Tragic Breaking News: A plane has crashed in Russia carrying the KHL team Lokomotiv - of the 37 passengers, there are three survivors. Further details are not yet known, but among the former NHLers and prospects on that team: Pavol Demitra, Karel Rachunek, Karlis Skrastins, Ruslan Salei, Josef Vasicek, Alexander Vasyunov. Chesnokov updates that the entire team was indeed on the plane, as well as four players from the youth team. Other members include Stefan Liv, Jan Marek, Daniil Sobchenko (SJ just drafted), and their head coach former defenseman Brad McCrimmon. Former NHLer Igor Korolev is among the assistant coaches for Lokomotiv. Player Alexander Galimov was a survivor of the crash. Update: Galimov has succumbed to his injuries. I am hearing that Ramzi Abid, a highly-touted prospect whose road to stardom was derailed by too many injuries, was on the roster. As well - former NHLer Alexander Karpovtsev is reportedly an assistant coach. Far too soon to get an accurate story, and frankly I'm a little numb. Update: According to this, Ruslan Salei was unfortunately on this plane. Former NHLer Alexander Karpovtsev was also on the plane. Ramzi Abid was not on the plane, from what I can gather.
I have yet to do a single thing on the iPhone app. Just having trouble focusing on that right now, so it will be later in the day, or tomorrow.
I'm stunned, and again I find myself speechless. You try not to ever wonder if a nightmare of an entire team being killed all at once could ever happen.
We had the Expert’s Tier draft last night, for the DobberHockey Three-Tiered Invitational. I drafted 13th. You can see the entire draft via the chat box on the home page. I think, because I’m in five leagues and haven’t done so well the last two years (sixth last year, I think ninth the year before) I was drafting not to lose. That’s unlike me, I’m losing all my dice-rolling. Towards the end of the draft I started rolling dice, but too late to win this thing. In a 15-team roto league, I should come close to winning all three goalie categories, as I took Bryzgalov and Fleury with my first two picks. Towards the end of the draft I took Edmonton’s two goaltenders. I also nailed penalty minutes with Chara, Bieksa, Hartnell, Briere (underrated in this category), Hamonic, Horton and a late pick Peckham (first among d-men last year). I think plus/minus should also be Top 4 thanks to the above Boston, Vancouver and Philly players. So five out of nine categories and I could win all five – at least Top 5 in each of those five. I’m also very happy with my flexibility, which is of underrated importance. Briere is C/RW, Mueller is C/LW and Skinner is C and should be W at some point. Eric Fehr was a nice bench pickup, as I can put him on IR (flexibility) and the fact that I got both EDM goalies allows me to watch that situation. Flexibility.
Where I lack is goals, assists, shots and power-play points.
So I tried to fix this in the second half of the draft, but really all I can hope for is Top 10 in those four categories. Purcell, Mueller, Wideman, MacArthur, Ray Whitney were all 10-16 round picks for me. Paajarvi, Gerbe, Dalpe and Niederreiter were 18-21 round. Rolling the dice. Give me one 25-goal, 20 PPP guy there and it will help. Sekera and Barker at 22 and 25 were big gambles as well. I guess if you’re going to gamble, that’s when you have to do it. But to have any hope of winning I need some offense – Briere 80, Mueller 55, Purcell 60, Whitney 55, MacArthur another 60, one of those four kids getting me 55, Skinner 65 – if those things happen, I have a prayer. All in all, not thrilled. Stiff competition. I know I’m safe from the bottom half, I’m just down on my odds of winning it.
C – Briere (RW), Skinner, Mueller (LW), Gerbe, Dalpe.
LW – Hartnell, MacArthur, Whitney, Paajarvi
RW – Horton, Franzen, Purcell, Niederreiter, Fehr
D – Chara, Bieksa, Wideman, Hamonic, Peckham, Sekera, Barker
G – Bryzgalov, Fleury, Dubnyk, Khabibulin
Center is obviously weakest, but if I were to choose a position to be weak in, that would be it. Easy waiver-wire fix. Just nothing high end.
So Crosby’s press conference is today at 12:30. I’m sure he will say that he is “progressing”, but the “symptoms are there” and that he “won’t play until he is 100%” and that “there is no timeline”, but he will definitely miss all of training camp and probably the first couple of weeks of the season. My guess. What’s yours?
Crosby’s pending decision had me take Chara over Letang. It also had me taking MacArthur over Kunitz and Paajarvi over Sullivan. The first two I “may” have gone with those players anyway. But I definitely made the MPS over Sully decision because I expect Crosby to miss at least a couple of weeks, with the potential for more. Just like that, Letang drops a few points, and so does Sullivan. And when players are pretty equal at certain times in the draft…”a few points” means a lot.
I just traded Derek Stepan, as I wrote this. I didn’t want to trade Derek Stepan, but getting two first round picks and two second round picks – had to. Just last year I drafted him 10th. And that pick this year is 13th. The other first round pick is for next year – and it’s my own. So I got my own back, which puts my fate back into my own hands.
Peter Mueller highlights. Pardon the dumb music. I don't know why the YouTubers feel the need to insert crap music - or any music - into perfectly good clips: