Fantasy Guide is updated now...includes the Paul Byron cut, and Nick Johnson waiver pickup. The Draft List is updated - this is the one you want going into the draft tonight or tomorrow!
Brendan Smith was suspended for five games (regular season) and the three remaining preseason games.
According to Dmitry Chesnokov, Alexander Radulov has packed up his bags and left his KHL team. Not sure what this means.... More on the interesting situation here.
Ville Leino is feeling comfortable playing center, which is a good thing for the Sabres.
My keeper team is currently getting audited by the HockeyPoolGeek crew. Check out their most recent audit here, or the audit they did of my team last year. I based my trades and last season off of these recommendations, and finished 2nd out of 12 in my pool (even with Crosby injured).
My first piece for the Canucks Army (I'll be writing there once per week tihs season).
Drew Doughty has finally signed – eight years, $56 million (for those of you in salary leagues, the cap hit is $7 million per). I’m not sure how missing training camp will affect him, but he has apparently been training hard back in Ontario. He’ll join LA on their trip to Europe to open the season up.
Nazem Kadri is out for a month with a sprained knee – likely opening up a spot for Matt Frattin somewhere in the top nine. Frattin is an intriguing young player, as he does a lot of things well and could fit a few different roles with the Leafs.
Two prospects who are forcing their teams into tough decisions – Jonathan Huberdeau and Ryan Murphy. Murphy has perhaps the most upside of any young defenseman in the game right now (non-NHL), but the Hurricanes have a lot in terms of depth ahead of him. However, he’s still sticking around…
Huberdeau has been one of Florida’s most dangerous forwards. The Panthers have immense depth but little top end talent. He’s earned a look for at least a handful of regular season games.
I don’t read a ton into line combos, but they do influence my fantasy valuations. Ponikarovsky and Dalpe will likely be skating with Staal on Carolina’s top line. Not sure if that trio will stick. The second unit will likely be Ruutu between Skinner and Jokinen. I wouldn’t be surprised to see those winger groups switch up.
Boychuk and Drayson Bowman were both sent to the AHL by the Hurricanes.
Trent Hunter has apparently been playing reasonably well for the Kings (I haven’t seen him play so I’m going off second hand info). He’d likely slot in on the third line with Stoll and one of Parse/Clifford/Richardson. Where does Loktionov fit in? Is he a KHL threat if he doesn’t make the team?
Justin Goldman now writes for NHL.com – a great read on some under-the-radar goalies to watch for.
I like the Nick Johnson claim by the Wild. At worst Johnson is a third liner capable of chipping in with 12-15 goals and physical play. If an injury strikes in the top six, he can slide up (and depending on potential linemates, could be 20-25 goals). He played 11 minutes for the Wild against Columbus last night.
Matt Gilroy had an assist and played over 20 minutes for the Bolts. His defensive game isn’t great but he’s a really interesting sleeper pick for deeper leagues. The Lightning lack a true PP QB and he could stick (provided he isn’t a total liability at even strength).
Mike Ribeiro had a goal and a whopping five assists in under 15 minutes of ice time – how’s that for efficiency?
Alex Goligoski also had a big game – a goal and three helpers. He’ll be above 50 points this season for the Stars.
Dobber’s piece on Puck Daddy from Thursday – some movers in the fantasy hockey world before the season starts.
I’ve said this before – if you are looking to tank in your fantasy keeper pool, this is the year to do it. Nail Yakupov is going to be a special player.
Tim Connolly missed practice (but skated) with a minor upper body injury. Beats the “musculoskeletal” injury that kept him out of the lineup a few years ago…
Here’s a newsflash – Claude Giroux is pretty good. He had two primary assists last night, including a filthy back door past to Mr. Power Play (my new nickname for Jagr).
Zac Rinadlo continues to rack up the PIM – worth drafting late if you need a pure PIM player. He’s going to fight a lot if he sticks with the Flyers.
Chris Pronger returned to the Philly lineup last night.
Adam Larsson played almost 25 minutes for the Devils, but made his fair share of rookie mistakes. He’s good enough to play this year, but there will be growing pains.
Cam Atkinson didn’t play a lot last night, but he had a goal and an assist, and is doing all he can to earn a roster spot with the Jackets. Tomas Kubalik, another roster hopeful, had two helpers.
An interview with Brunnstrom, who has a decent shot at winning a roster spot in Detroit: