Breaking: The New Jersey Devils PR has just sent a press release announcing the retirement of Ilya Kovalchuk. More to come.
From beatwriter Tom Gulitti:
Kovalchuk: “This decision was something I have thought about for a long time going back to the lockout and spending the year in Russia. Though I decided to return this past season, Lou was aware of my desire to go back home and have my family there with me."
Fantasy ramifications here are obviously tremendous. Angus will have more later (this is Dobber)
The Perron/Paajarvi trade was an interesting one for both sides. One key point:
#STLBlues GM Doug Armstrong on Perron deal: "This will open up more ice time for [Schwartz] & [Tarasenko]."
That above Tweet is from NHL.com writer Pete Jensen.
Work on the 2013-14 Fantasy Guide is well under way. Once again I will be contributing a piece on using advanced stats for each of the 30 NHL teams. Last year was the first year we included this type of analysis, and even if you don’t use these stats yourself, they do carry some value.
I’ll have a column out in the next week or two to kind of explain a bit more of why using advanced stats can help you become a better poolie and judge of talent. And at the end of the day if they aren’t your cup of tea, that’s fine. It is just another tool to have in your analysis arsenal, should you choose to understand and apply it.
We also solicited ideas from the DobberHockey community, and there will be a feature on the impact(s) of the various coaching changes around the NHL. All coaches have their own system and style of play, and how that affects the production of the players they coach can be quite significant.
The fantasy impact of the NHL’s realignment plan will also be looked at in close detail.
Carolina has re-signed center Riley Nash for two years (both of the years of the deal are two-way). Once a 1st round pick of the Oilers, Nash spent time playing on Carolina’s third line last season. He has limited offensive upside.
There will be some battles for the bottom two center spots after Staal 1 and Staal 2 – Shutdown Line (the above link) believes that Elias Lindholm and Jeremy Welsh have the inside tracks for the two open spots. I don’t disagree. Nash is a great skater and may slide over to the wing, but he needs to show he can contribute more than he did last season.
Ryan Strome… winger? It was only a matter of time until the Islanders openly discussed this.
Now during summer prospect mini-camp and training orientation, after two years of Islanders fans alternately penciling him as the second-line center or the first-line winger, Islanders officials acknowledged the possibility. Said coach Jack Capuano, as reported by Brian Compton of nhl.com:
"I talked to Ryan in the exit meetings after the Pittsburgh [playoff] series before he left, and it's something he's pretty comfortable with. But as we move on and see what our depth chart looks like … going into training camp in September, it's a real good possibility that we'll try him there."
The Islanders are very deep up the middle, so this only makes logical sense. A lot of young centers move to the wing when they come into the NHL, either full-time or on a temporary basis (as it is typically an easier position to learn and play in almost every system).
Jim Nill feels that Dallas has upgraded their defense by upgrading their forwards. I agree – better forwards = more time in the offensive zone = less time defending = less pressure on the defense. Dallas may not have a star-studded back end, but they are pretty balanced from top to bottom.
Dillon – Robidas
Daley – Gonchar
Oleksiak – Goligoski
And Kevin Connauton is also in the mix, but he will need a really strong training camp. I’d still expect the Stars to bring in a defenseman over the next month or two (someone of the depth variety).
More offense from Ryan McDonagh this season? I think so:
McDonagh said he wants to get to the point where pinching into the offensive “becomes natural and almost like a habit” as Vigneault and the staff emphasize what has become important around the league, “more responsibility for ‘D’ to get involved and create second and third opportunities.” He also mentioned that he wants to improve his “puck skills” and his “shot.” Plus, he wants to be a big-time player in the playoffs, even more so than he’s been for the Rangers the past few years.
Caught an interesting bit of news over on the DobberHockey forums yesterday. Cal Clutterbuck once played on the same line with John Tavares (in Oshawa of the OHL). Clutterbuck isn’t good enough offensively to play full-time on line one, but he could see time alongside Tavares and Moulson – don’t discount that level of familiarity. Even if he spends 30-40 games on that line, it would be his golden ticket to the chocolate factory.
Clutterbuck may be a tad overpaid on his new deal (four years, $11 million), but he brings a very unique element to the Islanders, and it isn’t like they are going to be at or even near the salary cap upper limit any time soon.
How Nathan Horton is this? Only a few days after signing his new contract, Horton undergoes shoulder surgery and is out for up to six months. I found a picture of the Columbus team doctor:
Kidding aside – the team obviously knew Horton had to undergo the knife when they signed him last week – but this isn’t exactly the best way to get started on a massive seven-year contract with a new team, is it?
Hopefully this fixes the reoccurring shoulder issues that Horton has had – common for hockey players to have shoulders that are very unstable/lax. This procedure (similar to Taylor Hall/Ryan Kesler surgeries from past summers) tightens and stabilizes the joint again.
Joe Corvo feels more comfortable during his second stint in Ottawa. That’s good, because I can tell you who doesn’t – Craig Anderson. Corvo will play bottom pairing minutes and a lot of PP minutes – if the Senators can shelter his role a lot, they should minimize his defensive deficiencies. If not….
Washington has a future hitting monster on its hands in Tom Wilson:
“I can remember my first body-checking practice [as a kid],” Wilson, beaming, began. “I mean, I loved it. One guy would stand in the middle of the circle, and then there’d be like ten guys [standing] around the outside of the circle. One guy would stand in the middle and then everyone would take a run at him. You’d have to defend yourself. I can remember it vividly so I must have liked it.”
Who is Clarke MacArthur? A very good secondary scorer would be my answer.
If MacArthur is used around 17 minutes a night, we can probably expect him to get around 150 shots which should result in about 20 goals at his career shooting average. He doesn't have Daniel Alfredsson's legacy, but he is 12 years younger and maybe a better player on the ice next season.
Operating on a budget, Bryan Murray has still been successful. Read on to find out why.
Antti Raanta may not be the backup in Chicago right now, but how many people have confidence in Nik Khabibulin both staying healthy and playing reasonably well? Any hands up out there?
Corey Pronman looks at the top 10 prospects in the Florida system.
A recap of the Detroit free agency situation from Rhys Richards.
Tyler Bertuzzi (Detroit 2nd round pick this year) claims he is "meaner" than his uncle Todd.
If the NHL teams ever played in a shinny tournament, could anyone top Edmonton's collection of danglers?
One of hockey's best all-time trios: