I hopped on the Canucks Army podcast today to discuss Luongo, Schneider, Connauton, Edler, and more. Listen here.

 

And the top prospect in the Canucks organizaton is... Zack Kassian. I profiled him today.

 

Jordan Eberle has signed a massive six-year, $36 million extension. Why yes, I'd love to share my thoughts!

 

Before my rant begins... a good read on Eberle from Cam Charron.

 

I am not for or against this contract. The timing does confuse me, however. What is stopping Edmonton from waiting a year and sigining it next summer? The cap, if it drops to $58 million, would mean that a $6 million player would be an $8 million player (roughly) under the current $70 million cap.

 

Eberle is a phenomenal player, but he was given really easy minutes last year (as most young scorers are). Why not see how he handles tough minutes first?

 

The Hall contract makes sense - I think the Oilers "bought low" on him coming off of the injuries. However, I'm not sure about this one. And it ties in nicely to the poll at the bottom of the page - in a standard keeper, which if the four would you take? Eberle, Nugent-Hopkins, Hall, or Yakupov?

 

I have claimed all along that Yakupov is the best prospect since Stamkos. I won't back track on that now. After him, I'd go with either Nugent-Hopkins or Hall, with Eberle last. That isn't to say I don't like Eberle - a great story of a player who teams passed over, and a legend for Canada on the international ice.

 

I guess my beef with this deal is the timing of it. I'll gladly eat crow if Eberle scores 30+ again next year.

 

I bet most NHL teams would take Eberle for $6 million per season, but I think the Oilers could have either gotten him for less, or waited to see how he fares playing tougher minutes. And what happens in a few years when Yakupov and the others need new contracts? I guess that is one of those "good" problems.

 

Zach Bogosian hurt his wrist training and is out for four-to-six months. Huge opportunity for Paul Postma, who I saw a lot of in the WHL. Not a great skater, but a very cerebral and offensively talented defenseman. He's almost a lock for the Winnipeg back end now.

 

Apparently Detroit has offered Carlo Colaiacovo a one or two-year contract, but the injury-prone defenseman is holding out for a third year. I wonder if a team will get desperate enough – he is by far the best UFA defenseman still available.

 

What are your thoughts on Simon Gagne? Is he done as a productive NHLer? Can he overcome another concussion to be a productive forward for the Kings? NHL.com takes a look:

 

"After about three weeks after the injury, I knew it wasn't really similar to what I had in the past. It wasn't that bad. Because of my [history] with this injury, we took double caution with the doctors and made sure that I got the right rest, the right exam, to make sure everything was fine. That's what we did, and now I have to say I give total credit to our doctors here in L.A., the medical staff -- they really put me in the best situation for me to get back and be 100 percent. The more we kept playing and the more we kept winning in the playoffs, I was like, ‘Oh, maybe there is going to be a chance for me to come back and test it before next season.'


John Tortorella is a fan of New York’s young players. And yelling. He is also a fan of yelling.

 

Ryan McDonagh is one of those players who has received some praise from Tortorella, and I’d say he has a good reason to – McDonagh was the top defenseman on one of the better defensive clubs in the league last season.

 

“"He's mentally mature," the Rangers' bench boss said of McDonagh. Even when he makes a mistake, Ryan is ready for the next shift. And he's going to get better and better offensively."


Tortorella brings up an interesting point about McDonagh when it comes to his offensive game. Although McDonagh was a superb shutdown defenseman last year, and did provide some offense from the back end (he was 2nd among Rangers defensemen in goals, assists, and points in 2011-12), the reason "Mac-Truck" was selected by Montreal with the 12th overall pick in 2007 was his offensive upside.


If McDonagh can provide even more offense this season and continue to thrive in his own zone, the sky is the limit for him. But while McDonagh looks to add to his offensive game, the Ranger who led all defensemen on the club in goals, assists, and points was only 21 years old last season.”


Tortorella goes on to heap praises on Kreider and Hagelin. I like both – I snagged Hagelin off the waiver wire last season in my H2H keeper league, and Kreider should be the favorite for the Calder Trophy – he is already physically dominant against NHL forwards as a rookie.

 

A great read from The Hockey Writers | Overtime – problem athletes, not problem hockey players.

 

“The sensationalism of the media could be to blame for several aspects of these high-maintenance players– nobody really should be defined by their every action, especially if that action is televised. But then again, star athletes are highly paid and should find a way to curtail their egos or emotions and spit out a cliche answer in the worst of times. They should also find a way to work well with others considering the high stakes of their salaries. And if they don’t, it really isn’t unacceptable to be known as scapegoats or be blackballed from the major sports altogether, but that just shows how high the stakes continue to be.”


We have finished counting down the top 20 Canucks prospects over at the Army. The top five – today’s prospect will be released shortly:

 

#5 – Jordan Schroeder

 

#4 – Brendan Gaunce

 

#3 – Nicklas Jensen

 

#2 – Eddie Lack

 

#1 - ?

 

Will the Canucks benefit from a potential lockout? I think they would – provided the season did start, at some point in time.

 

Brandon Worley from DefendingBigD takes a look at the potential of Ray Whitney and Jaromir Jagr this season. How will one/both of them click with Jamie Benn?

 

“One of the issues last season was that Benn would fall into the trap of trying to do too much on his own, likely because of the issues he faced with his wingers being able to finish plays or create them. While Steve Ott certainly showed good ability to move the puck at times, he's far from the dynamic offensive talent that Jagr is -- even in this advanced stage of his career.


With Whitney, Benn has a speedy forward who was one of the more creative playmakers from the wing the NHL had last season. He's defensively responsible and more than capable of moving the puck quickly and smartly in transition and once again, has above-average puck possession skills, something the Stars struggled mightily with last season. Whitney is capable of putting the puck in the net as well but it's his ability to dish the puck that is going to be most valuable for the Stars and have the biggest impact on a center like Benn.”


The Score asks the question – what is going to happen with Brian Elliott this season?

 

“Elliott just turned 27 and should be entering the prime of his career. He and the Blues, who signed him to a 2-year extension, are hoping that his breakout season means the same for him that it did for Roloson. There are plenty of non-statistical arguments for this to be the case. In St. Louis, he’s playing behind a much stronger defence than he did in Ottawa or Colorado. He’s been credited with making numerous adjustments to his playing style that have made him more reliable. He’s toughened mentally to avoid losing his confidence. He isn’t relied upon to be the sole starter in St. Louis, making it easier to manage his streakiness.”


Elliott’s play has ranged between awful and amazing over the past two years. No doubt playing behind a stingy defensive club (compared to Ottawa or Colorado) has helped, but can he be counted on to repeat his stellar 2011-12 performance?

 

Jordan Staal is the top young player in the Carolina organization. One reason why he has so much value – he makes things easier for his teammates.

 

“The other thing that makes a player like Staal valuable is the advantage he can create for other teammates. Him being able to win the battle at even strength while playing tough minutes frees up easier zone starts for the likes of Eric Staal, Tuomo Ruutu, Alex Semin and Jeff Skinner, which could possibly lead to higher offensive outputs from those players. Just look at the results James Neal and Evgeni Malkin had last season.


Now, the Hurricanes don't have anyone as talented as those two, so their numbers may not be as gaudy, but I think Eric Staal and Skinner could do some significant damage with a zone start push. Skinner has been getting that for his first two years in the NHL and Staal could possibly help continue this trend if he continues to do what he did in Pittsburgh.”


Corey Pronman takes a look at Florida’s top prospects. The Panthers have the best prospect pool in the NHL.

 

Here are some DobberProspects profiles:

 

Huberdeau

 

Shore

 

Bjugstad

 

 

Robak

 

Rene Bourque is out for at least two months, and maybe three, after undergoing abdominal surgery recently.

 

Does Kyle Turris deserve more money than Sam Gagner? The Edmonton Journal takes a look.

 

“I’m a Gagner fan. He plays hard, he hates losing, doesn’t make excuses and he produces points without a lot of powerplay time. He should have a letter on his jersey. But, I don’t think the Oilers value him as I do. If they did, he would be getting a long-term deal wouldn’t he? Not one year.


There is no comparison between Turris and Gagner as of now except for their ages and position, but Turris (6’1″, 185 pounds) can easily slide into a No. 2 slot behind the 6’3″, 216-pound Spezza in Ottawa. They see him as a core guy going forward even with his minimal production at the NHL level after getting him from Phoenix last season for defenceman David Rundblad.


Gagner? Until he gets his long-term deal as Taylor Hall just got, as Jordan Eberle will get soon, he will continue to fight    the perception that he is part of today, but not tomorrow in their organizational plans.”

Ottawa used Turris as the “checking center” last season, which may come as a surprise to a few people. He won’t be an elite point producer so long as he is playing second fiddle to Spezza (and taking a lot of defensive zone faceoffs), but he should prove to be worth every penny of his new five-year extension.

