|October 11, 2012||Tweet|
|Written by Jeff Angus|
|Wednesday, 10 October 2012 22:00|
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I am keeping an eye on all NHL players in Europe, but a few in particular. One of those is Andrei Markov, who is trying to get back to elite status after several years of injury problems. Can he get back to where he was a few years ago? I don’t think so, but he should still be able to be a valuable fantasy defenseman with his power play abilities.
An example of the lockout trickledown effect – the Canucks have assigned goaltender Joe Cannata to the ECHL.
Cannata was one of the best goalies in the NCAA last year, but with Eddie Lack and Matt Climie both returning, there was no room for him in the AHL. It probably is the best move for him, as it allows him to play a lot, where in the AHL he would have likely been backing Climie up (assuming Lack was up in the NHL with Cory Schneider).
Fantasy Guide - Fully updated as of Wednesday. Massive updates posted - including KHL injury notes, a full blow-by-blow analysis and breakdown (from Dobber's perspective) of the Expert's League draft, a *bonus* article going over the rosters of each team and picking out possible retirement candidates in the event that the lockout wipes out the season. Also added notes in the CBA Tracker.
The Draft List was also updated, including some salary updates and a few injury notes.
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There are a lot of high expectations around the AHL this season with so many star-studded line-ups. The Texas Stars went undefefeated during their preseason play, and their roster features at least four or five players who would be in Dallas if not for the lockout – Cody Eakin, Tomas Vincour, and Brenden Dillon for sure, with several other young talents like Matt Fraser and Alex Chiasson in the mix.
Rhys Richards asks – what is really at stake during this lockout?
While the NHL’s three lockouts, including one that caused the loss of a full season, might suggest a more active player base, the casual fan likely sees a certain amateurism compared to the other three professional sports that dominate the North American sports landscape.
No matter which side is at fault for this current dispute, the NHL and NHLPA owe more to their fans and the game. The longer this lockout lingers, the more out of touch both sides will be with the fans, whether casual or diehard, of the truly beautiful game.
A very thorough look at the potential top six forwards in Winnipeg. Rob Vollman uses stats to compare current Jets to other players around the league – a really interesting analysis of players like Evander Kane and Blake Wheeler.
On Andrew Ladd:
Those who read our projections were among the few to realize that last year was hardly a disappointing season from Andrew Ladd, as he met our statistical expectations almost exactly.
In many ways it was a great season for Ladd, who topped 200 shots for the first time, with a mighty 265. As usual he faced top competition in a generally offensive-minded role, and had fantastic possession numbers for the second straight season. Indeed, the fact that the .902 save percentage the Thrashers had with him on the ice in 2010-11 is actually the highest of the past three seasons shows just how talent his typical opponents have been, whether as a Hawk, a Thrasher or a Jet.
A recap of some of my recent published work:
A profile of rugged winger Matt Fraser, who was second in goal scoring in the AHL as a rookie last year. Does he have top-six upside? The answer to that question and more can be found in my post.
I have interviewed a handful of NHL strength & conditioning coaches – this stuff may not seem fantasy-relevant, but it sure is. The Ducks strength coach, Sean Skahan, was a major reason for Bobby Ryan’s emergence as a star forward.
“He transformed Bobby Ryan from an out-of-shape 21-year-old to a potential 40-goal scorer who can command $5 million per season. That’s why players tend to have big ears when they’re around Skahan.”
Under Skahan’s guidance in the summer of 2008, Ryan dropped 20 pounds and reduced his body fat from 17 percent to nine percent. After Ryan broke out that season with 31 goals and 57 points in 64 games, he thanked Skahan by paying Skahan’s way to Las Vegas for the NHL awards show.
I also spoke to Kirk Olson, the Wild strength coach, here.
Olson offered a lot of insights on the Zach Parise situation, and some of the other players he trains – including Jordan Schroeder, Derek Stepan, Drew Stafford, and Kyle Okposo. Re: Parise:
Some of the hockey pundits said that we didn’t have a shot. I was directly involved with what was going on, so I didn’t need to listen to what was being said in the media, and I didn’t want it to affect my conversations and things.
The final installment in my NHL to Seattle series – looking at potential owners to help bring hockey to the Pacific Northwest.
Right now, Seattle is one-for-three with Chris Hansen’s SoDo Seattle arena project receiving city council approval last month. Hansen, a passionate basketball fan, has no interest in owning an NHL team. However, he does have a great interest in finding someone as passionate about hockey as he is about basketball. He doesn’t have a team yet, either. Would the NHL relocate an existing franchise to Seattle, or would they go the route of expansion?
A Swedish Elite League preview for PlayNow Sports – I have covered most of the European leagues, and the DEL was previewed yesterday as well.
David Perron’s slick hands:
|Last Updated on Monday, 15 October 2012 16:37|