Also - earlier today was the deadline to enter the Three-Tiered Invitational. I will announce the winners 10 at time in tomorrow's ramblings, beginning with the six returnees plus the first four drawn names. Throughout the day, I will announce more names in 10s until all 60 plus 10 "reserve" names are announced.
Interesting that Columbus beatwriter Aaron Portzline has Kris Russell for 13 points this season. I think he’ll get that by December. I like his health trajectory (66 games, 70, 73 – though he broke his ankle in April), I like his points trajectory (10, 21, 22, 23) and he had 14 points in his last 30 games. He’ll probably lose out to Grant Clitsome as the “other” PP QB, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t get 30 points. His progression is slow – but that’s how things work when it comes to offensive defensemen (unless they are a high pick, a la Drew Doughty and Cam Fowler). Hell, Clitsome is two years older and his career high is 19. At Russell’s age, James Wisniewski’s career high was 26 points and he got hurt a lot. Sound familiar? Naw, it’s too early to throw in the towel on Russell. Just keep expectations in check for the year ahead. But 13 points…that’ll be surpassed by game 35 at the latest.
While Dustin Byfuglien enjoys his brewski and his donuts, Jakub Kindl is in great shape this summer. Not draftable, but he’ll take a step forward in that 20-point range. Another 24-year-old.
I hope some of the young players who have yet to show anything will settle on a short-term deal soon. While Doughty and Schenn have shown their value and are worth every penny – the likes of Bogosian and Turris have not. And I don’t think they should be playing hardball right now or they could make things worse. Would the Coyotes have traded for Langkow if Turris had signed quickly? Probably…but you never know. And that’s precisely the sort of moves that teams will do and often those moves “make things worse” for the player.
Shawn Matthias and his agent “can’t wrap their heads around the fact that (the Panthers) are not going to offer a one-way deal”. Wow. I wouldn’t wrap my head around that either. Matthias is on the cusp of something, and this team already put a wrench in that by signing 50 forwards. And now they are all but seeing to it that he plays next season in the minors? Yes, he was rushed, but in his final few games he really seemed to have turned the corner. On the plus side, if he makes the team he will have earned it big time. But this contract dispute is starting to raise red flags. A trade, perhaps?
Learning as I go, learning as I go… I should have done it this way to begin with. I have eliminated the Ultimate Fantasy Pack (UFP) requirement for the “Silver Pack” in the shop and created a new package called the “Frozen Goalie”. This is a one-year membership to Frozen Pool and a one-year membership to Goalie Post – for $16.99. I originally had that tacked onto the UFP. I don’t know why. Anyway, you’ll notice that the Frozen Pool section is now paid-only. Let’s reward Jason Arbuthnot for his work putting these tools together.
And at the same time reward Justin Goldman and Jeff Hillen for the work they have put in and will put into Goalie Post. Tracking starting goaltenders and adding the insight that we plan to have is no cup of tea – that’s why sites like this one and this one couldn’t keep it going. The starting goalie grid has been moved to the “free” section – spread the word! And the “premium” section will provide added tools such as Goldman’s personal advice, an email notification system that gives you a last minute heads up of any changes to your goalie’s status (and you know that a few times this year that would really save your bacon), plus added tools/charts and more. The Frozen Goalie Pack is a buck-fifty a month – think about all the added tools you get for that chump change!
Matthias – penalty shot beauty: