NHL Morning Coffee Headlines – June 25, 2017

by | Jun 25, 2017 | News, NHL | 51 comments

The NY Islanders traded Travis Hamonic to the Calgary Flames during Day 2 of the 2017 NHL Draft.

My brief take on the 2017 NHL Draft plus a couple of contract signings & more in your NHL morning coffee headlines. 

NHL.COM: Rounds two through seven of the 2017 NHL Draft were completed yesterday. The notable trade saw the New York Islanders trade defenseman Travis Hamonic and a fourth-round pick to the Calgary Flames for a 2018 first-round pick and two conditional second-round picks in 2019 or 2020. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Following the above link for the complete list of players selected in this year’s draft. Follow this link for full details and my analysis of the Hamonic trade.

For me, the biggest takeaway was the lack of significant trade activity involving veteran players. There was so much hype anticipating major deals involving notable stars such as Matt Duchene, Alex Galchenyuk, Dion Phaneuf and Evander Kane that it overshadowed the draft weekend. 

The Hamonic deal is noteworthy and there were three blockbuster moves leading up to the opening round involving Jordan Eberle, Brandon Saad, Artemi Panarin and Derek Stepan. But the other big moves failed to materialize, probably because the asking prices were ridiculously high. 

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: The New York Rangers are reportedly set to hire former Dallas Stars head coach Lindy Ruff as an assistant coach. 

WINNIPEG SUN: The Jets re-signed defenseman Ben Chiarot to a two-year, $2.8 million contract. 

The Los Angeles Kings re-signed forward Andy Andreoff to a two-year deal worth an average annual value worth over $677K.

 








51 Comments

  1. Same as last year. All hyped up but it seems more peomotional than anything else.

  2. So a couple days in, and here are my thoughts on the Canadian Teams and a few others. My take on the draft didn’t come down to selections often, because of this draft’s depth, lack of superstar hype, and wide open nature, it’s not often anyone went off board enough, or fell enough that you got the feel anybody really shook the status quo. Lilejgren, Vesalainen, Yamamoto, Tolvanen, and Kostin felt like potential steal type picks for where they went.

    Edmonton – Overall they have less talent than they did previously. The draft and expansion draft were solid choices, (really like Yamamoto as a pick) and The Eberle trade wasn’t necessarily bad, but it was an obvious downgrade to free up cap space. I don’t like any trade where you are selling low. Russell is a terrible use of that freed up cap space. Many will defend him as a shot blocking beast, but blocked shots do not correlate to good D men. He makes every second shift he plays look like an opposing team powerplay.

    Calgary – Foote was a good draft selection, again good strategy in the expansion draft, and they managed to trade for Hamonic (albeit relatively costly) without giving up a roster player. The lack of protection on the 1st is a gamble, but in the Pacific, there are two solid teams ahead of them still (Edmonton and Anaheim), San Jose will likely be weaker, Arizona a little stronger, Vancouver will be terrible, and LA seems to be on a downward trajectory and in a cap mess. So The risk is a measured one, as Calgary now has one of the better D-Cores in the league if Hamonic gets back to playing the way he has in seasons past.

    Winnipeg – Considering they had some of the hardest protection problems of Canadian teams, the expansion draft is a success, and they have a good roster, just terrible goal tending. I really think they did well taking a falling Vesalainen. They may be a surprise team next year even without big changes, but at least they haven’t cost themselves anything huge at this point.

    Vancouver – Somewhat underwhelming start to their re-build, but nothing glaring. I would have liked to see them trade down a few spots and gain additional picks, but that is pretty minor. Maybe they could have moved down and gotten Petterson, but if they liked him above everyone else, they may not have been offered enough to take the risk.

    Toronto – Good start to the summer. They were well set up for expansion, and it’s good they didn’t pay for protection. Liljgren falling the draft was nearly a perfect scenario, and I do see him as having the potential to be a steal at 17. They added 3 more D in the draft, and they resisted the urge to outbid Calgary for Hamonic (as I think an Eastern team needs to pay a little more to win that deal). The East is tough, teams like Carolina, Tampa, and NYI will be in a dog fight to take away those wild card spots. No one else really got drastically worse.

