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Everything posted by yave1964

  1. That sounds about right lol. Actually he traded with both of us and caught
  2. Rux and I were both casting a weary eye at your team two or three days ago. Great job on getting back into the race.
  3. I meant to post this a few days ago when it happened, sorry it is a bit late..... Sam Gagner is back with the Oilers after being traded for the husk of Ryan Spooner from the Canucks. Honestly, I wish him well. He was the 6th pick in his draft class back when the Oilers were consistently drafting high, he was taken right ahead of Voracek and Couture and huge things were expected. The Oilers rushed him, he was never as good as he was supposed to be, he was a center who couldn't win faceoffs or a winger who wasn't physical enough to set up in front of the net or fast enough to put fear into opposing defenses. In seven years in Edmonton he averaged 14 goals and 42 points which are solid 3rd line numbers but because he showed flashes of so much more but couldn't sustain it he was finally moved out to Arizona where he had more or less the same year with the Coyotes followed by a lost year with the Flyers and then finally found his calling with the Jackets in 2016-17. Now I know a lot of folks hate Torts, both in the game and among fans but guys like Gagner have always been his bread and butter, reclamation projects who have skill but have been misused. Torts made him a power play specialist and a very good 3rd liner, kept his minutes in the defensive zone to a minimum and Gagner responded with a career high in goals (18) and points (50) and was a career high plus ten. He was an UFA at years end, and that is where he screwed up, he signed with the Canucks who had no idea how to use him, signing for three years at 3.1 million. Columbus wanted him back but on a two year deal at around the same money, he took the extra year and slipped back to 31 points and this year was stunned when the Canucks sent him to Utica of the AHL where he has toiled other than the occasional injury which forced a callup. I like Gagner, I have always felt he was misused, first in Edmonton then Philly, finally in Vancouver. There are many things he cannot do, but he has offensive acumen and can play the power play quite well. In his entire career only Torts has taken advantage of his skills and managed to not put him on a path towards failure by asking him to do things he is not capable of doing. Now with Hitch, I dont know, he could be in a good position, on a power play with McDavid and Draisatl he could find himself given an opportunity and take advantage of it, he certainly has to be better than Kassian or Lucic or Spooner for that matter. I have to admit I am rooting for him, he handled his demotion with grace, I read somewhere that his kid had just started school and he didn't want to have the wife and kids follow him to Utica and change schools so they stayed in Vancouver and he came back to visit whenever possible and kept his head down and kept smiling and did his job. I remember the year he had in Columbus, he looked happy, he looked like the weight of the world was off his shoulders as someone figured out how to get the best out of him. Guys like this, I just have to root for it to fall in place for. I hope he catches a break and his second time in Edmonton is a good experience for him.
  4. 1) Poor coaching. Blash plays mind games with the kids, 20 minutes one night, 12 the next, no cohesive units. 2) Injuries to the blue line. Green, Dekeyser and Daley have all missed significant time, sometimes at the same time. Sadly, Jensen, Ericsson and one legged Kronwall have remained healthy. 3) Poor special teams. 4) significant ice time and key roles to low IQ players like Abdelkader and Mantha neither of whom could spell cat if you spotted them a C and an A. I agree, tons of speed, they are interesting to watch and play hard every night which is more than I can say for last year when they were boring and nearly unwatchable, but we need a new coach who will give guys like Hronek, Cholowski and Rasmussen their due. Oh well, next year we might have Hughes lol and last years first rounders may crack the lineup. Hoping that Quenneville is our coach by then, lol.
  5. Trust me as a Wings fan I get tired of that kind of stuff from Mantha, how about we deal him to you guys for Konecny, lol?
  6. Absolutely no place on the game for that hit by Mantha on Giroux. I hate those kind of plays, should have been five minutes-period. Mantha may be the dumbest palyer in the game today.
  7. Division three, taking a look at the Atlantic division with the trade deadline coming up. TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING Best record in Hockey since day one, simply rolling over people if anything gaining steam. NEEDS umm, maybe a depth defender, that is about it. TRADE BAIT Possibly their first rounder, lots of young kid bottom six forwards with upside. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS 3 points ahead of the Bruins, 6 points ahead of the Canadiens, a lock for the postseason. NEEDS already added Muzzin to the defense, supposedly looking for another defender and a bottom six forward, Luke Glendening has been linked here for two years. TRADE BAIT no first rounder, they do have some solid Marlie defensemen who in the right deal could be moved. BOSTON BRUINS 3 points behind the Leafs, 3 ahead of the Habs, a virtual lock for the playoffs. Pastrnak is the latest in a long line of injuries. NEEDS secondary scoring to play with Krejci. Health. They need the team to get healthy and stay that way. TRADE BAIT Last year they traded their number one in a package for Nash they have a history of being aggressive and will probably go all in with a package of picks and young prospects with Zboril mentioned as bait. MONTREAL CANADIENS 4th place 6 points behind Toronto.5 points ahead of the Hurricanes. Not a lock but chances are good. NEEDS They traded for Weise and Thompson because, get this, they went six weeks without a point from their 4th line! They desperately need one more top four defender of the shut down variety. TRADE BAIT Lindgren is a real deal goalie prospect who teams have asked about, they have their first and two seconds, Toffoli has been mentioned. BUFFALO SABRES 63 POINTS, 4 points out of a playoff spot in tenth place. NEEDS Secondary scorer, Mittelstadt has been off to a glacially slow start and a middle six center is a must, resigning Skinner needs to happen, and a top four shut down defender would be huge. TRADE BAIT, they have not one, not two but THREE first rounders to dangle, Alexander Nylander is always in the conversation lately too as someone they might use. FLORIDA PANTHERS Last year they came hard and barely missed the postseason, not this year. Stick a fork in them. NEEDS they need to figure out what to do about next year, they are rumored to be wanting to sign both Panarin and Bobrovsky if they can clear the money to do so. TRADE BAIT Huberdeau has been rumored to be on the block tho the team has denied it. Hoffman is almost certainly on the block as is Brassard, Brassard is linked to the Jets. Reimer may be moved. In short, they are kicking tires on about everyone save for Barkov. They already have six picks in the top four rounds and will certainly have more within a week. DETROIT RED WINGS Done. Stick a fork in them blow it up and start over. NEEDS Futures. And to make a decision on several long time fixtures. TRADE BAITthey would like to resign Howard for less money and he seems willing to listen, They would like to keep Nyquist and he also is amicable, if not the Wings want a first for either. Luke Glendening is on the block, Vanek has a no move deal but has said he will waive it if dealt to the right team. Nick Jensen will be traded for a 3rd or 4th rounder. In short, they are going to keep Howie and Gus if possible and if not, load up on futures. OTTAWA SENATORS Out of it since day one zero hour with Stone, Duchene and Dzingel is here. NEEDS They have a ton of good solid fun young players they need to figure out if their trio of UFA forwards are coming back or not to aid in the rebuild. They have to do it now. TRADE BAIT Duchene and Stone are huge, Ottawa would dearly love to resign them if not they want a pick, a roster player and a top prospect for each. Dzingel is rumored to be Columbus bound any day. Cody Ceci is rumored to being dangled and would be a huge get for someone as he is only a RFA next season. Any way you look at it the Senators are the team to watch over the next ten days.
