Blues’ goalie Jaroslav Halak has still not recovered from his high ankle sprain that happened three months ago. I have a hunch that the nagging injuries that will stem from favoring this leg will have him in and out of the lineup a lot in the first half. I would be steering clear of the St. Louis goalie situation even without this added twist – but now there’s no way I’d touch it. I would normally prefer Halak over Brian Elliott but at this point, I have to change that opinion. I know it’s still only July and he’s “on track for a return”, but if Elliott gets to start the season because Halak is still nursing one injury or another, he won’t give up the throne.
Dwight King signed an extension with the Kings for two years. He had a fantastic postseason, notching five goals and eight points. But potentially he’s a third-line hustler who subs in on a scoring line occasionally. I would expect mid to high 30s this year, with perhaps 40 PIM. He should be a Top 6 player on the team in hits though (130 range).
Sharks signed minor leaguer and occasional NHL guest star Jonathan Matsumoto last week. He’s a very underrated checker who hadn’t been used properly by either Florida or Carolina. Just a victim of the numbers game. He reminds me of Tim Brent.
Here are the Top 10 players over 35, according to Eric Roberts at The Hockey Writers. Myself, I would shift Chara to No.1. In fact, if I just use his 10 players, this is how I would do it:
2. St. Louis
Only other player I would consider here is Dan Boyle. Otherwise, he picked a good 10 – just not in an order I would have gone with. Other 35 and older players include Hejduk, Smyth, Prospal, Timonen, Gonchar, Koivu, Sullivan, Bertuzzi, Jovanovski, Sykora, Arnott and Souray.
Over at The Hockey News I continued with my offseason reports. Yesterday I posted my fantasy reports on the New York Islanders and the New Jersey Devils.
Regarding the CBA and defining (or re-defining) hockey-related revenue – isn’t that something that could have been discussed and negotiated back in March? Get that solved and out of the way prior to July and then focus on the dirtier details of the CBA. Or would that make too much sense?
Hockey Wilderness is trying to come up with a name for the legion of followers of the rumor mongers. You know, the people who follow Eklund (over 130,000 Twitter followers), NHLInsiderrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (or how ever many r’s he stuck on), NHLSourcesSay, etc. I’ll be interested in seeing the name voted in. Whenever the topic comes up in conversation or in the forum, I get the feeling that the people who follow one of these accounts are a little embarrassed. They feel the need to explain why they follow. The No.1 reason? “For a laugh”. Well, I can help you there. I’ve never followed any of the three above accounts, but I have followed Conan O’Brien, Norm McDonald, or even Burnsy, our old pal Chris Burns. I follow them, I get my laugh. I don’t need rumors for a laugh.
While Eklund I don’t mind. I think he’s a pioneer in the field. He was the first. And right or wrong, he’s marketed it well and I don’t fault what he does. He can do his thing and I can do mine. I’ve been to his website four times in my life, once was to see a piece that he used from DobberHockey, and the other times were just via links in the forum. I don’t need to see rumors. Zero desire. Like a bunch of chicks gossiping if you ask me. Those other two guys - Sources Say and that other one with the extra r’s? Just a guy on the couch eating cheesies in his boxers. Yep. He could be living next door to you for all you know.
Theo Peckham signed a one-year deal with the Oilers worth about a million bones. He lost his PIM crown last season and concussion issues cost him much of the second half. The PIM will always be there for him, but so will the injuries.
Ondrej Pavelec was apparently in a car crash in May while driving under the influence. His license was suspended and nobody was injured in the crash. Note to Winnipeg players – if you go to a party with Pavelec and Byfuglien, you’re probably going to be the DD.
The Habs signed Blake Geoffrion to a one-year, two-way deal. As I noted in a recent ramblings, for prospects at that age, a two-way is the kiss of death in terms of making the team this year. Agents of such players should be angling for two-year deals with the second one being one way.
Theo Peckham highlights…
A little teaser here. This is Mikael Granlund from Sunday: