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

Cory Stillman

Fernando Pisani, Marty Turco

David Koci

Anton Stralman

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

Jack Hillen

Bryan McCabe

Marek Svatos, Pascal Leclaire

Nik Zherdev, Patrick Thoresen

Petr Prucha, Mike Comrie, Alex Kovalev

Kyle Wellwood

Paul Szczechura

Fabian Brunnstrom

Rob Schremp


Some comments

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!


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Comments (6)add comment

derek said:

Fantasy Ocho? Sort of a play off the movie dodgeball where they show the game on espn8.."the ocho."

I personally would like to see some fantasy cycling. I love the tour and Ryder Hesjedal is a great future for Canadian cycling.

I am an american but I am trying to play to you Canadians!
July 26, 2011
Votes: +0

James said:

Markets The only thing I find as a reliable fantasy golf source is the pga tour site, which has rankings each week and analysis of who they think will win. For MMA, which is growing rapidly, any dedicated fan follows sherdog, but I dont think they have fantasy. I dont think theres any real fantasy site dedicated to mma. maybe NASCAR or F1 as options as well.
July 26, 2011
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Price & 70+ Games I agree that Price will probably see 70+ games.
MON will need him playing often in (what-will-be) a highly improved Eastern Conference.

However, if you actually crunch some numbers... find the goalies that have played 70 or more regular season games over the last 5-6 years.

How did those goalies' teams fare in the playoffs?
(Not very good, overall)

Eventually teams realize they may need to lessen the workload so their goalies can be a little sharper down the stretch. (Luongo, Lundqvist... reduced games recently)

500 wins... oh lordy.
July 26, 2011
Votes: +0

fzusher said:

Dumont and others 1. The reason Dumont is not getting a sniff after a bad year is that, well, he had a bad year, for a coach who's usually good at getting the most out of his players and who knows Dumont well by now, and on a team that can't afford to pay a guy 4M+ to sit in the press box. If I'm a GM, I'm not touching that unless I get to see the player for myself first. Translation? Dumont doesn't get any offers right now, but gets plenty of camp invites, then signs as an invitee somewhere. Shouldn't alter projections on performance.

2. VAN signed Byron Bitz yesterday (what is it with Vancouver's love affair with and former Panthers?), who should have an edge on Mancari due to size and 50 NHL games extra on resume. Mancari has a one way, but here I don't think that says much, as Vancouver have in recent years consistently given a couple of one-ways to players meant to lead the farm team (which this year will again be an independently owned club looking to win). Ebbett (28, 0.97 ppg in 210 career AHL games, 0.36 in 145 NHL games) and Mancari (26, 0.86 in 418 AHL games, 0.36 in 36 NHL games) seem to fit that bill. Difference between Mancari and Ebbett is that he doesn't have to contend with top prospects as competition for call up in his position, as well as the fact he is younger and played less NHL games so what he can do at that level is still not established, but I doubt he wins the 13th forward spot as he'd just be too useful playing in Chicago, who will expect players to help it win and Mancari will do that more than Bitz.

3. As a Hodgson owner (which I was until very recently) I'd be happy with him going back to the AHL. Don't forget that he effectively lost a year of development to injuries, so last season was about playing catch up more than anything. At the end of the season he got just about the right number of games and minutes, both regular and playoff, to learn how the NHL game differs from the AHL and get a sense of the gaps he needs to close. Those include a lot of intangibles that he needs to work on to become a more rounded player, and I expect that would be the main focus next year. Unfortunately, that's something that doesn't really appear in stats and may actually come at the expense of stats. Therefore, when I still owned him, the targets I set for him for this season were: (1) another healthy season; (2) improvement on this year's ppg (though not yet dominant numbers - I'd be fine with an improvement from 0.58 last year to 0.75-0.8 next year); (3) not losing spot as first center call up (which should result in longer cups of coffee unless there are no injuries); (4) significant move up the team's +/- chart. Then for 2012-2013 (a contract year): a dominant (1.00+ ppg) AHL stint with a mid-season permanent call up and solid all around (i.e., not necessarily offensively) performance. Malhotra and Lapierre are both up in 2013, which will be the perfect time to give Hodgson a one-way contract and the 3rd line C spot.

And yes, I know +/- is a much maligned stat here. It is very much team-dependent, which makes its number value useless for comparing players from different teams. But I strongly believe that ranking quite high or quite low on your own team's +/- chart is a good indicator of the roundedness of your game and especially the level of development of your defensive game. Being one of your teams' leaders in that category usually (there are occasional exceptions among NHL 3rd liners who face opposition top lines every game, but in the AHL and with fantasy worthy prospects it's much more rare) means your two-way game is good - especially when we are talking about prospects (if a prospect projected as a top-6 candidate is not in his AHL/junior teams' top-6 forwards in +/-, they have work to do in that respect). If you are in the bottom of your AHL team as a prospect (as Hodgson was last year), you definitely need more development before you can become a full time NHLer.

4. Rangers/MDZ - without Del Zotto, who runs their power play units? Clearly not Staal, Sauer or Valentenko. Which leaves Girardi, McDonagh, Erixon and Eminger, and Girardi is more defensive. Can I have an ouch? I'd guess Richards quarterbacks the top PP, together with whoever has the best point shot on the team. Do Stephan or Wolski have the playmaking to quarterback the 2nd PP alongside Erixon? Does Eminger? Does McDonagh? Would love Dobber's/Angus' take on this.

Gotta get back to work now.
July 26, 2011
Votes: +1

Ed said:

July 26, 2011
Votes: +0

mick said:

risk So if you would not take Parise in the first round due to risk, would you take Crosby or Malkin in the first round?
or is the risk worth the reward in this case?
Seems to me Crosby still has a few question marks above his head, at least Cooke plays on the same team.

Anyone have any rumours on Bob the goalie?
July 26, 2011
Votes: -1
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