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 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.


I offered a guy in my league Cody Eakin and a second rounder for Mike Ribeiro. Apparently, fantasy is not the same as reality, so the deal didn’t fly. (tongue-in-cheek)


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.  


Thanks to everyone who jumped in on our live NHL Entry Draft chat (part one here, part two here). We’ll have another chat on Sunday – free agent frenzy! Six days…


Oilers make the first selection…:



Here’s the guy who was ranked No.2 just a few months ago…:



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Comments (9)add comment

Bender said:

#1 Center I guess my point is when everyone says that Burke needs to "go out and get a #1 center", that's not automatically the answer. And to say that he needs to do it when maybe there are only a handful in the league means that you are trying to acquire the type of player that everyone wants/needs and can never get enough of (Pittsburgh). I cheer for Calgary and they have been saying the same thing for years that "Iginla needs a #1 center to play with", but doesn't that really mean that Calgary is just not good enough? Maybe the bigger problem in TO is bad goaltending, team defense, and a solid system. We see examples every year where teams that are built like that actually have playoff success, such as New Jersey, Phoenix, and Nashville.
June 25, 2012
Votes: +0

BlackGold said:

#1 Center I don't know Bender, your argument sort of defeats itself.

Of all those #1 Centers you just listed, how many of the last post lockout Stanley Cup Champions had so called #1 centers (or ones that a case could be made for)?
LA - Kopitar, M.Richards
BOS - Krejci
CHI - Toews
PIT - Crosby, Malkin
DET - Datsuyk, Zetterberg
ANA - Getzlaf, McDonald (78pt season)
CAR - Staal, Brindamour (70pt season)

Sure the #1 center may not be the end all be all of winning a cup, but it sure looks like your odds are MUCH MUCH higher with one (or two) than without.
June 25, 2012
Votes: +0

Knuckles said:

10th rounder
Luongo Tweeted by Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Post-Dispatch.

"Told by very good source #Canucks G Roberto Luongo has -- to this point -- declined to waive no-trade clause to go to #Blackhawks or #Leafs," Portzline tweeted Monday. "Luongo using the power of his no-trade to 'steer' a trade to #Panthers as much as possible at this point in off-season."
June 25, 2012
Votes: +0

Bender said:

#1 Center I think that this whole concept of the #1 center being so important is flawed. Isn't the most important thing you need from your 1st line is production? Whether that comes from your C, LW, or RW positions is irrelevant. This year, NJ made it to the final with Zajac as their #1 center. Is he considered a legitimate #1 center? For arguments sake, there are probably 16 legitimate #1 centers in the league, in no particular order: Crosby, Malkin, Stamkos, Backstrom, H Sedin, E Staal, Getzlaf, Kopitar, Thornton, Spezza, B Richards, Tavaras, Giroux (is he center?), Toews, Datsyuk, Zetterberg. Now this list may vary depending on opinion and some players change position. The case can be made for a number of other players, such as M Richards, Carter, Krecji, Kesler, Lecavalier, Benn (if he's playing center). There are 14 teams represented with this list, meaning 16 teams in the league need a legitimate #1 center. But there are very good teams who do not have a name on this list, such as New Jersey, Phoenix, and St. Louis, and there are teams represented on this list that did not make the playoffs, like NYI, Carolina, Tampa Bay, and Anaheim.

Because of this, in my opinion the #1 center argument is too overplayed. Of course, all 30 teams would love to have one of these guys on their roster, and some have the benefit of having 2, but it does not solve all your problems. And if you don't have one of those 16, then how do you acquire one? Of the 16, 14 were drafted by their current team, Thornton was traded in arguably a stupid trade, and B Richards was signed as a free agent. I don't like the Maple Leafs, but I think Burke is doing a decent job and with Luongo they will likely be a playoff team.
June 25, 2012
Votes: +0

MGW said:

TO Say what? Bozak's not a legitimate number 1 centre?
Need more than a goalie IMO too
June 25, 2012
Votes: +0

GoHabsGo said:

Read I totally I agree you about Matt Read. Great player and he will keep it up next year.
June 25, 2012
Votes: +0

fzusher said:

Schultz heading to TO Schultz is heading to TO to meet with his agents at Newport, whose HQ is in Toronto. As per TSN or NHL Network at the draft (can't remember if I heard it on the first or second day) he will spend today and tomorrow with them face to face analyzing depth charts and team situations and looking at the offers they get. Then he takes a few days to mull it over and make a decision.

There's not going to be much negotiating needed there because he is still under the CBA which sets term limits and caps on salary and bonuses. It's pretty obvious any team that wants him will have to give him the max on term, salary, and bonuses. The decision will be based on team, depth chart, opportunity to play, opportunity to win, etc.
June 25, 2012
Votes: +4

donpaulo said:

... not sure I buy the TML 'got over' on the flyers, but I will buy that JVR has more upside than Schenn does. Then again Philly had to address their backline and they also managed to reduce their cap hit while at the same time trade a very potential band aid boy to Burke. Lets hope JVR suits up for all 82.

But I suppose the offseason is a golden time when every team's fans believe they have a shot at the cup so why spoil the parade in Toronto.
June 25, 2012
Votes: +0

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... so they get Schultz and all they need is a goalie? they don't need a #1 centre, they're fine with that they got!
June 25, 2012
Votes: +0
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