The Fantasy Guide - my eighth - is now ready for download. Enjoy!
It has come to my attention that for the past few days people have had problems purchasing the Keeper League Pack. I have fixed the issue (I would have sooner, but I didn't know about it). Should be okay now, let me know if not
I swapped days with Angus this week as he is on vacation. And then Tuesday I had a bit of a crisis. MS Word told me that it was unable to save my Fantasy Guide because there was no room on the hard drive. Since I have 2 TB of hard drive, I found that hard to believe. But I hadn't emptied the recycle bin in awhile so I thought 'what the hell'. I emptied it. The Guide still wouldn’t save. So I copied the last couple of things that I did onto Notepad and saved it. Then closed the document, since my documents are constantly backing up and I'm always saving, I wasn't too worried. I rebooted. The entire file was gone - the Fantasy Hockey Guide was about 80% done and it was gone. I guess the PC or Word moved it to the recycle bin. And I had emptied it.
So with panic starting to rise, I searched for backups. They were all gone too. Then doing a step-by-step recovery, I managed to find an 'auto-recover' from July 10. So I lost 19 days of work and had a Guide that was 10% done. Two days before release. Then I installed Pandora and using that program I managed to recover the backup file for July 29 - but it was unformatted (which also means no charts). Using the July 10 Guide (which had a basic formatting structure), my spreadsheets and this recovered text file, I spent most of yesterday copying and pasting and fixing. Eleven hours later - I was back to where I left off. Needless to say, Amato jumping in Wednesday to do the Ramblings for me was a big help.
But hey, this goes to show you - nothing can stop me from bringing you the goods. Beaten, bloodied, battered and in chains - I'll find a way to get you the information you need if I have to chisel it into the stone floor using a rusty nail clamped between my teeth.
The Flames have signed TJ. Brodie to a two-year deal worth $2.125 million. That's good value for this season and it should be fantastic value in 2014-15. I have Brodie getting 35 points in 80 games in the Guide that you'll be reading later today (and thank you for supporting the website).
Ziggy Palffy retired from hockey yesterday. Ziggy was a five-time 85-point player and hit 90 points once when he was with the Islanders back in 1997. I owned him for a few years in my keeper league that will soon enter its 25th year (hey, I'm not that old, I started playing when I was 15).
Milan Kraft also retired from hockey yesterday. He had 40 points in 66 games as a 24 year old, but never came back after the lockout so we never saw what he could do.
Some thoughts on available free agents:
Nik Antropov - At this point a 40-point guy, assuming he even plays 80 games. Which he won't.
Brad Boyes - There is little doubt that Boyes would be with the Islanders again if he accepted the NHL minimum. But of course, after 35 points, I'm sure his agent feels he can get in excess of $2 million. Apparently not. NHL GM's are well aware that 34 of those 35 points are thanks to John Tavares. The other point went in by accident off Boyes' ass.
Damien Brunner – New Jersey took a close look at him, but then signed Jaromir Jagr instead. I suspect that his agent figures that if he holds out, then a Ville Leino-like offer will come. But the agent doesn't realize that Leino's contract serves as a warning - not a precedent.
Ilya Bryzgalov - He's training over in Sweden, but is awaiting an offer of a starting job. Not many of them left. Maybe Florida? Bryzgalov owners may be stuck holding the bag here.
Mikhail Grabovski – All we know is what TSN told us. Three teams are very interested and Winnipeg is not one of them.
Guillaume Latendresse - Injuries have taken their toll and Latendresse had trouble just getting into the Ottawa lineup. However, he is still only 26 so it's hard to imagine that he won't get a job somewhere next season. He can still salvage a fine career, he just needs to stay healthy.
Brenden Morrow - Still a valuable leader and checking-line player, with 50-point upside. He's looking for the best deal, as he's 34 now and probably wants just one more contract. But I can't see teams lining up with five-year offers so he may have to settle for two or three.
Peter Mueller - He's still negotiating with the Panthers, but probably needs to tone down his salary expectations to get it done.
Vinny Prospal - He had a pro-rated 51 points last season and he had 55 the season before that. Yes, he's 38, but there should be a team out there interested in bringing him on board.
Mason Raymond - He apparently has several suitors, but a decision probably won't be made until late August.
Ryan Whitney - The 30-year-old former 59-point defenseman has lost a step thanks to nagging foot injuries and GM's across the league know it. A contract could be awhile.
Much is being made, with good reason, of how bad the New Jersey offense will be without Ilya Kovalchuk. But if you let go of the name for a moment and just look at the stats - the guy got 31 points last year. So strictly speaking about offensive stats, it's easy to replace a 65-point guy. Between Jagr, Ryder and Clowe, the Devils have probably - not in terms of "potential" but in terms of "reality" - succeeded in replacing the offense of Kovalchuk and Clarkson. For this year.
Gorgeous give and go - Straka to Palffy:
Turn your volume down for this (or up, if you like Metallica), but here is a Palffy highlight package: