Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the NHL salary arbitration process. I was invited to take part in the “mock” arbitration hearing, and ended up facing off against Brian Burke. It was quite the experience to say the very least.




We are going to hear it a lot more in the coming days and weeks – but this summer is going to be particularly crazy in terms of player movement (temporary cap drop, buyouts, and so on).




Last night's game was phenomenal. More goals doesn't always = more excitement... but that was exactly the case last night. Tuukka Rask made some great saves, but he still allowed six. Crawford's glove hand was shaky all game long, but he battled too.


Kane-Toews-Bickell were really good - Bickell opened up a lot of ice for them, and Kane, in particular, was flying.


Sharp was the best Blackhawk I thought. Made several great plays defensively and had several grade-A scoring chances.


Nick Leddy barely played - injury or poor performance? Chicago's other five defensemen were all pretty solid - perhaps Coach Q wanted to shorten the bench. If so, he sure did it early. 


I respect the fact that he used to play the game, and I am sure he is a nice enough guy, but Glen Healy is absolutely painstaking to listen to as a color guy. More OT = more hockey, but it also = more Healy. Catch 22, if you will.


Patrice Bergeron won 400 faceoffs last night (this is just an approximate guess).


Hard to pull a ton of fantasy-relevant stuff from this series. Perhaps another great example of why veterans shouldn't be overlooked. Handzus and Rozsival are two guys who people overlooked when Chicago acquired them (particularly Handzus), and they have both had huge impacts on this series. 


Seabrook's OT winner was almost an exact replica of his goal against the Wings in Game 7. Bomb of a point shot to the stick side.




Does Mark Arcobello have a legit shot at NHL minutes for the Oilers next year?


Right now, Arcobello is (certainly) behind just Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Sam Gagner, Shawn Horcoff and Eric Belanger on the team's center depth chart, but that's a position likely to undergo plenty of change.

Horcoff and Belanger likely aren't going to be back by the start of next season, Gagner may get moved to the wing, and some new faces are sure to arrive. As such, it makes any prediction pretty tough at this point, though the best-case scenario for Arcobello is likely an open competition between him, the 2013 first-round pick, and Anton Lander for the last spot.



The Lightning goaltending situation gets a bit less murky – Jaroslav Janus will spend at least one more year in the KHL.


Helenius, Bishop, and Lindback all have one-way deals and would have to clear waivers for next year before getting sent down to the AHL. Helenius may be the odd man out, but he has a lot of talent and I wouldn’t count him out in the goalie battle.




Will the Penguins trade Kris Letang? It sure sounds like they are heading that direction. If they do, who would be the major winners? I imagine they would bring a defenseman back in some capacity – Paul Martin is a very good two-way guy but there isn’t anyone on that roster to replace Letang. Derrick Pouliot has that upside, but he is still pretty raw.


Letang can become an unrestricted free agent in July 2014. He is the loaded sports car on a market full with owners looking for a hot ride.

He wants a no-movement clause, and that is another reason his fate as a future former Penguin likely is sealed.



Two teams to go – the Capitals are up today




2013-14 sleeper pick: Tom Wilson


Wilson, who was profiled in my main page post yesterday, is a future multi-category stud. He’s skilled, big, and mean. He hits to hurt, and opposing defensemen in the NHL will soon learn his name. He has the upside to have a Lucic-type impact if everything breaks right for him.


Long term sleeper pick: Stanislav Galiev


Galiev has won three consecutive league titles (two in the QMJHL, and one in the ECHL). He has a ton of talent, and his work ethic is impressive as well. Galiev’s talent and skill set is typically Russian, and I mean that as a compliment. He has a deadly wrister, great hands, and tremendous patience with the puck.


Galiev had a great rookie season in the ECHL after struggling in the AHL – 47 points in 46 games after posting only 1 in 17 games in the AHL. He is still at least two years away from the NHL – needs to get a lot bigger and stronger – but the talent is there.




Big fan of Hunter Shinkaruk’s game – I get a Jeff Skinner vibe from him. Different players, but I could see Shinkaruk making an immediate impact in the NHL within the next two years. He’s really skilled, surprisingly gritty, and puts in serious work in the gym.


"The biggest skill he has is his passion and his will to win. His work ethic is off the charts and he's a very intelligent offensive player. He loves the puck and has a desire to make things happen when he has it," said MacLean.

MacLean also added that he would not be at all surprised if Shinkaruk was playing on the first-line in the NHL in the very near future, with the possibility of cracking the lineup as early as next season.



I expect Joacim Eriksson to emerge as Cory Schneider’s backup in 2013-14. Eddie Lack has a one-way deal, but he’s been off the ice for a long time after undergoing hip surgery last season. Eriksson is more polished and based on scouting reports, seems ready to make the transition to the NHL.


"As you know our goaltending situation at this point is in flux," assistant general manager Laurence Gilman said Monday. "But we think that Eddie Lack and Joacim Eriksson both have the talent level to compete for the backup role.

"This player was highly sought after," Gilman said. "There were a number of teams vying for his services. We identified him early. (European scout) Lars Lindgren was very much pushing us to sign him … we tried to sign him last year, actually. I saw him play in November and he's a very good goaltender, very athletic."



