Started my work on the DobberHockey Fantasy Guide - lots of new stuff this year (not to sound like EA Sports regarding NHL, but I think this year has the most radical and innovative additions yet).


Three posts to read from me today:


The Underutilization of Mike Green - I will re-post this at DobberHockey over the weekend.


The future Legion of Doom in Vancouver? I take a look at a potentially large and skilled line the Canucks could ice in a few years.


I am starting a weekly CBA column with Mike Colligan - our first post - debating revenue sharing. 


Weber details - 14 years, $110 million offer sheet.


Apparently the Preds had been negotiating with a few teams on a trade for Weber's rights, but the Flyers grew tired of waiting.


Weber's cap hit on this deal would be $7.8 million, and the contract would take him to the age of 40. Apparently the deal would be very frontloaded (up to $26 million paid out in the first calendar year).


With all of that being said... can the Preds really not match this?


The Flyers would give up four 1st round draft picks to Nashville - likely all low picks (as the Flyers will probably be a good team for at least the next four years).


Maybe this is Weber's way of saying to Nashville - "if you want to keep me, this is what it is going to cost." The cap hit is quite reasonable for one of the best defensemen in the league - the contract term, however, is not.


If the Preds match and keep Weber, they won't be able to trade him for a calendar year. However, they could move him next summer, and likely for a lot more than four late 1st round picks.


My latest for the Hockey Writers – a profile of Max Pacioretty. His rapid development in the past two years has to excite Habs fans a lot.


“March 8th, 2011 could have defined Pacioretty’s career as a hockey player. It could have ended his life. Whatever you want to believe, it is impossible to argue that he isn’t a stronger player – and a person – for it.”

Devils top prospect Jon Merrill hasn’t indicated if he is going to turn pro or return to Michigan for another year.


Merrill has top pairing upside, but he is still a bit raw. I think the Devils would like him to turn pro and spend a year at the AHL level.


The Red Wings signed Kyle Quincey to a two-year extension. A cap hit of $3.55 million is very reasonable for a solid second pairing defenseman.


Quincey will be a huge part of Detroit’s rebuilt defense next year. He struggled after being traded to Detroit, but settled down as the season went on. He’s not a Lidstrom, or a Suter (or even close), but he is a solid second pairing guy who can play on the PK and PP.


We never did a fantasy analysis for Nick Lidstrom retiring, and I’d imagine most people would be on the same page – an across the board drop for all Detroit players (save potentially for Brendan Smith). Ian White benefitted from playing alongside Lidstrom – Tomas Holmstrom and the other forwards benefitted from playing in front of him, and Jimmy Howard benefitted from playing behind him.


Elliotte Friedman’s final 30 thoughts of the year is right here. My thoughts:


On Edmonton’s new coach:


“He explained that he liked Jordan Eberle with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Sam Gagner with Ales Hemsky. That not only allows him to move Hall around the lineup, but also rotate others depending on the situation -- Ryan Smyth, Ryan Jones, Ben Eager and potentially even Shawn Horcoff on the wing. I'm really curious to see this. This stuff fascinates me.”

Lots of teams like the “pairs” scenario with a rotating winger. Interesting idea.


Let's look at some player situations. First, Roberto Luongo. It's not exactly a state secret that he wants to go to Florida and in a perfect world, the Canucks would send him there. There's a bit of a stalemate now, as the Panthers feel Vancouver is asking too much and the Canucks feel Florida is squeezing too hard. One of the issues is prospects. Florida, which has done a great job stocking the system, is understandably unwilling to move Jacob Markstrom, Erik Gudbranson or Jonathan Huberdeau. An educated guess is that Vancouver has inquired about the "next level" of talented youth, like a Nick Bjugstad or Quinton Howden. Don't think Florida likes that, either. So, between that and the fact the Canucks don't want to take bad salary in return, things aren't really moving at this time.”

I believe Florida has an offer on the table that the Canucks have rejected, and things are sitting there. Vancouver really likes Bjugstad, but I don’t think they’d be able to land him. They also really like Kris Versteeg, who is an RFA without a contract. It will be interesting to see how this progresses – neither side appears to be in much of a rush to make a trade.


Rick Nash: MLive's Ansar Khan reported Tuesday night that Detroit made a run at the Columbus captain, speculating that Johan Franzen and/or Valtteri Filppula would be the centrepiece. For what it's worth, I'd heard the latter but not the former (although Khan is much closer to it than I am). Scott Howson's getting critiqued for his stubbornness, but what if the trade proves that to be the right play?”

Not really sure why the Jackets would have interest in Franzen. He’s got a few years left, at most. Filppula as a centerpiece makes more sense. I wonder what prospects the Wings were dangling Columbus’s way?

THN’s Rory Boylen doesn’t think Steve Yzerman deserves a lot of the credit he is getting in Tampa Bay. Your thoughts?


“I’m tired of hearing about how great the management and coaching is in Tampa Bay. I’m not about to argue GM Steve Yzerman and coach Guy Boucher aren’t capable of doing those jobs well, but ever since both arrived in 2010 they’ve been called a super-team. Sure, they caught magic and made it to the conference final in 2011, but they fell way back in 2012.”

I am working on a piece profiling Mike Green – what went wrong the past few years, how the Capitals can get him back on track, and more. To summarize, his role changed from an offensive specialist to a two-way defenseman. He needs to be put in a role where his talents are maximized. Green on the coaching change:


“What Dale expected was kind of a grinder, chip-in, chip-out kind of game,” Green said. “I respect him as a coach and I played that way and played hard for him. But at the same time I’m excited that Adam is here – actually, really excited. From what I heard, how he likes to coach fits my style of play and hopefully a lot of the other guys.”

The Sabres agreed to terms on a new contract with Mikhail Grigorenko.


From Die by the Blade:


“What Buffalo got at a discount thanks to Grigorenko's slide is a pure playmaker and a big body at the center position. Grigorenko showed off his quick hands and hockey sense at development camp, and wowed the audience with an impressive shootout performance. He has as good a shot as any young player does at making the Sabres roster, and I'd be surprised if he didn't at least get the 9-game tryout before the team decides whether to send him to Quebec or not, similar to what happened with Tyler Myers in 2009.

With the two first round selections in the fold, the Sabres center position is starting to fall into place. Do you think Grigorenko will impress enough in training camp to make a run at a top-9 center role?”

According to ESPN’s John Buccigross, a Marian Gaborik for Dan Boyle swap almost occurred a few months back. The only hold up was Gaborik’s shoulder surgery, which will keep him on the shelf for six months.

Boyle has two years left with a $6.6 million cap hit, while Gaborik has two years left with a $7.5 million cap hit.


Imagine Gaborik and Havlat on the same line? San Jose’s training staff shudders at the thought….


Canes Country takes an extended look at Cam Ward’s 2011-12 campaign.


Outside of a horrendous November and December, Ward had a very solid season.

































“This season was quite a roller coaster for Cam Ward, although it wasn’t too different from the ups and downs he has gone through over his career. There is no doubt that Kirk Muller was one of the reasons for the Canes’ turnaround in the second half but Ward regaining his footing once the calendar turned 2012 was another huge reason. Ward is likely going to be in Carolina for the next few years, so he will continue to have a major impact in the team’s performance during that time. Let’s hope that his peaks and valleys aren’t nearly as extreme as they were this season.”

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Comments (19)add comment

buck0198 said:

Weber I wouldnt match..and I would gladly take the 4 first rounders...I think if you trust your scouts then you should end up with assets that surpass the ability of weber. Plus no one is sure how much Weber was aided by Suter. Wasnt something about that posted not too long ago? Something about the Preds record without one of Suter and/or Weber and they were worse off without Suter?
July 19, 2012
Votes: +0

Anze said:

... If the Preds match and can't trade him in the first year, and the 1st year is worth 26 millions, there is no way they trade him in a year. They will have to walk away, or match and keep him for a long, long while to make that early "investment" worthwhile.

I predict they walk away...
July 19, 2012
Votes: +0

poolsharks said:

... Holmgren certainly has a way to make friends . I wonder how many doors a move like this can close for a GM in the near future ...
July 19, 2012
Votes: +0

poolsharks said:

... I don't like the idea that Green and Ovechkin are implying how Oats will/should coach . It's as if they are almost suggesting that he should do it their way . Not saying that this wouldn't be a good thing for the team as I love offense but I always thought that too many players on that team including these two are major prima donas ...
July 19, 2012
Votes: +0

angus said:

... Green's Corsi ratings are actually quite good.

The reason I included the Corsi Rel QoC wasn't to defend him, but to show how he has always seen sheltered minutes. The difference has been lack of PP time and declining o-zone starts.
July 19, 2012
Votes: +0

tripel said:

... The deal is designed specifically to break the cash-strapped Preds, who are owned by a consortium and had trouble scraping up loans a while back ... meanwhile gazillionaire Snider has money to burn. Sure the $8M caphit helps get to the floor, but it's the $24M the have to pay in year 1 and nearly $60M the first 4 that are the issue for the small market club. This is a predatory move on the Preds, make no mistake.
July 19, 2012
Votes: +0

Aaron27 said:

... Aren't the Preds $15 million below the cap floor? If they don't match who are they going to spend that money on? Alex Semin?
July 19, 2012
Votes: +0

Hey_Robbie said:

Hey Robbie
... Hey Jeff- Nice job with the Green article. However I do have some questions about the stats, or maybe your explanation and interpretation of them.

If I understand you, you say that you are using Corsi Rel QoC as a proxy for zone time, and then use the graphs to support your argument that Green played easy minutes the last few years. However he had a very low Corsi Rel QoC relative to his teammates each year, which would normally indicate a lot of time in the defensive zone, which I would think would go along with tougher minutes. Alternatively, the low Corsi Rel QoC could just be due to being bad enough defensively to give up lots of opportunities (not unimaginable in Green's case), or bad enough offensively to not be generating any opportunities (not how most would think of Green). Most likely, in my opinion, the reason for Green's low numbers is that he faced such easy competition that even though he had a decent Corsi, the Corsi Rel QoC still came out low. Is that what we should understand from the data provided?

If so, maybe just giving the Corsi graphs would show Green's easy minutes more clearly. As it is, the graphs seem like they say the opposite of what I think you mean.
July 19, 2012
Votes: +1

Beejer said:

... I would definitely match Weber.

Assuming they would in deed draft guys like Oshie, Giroux, Pacioretty, Eberle or Neal, Varlamov, Smith, Carlson. That of course would be tremendous but... lets look at it the other way around and see them ending up with guys like

Foligno, Petrecki, Nemisz, Caron
Wishart, Esposito, Leveille, Moore

That wouldn't seem to be a very good return!!!

The develop time is also a factor to consider… take a guy like Jon Blum developing in the Nashville system, drafted in 2007. That’s five years already and he isn’t a fully established pro yet. Let say for instance he become an true bonafide star blueliner like Weber in 3 years… that means it took him 8 years to develop. A pretty long wait for a potential return.

If Nashville go the draft pick route… don’t expect any return between 4 to 10 years if any. Pretty risky!!!
July 19, 2012
Votes: +0

austeane said:

Austin It IS necessarily luck IMO. It isn't luck in the way that they might just look at a guy and say uh maybe he will be good... So lets uh... take him in the first round!
Its luck in the sense that every team knows about the same amount about each prospect and each team's drafting "skill" is generally decently close. There can be good drafting teams and bad drafting teams but the difference isn't really that great.
July 19, 2012
Votes: +0

yougo said:

... @austeane

It is cherry picking, but it also shows that great drafting comes a long way. It's not necessarily luck. There are a great players drafted after the 20th overall pick and if you get 4 chance to do it in 4 years in a row, I say the odds that you will eventually replace Weber are good.

July 19, 2012
Votes: +0

austeane said:

Sure Angus
The deal is 14 years, 110 mil. Not 100 mil. A 7.86 cap hit.
27 mil in first calendar year according to Kypreos. 1 mil in each of the last three years... NHL will at least look at it.

And I get your point but that is cherry picking. You could do that every year. And I could pick 4 busts. That is pointless.
I meant look at a specific set of pick numbers in a single year (or over 4 years).
Look at the 20th, 21st, 22nd and 29th picks of every draft since 2000 (arbitrary number) and there is probably only one or two drafts where it would be worth trading Shea Weber for those players (one at each 18, 17, 16 and 15 years old).

@Bob. They may have no choice. If they bomb this year, Weber may ask for a trade. I think he would get more then 4 first round picks.
July 19, 2012
Votes: +0


Weber Jeff, you state that Nashville could keep Weber for a year and then trade him, Really ? They will pay 16 % of THE TOTAL FRANCHISE WORTH to one player and THEN trade him...That will not happen, He will go to the Flyers and Nashville will return the picks for players OR Nashville will match and KEEP HIM.. But sign and trade in a year..NO !!
July 19, 2012
Votes: +1

yougo said:

@austeane @austeane

I get your point, but watch this. Let's say the Flyers had done this in 2004. So in 2005,2006,2007,2008. The Preds had 4 picks, all after the #20 overall.
2005 Entry draft.
#24 overall - T.J. Oshie
#33 overall - James Neal
2006 Entry draft.
#22 Overall - Claude Giroux
#23 Overall - Semyon Varlamov
#25 overall - Patrick Berglund
2007 Entry Draft
#22 Overall - Max Pacioretty
#26 overall - David Perron
#27 Overall - Brendan Smith
2008 Entry Draft
#22 overall - Jordan Eberle
#27 overall - John Carlson
#31 overall - Jacob Markstrom

You tell me that you wouldn't trade Weber for one player for each of these years?
I'd definitely trade Weber for Oshie,Giroux,Pacioretty,Eberle or for Neal,Varlamov,Smith,Carlson.

This could turn out to be a very good thing for both clubs if the Preds draft well.
July 19, 2012
Votes: +1

jester240 said:

Weber No specifics are out on the contract yet but a lot of rumors are its front loaded. Anyone think Nashville might be calling the league about the contract circumventing the cap before deciding anything?
July 19, 2012
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

... From my fantasy guide - Ward's fortunes turned around with a game on December 21. His number from that game forward are remarkable.
July 19, 2012
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

... Tatar won't be on the team. Nyquist will. And if you have to pick a runner up, it would be Brunner IMO.
But yes, Nyquist could surprise. Smith too. I don't count out Detroit.
July 19, 2012
Votes: +0

austeane said:

4 first rounders Just to clarify once and for all....


It is calculated by dividing the total salary paid by at the most, the first 5 years. This was done to counteract frontloaded deals having a low compensation package. Weber, for compensation purposes at least, has a $20 mil cap hit.

This is a crazy move... I heard that negotiations were taking a while and Holmgren got tired of waiting so made the move. I wonder why he didn't tell Polie that he was going to do that or maybe Polie just didn't believe him.

Since Weber is an FA, I am assuming he can talk to whomever he wants. I wonder if he really wants to go to Philly or just get out of Nashville. I wonder if he reached out to his preferred team (let's say Vancouver) right before signing and said "Hey, I am about to sign an offer sheet with Philly, it would be awesome to play there, especially if Pronger comes back but I would love to play in Vancouver, I would sign an offer-sheet with you first."
I would do that if I were him. Holmgren doesn't hold enough cards to hold him hostage by saying the offer will be rescinded if he talks elsewhere first...

If this was a uber-rich owner, big-market team the decision would be obvious to keep him.

Find me a single draft where the 20th, 21st, 22nd and 29th picks (I believe the last four picks by the flyers) would be worth trading for Weber.

Best 6 dmen right now if Weber is gone:


The fact is that Nashville won't spend to the cap and if the reports of 26mil in the first calendar year are true... They won't be spending much over the floor if they keep him.

On the other hand, I don't think that the Nashville market can survive an Edmonton/Chicago/Pittsburg rebuild. Pittsburg almost got relocated and I don't know how much stronger a market Nashville is. They just recently started to get some widespread passion going.

I feel bad for Nashville and its fans... Suter, Weber (or being hamstrung), Radulov and Kostitsyn...


Every year we think that Detroit will fall off a cliff but every year they prove us wrong. We will see if Tatar, B. Smith and the like can keep this going post-Lidstrom.
For Vancouver... I think that patience might be the right move for Gillis. If Luongo agrees to be backup for the season on the condition that Gillis will guarantee trading him, even if it is for a bag of pucks, I think the packages will get more enticing as the season goes on.
Some of these tenuous goaltending things have to fall through... Maybe bryz just plain sucks outside the desert and didn't have a bad year. Reimer falls on his face... Or actually falls on his face, gets injured and is out for the year... Howard plays with the same stats for an entire year as he did when Lidstrom was gone next year. Makstrom has another couple of surgeries and Theodore is below average while the rest of the team does well.
By the trade deadline (or sooner), it is conceivable that MG could actually get Huberdeau like value from an ultra desperate team for Luongo. If everyone on the Canucks side (including Luongo) is fine with it, that might be a smart move for MG.

They could also be waiting for some Versteeg developments. Has he filed for arbitration?
Good performance, but if you took out the first and last month of play for Luongo (October and April or may or June)... I think someone looked into it and he would have the best goalie stats of all time.
July 19, 2012
Votes: -1

Rollie1967 said:

WOW I'd be shocked if the Preds didnt match, somewhat surprised it was Philly that made the offer, but if they have Weber in their lineup- even if the compensation is 4-1st rounders- theyre bound to be late picks.(It used to be 5 1st round picks, and their were fewer teams drafting then).
Not sure how this works with the cap- they must be assuming Pronger isnt coming back, but dont they have to wait till game 1 to put him on the LTI? I thought thats what the Canucks had to do with Salo previously (and the Bruins with Savard), the players cap hit is still in effect when they set their rosters. Anyone able to clear that up?
Meszaros is their only dman without some kind of NTC and the recently signed Gervais would lose his roster spot most likely as Lilja's contract falls in the 35+ category. They still have Voracek to resign, and likely another forward albeit at minimum salary.
Paul Holmgren has himself a pair.
July 19, 2012
Votes: +0
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