A couple of afternoon notes - Jonathan Toews was in practice this morning. I would guess that his concussion (that I'm guessing that he had) was a mild one, easily cured by having a Cup-winning game ahead.

Down Goes Brown is at it again - hilarious. Ranking the 20 awkward Gary Bettman Cup presentations.

The draft this weekend, being all crammed into a single day, is really messing with my personal plans with the family. The domino effect from the lockout continues… and will continue until I get the Fantasy Guide out on August 1. Then it will be back to a "normal year". But it really has rained havoc, in terms of shrinking my window to work on the Prospects Report, put together the Guide, etc. I can only imagine what NHL GM's are going through. So does this mean more mistakes being made in terms of signings, drafting, and trade talk? Or does it eliminate the over-analysis and allow for better moves by your local GM?

Of the recent game of "musical coaches", I think the best signing come April will be - Dallas Eakins. He's a great coach who will have no problem pushing this young team to the next level. And talk about winning the lottery! His getting this job ranks up there with Stan Bowman sliding into the GM post in Chicago after Dale Tallon already built him a Stanley Cup champ. Eakins is set up to succeed. And what's more, he's set up to have this amazing win/loss record in his first 200 games coached. You watch.

Still waiting for the Oilers to pull the trigger. The last GM was fired for not moving one of his 50 young offensive forwards to bring in some veteran help on the point. He sat on his hands for too long, so out the door he went. I suspect Mac T is waiting for the goaltending issue to be solved first, as I'm guessing he is going after a netminder.

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Funny story - funny for anyone but Michael Amato, that is. But he fired off his Wild West article to me Sunday on potential Jonathan Bernier destinations. Minutes later, the trade was announced. So he wrote the piece for nothing, and now it will remain in fantasy-hockey purgatory.

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And speaking of Amato, he (The Wild West) and Steve Laidlaw (Cage Match) have been hired on as Associate Editors for DobberHockey. You have already seen some sneak peeks of what they can do when they're given the ramblings. As Jeff Angus winds down his management role here, Amato and Laidlaw will transition their way in. Starting this Saturday one or the other will be taking over for Angus.

 

 

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Either today or tomorrow, I'll be flipping the switch on DobberHockey. Those who follow Dobber Sports on Facebook knew this weeks ago, but we have been optimizing the site for mobile use. So you're going to see some funky changes on the general look of the site - just a very crisp appearance. And say bye-bye to the spinning sun behind the Dobber head in the logo - that's "flash", which is a no-no for smart phone loading. So it will stop spinning. The ramblings box on the home page goes from the right side to the left. And so forth. If that goes off without a hitch, we start rolling in the other sites.

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The consensus around Toronto is that the No.1 job is Jonathan Bernier's to lose. No big shocker there. But despite what 'officially' comes out of the mouth of Carlyle or Nonis, just stick to this mantra.

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Adrian Dater muses here on a Dion Phaneuf for Paul Stastny trade. The Leafs could definitely use Stastny, but they need to upgrade their defenseman and as much as the haters are down on Phaneuf, I like him. Sure, he misses the net with every shot and makes the odd bone-head defensive mistakes, but 95% of the time he's a stud at both ends of the ice who gets 50-plus points and dishes out some huge hits.

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Buyout new continues to leak. So far I have Daniel Briere, Tomas Kaberle, Mike Komisarek. Lots of other rumors floating around, but nothing solid. Be on the lookout for some of these guys maybe going:

Shawn Horcoff, Ville Leino, Ed Jovanovski, Rick DiPietro, Matt Stajan, Erik Cole, Martin Havlat, John-Michael Liles, Keith Ballard, and - dare I say it - Brad Richards.

The underrated player I think could do well on another team is Leino. I don't believe he's as crap as he's been in Buffalo and I'm also not very shocked that he was so bad there. But he plays Game A and the team plays System B. No match. He needs a situation that fits, and he could be a 60-point player. He and PA Parenteau could just as easily had switched spots and switched results, but Parenteau picked the right team to sign with. I blame the agent for decisions such as these.

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Here is the much ballyhooed hit of Boychuk on Toews that knocked Toews from the game:


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DuklaNation said:

DuklaNation
... The Boychuk hit was a head shot. Why wasn't he suspended? Application of their rules is clearly not set in stone. How did Downie get 20 games again?
June 25, 2013
Votes: +0

Isle B. said:

Isle B.
... Hall was very impressive last year. Eberle was great the year before and Yakupov showed flashes of brilliance. All three of those players can just flat-out score and there ought to be little doubt about them being big-time NHL wingers going forward. Every team needs a PP QB and Schultz showed he is very capable of doing that, plus, for all the reputation of the Oilers not being able to land free agents, Schultz might be the most critical free agent signing of the past few years by any team. The Nuge has been a bit beat-up and overmatched but Gagner has really come on the past couple of seasons and is starting to look like a legit top six forward.

They need some size up front, depth on the blue line and need some stability in net but they have the core of high-end talent (which is the hard part) especially if RNH comes back strong.
June 24, 2013
Votes: +0

Rollie1967 said:

Rollie1967
... that looks like 'targeting the head' by Boychuk (not exactly Mr.Clean), launching himself at the head of a star player. Should be an obvious call. worthy of 1game imho. Chicago got away with an awful trip in the dying seconds of the game, allowing Bolland to ice the game (although I doubt there was enough time for the Bruins to do anything- a face off with a 2man advantage wouldve been interesting atleast).
June 24, 2013
Votes: +0

Red John said:

Red John
@isle b That's what everyone seems to think - but the culture of losing is deeply ingrained in Edmonton and the fact that free agents don't want to sign there doesn't help.

Truthfully the Oilers core is a bit overhyped - they ended up picking 1st overall in some weak drafts with no franchise player. Hall is the only one who actually took a step forward in establishing himself as a star last year. Eberle's shooting percentage came back to normal as predicted, Yakupov wouldn't have even gone in the top 3 in this years draft, and Nugent-Hopkins hasn't proven he's big or durable enough to even play in the NHL for a full season. Schultz is a disaster in his own end and is hardly the kind of defenseman a successful team builds around.

The Oilers have already burned up most of those young guys ELC's and won't have the cap flexibility to build a stacked team a la the 2009-10 Hawks. Plus their organizational mandate is to ice a small, soft team that is now is top-heavy, instead of building for depth like the Bruins have for example.

John Tavares dragged the Isles into the playoffs this year - but Edmonton has no player of his calibre and aren't built down the middle.

The Oilers look like an average fantasy hockey team - great on paper but that's not what translates to success in real life. Perhaps thats why they keep fooling the fantasy hockey experts like Mr. Dobber smilies/wink.gif
June 24, 2013
Votes: +1

Isle B. said:

Isle B.
... @Red John

With Hall, Eberle, RNH, Yakupov, Schultz and Gagner on board, it is a matter of time until the Oilers are a playoff team. Things will just start clicking at some point because that is too good of a core to be kept down for long. Over and over again we see perennial ne'er-do-well organizations turn things around like the Pens in 2007, the Caps in 2008, the Blackhawks in 2009 and the Kings in 2010. Even the Isles finally made the playoffs this year and even made a little bit of noise once they got there, and if they can do that then certainly the Oilers and can and will soon enough.
June 24, 2013
Votes: +0

Red John said:

Red John
Oilers Edmonton is the worst run organization in the entire league and Dobber falls for their hype every summer...his biggest flaw in each years fantasy guide. I'm pretty sure he is trolling all of us with that win/loss comment.

It took the franchise's top save percentage in many years from Dubnyk in a shortened season in order to finish 7th last. A regression to the mean next year in a tougher division will have the Oilers a bottom feeder - which won't change as long as Kevin Lowe is still calling the shots there.
June 24, 2013
Votes: +1

Shoeless said:

Shoeless
Bernier If the number 1 job isn't his to lose, then I don't see why they would bother trading for him. I owns him and I'm a happy camper - drafted him in his draft year and farmed him all this time - come on Jonathon.
June 24, 2013
Votes: +1
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