Breaking news - the Jets have signed Ondrej Pavelec to a five-year contract extension. So it looks like he's the starter and the Monster is the backup in the season ahead, assuming they sign Gustavsson, which they should be able to fairly easily.
And here's my Puck Daddy column on the fantasy impact of recent trades...
My Hockey News column on the fantasy hockey impact of the draftees can be found here.
Angus here - check out my latest column on Zack Kassian. An interesting case study in overcoming adversity and dealing with high expectations.
"Petes assistant GM Aaron Garfat got an up close look at Lucic at the 2006 Memorial Cup in Moncton (Lucic’s Vancouver team defeated Peterborough twice). That was Lucic’s rookie season in the WHL. Garfat saw a lot more of Kassian, who played almost three years in Peterborough.
“I got to see Lucic play as a junior. Zack may have been more powerful physically. I think it’s a pretty fair comparison. There both big, there both physical. They also have offensive tools.”
I’m reminded of my State of the Toronto Maple Leafs piece. After hearing a lot of Leaf fans bemoan Brian Burke, or on radio call-shows asking things such as “is anyone buying what he’s selling?”, it’s nice to see Burke pull off a couple of swindles. Not a lot of GM’s could have pulled off acquiring James van Riemsdyk straight up for Luke Schenn. I think highly of Schenn, but I also think highly of JVR and felt that he should have commanded more. And then to get a conditional draft pick, no matter how low, for a goalie who I didn’t even think would get an NHL contract this summer – genius. The Leafs are also frontrunners in the Justin Schultz race. Lock him down, and the team just needs a goalie.
Today, Justin Schultz officially becomes a free agent. He's on his way to Toronto. Seriously. Not to sign, but to meet with Burke, one would think.
An idea I floated on Friday on Twitter apparently came into being at the draft. According to this tweet, the Oilers did offer Magnus Paajarvi and Sam Gagner for Keith Yandle. Hardcore fans of Phoenix roared that it wasn’t enough… and apparently they were right, since the deal wasn’t done. But going by this follow-up tweet, it was the best offer to date.
Don’t forget to visit DobberProspects.com and take a look at the weekend’s draftees – many of the player profiles in there have been updated.
Some topsy-turvy stuff at DobberBaseball, in terms of sporadic content. But I’ve taken over that site myself as manager, until the right guy can be found. So far, I’ve nailed down a schedule that brings fresh content in the forum of a column every day, reliable rankings for the 20th (pitching), 1st (batting), and 10th (prospects). And for now, DobberFootball manager David Cushard is doing some baseball ramblings – the guy is a multi-fantasy-sport guru, you should see the stuff he’s been throwing down. I’m pushing my sites over the top if it kills me – and it all starts with good people.
Out later today – I analyze some of the draft picks from a fantasy standpoint (The Hockey News), and I analyze the fantasy impact of the draft weekend trades (Puck Daddy). So watch for those.
NHL All-Rookie Team:
Gardiner – Faulk
It’s a shame that Matt Read couldn’t somehow get in there. The guy played like a veteran, and although he’s in the high-risk age group for a sophomore slump (more likely to happen to 21+ versus
Who plays for 20 years and is named an All-Star for the first time? Kudos to Ray Whitney for snagging Second-Team honors.
Bryan McCabe is back with the Panthers – with a position in player development.
Late round steal of the draft – Nikita Gusev by the Lightning. Granted, his odds of making it in the NHL are slim, but if he gets there it will be as a star. Boom or bust. And the Lightning “wasted” their 202nd pick on him. That’s what those picks are for.
Rhett Rakhshani saw the writing on the wall and opted to ply his trade in Sweden next year. I know he’s entering his prime earning years, but I would have given it another year. He had 113 points in 120 AHL games, and he played seven NHL games (five last year, two the year before). His game was coming along and would have penciled him in for 20 or 25 NHL games.
Oilers make the first selection…:
Here’s the guy who was ranked No.2 just a few months ago…: