Last two days! "LIKE" Dobber Sports on Facebook, and win yourself a pair of Oakley's! On July 6 I'll draw a name from one of the likes, and send them a pair. We are also giving away two free copies of Tales from the Boston Bruins Locker Room, by Kerry Keene.
Oops, I was just reminded in the comments below that Hamrlik's career high is 65. Ha - no way he gets there. So revise my statement to getting close to his second-best high, which is 46.
On the surface, you have to love what the Sharks have done. And I do. But when I think about it a little more, they are always knocked out of the postseason because Joe Thornton is playing hurt (and this year, Dany Heatley was too). And the players they just acquired are two of the bigger Band-Aid Boys in the NHL in Burns and Havlat. Oops. However, both were relatively healthy last season so San Jose is clearly banking on that to continue.
I wonder why Matt Gilroy chose to leave New York? He signed for only $1 million, and it was with Tampa Bay where he, Bruno Gervais, Brett Clark and MA Bergeron will battle it out for the 5-6-7-8 spots (and 7 and 8 will often mean "press box").
Rob Niedermayer has signed to play in the Swiss League.
Can Anthony Stewart effectively replace Erik Cole? I think it's a worthwhile gamble at the price the 'Canes paid. If he plays like he did last season, then absolutely. Smart dollars, brings in the same power game and 90% of the offense.
Ben Walter and Clay Wilson were among the depth players signed by the Flames over the weekend.
Brock Trotter is back in North America. The Habs signed him to a two-way deal. His window for making the jump was last year - and he blew it by not even trying (via signing to play in the KHL). To get back into the mix, he would have to wow a lot of people in camp, and hope for a lot of injuries on the depth chart ahead of him.
The Coyotes make Curtis McElhinney their No.3 goalie.
My buddy Brett Sterling is off to Peoria, signing with the Blues for the season. As always, he won't get much of a shot to make the big club, but he'll join TJ Hensick as an AHL star.
Still with the minor leagues, and the "what might have beens", Chris Bourque has signed with the Capitals, bulking up their farm team.
Late start this morning, just got back into town. Lots of respect for Tomas Vokoun – truly going for the win and it’s not about the money. How often do you hear that it’s not about the money, as the player speaking shoves hundred-dollar bills into his pockets? But in this case, it’s bang on. He wasn’t signing with a weak team for that money, no way. The Caps, and GM George McPhee, got this one on a silver platter.
It was a coup for the Leafs yesterday, landing Cody Franson in exchange for salary relief. Obviously, the Preds see that to sign Shea Weber they have to make some room. But with Phaneuf, Schenn, Aulie, Franson, Liles and Gardner, the Leafs are building from the blue line out. And landing Tim Connolly and only handcuffing themselves for two years, they did extremely well. In two years, the rebuilding should be about done. And that’s when you try for your Brad Richards-type. Anyway, Franson owners should be watching with interest – I don’t see him on the first PP unit, but when Liles is gone (next summer) he’ll get there. As for Connolly, it’s all about the health. If he can play at least 70 games, I think he’ll surprise. But we can never predict games played – it’s like throwing darts when we’re talking about Band-Aid Boys.
Why did the Preds sign Niclas Bergfors? Don’t they have 15 players who can get 50 points? Actually, since Joel Ward, JP Dumont and Steve Sullivan are gone, it’s not as cluttered as many (including myself) think. On the wing, Erat, Kostitsyn, Hornqvist, Wilson, Bergfors, Blake Geoffrion and Juuso Puustinen are seven players who will get looks for the four spots on the top two lines, in order of preference. Matt Halischuk and Nick Spaling are long shots. A longer shot: Gabriel Bourque. Even longer: Alexander Radulov.
I don’t like Dany Heatley in Minnesota, but then again I think the Wild got a steal here. While Martin Havlat is a 75-point player now that he’s toned his game down (so that he can stay healthy), Heatley’s game slipped last season due to a couple of injuries. He’s also a 75-point player, but there is upside here for a lot more.
Both my goalie rankings and my player rankings are on the docket for today.
Lots to say about the Florida Panthers, but I’ll need to stuff those thoughts into their own article, much like I did the Flyers a week or two ago. I’ll try to get that done today as well.
If this is the case, look for Roman Hamrlik to, at 37, approach career highs.
I don’t really like what the Blackhawks did, but I do know that the result will be Viktor Stalberg in the press box or out of the league. He’s not the same player since his concussion, and he won’t be able to land a spot in the top nine now.
This year, from a Flyers’ standpoint, Jaromir Jagr is just Ville Leino but $1 million cheaper and they’re not tied down to a long-term deal. I’d be willing to guess that Jagr and Leino will be within five points of each other this campaign.
More to come...