Lockout Update Day 100: There is still a lockout. Happy Centennial!

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There are no AHL games between the 23rd and 25th, it starts back up on the 26th. Taking a look at the standings, OKC’s (Edmonton) Jordan Eberle and Justin Schultz still lead the pack with 40 points each. In fact, Schultz has 16 goals already, easily trending to 30 and actually has a shot at 40. Goals. If the NHL season is cancelled, look for him to flirt with that number.

 

Tampa Bay’s Tyler Johnson and Columbus’ Cam Atkinson are the mini-studs, coming in next with 30 points each. Both of these players are 5-9 and under, with upside at the NHL level. But the path is cleared for Atkinson – his spot in the top six awaits him in Columbus. Johnson will need to earn it.

 

Philly’s Brayden Schenn is sixth in scoring with 29 points in 28 games. He has been creeping up the scoring race steadily. The Flyers will have him on the wing when things start back up, and he’s a good bet to top 30 points in a 48-game season.

 

Carolina’s Zach Boychuk is having just the season that the doctor ordered. The guy lacked confidence in a big way. After making a splash as a teenager – far earlier than expected – the expectations were heaped on him and he failed to deliver. What he needed was an AHL stint – right from the start – where he could just dominate. Now that he has that, with 28 points in 30 games, he is looking good for a shot at a top six job, which may be at the expense of Jiri Tlusty.

 

A guy who needed it more than Boychuk is Nino Niederreiter, and he delivered. He has 27 points in 28 games. He would have been in the AHL this year regardless (he was ineligible to player there last year). He’s a great player with high upside, and many fantasy owners bailed on him after last season’s performance.

 

Colorado prospect Mike Sgarbossa is racing up the scoring charts. He’s one of those players who is impressing because he is doing better than he should, sooner than he should. And he’s forcing the matter. I love guys like this. Guys who don’t get the ice time, but post numbers consistently until they get more ice time. Then they post even better numbers and force the coach to give them even more shifts. Sgarbossa kicked off the AHL campaign with zero points and a minus-2 in two games for Lake Erie. Then he had three points in three games and started earning more ice time. Forcing the matter. He has 27 points in 30 games now, and while I don’t see him making the team this year, I suddenly believe that he’ll make a splash in camp in September and surprise many. A dark horse for 2013-14, when two months ago I would have told you he was four years away.

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Need a last minute shopping gift…for yourself? Why not drop seven bucks on the Fantasy Goalie Guide - over 130 goaltenders scouted and profiled by expert Justin Goldman, plus the full fantasy slant and political scenario of every single goaltender belonging to an NHL team done by yours truly. Combined, this bad boy has it all. Pick it up here.

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Regarding the Fantasy Guide - there will be one more update in the first week of January. If the season is cancelled, likely within two weeks of that release, then it will be put to bed. If the season comes to fruition, then expect fully updated rankings of every player under a new schedule, and daily training camp updates. I'll be your fantasy hockey savior in the time crunch. There is also a coupon code in the fantasy guide (in two places, easy to find) for the Goalie Guide that basically gives it to you for four bucks.

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Here is an update on some Avalanche prospects, including Joey Hishon. Although in the case of Hishon, the update is pretty much "no update". He's skating, at least.

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Mario Lemieux, Pittsburgher of the Year for 2012? Stand up to the hardcore owners and Gary Bettman. Knock some heads. Then I'd give you Pittsburgher of the Year.

Get angrier at your local team's owner (or owners). We're whining too much about Bettman, Fehr and the players. But I don't see any rants against the owners. Even the good and good-hearted ones like Mike Ilitch. Seriously, pull no punches, write a letter to the editor and tear your owner a new one. All of them are guilty, and since they have everything in life - riches, luxury, fame - then all they have that you can take from them is pride and reputation. Right now they're sitting back and relaxing, letting their lightning-rod Gary Bettman take all the blame. Bull shit. It's on these jokers, not Bettman. Here you go:

Anaheim Ducks

Henry Samueli

Boston Bruins

Jeremy Jacobs

Buffalo Sabres

Terrence Pegula

Calgary Flames

Calgary Flames LP

Carolina Hurricanes

Peter Karmanos, Jr.

Chicago Blackhawks

Rocky Wirtz

Colorado Avalanche

Stan Kroenke

Columbus Blue Jackets

John P. McConnell

Dallas Stars

Tom Gaglardi

Detroit Red Wings

Mike Ilitch

Edmonton Oilers

Daryl Katz

Florida Panthers

Sunrise Sports and Entertainment

Los Angeles Kings

Anschutz Entertainment Group

Minnesota Wild

Craig Leipold

Montreal Canadiens

Molson Family

Nashville Predators

Predators Holdings LLC

New Jersey Devils

Jeffrey Vanderbeek

New York Islanders

Charles Wang

New York Rangers

The Madison Square Garden Company

Ottawa Senators

Eugene Melnyk

Philadelphia Flyers

Comcast Spectacor

Phoenix Coyotes

National Hockey League

Pittsburgh Penguins

Ronald Burkle and Mario Lemieux

San Jose Sharks

San Jose Sports & Entertainment

St. Louis Blues

Dave Checketts

Tampa Bay Lightning

Jeffrey Vinik

Toronto Maple Leafs

Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment

Vancouver Canucks

Canucks Sports & Entertainment

Washington Capitals

Ted Leonsis

Winnipeg Jets

True North Sports & Entertainment

Every. One. Of. Them. Will be enjoying Christmas this year with their families, while bartenders, waitresses, ushers, hockey fans, (hockey bloggers), fantasy owners,  etc. suffer to different extents.

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The Hockey Writers takes a look at the Edmonton Oilers involved in the WJC in a nice little preview, including injured player Oscar Klefbom who won't be able to play in the tourney due to injury.

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Speaking of the WJC, we're working hard over at DobberProspects to profile as many of the players involved as we can, as well as updates from Ross and Dillon in the ramblings over there. WJC kicks off at 2:30am ET on December 26. Canada's first game is at 4:30am against Germany. The first live games that are at decent hours to wake up and watch are - Sweden vs. Czech at 7am, Russia vs. Slovakia at 9am. The full WJC schedule is here.

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More hockey - the Spengler Cup. Great chance to put that tourney on the map with no competition at all thanks to the ungodly hours (in North America) to watch the WJC, and the NHL lockout. This tourney kicks off at 2pm December 26. Team Canada is icing an awesome team.

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Another piece of gold by Harrison Mooney of Puck Daddy - Gary Bettman, Commissioner of Christmas:

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Goal of the year. Stick tap to Puck Daddy, who always seems to find the good videos. But this goal is awesome:


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Ross The Boss Palmer said:

Ross The Boss Palmer
... Don't be mad at Mario. He deserves praise. Who knows, he could be standing up to those owners. We don't know what's going down. All I know is that he was a good enough player that they gave him part of the franchise. How many players can say they've done that? He's done a lot for the franchise and for the city, I'm glad he is being honoured and recognized for it.
December 24, 2012
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