Pavol Demitra has signed a one-year deal to play in the KHL next season.

 

Jack Skille has a smart agent. He signed a one-year deal worth $600k today with Chicago. His qualifying offer was for over $1 million, but it would have been a two-way deal had he accepted it.

 

Now he has a one-way deal, and a very cap-friendly contract. Two reasons why he is a lock for Chicago's forward group.

 

Montreal has signed David Desharnais to a one-year, two-way contract. He impressed in his brief stint with the big club last season (only one assist in six games, but he was noticeable on the ice).

 

He is undersized but a proven producer at every level so far. He'll be in tough to see more than a brief call-up or two unless Montreal gets ravaged by injuries.

 

Montreal also signed Alexander Avtsin today. He's got a considerable amount of upside and getting him over and signed is a major coup for the Habs. Get him on your radar if he wasn't there already.

 

Igor Makarov has signed a two-year deal with Chicago. Before you get all excited, remember he has only scored five goals in his past 55 KHL games.

 

I have read that his KHL team put him in a defensive role (perhaps Rosso can weigh in). Even then, the Hawks have a long list of young forwards he'd have to leapfrog to earn a spot in the top nine.

 

Great article on Andrew Cogliano from a few weeks ago. I love reading something that changes my perspective of a player completely.

 

Minnesota has re-signed Josh Harding. Does this mean KHL for prospect Anton Khudobin? Khu knows.

 

Toronto has signed German winger Marcel Mueller. You probably remember him from the 2010 Olympics back in February. He is big and skilled. (How's that for a scouting report?)

 

Look for Mueller to spend some time at the AHL level. He replaces Stalberg in terms of upside on the left wing.

 

According to George McPhee, the Caps are done in free agency. I am very surprised that a contending team is comfortable with a rookie (Marcus Johansson, Mathieu Perreault) or an out-of-place winger (Brooks Laich, Tomas Fleischmann) centering the second line.

 

I'll leave the Pittsburgh-winger speculation to Dobber, I swear he is bombarding Ray Shero's inbox with Patrick O'Sullivan information. I'll say one thing though, Crosby's wingers at the moment are Pascal Dupuis and Chris Kunitz.

 

Crosby was probably watching the Free Agent Frenzy on TSN... "Ok, we replaced Gonch with Michalek. Won't be able to afford Martin and a winger now. Time to get a winger, how about Ray Whitney? My old budy Colby perhaps? What's this?  Martin as well? I guess I'll have to score 50 again next year! I swear... if Guerin thinks he is coming back..."

 

As Dobber reported yesterday, Scott Glennie has signed a contract with the Stars.

 

He'll be back in the WHL next season - don't expect him to pull a Jamie Benn at training camp this fall. Benn's rapid development doesn't happen very often.

 

Shocking fact of the day: the Minnesota Wild have over $55 million committed in payroll for next season. Mikko Koivu, Niklas Backstrom, uh.... and....

 

Like Chiarelli's horrible cap mismanagement in Boston, the Wild have a slew of bad contracts. Overpaying by 200-500k isn't bad if the player fills a huge team need, but slight overpayments quickly add up if multiple players receive them.

 

Looking at Minnesota's roster, you could make a case that Burns, Zidlicky, Schultz, Miettinen, Kobasew, Bouchard, and Cullen are all overpaid.

 

Currently not taking any new submissions for team audits. Have quite a few to get to at the moment. Check back in October, I'll have more info about the future of the audit at that point.

 

Am I alone in thinking Ryan Potulny still has a shot at becoming a good NHL player? He is currently a UFA after the Oilers chose not to qualify him.

 

I have some great stuff in the 2010-11 DobberHockey Fantasy Guide, set to be released August 1st. In addition to my usual contributions,

 

I have perhaps my best (favourite) fantasy hockey-related column yet, titled “Angus’ Golden Rules of Trading.” Three simple, applicable rules that will make you an infinitely more successful poolie.

 

As well, I’ll weigh in with a Prime Cut on each team, good or bad. One player who I have a hunch/gut instinct about for the 2010-11 season (and potentially beyond).

 

The deadline for the Free Agent Frenzy Contest will be August 1st, and there are still numerous players who were on the contest list who have yet to sign anywhere.

 

I have started doing my initial projections for 2010-11, so I’ll share a few of my thoughts in the ramblings over the next few days. Some stuff for today:

 

I really like St. Louis in 2010-11. Losing Kariya and Tkachuk and replacing with Sobotka and Hensick may not seem like a win, but the Blues have many things going for them.

 

Aside from Alex Steen, almost every single player struggled from an offensive standpoint. It is highly unlikely that this “trend’ continues.

 

Halak can steal games, unlike Chris Mason.

 

The development of Oshie, Perron, Berglund, and Johnson will continue. I am interested to see who St. Louis puts at center – they like Backes there but I feel he is more effective on the wing. Oshie is great up the middle. Berglund projects to be a top line center but he isn’t close yet.

 

I see a return to the 70-point mark for Andy McDonald in 2010-11. He is one of the quickest players in the game (difference between speed and quickness), and he brings a lot of skill to the table. He hasn’t hit 70 points since 2006-07, but I have a hunch he bounces back in a big way.

 

Can you tell I spent most of my time on St. Louis yesterday? I don't go through my evaluations alphabetically, I try and start with the teams that are mostly put together. I am completely avoiding Chicago for now!

 

Over/under: Jay Bouwmeester repeats his three-goal performance in 2010-11.

