Happy Draft Day! Dobber here, Drance will have his ramblings up at 12:30 pm ET. I'll be posting any trade analysis here today, so be on the lookout for that. And follow @DobberProspects on Twitter for draft-related tweets from myself, Rich and Brendan.

 


 

Nathan Horton's time in Boston looks to be done. He has told the Bruins he wants to test free agency not for financial reasons, but simply to move on. The Bruins priorities right now have to be locking up Tuukka Rask and Patrice Bergeron.


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TSN is reporting today that in a new turn of events in the Roberto Luongo trade saga, the Vancouver Canucks are now entertaining the possibility of trading Cory Schneider, and the Edmonton Oilers could be interested. I wrote a few months ago that the Canucks should at least consider this option. Luongo is going to be tough to trade with that contract and they could probably get much more for Schneider. It's not like Luongo is a bad goalie and it's his contract that is the issue, not his performance.


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We are rapidly closing in on the 2013 National Hockey League Draft, and although I can’t profess to be a prospect aficionado like some of the gurus over at DobberProspects.com, there are still some things that should be rather intriguing to watch unfold on Sunday.

 

The first of those being how the top five picks will play out, and what the Colorado Avalanche do with the first overall selection. The Avs appear to be going with a forward and latest news has them targeting Nathan MacKinnon. Of course things can always change and they could be leaking information to see what they can get in a potential trade, but how can they really go wrong with someone like MacKinnon? He has elite level skill and proved he could perform on the big stage at the Memorial Cup. MacKinnon can play either centre or wing and also gives Colorado another right-handed shot in their top-six, which they need.

 

Another prospect who probably won’t land in the top five, but figures to go in the top 10, is Darnell Nurse. Buffalo could be a logical spot for him with the number eight pick if he falls that far. Nurse looks to be a tremendously hard-worker and could really help their blue line. He’s also the nephew of former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb.

 

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Speaking of Buffalo, if they do get Nurse, what does that say about their feelings on Tyler Myers? The big defenseman has slowly but surely been regressing ever since his great rookie season back in 2009-10, where he put up 48 points. Things got so bad last year that he was even a healthy scratch at times. He is locked up for another six years at $5.5M per season and 2013-14 may be telling as far as his future with the Sabres going forward. With all that being said, his value is fairly low right now and you should be able to get him late in drafts come September. It’s a gamble, but he has shown he has the capabilities to play at a high level.

 

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Maybe it’s just me, but something about this lockout shortened NHL season seemed a bit off. Not having a full 82-game campaign made it difficult to get a good read on teams. Nevertheless, the Chicago Blackhawks deserve a lot of credit for capturing their second Stanley Cup in four seasons, and much of that praise should go to General Manager Stan Bowman. The organization is in a much better position going forward now than they were they last time they won the Cup. They have their core skaters locked up for at least the next few seasons, and it’s a lot easier to find role players to go along with Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, Marian Hossa, Brent Seabrook, and Duncan Keith, than it is to sign impact players in this cap system.

 

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Where does Ray Emery end up this summer coming off a Stanley Cup win? He had a 17-1 record and somehow is still just 30 years old. Some teams have to be throwing around the idea that he could once again be a starting goalie, but with the workload that takes and given the serious hip injury he had a couple years back, that might be ambitious. If someone does give him a starting job though, the Flyers and Islanders would be logical fits.

 

If he does end up in Philly, that should be a now or never wake-up-call for Steve Mason. I don’t imagine he is going to get many more chances to recapture the form he showed as a rookie, and after Ilya Bryzgalov was bought out, the door is slightly ajar for Mason to reclaim a starting spot. Keep an eye on the Flyers goaltending situation because I expect the team to bounce back from a tough year, and you may be able to snag Mason as a sleeper in your fantasy draft.

 

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I’m not going to lie, the way the Bruins lost Game 6 made me feel slightly better as a Leaf fan. Then, I remembered how good Tuukka Rask is and it brought me crashing back down to earth.

 

Boston announced shortly after the series that they don’t plan on re-signing pending UFA’s Jaromir Jagr and Andrew Ference. Jagr may be the flashier name, but Ference is arguably the more important player. Ference had 60 blocks, 89 hits, and was a plus-9 this season, and gave the Bruins some stability on that second defensive pairing. Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg are already overworked and giving them more minutes wouldn’t be wise.

 

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Believe it or not, there is more to the Columbus Blue Jackets than just Sergei Bobrovsky. I’m mildly interested in what Artem Anisimov can do next season after signing a three-year deal earlier this week. He played pretty well alongside Marian Gaborik in New York and if the Jackets pair the two together in 2013-14, Anisimov might have some decent upside.

 

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Here are a few thoughts on the Leafs picking up Jonathan Bernier from Los Angeles. Everyone is questioning what it will do for James Reimer’s mindset, but what about Bernier’s? Clearly he wanted out of Los Angeles to pursue a starting job, so what happens if Reimer continues his strong play and Bernier finds himself on the bench once again? Or if Bernier claims the number one spot, Reimer would probably feel like he still has the talent to warrant a starting job. Splitting time between the pipes usually doesn’t last for more than a season or two before someone wants out, and whatever happens it seems like one of them is going to become disgruntled in Toronto.