  8. Final division Wow is this a tough one, Currently the Isles are looking very good in first place and the CBJ, Caps and Pens would also make the playoffs HOWEVER the Sabres and Hurricanes are on the outside but very close, the Flyers have been hot. Literally nobody in the division is a lock to make the playoffs. NEW YORK ISLANDERS The Islanders are in first, 3 points ahead of the Caps and are close but not quite a certainty to make the playoffs. NEEDS Eric Staal was mentioned today on THN as tied to the Islanders which is a perfect fit if it happens. That is the primary need, a top six center. TRADE BAIT Josh Ho Sang and Michael Del Colle are rumored to being dangled for players for their playoff run. They have only 2 picks in the first 5 rounds and therefor picks aren't likely going to be used. WASHINGTON CAPITALS Last years champs are hanging in there but have clear deficiencies. Likely a playoff team. NEEDS They need a top four defender and a middle six winger badly. TRADE BAIT Burakovsky is rumored to be available for a defender, goalie prospect Ilya Samsonov is possibly available as both Holtby and Copley are tied up long term. COLUMBUS BLUEJACKETS Tied with the Penguins for 3rd in the division 3 points ahead of the Hurricanes and trying to hold on. NEEDS They need to identify what the hell to do with Panarin and Bobrovsky. If they keep the tow of them and miss the playoffs or get knocked out in the first round again and they move on it is a disaster. This is a public agony for the team. TRADE BAIT Panarin/bob obviously. If they decide to keep them and go for it this year they are targeting Dzingel, who went to Ohio State. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS Tied with the Jackets for 3rd, on the cusp of sneaking into the playoffs or having a disaster by missing the playoffs. NEEDS They need a defender but Schultz is back, they already made their move with Bjugstad and McCann. They might go for a 4th liner. TRADE BAIT Tristan Jarry may be moved in the right deal. Kessel has been rumored to be discussed. CAROLINA HURRICANES Barely out of the playoffs right where they usually finish but they have an exuberance that they hope will get them into the playoffs. NEEDS A top six center is a must, goalie has been smoke and mirrors but still holding up. TRADE BAIT if they decide that they are not going to make the playoffs pending UFA Ferland will get them a nice return. Mrazek and Mcelhiney are both free agents as well. Also if they fall out of the race captain Justin Williams may be moved. This is a team big time in play, they may try to add Staal or blow it up. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS Came back from the dead after a crazy first half, Carter Hart has them back in the conversation at the least. NEEDS time. They only have a week to decide if they are in the race and want to keep UFA Simmonds or to move him out for futures. They are one of the hottest teams in the East but time is getting short. TRADE BAIT Well Simonds clearly if they decide it is time to think of next year, Raffl is an UFA as well and will likely be moved as well if they decide to pull the plug. Weird rumor is Elliott to the Oilers for UFA Talbot and a slight pick upgrade freeing up money for the Oilers. Gudas is also rumored to be on the move. NEW YORK RANGERS Out of it, stick a fork in them. NEEDS The Rangers are getting ready to go into full rebuild with nearly the entire team available. They would like to keep Kevin Hayes but the return would be very big for him. TRADE BAIT Zuccarello is almost certainly gone, Hayes as well, Hayes is tied by rumors to Colorado. Vesey is available and the biggie might be Kreider who has several years still under contract and could bring in a very nice return. NEW JERSEY DEVILS Splat. The team went off a cliff when Hall went down and Schneider refuses to win a game. NEEDS offensive defenseman, a top six center, a few top six wingers and goalie help. In other words last year was a fluke and they still suck. TRADE BAIT They have a half a dozen meh UFA's led by Lovejoy and Johansson as well as Kincaid who might bring in some picks. THAT finishes the four divisions with moves and predictions that are almost certain to go wrong.
  9. Malkin suspended a game by the league for swinging his stick at the head of Michael Raffl of the Flyers. Opinon?
  10. Part two of four, a quick glance at each team heading into the trade deadline now ten days away..... CALGARY FLAMES neck and neck with the Sharks for the top spot in the division and with the Jets as well for top spot in the West. NEEDS This is a stacked lineup, not much, perhaps a secondary scoring winger, that is about it. TRADE BAIT They dont have their second rounder but they do still have their first if they wish to make a big splash for someone like Stone. SAN JOSE SHARKS Like the Flames, fighting for the division title and fighting the Jets for top spot in the West. NEEDS The team has not been happy with Jones in spite of him being second in the game in Wins. Deep and balanced roster might go for some grit on their bottom line and bottom pair, that is about it. TRADE BAIT Lots of middling kid prospects, they dont have a first or a fourth and may be loathe to trade a pick. VEGAS KNIGHTS Falling fast, slipped into third in the division which is where they likely will remain. NEEDS Alex Tuch is the leading scorer which says it all, they need an offensive shot in the arm and a puck moving defender badly, as well as a goalie to give the tired Fleury some time off down the stretch. TRADE BAIT five picks in the first three rounds might be used, Cody Glass has been mentioned in different forums although McPhee says he isn't available. VANCOUVER CANUCKS Tied with the Wild for the final wildcard spot somehow. NEEDS They have one line, a pedestrian blueline and on the face of it need help everywhere. TRADE BAIT Wow is this a tough one, they say they aren't trading futures and would prefer to deal a roster player for roster player but dont have much. Perhaps they find a taker for a Baertchi or Gudbranson? This team is impossible to figure out, they look like sellers at best yet here they are in the middle of the race. ARIZONA COYOTES 4 points off the pace 2 games at hand. NEEDS offense, desperately so. They have a forward group chuck full of nice complimentary players and not much else. Great underrated defense and Kuemper having an outstanding season. First priority someone to get the puck to Keller. TRADE BAIT They have all of their own picks and prospect Nick Merkley has been mentioned this next week is critical to their plans. EDMONTON OILERS 6 points back, three games at hand, the coach fighting with the players, another wasted season. NEEDS Clear the mines, figure out how to free up cap space. Talbot in play to free up space to activate Sekera, they need to figure a way to move some bad contracts and think of next years roster composition. TRADE BAIT Supposedly a Talbot plus a pick for Elliot is in serous discussion they need more of these types of moves, Sekera, Larsson, Lucic, all might have some value elsewhere as long as the Oilers retain a large part of the salary. They need an accountant to make it work. ANAHEIM DUCKS lost 20 of 22 games, somehow still only six points off the pace for the final spot in the West. NEEDS offense, desperately. Finally giving their kids a shot to see what they can do, probably time to think about next year. TRADE BAIT Underrated Silferberg and aging goalie Miller supposedly on the way out, Miller rumored to Vegas possibly. Silferberg will likely net a decent pick, Miller not much at this point in his career. Likely no big moves as GM Bob Murray is probably getting a copy of the home game at years end and just holding the seat down until years end for the next guy. LOS ANGELES KINGS Dead last in the West but somehow only 7 points out. Still, they have been realistic and are selling off pieces. NEEDS youth and draft picks. Speed. TRADE BAIT Hagelin will be moved for a pick, Toffoli and Martinez have a couple of years remaining on their current deals at very affordable hits and could fetch a decent return. They would love someone to take Jeff Carter. That finishes the West, I will work on the East either later today or tomorrow.
  11. My point phrased much better by you than I. Malkin did deserve his game off for swinging his stick but raffl acted gutless and collapsed on the ice like a sissy little soccer player. Lots of blame to go around. And quite frankly the linesman should be held to account for not penalizing raffle.
  12. I am going to try to knock out a deadline primer for each of the four divisions over the next several days, starting here with the central division. WINNIPEG JETS A mortal lock to make the playoffs a 4 point lead over Nashville with two games at hand for the division lead. Needs: Last year at the deadline they added Stastny as the 2C and he was solid during the run which took him to the conference final before bolting to Vegas, he has not been properly replaced. Little has been good lately but is aging and largely inconsistent. Laine has been pretty bad since the start of November and there is talk of going after another scoring winger as well but a 2C seems to be the biggest need. Brassard keeps coming up. Trade bait: Draft picks and possibly kids, Lemieux and Appleton have done well on the 4th line, someone might ask for one of them as a return for a center. Mark Stone, a Winnipeg boy has been linked to the Jets if they decide to go after a winger. NASHVILLE PREDATORS At worst, second in the division seems a certainty with a shot at the division title still possible. Needs: Truthfully not much, they have added some depth pieces already and might like a middle six winger like a Vanek if they can get one on the cheap. Several places have them linked to Duchene which would be going for the homerun, they aren't afraid of that kind of trade so it is possible. trade bait: Eeli Tolvanen is considered their top prospect, they are loathe to move him but to add Duchene it might cost both Tolvanen and Saros. DALLAS STARS Looking more and more like a playoff team with every passing game. NEEDS secondary scoring, they have a good duo in net, a top line, an underrated blue line but their offense is in desperate need of at least one if not two scorers. Andrei Burakovsky has been rumored on the way out in Washington and linked to either Dallas or Colorado. Another namei read was Marcus Johansson of the Devils. TRADE BAIT Radek Faksa has never translated his game as a top six center to the NHL but is still young and talented and is rumored to be available. ST LOUIS BLUES 4th in the Division and streaking. After having the worst record in all of Hockey on January first, they have been the games best team over the last six weeks. NEEDS Secondary scoring depth and maybe another top four defender. Cody Ceci has been mentioned in recent days. TRADE BAIT lots of solid kid forwards in guys like Kyrou, Robert Thomas and more, one of them may be dangled to add a veteran scorer or defender in the right deal. MINNESOTA WILD 5th place and falling, Koivu now out for the year. NEEDS They need time to decide if they are a buyer or seller. Less than two weeks to decide. I dont see them making a major push. TRADE BAIT: If they decide that it is time to take a step back I think Staal who is an UFA is certainly a goner, their other free agents wont fetch much if anything. Rask may be dangled as well if they can find a suitor. COLORADO AVALANCHE Six points behind the Blues and sinking fast. NEEDS Probably ready to throw in the towel, they need to decide if they want to keep Varlamov and while this season is getting away from them secondary scoring is a must going forward. TRADE BAIT Varly is an UFA and might be a good get for someone, Colin Wilson is an UFA and a decent third liner. Nikita Zadorov is the whipping boy on the blue line and rumored to be in play. CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS Before losing to the Bruins a couple of nights ago they had won 7 in a row, they are 6 points out of a playoff spot and believe they are still in it. NEEDS a defenseman or two, a secondary scorer or two as well. They have aggressively added Strome, Perlini, Caggiulla and Koekkoek already and aren't afraid to deal. TRADE BAIT Cam Ward with Crawford due back will be aggressively shopped to a team looking for a playoff experienced backup, they would love to find a way to move Seabrook but he aint having it. If they go on a slide over the next week look for Kunitz and Anisimov to be moved out if they can find a taker. That is the Central.
