The Canucks have invited Owen Nolan to training camp, as well as Todd Fedoruk. As things stand right now, I see Vancouver's lines as (that being said, I'd bet my bottom dollar the team makes a trade before camp):
Nolan, aside from looking like he is 50 years old, was very serviceable during his last NHL stint. He isn't a great skater but brings a lot to the table. Could fill a leadership role with the Canucks. I like the move. Fedoruk hasn't been the same since having his face caved in by Colton Orr a few years ago, but more competition can't hurt.
Unless you are in a salary cap league, great news for Patrick Sharp owners. Five year extension with a $5.9 million cap hit. Very fair term for a very underrated player. A threat to score 35 goals every season, brings loads of intangibles too.
The Coyotes signed Patrick O'Sullivan for the farm team. Lost interest in the guy three or four years ago. Pass.
San Jose has vastly improved their defense from last season. A top six of Boyle-Burns-Vlasic-Demers-Murray-White is very, very solid.
Bieksa, Cammalleri, and others weigh on some hockey matters. Bieksa with a few good lines in there – he speaks the truth regarding rule differences in the playoffs.
Shea Weber was awarded one year at $7.5 million from the arbitrator. The Preds have to seriously consider trading him over the next year or two, as they can’t risk losing him for nothing.
Nashville would be best to pursue a trade involving multiple young forwards with top upside coming back. They have a lot of talent on defense – without Weber they could still roll out a group featuring Suter, Blum, Klein, Ellis, Josi, and Ekholm in a few years.
I think the writing is on the wall for Weber in Nashville. He wants to win, and I’m not sure he feels that will be possible if he remains with the Predators.
Weber is still an RFA next summer meaning the Preds have his rights, but the last thing you want to do is have an RFA in his final year on a one-year deal before he becomes unrestricted (look at Parise in New Jersey as a perfect example).
Ryan Kesler tried to rehab his hip injury without surgery, but it wasn’t getting any better. He went under the knife a few days ago and is slated to return in early-to-mid October. I’d temper my expectations a bit, as he’ll be missing a few months of training as well as most of or all of training camp.
"This is what Jeff Tambellini once told me:
"The guy just doesn't get tired. It doesn't matter if you double-shift him. It doesn't matter if he's on the PK, and then on 5-on-5. This guy has the stamina like I have never ever seen. It's fun to watch."
To get that, it takes unrelenting work in the offseason. But this summer, Kesler's routine is off. Oh, he will be working, but it will be part of his recovery from that hip surgery, which usually takes about three months. All of this leads to some questions about his season and only one real answer."
This is a huge opportunity for the likes of Cody Hodgson and Andrew Ebbett to fill the void and play on a scoring line. Raymond is likely out until December and Samuelsson is still rehabbing from a sports hernia. Vancouver’s entire second line is currently injured (the cost of a long playoff run).
Vancouver will likely make a trade before the season starts to bring a forward in. They have a lot of cap space and a clear need for some secondary scoring. Lots of time left to make a move.
The Copper & Blue with a few awesome pieces from the past week – I really enjoyed this piece on rookies and why it is dangerous to overrate them. Ties in well to my golden rules of trading (a piece I wrote for the Fantasy Guide).
Another interesting piece on the forgotten prospect in Edmonton – Magus Paajarvi. It compares his rookie season to fellow Swedes like Forsberg and the Sedin twins at the same age.
An exciting read for Colorado fans – Erik Johnson sounds ready to take the next step both on and off the ice. He is going to get every opportunity to hit 50 points this season. The Avs have a slew of great young prospects, but Johnson is the guy they are going to build around.
The Top Five goaltenders in Montreal since Patrick Roy – agree or disagree? Jose Theodore may not be half the goalie he used to be, but that 2003 season was something special.
The sophomore slump is very real, just ask Derek Stepan’s teammate Michael Del Zotto. Will Stepan manage to avoid the curse? I think some of it has to do with where he lines up (line two or three). Blue Shirt Banter has more on the issue.
Bryan Little is ditching his number 10 and going with number 18 next season. Why? He didn’t want to take away from Dale Hawerchuk’s legacy. Confusing times for a franchise that isn’t really connected to its predecessor. In the end still a nice move by Little.
David Perron isn’t progressing as expected from his concussion issue. We still don’t know much about concussions (Perron returned to the game he was initially hurt in), which is really, really scary.
A nice video tribute to Dale Hawerchuk – of all old-time players, he reminds me the most of Sidney Crosby: