I apologize for all the emails I am not responding to. I'd like to say I'm reading them, but if I see that it's a fantasy question and it's long-winded, I pretty much don't even do that. I know this is an important month, but you can imagine how busy I am with everything this month. I strongly advise you take advantage of the forum. I try and answer several questions on it per day and the other posters are find are quite knowledgeable. Ask your question there! Afraid someone in your pool will see? Well then ask your question and when you get an answer, edit your question to read "Top Secret! Question Removed!"
The Boston Bruins have acquired center/right wing Petteri Nokelainen from the New York Islanders in exchange for center prospect Ben Walter and a conditional second-round draft choice in 2009. Nokelainen, ranked 112th on my fantasy prospects list, is ready for the NHL now, but is a defensive forward with minimal upside (I generously give him 55 points for down the road). Walter is also pretty close, but he is older. He is marginally stronger offensively and much weaker defensively. Neither should be considered in your fantasy leagues, unless 400 or more players are drafted.
Mason Raymond has been the most impressive rookie in the Vancouver camp and by many accounts stands to have a good shot at making the team. He should have been included in the rookie article. He is ranked 131 on my fantasy prospects list. The lanky left winger tore it up in college last year.
Noah Welch, Florida's last RFA, is close to finalizing a contract and should have one done this week.
Sportsnet is reporting that Mike Fisher has a strained groin muscle that will cause him to miss some camp. Since he is on my Band-Aid boy list, you weren't expecting 70 games from him anyway...so this news won't impact your decision at the draft table. Right?
Mike Dunham has retired and will be the Isles new goaltending coach. Out of a job in the hockey world? Just become the backup goalie for the Isles. Within a year you'll be promoted to an office position.
My pick to take that final spot on the Pens roster up front - Jonathan Filewich - scored his first goal of the rookie tournament yesterday in a 6-3 win over Florida. Any right winger making this team should get massive dark horse consideration for your pool.
The Flyers have invited Jim Dowd to training camp.
Besides Brent Sopel (who I reported earlier) the Red Wings have also invited Jassen Cullimore and Aaron Downey to camp. Anyone but Jason Allison is getting invites these days.
SPECTOR is reporting that Patrick Stefan has a clause in his contract in Switzerland that allows him to jump to the NHL if he signs within a certain window. Spector reports that the Coyotes are negotiating with him.
Ilya Zubov scored the only goal for Ottawa in the recent 5-1 loss to the Pens. He has a shot at making the big club, but could do with one year of AHL seasoning. He has nice offensive talent and has moved up on my Fantasy Prospects list, as you may have noticed.
Ray Emery has been given clearance to begin taking part in on-ice drills this coming Saturday.
The expert draft went down last night. I posted a thread in the "one year" section of the forum with some info on what went down, plus Burnsy will have a full analysis in the next few days. The updated Pool Guide that will come out on September 21 will have my full thoughts and analysis.
"Looking Ahead", a new feature on DobberHockey, is now up and running. You can find it via the menu on the left-hand side. Have a look - comments are welcome in the forum.