The Fantasy Guide can be picked up online in pdf form for $9.99 - it comes with an updated spreadsheet - free. Updates are all free, download as often as you'd like. Last update was Sept. 14 - and it was a big one (relatively speaking).

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Tim Thomas has arrived in Florida and will report tomorrow on a tryout agreement. The goaltender will probably win a contract and I would speculate that he will end up playing upwards of 55 games. Jacob Markstrom owners can cringe, but your future is still bright.

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Regarding the below Dobbernomics contest - only 11 people have entered so far. So feel free to participate. Join my league in Dobbernomics. It's easy - just mention on Twitter Dobbernomics.com and #FantasyHockey and how you're looking forward to the game. I'm taking the 24th person to do this (so 13 to go as of 3:35pm ET)

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Preseason action, folks! Working on getting the Frozen Pool up and running for preseason data (line combos, full stats). I'll let you know when it's up.

It was a split-squad game (or 'games', I guess) Saturday between Oilers and Flames, but it was nice to see Mark Arcobello and Jesse Joensuu on the board. They need to produce early and often to make the decision difficult. For Arcobello, not only does he need to stick with the team - but he needs to have wingers such as Nail Yakupov on his line. Stick pluggers on his line and he might as well go back to the minors, because there's no point. The guy is 5-9, 165. It's just unfortunate for him that the team is trying Taylor Hall at center. Arcobello had a goal, Joensuu went one and one.

Joensuu, an underrated potential power forward, also had five shots on goal.

Not the greatest start for Linus Omark, although to put it in perspective - this is Preseason Game 1 - so nobody panic. He was minus-2 and missed his shootout attempt. But despite my 'perspective' talk, keep in mind that Omark is on thin ice. It's a deep team in terms of his skill set and management is already pigeonholing him as a minor-leaguer and part-time fill in. Us fantasy owners, and Omark himself, believe differently. But he'll need to prove it and he'll have to do it in the six or seven exhibition games that he plays. This is one down.

 

 

 

 

I didn't see the game, I had a birthday party to go to and you people know where I'm coming from - at a party you should be able to get them to put on the hockey game, but  not if it's exhibition and not if it doesn't include the local team.

 

 

 

 

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But the stats can tell a story and it was nice to see Reto Berra do alright in net for Calgary (one goal allowed, 14 shots). He'll start the year in the minors, but Joey MacDonald gets hurt at inopportune times. So Berra could get his shot sooner than you think.

Sven Bärtschi had two points and the shootout winner, picking up where he left off at the end of the last season (nine points during a seven-game points streak).

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It was interesting that Coach Eakins split Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle up for the two SS games - one playing each.

In the other game, the big story, to my eyes anyway, was Jason LaBarbera stopping all 12 shots he faced…while Richard Bachman stopped just eight of 10. It's only Game 1, but Bachman's my underdog and I'm hoping he shows the Oilers that he's the better of the two and that we see him again midseason.

Sean Monahan played in that other game, but was pointless and minus-1 for the Flames. I think he gets just the nine-game trial run this year, but he can change everyone's mind with a strong three weeks here.

Emile Poirier had a strong preseason game - and apparently continued his impressive stuff Sunday in the inter-squad games. The promising right winger was drafted 22nd in the summer and is ranked pretty high on my Fantasy Prospects List (84th). Obviously making the team would shoot him up into the Top 25, but I don't expect that.

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Ryan Callahan is shooting for a return to action … for Game 1. That would certainly change up some things in the Fantasy Guide. But regardless of if he is successful, it's looking very likely that he won't be out for as long as I had projected. I had him missing about 12 games (plus another five for little, nagging stuff throughout the year). I'll be adding a few games to that projection in the next update.

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I'm not really paying much attention to the minor injury stuff we're seeing. It will just cause us to over-think things at the draft table. So minor injuries to the likes of Dustin Brown, Jonathan Toews, Jaromir Jagr and Jiri Tlusty gets ignored unless I catch a whiff of a rumor that any of them will miss all of training camp.

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The Jets are trying Michael Frolik on a line with Bryan Little and Blake Wheeler. He'll be left wing, as opposed to his usual right wing. The line combination doesn't matter, especially not right now. But the thought process here is oh so important - it tells you what the Jets would like Frolik's role to be. And it won't be as a checker. He didn't pick up any points Sunday, but it sure must have felt good to play 20 minutes. In Chicago it would take him two games to play that many minutes.

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The sixth and 24th people to Tweet how much they're looking forward to playing the new Dobbernomics.com #FantasyHockey game gets invited to my personal league. I'll be looking for the terms "Dobbernomics.com" and "#FantasyHockey".

Thanks for helping me spread the word! I feel like I've over-explained the concept and scared some people off. Maybe some think it will require a time commitment. Or it's too complicated. But I guarantee you this - it's not complicated and you don't have to play every day. And it's quite possibly the most enjoyable fantasy-hockey game that I've ever played. Take a look here.

