Here's an interesting behind-the-scenes look at Malkin's contract extension and how things played out during negotiations.
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."
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.
Just talked to Jim Nill re: Kevin Connauton's new contract. Because he requires waivers, Stars expect him to play in NHL next year.— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) June 13, 2013
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.
Today’s team to analyze is the Toronto Maple 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).
Coaching carousel – some guesses – Alain Vigneault to Dallas, Mark Messier to NYR, John Stevens to Vancouver, Dave Tippett to Phoenix, Lindy Ruff to TSN.
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.
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.
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.
And Hockey Prospectus shares their top 250 prospects for the draft.
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.
DobberHockey prospects writer Jonathan Briggins has helped launch a music magazine – check it out here.
The NHL’s latest commercial is fantastic:
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.