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Dustin Brown is a King for eight more years (well, technically nine, as he has one year left on his current deal). He signed a huge contract extension today. Not really a surprise. Brown's real life value probably outweighs his fantasy value (unless you are in leagues that count hits), but he is still a solid bet for 20-25 goals and 50-60 points each season.

 

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The Devils re-signed Jacob Josefson. One year and one-way - cap hit approximately $750k. This is put up or shut up time for Josefson. He's been a disappointment at the NHL level.

 

The contract signing is actually good timing for this recent post on Josefson I had been meaning to mention.

 

Ultimately, that's the path Josefson is on and I would guess that's what he'll become. He's definitely a good, smooth skater with good vision and skills to play off the puck. But his awareness away from the puck is his best asset and that lends himself well to a more defensive role. Short of a breakthrough, he's not going to be a top scorer; he'll be that solid defensive-minded forward (two-way is his ceiling, I suppose).

 

Someone a team needs for stops, support someone who isn't so strong defensively, and so forth. I think he'll improve on his attacking skills; but it's just that most players demonstrate whether or not they're scorers quickly. Josefson really hasn't. The thing is that he's shown enough in other areas (off the puck, the penalty kill, etc.) to stick around.

 

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I caught up with Dallas defenseman Brenden Dillon earlier this week. We talked about the new Dallas jerseys, the Seguin trade, his first year in the NHL, and his focuses for this season (more offense).

 

Dillon had a lot of praise for David Perron and Roman Josi when I asked about opponents who might have surprised him with their ability.

 

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Also interviewed hockey strength coach Ben Prentiss. Prentiss has worked with Marty St. Louis for close to a decade, and he also trains Quick, Pacioretty, van Riemsdyk, Moulson, Atkinson, and this year he also took on Brad Richards, too.

 

Poolies who own Richards should be really excited at this news. Ben gets results. Obviously training is only one piece of the hockey puzzle (skill, opportunity, and so on). But it is an important one.

 

And he shared some other fantasy-relevant stuff, too:

 

I imagine Richards has a lot of motivation this summer.


He does – and that motivates me. When you can take a guy who has been kicked around a bit, and work with him, I’m really excited for him to have a huge year and for him to show people that he has got a lot left in the tank. The Rangers were really wise in not buying him out.


How is cam Atkinson’s ankle sprain recovery going?


I would say he is 100 percent. That has not been an issue whatsoever. We typically, in my programs anyway, I am an advocate on certain things that people leave out – neck, ankle, we incorporate prehabilitative stuff at the end of each workout.


Knock on wood, but if he didn’t get hurt last year…. I don’t like to jinx myself, but watch out for him. Let’s just say that.


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Was on TSN Radio 1290 on Tuesday to talk about NHL arbitration – you can give that a listen here if interested (I think on page three or four).

 

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Chicago has re-signed Kyle Beach to a one-year deal. Perhaps the replacement on line four for Carcillo?

 

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As of right now, the Caps plan on having Brooks Laich center line two. What will that mean?

 

In conclusion, putting Laich at second-line center isn't so far-fetched, but neither is it promising. But can you blame George McPhee for trying to squeeze some more value out of this roster? Laich's $4.5m cap hit is larger than the 2nd line center average ($4.15m), and falls only $600k short of the average salary paid to second-line centers by the teams that made the Conference Finals in 2013 (cap hit data from CapGeek).


It's probably not the best allocation of resources if a contract like that is hanging out in third-line winger territory (or hanging out in the press box, which it did for all but nine games of last season).


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I have made no secret that I really like the team Bryan Murray has built in Ottawa. I’ve been putting some potential line combos down on paper… thoughts on these?

 

Michalek-Spezza-Ryan

MacArthur-Turris-Zibanejad

Greening-Pageau-Condra

Conacher-Smith-Neil

 

I absolutely love that fourth line. It wouldn’t help Conacher’s offensive upside much, but you won’t find a grittier line in hockey.

 

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An extensive look at the top Dallas prospects who played in the OHL this past season.

 

Brett Ritchie:

 

Everything finally came together for Ritchie this season. Previously he'd only given us a little taste of what he was capable of, but 2012/2013 was a major breakthrough for him. I think there were a couple major reasons for that. Firstly, he played with an edge and was a physical contributor at all

times. He was able to channel his aggressiveness away from the puck into scoring chances by being an intimidating force.


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Gilbert Brule sheds some light on his recent off the ice struggles. I wonder if he gets a look at an NHL camp this fall?


But Brule says there were reasons he hadn’t built on his 2009-10 season, when he scored a career-high 17 goals and 37 points in just 65 games with Edmonton.


Brule was depressed about his fractured relationship with his father, Chris Brule — a man who, until recently, had been heavily involved in his son’s career, even long before he became a star with the Giants.

 

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A must-read piece on Blake Geoffrion, from ESPN’s John Buccigross.

 

And a really well-written (and lengthy) look at Seth Jones, from SBNation.

 

Some sell-high options for 2013-14 (there will be plenty more of these in the Fantasy Guide).

 

My interview with Dillon spilled over into fitness and nutrition topics, so naturally I posted that over at my blog instead of Big D.

 

A solid interview with Pavel Datsyuk from Puck Daddy.

 

‘Canes GM Jim Rutherford would be “shocked” if Elias Lindholm didn’t make the team this season.

 

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Comments (3)add comment

Ho Borvat said:

mbice
... Angus, loved the informal interview with Dillon. Seemed like you guys were just shootin' the shit.

Dobber, what are you going to do when your most prized writer leaves for bigger and better things?
July 18, 2013
Votes: +0

notch4077 said:

notch4077
... Nothing wrong with your Ottawa lines, and they are very realistic. The Sens brass like Zibanejad at center though and have said it many times this offseason, so that throws a wrench into everyones predicted line combos including my own.

Add that to the fact that I have a sneaking suspicion that Stone plays lots of games at RW this season. There are one too many forwards in Ottawa right now.
July 18, 2013
Votes: +0

Magicstew said:

Magicstew
... Heard you on TSN 1290 Winnipeg live yesterday Jeff, good job and good insight into arbitration. Also liking the Ottawa team. Jets still have 4 players for arbitration. Will they get done before the hearings, hope so?
July 17, 2013
Votes: +0
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