Lockout Update: Day 17 - There is still a lockout.

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Fantasy Guide - The guide was last updated…Sept. 26.

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Contest - I'm going to audit somebody's fantasy squad. How to enter? Tweet me (@DobberHockey) the funniest name you can think of for a fantasy team (doesn't have to be yours). Use the hashtag #FantasyHockey. If you make me laugh, you automatically have a shot. I'll pick the funniest team name (my opinion) and contact you to get your team and league info. You don't have to just "Tweet" - you can also post the funniest team name on our Facebook page.

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By now you've heard that Toronto rearguard Cody Franson has signed a deal with Brynas of the SEL for what may be the entire season, regardless of the CBA situation. The team seems to indicate that this is the case, while his agent hints at there being an out clause. Regardless, I think he is a quality defenseman if used properly and in the right role. With minimal ice time and PP time, he produced as well as could be expected - unfortunately for Franson, both Toronto and Nashville were deep in the position and role that he plays. Put him on a team in need of that toolbox, and he'd be a 50-point QB.

Calgary, Colorado, Dallas, Florida, Minnesota, Montreal, New Jersey, Islanders and Philadelphia are each teams that would be good fits.

On a side note, I just have to shake my head at Leafs fans. They always need a scapegoat.

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The two sides - do I need to specify the NHL and NHLPA anymore? I digress - the two sides are set to meet again today, but will once again avoid the elephant in the room that is the "core economic issues". But at least things seem to be positive. The Great One is certain that the lockout will be settled before the New Year.

I did find interesting that New Jersey politicians are getting involved in this. The NBA's Nets moved to Brooklyn, so Newark is already reeling from that, just months after basking in the desperately-needed cash flow that came thanks to the Devils making it to the Final.

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Philly's rookie stud from last season Matt Read has signed to play in the Swedish second league. Jeff, Gates and I have all the moves covered in our Lockout Tracker, with most stats linked for easy reference. You can always access the tracker via the menu along the top. I can't believe how long this list is, just scroll down that page and see how long it takes to scroll. It seems like the entire NHLPA has found other jobs.

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Exciting announcement coming this week about a new - well, I'll wait until the press release for that one. But I'll be teaming up with one of the best to put together a product that will be released in early December.

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If any bloggers are reading this, and you're going to the Blogs with Balls conference later in the week here in Toronto, I'll see you there. I think Puck Daddy may have something at a pub downtown Thursday  night or Friday night, and if so I'll be there as well - hopefully I'll get to meet some of you. I'll keep you posted on the deets.

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Vladimir Sobotka currently 16th in Czech League with eight points in five games. Unfortunately for him, the scoring-line roles in St. Louis are already full - complete with a full slate of backup options. Throw in the fact that Sobotka is a very good checker…and that's his NHL role, barring about 10 injuries to St. Louis forwards.

Drafted Sobotka five years ago? Sometimes it's not the fault of your analysis. You picked a good player with potential. But if a player is pigeonholed in a checking spot, then that's it. No way to know that in advance.

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If I owned an NHL team (yeah right), I would not want my name on the Cup. It's ridiculous. Put 23 player names on there, plus the coach and his two or three assistants, plus the GM and his one or two assistants. That's it. This 53 names nonsense is stupid. Andrei Loktionov isn't on there, but four of the equipment staff are? The owner's wife is on there? I heard a dog was engraved on there once? Come on.

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It looks like Thomas Vanek will play hockey in Austria. Look for that announcement sometime soon.

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Japer's Rink - Top 25 under 25, for the Washington Capitals. Link here. Interesting read, and who better to get their take from than the premier Capitals blog?

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An interesting article in the latest Hockey News. It was about how the lockout essentially ended the NHL career of Marty Murray. He had been a fringe player, but had finally found his niche and became a regular. But before he could get any momentum with that, the season was cancelled. And right now, most of the media has covered Krys Barch's Twitter rant. This is the stuff that will help influence the Union to bend a little more (because the owners aren't bending). I want to see more stuff about the fringe players who are fighting for a job.

And while they're at it, can they (and by 'they' I mean the hockey media) do some stories on poor fringe KHL and Swiss League players who are currently out of a job right now so Joe Thornton and Alex Ovechkin can play? This stuff needs to be brought to light. I wish I had some ideas about how to guilt the NHL owners into caving…but they don't really have hearts, so impossible to guilt.

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Speaking of The Hockey News, here is my column yesterday on what to do in your league in the event of a lockout (i.e. "now").

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KHL action - Sergei Bobrovsky picked up the win, and two assists, in SKA St. P's win over Ak Bars Kazan. Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice.

In other games, Evgeni Malkin's team went head to head against Pavel Datsyuk's team, but the two superstars were pointless in a 2-1 contest (for Datsyuk's CSKA)…Alex Ovechkin picked up two points in a 5-1 win…Erik Christensen, who is in the KHL for the full season, has six goals in his last four games for Lev Prague.

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KHL action, the Bobrovsky win - nearly eight minutes of highlights here, sans commentary:

 


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habsrule said:

habsrule
... I was pretty comfortable that this really wouldn't be a long thing this time, as it was all about money, but I am starting to get nervous. I think the players actually believe their own press, that they actually offered any kind of a concession at all to the owners, and that the owners are b***ards for not taking it seriously.

The media has done such a lousy job of actually discussing what the players offered, and constantly sum up it up as an offer to give back, that everyone is blaming this on the owners, and making the players feel justified in their stance. The reality is it was anything but, and in fact was a demand for more money this year, guaranteed, regardless of what league revenues were, and then a rate of increase that is faster than it would have been under the old CBA, and guaranteed, regardless of revenues for the league.

Given that the vast majority of the increase in league revenues in the last 3 years has come from the increase in the CDN dollar, which is unlikely to keep going up at the recent rate, and from the NBC contract, which is now in place and not adding additional growth going forward, for the PA to state that they are giving back if the league continues to grow at the previous rate is blatantly ridiculous, bordering on dishonest, and the fact that they furthermore want their share to be fixed going forward instead of tied to overall revenues shows that they really don't give a crap about the game, or even the health of the league that pays them. Under their proposal, if the CDN $ drops or revenues drop, their share becomes considerably bigger than the current 57% and would cripple the league, or at least 80% of the teams that are currently break even or worse.

Additionally, the media keeps repeating the garbage from the PA about how they gave up so much in the last lockout and should not have to do so again, again allowing the players to believe their own BS. OK, fine, they let the cap come in, and had their salaries rolled back 24%, I grant you that at least this last thing was a concession. The cap, however, was not, as salaries have increased, on average, on virtually the exact same pace that they did in the 7 years before the lockout... Plus, the owners gave the players free agency at 26, instead of the 29 or 30 that it was prior... So what exactly, did they give up? A temporary decrease in salary for the 200 or so players that were under contract at the time of the lockout? What they gave up was a year of income, for nothing, and they are about to do it again.

Both sides are clearly to blame in this, but if the league is being remotely honest in saying that the PA has not varied significantly from their initial offer, then I don't blame them for locking the players out in any way. They want more money, guaranteed, now and in the future, in a sports environment where every other league is getting concessions from their player.

Sorry for the length of this, but I have the need to vent, and I haven't seen a real discussion or analysis of what the PA's offer really means anywhere, and thought I would offer my version.
October 02, 2012
Votes: +0

aleco83 said:

aleco83
... @ Dobbs, my point is that one of the simple facts of business is that the weak always get stomped first. We complain about those fringe players getting robbed but it happens in every other industry and every other country and we really don't care. I just want us to stop being hypocritical and thinking we care about the small guys when really all we want is our saturday morning cartoons back. You walk by the homeless everyday in TO so let's not start pretending we care now...
October 02, 2012
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
... Olgrit - okay, so this fringe hockey player goes back to school and starts training to be a security guard. School starts in a week, let's say. Mid-November, the players go back to the NHL and suddenly he gets his old job back. Now what? There's your career change suggestion. Sometimes, an easy fix like that doesn't reflect life.


Chicago - just speaking the truth. Glean from it what you will. I'm a Leaf fan (among other teams), and I'm surrounded by Leaf fans. So it's all I hear.


yougo - Markov is King Band-Aid from Band-Aidville. I don't care what he played last year, I'll never draft him and I couldn't believe it when the Habs re-signed him knowing what they knew.

October 02, 2012
Votes: +0

shingy said:

shingy
Not So Simple
If it were as simple as supply and demand, people wouldn't still be discussing it. There are personal dilemma's that should be considered here. Players like Nash/Thornton are rich, filthy rich. They should let some less fortunate players take their crack.

October 02, 2012
Votes: +0

olgrit22 said:

olgrit22
... I don't understand why some people are so mad at NHL players for "stealing" someone else's job in the Eurpopean leagues. It's a simple case of supply and demand. If you're one of the worst players on your 2nd division team in Sweden, and a bonafide NHL'er bumps you off the roster, then too bad. Maybe you should consider a career change as obviously playing professional hockey isn't your thing. In most any other industry if someone performs better than you, then you will be replaced.
October 02, 2012
Votes: +0

ChicagoChief said:

ChicagoChief
...
On a side note, I just have to shake my head at Leafs fans. They always need a scapegoat.


What does this mean?
October 02, 2012
Votes: +0

yougo said:

yougo
... @dobber

Markov played more than 10 games last season, and if he gets injured there is still Kaberle (who's better than Blum at running a PP).

