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Here's an interesting behind-the-scenes look at Malkin's contract extension and how things played out during negotiations.

 

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Tampa Bay has signed Swiss forward Reto Suri. But…

 

There is an understanding between the team and player, however, that Suri, a left wing, will play next season with Zug in the Swiss elite league to further develop his game and have the best chance to play on the Swiss national team in the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.


"We're comfortable with that," general manager Steve Yzerman said.


As if the Lightning didn’t have enough young forwards in the organization.

 

Yzerman’s scouting report:

 

"He's a good skater and a smart player," Yzerman said. "He's got good skills and good hands and we like him because he's a very responsible player. He's got good size. He's strong. He checks well. For us, he compliments some of the younger prospects we have coming. He's something we can really use."


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Kevin Connauton signed a three year deal with Dallas – year one is two-way, while years two and three are one-way. 

 

Connauton is an offensive defenseman – he’s physical and gritty, but his best attributes are skating and shooting. His defensive game needs some work, and he will always be a bit of a liability in that regard – but with the right partner he will be an NHLer.

 

 

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Malkin’s contract is done, and Letang is up next. Letang has one year left on his contract, and he could hit the open market next summer. The Penguins won’t let it get that far, though.

 

He was overworked in the postseason, and the Penguins need to find another defenseman who can share the offensive burden with him – losing Goligoski and Gonchar without really being replaced has put a lot of offensive pressure on Letang.

 

Niskanen is a decent puck mover but he’s more of a two-way guy – the same rings true for Martin.

 

Letang currently makes $3.5 million. His new contract will likely be above the Karlsson number ($6.5 million – remember, Letang has UFA eligibility while Karlsson was still an RFA-eligible player when he signed his deal – it costs more to buy up UFA years).

 

So somewhere in the $7-$7.5 million range for Letang. Is he worth it? I think so, but again, this places a lot of pressure on Shero and the pro/amateur scouts to find cheap (and effective) talent to fill out the roster.

 

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Today’s team to analyze is the Toronto Maple Leafs


Leafs


2013-14 sleeper pick: Joe Colborne


Here’s a good read on Colborne from last year. I try not to make evaluations/decisions based on really small sample sizes, but Colborne’s strong play against the Bruins in Round 1 this year has be considering him as a legitimate NHL prospect once again.

 

He seemed to stall a bit over the past two years in the AHL, but the Leafs have to be encouraged with his performance this spring. He was overmatched at times physically (for a tall guy he needs to add some muscle), but he made great plays with the puck and played with a lot of confidence.

 

Assuming Bozak isn’t brought back, the Leafs could use Colborne as the third center next year (or fourth – depending on how they structure the lines). Toronto could sign an upgrade on Bozak (Ribeiro/Weiss/Roy) or they could trade for one (Stastny). Either way, I see Colborne getting regular minutes.

 

Long term sleeper pick: Tyler Biggs


This pick applies more to leagues that count hits and PIM. Biggs won’t be a big-time point producer in the NHL, but he’s gritty and plays a very simple game (which is a good thing in many cases). He only recently turned 20, and he has only five games of pro hockey under his belt.

 

Biggs had a good 2012-13 season for Oshawa (although he was a no-show offensively in the playoffs). Look for Toronto to give him a few years with the Marlies before seeing where he fits in (second, third, or fourth line).

 

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Coaching carousel – some guesses – Alain Vigneault to Dallas, Mark Messier to NYR, John Stevens to Vancouver, Dave Tippett to Phoenix, Lindy Ruff to TSN.

 

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I liked what Mike did with his ramblings last weekend, putting most of the links at the bottom. I’ll do the same today – let me know if you prefer this to having them throughout the ramblings.

 

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Defensemen will be at a premium this summer  (writes a reporter every summer).

 

And the pickings are a bit slim…

 

Other defensemen headed toward UFA status include Marek Zidlicky, Joe Corvo, Andrew Ference and Ron Hainsey.


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From the Hockey Writers – the top 10 over-agers in the 2013 draft.

 

At 19 and 20 years of age they are usually more of a mature prospect and there is potentially less risk and guesswork in terms of their progression and makeup.


Tanner Pearson is the poster boy for these players. Going into last season, after being passed over in two drafts already, he worked hard at improving his game and ended up being a 2012 first round pick of the Los Angeles Kings.


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And Hockey Prospectus shares their top 250 prospects for the draft.

 

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Mark Streit isn’t the long-term answer for the Flyers, writes Broad Street Hockey.

 

According to a source, the Islanders offered Streit a three-year deal worth about $5 million a season, but Streit is looking for north of $5.5 million per season. With the free-agent market for defensemen very thin, Streit could command $6 million per year and even possibly get a four-year deal.


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DobberHockey prospects writer Jonathan Briggins has helped launch a music magazine – check it out here.

 

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The NHL’s latest commercial is fantastic:

 

 

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Horton’s injury:

 

 

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The NHL Draft is only two (and a bit) weeks away – what better way to get ready than to pick up the 2013 DobberHockey Prospects Report? These free ramblings (along with all of the other free content on the site, and the forums) are able to remain free with your support for our various guides.

 

And for only $2.50 more, pick up the entire meal deal – the 2013 Fantasy Keeper Pack. The 2013-14 Guide (our best ever, naturally) will be out on August 1st. Work is well underway on it already.

 

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Write comment
Comments (9)add comment

Anze said:

Anze
Video on TSN of Chara hitting Crosby right in the jaw, while somebody else is holding Crosby from behind. Another episode showing the great class of the Bruins. I guess Julien will complain in his next press meeting that those videos have to stop, they are degrading the game...
Some may feel that it is OK to hit a player ( including the best player in the league ) where he was just injured. I'm fine with that interpretation, but don't come back arguing that the Bruins have class or respect for the game and opponents.
June 14, 2013
Votes: +0

Mr Zizzla said:

Mr Zizzla
Shero is clever...Malkin's deal. @Front89
Do not lump Dupuis into a category with Cooke/Kennedy and say he is "ok at best". Clearly you don't watch Pens games or follow the team. Dupuis is a jack of all trades and racks up his points with minimal PP time. To find a comparable player from the last couple seasons, look no further than RICK NASH. Very comparable numbers PLUS Dupuis kills penalties. Would Nash be compared to Kennedy? C'mon now.

@robmyatt
Malkin took a HUGE discount. Courtesy of Rob Rossi:
"CAP CERTAINTY

The NHL salary cap is set for $64.3 million next season.

The year after is anybody's guess, but NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Wednesday that projected revenues for next season will equal the record $3.3 billion from the 2011-12 season — the last full campaign before the four-month lockout.

The cap is tied to revenue, though not in the exact manner as was the case during the last labor contract (2005-12). The salary cap increased every season during the last labor contract, and that is the early prognostication for this period of owners-players peace.

Malkin will count $9.5 million against the cap on his new deal. Crosby counts only $8.7 million because he signed for a longer term on a front-loaded contract — options not available to Malkin because of the new labor contract.

Crosby and Malkin will count $18.2 million against the Penguins' cap starting in 2014-15.

They would take up 28.3 percent of the Penguins' space if the cap does not increase through the duration of the labor contract. That is 2.3 percent less than the cap space they took up at the low point — 2009-10, when the cap was set at $56.8 million — on their current deals.

By getting Crosby and Malkin to take less than market value on their third contracts — Crosby could have maxed out at $14.08 million annually, Malkin at $12.88 million — the Penguins will have enough space to build around their cornerstone centers.

Actually, they probably will have more cap space to do so than at any previous point.
"
http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/4190197-74/malkin-million-penguins#axzz2W9z5MZsf

Cap flexibility and hometown discount right there.
June 14, 2013
Votes: +0

robmyatt said:

robmyatt
Malkin
His salary-cap hit would be $9.5 million, second highest in the NHL to Washington's Alex Ovechkin, but only $800,000 more than his current contract. Malkin had told Barry he wanted to follow Crosby's lead and leave the Penguins with cap flexibility to build a Stanley Cup contender.


How the hell is asking for the 2nd highest salary in the league "following lead" and leaving the pens with "cap flexibility".

If he had of taken a $7-$8 million deal maybe. I understand he is the 2nd best player int the world and should be compensated appropriately, but don't feed me that bull hahah.
June 14, 2013
Votes: +0

Front89 said:

Front89
Letang Letang is a great talent, but he has alot of injuries on the track record now and gets exposed defensively far too often. The Pens big issues are in goal and on the defense and part of the reason they're short in those areas is because they loaded up payroll-wise offensively and continue to struggle to find depth for their lines. Morrow & Iginla pickups did not pan out plus it set back Bennett's development who actually showed some good flashes this year...Neal & Kunitz are good, but tend to vanish during crunch time and Dupuis/Kennedy/Cooke et al. are ok at best. This is the 2nd year in a row the Penguins got exposed by a playoff opponent as the favorite.
June 14, 2013
Votes: +0

number54 said:

number54
Speaking of the Prospect Report... I'm still gonna harp on Zlobin's exclusion from your top 215 and from the guide. He's got 3 years of Junior in North America under his belt, so I don't have any "Russian Factor" worries about him; this year, he finished with 91/61 for the Foreurs. Plus, with the amount retooling the Pens will need down the wing when Iginla, Morrow, Dupuis, and Cooke hit UFA... well, Bennett's great, but he can't replace all 4 of 'em.
June 14, 2013
Votes: +0

The Comish said:

The Comish
Letang Teh Doktor - Letang is one of the top offensive defensemen in the entire league. Don't let one playoff year fool you. If the Pens won't or can't sign him, they will get a Kings ransom for him via trade. He is worth every nickel (at least here in Canada!).
June 14, 2013
Votes: +0

angus said:

angus
... Martin and Letang were utilized differently.

Letang played 1:30 MORE per game on the PP, but he actually took 12 less shifts on the PP through the entire season. What that tells us - Letang's PP shifts were long. Probably way too long. Obviously top players often play the entire two minutes... but the more fatigued you are, the worse your decision making is.

I think Letang's relatively poor postseason is still fresh in people's memories. His 2013 season was fantastic, and he has really proven to be a unique asset in the NHL over the past few years. There aren't many defensemen like him out there, and if the Pens don't pay him (maybe they think the kids are ready... but I doubt it), someone will.

June 14, 2013
Votes: +0

Teh Doktor said:

Teh Doktor
Letang I would agree with your assessment of Letang if he was better on the PP. As it was, he was the second best D-man on the PP and it wasn't even close. Martin was FAR superior in his decision making and effectiveness. With those contracts, can you really afford to pay that much for a player that isn't good on the PP?
June 14, 2013
Votes: +0

Axeman33 said:

Axeman33
... Minor thing but its Reto, not Retu.
June 14, 2013
Votes: +0
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