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The 2013 Canadian WJC summer camp invites have been announced. I don't foresee Drouin or MacKinnon playing, though....


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Since I won't be around too much this weekend, I have decided to hold a special (actually, it's just a normal one, but work with me here) pre-draft fantasy mailbag.


Ask your questions here!


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The Ducks have smartly re-signed depth defenseman Ben Lovejoy to a three-year deal. Lovejoy had 10 points in 32 games in 2013.


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I said yesterday to keep an eye on Bryan Murray – and according to the Ottawa Sun (I know, I know – Murray is hunting for a deal.

 

One target:


Three league executives said Thursday the No. 1 target for many teams is Anaheim Ducks winger Bobby Ryan. Signed for $5.1 million through 2014-15, Ryan, 26, fits the bill for what Murray wants to add to his team.


The issue is simple: The Senators aren't alone in their pursuit, but they may be one of the few teams with the assets to make a deal happen. The talk is the Ducks would like to get a defencemen in return if they are going to move Ryan.


"He's the guy everybody wants," said a league executive Thursday.


What would it take from Ottawa to pry Ryan away from Anaheim? Adding a sniper and playmaker doesn’t always work out (Thornton/Heatley, Richards/Gaborik), but I think Ryan and Spezza would be phenomenal together on Ottawa’s top line. Ryan’s value would skyrocket coming from Anaheim to Ottawa.


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Texas (AHL) has re-signed Justin Dowling. It’s a matter of when, and not if, Dowling gets a shot to be an everyday forward at the NHL level.


More on Dowling:


Dowling, of course, was a huge part of the Stars success thanks to his chemistry with Mike Hedden and Alex Chiasson. Really, it was his chemistry with Hedden that helped make the pair a standard part of the top six. Chiasson, Glennie and Ritchie all saw time on their wing and all produced there. Chiasson spent the most time with the two and benefited tremendously from it.


Dowling's production tailed off in the playoffs after he suffered a broken finger in the second round, which forced Alex Chiasson to take faceoffs for the line and limited his overall effectiveness.


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Here’s a pretty insightful interview with Oilers GM Craig MacTavish. I’m a huge MacT fan – smart guy who really knows the game inside and out. He will do good things in Edmonton.

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If they can make it work, the Canucks are interested in Vinny Lecavalier. Trouble is… there is this pesky thing called the salary cap. Vancouver is right up against it, and there are no easy outs for Mike Gillis.

I like Lecavalier a lot (as does John Tortorella). But this probably won’t work for the Canucks.


If the Canucks can sign Lecavalier this summer, it would go a long way toward addressing the club's gaping hole at the centre position in the short-term. Based on Lebrun's comments, team is apparently interested, but there are a lot of hurdles to clear first and there will be a lot of competition for Lecavalier's services on the open market. And even then, should the Canucks manage to win this summer's Lecavalier sweeps, what they'll really win is the right to sign an aging player to an overpriced deal...


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Here’s my look at the top WHL guys from this year (well not counting Hunter Shinkaruk).


One guy I really like is forward Morgan Klimchuk:

 


Klimchuk isn’t big, but he is an incredible skater with a ton of offensive talent. He had a solid offensive season considering the lack of talent on the Pats roster. He’s a lot of fun to watch, and he plays a fearless game with and without the puck. He’s probably the most intriguing WHL forward from a Canuck perspective at the draft this year (in the “somewhat realistic” category). He has a great shot and has played on the point on Regina’s PP at times (a testament to his offensive ability, patience, and vision).



Here’s another read on Klimchuk:


So what's pushing Klimchuk out of the top 30 on many scouting lists? Size is probably part of it, and the fact that he played for such a poor team probably doesn't help, but the biggest thing is that the offense just isn't there to the same degree as many of the other top prospects. Granted, he didn't have a lot of offensive help in Regina, but he also didn't lead his team in scoring (he was five goals and four points behind 20-year-old Lane Scheidl).


After the top forwards are gone, Klimchuk is a guy I’d target in the 10-15 range in fantasy drafts. He has a ton of offensive upside.


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Another guy I really like from a fantasy perspective is the undersized Nic Petan (another WHL guy – sure are a lot of them this year):


“He doesn’t get hit often, is very elusive and, defensively, is on the right side of the puck now. He gets going quick and can create and score and doesn’t engage in physical play, so it’s not going to be a size thing that keeps him out of the NHL.



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Kris Letang is worth $7.5 or $8 million on many teams, but the Penguins aren’t one of them. They simply can’t pay three players that much money.


I still don’t see why the Penguins aren’t thinking of buying out MAF, using the cap savings to re-up Letang, and rolling with Vokoun and a 1B as the goalie tandem next year.

Where are the likely landing spots for Letang? Thoughts? Guesses?


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I will be away this weekend – sure picked a good time for a mini vacation, I know. I’ll probably miss some huge trades/signings/draft moves, but the DobberHockey crew will have you covered (as always).


What are your draft day plans? It is shaping up to be a crazy one this year.


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Chicago is smart to shop David Bolland right now – he had a subpar 2013 season, a decent postseason, and is paid a lot of money. They would likely to use that money elsewhere (say… Mr. Bickell?). Bolland is a great third line center, but Chicago has seen an impressive and rapid improvement from Marcus Kruger over the last 12-18 months in that role. Bolland isn’t a second line center, and that is still what the team needs.


In the right situation (a team that needs a third line/pest guy), Bolland will thrive. But Chicago needs to spend its dollars elsewhere.


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Write comment
Comments (17)add comment

Teh Doktor said:

Teh Doktor
... Hemsky. Hmmm. Impression of him is talented, but an underacheiver who is frequently injured.

Ott: I got Silfverberg (0.25 league minimum), Turris(2.00), and Karlsson(0.50) in my auction league ($55 cap). Keep wondering what to do with Turris and Silfverberg though.
June 28, 2013
Votes: +0

angus said:

angus
... Hemsky is a good player who would help every NHL team in a top six capacity.

Ottawa's top six right now:

Spezza
Michalek
Alfy
Turris
Silfverberg
Zibanejad

With terrific depth options: Neil/Stone/Condra/Greening/Smith/Pageau/etc.
June 28, 2013
Votes: +0

Teh Doktor said:

Teh Doktor
Ott Who is considered Ott's top six F?

And why all the interest in Hemsky? I don't see him much, but he's been in the league a while, and hasn't seemed to pan out all that well.
June 28, 2013
Votes: +0

Teh Doktor said:

Teh Doktor
... Whoops. Opened, but didn't read the link.

(Gilly) sorry.
June 28, 2013
Votes: +0

Teh Doktor said:

Teh Doktor
Pit If Letang were to make it to the open market, someone would pay him 8 million, I think. Remember, it's not what a player is worth, it is what someone is willing to pay him. Owers and GM's go bananas with free agency.

He is one of the most skilled D-men on offense, and the Boston series notwithstanding, he is pretty good on in his own end. He plays a ton of minutes in all situations, and is actually pretty physical.

His problem is that his head, in my opinion, isn't as developed as his physical skills. He doesn't always make the smart play, often tries to do too much, and can be taken off of his game.

Though he played on the PP in the playoffs, P Martin was a better at it. Letang also misses the net a ton, and though I can't think of any specific instances of this happening, I know the coaches talked about not missing the net from bad angles that would cause the puck to leave the zone.

I don't think the organization wants to see him go, but with Crosby, Malkin, Neal, Fluery, Kunitz all eating a significant portion of their cap, they can't afford to pay him the 7mil to a D man that isn't good on the PP and doesn't score a lot of goals.

If he wants to stay, he's going to have to take a discount. Tor paper reported he turned down a 8 year deal. Not sure of the $, so we'll see where that goes.

As for Fluery, I too find it baffling that they'd bench him in the playoffs and then proclaim him the no 1 goalie going forward. Having said that, they would need to get a goalie, as Vokoun probably can not handle playing 60 or even 45 games next year, plus playoffs. Shero said that he wants Flurey to work on some things, and word from the sports reporters is that they want him to see a sports psychologist. They also said that the issue has been brought up before, but MAF was resistant to the idea. He isn't any longer.

By continuing on with Bylsma, MAF, and apparently giving all of their RFA's qualifiying offers, Shero is putting his own head on the block.

My 0.02
June 28, 2013
Votes: +0

angus said:

angus
... +1 for calling me on my hypocriticalism (not a word, sue me) and working in an AD reference.
June 28, 2013
Votes: +0

indianapwns said:

indianapwns
Tobias...you blow hard! "Adding a sniper and playmaker doesn’t always work out (Thornton/Heatley, Richards/Gaborik), but I think Ryan and Spezza would be phenomenal together on Ottawa’s top line."

Lindsay: Well, did it work for those people?
Tobias: No, it never does. I mean, these people somehow delude themselves into thinking it might, but... but it might work for us.
June 28, 2013
Votes: +2

angus said:

June 28, 2013
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Pengwin7
Letang I think Letang is worth $6m, FMV.

With defensemen, if I quantified their worth, I'd assign them a 1-10 score for their offensive & defensive parts of their game.
I'd weight the D-part double.

Letang Offense: 9/10 = 9pts
Letang Defense: 6/10 x 2 = 12pts
Overall score = 21pts

Compare that with somebody like Ryan Suter

Suter Offense: 7/10 = 7pts
Suter Defense: 9/10 x 2 = 18pts
Overall score = 25pts

So... if Suter is a $7.5m cap hit defenseman (and that was a higher cap ceiling), then Letang is worth 21/25 of that.
21/25 x $7.5m = $6.3m.

I think if you attributed offensive/defensive numbers to most defensemen... you find their cap hit would fall close to this formula.

Letang is special offensively... but that's 1/3rd of a defenseman's overall value, IMO.
June 28, 2013
Votes: +1

donpaulo said:

donpaulo
... this link

Here’s my look at the top WHL guys from this year (well not counting Hunter Shinkaruk).

is clicking back to ramblings

I would love to read what you have to say about the WHL jeff
June 28, 2013
Votes: +0

Shoeless said:

Shoeless
ah crap Sorry ratataylor22 - I can't read right - you weren't chasing Angus but Rollie1967 - you are absolutely bang on with Letang - man he is just getting there as an elite D guy at 26.
June 28, 2013
Votes: +0

Shoeless said:

Shoeless
letang rataylor22 - I think called it right, Letang is a 7M+ guy on many squads and that is what he said - his point was the cap hit makes it very difficult for the Pens to justify resigning him for those figures when they have Crosby and Malkins hits already tucked in. Angus wasn't saying he isn't worth it and I absolutely don't see where you get the biased call from.

You are right on the centre void thing - I really think with the Habs is all about marketing a product when they put themselves in the hunt for him.
June 28, 2013
Votes: +0

rataylor22 said:

rataylor22
Letang @Rollie1967 what counts as fantastic numbers? He put up over a PPG this year AS A DEFENSMAN. Those are pretty fantastic numbers. I don't know what you're talking about, but Letang is easily worth 7 on a free agent market. Stop being biased and start being objective.

@AtomicWedgy apparently every team hasa gaping need at center now because Vinny is available. MTL is a heavily rumoured favorite because of French ties even though they hav Plekanec, Desharnais, Galchenyuk, and Eller. I wouldn't be surprised if over the next couple day we started hearing about the gaping need in Piitsburgh, LA, Carolina, Colorado, Boston, and San Jose for the Center ice position even though all of Jose teams have phenomenal center ice depth.
June 28, 2013
Votes: +1

rataylor22 said:

rataylor22
Letang @Rollie1967 what counts as fantastic numbers? He put up over a PPG this year AS A DEFENSMAN. Those are pretty fantastic numbers. I don't know what you're talking about, but Letang is easily worth 7 on a free agent market. Stop being biased and start being objective.

@AtomicWedgy apparently every team hasa gaping need at center now because Vinny is available. MTL is a heavily rumoured favorite because of French ties even though they hav Plekanec, Desharnais, Galchenyuk, and Eller. I wouldn't be surprised if over the next couple day we started hearing about the gaping need in Piitsburgh, LA, Carolina, Colorado, Boston, and San Jose for the Center ice position even though all of Jose teams have phenomenal center ice depth.
June 28, 2013
Votes: +1

Atomic Wedgy said:

Atomic Wedgy
... I didn't realize there was a gaping hole at center for the Nucks with Sedin, Kesler and Roy there.
June 28, 2013
Votes: -1

Rollie1967 said:

Rollie1967
... Letang isnt worth $7mil in todays market. Especially one as injury prone/reckless as Letang. If he cant put up fantastic numbers in Pitt with all that talent around him, he wont put up anymore with anyone else. Pitt has some good defensive prospects- what they need is to dump MAF for a true goalie and a little depth.
June 28, 2013
Votes: +0

flames=cup said:

flames=cup
Letang trade Jonas Hiller + Cam Fowler 4 Kris Letang + MA Fleury (buyout)
June 27, 2013
Votes: +0
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