 

The other part of the deal that should have turned some heads was Matt Frattin heading to LA. He could never produce the way he did in college and the AHL for the Leafs and at 25-years-old; he was one young player Toronto was willing to part with. The Kings have a much deeper forward unit than the Leafs do, so Frattin is going to be in tough to get minutes there.

 

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San Jose made a couple of moves this week by re-signing Andrew Desjardins and Jason Demers. Desjardins was a solid 54% on the draws in 2013 and he also added 61 PIM. The Sharks are one of the strongest teams in the league when it comes to the centre position and no doubt a reason they are able to be a contender every year.

 

Demers is a guy who has been making strides over the last few years and the Sharks are obviously high on him if they were willing to deal Doug Murray before the deadline.

 

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It feels like Edmonton’s disappointing season in the standings overshadowed a great year from Taylor Hall. He was on pace for 89 points and finished 9th in NHL scoring. Hall has been improving every year since he joined the league, but he hasn’t played more than 65 games in a season yet. Is he a top 10 pick in fantasy drafts this fall?

 

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The Rangers announced they won’t be buying out Brad Richards this summer. You would have thought he would have excelled after being reunited with John Tortorella in New York, but the gruff bench boss employed a totally different coaching style than he did in Tampa. Gone was the free-wheeling hockey Richards enjoyed in the Sunshine State and the Rangers offense disappeared at times under Tortorella. Maybe Alain Vigneault can reinvigorate him offensively.

 

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Hopefully this doesn’t happen to anyone tomorrow.

 

 

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Interesting read here on the life and career of Theo Fleury from writer Kent Russell. 

 

The Blackhawks showed some sportsmanship by writing the City of Boston this classy letter.

 

Daniel Alfredsson will return for another season.

 

David Poile will be the GM and Dan Byslma will coach the US Olympic Team in Sochi.

 

Braydon Coburn could be on the move. 

 

Adam Proteau gives us seven potential destinations for Vincent Lecavalier.

 

Patrick Kane tells David Letterman what he plans to do with the Stanley Cup, which hopefully involves getting a haircut.

 

Feel free to follow me on Twitter at @amato_mike


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Write comment
Comments (6)add comment

donpaulo said:

donpaulo
... Myers AND Nurse ?

Sounds like a good problem to have
June 29, 2013
Votes: +0

rataylor22 said:

rataylor22
... Seth Jones will live up to the hype, but not in half a season. That's a dumb guarantee to make.
June 29, 2013
Votes: +0

Isle B. said:

Isle B.
... @rataylor22

Bylsma has not impressed me as an Xs and Os guy. in 2009 it seemed he was a breath of fresh air for an immensely talented team tired of playing for a taskmaster in Therrien. Ever since then I don't think he has been all that quick to make adjustments when the going gets tough. Since the Olympics are about a 17-day sprint swift decisions must be made.

Obviously, Canada could form about five completely different teams that could plausibly win the gold. However, once the Olympics start, they will have 20 players in uniform just like everyone else. Having approximately 27 of the best 30 centers in the world doesn't matter when you can only bring 4 or 5 of them to the Olympics.

I guarantee you that, if Seth Jones even comes close to living up to the hype as a top-two pick by the time Team USA is selected, then he will be on the Olympic team.
June 29, 2013
Votes: +0

rataylor22 said:

rataylor22
.... Bylsma hasn't had a defence corp like the one he had in their cup year since that year. It's required him to change his style into a more offensive one because the Pens just don't have the shutdown guys to fully lock it down. I don't expect Team USA, who will have a great D corp (that will not include Seth Jones, come on now), to play anything like the Pens do. Bylsma is a very good and very smart coach. That said, good luck against Canada lol.
June 29, 2013
Votes: +1

flamestalker said:

flamestalker
'Read More' link not working Ramblings link does not work on the front page.. titled "Read More"
June 29, 2013 | url
Votes: +0

Isle B. said:

Isle B.
... The smaller sample size may have distorted the league a bit but the Blackhawks were the best team from start to finish aside from the first four games in the Detroit series. I have no doubt they would have been the champs in a normal season as well.

Not only did Taylor Hall put up some big numbers but he was such a consistently dominant force on the ice that it is hard to say that his numbers were due to any kind of aberration. He is definitely a top 10 pick IMO. The Oilers in general had teams under siege for long stretches of games. It may not have always translated to goals, and it certainly didn't translate into enough wins but the Oilers will be lighting it up soon enough and Hall will be leading the way.

Brad Richards had an atrocious season. Any coach would have lost patience with him. A very knowledgeable Rangers fan succinctly summed up the changing fortunes of both Richards and Chris Kreider in with the following sentences: " In the 2012 playoffs Kreider played so well that Torts has him playing with Richards! In the 2013 playoffs Richards played so poorly that Torts had him playing with Kreider!"

Dan Bylsma is not a good choice for Team USA. Yes, he has that Cup win but he hasn't really had much playoff success since then considering he coaches a team with two of the ten best players in the world. This is especially a shame because Team USA could have their best squad since the '96 World Cup. As usual, they may lack the flash up front that Team Canada (has about five times over) and Russia always bring but Quick and their blue line (McDonagh, Scuderi, Yandle, Byfuglien, Jack Johnson and Seth Jones) look to be rock solid.
June 28, 2013
Votes: -1
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