Fantasy Prospects Report - buy it here.

 

As part of this summer's launch of the Dobber Sports Network, I have launched a Facebook page, where I'll interact with you and where I'll post announcements. It is also a great spot for you to interact with the other members of the network - Hockey Pool Geek, Frozen Pool, Goalie Post, DobberBaseball and two more upcoming members (to be announced soon). I invite/ask/beg you to "like" the group.

 

Thoughts on Manitoba vs. Winnipeg in terms of team names - I think it will be called "Manitoba" because the prevalent thinking is that it makes more business sense to name it after the province and thereby involve more people. But I'll tell ya, if Toronto gets a second team, plunks it in Pickering (bear with me) and calls it the Ontario Blanks instead of the Pickering Blanks, my attachment will be negatively impacted. I want to see my city name there and I can't help but root my city on.

 

I don’t mind an ex-coach or ex-GM being offered a job in the same capacity. Sometimes even a second time. But not all coaches and not all GM’s. Just the good ones. I don’t believe Marc Crawford can coach in the new NHL, for example. I also think Ken Hitchcock’s style no longer works. The bar should be high, because there are thousands of truly great candidates out there for those jobs. Well, not so much for coaching, but absolutely for managing. And I think Winnipeg giving a new GM an offer – Kevin Cheveldayoff – is fantastic. He is an assistant GM for Chicago, and was a wonderful GM for the AHL’s Chicago Wolves.

 

Interesting stuff from Sabres Edge – six times this postseason, Boston has allowed a goal within 43 seconds of the start of a period. Speaks to Tim Thomas’ readiness when he’s cold. Once he warms up a bit, he’s unbeatable.

 

Some thoughts based on Twitter requests:

 

Game 3 could go either way. I really think 50/50 on this one. But if the Canucks win, then they take the series in five games. If the Bruins win, I think they’ll win Game 4 and tie it up.

 

Yesterday, I posted my own thoughts/odds of where Brad Richards signs. He wants to play for a contender, or so he says. But didn’t Ilya Kovalchuk say the same thing last year? Bottom line was, four teams could have signed Kovalchuk last year. Atlanta – and he burned that bridge, the Kings – and they couldn’t afford to go high enough, the Isles and the Devils. If he wanted to go to a “contender” between those two teams then he chose the wrong team. I said that last year and I’ll say it again now that it’s more obvious. Bottom line: Kovalchuk went to the only team that could afford him. With Richards, there are several more players in the mix. But let’s face it – every team that is in the mix according to my chart yesterday is not a “contender”. Every one of them could be a contender in three years. So if he says he wants to play for a contender, it’s lip service. Because “contender” today would mean Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Detroit, San Jose, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington and Tampa Bay. And he won’t sign with any of those teams.

 

If I were to slot some quick projections to the nearest five points, here are the 21 best UFA defensemen in terms of points or potential points. Some comments – Pitkanen is the best wild card, as he could really flourish with certain teams. Kaberle is a former multi-55 player, but it’s been years since he’s reached those heights. I think Bergeron has played himself out of the league – two straight seasons of signing extremely late (this one later than last one) and then ho-hum numbers. Babchuk could be KHL, but if not he is another wild card for 40 or even 50.

Lidstrom, Nicklas »

55

Wisniewski, James »

50

Ehrhoff, Christian »

50

McCabe, Bryan »

45

Kaberle, Tomas »

45

Pitkanen, Joni »

40

Bieksa, Kevin »

40

White, Ian »

40

Jovanovski, Ed »

35

Greene, Andy »

35

Markov, Andrei »

30

Hamrlik, Roman »

30

Ericsson, Jonathan »

25

Salo, Sami »

20

Montador, Steve »

20

Jones, Randy »

20

Martinek, Radek »

15

Mara, Paul »

15

Babchuk, Anton »

0

Bergeron, Marc-Andre »

0

 

 

Potential contract buyouts – if your player is signed for the next year or two and he is making between $1 million and $3 million per season, then he is a buyout candidate. Teams don’t buy a player out if it results in a heavy cap hit for years to come, so they only do it if the cap hit is relatively low and the term remaining is at just a year or two. The buyout window is later this month (the first window).

 

WHL’s leading goal-scorer (and second in points) Tyler Johnson is following a similar path as Colin Long, Simon Gamache, David Desharnais – small, undrafted (or in Long’s case drafted late), with little chance of making the NHL. Some persevere, such as Desharnais. But it takes years.

 

The DobberHockey Playoff Pool – my team is 198 out of 1205 with 16 players still standing. Team WC17 is RUNNING away with it – a 15 point lead (365) with 15 still active. Still with a shot – “Hejduk wheres”, “shamrock” and “GIBBY” have 20 or 21 players each and are only about 30 points back so perhaps they can close the gap!! Winner gets a jersey from Cool Hockey. And by the way, if you need a jersey, buy through me. Your support helps keep these prizes coming. It’s also probably the cheapest price you can buy a jersey for.

 

Burrows game winner:

 

Has Chara ever lost a fight? Curious…this is closest I could find.

 

 


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Austin said:

austeane
Best pipeline Dobber I might have to argue that the team with the best pipeline coming in could be Vancouver.

Hodgson, Shirokov, Schroeder, Sweatt (scored 25 goals in his rookie season in the AHL), Rai, Rodin Connauton, Tanev, Sauve, Sweatt #2, Schneider, Lack, Cannatta. All of them could be in the NHL (3 or four for Cannatta) in two years and Hodgson, Shirokov, Tanev, Rodin, Schroeder, Schneider and Lack will likely be excelling if given opportunity. Because of lack of said oppotunity many will likely be traded and Shiro could go back to the KHL.

The Isle might have the best talent coming in but the Canucks might be second and considering what is already there it says a lot.
June 06, 2011
Votes: +0

back check said:

back check
who can beat Chara? Dobber, thanks for diging up the video of Chara and Artyukin. It makes it clear that Chara is human. However, there are at least two examples of Chara's falibility in the past two games. The more obvious one that everyone saw (but commentary seems to be minimal) is a Norris trophy candidate get outworked by Alex Burrows. After Burrows faked the shot on Thomas in overtime, he went wide. Chara went with him and instead of taking two strides (his strides are huge!), catching up to Burrows, and hiting him out of the play as Tamabellini did in the Nashville series (where Tambellini essentially negated a break away with the use of his body), Chara glides and stickes out his long stick to force Burrows wider. Then behind the net, with Burrows still moving his feet, Chara again glides and stretches his long arm and stick out to try and get the puck instead of taking the man. That is simply a lazy play and not Norris trophy worthy.

The second Chara incident worth mentioning has received no press at all. In game one there was a scrumm by the boards (it might have been the play where Hamhus went down). Chara and Max Lapierre grabed each other. Chara is twice his size, but Lapierre grabed him, twisted him, and ended on top of Chara on the ice. Its a great move and showed that determination and will can beat Chara's size and strength. And what do you know.... that's what happend on Burrow's game winning goal on Saturday.
- back check
June 06, 2011
Votes: +0

alessandro said:

back check
what makes a contender... Dobber you correctly point out that the Devils are a cap mess. They are a cap mess for a number of reasons, but number one is the Kovy signing. When free agents say they want to sign with a contender what they really mean is I want to sign with a good team for as much as I can. If they reallyed wanted to sign with a contender, they would take a little less money and give the team some cap breathing room to bring in the palyers they need to develop into a contender or put them over the top if they are close (see: Vancouver, cap hits for Luongo, Burrows, Kessler, and the Sedins). If a player has played half his career or more and really wants to play for a cup, he has to be willing to take a little less cash, otherwise he does what Kovy did to NJ - essentially ensure they cannot be a contender because they have too much money tied up in him.
- back check
June 06, 2011
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
... UK - Lidstrom will only sign in Detroit, and I think he will. And on any team, he won't decline. Gonchar is no Lidstrom. Hall of Famer vs. non-HoFer

Big Ev - Curtis is correct. Of all the teams in line for a Cup in the next 10 years, I would put both LA and the Islanders ahead of the Devils. You'll see - the Isles have a great plan and they are strictly sticking to it. All holes are potentially filled 3 and 4 times over (in case the first 2 players don't pan out, the 3rd or 4th player for that hole will succeed). No team is set so perfectly. Plus - the Isles have cap room, for when that becomes a problem. Staying the course...

Picture the Islanders now, and add say Landeskog, Niederreiter, de Haan, Poulin...and Kovalchuk. Picture those guys in two years, along with JT, Grabs, Okposo, Hamonic, Bailey...
And that's ignoring Petrov, Kabanov and Cizikas...Ullstrom, Wishart, Koskinen, Montoya, MacDonald...

vs. the Devils who are a cap mess. Assuming the re-sign Parise, they don't have the same kind of pipeline at any position.
June 06, 2011
Votes: +0

Larry said:

Rollie1967
... Kovy's style wouldve fit better on LA, and realistically NJ's window for a cup is only a few years (unless they find Brodeur2.0 asap).LA has a great young team,but like Curtis said- a perfect storm derailed Jersey.

On the Chara clip- once again Milbury goes after Artyukin for wearing a visor,but neglects to mention the late hit from Lucic,nor the unprovoked attack from Chara from behind. Two cheap plays by Bruins,but I guess he had it coming cause he is a visor wearing euro trash. Im not sure what kind of 'coaching' Milbury gets when he goes on US tv,because his act is much tamer when hes on the CBC. I feel sorry for US hockey fans when they have to listen to him,Doc Emerick and Barry Melrose (who is clueless) for a large majority of their hockey commentary.
June 06, 2011
Votes: +0

Curtis Curve said:

tcescon
KOVY/RICHARDS I think Dobber was referring to the Kings as the team Kovy should have signed w/if he was serious about signing w/a contender, but he'll correct me if that is wrong.
Still, b/w the Devils, Kings and Isles, I think of those three the win now window of the Devils looked the most promising last summer. They had supposedly upgraded their D w/Volchenkov and Tallinder. I don't think anyone could have seen Parise missing most of the season or how bad the team would respond to a rookie coach. The Brodeur downfall was so fast and so far that while a downturn may have been expected there, it was much more severe than expected. Yes, Jersey had playoff fails in the recent past, but the three UFA signings were done to get them over that hump. It was the perfect storm of things backfiring. We could have said the same thing about LA if Kopi had missed 65-70 games and if LA's goaltending had regressed.

June 06, 2011
Votes: +0

Karbinkopy said:

Karbinkopy
Lidstrom
UKflames:

I'm suprised you put Lidstrom that high unless you expect him to resign in DET. Look at what happened to Gonchar once he left PIT.


Lidstrom is resigning with Detroit or retiring. Those are only choices I can see him taking.
June 06, 2011
Votes: +0

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... Are you saying Kovalchuk made the wrong choice between the Isles and the Devils, and that the Devils weren't contenders yet the ISLES were? Am I reading this wrong?
June 06, 2011
Votes: +0

UKflames said:

UKflames
Babchuck Doesn't he have the same agent as Erixon, so he won't be resigning with the Flamessmilies/cheesy.gif

I'm suprised you put Lidstrom that high unless you expect him to resign in DET. Look at what happened to Gonchar once he left PIT.
June 06, 2011
Votes: +0
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