Seems like it is going to be a slow news day today. Three questions - post your answers below!
1 Where does Rick Nash get traded to?
2 Who is the starting goaltender for the Panthers next season?
3 Over/under - a cap hit of $8 million for Zach Parise?
Wisconson coach Mike Eaves believes that Ryan Suter will sign somewhere in the American Midwest. He coached Suter during his time with the Badgers.
The Sabres signed Joel Armia to an ELC. He's not likely to come over from Finland until 2013, when his mandatory military responsibilites are completed.
Breathe easy, Sens fans. Contract talks between Erik Karlsson and the team have started, and they are going well. I have no idea of term or amount… so much uncertainty with the lack of a new CBA. I’d guess something around $6 million for five or six years? What are your guesses?
According to Andy Strickland, Sheldon Souray has rejected a one-year, $3 million offer from the Dallas Stars. Interesting move by Souray. Dallas was a great fit for him and they took a risk signing him last summer ($1.65 million for one year).
I’d imagine Souray wants a long term deal, or at least longer than one year. His offensive game was good at times but he really faded down the stretch (as did many of the Dallas veterans).
In 42 games before the All-Star Break, Souray had 17 points. In 22 games after, he had only four.
Sticking with Strickland – he says that from what he has heard, Justin Schultz is going to sign with a Canadian team. I’d say Edmonton, Toronto, and Vancouver would all be considered favorites.
Toronto has his buddy Jake Gardiner, Edmonton has the best opportunity to play, and Vancouver the best opportunity to win now. I took a look at the pros and cons of each situation for Schultz.
Swiss sensation Damien Brunner has decided not to sign a contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Brunner led Zug of the Swiss league in scoring with 60 points in 45 games in 2011-12.
The Blackhawks have waived goaltender Alexander Salak. Is there a team out there that takes a gamble in the 25-year-old?
Salak struggled in the AHL, going 6-10 with a .903 save percentage and a 2.69 goals-against-average. He has been passed over on the depth chart by Carter Hutton.
He has one year left on his contract ($1.25 million).
The downside of the AHL – the folks in Norfolk had a great team to cheer for, but the Lightning are relocating their affiliate to Syracuse for next season. It must be tough being an AHL fan. The hockey is good, but teams/players/coaches can change on a whim.
“Geographically, it makes sense. While Norfolk is closer to Tampa Bay than Syracuse is, it's also farther away from the AHL's cities in the Northeast. So in typical AHL fashion, the Crunch's former parent team — the Anaheim Ducks — are expected to be the Norfolk Admirals feeder. So long Jon Cooper; hello Trent Yawney, who coached the Admirals from 2000-05.”
“In 15 games (four assists, +1), Cizikas was certainly used in a defensive role, getting a Frans Nielsen-level low percentage of offensive zone starts. It's a small sample, but obviously he won't be deployed as an offensive force: The sooner he exhibits his two-way abilities at the NHL level, the better for the Islanders.”
If Cizikas is ready to handle tough minutes, it could free up Nielsen for more offensive opportunities.
A look at Mike Gillis and how the Canucks have drafted under his leadership – regarding player age:
“The Canucks under Mike Gillis, however, have generally shirked this approach and while they've drafted two 17 year olds in the past four years (Sawyer Hannay, who the team recently allowed to re-enter the draft, and last years third rounder David Honzik) their average draft age is exceedingly high relative to other NHL clubs. That average age gets even higher in the later rounds (6th and 7th) where the average Canucks pick is well over 19 years of age. Last years seventh rounder - Frolunda defenseman Henrik Tommernes - was literally days away from turning 21 when they selected him. When I first saw the pick, and saw that he was a 1990 birthday (in contrast to most Canucks picks that year, who were born in 1993) I had to double check to make sure Tommernes was even draft eligible."
According to David Poile, Ryan Suter is going to test the open market. This doesn’t completely write off the Predators, as Suter has earned the right to listen to other teams out there. I wouldn’t expect his rights to be dealt, either. I think he wants to see what the open market is like.
Nathan Horton is close to being cleared for contact. Great news for the Bruins – the big winger has started exercising and it sounds like he is on track to be ready for training camp and this coming season.
Cam Charron from Backhand Shelf tells us why drafting forwards over defensemen is an advisable draft strategy (NHL draft, not in your fantasy pool).
“Offence is offence no matter where you go, but so much about the way junior teams use their defensive players means you don’t quite know what you’re getting. Some guys work better in certain roles, but with a limit of spots on NHL teams, there’s less room for error or for these players. The defenceman I’m the most familiar with who will go in the first round, Pouliot, was deployed in a primarily offensive role with partner Joe Morrow (another first rounder), while the tough minutes were given to more veteran, bigger, stronger guys on the Portland Winterhawks team.
Why? Because Pouliot, like a lot of good offensive defencemen, is an absolute nightmare in his own end and the Winterhawks, moreso than trying to develop him as an overall defenceman, would rather hide his defensive misgivings by putting him out in as many favourable situations.”
According to the Columbus Dispatch, up to seven teams have expressed interest in Rick Nash over the past 10 days (they are saying the interest from these teams is significant). Some guesses from that same column – Rangers, Leafs, Flyers, Sharks, and Hurricanes.
Which team could use Nash the most? Where would be fit best? Who could give the Jackets a good return?
Taking those questions into mind… the Hurricanes begin to emerge. They have cap space, a real need for a top line winger, Eric Staal to play with Nash, and some good young parts they could package up for Nash (Zac Dalpe, Jamie McBain, and so on, although I’m not sure they have any high end guys they would be willing or able to move).
James van Riemsdyk won’t need surgery and will be 100% for training camp. The only question is, which training camp will he be attending?
The Flyers could put a great package together for Nash, but would Nash put them over the edge? Columbus and Philadelphia are familiar with trading with each other, and that level of familiarity may help the Flyers out.
“As they currently stand, with a full roster including Wellwood, Rinaldo, Shelley, Harry Z, Bourdon, Gustafsson and Pronger on a 24-man roster (of course Pronger would be on Long-Term Injured Reserve, resulting in a 23-man roster), they would have $8.058 million in cap space. And this is without utilizing a penny of the $4.921 million they could use to replace Pronger’s salary. That would result in potentially $12.98 million of available space.”
Sharks fans really, really like Joe Pavelski, and for good reason. He has developed into a great two-way player. Doug Wilson would be making a mistake by moving him this summer.
“None of the eight forwards ranked ahead of Pavelski have even started half of their 5v5 shifts in defensive zone, compared to Pavelski's 52.4% d-zone start rate and none of them have faced the quality of competition Pavelski has, measured via Corsi Rel QoC. In fact, no one on this leaderboard has faced both a tougher quality of competition and started a greater percentage of their shifts in their own end of the rink than Pavelski. He's been one of the most dominant two-way players in the league over the past four seasons and it's about time he receives some recognition for that.”
Perused the DobberHockey message boards for a few questions – here are my answers.
The person who asked this question is in an eight team league. My first thought was no. Buying high on Dustin Brown, especially in a league that doesn’t count hits. Sounds like his counterpart is doing his best to sell high on both Brown and Suter. Quality over quantity.
Another thing – these trades are tough to evaluate without knowing the other players. If you trade three players for one, you have to pick two up or promote two from your bench. If your fantasy team has depth than these trades usually work out even better in your favor.
Tough call here. Staal is more proven and the potential of playing with Rick Nash is exciting. However, Benn put up really good numbers on a pretty mediocre team last year all while playing a brand new position (center). I think he moves back to wing for next season. I think I would take Benn, especially with his likely C/LW status.
Ryan McDonagh or Dougie Hamilton (no hits or blocked shots)?
I really like McDonagh as a player – he was one of the best defensemen in the entire league last season. However, Hamilton has more offensive upside and I’d take him in all pool formats (even with him being an unproven prospect).
An interesting behind-the-scenes look at Ottawa’s amateur scouting meeting leading up to the draft (only a week away now).
Jonathan Quick on meeting David Beckman (a few beers deep…):
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