As for the NYI, they have Streit and Visnovski. So Blum isn't a good fit there either.
Florida: Campbell and Kulikov > Blum.
We could argue on Colorado but I personally prefer Erik Johnson and Stefan Elliot over Blum.
October 02, 2012
Votes: +0

shingy said:

shingy
Heartless Owners
Good luck on this one, since they actually are heartless. Hard to make it where they have in business without being a bit soul-less or checking your conscience at the door from time to time, IMO. But! It'd be nice to hear more coverage on the actual downtrodden in this situation. The employees left behind who likely only made minimum wage (or not much more) to begin with. Due to the owners locking the players out, how many NHL related employees have had to go on food stamps or welfare? A fair share no doubt. There's a more personal, more relate-able, sadder side to this story and it could easily sway public opinion if done correctly.

Some food for thought..There are firefighters/police officers in some US cities ($56,000/year decreased to $7/hr) who are now eligible for food stamps due to municipal budget cuts.
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The average joe or hockey fan can't relate to either side here. Their biggest problem is that they don't know how to split all the money up. Rough stuff. We should be focusing on the more human aspect of this if we hope to drum up some guilt or response. The Nash and Thornton's are very selfish. Anyone with their money taking up needed spots on another team is pretty self absorbed.
October 02, 2012
Votes: +1

Dobber said:

Dobber
... I disagree Alexo83 - I complain when ma and pa stores close down. And it was eight years before I first went into a Wal-Mart, once they arrived.

Your argument about money - that's the good fight that I'm always having. You see, Joe Thornton, Rick Nash, Ovechkin, etc. - they have money. They can get by. In fact, they can buy 10 cars and six houses. The players who are stuck in a lesser league now, well they just missed their mortgage payment. The player whose dream of being an NHL regular would come true in a season this year...but may not come true if the season were cancelled and next year made him a year older and a year slower - and his chance went bye-bye.

My point is, I don't give a rat's ass about either side - it's the "third" side that I care about. And that's the side that has very little coverage, but needs more.


Yougo - If you think Markov plays 10 games this year without twisting his knee, then you're welcome to hold onto that dream. I added Montreal in there specifically because I know Markov will be toast by Game 8.
October 02, 2012
Votes: +0

aleco83 said:

aleco83
No Hockey Love I think we sometimes tend to forget that this is ultimately a business. No one gives tow sh*ts about those euro players getting bumped or those 4th liners because it's business. No one complains when a bunch of ma and pa stores close down when Walmart comes to town, in fact, most are extatic at the prospect of lower prices. There is no right and wrong in this battle, there is only money. If I was an owner/nhlpa, I would look for sustainable longterm growth but we live in the capitalist model so its profit maxing to the tits and who cares if this hurts the game or players so long as the math works out in the end. Don't think the players aren't thinking the same. If it was for the love of the game they would be content playing for free or next to nothing and we'd be watching lousy shiny hockey. Anyways, point is, who gives a rats a*s about both sides, lets just hope they can sort their sh*t out so we can watch some hockey... the only true people who love the game, the fans.
October 02, 2012
Votes: +0

yougo said:

yougo
... How is Montreal a good fit for Blum?

Markov and Subban are both way more effective than him running a PP.
October 02, 2012
Votes: +0

newfcollins said:

newfcollins
... There won't be articles in the media like the ones Dobber mentioned for the same reason you don't see articles on those people during the regular season: too much focus on star players. Maybe the media believe this is what sells papers/attracts viewers, and they're probably right. No one cares too much about fourth-line players unless you live in that city or have them in a hockey pool somewhere. Sad, but true.

As for Franson, don't see how he could be a 50-point player in Montreal. He'd be behind kaberle, Markov and Subban for offense, and behind Gorges for even strength time. He wouldn't get enough ice time to get 50 points.
October 02, 2012
Votes: +0

Dobber said:

Dobber
edesjardins That goes without saying. Doesn't change my premise though.
October 02, 2012
Votes: +0

edesjardins said:

edesjardins
Sobotka Vladimir Sobotka ranks at #16 in the Extraliga behind some well known names like Plekanec, Jagr, Tlutsy, Bonk and Nedved. I wouldn't put much emphasis on being a top 20 scorer in the Extraliga nor would I give much weight to the fact that Steve Bernier scored twice in La Tournée des Joueurs.
October 02, 2012
Votes: +0

UKflames said:

UKflames
Lost jobs You won't see the media doing any articles on those players that have lost their jobs because of NHL players going to Europe because the majority of the media seems to be on the players side. Why would they do a piece that is going to help the owners?

But that is an article that needs writing.
October 02, 2012
Votes: +0
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