One year to the day that the plane carrying the entire roster and crew for the KHL team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl crashed shortly after takeoff, killing everyone on board. RIP to those involved. The hockey community mourns on September 7th.
The NFL season has kicked off with one game, but many football leagues are drafting this weekend. Here is a 48-hour offer - Buy the Keeper League Fantasy Hockey Pack and the Fantasy Football Guide for $19.99 when you use the coupon code: PIGSKIN. So the Fantasy Hockey Prospects Report, Fantasy Hockey Guide/ Draft List, Fantasy Football Guide - less than 20 bucks.
I am going to format the ramblings a bit differently today - feedback would be appreciated. This is similar to what Chris Nichols does with his Sunday ramblings.
Shane Doan has chosen to remain with the Coyotes. No word on what his new contract will look like. At the very least, he got some free flights and dinners out of it! As for how he fits in, he'll play on the top right wing spot, but it depends on which center Phoenix puts there. The best course of action may be to dangle Keith Yandle for a center, as Martin Hanzal will have a lot of pressure on his shoulders this season.
Lubomir Visnovsky had his case heard in front of an arbitrator on Wednesday regarding the trade to Long Island from Anaheim. The fallout from this will have a lot of fantasy significance.
On Long Island, he would likely play second fiddle offensively to Mark Streit, but he could just as easily be the primary PP option. In Anaheim, he'd continue to play a role similar to what he has done in previous seasons. Hamonic is also a PP threat with his shot, and Matt Donovan will find a way into the PP mix quite soon. In Anaheim, Fowler will be the guy, and Vatanen could get a shot (depending on what happens with Visnovsky).
Shea Weber’s contract has been finalized, and it will not contain any NMC or NTC. He can’t be traded for one calendar year from the date he signed with Nashville, but it will be interesting to track this situation next summer. He obviously is fine to return to Nashville (and with an eight figure signing bonus, who wouldn’t be?), but he did express his desire to play for the Flyers.
Columbus tried to sign Jaromir Jagr this past summer, offering the veteran winger a one-year, $4.2 million contract. He ended up signing with Dallas for $4.5 million. Unless he suddenly learned how to play goal, I'm not sure how he'd help the Jackets. He'll help in Dallas with ticket sales and bringing along the young wingers, though. Vincour, Chiasson, Fraser, they all stand to benefit considerably by learning from one of the all-time greats.
My Canucks Army countdown continues – the #4 moment of 2011-12 for the Canucks was Cory Schneider’s arrival as a legitimate starting goaltender.
“All in all, Schneider's performance last season as a pseudo back-up was incredibly impressive. He has developed about as well the Canucks could have hoped for when they picked him in the first round back in 2004 out of high school, and he looks like he is on the verge of emerging as one of the best goaltenders in the game.”
Schneider’s save from my post:
A very interesting debate on ESPN.com with Pierre Lebrun, Katie Strang, and Scott Burnside regarding the CBA and the looming lockout.
“PIERRE LEBRUN: Call me cynical after surviving the daily yearlong coverage of the lockout that wiped out the entire 2004-05 season. Nothing gets done without real pressure-packed deadlines. The fact is, neither side was ever going to show its best hand this summer, weeks ahead of the Sept. 15 expiry of the CBA. That’s the poker game. And so, all along I think it was clear next week was going to be paramount in really getting things going on the CBA negotiating front. Once Gary Bettman gets approval from owners next Thursday to proceed with a lockout of players, it will instill the needed urgency on both sides to get back to business.”
I realize I would probably think different if he played for a divisional rival, but it sure is easy to like PK Subban. Great personality, fun player to watch, and he seems like a solid guy off the ice, as well.
“Hyundai has teamed up with KidSport, a non-profit organization devoted to helping children with financial difficulties preventing them from playing sports, to create a program is called Hyundai Hockey Helpers. The program has already helped 1000 hockey players under the age of 18 with their fees and equipment thanks to contributions from Hyundai dealerships and are now looking for donations from the public to provide grants to more kids.”
Vladimir Tarasenko was introduced to the media in St. Louis yesterday, and he seemed enthusiastic about playing in the NHL this fall. No word on where he will play in the event of a lockout, though.
If the NHL does end up starting, and Tarasenko ends up making the Blues final roster, where does he fit in? I took the question to Twitter, and received some interesting feedback.
I asked because the Blues have a lot of talent up front. This is a blessing in real life (depth), but a curse for fantasy hockey (a lack of ice time to go around, and it is harder for a player or players to separate themselves from their teammates in terms of offensive production).
I have brought up the point with Washington – the Capitals should make more of a pure offensive line, and then a second scoring line with more of a two way focus. The same could be done in Dallas, and now St. Louis, too.
How about this configuration for a scoring line?
It remains to be seen where rookie Jaden Schwartz would fit in. Lots of talent up front in St. Louis, but drafting any Blues forward (outside of Backes or Steen, who are pretty consistent) is a risk. So much of production depends on ice time and power play time.
One thing isfor certain – both Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk are going to benefit from having so many good forwards to play with (there won’t be a huge drop off in talent between the two power play units).
As September 15th approaches, more news will come out regarding where players will be playing to start the season. I am looking forward to seeing some of the AHL rosters that are out there.
Shutdown Line speculates the Charlotte roster (Carolina’s affiliate) here.
“The Checkers could potentially do the same thing if there is a lockout because the Hurricanes have a few players under entry level contracts who are still eligible to play in the AHL, the two biggest names being Jeff Skinner and Justin Faulk. It's pretty interesting to think how strong this Checkers team could be if there is no NHL season because they were a borderline playoff team last year, have a lot of proven NHL talents in Zach Boychuk, Bobby Sanguinetti, Drayson Bowman and Zac Dalpe and could receive a big boost if both Skinner and Faulk are added to the mix. Not only will the team be stronger, but attendance figures at the Time Warner Cable Arena may also go up with some bigger names playing on the team.”
Being able to add Skinner and Faulk to an AHL roster would be quite something, and there are numerous other examples of talented young players who would become AHL eligible for 2012-13.
If I told you a Finnish player was at the center of a controversial play, how many of you would guess Jarkko Ruutu? Congratulations for being correct.
Ruutu was attacked by HIFK forward Ilari Melart in a recent game, and another opponent attacked Ruutu’s teammate and Finnish legend Ville Peltonen later in the game. Scary stuff.
Here is brawl one of three:
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