My salary arbitration against Brian Burke (it was a mock case for the National Arbitrator's Convention) went well. I'll have more details on it next week for those interested.
Gonchar contract thoughts up soon.
Quick thoughts on Boston - Chara great. Krejci great. Bergeron great. Marchand great. Rask really great.
Love the Sergei Gonchar acquisition for Dallas (assuming they can sign him). He is a big-minute defenseman that they desperately needed, and they acquired him for pennies on the dollar (a conditional 6th round pick – conditional on him signing).
Gonchar is 39, and the Stars want a two-year deal. They must believe he has lots of hockey left.
I’ll have a full fantasy breakdown post for the main page if and when Gonchar puts ink to paper.
According to Twitter reports, the Canucks have signed or are close to signing NCAA freshman defenseman Christian Folin. Folin was apparently close to signing with Ottawa.
Big, Swedish, shoots right – seems like a good fit for the organization’s depth chart.
Folin had six goals and 21 points at UMass Amherst last year – he’s 6-4 and 210 pounds and skates really well.
Game 1 of the Calder Cup Final is tonight. This is fantasy scouting 101 for most poolies – a lot of these guys will be very productive NHL players. Let’s do a little fantasy preview, shall we?
Syracuse Crunch (Tampa Bay)
Ondrej Palat – 12 GP, 5 G, 20 P
Palat is a skilled left winger who saw some time with the Lightning last year. He has a pretty good shot at earning a top nine spot this coming season. I’d say after Richard Panik, he has the best shot of any of the rookies/young guys to contribute for Tampa Bay.
Tyler Johnson – 12 GP, 9 G, 17 P
Undersized but very skilled. Johnson’s emergence allowed the Lightning to move Cory Conacher to Ottawa in the Ben Bishop trade. He will, at the very least, be a 40-45 point depth scorer in the NHL. The upside is there for a lot more depending on ice time, linemates, and opportunity.
Mark Barberio – 12 GP, 3 G, 10 P
A skilled offensive defenseman who is still waiting for his NHL shot. It will come soon. Barbeiro isn’t a great skater, but he sees the ice well and is a huge asset on the power play. The Lightning need to find a way to get him on their back end.
Matt Taormina – 12 GP, 2 G, 9 P
The former Devils prospect has found a home in Syracuse. Taormina had some fantasy upside a few years ago, but was derailed a bit by a really bad ankle injury. For teams looking to add a bottom pairing defenseman with some offensive upside on the cheap… he could be a guy to look at.
Richard Panik – 10 GP, 4 G, 8 P
Arguably the most NHL ready of the young Lightning players, Panik plays a complete game. He has the pace in his game to keep up with the Stamkos’s and Lecavalier’s of the world, which bodes well for his short term offensive upside.
JT Brown, Vladislav Namestnikov, and Brett Connolly all also bear watching. Man Tampa Bay has an impressive farm system.
Grand Rapids (Detroit)
Tomas Tatar – 18 GP, 11 G, 16 P
Tatar isn’t the biggest or fastest guy on the ice, but he is an elite hockey thinker. He has top six upside, but the Wings will be patient with him (like they are with most of their young players).
Tomas Jurco – 18 GP, 7 G, 13 P
Great hands, great offensive player – still needs to get a bit stronger and more consistent, but what younger player doesn’t?
Teemu Pulkkinen – 14 GP, 3 G, 5 P
Probably another year of AHL action away from the NHL, but Pulkkinen has top six upside.
Joakim Andersson – 4 GP, 1 G, 4 P
Detroit’s next checking center? Andersson’s offensive upside may get squashed in a defensive role, but he should still be a relatively productive player.
Gustav Nyquist – 4 GP, 1 G, 2 P
Skilled, smart, gritty. Nyquist is the real deal.
Riley Sheahan and Adam Almquist bear watching, too.
Peter Mrazek – the next great Czech goaltender in hockey? Mrazek has been great all postseason for the Griffins – the Howard contract doesn’t bode well for him, but he could find himself in the NHL in the next year or two backing him up.
10 Fitness Tips for June – learn how to jump (and land) better, volume training, the big secret to fitness, and a lot more.
Today’s team to analyze – the San Jose Sharks
2013-14 sleeper pick: Tomas Hertl
The Sharks are looking to move Martin Havlat this summer, and they may plug their 2012 1st round pick (Hertl) into the lineup as his replacement. Hertl has NHL sizer and strength, and he has spent the past two years playing against men in the top Czech league, too. He had 30 points in 43 games in 2012-13 for Slavia Praha.
Long term sleeper pick: Matt Nieto
Nieto is the total package offensively – he can score, skate, and make plays. He probably needs one AHL season (at least) before making the Sharks, but he isn’t too far off. His final two years at Boston University were fantastic, and he had a solid AHL debut in 2013, too (six points in 11 games).
Here is Nieto’s DobberHockey Prospects Report profile from 2011:
He has had his issues with Winnipeg media in the past – how does this go over there? I guess on one hand you have to admire his passion to win, but is this really the best outlet to express it? Twitter should be for harmless fun and fan engagement (from an athlete’s perspective). Kane’s comments, even if not intended, kind of throws the Jets organization under the bus a bit.
For everyone asking why I don't care to watch or talk about the NHL playoffs. I'm not playing in them, I can't win this year, CONT:— Evander Kane (@EKane9JETS) June 7, 2013
— Evander Kane (@EKane9JETS) June 7, 2013
The Blues are in the market for a 1st round pick. And they probably have a forward or two available for trade…
Negotiating, Russian style:
— Slava Malamud (@SlavaMalamud) June 7, 2013