Some of Shinkaruk’s finest work (tell me you don’t see flashes of Patrick Kane):





Grand Rapids won the AHL Calder Cup Final against Syracuse – head coach Jeff Blashill is now expected to interview for the vacant position in Dallas.




Joe Sakic coming out and saying the Avs won’t take Seth Jones may seem a bit confusing, but to me it is simply a team trying to create leverage in a trade scenario. Sakic knows that the Panthers (who pick at #2) don’t want Jones – they want a forward. So by saying that Colorado will take “one of” the forwards… he is simply saying to Florida – we will take your guy, so pony up for the pick.




Jonathan Bernier is (or will quickly become) the most overvalued asset in hockey. Good young goalie, sure, but there will be many better goaltenders available this summer. Bernier doesn’t make sense for a team wanting to win now, as his NHL experience is very limited.


That isn’t to say he can’t or won’t develop into an elite goalie, but right now that is just potential and upside.


For example, there were some rumblings of Toronto having interest. Why would they, with a superior goaltender already holding down the starting position?




Tuukka Rask needs to thank his agent for getting him to sign a one-year deal last summer. Cha-ching!




At $2.875 million per season, Logan Couture is a tremendous bargain (he has one year left on that deal). And at $6 million (his 2014-15 and beyond cap hit) he is… a tremendous bargain. Great work by Doug Wilson and the Sharks to get Couture locked up to both an agreeable term and a solid cap figure.




David Ullstrom has signed to play in the KHL next year. The big winger was set to become an RFA this summer. I’m a bit surprised by this – I guess Ullstrom wasn’t happy with his lack of ice time in 2013? The Islanders have a number of good young forwards, but Ullstrom had/has a bright future as a two-way third line winger.




Mattias Tedenby signed a new one-year deal. The contract is one-way, which gives him a leg up on the competition at training camp.




A solid depth defenseman for multi-cat leagues – Victor Bartley of the Predators – re-upped for three years yesterday. Bartley had a very solid rookie season. He isn’t flashy and won’t put up a ton of points, but he has established himself as an everyday defenseman for Nashville (he averaged just shy of 20 minutes per night in 24 contests).




Having future multi-cat studs on your radar is a great way to get the leg up in your keeper league. There is very likely another Backes/Ott/Downie among this group here.




14 years ago yesterday:




Write comment
Comments (5)add comment

Dakkster said:

... Heh, painstaking to listen to Healy... I think you might want to look up the definition of the word painstaking, Jeff smilies/wink.gif http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/painstaking
June 20, 2013
Votes: +0

Guy Incognito said:

Guy Incognito
... Glen Healy is the worst colour commentator, analyst, panelist, whatever you call him out there today. I think he is arrogant, condescending, and maybe he tries to be 'edgy' or something but it just comes across as someone who was pretty mediocre in his own career (by NHL standards of course) over-criticizing his superiors.

Pierre McGuire is perhaps a little over-the-top, but I think his overly excited nature is good for new and casual fans.

Thanks for all the new multi-cat oriented articles. Very important info for my leagues and much appreciated.
June 20, 2013
Votes: +1

burnsy00 said:

... You hit the nail on the head with the Healy comment. He is just so dry and negative it is brutal listening to him. He hardly has anything positive to say and he is just arrogent. Not good for tv when he is on the air. He doesn't really add anything to the game from my perspective. I would much rather here Pierre McGuire gus over his latest "monster" crush and that is saying alot!
June 20, 2013
Votes: +1

Dunnder said:

Healy I couldnt agree more with you about Healy and im glad you took a moment from fantasy hockey ramblings to mention the uselessness of one of CBC's most used personalities. It is absolutely painful to listen to him. I find myself being completely annoyed every time he speaks, even if it is the occasional, moderately intelligent comment that he might make. I like Pierre WAY more than Glen.

Elliott, PJ, Kelly and of course Ron are all fantastic.
And Scott, Kevin and Andie are ok too.
And who doesnt absolutely LOVE Cassie (we just named our newborn daughter after her) But Heals has to go. Ship him to LA with Dan and Jay from TSN (who will both be sorely missed here in Canada)

RE: Avs and Jones. I also think they are posturing, trying to get TB or FLA to swap picks, then hoping that Jones falls to them in the 2 or 3 spot... Im excited about the next 5 years in Denver. smilies/smiley.gif
June 20, 2013
Votes: +1

Rodgort said:

... I do not get sitting Leddy the whole game. I have thought any time he has looked brutal is because he is cleaning up Rosival's mess. His stretch pass to Sharp should be reason alone to play him, not to mention how each time he carries the puck up he skates right into Boston's zone, but I am not the coach.

Healy or Mcguire, CBC or NBC, both are equally terrible but who would you choose?
I think I would go with Mcguire as at least his comments make me laugh for how weird they can be, the historical relevance of each player, and not to mention the constant: "Doc and Enzo", "Hey Enzo", "Right Enzo and Doc", "wouldn't you agree Doc and Enzo?"
However they are both TERRIBLE
June 20, 2013
Votes: -1
You must be logged in to post a comment. Please register if you do not have an account yet.