

News on my DobberHockey app - it is expected to be released this week (the update) and changes from last year is really just an added player search. It pulls the ramblings, and it will find players, and it's free - but the draft list is paid (just $4.99 and includes both season and playoff draft lists. But I almost have confirmation that next year's update will have my player rankings added and updated every month.

*

Now THIS is an ice bucket challenge (for ALS) accepted. PK Subban shows us how it's done:

 

Comments  

#11 Daydream Nation 2014-08-18 22:56
Raanta needs to play better than he did the 2nd half of last season if he wants to keep his job as the Chicago backup. Every month his GAA went up while his save % was 86%-88%. That's not going to cut it.
#10 TeamFoster4 2014-08-18 20:07
FrozenPool Fantasy Game Planner did not work for me.
The 2013-14 schedule worked, but none of the dates in 2014-15.
Thanks.
#9 mojavedesert 2014-08-18 16:24
Haha......you can blame it on post-camping hangover Dobber. I bet you were multi-tasking - putting away camping gear while writing the ramblings and wanting to sleep at the same time.
Thank you for the great ramblings and the unintentional laugh!

PS...I don't think I could survive PK's ice-bucket challenge, holy s#@*!!
#8 Dobber 2014-08-18 15:25
I can't believe I edited that Seguin sentence this morning - and STILL missed the fact that I said "Calder" and not "Art Ross". I'm drinking a coffee now, the hamster is starting to run in the wheel in my head again.
#7 mabus 2014-08-18 14:40
...since I can't read the magazine because it's not out here, did Dobber mess up what trophy goes with the scoring title, or did the Score mess up? Someone please enlighten me, because if they said Seguin for Calder, that's hilarious. If not, Dobber should correct the rambling because it's quite confusing.
#6 number54 2014-08-18 14:38
Gonna have to agree about the McDavid Eichel fanfare. Eichel's a great player--reminds me a whole lot of Jordan Eberle, albeit with much quicker release and acceleration. Essentially, he has all the same tools that make Eberle successful, but he's a lot stronger on the puck. Essentially, Eichel looks to me like Eberle on 'roids.

McDavid, though, just doesn't have any comparparables, because it's really tough to mention Sid's name without sounding pompous. But frankly, unless you talk about Crosby, you're not really doing justice to McDavid's tool kit. He's just so well-rounded that the only other guy I can think of who does EVERYTHING that well is Sidney. It's not that I think he's as good as Sid; in fact, I really doubt that. But, he's got the same attributes that make Sid so great. Time will tell whether the comparisons were really warranted, but I think it's a case of "for lack of a better word" when you see Crosby's name come up in comparisons.
#5 rataylor22 2014-08-18 14:11
RE: McDavid vs. Eichel...Thank you! Totally agree. This debate is not close. But could you stop talking up McDavid so much? We still want a chance to acquire him!

Would be awesome if Crosby or Seguin won the Calder. That is a damn bold prediction! (Theoretically, either could also win it by playing in the AHL)
#4 Shenanigans 2014-08-18 13:02
I think most of us can put the 2+2 together, and realize you meant the Art Ross trophy. But a typo like that makes the jab from Mojavedesert totally legit. :D
#3 germant 2014-08-18 12:55
@mojavedesert - I'm not sure what's worse, picking Seguin for the Calder or the older Crosby. Lol
#2 Pit Bulls 2014-08-18 11:42
Milano has been back and forth between Boston College and Plymouth of the OHL all summer long. His latest flip-flop was going to Plymouth if he doesn't make the NHL.

You need to login to post comments. Registration takes 5 seconds. See link at top left under "home"