Puck Daddy’s Summer of Disappointment Series: The misery of all 30 NHL teams (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 02 Sep 2014 14:57:41 PDT)
As is our August tradition here at Puck Daddy, we turned the mic over to readers, fans and other bloggers for a special summer series. This time it was “The Summer of Disappointment”; a.k.a. “Puck Daddy’s Most Disappointing Summer Series,” for the snark-lover in you. The basic premise: Asking devotees of certain teams to tells us their most disappointing player, team, season, moment, transaction, executive and aesthetic choices in the franchise’s history. Much pain was relived. Much agony was recaptured. Jen Neale was the curator on this one, and pulled off a marvelous summer series. Here are the “Summer of Disappointment” entries for all 30 teams. Please feel free to revel in the misery of others. Anaheim Ducks Arizona Coyotes Boston Bruins Buffalo Sabres Calgary Flames Carolina Hurricanes Chicago Blackhawks Colorado Avalanche Columbus Blue Jackets Dallas Stars Detroit Red Wings Edmonton Oilers Florida Panthers Los Angeles Kings Minnesota Wild Montreal Canadiens Nashville Predators New Jersey Dev ils New York Islanders New York Rangers Ottawa Senators Philadelphia Flyers Pittsburgh Penguins St. Louis Blues San Jose Sharks Tampa Bay Lightning Toronto Maple Leafs Vancouver Canucks Washington Capitals Winnipeg Jets *** It's been, er, an interesting summer for us here. Thanks for supporting the blog, and we can't wait to start talkin' hockey in the present tense in a few weeks.
Ryan Johansen and finding comparable talent (What We Learned) (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 01 Sep 2014 11:20:31 PDT)
(Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.) The Ryan Johansen saga stretches on and on in Columbus and neither side seems willing to budge especially far from their dug-in positions on the matter of the young center's new contract. Everyone agrees a two-year term seems wise, but when it comes to the money, not so much. Johansen wants $7 million per. The Jackets would prefer that number be $4 million per. You can see the issue. Anyone not directly involved with Johansen professionally or personally likely recognizes that $7 million is a big ask, but that the Jackets' number is probably not enough to be commensurate with a kid who just turned 22 a month ago and already has a 33-goal season under his belt. So it was a little surprising for Columbus to come out over the weekend and say, basically, that they're not unwilling to go into the season without Johansen signed, and would likely just bump every center on the depth chart up a spot. This would, of course, be detrimental to Columbus's chances of winning. That gets to the issue of what Johansen is really worth, and specifically, what would be a fair price to pay him for the next two years. It must be said that $7 million per is not a reasonable ask for Johansen's camp considering what we know of the NHL's newly rediscovered penchant for dishing out “bridge contracts” to guys whose entry-level deals are expiring; if elite players like P.K. Subban can take much shorter money than that, so too should Johansen. That's a semi-reasonable argument. But you gotta pay your talent, and Johansen's camp could contend that their client is very demonstrably the biggest talent on the team, as long as you ignore that troubled first-107-games-of-his-career stretch, in which he only scored 14 goals and 19 assists. So the question that needs to be hashed out is simple: Is Johansen actually this 33-goal guy? He is pretty clearly not the six-to-nine-goals guy of the first two years of his career, which were troubled to say the least (and not always through any fault of his own, though the AHL healthy-scratches can't be that far from his memory). But if you're paying someone $7 million, you better be damn sure that's the kind of production you're getting. Otherwise, it's all acrimony. There is no sure way to know the future, of course, and every player develops differently, but you can start to construct a pretty reasonable expectation for what Johansen might be able to bring in his age-22 season based on statistical looks at other 21-year-old players who put up similar numbers to him. Pretty simple, really. For one thing, you have to keep in mind that players' shot and point production tends to increase steadily from ages 18 to 24 or 25, so the likelihood that Johansen takes a step back in that regard doesn't seem particularly large. The good news is that the comparables for players who produced similar to Johansen in their age-21 seasons since the 2005-06 lockout (when goaltending was at a level similar to today's numbers, and with players who are mostly still in the league) are of