Don't forget to check the DobberBaseball daily ramblings out.
Surgeons have been busy. Flyers-related operations:
Wayne Simmonds (broken finger)
Matt Carle (torn stomach muscle)
Claude Giroux (both wrists, bone spurs and cartilage tear on the other)
Kimmo Timonen (low back disk fragment, 8-10 weeks)
James van Riemsdyk (torn hip muscle, 6 weeks)
Sounds like Henrik Tallinder could be back before the series ends. He has been out for four months with a blood clot in his left leg.
The New York Mets all rocked hockey jerseys as a part of their road trip to Toronto. My favorite has to be Jason Bay in a Whalers jersey. Check 'em out here.
“Zach likes Torts a lot,” J.P. said. “Zach knows how to work, he doesn’t shy away from the discipline part of it. He’d fit right in there.”
Zach, as you may know, currently plays for the New Jersey Devils.
The Memorial Cup kicked off yesterday. Tons of players to get a good look at in this tourney (as usual), including:
• Charlie Coyle, a top prospect in hockey.
• Tomas Jurco, arguably Detroit’s most impressive forward prospect.
• Stanislav Galiev, a future top six forward for the Caps.
• Zack Phillips, who could be a solid second line center for the Wild soon.
• Nathan Beaulieu – the best defenseman in the tournament.
• Jonathan Huberdeau – future superstar for Florida
• Kirill Kabanov – he made my top 50 prospects list (barely). Seems to be a victim of a bad attitude that he has overcome. I am really interested to see how he does.
• Michael Bournival – skilled Montreal prospect, one of the top forwards for the team
• Brandon Gormley – should be in the NHL next year, steady defenseman
• Michael Houser – the best goalie in the CHL, and still undrafted.
• Olli Maatta – 2012 eligible PP QB on the back end
• Max Domi – son of you-know-who, plays more of an offensive game (to say the least)
• Mark Pysyk – Buffalo top pick, stud defenseman
• Griffin Reinhart – 2012 eligible defensive horse
• Henrik Samuelsson – son of Ulf, hits like his dad (but plays forward)
Troy Brouwer was a fantastic pickup for the Capitals, although his production left room for improvement. Brouwer led the Caps and was ninth in the league with 247 hits.
Advanced stats don’t paint as nice a picture – Brouwer was on the ice for more even strength goals against than any other forward on the roster (per 60 minutes).
Brouwer had only seven of his 33 points in the final three months of the season. At times he was an effective top six forward, at other times he was more suited to an energy third line role. Whatever you think of Brouwer, he is a solid depth forward on any contending NHL team.
It will be interesting to see how the Caps players react to a new coach. Brouwer didn’t thrive under Dale Hunter – something only Jay Beagle and Matt Hendricks (and Braden Holtby, I suppose) could say.
Some thoughts on Alex Radulov, from Weber and Rinne:
“I don’t really know what to say about it because I was one of the guys that stood up for him and wanted him back,” he said. “There were a bunch of us that played with him that felt the same way.
“You feel a little bit betrayed, but I am sure he feels bad about it now and he looks back on it and wishes it didn’t happen.
Those are the things you can’t take back and we’ve got to move forward.”
"I don't have bad things to say about Radulov as a person. It's actually the opposite, I like him as a person. He's a big and colorful character."
The Avs inked Milan Hejduk to a one-year contract extension through 2012-13.
If I am an NHL team looking for a backup with some potential, I take a shot on Cedric Desjardins this summer (provided Colorado doesn’t re-sign him). He has consistently been a top goalie in the AHL over the past few seasons.
Some thoughts on Ottawa’s lines for next season:
Michalek and Spezza together. Alfredsson with Foligno and Turris. Smith, Greening and Neil on a checking line.
Regin is an interesting case – he signed a one-year, one-way deal. A wonky shoulder has cost him a lot of playing time – he was once one of my top breakout candidates.
Speaking of Alfredsson – has he played his last competitive game? Let’s hope not.
“The loss was so disappointing that the 39-year-old captain of Sweden was thinking he had come to the end of his career.
In an interview immediately after the game with Swedish radio, he suggested he could have played his last competitive game.
“I do not know if the power is still there,” he said. “I think we all feel a cruel disappointment.
“I felt that this team had the capacity to go all the way."
Working on a piece on the Dallas Stars. Now would be an exciting time to be a Stars fan – a solid core in place, a ton of cap space, and a new owner passionate about building a long term winner. Some interesting numbers:
Dallas was 12th in league attendance in 2007-08, the last year they made the postseason. They slipped all the way to 30th this season.
The team scored 33 PP goals in 2011-12, a record low for the organization. James Neal scored 18 himself for Pittsburgh.
The jury is still out on the Neal trade – would have have scored 40 in Dallas, without Malkin? And without Brad Richards, for that matter?
Alex Goligoski is a core player to build around, but to date the Penguins have gotten more from the trade than the Stars have.
After a very good 2010-11 season, Jason Demers disappointed in 2011-12. Do the Sharks bring him back? What kind of role will he play? It would make little sense to move him – he has a cap friendly deal at $1.25 million.
Demers is a victim of the sky-high expectations he created for himself with his excellent play in 2010-11. He wasn't able to repeat that kind of success and was probably the Sharks' worst defenseman through the first half of the year, somehow making White and Vandermeer look like superior options. After being paired with Braun on a consistent basis, Demers definitely turned things around and actually posted the best scoring chance ratio among Sharks defensemen in the playoffs (although he was scratched for a game) but never at any point re-established himself as the legitimate second-pairing anchor he showed flashes of the season before. He'll have a chance to prove he's still that player next season although if he starts the year on the second pairing alongside Burns the Sharks will not have had a very successful summer.