 

As an avid NHL video gamer... I am excited:

 

Amazing Dion Phaneuf video put together:


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Comments (14)add comment

Mike Colligan said:

MJColligan
... Agree with the reasoning mentioned, and I would've had Jeffrey/Tangradi even - prior to this week. The Pens are having their prospect camp and Tangradi is a man amongst boys. Many are raving about Simon Despres in the same way - he looks bigger this year, but I think he's a guy who definitely still need some time.

Granted, I realize it's prospect camp and not the NHL, but Tangradi's far more ready than I expected. I assumed a November callup, now I think he makes the team out of camp. But the injury factor is a good thought.

Although Staal-Malkin-Tangradi would be a beastly line, I think Tangradi definitely ends up on Crosby's line. Crosby, more than Malkin, needs the North-South guys who open up space for him. It's why he clicked with Guerin. Guerin never messed around, threw the puck at the net and crashed.

Don't see any way Shero gets in on Stempniak or Afinogenov. No reason for him to spend every last penny available. My hunches all along have been Svatos, O'Sullivan, and maybe even Brunnstrom.

Last, I don't see a fit, but FWIW I've been told Halpern is making a 2nd visit to Pittsburgh this weekend.

July 15, 2010 | url
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
... Didn't have the upside. But after last season I bumped the upside 10 points. Now his upside I'd say is within 10 of Tangradi. Huge strides for Jeffrey, everything an owner could want and more.
The reason I say Jeffrey over Tangradi is the Band-Aid factor, and Eric's Band-Aid history dates back to junior. It could be his undoing.Tangradi has the pedigree for the inside track (they'll give him more chances than Jeffrey, a sixth-round pick), but if he makes the team and then sprains his knee four games in, Jeffrey will swoop in and steal the job. So even if Tangradi wins out of camp, there is a risk he'll lose it anyway. That's why my money is on Jeffrey.
July 15, 2010
Votes: +0

angus said:

angus
... Jeffrey is more NHL-ready than Tangradi. Doesn't have the upside, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him slot in somewhere.

July 15, 2010
Votes: +0

duballstar014 said:

duballstar014
Potulny God I hope he signs somewhere! He is more solid than people give him credit for!
July 15, 2010
Votes: +0

Maximus said:

Mr Zizzla
Pens Wingers I agree with you Dobber, Jeffrey will get the roster spot (barring a terrible camp) and will get top 6 mins this season. i think he will put up about 40-45 points as he gets accustomed to the NHL with the majority coming in the latter half of the year. he will learn his game at the NHL level and focus on his D game so that he remains responsible in the top 6. i believe he is going to develop in a similar way to his AHL numbers, going from 11-26-37 to 24-47-71. not that i am saying he will have 70+ in '11-'12 BUT Crosby/Malkin is just a bit of an upgrade from Mark Letestu and if he plays smart, keeps his head up and stick on the ice, 87/71 will find his tape so he can bang them home.

Tangradi.
I don't see the rush. well i do, because they lack skilled wingers, but i believe that he will start in the AHL so that he can be the go to guy in Jeffrey's absence and get back to his game after all of those injuries. He is clearly on the VERY short list for cups of coffee and he could be up come the new year but i believe another 30-40 in the A will do him wonders. let him dominate and get his confidence sky high so he can come into the NHL and hit the ground running.

Needless-to-say, i am excited for October to see if the deeper D can right Fleury's ship, Malkin playing full time wing with Staal as his pivot and Crosby scoring 60-60-120!

is it october yet?
July 15, 2010
Votes: +0

Jason MacFadyen said:

brakefield
NHL 11 Broken sticks?! You're kidding me. That's controller-throwing frustration just waiting to happen. I'm all for realism but some things just need to be left out of hockey video games.
July 15, 2010
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
... Would Stempniak or Afino drop their price below $2 million? I think that's where the Pens want their wingers to be. Or else they'll pick up a $3 million guy at the deadline and pro-rate the contract. That's why I had their odds a little lower and gave a bum like Svatos the best odds. My .02 again
July 15, 2010
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
... Put me down for Jeffrey over Tangradi this year.

You can't transpose KHL stats to NHL very often. Otherwise, Korolyuk and Saprykin would be stars smilies/wink.gif
I'm a little excited to see Makarov play. Just making the team and getting 25 points this year would be huge ... and not unreasonable. My prediction: he doesn't make Chicago. That's an easy prediction but it's almost always right in these cases.
But I don't discount him for getting five goals from the fourth line of a deep team. KHL teams are like veteran AHL teams - lots of journeymen and the youngsters don't see ice. Why play a promising 20-year-old when you can ice Haydar, Brent and Krog? (for example)

July 15, 2010
Votes: +0

angus said:

angus
... Now the question is, do they add a winger (or two)?

Ideally...

Kunitz-Crosby-Scoring winger (Afinogenov, Stempniak)
Staal-Malkin-Tangradi

July 15, 2010
Votes: +0

angus said:

angus
... As it stands now... I'd say:

Kunitz-Sid-Dupuis
Staal-Malkin-Tangradi
July 15, 2010
Votes: +0

Fat Palloon said:

Zangief
... Angus, do you see Tangradi getting any time on either of the top two lines next year?
July 15, 2010
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
... I don't know why the Oil didn't qualify Potulny. I thought he earned his spot last year when he was only called up for a cup of coffee. Agreed on Potulny, Angus.
July 15, 2010
Votes: +0

mick said:

hawkdog
... sweet phaneuf video! thanks!
July 14, 2010
Votes: +0

Dean Read said:

deantime419
... People have mentioned Oiler rejects Nilsson and O'Sullivan as Pens top 6 candidates but after todays ramblings you got me thinking "Hey, why not Ryan Potulny??"
July 14, 2010
Votes: +0
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