The Sharks will receive a second rounder as compensation for not signing prospect Patrick White (a first round pick by the Canucks) by the deadline last week to sign college players.
How burnt out does the release of the Guide on August 1 and the ensuing one or two weeks of fallout thereafter make me? The NHL R&D camp takes place about a half hour from me, and I want to go – but I have yet to. I just need to step back from hockey around the time this event takes place, and frankly a beer and a hot tub sounds more appealing. But I do plan on taking in a few games of the prospects tournament in Oshawa next month. That tourney includes Pittsburgh, Toronto, Ottawa and Chicago.
I love this. Fantastic and interesting research by Derek Zona of Copper and Blue. Unsurprising, though. And stupid, in many cases. But that’s the way of the world. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. He looked at NHL GM’s and how so many of them are ex-players. Now, many of those guys are doing a fantastic job, but I think there are some well-trained professionals out there who are not only business graduates (and beyond), but are highly successful at fantasy hockey. And I really do believe some geniuses in the fantasy hockey world, who have other skills that they have been trained for that are adaptable to running a pro franchise, could do a better job. Ten billion people in the world and the absolute best person to run a hockey franchise in 60% of the cities is an ex-jock? Not buying it. Joe Nieuwendyk? Or that guy who graduated with Honors with a Doctorate in Business Management and played hockey up to the midget level and has won 10 of his last 15 keeper league seasons in fantasy hockey and just oozes charisma? There are probably 5000 examples of a guy I just described, somewhere in this world…and they’ll never even get an interview because they don’t know anybody key. Just food for thought on this slow, slow news day.
Some key 2012 potential UFA’s:
Ryan Suter, Nashville Predators.
Zach Parise, NJ Devils.
Alexander Semin, Washington Capitals.
Niklas Kronwall, Detroit Red Wings
R.J. Umberger, Columbus Blue Jackets.
Ales Hemsky, Edmonton Oilers.
Brad Stuart, Detroit Red Wings.
Chris Kunitz, Pittsburgh Penguins.
Shane Doan, Phoenix Coyotes.
Mikhail Grabovski, Toronto Maple Leafs.
Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators.
Prediction: all of the above, except Semin and maybe Stuart, will be re-signed (or traded and re-signed) before July 1 next year. So there will be no Brad Richards or Ilya Kovalchuk this time around. Semin may be the closest. And if he gets even 75 points he’ll be looking for $9 million per season, or something ridiculous like that. I should bookmark this and see how I do.
I have a feeling that come January or February, Versus will be rearranging their NHL scheduled games and squeezing in an Oilers game or two. To not show any, with such a young, exciting team is pretty short-sighted. Especially, as Wyshynski points out, the network showed these guys getting drafted.
THN reviews the top prospects at the Ivan Hlinka tournament.
Lou Lamoriello on replacing Zajac, who is out until mid-November: "We’ll certainly give every opportunity to our younger players," he said. "And we’ll just see how training camp goes and how our coaches look at it." The door is open wide for Josefson, even though they will move Elias and/or Zubrus to the middle – the fact of the matter is that there is more ice and PP time to share and JJ gets a bigger piece of the pie now.
Alexander Salak comments on his battle with Ray Emery to be this year’s backup. Doesn’t say a lot, really. Pretty much just pulls out the hockey player interview handbook. But it’s a slow news day.
Pressure-off-your-Goaltender 101: Pretend that he’s not the shoe-in starter and give lip service using words like “healthy rivalry”. The fact is, Reimer is the starter and Gustavsson deserves a full AHL season with quality minutes. Give me Scrivens or Rynnas as backup any day.
Puck Daddy grades the NHL’s new rules, and I’ll comment on some…of the grades, that is. Because it’s far more fun to criticize the criticism than it is to criticize what the other guy is criticizing:
Curved Glass – he says PASS, I say “Duh”.
Hybrid Icing – he says FAIL, I say “Sure, because it’s one step closer to no-touch icing at all”.
No Icing While Shorthanded – he says FAIL because players will bog the game down with intentional icing calls. I say PASS, because players don’t do that with five-minute disadvantages, so why in the hell would they do it on a two-minute disadvantage?
Delayed Penalty Rule – he says PASS, I agree.
Verification Line – he says PASS, I say it looks dumb but it’s harmless so sure.
New Camera and Clear Plank on top of net – he says PASS, I agree.
After Offside, Faceoff Goes Back to Offending Team’s End – he says FAIL, I agree.
Penalty Line for Faceoffs – he says PASS, I agree. Instead of getting kicked out of the faceoff circle, the player has to take the draw one foot further back.
Remove Trapezoid – he says PASS, I agree. Let’s bring back the goalie screw ups when they wander.
Shallow Nets – he says PASS, I wonder why this is taking so long. They were talking about this two years ago, come on fellas!
Longer Change in OT – he says PASS, I agree.
Five-Player SO – he says FAIL, I disagree. He says the shootout stinks, and it does when it comes to ending a game. But if the shootout is there, I don’t change the channel. I do, however, hate solving it with three players. Extend OT, make shootouts rare, but when you get to them…make them count. Speaking of extending OT…
OT (four minutes of 4-on-4; three minutes of 3-on-3) – he says PASS and I agree wholeheartedly. This not only makes for exciting hockey, from the clips that I’ve seen, but it would reduce the shootouts significantly. I’d go so far as to say 90 percent of them go bye-bye.
So are we radically changing the rules here? Well, removing the trapezoid just REVERTS to the older rules. The verification lines and net cams and curved glass change nothing in the game. Hybrid icing is done at other levels and no shorthanded icing was done by the WHA in the 70s. So we’re not changing the fundamental rules here. The OT and SO rule changes also have little impact on the core part of the game. These are all just tweaks, but good ones.
The Red Wings have invited goaltender prospect Ramis Sadikov to their prospects camp. Of all the goaltending depth charts to get on board, this is one of the more ideal ones. Although any such road would take four or five years, of course.
The Kings have signed Ethan Moreau to a one-year deal, adding some much needed experience, leadership and grit – three things that they could use more of. Well done.
A few words on the retired Chris Drury – he was a very steady player to own. He tallied between 65 and 69 points four times, and he had at least 53 points in eight of nine seasons – and that was after winning the Calder Trophy (the year that I drafted him in the one league I was in at the time).
Leaf fans! Here's a treat for you, courtesy of their best line last season (thanks Tyler for the email):