Lockout Update Day 107: There is still a lockout.
Look for the NHLPA to present the NHL with a counter proposal today. I would like to make some predictions, if I may:
The proposal will be similar to the PA's last one, but with some minor tweaks.
Donald Fehr will hold a press conference, indicating that a deal is at hand and that their offer is so close that the NHL would hardly have to move at all in order to come to an agreement.
The offer would actually be nowhere close, and Bill Daly will be annoyed and upset.
Three for three? We'll find out tonight!
Snarkiness aside, every single NHL insider to a man is confident that there will be a season. I guess you and I have to believe them. If Bob McKenzie, Darren Dreger, Pierre Lebrun, Damien Cox, etc. all see a resolution by January 11, who are we to disagree?
I also think that if an agreement isn't reached by January 11, and the NHL cancels the season on January 12, that the two sides will have a few more hurried meetings. And if a CBA is reached by January 20, I think the NHL will "undo" the canceled season and we'll still have one. Too many millions of dollars on the line.
Stefan Elliott went 17 games without a point - all of October and all of November - for Lake Erie. He had just one point in his first 22 contests. He's finally turning things around though, as he's posted seven points in his last eight games and is plus-7 in that span, including two goals on Saturday - his second and third of the year.
After three points in 14 games, Bobby Butler has 14 points in his last nine games for Albany. He has 11 goals in those nine games. The Devils don't need a pure goal scorer on the wing do they?
Those Malcolm Subban owners who were worried about him based on his play, certainly had their mind set at ease Sunday. He was dynamite. Other than one brain fart (in which he whined to the ref about a penalty called on him rather than watch the shot that was coming at him), he had a solid game against the USA.
I was very impressed by Jacob Trouba on the American team. Winnipeg's ninth overall pick was thought to be three or four years away, but I might move that projection up by a year based on his performance. His three goals lead the team - he's a defensemen, remember - but he's always there when something is happening offensively.
Another rearguard who has been very good is Mike Reilly, a Columbus draft pick (fourth round in 2011). We all know the situation on the blue line in Columbus, with Tim Erixon, Ryan Murray on the way, and John Moore and Jack Johnson already there - so the organization can afford to wait on him. I'm sure he'll play out his full college slate, of which he has three years ahead of him still.
Still with Team USA: Least impressed - or rather, most disappointed - Rocco Grimaldi. This is based on a little more than four periods that I've seen him play. Just not seeing it. I'm seeing a guy with talent, but who is years away from making use of it in the NHL. Years and years.
Montreal prospect Alex Galchenyuk leads the US with five points in three games. Goaltender John Gibson, an Anaheim own, has been nothing short of stellar.
Brendan Ross had a nice breakdown/preview of the WJC's draft eligible guys. You can find it right here. Including this gem about Slovakia's Marko Dano:
Potential late round project type of prospect that plays physical and owns good hockey sense and a heavy shot. He can be a bit individualistic at times but that could help him on a team that will need his offense. Looking to make a name for himself.
Dano has four points in the tournament so far, putting him in a tie for seventh.
And while you're looking at prospects, you can take a look at pretty much all of them over at DobberProspects. We're constantly adding profiles, including this one on Team USA's Riley Barber. Rich Dillon also has a fresh ramblings up based on the WJC and you can find that here.
Happy New Year everyone! The year 2012 started off great. But, from a fantasy hockey standpoint, finished not so great. I just hope everyone who is still around will not let the lawyers ruin forever what is a fun game. And I'm talking about fantasy hockey, not hockey. And I hope that most of the people who left and - probably smartly - are just ignoring everything for now, will return to this fun game when things get going either in January or October.
The Spengler Cup Final is set for this morning at 6am ET, which makes no sense because not a single game before this one had a 6am start. In fact, 9am was the earliest prior to this. And I know they're not catering to the Eastern Time Zone, but come on - if your games are repeatedly falling in either Time Slot A or in Time Slot B, then your Final game should be starting at one of those times.
I tried digging up stats for this tourney, and failed. Anyone have a link? I've watched about five periods of this - great hockey. If anything, I've been guilty of just forgetting to turn it on at two in the afternoon. Otherwise I would have caught more.
Some interesting suggestions here for the NHL on television if and when they return soon, courtesy of The Hockey Writers.
Uh oh - Danny Briere is out with a wrist injury. He'll be sidelined for two weeks, which cuts into a shortened training camp, assuming a CBA is reached. His regular season production has been dipping steadily anyway.
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.
I love how the KHL has done this for their growing base of English fans. We'll see if they've added enough interest to sustain that fanbase even after the NHL starts. Anyway, here is the December 29th summary. Geoff Platt's penalty shot goal at 2:15 is a real beauty:
Grand Rapids goalie Thomas McCollum thought that the team was about to go on the power play. He skated to the bench on a delayed penalty that wasn't. Joe Colborne scores the empty netter:
Oh, and this may go without saying, but I'll say it anyway - ramblings will be late tomorrow. Happy New Year!