The Fantasy Guide is now AVAILABLE! Pick it up here.
Another birthday wish to send out, this time to my mom. I will be nice and not include her age. I know she reads the ramblings from time to time (although I doubt she knows most of what I am writing about). Happy birthday!
The Penguins have signed highly-sought after college free agent Jayson Megna to a two-year ELC. Megna spent last season at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
He had 31 points in 38 games for the Mavericks last season. He attended Pittsburgh’s developmental camp back in July.
Corey Pronman ranks Minnesota’s top 10 prospects.
“4. Charlie Coyle, Center
The Good: Coyle's skating has improved a lot and his top speed has gone from a weakness to a mild strength as I'd say it's pro average now. His best trait is his physical game as he's a truck on skates with a massive frame with a strength level beyond where most junior players usually are. Coyle is a smart, creative puck possessor who has great hands for a big man. Last year, he would show flashes of playmaking skill, but that area was more consistent this year and he looks like a legit above-average passer. He works hard in board battles, and is responsible defensively.
The Bad: Coyle's first few steps still look a tad sluggish. He also sometimes takes a little too long with his decision making. He has no real glaring hole, but doesn't have dynamic tools, either.
Projection: He could be a great second-line center.”
Shane Doan was in Vancouver for dinner last night with the Canucks GM and ownership group. The restaurant he was at is actually a few blocks from my place - I tried to to some 'investigative journalism,' but but to no avail.
The Sabres have re-signed Patrick Kaleta to a three-year deal worth a total of just under $4 million. Kaleta and Steve Ott on the same line - imagine that? Ott had 156 PIM last season, while Kaleta had 116 (albiet in only 63 games).
My piece on Willie Mitchell's day with the Cup - August 12th. Do we have any readers on the site from Port McNeill?
My piece on Defending Big D - breaking down the Dallas top six, including last season's numbers, and some potential line combos.
Ryan O'Marra has inked a deal to play in Europe next season. He was once a big part of the Ryan Smyth-to-Long Island trade, going the other way to Edmonton, along with Robert Nilsson and a draft pick.
The Red Wings have signed prospect Martin Frk to a three-year ELC. Frk has one year left to play in the QMJHL before he is likely to turn pro and join the Wings in some capacity (likely in the AHL).
Devils top prospect defenseman Jon Merill is going back to school for one more year. Many had speculated that he would turn pro for the 2012-13 season, but Merill has decided to return to Michigan. He has by far the most upside among any defenseman in the Devils system (not named Adam Larsson, of course).
Derek Stepan is almost guaranteed to spend most of the season with either Rick Nash or Marian Gaborik on his wing. Can you say break out? There is a reason the Rangers were unwilling to include him in any trade negotiations with Columbus.
I think Stepan worked so well with Gaborik because he doesn't carry the puck a lot (something Brad Richards loves to do).
Richards-Nash and Stepan-Gaborik as duos, with Carl Hagelin, Ryan Callahan, and Chris Kreider rotating through? A very nice top six, I'd say.
The Rangers are still after Shane Doan, too.
"The Good: Marincin is a big defender with a lot of physical tools with desirable upside. He skates well for his size, is mobile in all directions, and at times flashes true above-average ability in that area. He has good puck skills and puck-moving ability to create offense on his own and is looked to quarterback power plays to create for others as well as manning the top of the umbrella on the power play this year in the WHL.
The Bad: Marincin improved significantly on his consistency issues this year but he'll have odd brain cramp moment and still has some work to do in his defensive game. His physical game isn't an issue, but he could use his body a little more.
Projection: I could see a path where he becomes an above-average second pairing guy, but I'd say it's unlikely."
Here are some reasons as to why the Canucks are so adamant about Florida including Nick Bjugstad in any Roberto Luongo trade: