We’re truly entering the heart of crappy hockey news days for 2012. Let’s recap news from yesterday – TJ Galiardi re-signed with the Sharks, avoiding arbitration … and minor leaguer Andre Deveaux signed a one-year deal with the Panthers. Done. Now I can take the rest of the day to work on my Fantasy Guide.

 

Alright, some other comments. I really like what the Jets did with their goaltending depth. I like the upside and skill of Al Montoya and Mark Dekanich. I don’t trust Dekanich’s health, and Montoya isn’t fully proven yet. But between the two of them, one should emerge as a very good NHL goaltender capable of shouldering a 40-game workload. They’ll “show” this, at least one of them will, but they won’t “do” this. Pavelec will get his 65 starts, while one of the other two shows enough to perhaps sign as a starter elsewhere next summer.

 

Ryan Stoa is one of those players who will not get much opportunity with the big club, but will need to seize what little he gets if he’s ever going to stick. At this point, he looks like a career minor leaguer due to his lack of speed. After a fantastic college run, he has failed to do much of anything at the pro level. And I had him as a Top 10 Calder pick when he first turned pro. But Zach Hamill is in a similar situation in Washington, so if there is a chance of either sticking at any point next year, my nod goes to Hamill. He has learned to play a more complete game.

 

Say what you want about Devan Dubnyk’s contract (it raised my eyebrow, to say the least), but looking at it from a fantasy standpoint it ensures that he will be the Edmonton starter. Instead of having to earn his games by hot stretches, his starts will be his to begin with. On an Oilers team that will shock you either this year or next, he makes a solid draft pick. I often remind you – the Penguins were 28th overall, drafted Jordan Staal, The Hockey News (and others) predicted them to finish 28th again… and they finished eighth. After seeing the Penguins finish in the bottom three or four year after year for the better part of a decade, the ‘chicken’ way out was to predict them to finish in the bottom three or four again. So that’s what fans, experts and media did. They didn’t see Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Whitney, Fleury, Orpik et al getting better. So 28th. They finished eighth. So I’m not going to be a chicken, I’ll put my neck out again – Oilers will be in the Top 16.

 

Two caveats – 1) they can’t lose 80 man games from Eberle/Hall/RNH again. 2) they can’t lose 150 man games from Eberle, Hall, RNH, Whitney, Hemsky and Dubnyk. If they avoid those two caveats, then the kids get into the playoffs.

 

I think the Oilers are moving Sam Gagner, Magnus Paajarvi and Linus Omark. They will bring in a defenseman. I’ll call him Player X. Now let’s take a look at the line combos:


Hall                         Nugent-Hopkins               Eberle

Hemsky                                Horcoff                                 Yakupov

Smyth                   Belanger                              Jones

Hartikainen         Lander                                  Petrell

 

Whitney                               Player X

Schultz                                  Smid

Petry                                     Schultz

Sutton

 

Depth: Potter, Peckham, Hordichuk, Eager

 

The Oilers will jump 15 spots in the standings at some point, and when it happens nobody will expect it. Well, when it happens ‘I’ want to be the one to predict it. Even if it means being wrong four years in a row first (ha ha).

 

Also – everything I said above, except about the Islanders.

 

One thing about the Isles over the last five months – the muddy goaltender picture has cleared up a little. Montoya has moved on. So here is the depth chart:

DiPietro

Nabokov

Poulin

Nilsson

Koskinen

 

The first name on the list will be off the list by Game 2. I think Poulin, Nilsson and Koskinen are each solid young goalies and in a keeper league I would have no problem sitting on any of them. Poulin would be my preference though.

 

Devan Dubnyk compilation:

 

 

Kevin Poulin robbery:

 

 


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number54 said:

number54
Other Potential Gagner Destinations I agree that Gagner is likely to be moved as a chip in acquiring a top-end blue-liner for the Oilers. I'd also agree with Chicago as a possible destination, but I think you're counting out a few teams who have defensemen to burn and need a centerman.

Florida could easily afford to give up either Jovanovski or Kuba, being that they have Robak to bring into the fold for this year. Moreover, their 2nd centerman right now is Marcel Goc who, while he's a great shutdown centerman, is better suited to 3rd line duties. This could give the 2nd line a big offensive boost, especially with Huberdeau coming in for 2012-13.

Toronto would be wise to pursue Gagner as well. They're currently counting on Tim Connolly to center their 2nd line. He's not exactly known for playing 82 games, so it would behoove Leafs' brass to perpare themselves for this eventuality. Otherwise, those rumors about JVR moving to the middle might actually turn out to be true. The other end of this is that the Leafs still have Komisarek, Liles & Franson who could all be moved for the right return. Gagner might just be their man, this time.

Finally, Vancouver has every reason to pursue Gagner, in order to plug the hole that Kesler will leave for the first month of the season. Especially with five top-4 defensemen in Hamhuis, Garrison, Ballard, Bieksa, and Edler, the 'Nucks would be smart to move one of them for a center. Equally, Gagner's a fairly effective playmaker, something the 'Nucks are desperately missing beyond their top line. Admittedly, these two divisional rivals don't trade much, but it would be a smart hockey trade for both of them.
July 08, 2012
Votes: +0

Nate said:

Nate
Goalie Comments The more I look at the backup situation in Winnipeg the more i'm convinced it was a good signing. Montoya will do just fine with the Jets.

Dubnyk is going to be a beast this season. I think you hit the "Nail" on the head there with your Oilers predictions, and in drawing the Penguins comparison. When they get that D man they covet (whoever it is) they're going to be hard to beat. Just have to stay healthy.

I've seen people throwing around Eberle trade scenarios in the forums. Not a chance...
July 08, 2012
Votes: +0

angus said:

angus
... Sam Gagner would be a perfect fit in Chicago.
July 08, 2012
Votes: +0
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