Lockout Update: Day 79: There is still a lockout.
The first annual Fantasy Goalie Guide is OUT NOW. Just going through the final editing process. I will have a sample team, and a full list of all goalies being profiled, and other snapshots out hopefully later today. Buy it here for just $6.99, which is really chump change for a magazine that you'll enjoy far more than Sports Illustrated you were thinking of buying.
The NHL floated an idea late last week in which they wondered if the players would like to meet with the owners without Gary Bettman, Bill Daly, Donald or Steve Fehr in the room. At first blush - what a dumb idea. After all, the owners negotiate billion-dollar deal for a living in their other businesses, while the players, uh, play hockey. But nothing else has worked to this point, and if it's just a discussion to appeal to the other side about where they are at - without the lawyer-speak - then the idea isn't so bad. In fact, it could be just what the negotiations need to nudge the peanut forward a little bit.
The players finally agreed Sunday to this meeting. It will be held Tuesday in New York.
Here are the owners who will be attending, six of them in all:
1. Jeremy Jacobs, Boston. Right off the bat, you know the meeting has gone to shit. Here is the hardliniest hardliner of all the hardliners. The past week has seen hundreds of blogs and articles about the devil, also known as Jeremy Jacobs. He is the one that those in the know figure holds the most influence over Bettman, and he is the one primarily driving the lockout. Can the players soften him up? He's a billionaire businessman, so he is well-versed in coming across as "softened up" if that gets him the deal he wants. Or he can come across as a hard ass if that gets him the deal he wants.
2. Larry Tanenbaum, Toronto. Thank the Good Lord. Not that he'll be a savior here - he probably won't. But it's about time you see the league's most powerful team step in and show some kind of interest. The Leafs make the most revenue and are losing the most due to the lockout. So damn it, show some balls, Larry!
3. Murray Edwards, Calgary. A reasonable man, but one who is a Bettman backer. Personally I don't believe that he cares to continue the lockout any further - the concessions that the owners have already been given are probably good enough for him. But again, he's a Bettman backer.
4. Mark Chipman, Winnipeg. I'm glad to see three out of the six owners are representing Canadian teams. Taken from that standpoint, it's very positive. He has a lot to lose with a cancelled season and he is one guy who I think will go to bat for a resolution. Even though it was Bettman who gave him an NHL team recently.
5. Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay. With the last two I would have expected Ed Snyder or James Dolan. But not so. Snyder seems to be keeping his nose out of everything. Perhaps because he is 79 years old and winding things up in terms of actively bothering with his business interests. Dolan is the Rangers owner who butted heads with the NHL and Bettman over the Rangers' website. He lost the battle and fell out of favor with Bettman. He expressed interest in being a part of this, but was obviously cock-blocked.
Meanwhile, Vinik is a 53-year-old billionaire, but I don't know much about him. His calling card is making money through investments, so just from that I would figure that he sees the game as an investment more than a passion. In other words - probably not good that he's there.
6. Ron Burkle, Pittsburgh. I'm neutral with this pick, as Burkle's situation is unlike most other GM's - his Crosby/Malkin goldmine is only good for a couple more years. So he may not want to waste one of them nitpicking over what amounts to a couple million dollars per team per year.
And in the other corner… we don't know yet, but the rumor is that Sid the Kid will be one of the six. Here are my suggestions/hopes…
1. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh. Let's put him in the room with his boss. This is a must. Burkle will be more flexible with the bread and butter of his team.
2. Zdeno Chara, Boston. Not gonna happen, since he's overseas, but still - Jacobs needs a giant looking down at him, who is also his team captain and best player, explaining to him that the contract demands need to be pulled back in order to compensate the players for their concessions. Failing Chara, then Milan Lucic (Boston) for similar reasons.
3. Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay. He has been outspoken in his bitterness for this lockout and his boss, Vinik, will be there. His presence will get things moving.
4. Jarome Iginla, Calgary. Is there anyone on earth who believes that Iginla is an unreasonable guy? Five minutes in a room with him and it seems like everyone will agree on every issue!
6. We need another young player in the mix but it's tough to come up with one since all the young stars are in the AHL or Europe. Lucic is 24. Maybe a depth player who is young and not a potential star, to represent that type. Like a Nick Spaling or Cody Franson or Karl Alzner? Just throwing names out there.
Rumor is that Adrian Aucoin will be a player there.
Anaheim prospect forward Patrick Maroon had four points on the weekend, with three on Saturday and one on Sunday. Peter Holland has been just as good, with two and two. Holland is up to 21 points in 20 AHL games.
Oshawa shuts out Sarnia's Charles Sarault Sunday. Why is that significant? Because the guy had 13 points in three games heading in! Five, five and three. Passed up the draft last summer…
But that streak is nothing compared to what Ryan Strome is doing. Fourteen games in a row with a point, 38 points in that span. Nearly three per game! He had seven points on the weekend (Friday and Saturday) for Niagara Falls.
Alex Galchenyuk has 12 points in his last four games for Sarnia.
Lots of prospects news and player profiles over at DobberProspects.com
Here we go again - Semyon Varlamov suffered a knee injury over in Russia. It's said to be 'not serious', but the point is - he gets these a lot. Too often, in fact.
Stephane Da Costa has been injured for much of the season, but he returned in a big way Sunday with three goals and four points for Binghamton.
Shout out to Mason Black of 1stopfantasyhockey.com, who has a great tool for you here, and who also created a tool to help with my daily ramblings. A big thanks for daily stats in other leagues!
THREEEEEE goals for Ovechkin, here they are at 25 seconds, 50 seconds and 3:45 (give or take). He's No.32 over in Russia, instead of his familiar No.8, for those who didn’t know…
Another lockout song, this one sung to the tune of Lola - kinda cute, though the voice sure struggles!
Note - so I thought I stumbled on this song myself just browsing youtube, but then later I see that Puck Daddy already had it. Damn them! Wyshynski and the gang are too quick!