Brayden McNabb has been suspended for one game for his elbow to the head of Joey Hishon. McNabb is a top prospect for Buffalo and Hishon is a top prospect for Colorado – both players are profiled in the Fantasy Prospects Report that is out in 10 days. Hishon, who may be a little injury prone (continues to remind me of Mike Peca – unfortunately in this way too), is not skating today and may be out with a concussion.
Kudos to Angus for bringing you 10 consecutive days of ramblings. He must be fantasy hockey’d out.
Blink and you’ll miss it. I blinked and missed Purcell’s two goals yesterday. I tend to flip away...or not flip back to the game very quickly after the intermission if one team is walking away with it. That’s two games in a row that it’s burned me. I flip back and it’s suddenly tied or the team has pulled within one. That’s the beauty of hockey. I should know that by now!
Simon Gagne was a plus-4 with three points in the contest. He has 11 in 12 and is plus-7 in the postseason.
Mike Smith stopped 21 of 21 shots to steal the win. Say what you want about him but he’s won his last four decisions and has stopped 135 of the last 139 shots that he has faced. My hunch is that the team continues to roll with Roloson...but you never know.
Some thoughts I’ve jotted down over the past week:
Glencross is a genius. $2.5 million per year for four years is brilliant. On the open market he might – stress might – have gotten about the same. Or he may have Dominic Moore’d his way to a desperate last-minute one-year deal at the end of September. The Flames could have spent that money more wisely. In fact, I suspect that they could have signed Glencross himself in mid-September for $1.5 million. Seriously – 45-point, versatile players are fairly common. No need to rush and sign them. As a GM, the only player I would ever work to sign is a Top 30 player. Otherwise, I would let him go to free agency. Every time. Now, I say the words “work to sign” – and that’s key. If I don’t have to “work to sign” them, then I have no problem re-signing players. If they come to me at a discount, i.e. a Todd Bertuzzi last summer, then I would naturally agree to the deal. But if there’s no discount and you’re not a Top 30 player, then I’m not chasing you with the deal you want. Dobber for GM!
The Detroit model is the best one – Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Lidstrom of course. Top 30 guys. Johan Franzen and Val Filppula, I could make an “out” clause for my agreement in that playoff studs can get signed too (Franzen was hurt this year, so this year’s playoffs do not count). All other free agents on my team can re-sign at a discount (Bertuzzi). Cleary is the flaw - $2.8 million is not really a discount. But the other contracts are good ones.
Oops, back to Calgary – don’t forget Matt Stajan! Another player signed before they needed to, and to a terrible contract. Man, there are some smooth-talking agents out there.
I love Justin Goldman’s line on the Flyers’ goalie situation after signing another hot European goaltender: “Convoluted and over-saturated madness.”
And listen – the Flyers are not going to solve their goaltending situation via free agency. No way. If they don’t trade a Jeff Carter or a Braydon Coburn for a top backup such as Cory Schneider (just an example), then it won’t be solved. And you know what I think is best? Roll with Bobrovsky and Leighton and ONLY Bobrovsky and Leighton. Win your 30 games by February. If you don’t trust the situation at that point, pick up next year’s version of Dwayne Roloson. From a fantasy standpoint, I think one of Bobrovsky or Leighton will get 30 wins next year. That would put him in the Top 16 for wins.
I love the playoff magic spray. You know the spray I’m talking about. The one that players spray on themselves for a miracle cure. A concussion takes out a player from December through February. But that same concussion in early May...and he’s fine to return a week later. Throughout history, concussions have happened – a lot. And players returned immediately. Are they paying for it 20 years later? Probably. And therein lies the issue. It’s not a headache that lingers for another two months. Hell, they could play through that and play well (and I’m convinced they do – right Patrice Bergeron?). No, it’s the long-term effects and that is why what Bergeron (and Savard before him) is doing is stupid and what Crosby did was smart.
I noticed that Linus Klasen has signed to play in the SEL for next season, thus ending his brief attempt at cracking the NHL. Why a player gives up after one year is beyond me. Note to all late-blooming Europeans: if you have designs on the NHL, give it more than one freakin’ year. Make the commitment to yourself that you will give it two-and-a-half years or stay the hell over there. Janne Pesonen is another example of doing it wrong.
Backwards thinking. The idiots running the NHL – and I refer to the lawyers who are running rampant as Gary Bettman has apparently given them free rein – are destroying the growth. Marketing 101 – if the hype for your product is building on itself...then let it. When you fine an independent restaurant $89,000 for saying Go Habs Go, not only are you removing free advertising for your product, but you are also scaring other businesses from doing the same. Between the Montreal and Vancouver incidents, you just frightened about 5000 other businesses from even mentioning the NHL on a pamphlet taped to their damn door. Is that what you want? The NFL and the NBA are about to lock their players out and rather than build on that with free hype, you choose to stifle it. Bettman – there is such a thing as too many lawyers. Trim the fat, and cut your law staff in half. Clearly they’re too bored now that the Phoenix case is settled (for now) and they are ruining what you have built (and make no mistake, Bettman has turned the NHL into a money-making powerhouse for the owners).
Again, if you didn’t read Ryan Ma’s latest article, then you do not care to learn how to think about this fun game we call fantasy hockey. He opens your eyes with this stuff, trust me. Don’t be lazy – give it a read, you’ll thank me.
Atlanta to Winnipeg, and then let’s see Florida to Quebec City. That state does not need two hockey teams, I think we can agree. The league will flourish. Phoenix should stay – the arena there is the nicest in the world, from what I hear. Once they make it clear to the locals that they aren’t going anywhere, they’ll slowly come filing back in. A couple of solid playoff runs and they could be every bit as popular as Tampa Bay or San Jose. It’s the uncertainty that is making the casual fan/curious onlooker to stop caring.
Interesting quote from Jim Rutherford, doesn’t bode well for offense out of Carolina next year: "We give up too many goals, but we have a fine goalie in Cam, so what's the problem here? The problem is, we're trying to play an up-tempo game, so we need to get away from that and play a more defensive style game. We have to somehow, get our forwards to help our defense better. We have to structure our defense better."
Other insightful notes from that article – Zac Dalpe is considered the club’s top prospect right now (interesting to hear for Bowman/Boychuk owners); Cory Stillman could/probably will be back for another year in Carolina.
The latest on Oscar Moller – he apparently has a deal in place to play in Sweden for two years, and the Kings have until June 27 to make him a (Better? Decent?) offer or he’s gone. Two years would not be the end of the world, as he will still be 24 at that point.
I love Zach Smith for next year in roto leagues. He has 17 points in 17 playoff games for Binghamton and his 120 PIM for Ottawa in just 55 games were a real eye opener. Pencil him in for 75 games, 25 to 30 points and at least another 120 PIM (but possibly as many as 160). And don’t be concerned about his plus/minus – he was a minus-10 prior to Feb 15 and he was a minus-1 after that. Craig Anderson had that effect on most players on the team. Their plus/minus improved across the board.
Well, being off for 10 days left me with a good 2000 hockey articles to go through. So I did the easy thing and just removed the oldest 1500 or so from my list. Pounding through the 600 that were left, I got about halfway and that gave me the ramblings you see above. I’ll scan through the other half and weigh in on that stuff for tomorrow’s ramblings.
Torontonians - looking for your vote/feedback on the possible date of an event. We will be celebrating the acquisition of Goalie Post sometime in mid-June and you're all invited to join myself (Dobber), Justin Goldman and Goalie Post's Jeff Hillen. I'm sure there will be a couple of other writers there as well (Anthony Lancione is in), but I can't confirm any until I confirm a date.
Angus really dug up some gems from older Fantasy Prospects Reports and posted a couple in the ramblings from the last couple of days, so I’ll do the same. From 2008:
Sure, Steve Stamkos is a pretty good skater. Mikkel Boedker is, too. But Swedish phenom Mattias Tedenby boasts the best wheels both in this class and perhaps out of every pro hockey player on earth. While great skaters can get from 0 to 60 in a couple of strides, Tedenby can get to 120 just as fast. Amazingly enough, you might forget about this speed when you focus on the whole package. A desire to dig the puck out of the trenches and breath-taking hands put Tedenby in a class of Swedish player not seen since Peter Forsberg. If Tedenby was 6'0 or taller, he'd be a top-five pick.
An example why you should never cry wolf. Downie gets called for diving here, yet he did not return to the game. Obviously not a dive, but his reputation preceded him.
Non-hockey, but one of my favorites from the 80s. RIP Macho Man: