Today’s ramblings brought to you by Twitter!
As a 23-year-old goaltender selected in the Top 5, you knew that Carey Price would be given every opportunity to succeed (in hindsight, why did it surprise anyone that the Habs went with him over Halak?). Now that he’s coming off of a 72-game season, the team has seen what he can do when shouldering a heavy workload. So they follow up Alex Auld with Petr Budaj. Just like that, Price is back in a situation where 70 games is likely. Again, he’s only 23. Assuming he’s healthy for 10 of the next 13 seasons, that works out to 1000 games by the age of 36 and close to 500 wins. He’ll be close to the top of my keeper goalie list for a long, long time.
The most interested unsigned players left:
Teemu Selanne, Jarkko Ruutu
Fernando Pisani, Marty Turco
Steve Bernier, Sergei Samsonov
Patrick O’Sullivan, Antti Miettinen
Paul Mara – and this name brought back memories: Alexander Perezhogin
JP Dumont – and I didn’t know that the Preds gave up on this guy: Mark Santorelli
Marek Svatos, Pascal Leclaire
Nik Zherdev, Patrick Thoresen
Petr Prucha, Mike Comrie, Alex Kovalev
I don’t think that Hillen was given a long enough shot. ..I wonder if the Panthers are interested in bringing Mike’s brother into the system…I don’t think there is a single team in the league now where O’Sullivan would work out…There has to be something wrong with Dumont in terms of his healthy. There has to be a reason why he’s not getting a sniff after one bad year…Stralman is still not in his prime, which as a puck-moving d-man should mean that a team in need would give him a one-year deal…I thought Thoresen was returning to the NHL this year? Second in the KHL in both goals and points, he may be the best option on this entire list among forwards, other than Selanne
Davis Payne has coached the Blues to a 61-48-15 record. He has managed to miss the playoffs while the team rebuilds and give the organization great draft picks and not uselessly getting into the postseason for a first-round elimination. Now the team is healthy, other than Perron. They have two future stars who are a year away in Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko. And they have Patrik Berglund, TJ Oshie, Matt D’Agostini and Chris Stewart all entering their fourth season. With a healthy Halak and two of the best puck-movers in the game in Shattenkirk and Pietrangelo, I love this depth chart. Love it. This summer I have been focused on trying to acquire players in my keeper leagues from four teams: Edmonton and St. Louis in the West, and Pittsburgh and the Islanders in the East. All four will be offensive power houses within two seasons (Pittsburgh, if the Big 2 are healthy, are already there now of course).
Nabokov has fantasy value as a third goaltender in your league. He should be taken in the final few rounds of a 24-round draft. I don’t think he plays a game for the Islanders, but I think he is traded to the first team whose starter goes down with an injury. Depending on that team, and when that injury happens, He could be good for anywhere from 12 to 30 wins – cap it at 30 because I assume the original starter comes back from his injury and the job is given back to him.
Zach Parise is a Top 8 fantasy forward own. But do I take him in the first round this year? No. There’s always risk and taking a risk in the first round is never smart – to lose out on the risk costs you the win right there. If your first round pick is injured, 99% of the time you lose your league right there. If he slips to the third round, which won’t happen, then I scoop him up. But someone in your league will take a chance on him in the Top 15 so let them. He is low risk, as I think he’ll get 80 points this season. But I would draft another player who will get 80 points instead. That first pick is just too important and there are too many other options.
Fantasy football – I would probably never get into that because the market is too saturated. I’m finally making headway and fantasy baseball and that has taken three years to get to the point where hockey took one year to get to. The next venture would be an under-developed market such as golf or MMA.
Phoenix centermen: Hanzal, Turris, Nokelainen, Gordon, Chipchura, Bolduc and Pouliot – in that order. And ouch. So what do they do? First of all, I still think Turris will be a No.1 center. Just obviously not this year. But if Turris was an 80-point player, then looking at the list above you can see that it’s actually a perfect setup. But he’s not, so the entire list looks crappy. So what can they do? There are no cheap centermen out there, and last I looked there are none being dangled in a trade. Short of a blockbuster involving Ekman-Larsson, I think they’re stuck with hoping Turris takes a step forward.
Precisely why he was involved in a major trade I did yesterday. I moved Parise (aha!) and Visnovsky and acquired the top pick (Hopkins), Berglund (aha!), Turris (aha!) and Granlund, who I feel will be one of the best prospects to own in a few months. He is ranked 18 on my prospects list, but I just have a feeling we’ll see him somewhere in the Top 3 by next April.
And by a “step forward” I mean 50 points. If Turris gets there, then he’s moving in the right direction. The line of the future in Phoenix, to me, is Turris with Boedker and MacLean.
I’m looking at the first 12 forwards in the Vancouver system and they are all set. Assuming Oreskovich is 12th, then the battle for the 13th forward is between Mark Mancari, Cody Hodgson and Jordan Schroeder. I don’t think it’s wise to have top prospects Hodgson and Schroeder in that position, other than for cups of coffee. So look for them to make the jump if and when a Top nine forward gets injured. The high-scoring AHLer, Mancari, brings size and great hands for a fourth liner. He brings a different game then Jeff Tambellini, who he’d effectively replace. Where Tamby brought speed, Mancari brings size and strength.
The Rangers have signed Steven Eminger to a one-year deal. This gives them the flexibility to have Del Zotto start in the AHL, which he probably needs. I think Valentenko and Erixon should make this team.
A TON of suggestions through Twitter…I just can’t get to them all. Especially the ones that were an entire column unto themselves. But great stuff, it makes the ramblings easier to do!
Keep firing me YouTube clips!