Reports out of Winnipeg indicate that Evander Kane is looking for a long-term contract in the mold of John Tavares (six years, $33 million). The two sides are talking, so expect a deal to be done. Holdouts seem so rare these days – other than Drew Doughty, can you think of one since 2008? Before that it seemed like two or three holdouts per year. Maybe it’s just me.
A Washington insider looks at why Mike Green will never get 70 points in a season again. His key reason – reduction, league-wide, in power-play opportunities is a sound one. That being said, if he puts his injuries behind him, I think he can. But to me, that’s the real reason he won’t – injuries. PP opportunities trend up and down every few years, I’m sure they’ll be up again by 2016. But his injuries are a serious concern. Let’s hope that the sports hernia surgery has fixed it once and for all.
Nick Tarnasky will attempt to return to the NHL – Buffalo has signed him, further bolstering what is becoming a tough lineup. I expect Tarnasky will be in the AHL, but still – he’s a depth option. Sandpaper/ hustle/ toughness as follows: Tarnasky, Steve Ott, John Scott to go with Marcus Foligno, Patrick Kaleta and Cody McCormick. Size on the back end – Brayden McNabb, Tyler Myers, Adam Pardy are each 6-4 or taller, while Robyn Regehr is 6-3. This is a different team than it was for the first few years after the lockout.
The Sabres also re-signed TJ Brennan to a two-way deal. He won’t make the team this year, but should in 2013-14.
Here’s a good piece from Puck Daddy targeting Thanksgiving as the end of the lockout. Wyshynski reasons that NBC’s season debut game, as well as HBO’s need to start filming 24/7, as reasons for pressuring the owners to end the lockout. I tend to agree. I don’t think the season starts on time and have always said it would be delayed a few weeks. This theory has the delay pegged at six weeks. Makes sense. I don’t think the season gets wiped out.
The Kings have signed Thomas Hickey, Stefan Legein, David Meckler and Jake Muzzin to two-way deals. Prospect Justin Azevedo will play next season in Europe. I remember when Azevedo had 124 points for Kitchener of the OHL in 2008 on a pretty dominant line with Matt Halischuk and Nick Spaling. The second line was Mikkel Boedker and Nazem Kadri. Other players on that dominant Peter DeBoer-coached roster included Yannick Weber, Mike Duco, Brandon Mashinter, Robert Bortuzzo, Jason Akeson and Steve Mason. Azevedo was drafted that year after being bypassed his first year – a perfect example of older draftees coming off huge junior seasons falling short of the NHL dream. It happens far more often than not.
Working on the Fantasy Guide, going over the Blackhawks. With this team, I am astounded by the number of permutations and combinations when it comes to the second line. Aside from Sharp, Toews, Kane and Hossa – you have Bolland, Stalberg, Frolik, Shaw, Hayes, Pirri, Saad, Bickell each possible fits. And you can even throw Rusty Olesz’s hat into the mix too. Stop laughing – if the Blackhawks trade Michael Frolik, and Shaw and Stalberg get hurt, Olesz will stick with the big club. And last year he stayed relatively healthy and he found his confidence at the AHL level. Just dozens of possibilities here, with every one of those players possibly breaking out…or falling flat on their face.
Frolik, by the way, saw 11 minutes of power play time. For the season. Seriously. Wasting him. He needs to be traded to save his career.
Evander Kane style…