 

Dobber breaks down the fantasy winger situation in a gem of a piece for Puck Daddy. One sleeper:

 

Magnus Paajarvi, Edmonton Oilers


Use the term "surging" very loosely here. All this means is that Paajarvi got the short end of the stick last year, and should be a candidate to get 35 points or more in the season ahead. From my fantasy guide:


"He didn't get the bounces he needed in order to maintain his position on the roster. Team shot percentage when he was on the ice was almost the lowest in the league at 3.56%. A couple of those pucks go in, ice time doesn't get reduced…positive domino effect that would have changed everything. Point is — don't give up on him."



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Comments (10)add comment

Big Ev said:

Big Ev
... Neither Hall or Eberle will be scoring in a SCF any time soon smilies/wink.gif
August 31, 2012
Votes: +0

Rad64 said:

Rad64
... I wonder how much Kassian is going to be worth in a keeper now. smilies/smiley.gif
August 31, 2012
Votes: +0

BlackGold said:

BlackGold
... i don't think there are really "easy" minutes and Hall played the same "easy" minutes yet averaged less than Eberle in terms of ppg.

There is a lot of evidence, provided by coppernblue, that Hall actually plays alot of "tough" minutes, yet produces by FAR more scoring chances on his shifts than any other Oiler.

I think people are too focused on his "reckless" play and don't see enough of how the dynamics of the game change every time Hall steps on the ice. Maybe we forget once he gets injured and we no longer get to watch him play, but what I've seen from watching the game, in my mind, agrees fully with Coppernblue's advanced statistics on Hall. He is a game changer, far more than Eberle.. but I'm happy to have them both, and I have always put it this way:

Hall will be the one to carry our team into Game 7 in the SCF, but Eberle will score that cup winning goal.
August 31, 2012
Votes: +0

mabus said:

mabus
... $6 million a year is about 50th in the league in terms of cap hit and salary. The reason the oilers make the deal now is because there is uncertainty about the new contract structure/length. This deal will also be subject to any rollback. The main reason though is because Edmonton is going to have a run and gun offense. This will over-inflate the statistics of their players over the next few years, and unfortunately, stats drive salaries.

It's the reason someone like Turris wanted out of Phoenix. His stats are depressed by the playing style, and so is his ability to earn. In Edmonton, it will be the opposite, and if they don't lock people up now, they will all be looking for huge cash down the road and the team will get broken up.

I disliked Price's $6.5 million more than I dislike Eberle's $6 million. Is he worth it? No. Will he be worth more than the $6 by the end of the deal - Likely.
August 31, 2012
Votes: +1

angus said:

angus
... Thanks guys, much appreciated. I take pride in being able to dig news up each day!
August 31, 2012
Votes: -1

Mr Zizzla said:

Mr Zizzla
Eberle He is worth that in my opinion.
Hall's style of play has sent him straight to the band-aid boys training centre and it seems strange that you, Angus, think Hall is the better signing.
Granted the sample size is relatively small but in two years, Hall has missed significant time and Eberle excelled last season. Playing for Edmonton, i don't think there are really "easy" minutes and Hall played the same "easy" minutes yet averaged less than Eberle in terms of ppg.

Eberle will be the captain of this team and if they develop in the same way that PIT or CHI and win the Cup, he will hoist it first and certainly earn that 6M!
August 31, 2012
Votes: +1

robmyatt said:

robmyatt
ramblings I love how you always find so much to share/comment on. Even though it's the dog days of the off-season the ramblings are still plenty long and interesting. Well done Jeff!
August 31, 2012
Votes: +0

KrugerBurger said:

KrugerBurger
... Eberle is the only one, of the four players you mention, to have this little something more. He's the clutch player and if the Oilers want to win someday it will be with Jordan Eberle. In a fantasy pool, Eberle will probably be the lesser point producer(and yet we have to see the injury issues and also on the long run), but in the real NHL it's a steal this guy for 6M$/year. He will do 80pts for a long time in Edmonton.
August 31, 2012
Votes: +0

fzusher said:

fzusher
why sign Eberle now Personnel management. If they are to use their past years of sucking into years of sustained success, they have to maintain the core they accumulated, and to keep them happy, build friendships and relationships, 'build a team' in the workplace sense of the term.

In the new CBA, the contract landscape will change, and not for the better for players. So they had to sign Hall now to send the message to him that they want him enough to let him take advantage of the more favorable negotiating situation. They can't do that with RNH and Yakupov, so depending on the new CBA they may get a (small or big) shaft relative Hall. The right message to send to these two players is "we'd have done the same with you if we could". That message is much more convincing now that they've done the same with Eberle than if they'd waited a year with him.

At least, that's my guess. That and the "bird in hand" approach.
August 31, 2012
Votes: +0

UKflames said:

UKflames
Great Ramblings Thanks Jeff for some great rambling considering their is not much news to report.
August 31, 2012
Votes: +0
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