a good quality. Among the six players who put up similar shots per game (2.89 in Johansen's case) and a high shooting percentage (13.3) when they were 21, Johansen was fifth in points (63) and tied for fifth in goals (33, deadlocked with some kid named Sidney Crosby). The rest of the company looks pretty good too: Steven Stamkos, Evgeni Malkin, Eric Staal, Phil Kessel. That alone tells you how rare a season Johansen enjoyed last year. All five of those guys went on to significant success as point producers, obviously, and are for the most part very deservedly among the highest-paid players in the game. Speaks very well for Johansen's ability to claim he's elite. However, it's worth noting that while those six guys were the only ones in the nine seasons to put up at least 2.8 shots per game and shoot at least 13 percent, Johansen trailed dramatically in both those categories. None of the other players put up fewer than 3.09 shots per game, some 7 percent more than Johansen. That's a number which is not insignificant. Further, lots of guys can put up high shooting percentages, and thus score a lot of goals, in one- or even two-season bursts. So is that success sustainable? In short, no. All those guys — save for Crosby, with whom Johansen was tied — posted higher shooting percentages as 21-year-olds, and all of them — save for Crosby, again — also saw their scoring efficiency take a big hit in their age-22 seasons. Even when accounting for Crosby's huge jump forward in shooting percentage, the average decline in shooting percentage among this elite group was 2.88 points (or a drop of 16.8 percent of their total shooting percentages). Most also saw their shots per game increase significantly (an extra .28 shots per game, or an increase of 9.08 percent), though, which helped to even out the goalscoring issue. But again, they were shooting at truly stratospheric levels to begin with, meaning that their shot volumes and percentages were both miles ahead of Johansen's, so any kind of dropoff for them wouldn't be nearly as noticeable as one for a player whose numbers were not quite so sterling. That is, if Johansen regresses in terms of shooting percentage and still increases his shots per game in ways that are more or less in line with these other averages, he should still see a decline in goal production even as his shots go up. This is by no means scientific, because again, every player is different, but it wouldn't be surprising at all to see Johansen bump his shots per game up to the 3.1 or 3.2 range (up about 9 percent), but his goal number overall still drop because his shooting percentage could drop by something like 2.3 points to the 11.6 percent area. And wouldn't you know it, that's right in the area of his career shooting percentage of 11.2. If those numbers hold up, that puts his goal total at about 30 goals or so on about 260 shots. Which, finally, brings us to the question of who shoots in the area of at least 11.6 percent in their age-22 seasons and scores 30-plus goals? You're looking at elite company for Johansen: Crosby and Malkin both make the list again, but most of the others get bumped off. In favor of Alex Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk, Alex Semin, Tyler Seguin, Bobby Ryan, and Anze Kopitar. Here, too, we see very strong company. And while Johansen would, once again, be at the lower end of this list in terms of production (his theoretical shot and goal totals would scrape the bottom), there's no arguing that these are legitimately excellent players. It seems that those banking on a big step back for a player of Johansen's caliber probably won't end up making money on such a beat. Even if you build some serious wiggle room into the comparables (just 3 shots per game instead of 3.15, and a shooting percentage of 10 instead of 11.6), you're still coming up with a small list of guys who are almost exclusively first-line players forwards. There's one outlier on that new list, and it's Devin Setoguchi; Johansen doesn't play with a distributor of Joe Thornton's caliber, and probably never will. So no, Johansen's probably not worth $7 million per season. Yet. At least, last season is not something for which you give him $7 million and hope he justifies it. But he probably will be within the next two seasons. He obviously isn't on the level of Crosby or Malkin or Ovechkin or Stamkos or Kessel or Kopitar or Kovalchuk or most of the other guys mentioned above (he's better than Setoguchi, it goes without saying), but if your name keeps popping up on statistical lists with them, then that has to mean something. Johansen's breakout was last season, and it's one that it would frankly be surprising to see him repeat this year. With that having been said, betting considerable success, even if there is a slight step back, would be a mistake. You take 30ish goals from just about anyone. This kid is going places, but he needs to realize he hasn't arrived quite yet. What We Learned Anaheim Ducks : Who's the starting goalie for the Ducks next year? Don't ask Bruce Boudreau, because he doesn't know yet . Arizona Coyotes : Expansion would help the Coyotes because all the fees from it would help keep them afloat . Know what else would help? Moving to a real market. See ya. Boston Bruins : Former Bruins first-round pick Zach Hamill, who hasn't been in the NHL since he got 16 games in 2011-12, signed with a Finnish team this weekend. The Bruins took him one pick before the Sharks selected Logan Couture. Buffalo Sabres : The Rochester Americans will play a game in Buffalo on Oct. 29. So many NHL games at First Niagara next season, eh? Calgary Flames : That Tyler Dellow saying about “You don't become the Chicago Blackhawks by loading up on their rejects?” Someone might want to let the Flames know . Carolina Hurricanes : Eric Staal has been dealing with a lot of injuries the last few years, but now he thinks he's good and healthy again. I think the term here is “cautious optimism.” Chicago Blackhawks : If Jeremy Morin doesn't get anything done this season , he probably won't get anything done in Chicago ever. Colorado Avalanche : Avs prospect Tomas Vincour may or may not be coming over to play in the bigs next season. Even his Czech league team, though, seems a bit iffy on it. Columbus Blue Jackets : Columbus prospect Markus Soberg might become a very, very good junior player this season. Because what the Jackets need is more high-quality prospects coming in. Don't have enough of those yet. Dallas Stars : This summer has led to almost unbridled enthusiasm for the Stars' chances in the coming season. So here's a list of lingering concerns to let all the air out of things. Detroit Red Wings : An associate economics professor at the University of Michigan Flint argues that the Red Wings' new arena would be a bad investment for both the city and state . You don't say. Edmonton Oilers : Craig MacTavish says Justin Schultz has “ Norris Trophy potential ” for some reason. He almost certainly does not. Florida Panthers : P.K. Subban practicing at the Panthers' practice rink is the biggest Panthers news of the weekend. Great. Los Angeles Kings : Marian Gaborik will lead the Kings in goals this season? That's a prediction I wonder about. But him scoring 40, I think, is doubtful. Minnesota Wild : Mike Yeo doesn't know who his starter is yet, but this might just be the first time in NHL history a returning playoff team has a three-way battle for the spot . Montreal Canadiens : Carey Price was recently named an ambassador for First Nations people . This is a really nice story. Nashville Predators, America's Favorite Hockey Team : The Preds probably won't be too affected by NHL expansion. Take all the guys at the bottom of their roster. They dare you. New Jersey Devils : Before he got the invite to Devils training camp, Scott Gomez was thinking about retirement . This is basically the exact opposite of surprising news. Dude's made almost $63 million in his career. New York Islanders : Ryan Strome is going to have a “breakout” season ? Just another reason to bet on the Isles doing very well in the East. New York Rangers : Glad that's settled . Ottawa Senators : Looks like the Senators might re-extend their affiliation deal with Binghamton soon. Hey, great. Philadelphia Flyers : Ron Hextall says he likes to look at all the analytics before making decisions about his team, but also will keep Steve Mason as his starter despite the high risk of regression to garbage numbers. Hmmm. Pittsburgh Penguins : The Pens say Derrick Pouliot will be ready to start the season , and having his former junior coach behind the bench likely means that he can expect a pretty big role. San Jose Sharks : The Sharks might still trade those Joe Thornton or Patrick Marleau guys? No kidding. St. Louis Blues : A Blues fan giving Brian Elliott's new contract a better grade than Paul Stastny's is shocking. I'm not sure about that one at all. Well, I am sure about it: It's crazy. Tampa Bay Lightning : Andrei Vasilievsky is probably going to play in the AHL this season , and that'll be good for Syracuse's chances. Dude's career save percentage in the comparable KHL is .923. Which is pretty good. Toronto Maple Leafs : William Nylander might be the most exciting rookie with a chance of making the Leafs in a long time. I'd be really excited to be able to watch this kid 82 times a year. Vancouver Canucks : Jim Benning maintains his own personal depth chart for every team in the league , made out of felt. See, he's just as big a nerd as you are. Washington Capitals : Barry Trotz says he'll still keep a close eye on the Preds next season. What a nice fellow. Winnipeg Jets : Yeah, no kidding . Gold Star Award
Puck Daddy's Most Disappointing Summer Series: Toronto Maple Leafs Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Sat, 30 Aug 2014 11:36:53 PDT)
Yahoo Fantasy Hockey: Here are the rookies you need to draft (Puck Daddy)
(Sat, 30 Aug 2014 10:18:29 PDT)
Here's the final edition of our fantasy hockey primer. Thanks to Dobber Hockey for the insight! The sleeper pick is the ultimate fantasy owner move. Grab a player late in the draft who nobody else was even considering and he does great? Well that could win your league. And the ultimate sleeper pick is a rookie. Other than the top three or four picks in the latest NHL Draft plus a couple of the 'hyped' favorites, the average poolie has very little idea as to which rookies are close to landing a spot, let alone wasting a draft pick on them. Luckily, I'm here to break it all down for you. The Favorites Even Johnny Casual knows about these fellas… Jake Allen, St. Louis Blues - Brian Elliott has his hot weeks and even hot months. But he always hits that inevitable wall. If that happens early enough in the season, Allen well have a Calder-type campaign. Jonathan Drouin, Tampa Bay Lightning - He's not going to be playing with Steven Stamkos, at least not to start. But he's good enough on his own to have a 55-point rookie season. Aaron Ekblad, Florida Panthers - The only 2014 draftee practically assured of an NHL roster spot, Ekblad is by far the best defenseman in this year's rookie class. John Gibson, Anaheim Ducks - Frederick Andersen will likely take the starting role in October, but if he misses time with another injury, Gibson will take over and it may be tough to get him to let go. On a strong Anaheim team, that's potentially a ton of W's. Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals - Mature, responsible at both ends, can hold his own playing with weaker linemates or he can hold his own playing with the likes of Alex Ovechkin. The 2014 Draftees Besides Ekblad (above), there are several other quality picks from the recent draft who will make a splash this season if they made their respective NHL teams. But therein lies the risk. Sam Bennett, Calgary Flames - The Flames just had Sean Monahan make the team as an 18-year-old, so the precedent has been set. If Bennett does make the squad, look for a similar impact. Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton Oilers - The Oilers were pretty quick to move Sam Gagner after drafting Draisaitl. On the other hand I get the sense that this team will be patient with their teenagers going forward. Sam Reinhart, Buffalo Sabres - Two words: Mikhail Grigorenko. The Sabres won't bring another teenager into that mess again. Will they? The Goalies While Allen and Gibson are the obvious ones with legitimate shots at seizing the No.1 role by Christmas, there are others who warrant consideration as they are just a key roster injury away from making the jump… Michael Hutchinson, Winnipeg Jets - Welp, he's behind Ondrej Pavelec (aka "the train wreck"). So…yeah. Martin Jones, Los Angeles Kings - Jonathan Quick is still recovering from wrist surgery, again. If those problems persist, you know Jones is going to fill the void with some kickass numbers. Antti Raanta, Chicago Blackhawks - If Corey Crawford struggles with inconsistency and injuries again this season, Raanta will pile up the W's by default. The Next Wave Whether they make a splash this year or not, their time is coming. These prospects are safe bets to have a bright NHL future sooner rather than later Filip Forsberg, Nashville Predators - The Preds will be pushing offense a little more this year and Forsberg is probably in the top three among forwards in the organization when it comes to offensive skill. Kevin Hayes, New York Rangers - Hayes was a superstar at the college level and he has the size, strength and skill that few other players boast - all at the age of 22. Calle Järnkrok, Nashville Predators - After Nashville acquired him from the Red Wings, Jarnkrok put up nine points in 12 games. The team rewarded him by loading up at center (Olli Jokinen, Mike Ribeiro, Derek Roy). If he's not pushed out of the mix, he'll make his mark. Anders Lee, New York Islanders - Lee has 10 goals in 24 career NHL games. He's 6-2, 225 pounds and at 24 he's more than ready for the NHL. He's on the shortlist to play with John Tavares and if that happens, watch out. Tanner Pearson, Los Angeles Kings - Pearson is a staple on the second line with Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli. Assuming that line picks up where they left off in the postseason, Pearson will be a 45-point guy at the very least. Ryan Spooner, Boston Bruins - With Carl Soderberg having moved back to center, Spooner could be in tough to make the team. But if somebody is moved to the wing (perhaps Spooner himself), then the 22-year-old could make a splash. Sooner or Later … Here are a few potential stars who may not make the team this year but when they finally do - wow. Most of these guys are sure to appear on this list next year and if they don't it's because they were already nominated for the Calder Trophy. Johnny Gaudreau, Calgary Flames - Small (5-9, 150) and immensely talented, Gaudreau is coming off a tremendous season with Boston College where he tallied 80 points in 40 games playing on a line with Hayes (noted above). The performance won him last year's Hobey Baker Award as the top player in the NCAA. Scott Laughton, Philadelphia Flyers - Laughton nearly made the Flyers as an 18-year-old and is coming off of a 40-goal season with Oshawa (OHL). Now AHL-eligible, he'll probably be back and forth between the Flyers and Lehigh Valley. Anthony Mantha, Detroit Red Wings - Good or bad, the Red Wings have a policy of holding prospects in the minors for a long, long time. Gustav Nyquist, for example, would have been on most pro rosters two years ago. So even though Mantha led the QMJHL with 120 points last year, he's still in tough. But if he makes it, it won't be as a penalty killer. Derrick Pouliot, Pittsburgh Penguins - Pouliot underwent shoulder surgery early in the off-season and was expected to be out until December. He seems to think he'll be ready for October and if that's the case he makes a great dark horse. His vision and puck-moving talent rate through the roof. Mark Stone, Ottawa Senators - An underrated winger throughout his career (drafted 178th overall in 2010), Stone continues producing at whatever level he plays. His problem since turning pro has been staying healthy. Teuvo Teravainen, Chicago Blackhawks - A future star who could force his way onto a deep roster whether the Blackhawks like it or not. The team is afraid that with his slight frame he'll be susceptible to injury, but he may be too good to hold down. Vince Trocheck, Florida Panthers - Trocheck didn't play his first NHL game until March 7, but he impressed so much that he quickly became a regular on the top line and ended up averaging 18:53 per game. The Panthers rewarded him by signing what seemed like two dozen forwards in the offseason and his two-way contract sticks out amongst a sea of one-way deals like a sore thumb. Pick up the 9th annual DobberHockey Fantasy Guide and Draft List right here .
Puck Daddy's Most Disappointing Summer Series: Vancouver Canucks Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 29 Aug 2014 14:49:56 PDT)
Puck Daddy's Most Disappointing Summer Series: Pittsburgh Penguins Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Thu, 28 Aug 2014 14:24:14 PDT)
Puck Daddy's Most Disappointing Summer Series: Philadelphia Flyers Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 15:58:40 PDT)
Yahoo Fantasy Hockey: Ranking goalies will save your season (Puck Daddy)
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 13:15:46 PDT)
This week, your friends at Puck Daddy are offering a variety of fantasy hockey previews ahead of the 2014-15 season. By Darryl Dobbs In many fantasy hockey leagues, goalies make up close 10 percent of your roster, but account for 40% to 50% of your categories. Choosing wisely when it comes to netminders is crucial and if you get stuck with a below average group your chances of success are slim. I’ve been using a tiered system for several years and most of the time goaltending has been an asset to my team. Sure, there was the one year where I had one injured and one struck by a case of Masonitis. But for the most part, it’s a position that I don’t have to worry about mid-season. Tiering your goaltenders prior to drafting is a great way to help with decision making. The main thing to remember when setting up your 'Tiers' is that it's not just about skill and production. Often, it’s about opportunity and team strength. Michal Neuvirth is a talented goalie, but splitting starts with Jhonas Enroth on a team that will struggle for even 30 wins makes him next to fantasy useless. Frederik Andersen and John Gibson are two of the better goaltenders in the league in terms of talent, but the likelihood of splitting starts almost down the middle make both of them less valuable than say Corey Crawford – who is on a top team and is the clear No.1. Never start drafting goaltenders until there is a chance that you will miss out on all of your Tier 1 goalies. Then make sure you get one. After that, go back to forwards and defensemen until there is a chance that the Tier 2 goalies will be scooped up. Whatever happens - make sure you have at least one from Tier 1 and one from your Tier 2 (or a second from Tier 1 if one of them falls too far). Tier 1 The cream of the crop. Posting 35-40 wins should be in the cards for this group as well as some great GAA and SV% totals. Unless something happens like a major injury, or they get traded to Buffalo. Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins After back-to-back pro-rated 36 wins (or more) seasons, Rask is firmly entrenched as one of the top goaltenders to own. Given his GAA and SV% last season (2.04 and 0.930) he's arguably the best. Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks Crawford slipped last year due to a couple of nagging minor injuries and bouts of inconsistency. The latter will probably continue in the season ahead, but it doesn't matter - the Blackhawks will still play the hell out of him and the Blackhawks will still win a ton of games. Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets Bob followed up a Vezina Trophy season with a 32-win campaign and some strong supplemental numbers to go with it. For the second straight year he started out slow (4-8-0 to start 2013-14), so if he can fix that issue he'll flirt with 40 wins. But for now you may want to consider benching him the occasional start in October. Carey Price, Montreal Canadiens Pro-rating the lockout year, Price has averaged 36 wins over his last three seasons. His 2.32 and 0.927 numbers last year were career bests and he's only now entering his prime. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers Lundqvist is about as "money in the bank" as goaltenders get in the NHL, though he sure had our faith shaken a bit last October and November. At the Christmas break he was 10-15-2 with a save percentage of just 0.906. He was back to his old self in the second half, but his streak of consecutive seasons of at least a 0.920 SV% was in jeopardy. Since 2008-09 he never dipped below that number to end a season. Two one-goal games to end the 2013-14 campaign eked him up to 0.920. So yeah, he can continue to hold his head high. Because otherwise a man with his looks and his bank account would have no reason to do that. Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins Last I checked, fantasy leagues only count the regular season. And Fleury is a potential 40-game winner any way you slice it. You already know his reputation in the playoffs. Just for kicks, go look at his save percentage each playoff year throughout his career - even going back to junior hockey. Shocking. Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay Lightning While Bishop just has the one big season to go by (37 wins), I'll give you nearly 12 million reasons why he'll at least come close to repeating the effort. That two-year deal was for huge money and he'll see 65 starts if healthy.
Drouin, Lehtera top Sitkoff's fantasy sleepers list (NHL)
(Wed, 27 Aug 2014 08:00:00 PDT)
This week, NHL.com fantasy insiders Matt Cubeta , Pete Jensen and Matt Sitkoff take in-depth looks at underrated players who should be on your fantasy team's radar entering drafts. The third pick of the 2013 NHL Draft is a favorite to win the Calder Trophy in 2014-15 after spending a productive third season with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. The only player picked in the top six of his draft class who didn't play a minute of NHL hockey last season, the 5-foot-11 left wing is now ready to make the jump to Tampa Bay.
Puck Daddy's Most Disappointing Summer Series: Anaheim Ducks Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 20:53:15 PDT)
Yahoo Fantasy Hockey: The studs and sleepers on defense (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 26 Aug 2014 13:58:07 PDT)
All week, your friends at Puck Daddy drop some fantasy hockey knowledge on you ahead of the 2014-15 season. Undisputed Erik Karlsson, Ottawa Senators – Karlsson is still the best defenseman in fantasy hockey. By far. He is the Sidney Crosby of defensemen. Next Up Shea Weber, Nashville Predators – Weber has always been a good fantasy own, but his value in real hockey is absolutely elite. Now that the Preds have a more offensive-minded coach, Weber could well top 60 points and see his fantasy value match his 'real' value. P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens – If you're not sold already, by the end of the 2014-15 season you'll see why he was given a $72 million contract. Boom or Bust Mike Green, Washington Capitals – It's rare when a defenseman tops 70 points. That's why Karlsson is so valuable. So when you consider that Green has done it twice and is only now in his prime, poolies will keep drafting him and hoping for a return to glory even five years from now. Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins - One injury after another and just when you figured it couldn't get any worse - last year happened. If Letang can play even 65 games he's a good bet for 60-plus points. The Stars These next few players are the rest of the true fantasy stars on defense. Victor Hedman – I wouldn't be surprised if Hedman finished second in defensemen scoring this year. His rise in production year after year has been steady and consistent. Keith Yandle, Phoenix Coyotes – Not only is the 27-year-old Yandle coming off of the second 50-point season of his career, but he also hasn't missed a game since 2009. Duncan Keith, Chicago Blackhawks – I won't be drafting the reigning Norris Trophy winner this year because I don't value him at the 61 points he tallied last year. The last time he topped 60 points, he followed it up with three years of 45-ish points. Other managers will draft him very, very, very, very early. So I'll let them. Christian Ehrhoff, Pittsburgh Penguins – I don't have to tell you what Ehrhoff's signing with the Penguins means in fantasy hockey. Do I? Three words: Ca. Reer. High. Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild – After averaging 27:16 per game in 2012-13, Suter took it one step further, seeing 29:24 per game last season. If anything, his numbers were hurt by the added workload, but he's still a lock to clear 40 points. Kevin Shattenkirk, St. Louis Blues – Still only 25, Shattenkirk is coming off of career highs in goals, assists and points. Five of his 10 goals were game winners, too. Alex Pietrangelo, St. Louis Blues – Pietrangelo hit 51 points for the second time in his career. Even though he's taking on more defensive responsibility and letting teammate Shattenkirk shoulder the offense, he's still putting up big numbers. Niklas Kronwall, Detroit Red Wings – He may be 33 but he seems to be just getting started. Coming off the second best season of his career, Kronwall should have an easier time of it this year with a healthy Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, as well as the emergence of Gustav Nyquist. Alex Goligoski, Dallas Stars – Goligoski managed 42 points last season despite starting off the year pointless in nine games. Add in the fact that the Stars have more firepower now than they did last season and Goligoski is primed for a big year.
Puck Daddy's Most Disappointing Summer Series: Detroit Red Wings Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 25 Aug 2014 14:26:23 PDT)
Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson gets 3-year extension (The Associated Press)
(Mon, 25 Aug 2014 09:36:24 PDT)
Goaltender Craig Anderson has signed a $12.6 million, three-year contract extension with the Ottawa Senators. Anderson was acquired from Colorado in 2011 and is now under contract through the 2017-18 season. Anderson had an NHL-best .941 save percentage in the lockout-shortened 2013 season to help Ottawa make the playoffs amid injuries.
Craig Anderson signed by Ottawa; should Robin Lehner call his agent? (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 25 Aug 2014 07:59:34 PDT)
Craig Anderson was entering the final year of his contract with the Ottawa Senators; a 33-year-old incumbent that many assumed would yield the throne to Robin Lehner, the 23-year-old that’s been percolating in the Sens’ system since 2010. Yet on Monday, Ottawa announced a three-year extension with Anderson with an average annual value of $4.2 million (breaking down to salaries of $4.75 million, $4.75 million and then $3.1 million). It’s a great move for Anderson, considering how crowded the goalie carousel is in the NHL and the fact that the 2015 free-agent class could include Marc-Andre Fleury and Antti Niemi. So he gets some term and gets a decent bump from his previous deal. More importantly, he remains in a situation where management obviously believes he gives them a better chance to win than Lehner does at this juncture. Which sucks for Lehner, who was signed to a three-year deal back in July. But he’s not ready. The Senators saw enough of that during Anderson’s injury stretch last season, where Lehner could look brilliant technically but unhinged emotionally. Still, three years is a bit of a wait. Best case scenario is that they share the crease – Anderson got 53 games to Lehner’s 36 last season. But even if Lehner earns the majority of the starts, he’s going to have a previous starter looming on the bench; and one that, frankly, can become unbeatable for stretches of a season. The combination of the two gives the Senators an outstanding battery for the next three seasons. Provided they can live harmoniously. It’s not like Lehner is known to be a little nutty or anything, right?
What We Learned: Preparing for Toronto Maple Leafs civil war (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 25 Aug 2014 06:52:03 PDT)
Puck Daddy's Most Disappointing Summer Series: Nashville Predators Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Sun, 24 Aug 2014 12:41:56 PDT)
Puck Daddy's Summer of Disappointment: Columbus Blue Jackets Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Sat, 23 Aug 2014 07:36:45 PDT)
Puck Daddy's Summer of Disappointment: Chicago Blackhawks Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 22 Aug 2014 12:48:54 PDT)
2014-15 Preview - Part 6 (Rotoworld)
(Fri, 22 Aug 2014 06:27:00 PDT)
Corey Abbott takes a look back and forward with Dallas, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis and Winnipeg.
Puck Daddy's Most Disappointing Summer Series: Tampa Bay Lightning Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Thu, 21 Aug 2014 14:52:29 PDT)
Giguere hangs up mask after 16 seasons
(Thu, 21 Aug 2014 13:45:13 PDT)
Denver (AFP) - Jean-Sebastien Giguere, a Stanley Cup-winning goaltender with Anaheim in his 16 National Hockey League seasons, announced his retirement Thursday after spending last season as a reserve for the Colorado Avalanche.
J.S. Giguere retires; CHL extinction possible; Hockey Wars: Blogosphere vs. MSM (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)
(Thu, 21 Aug 2014 11:45:45 PDT)
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Puck Daddy's Summer of Disappointment: Montreal Canadiens Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Wed, 20 Aug 2014 13:37:35 PDT)
Strangest goalie mask pop culture mash-up of 2014: McDonald's meets MAD (Puck Daddy)
(Wed, 20 Aug 2014 07:58:12 PDT)
Senators sign Clarke MacArthur to 5-year extension (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 19 Aug 2014 15:04:44 PDT)
The Ottawa Senators have signed forward Clarke MacArthur to a $23.25-million, five-year extension. MacArthur, a 29-year-old, scored a career-high 24 goals and had 31 assists in 79 games last season. ''Obviously our happiness with his performance last year was a big reason to give him the term that we did,'' general manager Bryan Murray said Tuesday. In 482 regular-season games with Buffalo, Atlanta, Toronto and Ottawa, MacArthur has 268 points and 307 penalty minutes.
Clarke MacArthur signs five-year, $23.25 million extension with Senators (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 19 Aug 2014 14:16:29 PDT)
Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk had a busy Tuesday. First, Melnyk announced that the franchise has surpassed the $100 million mark in contributions to the Ottawa area since its return to the NHL in 1992. He then took part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge with Erik Karlsson. To wrap up his afternoon, Melnyk announced on TSN 1200 that Clarke MacArthur had signed a five-year, $23.25 million extension. From the Senators : MacArthur, 29, appeared in all but three of the Senators’ 82 regular-season games in 2013-14, establishing a new career high with 24 goals in his first season in Ottawa. He concluded the campaign ranking fourth in team scoring with 55 points (24 goals, 31 assists) while earning a career best plus-12 rating and a career high 78 penalty minutes. "I think [MacArthur's] best year's are still to come, and I think Bryan [Murray] feels the same way, and [Assistant GM] Pierre Dorion as well," said Melnyk. "We all believe that he's going to be a huge contributor to the team. He's a great character guy. He's great in the dressing room. We're really pleased that we've got him locked in for the next six years." According to the Senators , the contract breaks down like this over the five years: $4.5M, $4.5M, $4.75M, $4.75M, $4.75M. MacArthur clicked playing with Kyle Turris last season, with the pair hitting career highs in goals, while Turris recorded a personal best 58 points. The two will be together now through at least the 2017-18 season and will be relied upon to help carry the offensive load with Jason Spezza now playing in Dallas. Next up on Melnyk's plate will be extensions for Bobby Ryan, Marc Methot and Craig Anderson. - - - - - - - Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Sean_Leahy
Puck Daddy's Summer of Disappointment: Buffalo Sabres Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 19 Aug 2014 13:20:11 PDT)
Kaberle wants NHL return; when the Caps went to Japan; Avery takes ALS Challenge (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 19 Aug 2014 10:08:17 PDT)
Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.
Puck Daddy's Summer of Disappointment: Carolina Hurricanes Edition (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 18 Aug 2014 13:14:54 PDT)
What We Learned: What do players really owe their NHL teams? (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 18 Aug 2014 05:58:12 PDT)