Darren Helm still isn't ready to declare himself 100% - he is such a key player for the Wings, and if he isn't ready to play this season the ramifications are significant (yes, I realize they played a lot without him last year).
I sympathize with him having once had a chronic back injury - they really are impossible to work around (not like a knee, wrist, or elbow injury). Hopefully he can get back to full health and stay there. One of the better young checking centers in hockey.
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A jam-packed PDF document that is updated regularly all the way into October.
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Check out my CTV fitness segment from yesterday. (Click on the second video on the right side of the page).
I go over six really effective and easy-to-learn core exercises (no crunches, no situps - much safer movements here).
What are your best guesses for Florida’s top six forward group? Do they load up a veteran line to handle the tough minutes? Perhaps Matthias flanked by Versteeg/Upshall and Fleischmann?
Do they move Shore and/or Bjugstad to the wing? How about Barkov? There won’t be room for all of them.
I’d imagine Marcel Goc will again see brutally tough minutes in a checking role.
Florida will be an interesting team this season – if Markstrom is ready to start, they will surprise a few people. If not, it may be another long season as some of their young forwards adjust to the NHL game.
I think Justin Schultz is primed for a monster season. He struggled defensively last year and was really burnt out at the end of the season (a ton of games in the AHL/NHL compared to what he was used to in college), but he still managed really strong point totals.
And look at who he will be playing with. Schultz is guaranteed a ton of PP minutes with some ridiculously talented young forwards, and he has some better help around him on the back end (Ference, and don’t discount the Grebeshkov signing).
I wouldn’t be surprised to see Schultz finish with a 15-goal, 50-point line at the end of 2013-14.
Is Alex Pietrangelo an apt comparison for Darnell Nurse? How about PK Subban? The answer may surprise you.
Soo Greyhounds General Manager Kyle Dubas appeared on The Pipeline Show to discuss his man Darnell Nurse, the early jewel in Dubas' turn around of the OHL franchise.
In the interview, Dubas indicates that Nurse's workload isn't going to be modified to handle the additional power play time, rather, he's going to simply play an extra minute or two per game, moving his workload from 25:17 into the 28 minutes per game range.
Right now, he is one of their only natural centers. Cody Hodgson is still unsigned, and both Ott and Ennis are better as left wingers. Buffalo’s depth up the middle is horrendous, and I’m surprised the team hasn’t done anything to rectify it. You simply can’t win in this league without strong depth up the middle.
His five-game trigger came and went, his entry-level contract activated, yet he continued to struggle both on the ice and just getting to it. For a stretch from February 15th to March 3rd, his high in ice-time was 9:46. He’d only managed double digit ice time twice from Feburary 9th to March 12th.
Max Domi ranks as the top Phoenix prospect, according to Corey Pronman.
The Good: Domi is a highly-skilled player with many top-end offensive attributes. He is a great skater with high-end speed, agility, and overall quickness. His puck skills are also at a very high level, and he has the ability to create a lot of space for himself. However, Domi's best skill is his vision, as his offensive instincts allow him to create so many scoring chances, as well as set up his teammates consistently. He has his father's work level, as he will battle through checks and grind out shifts.
Pronman’s top 10 lists are pretty solid and are a good way to get a feel for some lesser known prospects around the league.
As we have written about before on here, Brandon Pirri is a player to watch for in 2013-14.
"Could [Pirri] do it? I think he could, but that's a big job, and with him we're looking for that consistency," Quenneville told NHL.com. "We know he's capable of doing a lot of good things offensively and defensively he's improved over the last few years, but now game in and game out getting to that level of predictability that we want, that's going to be the challenge. I think he's capable of it for sure, so he's one guy under consideration."
I’d keep an eye on where he ends up – in the right situation (team, playing style, linemates), I could see him as a 15-20-goal guy with 45+ point upside for this season, and more for the coming years. He has a ton of talent, but Edmonton wasn’t the right fit as they have many comparable players already.
The 10 best RFAs who have yet to be signed – some big names on this list to say the least.
Coming in at number eight is a guy who I like for this season – Mikkel Boedker:
Boedker is coming into his own after a patchy start to his career, but will need to show that his scoring slump over the back half of last season was an aberration. While the Coyotes might prefer a shorter term thanks to some of the uncertainty over how he’ll perform, he’s already on his third contract and likely wants a little more security. Still, he avoided filing for salary arbitration and it seems likely they’ll come to an agreement soon.