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Five core Canucks who could be traded this summer if some big changes are made.

 

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I figure I should probably offer some thoughts up on Detroit and Chicago.

 

The young Detroit defense couldn't handle Chicago's speed and constant pressure. Brendan Smith struggled for much of the game. He's going to be a good one, but there will be bumps along the way.

 

Patrick Sharp had a fantastic game - he reminds me of Justin Williams for LA. Two understated but very effective wingers capable of scoring, passing, and playing in a variety of situations. Sharp receives a bit more fanfare, but both of them are very underrated among fans and hockey commentators.

 

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My hockey mailbag is open for today. Ask your questions here.

 

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The goaltending market is going to be very interesting this summer. Mike Smith is a UFA, Ryan Miller will get traded, Roberto Luongo will get traded, Jhonas Enroth may get traded, Marc-Andre Fleury may (and should) get traded or bought out… and there will probably be a few other goaltenders available. Niklas Backstrom is a UFA.

 

What teams realistically need a starting goaltender? Buffalo, if and when they move Miller. Edmonton – I don’t think MacTavish is a huge Dubnyk fan (even though I am and think he could be a starter in this league). Calgary? Or do they go with Karri Ramo?

 

How about Minnesota? New Jersey? Brodeur has one year left – do they bring in a successor now, or do they wait a year? Long Island could use an upgrade in goal, too. Phoenix will need to replace Smith if he leaves.

 

So there will be at least six or seven teams looking for goalies. Let the musical chairs begin!

 

Oh, and the St. Louis Blues. What happens there? Who is their starter? Imagine that team with Luongo or Smith in goal?

 

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Different city, same story - Tampa's AHL affiliate is dominating the rest of the league. Tyler Johnson will be in the NHL next year. Richard Panik, Brett Connolly, and Ondrej Palat all could be joining him.

 

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A great read on Derrick Brassard from NHL.com - he really has experienced a revitilization in New York. What does this mean for his short and long term future? If he can stay healthy, does he get back on track as a top six forward?

 

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The Selke finalists – Toews, Datsyuk, and Bergeron. I would have put Kopitar in there ahead of Toews or Datsyuk, but it is a very solid list. For my money Kopitar and Bergeron are the best two-way forwards in hockey.

 

This is Datsyuk’s sixth consecutive Selke nomination. Not too shabby.

 

If you have eight minutes to spare… this is what makes Datsyuk so good:

 

 

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Sticking with goalies, I really like Matt Hackett (now in Buffalo).

 

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Not only did the Kings upgrade from Jack Johnson to Slava Voynov (a vastly superior defenseman), but they managed to bring in Jeff Carter, too. Now that is called good GM-ing.

 

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I wouldn’t expect Johnson to last long under Jarmo Kekalainen – in fact, I’d wager he is on the move this summer. A high-event defenseman, and the Jackets already have one of those in James Wisniewski. Although the John Moore trade did take away a left-shooting offensive defenseman (like Johnson) from the depth chart.

 

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Working on some prospect and under-the-radar lists for the next few weeks. Not only do I enjoy providing this information for you guys to digest, but it helps me a lot with my own keeper league draft.

 

In my league, Brenden Dillon was the 17th best defenseman in 2013, and Jake Muzzin was in the top 50 (along with Patrick Wiercioch). These guys can help you win, and they are usually available as free agents or very, very late in drafts.

 

Some of the lists I am working on – under-the-radar prospects (both forwards and defensemen), young multi-category sleepers (forwards and defensemen) and more general sleepers for next season only.

 

Feel free to offer any more suggestions – with the Canucks out early, I suddenly have a lot more free writing time on my hands.

 

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I’m working on a series of fitness articles so people can learn to write their own exercise programs. First up – a lengthy post on the specificity principle, and why it matters to training (regardless of your fitness level or goal).

 

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And one more fitness post – learning to make pushups harder by adding weight to them. This is a way better way to build a strong chest/shoulder area without using the bench press (which usually leads to aches/pain injury for most people).

 

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Check out the pass by Hamhuis to Stamkos for the OT winner – lobs it over everyone and it lands right at the opposing blueline. Near the end of this clip:

 

 

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I am of the opinion that “learning to win” isn’t some hocus pocus term thrown around. It is real. And here are some young Red Wings talking about it.

 

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Ty Rattie dominated the WHL postseason after yet again dominating the WHL regular season. Does he make the Blues next season? Is there room for him? They have so much depth up front, and Rattie, Schwartz, and Tarasenko will all be chomping at the bit for top nine ice time in 2013-14. Do they move a forward for a defenseman? Probably.

 

A defensive core of Shattenkirk, Bouwmeester, and Pietrangelo is very solid, but the Blues would be smart to bring in another mobile guy back there (like Jordan Leopold, but younger).

 

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I was pleasantly surprised by Joe Colborne’s play for Toronto. I had written him off as a top six prospect, but if he adds another 10-15 pounds of muscle, I may be proven wrong very soon. He’s very lanky, rangy, and smart. His puck skills are really good, too.

 

The Leafs probably won’t bring Bozak back (at least they shouldn’t, for anything more than $2.5 or $3 million), and Colborne could be the logical replacement.

 

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Hockey players are tough – Nick Bonino played round one with a torn hamstring, and Francois Beauchemin had a torn ACL.

 

In my recent mailbag, I was asked to speculate on Anaheim's top six if Ryan is dealt, and Teemu and Saku both retire (not likely all happening, of course). Getzlaf, Perry, Etem, Bonino, Holland, and Palmieri would be the top six, assuming no other outside help is brought in (again, not likely).

 

Pure speculation – Teemu and Saku are back for one more year in Anaheim.

 

Look for Bonino and Etem to take huge strides forward. Etem reminds me of a powerful young horse learning to control his body – he’s a powerful skater and very, very talented, and it is all going to come together for him very soon.

 

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Comments (15)add comment

repenttokyo said:

repenttokyo
really surprised you keep writing that fleury will be traded / bought out you're the only one, angus, that I see insisting on this.
May 16, 2013
Votes: +0

Dicks said:

Dicks
Goalies I could see Miller landing in Minnesota given their recent deadline dealing.

i think Backstrom will go the Tomas Vokoun route as he is no longer the starting goalie he once was.

Also, I would add Tampa to the list of teams in need of a starting goaltender - I don't think Bishop and Lindback are up to the task at this point.
May 16, 2013
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Pengwin7
Fleury I don't think PIT will move or buy out Fleury.

He's a very good regular season goalie, three straight seasons of sub 2.40GAA with above .912 SV%. He wins games.

I think it's more likely that we'll see PIT continue with a veteran back-up every year (instead of a "Brent Johnson" type). Vokoun this year and next. Perhaps a guy like JS Giguere or Mathieu Garon in two years time. Fleury comes across as a good lockerroom/Penguin kind-of-guy. It's a bit similar to Jimmy Howard. He really hasn't proved anything in the playoffs for Detroit, until this last series vs. Anaheim, but Detroit still liked him enough to reward him with an extension.

I don't see any concern with Fleury in PIT.
May 16, 2013
Votes: +0

4horsemen said:

4horsemen
... DarthVain - did you look at the FO% stats for the playoffs? Bozak was 3rd on the Leafs. Now this could partly be a result of who he was lining up against but a 1st line C HAS to compete against other 1st round C's or what's he worth?

Toronto absolutely does not have to bring him back unless the price is right.
May 16, 2013
Votes: +0

angus said:

angus
... Darth - gotta remember that Boston is one of the best faceoff teams in the league. These guys come cheap. David Steckel or Boyd Gordon types. You don't spend over 1.5 mill on a faceoff specialist (which is what Bozak is).
May 16, 2013
Votes: +0

DarthVain said:

DarthVain
Bozak About TO not bringing back Bozak. They have to. Unless they make a bunch of moves. If the playoffs showed me anything it was that TO is in need of centres that can actually take a faceoff.

So far they have Bozak. They have literly no one else. The game after he got injured, they won something like 20 to 60 VS Boston. It is pretty hard to win a game when the other team has 3x the starting puck possession.

This seems to be TO's biggest hole to fill.
May 16, 2013
Votes: +0

Rodgort said:

Rodgort
Datsyuk I swear you could make an 8+ minute clip of him for every game he has played in the nhl the guy is too good. Anyone see that soccer kick at centre ice in Game 1? Who would think to do that!
May 16, 2013
Votes: +0

angus said:

angus
... Hitman - thanks for the insights. You see Panik's PIM numbers carrying over?

Ocean - thanks a lot. Much appreciated. Not sure what workload I will have at school, but I'll be around as much as I can.

DP - I have heard Kinkaid is a guy that the organization likes. But is he ready to start in 2014-15?
May 16, 2013
Votes: +0

ultrawhiteness said:

ultrawhiteness
overtime? slovenia? really?
May 16, 2013
Votes: +0

robmyatt said:

robmyatt
Goalie Market Another interesting high end goalie to watch will be Jonathan Bernier. Had a very strong season in the games he did start. Couple that with the fact he's an RFA who made a public trade request and I'm sure he's destined to be a starter come September.
Thoughts Angus?
May 16, 2013
Votes: +2

4horsemen said:

4horsemen
... "The Leafs probably won’t bring Bozak back (at least they shouldn’t, for anything more than $2.5 or $3 million), and Colborne could be the logical replacement."

Thank you Angus for talking some sense! Bozak is a depth player, not a top six player. Inevitably some Leafs fan (and I am one) will pipe up to defend the 'chemistry' between Bozak and Kessel but can anyone actually show proof of this other than saying it's something they think they saw or some sort of gut feeling? Maybe it's a story sold by the Toronto media? (for the record, I can't find any stats to suggest Kessel has shown any increased production when he's on the ice with Bozak).

People will then usually move on to talk about his usefullness on the draw BUT:

a) he failed miserably there in the Playoffs (not even inside the top 60 Centres for FO% and ranked 3rd on the Leafs!)

b) FO specialists shouldn't cost much (if that's what we're calling Bozak. He did have a solid regular season FO% of 52 but that doesn't put him anywhere near the elite)

If the Leafs want a FO specialist who can slot into the top six I'd advise them to go knocking on the door and asking about Vermette and his 3.75 contract....VALUE!!! If they want a guy to just slot in to win them the draw go ask Columbus about Derek MacKenzie and his 1 mil contract. Who knows if these guys are available but one UFA they might want to at least consider before giving Bozak 3+ mil, as I fear they'll do, Filppula. He's probably asking for more than he's worth but his underlying numbers aren't bad at all, they were much better than Bozak's and surprisingly some of the best of his career even though nothing seemed to go in the net for him. He was quite unlucky this year with an On Ice SH% of 5.94 and PDO of 979.

If Bozak was going to cost you 3+ and Filp would cost you around 4.5 (heard he's looking for 5 but how many teams can offer him a top 6 spot?), who'd you take? Maybe he takes a discount on a short contract to try to get his numbers up for his next crack at free agency. Just a thought...maybe Det jumps in and locks him down.
May 16, 2013
Votes: +0

donpaulo said:

donpaulo
... re the NJD situation, I liked what I saw of Keith Kincaid in last years preseason action. He has had a year of seasoning since I last saw him too. Then again perhaps he is not the "sure" solution to what ails the devils.
May 16, 2013
Votes: +0

OceanMon said:

OceanMon
I really enjoy your ramblings I hope you don't quit writing ramblings when you go back to school.
May 16, 2013
Votes: +1

austeane said:

austeane
... Wow... As a Canucks fan, watching Datsyuk there is awe-inspiring!
And nice pass from Hamhuis to Stamkos but I couldn't stand that announcing for an entire game..
May 16, 2013
Votes: +0

The Hockey Hitman said:

The Hockey Hitman
TB You can definitely count on Panik making the Lightning out of camp. No doubt. Connolly, more than likely he's making it unless ye has an poor camp and or is severely out-performdd and outworked by Palat. One of those guys makes the team, not both...my best edu-macated guess. Johnson hasnt shown much in limited NHL action. He could make the lineup but out of all the guys you mention he has the least shot at it. However, I say if TJ trains hard enough and smart enough this summer and adds strength, anything is possible.
May 16, 2013 | url
Votes: +0
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