    Monteal – Most interesting team to watch, as Bergevin isn’t done, and is not afraid to be very active. Expansion seemed odd protecting Benn and trading away Bealieu. Drouin will be very exciting, and the price was fair but bold, espeically now that Emelin was selected. Shlemko was a great value pick up for next to nothing. As it stands though, this team is not as good as
    last year’s unless more changes come. Drouin in place of Radulov isn’t a massive immediate improvement. Emelin, Bealieu out, with no Sergechev to insert back in, and Shlemko as the only addition on D will weaken the back end. So Bergevin still has work to do, and the strength/weaknesses of previous trades will hinge on the overall vision for this team.

    Ottawa – Losing Methot hurt a lot, and shopping Dion may seem counter-intuitive considering their loss, but if frees up money and depending on who they use that money on, could be a value upgrade (Alzner, Smith) and Chabot will help cover some of the hole. Also, Methot was a decent defensemen with a perfect situation. This made him valuable, but he isn’t appreciably better than say Emelin, and isn’t as good as Alzner, at least in terms of skill set. This type of defensemen has always been an issue to me, in the right situation, they look amazing, in the wrong spot, they can look terrible. Truth is they are solid complimentary pieces who when used effectively in the right situation have good value. So I do think Ottawa can replace Methot relatively effectively this summer.

    As for a couple of Non-Canadian teams:

    Rangers – Cleared a lot of cap space, and seem to have gotten decent value in their trades overall. It feels like a pretty big re-tooling. Will be interesting if it feels like a full on re-build, or on the fly reconstruction.

    Islanders – Messy and all over the place. Eberle deal was good, bought low on a good offensive winger. They got good value for Hamonic despite him having an off year. Their expansion list was god awful, and to be honest, I think they did a lot of nothing overall. They trade a 1st, 2nd and prospect and lost a goalie, then traded Hamonic & a 4th to get a 1st and two 2nds. Could they not have gone 7-3-1, worked out a deal with Vegas to just expose Hamonic in exchange for taking Grabovski? That still wouldn’t be great, but would be simpler and honestly works out about the same. It’s another team that will be interesting to watch, but it’s hard to rate overall, as it seems like a lot of noise and their big move was just adding Eberle for Strome. I feel like the fact that they were a decent team to start, and Eberle is an upgrade will cause another of these situations where a GM makes a lot of noise, his team improves despite odd or questionable decisions, and then gets praised as a genius.

    St. Louis – More active than I expected. Loved that they managed to use Reaves to move up and take Kostin. The Schenn deal looks good on it’s face, but overall I think they overpaid. Schenn is more a physical 3rd line type of winger who is like a powerplay specialist. Problem is, St.Louis already had a good PP, and he may not get the same chances. Schenn is likely a little better than Lehtera overall, but I think St. Louis essentially sold Lehtera as a dump, then overpaid by a 1st. At least it is lottery protected.

    Philly – The Schenn deal is a big win for them. I think Lehtera will actually provide similar value, and if he bounces back could be a good trade chip later. I think they sold high on Schenn, and the 1st and 2nd along with a player who will do most of what Schenn does is a pretty savvy move. Also, getting Patrick in the draft for a team that finished just outside the playoffs doesn’t hurt either. Patrick was one of the only players in this draft that even seems capable of stepping right in the line up, so as it stands, Philly looks like they will be better on the ice and picked up a 1st and 2nd. Good start to the summer.

      • A negative scouting report doesn’t stop a player picked outside of the top 10 from becoming a steal. If there was no risk in the player, who wouldn’t have fallen. What I like is that the Leafs went with the most skilled player available according to most, with other question marks. Many teams pick more “safe” picks with 3rd and 4th line potential in the mid to late stages of the 1st round, thinking that they are more likely to get to their ceiling, but are just as likely to bust. The Leafs were guilty of this under Burke and Nonis, selecting guys like Tyler Biggs, Stuart Percy, and Frederick Gauthier later in drafts. Of those, only Guathier still looks like he may play, and his ceiling is likely the 3rd line, so I like that under Hunter they are still taking risks.