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There are already some cuts in camp, but the one that interested me the most was Carolina's Sergei Tolchinsky. Not that he was going to make the team, but I thought with his impressive rookie camp that he would be a late cut not an early one.

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Mike Babcock is already disappointed in how the line of Stephen Weiss, Daniel Alfredsson and Johan Franzen are meshing. He isn't sure what isn't working, but I think I can put my finger on it. You see, Alfredsson is 41 soon. You guys signed him after his worst ever NHL numbers. And if you expect him to slot into the second line nicely, you may be disappointed. This message was brought to you by the Gustav Nyquist Cheerleading Association.

One other thing that Babcock is trying is Justin Abdelkader on the first line. How that will work out when they have 17 NHL-caliber forwards remains to be seen.

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Taylor Hall isn't the only young winger being tried out at center for the first time. The Hawks are doing it with Brandon Saad. This would hurt Brandon Pirri. But also keep in mind - Michal Handzus has been hurt, and Pirri can play the wing if need be.

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I'm looking for volunteers for two things. Hopefully you can help. Neither would take much of your time and often it's stuff you're doing anyway - you'd just have to type (or copy/paste) a sentence for your fellow poolies to read:

1. A few people are needed to help the team at Goalie Post. Just basically help keep the grid updated and/or send out email notifications. It's a very easy system where you just type stuff into a box and click submit. Straightforward. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you can help out this year.

2. Hey, if you click on a player name here in the ramblings you are taken to his player page (Sidney Crosby - click it. See?). Notice at the top there are several news items. We need help chipping in with news items. Could be as simple as linking to the ramblings here, or TSN. Once again, this is just another box where you paste and click 'submit'. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you can help out.

In both cases you would be one of a couple of people covering a day each week. And you can literally bang out five or 10 items in five minutes. Thanks!

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On Sunday, Beau Bennett got some time with Malkin and Neal, as expected. But it was Chuck Kobasew playing with minor leaguers who stepped up with a pair of goals. He's in tough to make the team, but scoring twice is a great start. Not draft worthy, but worth monitoring.

Cam Atkinson was actually moved to the left wing. He played with Anisimov and Gaborik - and from my fantasy league standpoint that line couldn't be any better (I own Cam and Artem). Atkinson has the respect of the coach and as long as he doesn't start the season with a brutal two points in 12 games…or get hurt… he'll take off this year in a big way.

Highlights of the Pens/Jackets second period Sunday.

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The buzz in Leafs camp is that Paul Ranger is looking strong. At this point I have him as the seventh defenseman, with T.J. Brennan as the extra…and Holzer out of the mix. I won't even consider Rielly until some room clears up here.

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Neither Jake Allen nor Jack Campbell were brick walls last night. Allen gave up five goals on 37 shots from Dallas and unlike most of the preseason games so far, he actually played the entire game. Campbell stopped 13 of 16.

But the buzz in Dallas is all about Valeri Nichushkin. Two goals for the 18-year-old. I think he'll make the team and not because of that game. But because he's a stud. And a 6-4, 200+ pound one. NINE shots on goal last night though. That beats the Russian on the other side of the rink Vladimir Tarasenko who had no points and one shot.

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Zemgus Girgensons scored twice for Buffalo. The 19-year-old isn't making the team this year and don't overrate his upside, but he's a surefire NHLer likely destined for third-line duty. He's ranked 151 on my Prospects List. Should be on the team for 2014-15.

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Jordan Nolan hit Rostislav Klesla shoulder to chin. Klesla was taken off the ice on a stretcher but as of my bedtime Klesla remained in the arena (i.e. not the hospital), which is a good sign. Update: he was indeed brought to hospital for evaluation with his head immobilized.

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Get my new app (free) and have these ramblings stream to your phone. Details here.

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I thought this was funny and if you haven't seen it - here is Bobby Ryan interviewing Ottawa people about Bobby Ryan:

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From Saturday - Evander Kane and Devin Setoguchi working together.


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Comments (12)add comment

mabus said:

mabus
... In my opinion Mueller was a different player after his first concussion. His game was nothing like it was before the game. He had loads of talent before the first concussion, and I was a huge fan, but you kept holding onto the "talent"argument without paying attention to how his game had changed. Maybe he can change it back, but I don't have any faith. If I read some Crosby-type news where they find out he's had a neck injury for years that was mis-diagnosed, I'll be all over him again, but until there is some news to the contrary, steer away.

O'sullivan had loads of talent, but he wasn't willing to work hard, and he wasn't able to put on weight. He looked like a 15 year old boy. When we notice a key issue on someone that makes him unable to compete, you need to cut bait until there is evidence that things have changed. I said I was cutting bait until he gained some weight, or I heard someone say how dedicated he was now. Neither ever happened.

The Filatov one was a bit tougher. You were very high on him even before the draft, and when Toronto passed on him, that almost bumped him up on your list a notch. Once again, he was too skinny and had attitude problems. There was even a time when people were willing to trade him straight up for Stamkos, and you had the two neck and neck in your rankings. I used it as a buy-low opportunity on Stamkos, but I think you just held on too long.

Now Frolik. Something happened during his second season, because since then he can't score. His career shooting percentage is down to 7% and he's been less than 6% each year with Chicago (and less than 4% two of those years). That says he's still skating and getting opportunities, but he isn't scoring. I don't know what happened, but when you are a scorer that has lost the ability to shoot, your days are numbered (or you get turned into a defensive forward). He may get a shot or two on a scoring line, but I don't think he'll be much more than a penalty killer/two way player from here on out. Since he's already 25, the upside is limited. I can't see any way I'll ever own Frolik.

Mabus
September 16, 2013
Votes: +1

mabus said:

mabus
... oops. meant Filatov not Frolov.
September 16, 2013
Votes: +0

aleco83 said:

aleco83
Thomas I don't understand this move from the Panthers standpoint. Sure there is no insulation for Markstrom but who cares? This kid could use the experience at the NHL level, riding the pine wont help him and Thomas doesnt seem the mentor type. Plus Thomas will only hurt their chances at a lottery pick (ok not sure if the system changed with the reallignment). They wont be top 4 with him in the mix. MTL, BOS, TB, OTT, TOR are all better teams.
September 16, 2013
Votes: +0

TangerineDreamTeam said:

TangerineDreamTeam
Bobby, Frolov And DOBBERNOMICS! Sent out a tweet for ya, excited to try this again, i did The Sporting News ones for a few years but its been awhile. Are you guys updating the player lists? Found a few names not available.

Bobby Ryan is too funny. At 3:45 with the two kids is pure gold, worth a watch if u haven't seen it!

Frolov is a funny guy to put in that group of names, haven't heard him mentioned in quite some time. (Frolov had serious fantasy value the others were just flashes) But I'll agree with Mabus, I think Frolik is hard pressed to beat his rookie season 5 years removed... and in a points only league, his value in a not SO deep league is 0, as he will never and still hasn't counted on a winning team.

September 16, 2013
Votes: +0

number54 said:

number54
Bennett, Malkin & Neal Geno and Neal were jaw-dropping; Malkin was putting the puck on platter for James Neal one-timers, including one on a triple give-and-go down the wing. Neal hit 3 goal-posts on the game. Bennett also did an awesome job digging pucks out of the corners in the offensive zone, and posting up in front of the net. He's looking like he'll turn into what the Isles were hoping Okposo would become.
September 16, 2013
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
... Mabus -

1. Never been a fan of Frolov. Never pushed him here. And never owned him or wanted to own him in a pool. Yet another myth somehow generated about me due to either another site or another writer.
2. Mueller does have talent. Injuries interfered, come on. I'll go my grave with that belief
3. O'Sullivan was a mystery to everyone. I don't want to be held accountable for thinking that a player with 50+ points as a rookie has potential.
4. Frolik is still too young to judge. You could be right, and you need to acknowledge that I could be right. Odds are that you are right. But the odds of any player gaining success are low. My site is about picking out the 20% chance out of the pile of 19% chance guys.

I hope this clarifies!
September 16, 2013
Votes: -1

IceBreaker said:

IceBreaker
... I think Girgensons will end up being a top-6 power forward in the Lucic-light mold.
September 16, 2013
Votes: +0

mabus said:

mabus
... I think Frolik is your new Mueller/Frolov/O'Sullivan - the guy you seem to fail to notice that his actual offensive skill doesn't match his prospect hype. You are like the guy that holds onto his Salt n' Pepper t-shirt for a decade hoping it will eventually be back in style. It's time to move on.
September 16, 2013
Votes: +0

Pengwin7 said:

Pengwin7
WPG LWs? So... if Frolik is given a shot at LW1... where are E.Kane (LW) and Ladd (LW) going to be playing?
Is one shifting over... because I can't see either outside of the top 6?
Keep us updated!
September 16, 2013
Votes: +0

Puckhead said:

Puckhead
Bobby Ryan interviewing in Ottawa... You see this all the time in the southern states, and so called 'Non-traditional hockey markets' but c'mon Ottawa/Sens fans, how do you not recognize your new face of the franchise in a face to face on the street??? I get it if you don't know who your Prime Minister is, (you know the guy that runs the country, from down the street) but this is HOCKEY FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!

Puck
September 16, 2013
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
... I'm looking for the 6th and 24th person to Tweet the above Dobbernomics note and they can challenge me in my Dobbernomics league. It's 8:30am and four people have tweeted so far. Get tweeting! I guess that makes it the 2nd and 20th person to tweet the above gets in!
September 16, 2013
Votes: +0

UKflames said:

UKflames
Saad/Pirri Reading Hawks forums there are a lot fans wondering why the coach is trying to put Saad at centre, when he has never played centre, but leaving Pirri on the side lines. It seams that Pirri has an injury but Quenville was talking about this idea before camp started. Is this a case of trying to get Saad into the top 6 regardless,even if it is a bad fit or does he just not like Pirri??
September 16, 2013
Votes: +0
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