The ground has been broken. My eighth annual fantasy guide is underway with Anaheim and Boston in the books. Just 23 days from today, all 30 teams will be done, plus the feature articles - and it will be in your hands. Buy it here.
Alex Burmistrov, circa June of 2010: 'I really hate the KHL. It's for old guys.'
Alex Burmistrov's agent, circa May of 2013: 'The only question I'm going to answer is to say that Alex is not going to sign in the KHL.'
Alex Burmistrov, circa July of 2013: 'Where do I sign?'
Burmistrov will play for Ak Bars for the next two years, and my money is on that turning into 15 years. And then retirement.
The Rangers have signed Ryan McDonagh to a six-year extension for what is reportedly over $28 million. McDonagh had 32 points in 2011-12 and his numbers last season pro-rate to 32 points. So I'm going out on a limb and projecting 32 points for him this season, with 44 PIM and a plus-25 rating. Because…he's pretty much done that for two years now.
Ottawa has signed Joe Corvo, as he does his second tour of duty with teams. Next year he needs to sign with Los Angeles, and then in 2015 he can sign with Washington to complete the double-circle.
Coming off 42 points in his last 115 games, his offense is slowing. But having Erik Karlsson around could reverse that a bit, as the only other real puck-moving rearguard that the Senators have is Patrick Wiercioch.
The Anaheim Ducks have signed Zack Stortini to a one-year contract. He was in the AHL the last two years, racking up 387 penalty minutes in 147 games.
Some other minor signings:
Dallas signed former Preds prospect Chris Mueller to a deal. A depth guy who can play any forward position when he's called up.
Ryan Jones has signed a one-year extension with the Oilers.
Alex Stalock has signed a one-year contract with the Sharks. And he'll probably be San Jose's backup. Well deserved. The Sharks have a knack for developing NHL goaltenders. I can't think of any team who has done it more in the last 14 years - Nabokov, Kiprusoff, Toskala, Greiss and now Stalock. Five goalies in 14 years.
Matt Gilroy has managed another contract, but this one is a two-way deal. Florida. I put him eighth on the depth chart.
Boston signed Carter Camper to a two-way contract. There are three or four teams that would give him a long look in the fall, but Boston isn't one of them. In fact, he'd be the fourth or fifth reserve forward - meaning four or five forwards need to be hurt before we see him. He's a small player and former CCHA All-Star who had 47 points in 57 AHL games. He turned 25 this past Saturday.
Here is my list of Hall of Fame candidates, in order of my personal preference.
Interesting buy-low opportunity here - Brooks Laich. GM George McPhee says that Laich will be the team's second-line center. This guy goes from scoring line to checking line each season and it plays havoc with his production. It's up. It's down. It's up. It's down. Well if the Caps truly don't sign another center, Laich's production will be up again.
I guess, in the meantime, something relevant to me. You've probably heard about the Toronto flood. This is the DVP - 10 minutes from my house. My wife decided not to take it yesterday because it's a slow highway at the best of times let alone when it rains. So she took city streets home and had she waited another hour she wouldn't have been stuck for sure.
It looks like I'll have the wife and kids home with me today…no way they're getting into Toronto.
Oddly enough, hardly a drop of rain on my house, just 10 minutes from the DVP and 30 minutes from downtown.