        Also, defensive scouting is all over the place still, and scouts are still terrible at evaluating D. There is a reason that the top forward lists are mostly top 5 picks, while most lists of the top defensemen in the league rarely have many, while there are lots of picks from all over the draft. It’s not often that the best defensemen is the first one taken, so overall I like taking a risk on a guy like Liljegren. He could bust, but I would be willing to bet that so will a some of the higher taken D.

      • That’s the thing he isn’t the most skilled from what many are saying, and by what you say couldn’t every player be a steal?

      • The vast majority of scouting reports don’t question that he was one of the most talented defenders in the draft, they questioned his defensive game, and decision making.

        Yes, any player could turn out to be a steal, as chances are after the top handful of picks, not many people other than scouts have seen them play a whole lot, and those reports can be wildly off as in many cases scouts even form their opinions from a handful of games.

        However traditionally, players who turn out to be steals are usually players with deficiencies such as defensive play, size, decision making, or termed as “raw” which is usually a away of saying a bunch of those combined. Players who are great puck handlers and skater have a better chance of improving in those other areas than players who are big and can’t skate well, or play hard but aren’t offensively gifted etc.

      • The majority of scouting sites I read consisted of him maybe being a fringe NHL. The best comparison to him would kylington in Calgary. There is a reason he dropped as far as he did and it wasn’t the mono

      • Bigbadbruins……you need help with your leaf hating….seriously it is very strange! Kinda pathetic…..wow

      • Good one shticky lol

    • Danny Montreal has already upgraded their defense jerebak and shlmeko are both an upgrade over bealieu and emelin. People will be surprised how jerebak will play in the NHL

      • Jerebak could be a wildcard, and Shlemko is an excellent value pick up, but that pair isn’t a vast improvement over what they had. Throw in the fact that Markov is another year older, and now there isn’t likely to be a rookie surprise and work his way in, I just don’t see their defence being any better.

        My point with Montreal is they have shuffled the deck, but really where are they immediately improved as of now? Is Drouin going to do vastly more than Radulov did? Is that D going to skate the puck that much better? I really don’t see it. The thing is, there summer isn’t over, and will likely be defined by what else they do. The issue will be they have pointed themselves down a path where they need to go for it now, their D is getting older with every move they make, so Bergevin’s summer will be judged completely on his ability to deliver a better on ice team in October, not the long term.

      • Stop striker , stop! Again Miller did have time THIS year at center! He took 357 face offs this year!!!! Is that 357 times a center was booted from the circle , or one more time striker didn’t know wtf he was talking about?

        Stop! U literally talk of things I don’t know!

        ” Nash is nys left wing lock , Miller has never played center”….. stop! You ate completely clueless at times!

        Stop!

        God almighty, how many times are u wrong here, yet if you hit something once u go on and on! A broken clock is right twice a day, but much like you is wrong more than right! Just stfu already!

    • You’ll never see NY in a full rebuild. And as a fan I don’t see the same value in the Stepan return. Barring some good moves, ny looks like a bubble team at best. But I expect worse.

      People have their opinions of Stepan and Girardi, but who steps in to replace Stepans production or Girardis minutes? What center is on the 3rd or 4th line this year? What if either Zbad or Hayes is injured? Ny went from a pretty deep team down the middle to a bunch of questions down the middle.

      Right now, it’s a mess.

      • They are definitely in flux, and it’s hard to evaluate the summer as a whole without seeing what they do next. The trade itself, I don’t think was that bad, but you are right, if they are hoping to be better by moving out a back up who is a promising goaltender and their best Center, they have a lot of work to do.

        I think the loss of Girardi is easy enough to cover overall. He was force fed minutes, and I am not even sure I would consider him a decent 3rd pairing guy at this point in his career.

        If the Rangers end up signing a guy like Thronton for a year or two, retain smith, and can make a good depth signing on D, I actually think they go into next season with just as good a team in the short term, but have more flexibility in the long run and added a good prospect, which would be a win to me. If they do nothing else, and stay a bubble team, then it seems weird. If it’s a full on re-build, then it at least makes sense, but right now I think it all depends on what they do next.

      • Girardi is easy to replace on the ice. He was already tired in the 2nd round.

        There must be an UFA plan to add a center…Hanzal(top faceoff guy…solid 3rd line option), Gagner(powerplay/3rd line)…Bonino(will be overpaid to center a 3rd line)
        There is Nash + Thornton history but its a big gamble.
        All of this hinders on Zib and Hayes having great years.

        I am also assuming Shattekirk will be signed for too much and too long.

      • NYR will be as good or better than last season. This was a solid return for Stepan & I like the trade for both teams but more so for NYR. They get a solid return in the 7th overall pick & DeAngelo.

        I don’t like the Girardi buy out, to much cap hit in the 1st 3 years & way to long, 6 years. I would have waited 1 more year.

        Miller can easily move to C, he was destined to be a C eventually. All that youth that’s being served will be better & continue to get better for several years. NYR has a ton of cash to spend. They are far from done & it appears obvious now the Shattenkirk rumors were true & they can buy another C if necessary but a C of Zibanejad, Miller, Hayes & Pirri works just fine for me but I assume a solid checking C will be brought into to C the 4th line or a solid #3 & Miller stays on the wing.

        Zibanejad is right on the cusp of becoming a dominant 2 way C in the mold of a Brian Little but bigger. He’s never going to be an elite level scorer but 25 goals & 60 points; top 15, baring injury is at hand. He looked to be on track last season for just that but an injury derailed it & his line he started the season with was never really tried again upon his return.

        Deangelo has very high end offensive abilities, just needs to get his head screwed on straight & become a little more effective defensively but he has elite level offensive skills & future #1 PP capabilities. That said he is waiver exempt & will be heading to the minors to bide his time seeing some time with the big club as injuries or other dictate. 1 more essentially full season in the minors & he should be ready to move into the NHL in a sheltered role.

        This is as solid a cup contending team as any in the NHL as constructed now & they have 20 mil to spend. Zibby will eat up at least 5 of that.

      • Striker, Miller can easily move to center? He played center while Zbad was injured, his play at center earned him a healthy scratch! I like Miller much more on wing.

        Pirri is as good as gone, I said that in December when Ny was playing him full time. He is no Stepan. Hes not even a Lindberg imo. He won’t be back.

        Deangelo is a bit troubled and now on his 3rd team since being drafted….. we’ll see.

        If Ny doesn’t plug holes at center and D ( and no , Joe Thornton isn’t the answer for a speedy team, I’ll pass on Shattenkirk as well, they’ll be on the outside looking in.

      • Miller just turned 24, & has never played C in the NHL. Nor will he have to long term but he can. The issue will get addressed in trade or via UFA market.

        Pirri or may not be back inconsequential.

        What do you think NYR is going to do with all that cap space? Nothing?

        Your the NYR fan, I’m a Bruins fan & more postive about them than you are. I’m the 1 that always defends them, have been for years. This is a very young team & most of these players still need years to be the players they will be.

        Be positive, be happy & enjoy their success. It’s not even July 1st yet, the UFA market hasn’t even opened. Stepan was over paid. Hayes is 2 years from being fully developed as an NHL C. 1 of those monster forwards for me so 400 NHL regular season games. At 6’5″ it takes a long time to grow into that body.

        NYR will be a top 6 team again in the East next season & compete for the cup. Few teams have had better playoff success in the last 6 years than NYR. Can they get over the hump? Only 1 team can.

        Have I mentioned I hate this bracket playoff formula? Even though this year it worked to NYR’s favor but they couldn’t get by Ottawa even though they out played them.

    • It’s a twofer!

    • You forgot Harpur and Cleassen. Sens are fine. Funny though you did decidw to include a guy who hasnt played an NHL game over young guys who played well last year and i to thw playoffs.

      I suspect Ottawa will pick up a D through free agency or trade but the loss of Methot doesnt huet that bad.

      • When looking at losing Methot my point is they have lost a player from their line up, but likely have a player who didn’t play they can add back in. I wasn’t trying to imply that Chabot comes in and take Methot’s role, just that they have an exciting young player who can likely walk into their current line up.

        But I do agree, I think Ottawa can handle the loss, which is always why they likely didn’t move heaven and earth throwing picks at Vegas to avoid it.

    • During the draft I won a beer when I bet that, WHOEVER the Leafs picked at 17, one of the on-site pundits would suggest it was “the steal of the draft.” They didn’t disappoint.

      • You are right, there are tons in the media who love eveything the Leafs do, not matter how inconsequential, so it wouldn’t have mattered to some.

        I do think that Liljgren is a steal type pick, but I just like the gamble on a guy with a higher ceiling than most being selected around that time, but there plenty of picks I feel that way about. I really like Yamamoto, as nobody knocked any part of his actual game, just his size, and Veslainen falling is a windfall for Winnipeg.

      • How many games have you actually seen liljgren play Danny? That’s my point Danny are you going off of what you have seen liljgren play or what the Toronto media has said?

      • & how many have you Bigbadbear seen Jerebek play? We rely on stats in any & all leagues to help us determine a players NHL potential, team make up; opportunity, etc. to make educated assumptions. 1 site has even developed a mathematical formula for such between the leagues in the world based on all players having plated in all coming to the NHL. It’s surprisingly accurate. Imagine that.

        Bob MacKenzie just picked 27 of the 1st 31 draft choices, not in order & some were off by a significant # but amazing none the less. How did he do that? Did he see all those players play? No he saw a few sparingly. He did research, talked to GM’s scouts, players other journalists & broadcasters & used his brain to determine his choices.

        I agree with you about Jerabek. He will be a decent to solid acquisition; just like Zaitsev was in Tor, but not certain he’s replacing Emelin’s PK abilities, nor making life in Montreal’s zone unpleasant like Emelin did. He’s an elite level NHL hitting Dman; 9th for hits, that makes life in front on Price no fun at all.

        If Markov is resigned will Jerebek see the PP time he saw in the KHL? & if not what will his contribution be? Some of these KHL signings work some don’t. How did the Medvedev signing work out in Philadelphia?

      • You do realize striker that bobby mac talks to a number of scouts that actually watch the players right? That’s how he grades his list, he has a number of scouts from different organizations that actually get paid to watch players. Like George said it wouldn’t have mattered who the leafs took at 17 he would be a STEAL! And wouldn’t jerebek be replacing bealieu and schlmeko be replacing Emelin I think you’re a little mixed up

      • Didn’t you also say Emelin was as good as methot striker dan?

      • The only time I saw him play was in the U18’s over a year ago. He was seemed like the most talented defensemen on a good swedish team. Other than that it’s from reading scouting reports leading into the draft and watching his stock plummet after a season that started with Mono that led me to think he would be a good pick for the team that gets him. There are no guarantees, but I like gambling on guys who fall in the draft, similar to Forsberg, Fowler, Chycrun, Tarsenko, and Kuznetsov.

        By no means is this a guarantee of value, but since mid round picks are such a crap shoot by comparison to top 10 picks, I like grabbing falling players in a draft.

        I had this opinion of Liljgren before the draft, and had my mind made up that he could be a good falling pick to watch before Toronto selected him.

        I would agree though that trying to get a decent idea of what a player selected by big market teams after the case is nearly impossible as the spotlight tends to warp perception of any writer in either direction, Toronto especially.

        So you are right, I have not watched Liljegren a whole lot, but I don’t really think that makes a lot of difference as I would be willing to bet there are very few people outside of scouts can say they saw enough of all of the prospects to be able to give a definitive ranking based on what they saw alone. Scouting reports is basically all we have as fans to go on outside of some of the bigger international tournaments, and those aren’t exactly ideal sample sizes for anything but the very top end of the prospect pools.

      • Bigbadbruin,

        While you are trying to insinuate that it was a bias that has me thinking that Liljegren would be a steal, I think you should check your own biases as you make them pretty clear. I noted several players I thought could be great first round pick ups, but you zeroed in on a Leafs selection to take issue. Toronto Media can be annoying, he’s the next Karlsson as far as they are concerned, I just think it’s a good pick at 17.

        Also, yes I do think Emelin is similar to Methot. I have seen Emelin play 100’s of games, literally, as I watch as many Candiens games as any other team. Emelin has massive deficiencies, but when paired with the right parnter he can be effective. Methot has had the perfect situation for him in Ottawa, this has maximized what he brings to the table, but the last couple of years, Emelin and Methot have performed insanely similar. Choose whatever way you want to evaluate them, they play a virtually identical style, with Emelin skating a little better, but taking a few more risks to throw hits he doesn’t need to. Overall doesn’t really matter what way you look at it. Counting stats are very similar, ice-time, usage, points, +/-, hits blocked shots. Nothing there shows Emelin as being much worse. Possession stats favour Emelin slightly despite not playing with a partner near as good as Methot does, but overall that is a pretty well a wash as well as Montreal typically plays a better team possession game, so both are being helped in that regard. Shot charts show they frequently give up the same types of scoring chances and shots from similar areas. The biggest difference in the two is Ottawa had a perfect place to use Methot and appreciated him for exactly what he brought to the table. Montreal win the division and you hear virtually nothing positive about anyone on their team except price and Weber.

      • if Emelin played on the leafs not even the Toronto media would say he is as good as methot! That’s how bad of a comparison that is, Emelin is not very good in his own end and is caught out of position a lot with a lack of foot speed to fix his errors. Methot besides the foot speed is none of those and focuses on keeping the puck out of his net

      • @Dan he`s trolling you. He does that to anybody he thinks is a leaf fan. He has no interest in a conversation, just like his “a lot of scouts think of Liljegren” remark. It turns out to be 0 scouts and a wanna be sports writer making a very uneducated remark about a player he never saw play before. That`s what does all the time and for some reason he`s allowed

      • bigbadbruins, you say he keeps the puck out of the net better, but why is there no evidence of that?

        He doesn’t have a better effect on shots against, he doesn’t have a better plus minus, he isn’t on the ice for fewer goals against, he doesn’t do a better job of slowing down scoring chances, he doesn’t block more shots, if it’s so apparent that he is that much better defensively then why is there nothing you can point to that indicates it. If your argument is just “watch”, then why did you mention Emelin’s lack of foot speed when he is a better skater than Methot?

        These aren’t knocks on Methot, I am saying Emelin is better than he gets credit for in Montreal. Methot is going to have more trade value, and get a bigger return when traded, but people often make the mistake of misvaluing D based on usage. Methot was used to maximum value. His skill set was fully utilized, Emelin’s wasn’t.

        Montreal was a better team than Ottawa, yet everybody is apparently terrible except Price?

        One thing I would say, is that I think this year the team that trades for Emelin will be happier overall with the outcome than the one that trades for Methot. This will mostly be due to expectation, as I feel a team with a massive blueline hole will overpay for Methot, and he won’t have the effect they are hoping for, while another team who wants to add depth will spend less on Emelin and get what they paid for.

      • Right again, George, the kid’s a steal.

      • Lol george

      • Yogi with another great hockey comment! To go along with the brown straight up for vatenan

      • Did I not just say that about Bobby Mac. He talks to people? What a revolutionary concept, so he doesn’t look at any of their #’s? Do you not think he processes data?

        Methot & Emelin aren’t identical but for me Emelin is just as valuable & useful both play almost the identical role on their respective teams or did as both are gone. Methot plays D with Karlsson on the #1 pairing 5 on 5, Emelin the #2 pairing but same role except Emelin plays on the 1st unit PK with Weber. Does Methot play 1st unit PK? No. Does Methot have elite level hitting & clear the crease? No. Methot uses positioning to be effective. Does Methot have Elite level anything? Making the top 10 in hits which Emelin did at 9 is impressive. Believe it or not this is still a contact game & hitting people or blocking shots has significant value.

        Few liked Russell. The argued it was his fault he had to block shots. That’s not his fault. If you don’t have Dman like Emelin that make life miserable standing in front of the net & nailing people in the D zone they take liberties & score goals. Methot is no better nor more valuable than Methot. Both are almost the same asset but different if that makes any sense.

        Lets see how this new D fairs in Mtl next season. Baring a solid #3 Dman in Mtl next season assuming the rest stays the same, Weber, Petry, Benn, Davidsson, Jrabek & ? I add 20 goals against for Mtl next season.

        I have Bealieau playing the 4th most TOI/GP in Buffalo at D next season, 2nd unit PP time scoring 35 to 40 points.

        Time will tell if I’m right. I am wrong occasionally but right far more often, significantly so. It’s stats, discussion with other’s including people like Bob McKenzie, systems & the eye test. Will I be right this time? I think so but MtL still has time to address their D. Bealieau is done. Baring injury I see no way I can be wrong. Bealieau showed if deployed in a PP role he could produce unfortunately it only happened sparingly unfortunately. He scored 28 points last season, only his 3rd full season in the league playing as the #5 in TOI/GP & behind Weber, Perty & Markov for PP TOI/GP in MTL. If Buf next season the only Dman seeing more PP TOI/GP will be Risto.

      • There is this really cool thing out there called social media. If you Twitter someone or Instagram someone, almost anyone they usually respond, they do webcasts, hell they even take calls often when on the radio. Email them & they actually respond when they have time, including Bobby Mc.

        Better yet attend a prospects development camp tournament, WJC’s, the Olympics, the Canada Cup, etc. & stay at the same hotel like the Penticton Lakeside Resort. Just go to the bars, restaurants & rinks, most are happy to shoot the sh-t over a beer & happy to talk hockey with you. You’ll meet some very interesting people, lots of scouts who love talking hockey.

        Can’t remember the scouts name from Philadelphia that 1st mentioned Bobrovsky to me, before arriving in the NHL, or being on the ferry once & meeting this scout that was sitting near me in the cafeteria over hearing me talking hockey to someone & sat with me shooting the sh-t. He told me to watch this monster coming out of Prince George, Chara who was in year 2 in NYI, said he would be 1 of the best Dman to ever play the game, or Rick Dudley in the basement of the Bental center, we spoke for over an hour, Joe Nieuwendyk at the Roxy when GM in Dallas, yada, yada, yada.

        This isn’t rocket science, there isn’t some mysterious formula as to who is or isn’t given the chance to succeed or necessarily who will be. Are their exceptions to the rule? Certainly but as a % of the whole it’s 20% or less. 1st & 2nd round draft picks will get a chance to be NHL players, others need to beat the door down, or become so good they can’t be held back any longer.

  3. Winnipeg goaltending is terrible? Not really, this was Hellebuyck first year. Played 26 games in 2015/2016 and jump to 56 games last season that’s an increase of 30 games. This was by design for the jets. It’s not easy to jump into the starter position and carry the extra work load. That and with the system the jets play are reason for Hellebuyck lacking numbers .907 sv% and 2.89 ga, Hellebuyck said it was the mental part of the game tat was the hardest to deal with playing all them games. With that in mind and the Jets playing a more committed game to the defensive side of the puck and Winnipeg bringing in someone like Brian Elliott to challenge Hellebuyck for the starting goal tender. I have the jets as a playoff team. This will largely due to Hellebuyck and a more committed defensive game, the skill up front is already there. They have the two centers in Little and Scheifele, stud d in Byfuglien and Trouba and now it’s Hellebuyck in goal with a year under is belt to adjust to the mental part of the game.

    • I agree caper helleybuck has all the tools, he will be a starter in the NHL

    • Who do you have dropping out of playoffs then? In the east I could see ott (weird so to their success) and mont drop out. I’d a had ny rangers but their recent moves and what I expect coming up could be irritating for the rest of us in the metro. East I could see Chicago and San Jose. Early yet to really sink ones teeth in

      • I’m not sure yet, but what did we have this playoffs 6 teams that weren’t in the playoffs the year before 7. Ott, Mtl, Tor, Cal, Edm, Bos and ColB.
        I put SJ at risk of not making it and also don’t shoot me but maybe Chicago. I hold further judgement until the summer is over.

      • The Atlantic is an odd division. I feel like Tampa is the favourite, and that means someone has likely got to come out. I think Montreal and Boston and the most likely to stay in, with Toronto and Ottawa fighting for a wild card. That being said, none of the teams are so deep that an injury or a string of bad luck doesn’t torpedo their season.

        The west is a little easier in a lot of way. First off there are only 15 teams, and Vegas, Vancouver and Colorado will be bottom feeders. It’s debatable if Arizona and Dallas have improved enough yet, and Los Angeles seems to be on the decline. Of the teams that made it last year, San Jose and Chicago seem quite a bit weaker so far.

        I feel like in the west it won’t be very long into the year when it’s basically down to about 10 teams who are really fighting for those 8 spots.

    • Hellebuyck could become a great goalie, doesn’t change the fact that last year Winnipeg missed the playoffs because of terrible goal tending. The fact that this is their biggest hole, and is a position that can swing to average or in your favour very quickly is the reason I think they could be a surprise team next year without any major changes.

      • Danny have to disagree with you there, the goaltending wasn’t terrible in Winnipeg last year, a agree the results were not good. The coaching was very good, This team was at the top in offense and the bottom on defense and terrible on the PK.
        Winnipeg strategy last year was not to coach the skill out of the player, the did that but that shouldn’t mean you don’t teach them defense. Way to many offensive rushes, Scheifele had an 82 point season, but didn’t come back to his own zone with any kind of panic or concern. Buff loves the other end, previous year he was more committed. The whole team structure lacked discipline and structure. If Paul Maurice doesn’t change this year he’ll be done. If this team play with a more committed mindset to the defensive zone and put a system in place where opposing team don’t have such an easy entrance to the middle of the ice in the d zone they will trim the goals against. Agree Hellebuyk number where not great but this is more then about him when looking at the numbers.

  4. so today is the day teams can start talking to UFA but no contract offers. I expect the bruins to talk to Karl Alzner, Dmitry Kulikov, Michael Stone and Brendan Smith all left shooting defenseman. Would like Alzner but probably won’t happen.

    • I think kulikov could be a good pickup for the bruins( or any team) he can be a solid second pairing dman, injuries hampered last season

      • I’d happily take Kulikov or Stone to play with McAvoy. There are numerous other left handed D that are UFA’s that would suffice for a year possibly 2 until 1 of the other kids at D is ready to start his NHL career as well.

        I like Alzner but Boston has that asset in spades. Not necessarily as proficient but at a far reduced cost in salary expectations. Chara, McQuad & Miller all play a very similiar game, & Carlo appears to have a solid future as a stud 2 way Dman. 6 goals & 16 points as a rookie seeing only defensive assignments is impressive. This is a very raw player. He stepped straight into the WHL out of some U16 league in Colorado. How did he not get into the USHL program? Why didn’t USA Hockey find this kid?

      • Except the leafs….if they picked him up it would be a stupid decision, right bbb? Just like if they gave up what Calgary gave up. It would be….lol, leafs going back to there similar ways eh leaf fans….lol. pathetic. Your biased face it

      • FB,

        I see your points, but I actually do think the the price Calgary paid for Hamonic was fine, but would have been too much if it were the Leafs.

        When you look at Calgary’s team, they made the playoffs with spotty goaltending and missing more key contributors more often. Also, their division got weaker, and Hamonic is being brought in to add depth to the top 4, not be their shutdown or go to guy. This means the risk of falling out of the playoffs is more manageable and less likely.

        The Leafs were very healthy, but made the playoffs by one point. In reality, if they had a major injury to one of their top 4 forwards, or if Stamkos simply didn’t get injured, they don’t make the playoffs. Also, they got massive contributions from a lot of rookies, and they had a lot of players have career years. If they added Hamonic, they are doing so after a down year, and really depending on him to step in and play top pairing minutes against top lines. I don’t necessarily think they super likely to fall out of the playoffs, but more likely than Calgary when you look at the division, the contributions you can count on, and the improvements made along with how they would intend to use Hamonic.

      • Another greAt hockey comment! Shticky (fd) lol

      • What was the lower end of the west this past season for playoff opportunities, specifically Dallas & LA faltered last season. I had Dallas missing the playoffs due to D & I didn’t have LA making it either, insufficient goal scoring & cap hell effected their ability to stay competitive. The top end of the West was solid.

        Making the playoffs in either division is not easy anymore it’s getting far more competitive partly due to the fact their is no incentive to tank it any more with the new lottery weightings & rules.