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Dobber here - see my dark horses piece on Yahoo! Puck Daddy right here.
I wrote a piece on Mikael Samuelsson and his importance to the Canucks this season – check it out over at the Hockey Writers right here.
Why are some Edmonton fans high on center Anton Lander? Read this. Lander may get the Jordan Staal treatment, though (good enough for a top six role, but more suited to a two-way third-line role with two star centers ahead of him on the depth chart).
An interesting topic over on the forum – who is the best candidate to be the next Zach Parise? That is, a hard working player who combines tenacity and a burning desire to win with an elite skill level? Matt Calvert was my first suggestion, but he lacks Parise’s star upside. Another name I came up with was Washington prospect Cody Eakin.
Speaking of Eakin, a good read on him here (and a few other Caps roster hopefuls).
“Eakin's season also included a blockbuster trade shortly after the WJC and he helped his new club to a Western Hockey League title and within one victory of the Memorial Cup.
"It's been long, but it has been really exciting," Eakin said. "I'm really happy to have experienced all the things that I did this past year. It was a pretty memorable year and one I will cherish for sure."
Eakin is young enough and slight enough that more seasoning in the AHL won't hurt him, and the contract situation of other players (Perreault specifically would have to clear waivers) could work against him, but he has become a favorite of many in the organization because of his speed, feistiness and lightning-quick release on his shot.
"I think you have to come into camp with a little swagger and that can carry you a long way," Eakin said. "It's not necessarily a cockiness, but just know that it is there to be picked and I could be the guy who they choose to do it. I've come into camp with one goal in mind and now I've got to go do it."
Jacob Josefsen has a huge opportunity ahead of him for the first few months of the season.
“While coach Pete DeBoer appears to be counting on veteran Patrik Elias as his No. 1 centerman, Josefson is very much in the picture to center a top line, as he has this week in training camp with wingers Ilya Kovalchuk and David Clarkson.”
Clarkson lost a lot of fantasy value last season because he didn’t see much PP time, but in a top six role he should get back on your radar (if you are in a league that counts PIM). Clarkson is a decent offensive player and he’s a lock for 150 PIM or more.
An interesting interview with Dmitri Orlov. Orlov is a solid defenseman with upside, but there’s a bit of a logjam in Washington with mobile, two-way defensemen right now (Green, Wideman, Hamrlik, Carlson, etc). He’s probably two years away from regular duty.
Brandon Saad has had a great camp for the Blackhawks. On a team with less forward depth, he could challenge for an opening night roster spot. Saad already has NHL size and he has impressed Chicago’s brass with his smarts.
Owen Nolan had a good game, scoring the first goal and showing jump throughout each of the three periods. He may get a shot with the Canucks, but if not look for him to stick somewhere in the league.
Cody Hodgson looks the best I have seen him since the 2009 World Junior tourney. Strong on the puck, speed is way better, and just seems more comfortable moving around on the ice.
Right now I’d say Vancouver’s second line will likely be Sturm-Hodgson-Samuelsson.
Brendan Shanahan already doing what Colin Campbell never could – applying logic and common sense to suspensions. The video is a great way of keeping an open forum and explaining each decision, instead of picking some arbitrary number out of the sky.
A PIM sleeper pick – Vancouver winger Steve Pinizzotto. The feisty forward has starred for the dominant Hershey Bears of the past few seasons, but wanted to get a shot at an NHL roster, and he saw the openings on Vancouver’s fourth line before signing with the Canucks. Decent size, good wheels, and very hard on the forecheck.
I’m taking part in a Social Media Night coming up on October 1st at the Canucks/Oilers preseason game. There is a little contest going on to join a few of us in the suite:
There are two sets of tickets (in the form of a sticker) on two posters within Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Fans need to find one of these posters with the tickets and take their photo with the poster. From there, once they tweet the photo to @VanCanucks with the hashtag #ifoundthetix, they are entered to win. There will be 8 contest winners.
A DobberHockey member has entered the ownership ranks with the ECHL’s newest team – the San Francisco Bulls. Very cool and best of luck to VV and the rest of the team down in San Francisco.
'Got a burning fantasy hockey question? Who to trade, draft, release, or pick up? Let Dobber answer it for you, live on this Sunday's episode of Dobber Nation.
This is your chance to get one-on-one advice from Dobber about your fantasy team! Just dial (647) 247-8010 and leave your name, hometown, and question after the beep.. simple as that. (And get your questions in before 11:59pm EST on Thursday for the best chance of having them answered)'
I was never personally a huge fan of Modano, but he has been one of the best forwards over the past 15 years in the NHL. Great career: