The Fantasy Guide can be picked up online (pdf) for $9.99 – it comes with an updated spreadsheet. Updates are all free, download as often as you’d like. Last Update was Sept. 22.

 

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A couple of quick updates from today.


Phil Kessel has been suspended for the rest of the preseason for his role in that brawl with the Buffalo Sabres. Fortunately for the Leafs and fantasy owners he won't miss any regular season action.


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Damien Brunner officially signed a two-year $5M deal with Devils Monday. Brunner was on a PTO during camp.


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So that ridiculous brawl between Toronto and Buffalo did a whole lot of nothing except hurt the Leafs in the early part of the season, and quite a few fantasy owners as well. David Clarkson has already received a 10-game ban for leaving the bench and it wouldn’t be shocking for Phil Kessel to get a suspension as well for his Happy Gilmore-esque stick swinging fest.

 

Nazem Kadri was apparently planning to hop over the boards as well, but Joffrey Lupul stopped him using a lost art in hockey, common sense.

 

Not only that, but you had Jonathan Bernier and Ryan Miller throwing bombs for good measure. Wouldn’t that have been a nice start to Bernier’s career in Toronto, when arguably your biggest offseason acquisition, who is a goalie, has to miss the first two months of the campaign because of a separated shoulder he suffered in a fight during a preseason game. Thankfully for Toronto that didn’t happen.

 

I understand John Scott was completely out of line for starting the shenanigans, but ultimately it’s going to be Toronto that suffers. There was no reason for Clarkson to leave the bench. They are likely going to be without two key contributors for nearly the first month of the season, and it could have been worse. Fantasy owners who drafted or are planning to draft either Clarkson or Kessel are going to get a raw deal as well.

 

Once again, there are way too many preseason games.

 

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Staying with the Leafs, they signed Mason Raymond to an official contract for the season on Monday. Raymond had a strong preseason and brings good speed as well as penalty killing ability to the Leafs forward group. He should slide into the third line, and that unit, along with Nikolai Kulemin and Dave Bolland, should have the makings of a formidable checking group. Raymond may even be able to help ignite Kulemin’s offense a bit as well.

 

The bad news with the Raymond signing comes at the expense of Joe Colborne and Carter Ashton. Colborne still has a shot to make the squad, but his minutes will be limited with Raymond around. Ashton will be in tough to find a roster spot at this point.

 

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Raffi Torres could miss extended time with an ACL injury, according to a report. Torres played well after being picked up late last season by the Sharks. In just 11 games with San Jose he picked up 38 hits and with the talent that forward group has, there was some potential for offensive upside in 2013-14. This could open the door for players like Tyler Kennedy and Tommy Wingels to receive increased minutes, at least in the early part of the season.

 

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Zack Kassian joined in the preseason stupidity and was suspended five games for hitting Sam Gagner in the face with his stick. Gagner will be out indefinitely with a broken jaw.

 

There are a couple of things to keep an eye on as it relates to this situation. The first would be with Kassian’s absence early in the season, look for the speedy Jannik Hansen to get some significant time with the second group and maybe even some power play opportunities.

 

As far as the Oilers are concerned, Taylor Hall could shift to center in place of Gagner, especially, especially if Ryan Nugent-Hopkins’ shoulder injury delays the start of his season in any way. This would then potentially allowfor a winger like Nail Yakupov or David Perron to slide up and get some top line minutes.

 

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Danny DeKeyser has a shot to make a decent impact for the Red Wings in 2013-14. Outside of Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson, Detroit’s blueline is thin and experienced. There is no reason why DeKeyser can’t make his way to the second pairing and get some power play time as well. He had a brief stint with the team last year and didn’t look out of place. If he plans to make that happen though, he will have to out-duel Brendan Smith and Jakub Kindl.

 

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I like Dobber’s point yesterday about the New Jersey forward situation. Damien Brunner and Jacob Josefson have a chance to do some big things in 2013-14 if the chips fall their way. Obviously with Ilya Kovalchuk and David Clarkson departing, there are opportunities for others to step up, but the fact that Jaromir Jagr and Ryan Clowe are already banged up means it is likely that the veterans will miss some time with injuries this season. Someone like Josefson has a chance to take advantage of these chances and earn more playing time.

 

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Here is a pretty gruesome photo of Gagner’s jaw.

 

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The Dallas Stars assigned Jack Campbell to the AHL, which means Dan Ellis will be the backup this season. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean he will stay there for the entire campaign. If there is an injury out there, Kari Lehtonen is sure to find it, and that might mean more starts for Ellis. If that’s the case Campbell could get a callup and a look at some point this year.

 

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Here’s a look at some of Campbell’s work. Sorry about the music.

 

 

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Mike Halford writes that Minnesota’s Mikko Koivu will be under some pressure in 2013-14. 

 

On the surface, Koivu had a solid 2013 campaign. He finished second on the team with 37 points and captained the Wild to their first postseason appearance in four years.

But dig a little deeper, and cracks start to show.

Koivu scored 33 of his 37 points in the first three months of the season, followed by a tough April-May stretch that saw his production dry up and Minnesota struggle.

 

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Dustin Brown skated for the first time Monday since injuring his hamstring early in training camp. Head coach Darryl Sutter thinks it’s “highly unlikely” Brown will be ready for the season opener.

 

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The Chicago Blackhawks have reportedly put Kyle Beach on waivers. Beach was a former first-round pick in 2008 and posted 16 goals and 204 PIM last year in Rockford, but Chicago’s forward group is tough to crack with all the depth at their disposal.

 

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


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Comments (11)add comment

bullwinkle said:

bullwinkle
Please explain the fine to Rolston. Talk about pandering to the Leaf crowd...the NHL inexplicably has fined Rolston for the fighting incident. But Rolston did nothing wrong. Scott was already on the ice from the previous play. Rolston simply left him there. It was Carlyle who put Kessel out there against him

So explain to me - exactly what did Rolston do wrong to get fined?
September 24, 2013
Votes: +0

Dakkster said:

Dakkster
... I wouldn't expect DeKeyser to get much, if any, powerplay time this year. He was brought in for his defensive skill, not his offense. The Wings have enough offense from the back-end. Last year he showed that he has what it takes defensively but he didn't do anything offensively. I'd be shocked if he got even 20 points this year.
September 24, 2013
Votes: +0

rataylor22 said:

rataylor22
... 10 games is the automatic suspension, and every NHL player knows about it
September 24, 2013
Votes: +0

Sheepdogged said:

Sheepdogged
Regarding Koivu We here in Minnesota believe that Mikko Koivu was playing with an injury. He was non-existant towards the end of the season and invisible against the Blackhawks. You could tell he wasn't himself. What the injury might have been is totally up in the air. I'm guessing a LBI or UBI. I know, right?

September 24, 2013
Votes: +1

Southpaw20 said:

Southpaw20
Clarkson It does suck that Clarkson get 10 games for it. Does anyone know if that is a standard suspension for a player hopping the bench? Seems a bit steep but rules are rules I guess. For me, I don't have as much problem with this as many. Granted I am a young "old school" hockey fan but still. You have a couple of new and high profile faces being entered into arguably the highest profile team in the league. There are some benefits that cannot be measured by statistics that will come from that brawl within the Leafs locker room. As much as many do not like to admit, or maybe they just do not realize, something like this can really bring a team closer and as crazy as it sounds can act as a team builder. Clarkson was no doubt looking for a chance to show that he was willing to stick up for a teammate and more specifically his All-Star teammate. I admit that this probably was not a great time to do it especially with a couple of other guys already dealing with the situation and also if he knew about the stiff 10 - game suspension that was likely to follow but you can't tell me that Kessel didn't recognize what Clarkson did and respect him for it.
Bernier's fight made me cringe a bit (did not see who the initiator was in that). Goalies typically do not have to fight in order to gain the respect of teammates but hey I'm sure the rest of the Leafs didn't have too much problem with it. Leaf culture also has a soft spot for guys willing to drop the mitts. Another new guy doing what he can to win over his teammates and fans.
I am sure there will be many who shoot this post down but as a Leaf fan, it really doesn't bother me that the brawl happened. Was it the most logical thing in the world? No, but it is nice to see that some players aren't going to take the bullshit.
September 24, 2013
Votes: +1

agentzero said:

agentzero
John Scott is an idiot.. The guy has 1 career goal in like 180 games. 6 goals in minor/junior leagues in hundreds of games.. Why is a stump like this in the NHL..?

Get these goons out of here. Why would he try and fight Kessel?... Had he got his way, he would have had 2, 5, 10 and a game had he tried to punch Kessel... In preseason, come on...?... Also I don't know how blaming Carlyle for having Kessel on the ice makes any sense... Kessel is out there to play hockey. I'm not exactly sure what Scott is out there to do, 'cause it ain't to play hockey... His playing history suggests he doesn't really know how to do that..
September 24, 2013
Votes: +0

donpaulo said:

donpaulo
... I also drafted Clarkson right before he jumped on the ice. Lucky for me I went for extra wingers the guide didn't hurt none neither
September 24, 2013
Votes: +0

kidd said:

kidd
... coming off the bench to protect kessel is nothing to admire in this case.
first i'd love to know what kessel said, cuz it sure looked like he said something to trigger scott AND kessel let go of his stick and reached for scott first.
secondly, TWO other leaf skaters on the ice grabbed scott and tackled him to the ice (while kessel cheap shotted a two-handed slash to the leg)
so 10 games for not having the patience to see the on-ice skaters protected your star player instantly...
September 24, 2013
Votes: +1

rataylor22 said:

rataylor22
... I don't admire Clarkson at all. The threat to Kessel was neutralized before he even got off the bench. He wasn't defending his teammate, he was just being an idiot
September 24, 2013
Votes: +2

pull the goalie said:

pull the goalie
... Great. I picked Clarkson the same night this happened.
September 23, 2013
Votes: +1

Isle B. said:

Isle B.
... That 10-game suspension is costly for Clarkson and the Leafs but you have to admire the willingness to protect Kessel. You can't have the John Scotts of the league throwing punches at your star player, in September no less, without doing something drastic to ensure that no one else tries to pull that again.
September 23, 2013
Votes: -2
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