I take a look at Alex Edler's next contract with the Canucks.
"Yandle signed his extension when the cap was $64.3 million. Assuming the cap settles somewhere in the $62-$68 million range (hard to say right now with the uncertainty regarding the player’s share of revenues), the starting point for Edler’s next contract will likely be $5.5-6 million, as he brings more to the table than Yandle."
Voracek has re-upped with the Flyers - four years and $17 million total. The contract is a sign of where Philadelphia sees his game going (hint: the opposite of down).
Glad the Weber situation is over – now can get on with my Nashville projections for 2012-13. The team will be able to recover from losing Suter, but losing both would have been impossible to rebound from (for the next few years, at least).
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren believes that Jakub Voracek is going to play on the top line with Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell. Not really a surprise, but nice to see the words come from the club’s GM. Voracek is a very good player with immense offensive upside.
He learned a lot from Jagr last year. He will work well with Giroux – Giroux could score 40-45 goals playing with a playmaker like Voracek.
Dobber did a brilliant job covering the Nash-to-New York deal. Here are my thoughts:
I like the move for both sides. Nash is overpaid and his play has declining for the past few years, but a lot of that is likely due to the lack of quality he was playing with. He’ll be reinvigorated on Broadway.
The Jackets lost the best player in the deal, but the team giving up the best player rarely wins trades (especially when the best player is able to dictate where he wants to go, and every team knows that he wants out).
Dubinsky and Anisimov are huge upgrades on the second or third line in Columbus (wherever they fit in). Tim Erixon is better than John Moore and David Savard, and Ryan Murray, too (at least right now). He’ll be on the big club.
Erixon won’t be a 50-point guy, but he will log a lot of minutes and he moves the puck really well. Could settle in as a solid PP2 option in the 30-40-point range.
Johansen is now the player the Jackets will build around. They can insulate him with veterans like Dubinsky, Prospal, and Umberger on the second or third line.
Atkinson is going to be a very, very good player. He will see the prime offensive minutes on the right wing, and could put up 50-60 points in 2012-13.
The Rangers opened up a forward spot, too. Here are some potential lines once Gaborik returns:
Hagelin-Boyle-JT Miller (or another rookie)
The 19-year-old Miller can absolutely fly. He could slide in and play a lesser role. The Rangers have a great mix of veterans and youth, and a ton of talent throughout the lineup.
Gaborik and Richards didn’t work well together, and I don’t see the trio with Nash being any better – all three are possession players and there wouldn’t be enough pucks to go around. Callahan could do the dirty work.
Gaborik and Stepan were great together last year
I made my debut over at Defending Big D on Tuesday, and am very excited at the opportunity to write for them. One of the best run sports blogs on the net. I will be published over there each Tuesday.
I am working on a CBA column series with Mike Colligan – each week we will publish one or two covering the important issues of the ongoing CBA negotiations. Here are the two that were out this week:
Kadri’s development has been rocky since the Leafs drafted him back in 2009. He had by far his best professional season in 2011-12, recording 40 points in only 48 games with the Marlies. Kadri has game-changing offensive abilities. In 21 games with the Leafs, he scored five goals (but only added two assists).
Ron Wilson wasn’t Kadri’s biggest fan, and he didn’t put Kadri in the right situations to succeed. Kadri plays a high event game – he will turn the puck over at times because he loves to dance with it and hold on to it, especially on the power play.
Kadri was especially good during the Marlies postseason run, showing he can elevate his game in big situations.
Don’t forget about Bobby Ryan. Remember how long he took to develop? Many (myself included) had started to write Ryan off. Ryan is bigger and stronger than Kadri, but the knocks were the same. “He can’t skate well enough to play in the NHL” is something that many said about Ryan, and the same has been said about Kadri. “The moves he pulls in junior won’t work in the NHL” is another.
Kadri is a natural center who has played wing almost exclusively during his limited NHL experience. However, earlier this summer Brian Burke spoke of using Kadri as a center for 2012-13.
Kadri’s possession numbers are quite good (although the sample size is small). Last season, he was second in Relative Corsi among all Leaf forwards, trailing only Mikhail Grabovski.
Looking at some lineup options… I think Kadri would fit quite nicely with big wingers who can help him defensively. Clarke MacArthur is one, and Nikolai Kulemin is another.
I’d like to see the Leafs put Kessel and Grabovski together – they are the two best players. Bozak isn’t good enough to play top line minutes.
Just an idea – Tim Connolly has to factor in there somewhere, too.
Niederreiter’s incredible struggles in 2011-12 have been well-documented. The highly-touted prospect scored only one goal and added zero assists in 55 games. He was caught between two leagues – too good for the WHL, but not good enough for the NHL. And since he was drafted out of junior, he was ineligible for the AHL. The good news is that Niederreiter is eligible to go and play down in Bridgeport (AHL) this year. And that is exactly what will happen, unless he has a stellar training camp.
The Islanders are quietly building a solid forward core. With the loss of Parenteau, look for Okposo, Bailey, and the incoming Brad Boyes to compete for the top line right wing gig. Niederreiter could play there down the road – he was incredibly impressive in the WHL, and is a talented offensive player. However, he needs to get his game back on track and his confidence back up.
"I want to make a statement this season for sure," Niederreiter said before the team's prospect scrimmage at IceWorks Thursday night. "I'm going to do everything it takes to make the roster this season."
The Isles will graduate Casey Cizakas and David Ullstrom to the big club before Niederreiter. If you own him in your keeper league – now is the time for patience. Niederreiter has 30-goal, 70-point upside. He won’t get there for a while. However, his value won’t ever be lower. Don’t give him away for free. A season in the AHL should get him back on track and ready to slide into a top six spot with the Islanders in 2013-14.
And with the development of Cizakas, the Islanders will boast four good centers for Niederreiter to play with. Tavares and Nielsen are mainstays, and blue chip prospect Ryan Strome is probably a year away from making the jump, as well. Niederreiter played with some great centers in junior (Ryan Johansen), and his game works best with a playmaker on his line. He is a finisher.
I am going to start writing monthly fitness & nutrition tips over on my blog. Here are my tips for July:
Niederreiter’s first (and only) NHL goal:
Kadri’s hands on display: