The Blackhawks locked up Corey Crawford with a six-year extension worth $36M. When writing that piece for Puck Daddy last week about placing goaltenders in tiers, Crawford was the guy I struggled with the most. I had him slated in the second tier, but he could easily be a first tier guy. His numbers were great last year even though he only played in 30 games, and playing in Chicago really helps his cause. Either way, he’s still a solid option to have as a number one netminder on your squad.

 

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The return of Teemu Selanne for his 21st and final NHL season is great for the fans and it will also raise some interesting questions over the course of the campaign. Will he be able to make the Finnish Olympic team? Finland has plenty of talent to choose from and if Selanne cracks the squad it will be his sixth Olympics.

 

Who finishes their career with more goals, Selanne or Jaromir Jagr? The speedster is just six goals behind Jagr, who may just be playing in his final season as well. Selanne arguably has more talent around him right now in Anaheim, but Jagr could be featured more prominently in offensive situations for New Jersey.

 

Will Selanne hit 700 goals? He is 25 back of the mark at the moment and if Bruce Boudreau increases his ice-time from what it was at the end of the season and in the playoffs last year, he’s got a shot. Staying healthy will also be a major factor of course with Selanne being 43-years-old.

 

As far as his fantasy value goes though, I tend to agree with Dobber’s assessment. Most great players don’t gradually decline; their skill set can sometimes drop off massively overnight. He probably won’t end up being scratched with regularity, but his role will likely diminish again late in the campaign.

 

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Derek Stepan remains unsigned and the Rangers would be wise to get a deal done soon. He was almost a point-per-game player last year and with Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin likely to miss some time at the start of the season, Stepan may be able to use that as a bargaining chip.

 

If for some reason the two sides can’t get a deal done in the next week or two, perhaps New York goes after an unrestricted free agent on a cheap one-year deal for some insurance. There are several guys still available that could provide depth to a needy team. Mason Raymond comes to mind as he and head coach Alain Vigneault are already familiar with each other from the Vancouver Canucks.

 

Speaking of Vigneault, his coaching style could be a breath of fresh air for both poolies and Ranger forwards. If the team is indeed without Stepan, Callahan, and Hagelin for the early part of 2013-14, look for the values of guys like Brian Boyle, Derick Brassard, and Chris Kreider to go up.

 

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The NHL’s slew of slightly modified jerseys continued last weekend with the Minnesota Wild debuting their “new” away uniform.

 

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Mattias Ohlund may be calling it a career. He hasn’t played in over two years and is recovering from major surgery on his left knee.  

 

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Does Morgan Rielly make the Leafs next year? It’s a tough situation because he’s ineligible to play with the Toronto Marlies and it makes little sense to send him back to junior where he dominated in 2012-13. Dion Phaneuf, Carl Gunnarsson, Jake Gardiner, and Cody Franson (please sign him already) figure to be locks on the roster, but it wouldn’t be shocking if Rielly could beat out some of the other defensemen for a roster spot.

 

Toronto could of course decide to keep him for the first nine games and then make the decision on whether to send him back to junior to avoid using a year of his entry-level contract. Rielly almost made the team prior to 2013 after an impressive camp, and keep in mind Randy Carlyle isn’t opposed to giving youngsters a shot on the blue line as he did so with Cam Fowler in Anaheim.

 

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Cool piece here on some of the most unlikely seasons in NHL history. The one that stands out for me is Jim Carey aka “The Net Detective”, who was incredible during the 1995-96 campaign, posting nine shutouts and winning the Vezina. He then quickly disappeared off the face of the planet. 

 

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Carey stops a penalty shot that was so bad it makes Robert Reichel look like a creative offensive genius.

 

 

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The Americans suddenly find themselves stocked between the pipes for the upcoming Olympics. One would think Jonathan Quick will be the starter barring an injury and that leaves Jimmy Howard, Ryan Miller, Craig Anderson, Cory Schneider, and John Gibson fighting for the final two spots. Miller could be in trouble to make the team as Howard probably has the best shot to be the backup, and Anderson deserves to be there as well if he can play anywhere close to the way he did last season when he was healthy.

 

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Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean isn’t set on pairing new acquisition Bobby Ryan with Jason Spezza this season. Ryan has a great shot to hit the 40-goal mark if he spends significant time with Spezza, but with another center that doesn’t have his type of playmaking ability, that may be an ambitious goal.

 

 

 

Michael Amato is an Associate Editor for Dobber Hockey and a News Editor for theScore. You can follow him on Twitter at @amato_mike


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Comments (3)add comment

rataylor22 said:

rataylor22
Ohlund He had major surgery on both knees at the same time, not just the left haha
September 03, 2013
Votes: +0

Isle B. said:

Isle B.
... It would tend to think that, much like with the Ducks, there is a spot open for Selanne on the Finnish Olympic team and it is entirely up to him whether he takes it or not.

Quick is definitely the guy for the Americans. He is arguably one of the two best goalies in the world right now (along with Lundqvist). Unless something goes haywire, the other two goalies won't see a minute of action. I'm much more interested in seeing who the skaters will be. There will be some interesting choices to make on the blue line (where there is a lot of depth) and at center (where the pickings are so slim that, on paper at least, Paul Stastny could be the first line center).
September 03, 2013
Votes: +1

JW said:

maya has the knife
Miller How motivated would Ryan Miller be in an Olympic year with a fresh start on a new team? If he starts the season somewhere other than Buffalo, don't be surprised if he turns some heads and makes the Olympic squad.
September 03, 2013
Votes: +0
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