Bowman to MTL puts end to Penner rumor? Rinaldo's hits per minute; Don't blame Joe Thornton; and more …

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Looking to update the Guide by Friday. The last update was late last week. Updates come almost daily when camps open, but for now you're getting the updates weekly. Buy the ninth annual Fantasy Hockey Guide here.

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No shocker here - but the Panthers have signed Aaron Ekblad to an ELC. I very much believe he will be an NHLer this season, possibly the only 2014 draftee who can say that.

Those who are into advanced stats, two new sites have cropped up. Brand new, but let's give them a boost since we're bored on this fine summer day. Progressive Hockey is one. War on Ice is the other.

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I wonder if the Dustin Penner tryout in Montreal that was hinted at a few days ago is dead in the water now that Drayson Bowman signed a tryout contract. Bowman is only 25 and he's responsible enough defensively. Yes, his 10 points last season really sucked, but he rarely started his shifts in the offensive zone - just 34.70% offensive zone starts, which is terribly low compared to most players league-wide. How would he do if given decent linemates and average zone starts? He could probably hold his own on the second line and become a 40-point guy. However, the Golden Boy rule is in effect here - a tryout contract probably means minor leagues for him, unless there are two or three key injuries on the wing for the Habs. He definitely needs some bounces.

Meanwhile, if I'm Penner, there is no way that I'd accept a tryout offer from a team that already has a tryout given to a younger player with a bit of upside who plays my position.

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Josh Rimer, who broke the above news on Twitter (and is a pretty good follow too, @JoshRimerHockey) also says that Shane O'Brien has accepted a tryout offer from the Florida Panthers. The Panthers actually have a spot available, so this will give Alex Petrovic and Colby Robak some competition for that No.7 job.

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The Kings have invited Jeff Deslauriers to camp on a tryout. He is earmarked to back up J-F Berube in Manchester, but a fine veteran to have in the system.

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Hmmm, I'm sensing a pattern. I'm guessing that with the turning of the calendar page, players who haven't signed yet are starting to take what they can get - i.e. a camp invite. I would expect to see lots of names come down the pipe over the next week.

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Zac Rinaldo's contract wasn't even up, but the Flyers extended his contract two years anyway. Interestingly enough, the Flyers had this to say: "He ranked second on the Flyers with 231 hits while playing an average of 7:41 per game, giving him an average of 2.23 hits per minute of ice time." Hits per minute? The NHL really has turned the corner on expanded stats.

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The Blues signed Robby Fabbri to an ELC yesterday. The 21st overall pick will top 100 points for Guelph in the OHL this year, mark my words. But in St. Louis it will take him a couple of years to crack the lineup no matter how good he is. This is one hell of a deep team. That's why Fabbri is "only" ranked 114 on my Fantasy Prospects List.

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The Jets signed ninth overall pick Nikolaj Ehlers to an ELC. He's already cleared 100 points at the junior level (QMJHL) and has little to prove there offensively. Nonetheless, that's where he'll stay - he needs to add a lot weight and strength. Ehlers is ranked 50th on my Fantasy Prospects List, as he's a good year ahead of Fabbri in terms of when we'll see him in the NHL.

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In defense of Joe Thornton, Steve Burtch goes deep into advanced stats to show why he wasn't really given a chance to succeed and could not be blamed for playoff exits.

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Yesterday in the forum I took questions, if you wanted to review them (and the answers), click here. I'm also banging out a lot of answers in individual threads, so jump in with your roster questions. It's always good to get another opinion.

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Boston will get a deal done and I'm guessing it happens around September 14-18. GM Peter Chiarelli is a patient man, but he gets deals done if he has to. And right now he has to. The Bruins are over the cap and they still have Reilly Smith and Torey Krug to sign. So I fully expect Brad Marchand and/or Johnny Boychuk to be dealt, likely for picks and prospects. I doubt the market is a strong one for Loui Eriksson right now and, although there is a tiny chance that David Krejci gets moved (UFA next summer), I doubt it. The Bruins do have Marc Savard's contract moving to LTIR, but that's still not enough to sign both Smith and Krug.

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Hey, look at this. Cap Geek now has little indicators that tell you if a player has to clear waivers or not. How freakin' handy is that?

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Here is a handy link - The Hockey Writers lists all the NHL prospects playing in the KHL this season.

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Don't believe me about Bowman's potential? This was just a few months ago:

 

Comments  

+2 #3 Corstyles 2014-09-03 13:36
"The NHL really has turned the corner on expanded stats."

Yes, yes it has. The NHL has turned that corner, and run right into a brick wall with its face.

Apparently the Philadelphia Flyers are so good at expanded stats that they can't tell the difference between a numerator and a denominator. Zac Rinaldo did NOT have 2.33 hits per minute last year. He had 0.43 hits per minute.

Google "Flyers Rinaldo hits per minute" and really depress yourself by seeing how many news outlets are parroting the Flyers' B.S. What a corner we've turned!
#2 number54 2014-09-03 09:47
Totally agree with mojave. And on that note, someone in my keeper pool just traded Vrbata for Kuznetsov. Now I freakin' love Kuznetsov, but that's still some crazy over-pay. For perspective, I thought about what other Russian draft picks panned out since the '04-'05 lockout: Malkin. That's a short list. And that's despite a number of extremely highly touted Russian prospects in the time: Radulov, Cherepanov, Anisimov, Yakupov, now Tarasenko and Kuznetsov.

Heck, I remember the summer of Stamkos' draft, people generally thought Filatov was in the same league as far as potential upside. All this to say that even guys with ENROMOUS potential aren't guaranteed to pan out whatsoever. Kuznetsov is, undoubtedly, an extraordinarily talented player, but that's far from a guarantee that he's going to fit in well with Trotz' systems, get the minutes he needs to thrive, and then run with them and get the points to back up the hype. As great as Kuznetov COULD be, he still isn't YET.
+2 #1 mojavedesert 2014-09-03 05:32
Remember when Carolina seemed to have alot of potential when they had Bowman, Dalpe and Zach Boychuk as prospects? Not everything turns out as planned and as fantasy hockey players we must remember that potential is often not attained.

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