The Fantasy Guide has been updated as of August 13, and can be picked up online in pdf form for the small price of $9.99. And unlike newsstand magazines - besides being way better - this one will be updated up to October. And that includes the projections.

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Regarding Fantasy Hockey Geek - there are a few hiccups due to a recent changeover to a new system. Please bear with us as we straighten them out.

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MacKinnon vs. Drouin. I feel like I could make this a weekly feature here on this site and it wouldn't grow tiresome until at least Christmas. There is a tremendous hunger for information and opinion on these two. It is well know that for the first six months of the year, I was on the Drouin train. As far as fantasy hockey goes, he was the guy I would take even if MacKinnon was drafted first (which I knew he would be). However, MacKinnon put me in my place at the Memorial Cup. He's a special player at both ends of the ice, but make no mistake - he's an elite talent on offense.

This 2013 draft is possibly (probably) the best draft in NHL history. So a guy going 10th, could very well go first were it another summer. Which means Drouin is a No.1 type. But I compare him to Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall, Nail Yakupov, Patrick Kane. Whereas I compare MacKinnon to the next level up, such as John Tavares, Steven Stamkos, etc. And I haven't quite ruled him from the level above that one - Crosby Ovechkin. Not quite. That's why, even though Drouin gets to play with Stamkos, I would still take MacKinnon.

 

 

Why the sudden about-face, just from one tournament? Because the only time I really got to see a lot of MacKinnon prior to the Memorial Cup was at the WJC, when he was in a defensive role - and Drouin was in an offensive role. I optimistically expect both players to hit 95 points at some point in their career, though MacKinnon could shoot right past it to 105 or even 110. I'll reserve judgment on that one until he's played a full NHL season.

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Former Montreal and Winnipeg prospect Ben Maxwell has signed to play in Finland for the coming season.

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Danny Briere will be 36 when the 2013-14 season starts. In his last four years he missed 14, 12, five and seven games. The year prior to that he missed 53 games. So in the Fantasy Guide I gave him 68 projected games. His production has declined from 0.88 to 0.70 to 0.47. Factoring in a small bounce-back due to playing hockey in his home province of Quebec and a projected 0.52 is fair (36 points). But he still has the skills to get 50 points in 68 games and if he can somehow play an 80-game season (highly doubtful) then 60 points is the absolute peak. But count on 35 to 40 points, some time on the IR…and of course a pretty good playoff performance if the Habs get in.

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Still nothing new on Mikhail Grabovski. Last I heard was that he had offers narrowed to three teams - none of which are Winnipeg. My favorites for him are Washington, Columbus, Florida and Anaheim. In that order.

Also nothing new on Damien Brunner. And if I'm Brunner, it may be time to fire the ol' agent. But rumors of a Switzerland return are starting to swirl.

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Another UFA, Teemu Selanne, at last word has been working out on the ice in Finland. It doesn't sound like the actions of a man who is about to retire so you can count on another season from him. Though it won't be a good season - his productivity drop last year should scare off poolies. He had 24 points in 46 games, which is "okay". But don't forget that he had four of those points in the first game of the season. So he had 20 in 45, which dips the needle below the "okay" threshold, in my books.

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Slava Voynov is the real deal and not only do I think he could to become a Top 10 scorer among defensemen within the next three seasons - but I fully expect him to. In fact, I think he will do it twice in the next three seasons, perhaps even this year. I have him tallying 46 points in the fantasy guide. Would I take him over a Del Zotto? Yeah, I think so. A Shattenkirk? Well…that one is closer.

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I don't think Brad Marchand can be a 70-point player and I consider him a great example of an offseason "sell high". And I say this knowing full well that I own him in a keeper league and someone in that league is reading this.

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Who would you rather own, Hiller or Varlamov? On one hand, you have the kid with upside but an injury history. On the other hand, you have a veteran in Hiller who has posted strong numbers - even last year, with another good goaltender breathing down his neck. I'll take the proven Hiller. He's too good to be a backup, so the Ducks will trade him if that ever starts to happen.

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My Hockey News article that is out later today takes a look at the Senators and the Rangers. Here are the other teams I have reviewed so far this offseason:

Anaheim and Buffalo

Calgary and Carolina

Colorado and Columbus

Dallas and Detroit

Edmonton and Florida

Boston and Chicago

Los Angeles and Minnesota

Montreal and Nashville

New Jersey and NY Islanders

Keep in mind that of these links, everything above and including Edmonton/Florida was done prior to free agency.

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Tough news yesterday out of Quebec when 16-year-old Jordan Boyd felt some discomfort during a wind sprint on the ice. He collapsed and was taken to hospital where he died. His father was in attendance when he collapsed. More details here.

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Check out Brendan Ross' latest ramblings over at DobberProspects as he breaks down some player performances from the Ivan Hlinka Tournament (2014 NHL Draft) and National Junior Evaluation Camp (drafted prospects).

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Why I like Ovechkin so much:


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Rodgort said:

Rodgort
hockeynews article Just an FYI a typo in your post for THN. You write about Pageau "Then he caught the attention of poolies everywhere when he scored a hat trick during a playoff game against the Penguins." Was that not against Montreal?
August 13, 2013
Votes: +0

mounD said:

mounD
re: mobile site login I think you have to click a link at the bottom of the "main" page that says: "view full site" and then login on the little menu on the lefthand side. That's what I do, although my internet browser on iPhone just keeps me logged in automatically.

re: the ramblings ...

I think the Mackinnon projection is awesome, I'm totally on board with it. Like you said (and I'm paraphrasing), you only pick a rookie to break 70-points once in a blue moon, and Mackinnon has ELITE level talent and a relatively complete game for a 17/18-year old. I think it might be a bit ambitious to put him in the Crosby/Stamkos mold -- hell, maybe Stamkos. Maybe. But Crosby, I think that's incredibly premature, even though having two 100+ players from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia would be a hell of a story.

Solid ramblings as always, though.
August 13, 2013
Votes: +0

Randallizer said:

Randallizer
... Watching the video clip of Ovechkin reminded me a lot of Jagr in his heyday.
August 13, 2013
Votes: +0

frozenpools said:

frozenpools
... Also, I may be blind, but how do you login while looking at the ramblings on the mobile theme? I couldnt see it so switched to PC.
August 13, 2013
Votes: +1

frozenpools said:

frozenpools
... I agree with your assessment of Mackinnon and Drouin. Where do you rank Huberadeau and Gallchenyuk vs Drouin? Last night I was offered Gally for Drouin straight up (I'm giving up Gally). Its very tempting given that Drouin will surely play with Stamkos as soon as this year.
August 13, 2013
Votes: +0

Reddawg said:

Reddawg
Sabres Nice article about Buffalo, but I can't possibly agree that their prospects pipeline is "good but not great". The Sabres' farm is easily Top 5 in the league, and probably Top 3. You'd be very hard-pressed to come up with a top ten from any team's farm that can beat:

Grigorenko, Armia, Ristolainen, Girgensons, Zadorov, Pysyk, Larsson, McCabe, Compher and McNabb.
August 13, 2013
Votes: +0
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