Wanted to wish my dad a happy 65th birthday!
The final few questions from my weekend mailbag. I find reading these to be very useful, even if the players and trade scenarios are different. Always interesting to see how people value their players in different league formats.
Which defenseman to keep - Faulk, Whitney, or Nikitin?
I'd go with Faulk. Nikitin's numbers were fantastic last year, but he will be the shutdown defenseman for the Jackets. I'm not sold on Whitney coming back 100% from his ankle injury. Faulk won't be a PPQB (he's too good defensively), but he is a great skater and moves the puck well.
Will van Riemsdyk finally break out?
Young forwards with size typically take longer to develop. I think Toronto is a good fit in terms of ice time being available, but it depends where JVR fits in the lineup. If he plays on a line with Kessel and Grabovski, then I definitely see a breakout on the horizon. He isn't good enough to carry a line at this point.
Will Marleau bounce back? How about Parenteau... how does he fare in Colorado?
Marleau is a great buy low. He's proven and consistent, but people in a lot of circles don't think much of him. He is strong defensviely which hurts his offensive output as the Sharks play him against top competition.
Parenteau... Colorado is a good fit, but not as good as Long Island. Duchene is faster than Tavares, but Parenteau (playmaker) was a natural fit with two star snipers in Tavares and Moulson.
I am putting the finishing touches on my Fantasy Guide contributions. This year, we are introducing advanced statistitcs to the fold. The findings have been interesting... to say the least.
Who says it is the slow part of the summer? My Fantasy Mailbag (which is now closed, thanks for the questions) had over 50 questions and close to 4000 views over the weekend.
Fitting – Aaron Portzline delivers 61 thoughts on Rick Nash. Some really interesting stuff in here.
“No. 2 = But he wasn’t the perfect captain, not for the situation. Nash always played it safe. He allowed himself and those around him to get too comfortable. He was very ‘Columbus’ in that respect. This city doesn’t yet know what it’s like to have a major-league franchise in town. The kids clubs, the autograph signings, the classroom visits, and naming of koalas at the zoo are all great, and please don’t read this and think we’re suggesting otherwise. But the root of pro sports is the game, the competition, the on-ice drama. It’s about rivalries and passion and watching the team that represents your city go toe-to-toe against other cities. It’s about gut-level pride, not public relations. Nash always carried himself in a way so as not to offend anybody, his real thoughts and opinions buried deep beneath his sweater. That’s exactly how this team is operated at times. Every ounce of energy is invested in making things look good. But you can’t ever escape the bottom line: winning. That’s pro sports.”
“No. 5 = I firmly believe that when Nash started to play in All-Star Games and the Olympics -- when he began to meet and befriend the biggest stars in the game – he started to realize the view beyond his own fenced yard was pretty cool, too. And in most cases, it was better. There were instances last season, before the trade stuff started, when other NHL players were directly advising Nash to leave. One player tells The Dispatch: “I skated over to him before a faceoff and just told him ‘you have to get out of here. Put your agent to work and get it done.’” Many were surprised last February to learn that Nash had asked to be traded. From what I can glean, players around the league were only shocked that it took him so long.”
Some Chicago updates...
According to Stan Bowman, the club plans to use Patrick Kane as the second line center next year. I guess you can expect more heavy lifting defensively from Dave Bolland to ensure that Kane and Toews see a lot of offensive opportunities.
I like Brandon Pirri but the club doesn't want to rush him. Jeremy Morin's development has been slowed by a concussion. He will be in the mix for a top nine spot, but I am not sure he skates well enough to stick there.
The young guy in Chicago to get excited about is Brandon Saad. I really like his game – could see him hitting 15-20 goals and 40-50 points in 2012-13.
Answering some questions from Twitter…
"How do you think Klein will do with Suter gone from Nashville?"
i'm not sure if this move changes Klein's fantasy value a whole lot. He isn't an offensive defensemen, and the Preds will lean on him and Weber heavily in defensive situations.
The PP will be a place where the Preds can play their youngsters like Josi and Ellis, while the veterans like Klein and Gill will see more even strength and PK responsibilities.
"What do you expect from Duchene?"
I'm not sure. Right now, the Avalanche have three good centres. O'Reilly had an offensive breakout last season, but make no mistake he is still going to be the centre Colorado leans on to play the tough minutes.
Duchene had an awful 2011-12. He was moved to the wing, and didn't look comfortable there. Colorado would be best off to move him back to centre and give him a lot of offensive minutes. His wingers - David Jones and PA Parenteau would be a nice fit (on paper, at least).
What are your thoughts on Boedker and Tedenby?
Both are very skilled forwards who haven't been given opportunities to produce… until now. Boedker has established himself as a sound two-way forward, which is the only way to get big minutes under Dave Tippett. if and when Doan moves on, he could be a full time line one player with the Coyotes.
Tedenby - like Boedker, he could get a chance to play top six minutes with the departure of Parise from NJ. Tedenby is undersized but incredibly talented, and he plays a hard game too (not afraid to go to the dirty areas on the ice).
Right now, the Canucks have seven NHL defensemen on the roster. I could see one being moved, and even if not I'd expect Kevin Connauton and Frankie Corrado to challenge for roster spots at camp. Corrado will be a steady 20-25 point guy with solid peripherals. He is rock solid defensively, and has a booming point shot. Reminds me a bit of Josh Gorges - undersized defenseman but it doesn't affect him at all.
Gates here - the 2012-13 DobberHockey Banner Contest is down to the final eight for each respective position. If you are interested in having a say to who gets slapped on the main page banner, vote here. Polls are now open.