  13. Let me clarify. I said suspended, I meant penalized. Raffl totally is 100 percent to blame for this period no debate IMHO. This was not a goal mouth scramble where players are fighting for the puck, Malkin knocked down the puck and was looking to get control of it, with the linesman feet away Raffl targeted him, crosschecked him in the back and then punched him in the back of the head. A whistle and a penalty should have immediately happened, instead Malkin lost his crap and swung his stick which I am not defending but Raffl sold it like it hit him in the head which of course it did not. Raffl and the zebra were as much as fault as Malkin in this instance IMHO and I will stick to it. If a penalty had been rightfully called it would have ended there, instead raffl attacked a just returned from injury player with a crosscheck and a punch to the back of the head and tried to skate away. Absolutel BS. He looked like a soccer player with that dive and should be ashamed. I agree with Simmonds, he gets called for retaliation way to much, I am sick of players in todays game where there is so little accountability you can punch someone with your gloves on knowing that you wont have to fight, the game has changed so much. No accountability. Not saying Malkin was right, not by a long shot but he was far from the only guilty party in that situation.
  14. Agreed the intent was there BS play by Raffl and horrible non call by the zebra led to it tho, as I mentioned no love for Malkin and his dirty plays but I felt a fine for this at most was in order, with whatever Malkin got, raffl should have gotten the same.
  15. I am not a Malkin apologist, far from it, I have stated hehas deserved suspensions that he has gotten away with things half a dozen times dating back to at least the 2009 SCF so for at least a decade he has gotten away with things that a non superstar never would. However. it was his first game back from injury after missing five games, the game was essentially over and Malkin making a hockey play on the puck had his back to him, Raffl first gave him a slash to the back and then a punch to the head with the lineseman ten feet away who should have called a slash or something and didn't. Malkin swung his stick, did not hit Raffl who fell like he was JFK in Dealy Plaza. He essentially sold it. If the linesman had done his job and blown the whistle for the Raffl slash and cheap punch to the back of Malkin's head it would have ended there. IMHO the wrong player was suspended. Raffl should be reviled for this play.He sold it, the on ice officials bought it and Malkin was suspended. I wont cry for Malkin because God only knows he has done enough in the past to deserve suspensions but Raffl should have been kicked out and fined for this one, not Malkin.
  16. Bargain basement deal here. Montreal traded disappointing Dave Schlemko and mediocre forward Bryan Froese to the Flyers for disappointing Dale Weise and Christian Frolin. Weise will be sent to Laval in the AHL, Frolin will slot into the 7th D slot for Montreal. Schlemko has split the season between the AHL and NHL and will likely do the same with the Flyers as the first callup in case of injury. Froese is having a good year in the AHL and will likely be assigned to the AHL as well. He has a well earned rep as a solid energy player who plays the 4th line but can score a bit. Weise had some success with the Canadiens and will likely be recalled soon to play the 4th line. A change of scenery deal, shuffling the deck a bit both teams ridding themselves of players who didn't live up to expectations.
  17. @SpikeDDS Yeah he has been snakebit the last several weeks hasn't he? I think he is a bit better than that though, he is just fighting the puck right now, all kids go through it, I think 25 goals a year is very realistic. Still not sure why they wont play him at center, he did very well there the game that Lark missed displaying excellent vision as a setup guy (although he won only 5 of 15 faceoffs). He is in the midst of a 10 game goalless drought but during that time he has 7 assists. He also has set a career high in points already with over 20 games still on the schedule. All that said, it sounds like I am calling him the next Crosby, lol, believe me I am not, I think he is thepiece we should dangle for a top four veteran d-man tied up long term, someone like Cam Fowler from Anaheim would be ideal as Anaheim needs scoring and Detroit needs defense. I like AA, I really do but I fear he has peaked and will be a speedy 45-50 point a year guy, absolutely nothing wrong with those type of players every team needs them but we have guys who are in need of ice time and he would fetch the best return.
  18. @TropicalFruitGirl26 Saw that too, a couple of Kings fans were laughing over past trades with Montreal where Montreal traded with the Kings for losers such as Dwight King and David Drewiske as well as a few others, Bergevin has a soft spot for lower rung Kings apaprerently. But playing Habitant advocate on this one, lets look at it. The fourth the Kings are getting is likely the 20th or so in the draft, maybe as high as 24 with a hot streak. The fifth the Habs are getting back could/should be at the top of the round as the Kings are in the 'lose for Hughes; phase. So in all likelihood the pick is only moving up ten spots. Thompson is a solid P/K guy, he is a 4th liner but can score the occasional sneaky goal and is an UFA at years end. He has 62 playoff games under his belt, has been to the conference finals a few times so he knows how to play playoff hockey. Oh and he is a great, not good but GREAT faceoff guy, that is his bread and butter and what keeps him in the league. So the Habs traded down 10 spots in the middle of the draft for a 4th line center who kills penalties, wins faceoffs and has a lot of playoff experience. Solid move for Montreal.
  19. I did a write up in here six weeks ago or so asking if the Ducks could keep it up as they were getting out shot almost nightly 2 to 1 and Gibson was keeping them in games. I think since then they have literally lost like 20 0f 22 and Gibson looks like a shell shocked war vet in there. Simply ugly. The team quit under Carlyle plain and simple, I like him and believe he is a good solid NHL head coach but he had to go. I do like a lot of their futures, I think that in spite of always drafting in the 20s they do a remarkable job of getting quality for the pick so they deserve credit for that, lots of good young forward depth arriving. Murray is probably next and deservedly so, the long term no move deals to Perry/Getzlaf are crippling, the horrendous signing of Eaves and the trade for Kesler were awful, it could turn around quickly for them however, they do have Gibson who some could argue is the leagues best goalie, they have lots of good talented defenseman (although no true number one, lots of twos and threes) and kid forwards on the horizon. If they win the 'lose for Hughes' fight they could be right in the thick of it by next year. Of course that is predicated on a new coach. They have went with veterans every time ever since giving Babcock his first shot, I think the next coach will be an unproven assistant from someone but it will be up to the new GM to decide. Murray is almost certainly just riding out the string until the offseason and then being shown the door as well.
  20. Austen Matthews just signed a 5 year deal for 58 million bucks (AAv 11.6 million per). Too much? Too little? Just right? Discuss.
  21. Nashville waded into the trading pool wednedsday adding veterans Brian Boyle and Cody Mcleod for a 2nd and a 4th rounder respectively. Boyle is a man mountain down the middle who is a penalty killer and a sneaky goal scorer occasionally, he can bump up a line occasionally if needed. He brings tons of playoff experience and grit to a team that is fighting to catch Winnipeg for the coveted first place. First place in most years means little as 8 very good teams make the playoffs but the West is top heavy with 4 or 5 outstanding teams and a bunch of very flawed teams fighting for the remaining spots, first place almost assures playing an Anaheim or St. Louis or Edmonton type while 2nd place will set up a much more difficult matchup. Home ice throughout the western conference is still within reach. Mcleod is literally the last of a dying breed, over 700 career games, eight minutes a night of sandpaper and grit, a fearless fighter who will take anyone on at any time. He was part of a deep run a few years ago when Nashville made the SCF as well as being a fan favorite. They have been running guys like Zac Rinaldo, the tiny Rocco Grimaldi, the disappointing Gaudreau and Salomaki so these two are considered an upgrade and add much needed depth for the postseason. It is probably a sign that Austin Watson is done for the year as well.
  22. OH and probably most important both players are UFA at seasons end so their is little if any risk involved, if Boyle has a strong postseason he likely stays around, same with Mcleod. If both are non entities they will be quickly forgotten. The cost for the potential reward is minimal.
  23. Sweet Baby James, this team is actually fun to watch. A few quick hits after watching the Canes dismantle the Wings last night 3-1. This is the third time I have watched Carolina this year and I am impressed with how aggressive they are, Hamilton coming aboard along with Hamonic changes the entire structure of the team. Hamonic is the nice steady stay at home presence that a longtime favorite of mine Faulk has needed, Faulk pushes the puck in one pairing almost as a 4th forward knowing Hamonic has his back, Pesce does the same for Hamilton who joins every rush. They play north south hockey, speed and zeroing in on the net. Brind A'mour has them attacking on every shift. Guess who leads the league in shots at 44 a game? The Hurricanes. Ferland seems to have found chemistry with Aho who moved into the middle this year. It is Aho's team plain and simple, as he goes, so go the Canes. He seems dedicated to finding another gear, his pass first shoot second mentality works wonderful from the middle and he drives straight towards the net forcing the other teams defense to collapse the middle and then he passes it out to the wing or drops it back to either Faulk/Hamilton. By far, this is the best 5 on 5 team I have seen this year. By far. At one point late in the second the Canes held a ridiculous 36-9 shot advantage and they had 20 at least that were either blocked or just missed the net. They fire from everywhere, get it inside the blueline, put it on net and drive the net. granted it was only the Wings but wow were they tough. Then inexplicably they quit skating in the third, they hung around going into protect mode and Athanasiou scored on a breakaway. With five minutes to go in the third with the Wings on a power play Mrazek was down, Rasmussen had one blocked in the crease by Faulk and Hamonic stole the game by blocking one by Athanasiou both within about three seconds in a textbook showing of how to play defense on a P/K. No idea why they took the foot off the gas, I think it is something that will be addressed. Overall I like the team, they remind me a bit of Columbus other than in net where they are going to run the hot hand of three guys who are Luke warm at best most nights. if they can get any kind of netminding at all with the system they are playing they are a dangerous and fun team to watch.
  24. The Penguins jumped in to replace the struggling Derick Brassard, shipping he and Riley Sheahan to the Panthers for Nick Bjugstad and center Jared McCann. Florida also adds a second and two fourth rounders in the deal. Bjugstad has long been a favorite of mine he brings size and a scoring touch which has eroded with injuries, if you look up who needs a change of scenery in any book his name should be right near the top. I have been a fan of McCann since his days in Vancouver and thought he could easily slide into a top six role in Florida but it hasn't worked out. He has found his game as a skilled bottom six center. Brassard hasn't worked out since coming over at the deadline last year from Ottawa, a 3rd line center on a team that loads up the first two lines and leaves the bottom six picking up scraps his offense has fallen wayoff. Florida hopes reuniting Brassard with Hoffman who he excelled with in Ottawa will spark him. Sheahan is a jack of all trades forward who does nothing particularly well nor particularly bad, he can play any forward position very average on the bottom six or bump up to the second line in a pinch for short term. Both Brassard and Sheahan are in the final year of their deal, what is the biggest for Pittsburgh is Bjugstad is signed through 20-21 at 4.1 million per and McCann has one more year remaining at 1.2 million. My thoughts are Brassard will likely be moved again before the deadline by Florida for more assents, possibly another secondin the right deal, Sheahan too, possibly a 3rd or 4th rounder so Florida got assets and two players who in the next few weeks will be moved for more. Pittsburgh got a reasonable contract in Bjugstad that they control for a few more years, if healthy and playing top six with that stacked team his offense will reignite, McCann, man I thought he was gonna be somrthing but hasn't developed yet, as the 3C in Pittsburgh knowing his role I think he will be fine. As an aside, I remember Brassard being a crybaby in Columbus under Hitch over ice time and actuallybeing sat a few times when he went public crying about not getting power play time so he hated it in Pittsburgh I am sure, moving his toxicity will likely help the locker room.

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