Any fantasy hockey questions on your mind? Post them in the comments and I'll try to get to them for tomorrow's ramblings.
I interviewed Flyers strength & conditioning coach Jim McCrossin earlier this week. That piece was published over at Broad Street Hockey.
In your time with the Flyers, who have been some of the fittest players you have worked with?
McCrossin: "Rod Brindamour, Mark Recchi, and Braydon Coburn. There have been many."
My latest for the Hockey Writers | Business - the financial risks of a new arena in Seattle, and how Chris Hansen and the city are trying to overcome them.
Don't forget to check our lockout tracker - featured in the top panel on the home page. It lists the locations and a link to the stats for players in the AHL, Europe, and elsewhere around the globe during the lockout.
You can count the number of defensemen who have been better than him in the defensive zone since 2010 on two hands. He likely won’t score 16 goals again, as the Canucks don’t have a playmaker like Campbell on the back end. However, Garrison’s value comes more from his ability to eat minutes and shut down opposing stars and less from his ability to light the lamp.
Mike Colligan takes a look at the cost of insuring Sidney Crosby during the lockout.
Don’t forget to bookmark the DobberHockey lockout player tracker.
Dennis Wideman, Calgary, five years, $5.25 million per year
Approval: 6.5 percent
Concern: Not a two-way, top-pairing defenseman
Despite similar deals being received favorably -- such as 56.5 percent approval for Matt Carle's six-year, $5.5 million contract in Tampa Bay or 63.0 percent approval for Jason Garrison's six-year, $4.6 million deal in Vancouver -- Wideman's final agreement with Calgary received almost unanimous condemnation among our advanced stats gurus.
Why the negative analysis? Simply put, Carle and Garrison are seen as two-way players and top penalty-killing options who can line up against the league's top lines and shut them down, all while generating only slightly less offense than Calgary's newest power-play quarterback.
Dustin Penner, Los Angeles Kings, one year, $3.25 million
Approval: 91.3 percent
Attraction: Poised for a bounce-back season
While the price may seem like a lot for a 30-year-old coming off a 17-point season, this deal ultimately proved the most popular because of strong indications that Penner is due for a rebound.
These low shooting percentages typically prove temporary, and a good postseason performance -- such as his 11 points in 20 games while winning his second Stanley Cup last season -- is a strong indicator of a bounce-back season. By signing Penner to a one-year contract, the Kings have a low-risk way of finding out if they got a bargain on a potential 30-goal, second-line winger.
Some information on how the NHL players will get paid during the lockout.
A player making $1 million will lose about $77,000 per paycheque, starting in the middle of October.
The biggest misnomer is that there are different degrees of severity. A concussion is a concussion, whether they leave on a stretcher or whether he's just dealt a blow that causes a concussion. They're severe enough where they need to be dealt with in the same manner.
No more “minor” concussions.
The NHL’s most underrated players of all-time, according to NHL.com.
Want to win a game of hockey trivia? Ask friends who led the 1993-94 New York Rangers -- the team that ended the Big Apple's 54-year Cup drought -- in scoring during the regular season.
The answer is Zubov, whose 89 points made him the only defenseman in NHL history to lead a team that finished first in the regular season in scoring. He added 19 points in 22 playoff games as the Rangers won their first championship since 1940 -- but the Conn Smythe Trophy went to fellow defenseman Brian Leetch.
The Oilers haven’t decided whether or not to send Nugent-Hopkins to the World Juniors (in the event of a lockout). Canada would be stacked up the middle with Mark Scheifele and Ryan Strome behind him.
What’s an NHL GM to do during a lockout? According to Ken Holland, they become glorified scouts.
"Tomorrow our American League camp starts up," Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman said over the phone Wednesday. "I’ll head to Syracuse tomorrow, and I’ll continue to follow them. I’ll also watch our prospects in junior hockey, once college starts up, watch our prospects there, and then try and catch the top kids for the draft and get more involved there."
Yzerman and Holland were both quick to point out they have no intention of suddenly overstepping their boundaries when it comes to their respective scouting staffs. But because they’ve got time on their hands, both GMs are planning on watching way more of the prospects.
The high-energy #3 goalie for the Sharks is back to being fully-healthy, and he’s ready for Worcester’s training camp. I was able to watch him here in the Twin Cities during Octagon Sport’s pro camp, and he looked like he was in great shape.
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Evgeni Kuznetsov continues to make the highlight reels (and subsequently the DobberHockey ramblings). Check out his assist at the 3:45 mark.