For the first time in eight months, I’m banging off my three days of Ramblings (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday) without getting the opportunity to comment on an actual game. Waiting until Wednesday was too much for hockey fans, I know there was a lot of scheduling involved – TV, arenas, etc. But they should have had two scenarios prepared – one for each of the two outcomes for the NYR/NJ Game 6.
The KHL has announced that two of their regular season games will take place in Brooklyn. The games will be in January. Too bad that they couldn’t swing this for October – with the NHL locked out, the KHL could get huge exposure.
By the way, I think there will be a lockout. I think it will push the season back 3-12 weeks. It won’t cancel the season, but it will delay it. That’s where we’re headed. The two sides haven’t even talked yet, which is dumb in itself. The NHL wants to limit the terms of contracts, and they want a 50-50 revenue split (they currently give 57% to the players). I hope they can meet in the middle there, and the players concede the contract lengths. But let’s capitalize on the awesome USA momentum with this sport!
The KHL is doing something right with this NHL lockout looming. They have this “returning Russian” clause in their salary structure, where it won’t count against the cap. The thinking is, they could lure Russian players back and get them to sign two-year contracts (this is per Adam Proteau’s musings in the latest Hockey News). The first year would be good for the player because they would get paid and avoid the impact of a lockout. The second year would be good for the player because he can participate in the Sochi Olympics – and the NHL might not. Lots to tempt Russians right now. LOTS. And here are the key Russian UFA’s and RFA’s:
Pavel Valentenko (already signed 2-year deal to go back to KHL)
I’m trying to find out about other nearby-Russian countries and if they are included. Such as Belarus (Andrei Kostitsyn, Sergei Kostitsyn) and Ukraine (Alexei Ponikarovsky, Ruslan Fedotenko). All four of whom are free agents. But these are all serious threats to leave for the KHL and if you own them, you may want to quietly shop them. Update – Dmitry Chesnokov tells me that, as I figured, these four are not included in this clause.
The Red Wings have signed Teemu Pulkkinen to an ELC. He is ranked 93 on my Fantasy Prospects List.
Chicago has extended Johnny Oduya and Jamal Mayers. I’m not sure why they did the Mayers one, as he has really slowed down and they didn’t use him in the playoffs. It must be because they were so successful last season that they need to keep the roster together. Not.
Oduya took a tiny pay cut, and was a good signing at $3.375 cap hit.
Martin Brodeur says he’s leaning towards coming back next year. If he does, then he will return to New Jersey I have no doubt. These days he gets hurt a lot though, so I wouldn’t count on more than 30 wins. But another season is just what Scott Wedgewood (my pick to take over, if they promote from within) needs. Actually, Wedgewood could use several more seasons before making the jump.
Here’s an interesting read on Tampa Bay prospect goaltender Riku Helenius. The organization treated him poorly in terms of development, and he went back to Europe and has enjoyed success. For him to come back, understandably, he would like a two-year, one-way deal.
The Leafs signed prospect Leo Komorov, who played in the KHL last season. He’s 25, so they obviously want to look at him as a potential fit for the big club. He had 50 points in his last 98 KHL games, which pretty much indicates that he’s a potential third liner. He is ranked 377 on my Prospects List.
Fantasy Prospects Report is out Friday. Because of the new DobberProspects site, I’ve had to step up what’s included in the Fantasy Prospects Report. On top of the “Upside” and the “3YP” and the “Certainty (NHL; Upside)” numbers underneath each profile, we have also added “Expected arrival” to give you a firm year of expected readiness, and a “DobberHockey draft advice” in which we tell you which round you should consider taking this player if you are in a typical keeper league where teams have three to eight prospects on your roster/ bench.
This is a great little playoff blooper real:
2012 playoff OT goals: