Dobber here. Please bear with us as we go through some cosmetic changes. And the new banner is one we made several months ago - it is a placeholder until voting for players in the banner is complete. The nav. menu up top will soon be different and have drop options, and the nav menu on the left will soon go away (when the top menu is ready).

 

David Krejci's hat trick last night - the first from a Bruin in the postseason since Cam Neely back in 1991.

 

Lots of impressive offensive performances last night: Lucic had a pair of points and played his best game of the playoffs.

 

Stamkos, Purcell, and St. Louis all had monster games for the Bolts.

 

Both Thomas and Roloson were below average. Roloson looks gassed, and Thomas is getting ventilated by the snipers on Tampa Bay.

 

Owen Sound is struggling without their star Joey Hishon, who remains out with a concussion.

 

I could probably write a full piece on the Detroit defense situation heading into the summer (and I may at some point).

 

Assuming Lidstrom returns, you are looking at a top six featuring Lidstrom, Stuart, and Kronwall. I don't see Ericsson returning. Kindl should be there, as should Brendan Smith. Do the Wings go with two rookies? If they are smart, they open up the wallet for a d-man who can log heavy minutes (with a PK focus) and they let Smith learn and grow from Lidstrom on the PP and at even strength.

 

Kindl is NHL ready - he is a smart player, but he lacks Smith's offensive (and overall) upside. He should develop into a steady 4/5 defenseman capable of playing in a variety of situations.

 

Smith is a stud. Dynamic offensive talent, plays with an edge, and can skate like the wind. He plays a pro game - a little rough around the edges, but he plays with a lot of confidence.

 

Knowing Detroit, I wouldn't be surprised to see them sign/bring in two defensemen and let Kindl and Smith battle it out. However, I'd find a way to get Smith in there. I think a year of learning from Lidstrom would be invaluable to his development.

 

My top 10 keeper league centers - no Kesler, no Thornton, no Toews. Any guesses? Out on Friday afternoon.

 

The Predators are going to everything in their power to match a potential Weber offer sheet, according to coach Barry Trotz.

 

Kyle Okposo signed a massive five year extension. Cap hit? Not so massive - $2.8 million. He hasn’t proven anything but that is a great dollar amount for a future star forward. Okposo does everything well – he just needed time to develop (and for his linemates and teammates to develop as well).

 

At the low end, Okposo will be a 25 goal scorer who can play in every situation. At the high end, he’s a 35-40 goal guy.

 

As per his own twitter, Oskar Osala is playing in the KHL next season. Osala was playing for Carolina’s farm team (originally a Washington prospect, he was acquired in the Joe Corvo blockbuster of 2010).

 

Great scouting report on Beau Bennett from Mike Colligan, friend of DobberHockey:

 

Concerns...Very raw. Effort along the boards and in the dirty areas isn't consistent, right now he's convincing himself to battle hard instead of instinctually doing it (same concern with Tangradi by the way). Needs to add upper-body strength, maybe the biggest concern when I saw him with pro's at the camp last summer, was getting tossed. But these are all normal issues that can be addressed as he develops.

Will just take time to develop (something most teams in the Top 20 don't have the luxury of with a 1st rounder). Kyle Turris development is a good comparison example (and of what not to do with Bennett), Turris finally looks ready to break out next year in my opinion .Coyotes rushed Turris because they had to and they learned, was talking to the Asst GM last week and he said they told Kyle in 09-10 that he wasn't getting recalled no matter what he did.



I think that's what Pens do with Bennett, very very slow, couple years at Denver, couple in AHL, no pressure, no opportunity even to come up.



On the plus side, Bennett's very very creative. Can make things happen with the puck, great hockey sense, slows the game down like a Datsyuk, can snipe and thread the needle. With added strength on a 6'1 frame he has all the tools you can't teach .Everything he needs are things that can be added in time.



He was a gamble, he's a project.  Might never find that edge/grit, but I love the upside.


Teddy Purcell – sometimes it pays to be patient. I was really high on him two years ago, soured on him a year ago, and considered him a lost cause at that time. He lacked the physicality and consistent edge required to play and succeed in the NHL. How things have changed.

 

Purcell isn’t tough by any stretch of the imagination, but he is rangy, skilled, and has a wicked shot. He’s been one of Tampa’s best forwards all spring. LA must be kicking themselves for giving up on him early, no?

 

If he played in a bigger market, Oliver Ekman-Larsson would be getting more attention heading into 2011-12. He had a solid rookie season all things considered (lack of ice time, lack of a role, inconsistent shifts). He’s big, gritty, fast, and skilled. A lot like his teammate and future PP partner Keith Yandle.

 

Prospects Report…. Getting closer! Some past teasers:

 

2007:

 

Ryan Callahan, RW


His heart and work ethic shot him up the Rangers’ depth chart until he finally landed a spot on the NHL roster. That spot is there to stay, as Callahan will become a full-fledged NHLer this year. The AHL All Star will do anything to get his team a goal – there is no corner he won’t go into and no net he won’t sit in front of. The Rangers plan to play Callahan on a scoring line. He gets better every year (he was drafted in the 15th round into the OHL – 15th round!) and that will surely continue at the NHL level. Despite his rough style, he seems to be quite durable. He did have knee surgery in the offseason of 2006, but has yet to have an injury make him miss significant time.

 

Potential: Second-line player (30-35-65+, 110 PIM)

 

2009:

 

Stefan Elliott, D


Scouting Report: Looking for a Mike Green-esque dark horse? A sublime skater who loves to jump up into the play, Elliott is more than willing to get back and play defense. All he's missing is the strength to match up against bigger players.

 

Notable Numbers: Finished in the three-way tie for 6th in points among all WHL defensemen.

 

Potential: Elite #3 D, PP QB (15-35-50)

Years Away: 3

 

2009:

 

Cody Eakin, C


Scouting Report: While Cody Eakin knows his speed and hands can overwhelm even the WHL's fleetest-of-foot defensemen, the diminutive center is well attuned to the fact that the best scoring chances can't be had without taking a hit or two. Thus, instead of driving wide and trying a tricky deke, it's common to see Eakin barrel full-steam ahead into the opponent's zone. Potential injuries caused via this style of play are a legitimate concern, but excellent core strength and agility - not to mention vision - allow Eakin to see and avoid a big collision before it happens. And think of it this way: while a player of Eakin's size has a slim chance of cracking the show, a perimeter player of his size has almost no chance.

 

Notable Numbers: Eakin came in second during the fastest skater portion of the Top Prospects Game, but that'sokay; he still lapped the rink in 14 seconds.

 

Potential: Second/third scoring line winger, 30-25-55

Years Away: 3


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Comments (12)add comment

Ross The Boss Palmer said:

Ross The Boss Palmer
Change is GOOD I look forward to the new appearance. I love the community and contributors that this site has brought together!
May 26, 2011
Votes: +0

Robert Esquire said:

bullwinkle
Sabres sign Marcus Foligno Not to upstage you Dobbler, but the Sabres have signed Marcus Foligno to a 3 year entry deal. The Sabres are not and will not sit still until they win The Cup!!!
May 26, 2011
Votes: +0

AL said:

grindin griers
Cosmetic Changes Just a question about the top menu location. Is it going to be above or below the add? I would prefer it to be below. Thats all. Thanks.
May 26, 2011
Votes: +0

Marcus Lepkowski said:

Blueman
Centers My guess for top 10 Centers (in no particular order):

Crosby, Malkin, Backstrom, Stamkos, Datsyuk, Sedin, Staal, Getzlaf, Tavares, B. Richards.

Honourable mention to Kopitar, Kesler, Toews
May 26, 2011
Votes: +0

Ryan said:

letnry
... Maybe I am misreading what is written, but Kindl isn't a rookie anymore.
May 26, 2011
Votes: +0

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... Would just like yo copyright this phrase: "If your core is agin', it's time for a changin'"
May 26, 2011
Votes: +0

Matt said:

LeMatt
top 10 keeper centres I'll go with:
Crosby
Malkin
Stamkos
H. Sedin
Datsyuk
Getzlaf
E. Staal
Backstrom
Kopitar
Duchene/Tavares
May 26, 2011
Votes: +0

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... Detroit should really change their philosophy on prospect development. All they do is make them stay in the AHL for years and the prospects come out as two-way players with low offensive upside. For all this talk of the "Detroit model" they haven't had a great rookie/prospect in years.

Bring Smith up, bring Tatar up. Your core is agin, it's time for change. If Lidstrom leaves they may miss the playoffs.
May 26, 2011
Votes: +0

Mr Sausage said:

Mr_Sausage
top 10 centers I like Nates list. I absolutely think Tavares has to be in there though. Tough to take any one of those guys out but if I had to choose I would replace Tavares with Zetterberg. Mostly because of age and durability concerns.
May 26, 2011
Votes: +0

Nate said:

Nate
Top 10 Centers to own My best guess, was I close?

Crosby
Stamkos
Malkin
Backstrom
Sedin
Datsyuk
Getzlaf
Zetterberg
Ryan
Staal
May 26, 2011
Votes: +0

Jeff Angus said:

angus
... Ericsson has regressed over the past two years. Defensive liability, zero offense. I liked his upside as a rookie - the scouts were high on him and Detroit's Swedish scouts have a decent track record. smilies/smiley.gif

Unless he takes a low contract, I don't see him returning.
May 26, 2011
Votes: +0

back check said:

back check
Ericsson walking?? Can Angus, or anyone else, provide some insight into the opinion that Ericsson will walk away from Detroit? I think he is a UFA, but just two years ago he was being heralded by some on this site (Dobber? Angus? Some other regular writer?) as the 2nd coming of Lindstrom... o.k. maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but he was written about in glowing terms, had a pretty decent rookie year (if I recall correctly), was going to be brought along slowly by Detroit and would eventually be the #1 or #2 D-man in the Motor City? What happened? Where will he go? Does Detroit not make an offer, or does he leave because he wants more than Detroit can pay? Inquiring minds want to know!
May 26, 2011
Votes: +0
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