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NHL-National Hockey League roundup
(Fri, 28 Aug 2015 16:31:39 PDT)
Aug 28 (The Sports Xchange) - Legendary Hall of Fame coach Al Arbour, who guided the New York Islanders to four straight Stanley Cup championships in the 1980s, died Friday. He was 82. Arbour was being treated for Parkinson's disease and dementia near his home in Sarasota, Fla. - - The Dallas Stars signed center Cody Eakin to a four-year contract extension. Eakin, 24, tallied 40 points (19 goals) in 78 games last season -- his third with the team since being acquired from Washington for center Mike Ribeiro in June 2012. - - St. ...

Puck Daddy's Summer Series: The Vancouver Canucks from A to Zed (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 28 Aug 2015 08:58:51 PDT)
(Ed. Note: August is known to be a very quiet month in the hockey world. As we wait for September to arrive and training camps to begin, let’s learn a little history about all 30 teams. Behold, our summer A-Z(ed) series, in which we ask fans of all 30 teams to drop some knowledge on us! Add your own choices in the comments!) By: Jocelyn Aspa A. Alain Vignault I have no shame admitting I miss Alain Vigneault a lot of the time.   He’s sort of become the winningest coach of the Presidents’ Trophy and bridesmaid to the Stanley Cup, which includes his time with the Canucks and the Rangers. AV coached the team from 2006 up until his firing in 2013, coaching some of the best seasons this hockey club has ever seen, including that too-good-to-be-true year in 2010-11 with 117 points at the end of the regular season (let’s not talk about what happened on June 15, 2011, though). 

2015-16 Preview Part 5 (Rotoworld)
(Wed, 26 Aug 2015 11:12:00 PDT)
The 2015-16 preview continues with Winnipeg, Dallas, Colorado, Anaheim and Vancouver.

Giordano contract analysis; Karlsson's training; Byfuglien trade logic (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)
(Wed, 26 Aug 2015 10:22:24 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. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at  puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com .  

Tom Sestito gets tryout deal from Penguins, continues odd journey (Puck Daddy)
(Wed, 26 Aug 2015 07:09:39 PDT)
Tom Sestito’s NHL journey has been an odd one, right through his professional tryout contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins that was announced on Wednesday.  He punched his way into the NHL, amassing over 300 penalty minutes in three seasons in the OHL, then 202 in the AHL before getting his first NHL game with the Columbus Blue Jackets. He would appear in 12 more before moving over to the Philadelphia Flyers in 2012, because of course. He played in 21 games with Philly and then it was off to the Vancouver Canucks for three season, including one that seemed to indicate Sestito might actually have something more to offer than pummeling faces. He had nine points in 77 games under John Tortorella, albeit with with 213 PIMs, a career high. (He also picked up 27 PIMs in one second of ice time. Which is a heck of a trick.) But in the next season, he was persona non grata under Willie Desjardins. He was sent to the AHL, and then the Canucks announced he wasn’t going to play there either: “Tom Sestito will not play for either club for the remainder of this season. Sestito will workout on his own and will continue to receive his salary while the Canucks work to identify a new club where he can continue his career.” Sestito said he wasn’t given a “fair shake” and vowed he’s return to the NHL to prove the haters wrong. “I don't have hard feelings against Vancouver. I just want to make sure they know they made the wrong choice,” he said. So now he arrives in Pittsburgh. From the Pens: Sestito, 27, has played parts of seven NHL seasons with Columbus, Philadelphia and Vancouver, producing 18 points (10G-8A) and 432 penalty minutes in 137 career regular-season games. At 6-foot-5, 228 pounds, Sestito will be the largest player attending Pittsburgh’s training camp. His best NHL season came with Vancouver in 2013-14 when he posted career highs in games (77), goals (5), assists (4), points (9) and penalty minutes (213). His 213 penalty minutes led the NHL and his 121 hits ranked third on the Canucks. Steve Downie, the Penguins’ only player with more than 80 PIMs last season, has moved on so the team is obviously fishing for some muscle to look after Crosby, Malkin, Kessel and the rest. Is Sestito that guy? He’ll have a chance to prove it. (And any time Sestito has more time for hockey and less time for political commentary , the better off he'll be.) MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY

In defense of ads on NHL jerseys (Trending Topics) (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 24 Aug 2015 13:10:50 PDT)
Ads on NHL jerseys are coming. This is unavoidable. In the next year or three, it's going to happen. Why are they an inevitability? Because it's a revenue stream in a league always desperate for them. Everyone understands this fundamentally, and yet when the idea was brought up at various points this week, the reaction was one of such revulsion that you would have thought the ads were being tattooed on the first-born of every NHL fan, and not the goofy, baggy shirts for which they pay $250 without blinking. It's easy to understand why people would be so against the idea. It is new and therefore bad. As is all things the NHL does at every turn. That is, at least, the way fans see things, and in much the same way that people harp on about the sport's purity in general, the whole is not actually greater than the sum of its parts; if one aspect of the league's innocence is lost, then the whole thing is ruined and everyone is unhappy. Generally, though, the average hockey fan is perpetually unhappy with how every aspect of the sport progresses slowly toward the future, so jersey ads — inevitable though they may be — are gauche and soiling the legacy of the sport. One imagines that a lot of people are picturing the league shifting to something along the lines of soccer-style ads on jerseys. A little tiny team logo up over the heart, and a big ol' sponsor logo on the chest. Or perhaps they envision a more European hockey aesthetic, where the team logo is in the middle but there are ads on the sleeves, chest area, pants, socks, helmets, gloves, and bottoms of the jersey. One can, however, safely assume that neither of those things are going to happen. In reality, we're far more likely to get something that looks like this picture of Patrice Bergeron than anything else:

Puck Daddy's Summer Series: The San Jose Sharks from A to Z (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 24 Aug 2015 09:00:32 PDT)
(Ed. Note: August is known to be a very quiet month in the hockey world. As we wait for September to arrive and training camps to begin, let’s learn a little history about all 30 teams. Behold, our summer A-Z series, in which we ask fans of all 30 teams to drop some knowledge on us! Add your own choices in the comments!) By: Stace of Base , semi-retired blogger for Battle of California A. Archie Arturs Irbe was drafted by the Minnesota North Stars in 1989. Because Minnesota was not proven to be a legitimate hockey market, the team was relocated to Dallas and Irbe was picked up by the Sharks in the NHL dispersal draft in 1991.

Fantasy Hockey: Ranking the NHL forwards for 2015-16 (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 24 Aug 2015 08:18:46 PDT)
Dobber Hockey  launched in 2005 and Dobber and his staff have hitched their wagons to Puck Daddy to preach fantasy hockey to the Yahoo! masses since 2009. By Demetri Fragopoulos Are you going to be that guy ? ?You know, the one who talks hockey all the time whether it is in the lunch room, standing in line for coffee, or while working out in the gym. Regurgitating what you heard on the sport talk radio station while driving into work or to school earlier that day. Acting like there is nothing you do not know about the game and its players. ?What comes out of your mouth sounds reasonable. Yet when it came time make your fantasy draft picks last year you looked worse than Patrick Roy did against Brendan Shanahan (see #3 in that link). When the owner in front of you had his named called for his first pick, your brain froze up much like Tommy  Salo’s did against Belarus (see #4) at the Salt Lake Olympics. Even with the fourth pick in the first round you hummed and hawed for more than five minutes to only flub your selection similar to Patrick Stefan’s empty netter (see #1) against the Edmonton Oilers. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Hockey: Sign up and join a league today! ] Like Stefan, your gaffe immediately came back to haunt you because your opponents wasted no time to capitalize on your horrible first round draft pick of Rick Nash. The continuous begging for assistance from the other fantasy owners as your draft proceeded became irritating to everyone especially those that you were sitting closest to. Did you honestly think they would give you advice to help you, the guy who knows everything? ? If you did any preparation at all, it was to print out the roster of your favorite team which happens to be the Rangers. The reality is that the other owners tolerate your behavior and you are invited to the draft every year because you are an easy out. Smarten up and don't be that guy this year. Make a list based on the scoring system of your fantasy league. It does not matter if you are in a keeper or drafting in a single year league. No list equals no chance at victory. Top 10 in Points Do you know that Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby are the only players to have been in the top 10 scoring leaders in more than five of the previous 10 seasons? They’ll be there again but not where you would expect them. Evgeni Malkin, Pittsburgh Penguins It has been four years since he was last seen in the top 10 NHL scorers but with the addition of Phil Kessel over the summer he will return to the list and be the top guy. He will still get his share of points with Crosby and on the power play. John Tavares, New York Islanders I would not say that he broke out but he did assert himself as a contender for future scoring titles. With the roster naturally improving there is more in him to give. His age and numbers are much like Seguin’s, including power play goals and game winners. Alexander Ovechkin, Washington Capitals He hits, he shoots, he scores and he does all three a lot. Out of the last ten seasons he has made the top ten point producers eight times. No one comes close to his three year goal totals and only Crosby surpassed his point totals for the same period. The only thing missing is a Stanley Cup. Tyler Seguin, Dallas Stars If it were not for the Toronto-Pittsburgh deal and the two surgeries on Jamie Benn’s hips this summer I would have ranked Seguin first. His shot totals are in the elite-sphere. Goal scoring and playmaking are about even over the last three years so he is not stuck to one method to get his points, note that 29 were generated from the power play last year. Best part is that he will be turning 24 in January. Taylor Hall, Edmonton Oilers You might have forgotten that he has been near the top twice before. It would be easy to forget because the Oilers have been terrible. That all changes this year! No lower body injury to slow him down. He will crack the 30 goal mark for the first time and get more than six points with the man advantage. Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning His recovery from that horrible leg injury seemed to be behind him even though his point production was admittedly lower than expectations. Then the playoffs came with that evil dry spell in the Finals. Doubts emerged but do not let them frighten you away. He is second to only Ovechkin in total goals over the last three years. Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins Ranked second is not bad. The deal for Kessel will help the Penguins by unburdening Crosby. He is a competitor and he will not give up easily. However, individual accomplishments are not his primary focus. Winning the Cup for the second time in his career is. Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers A return to the top 10 is in the cards for Giroux (ranked eighth) this year. Led the league with 37 power play points last year and had combined another 58 points in the two years before that. Even though he earns more assists than goals shooting the puck is not an issue. Phil Kessel, Pittsburgh Penguins Oh how he is going to love playing for the Penguins this year. Look for goals and more goals to come from him. He might even turn out to be a hotdog but I am sure that Crosby and Malkin will keep his new found enthusiasm in check. Just out of Yahoo's top 10 overall at number 11, but the 10th ranked forward. Jamie Benn, Dallas Stars Can you call the reigning scoring champion a sidekick? The Seguin-Benn duo will prove once again that they are a formidable force. I look at their power play point totals and anticipate that an increase will be forthcoming. With Benn you also get some ancillary shorthanded goals/points as well as blocked shots and hits.

What We Learned: What should Carolina Hurricanes do with Eric Staal? (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 24 Aug 2015 06:03:10 PDT)
(Hello, this is a feature that 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.) It's no secret at this point that arguably the two most important players in recent memory for the Carolina Hurricanes are now major points of concern. Eric Staal and Cam Ward have long been talked about in trade rumors, largely because they are in their declining years on a rebuilding and improving team, are both UFAs at the end of next season, and cost a combined $14.55 million against the cap for a budget team that never actually comes all that close to the ceiling. A lot of this, too, has to do with the fact that Staal has slowed down in his production somewhat over the last two seasons (about 0.73 points per game as opposed to the 0.85-plus he put up every season since the 2004-05 lockout), and he's coming in at one of the highest cap hits in the league for any player, at $8.25 million. Staal will be 31 at the end of October and he's certainly not worth that much, and for a team that looks to be moving toward a future without Staal as its clear best player, the prospect of trading him while he's still carrying value in the marketplace is tantalizing. The problem with any looming Staal rumors, though, is that cap hit. Because no one has $8.5 million in space lying around. Hell, even if Carolina were to retain as much as 50 percent of his salary and cap hit, many teams would still be in tough to make $4.125 million work unless the Hurricanes took bad money back as well. And would they, given their own budgetary constraints that have little to do with the cap itself? Someone would have to make it very much worth their while. And Staal still provides significant value for the club, too. As Travis Yost recently noted , the Hurricanes were a pretty decent team in the second half of the season; better than most teams in their division by a pretty wide margin after shuffling along at roughly 50 percent possession for most of the first half. Staal was a big driver there, too: his relative possession numbers came in at plus-2.2 or so for the first half, and then a whopper plus-10.9 in the second half. That's as the entire team improved, which tells you a lot about how good he was. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Hockey: Sign up and join a league today! ] However, we cannot discount how much of that had to do with Jordan Staal's return to full health. He played just five games in the first 41 for Carolina, having been out of the lineup entirely until Dec. 29. If you break it down by that date and not the first 41, Eric Staal goes from 53.1 percent possession to a stunning 59.9 percent. Likewise, Eric Staal's scoring numbers took off when his little brother returned to the lineup; he had 20 in 31 games (0.65 per) to start the season, and then finished with 34 in 46 in the back half (.74). Jordan Staal has long proven useful on just about any team — think how much the Penguins miss him even now — and Carolina is no different. The question, on some level, is how much of the production jump is driven by Jordan, and how much of it is Eric still being a pretty damn good player. I mean, even if you accept that they're playing together for most of the year given how immovable the contract is, this is a pretty good list of comparables across 12 different statistics for players who were of roughly the same age (via Emmanuel Perry's Similarity Scores tool):

Fantasy Hockey: Which goalies should you draft or completely avoid? (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 21 Aug 2015 07:52:06 PDT)
Dobber Hockey launched in 2005 and Dobber and his staff have hitched their wagons to Puck Daddy to preach fantasy hockey to the Yahoo! masses since 2009. As in real hockey, goaltending is the most important position in fantasy hockey. In many formats, goalies make up close 10 percent of your roster but account for 40 percent to 50 percent of your categories. If you get stuck with a below average group your chances of success are slim. I’ve been using a tiered system for years and most of the time goaltending has been an asset to my team. Sure, there are some years where injuries kill me and that just can't be helped (thanks Craig Anderson). But if you employ a tier system and come away with three reasonably strong goaltenders, you can protect yourself against that. 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. Jonathan Bernier is a talented goalie, but splitting starts with James Reimer on a team that will struggle for even 30 wins makes him next to fantasy useless. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Hockey: Sign up and join a league today! ] 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). Or if you really want to protect yourself as I should have last year, get one Tier 1 goalie and two from the second tier. 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 Arizona. Pekka Rinne, Nashville Predators  - Between his health (hip surgery) and a new coach, fantasy owners were wary of Rinne last summer. He played 64 games last season, tied for second most in his career, so those fears were definitely laid to rest. A safe bet for 35 wins and a good bet for 40. Jaroslav Halak, New York Islanders - After so many years of sharing the net in Montreal and St. Louis, Halak has emerged as the undisputed No.1 starter - and for a team that is now quickly moving up among the elite. If he can stay healthy, he'll start close to 70 games. But he can't, so bank on 60 (which could still mean 40 wins). Carey Price, Montreal   Canadiens - The cream of the crop. The one goalie who is so good that you may want to break the 'tier' strategy above and just go ahead and draft him in the first round before anyone else can. Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins - Despite the Cup ring, Fleury is still trying to find his way in the postseason. That's not the case in the regular season where he has 34 or more wins in seven seasons, and added 10 shutouts in 2014-15. Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals - The magic of Barry Trotz continues on this new team as he's created another 40-win elite fantasy goaltender. Bank on Holtby to repeat, barring injury - it's Trotz's M.O. Ben Bishop, Tampa Bay   Lightning  - As a starting goaltender Bishop has averaged 62.5 starts and 38.5 wins per season over two years. That kind of success ensures that he'll continue to be 'the guy' no matter how great the wunderkind (Andrei Vasilevskiy) is. Frederik Andersen, Anaheim Ducks - The Ducks removed any lingering doubt about Andersen's status by acquiring Anton Khudobin. It essentially puts the star prospect John Gibson in the AHL for a full season so Andersen can do his thing. Tier 2 Many goalies from my Tier 2 could jump to Tier 1 if they can stay healthy. By the same token, it wouldn't take much for them to slide down to Tier 3 either. Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins - A former Tier 1 - hell a former elite - goalie, Rask takes a bit of a tumble. A little of this is due to his subpar season. But the bigger part is due to Boston's non-playoff season and subsequent offseason moves. Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks - Crawford should be a shoe-in as a Tier 1 guy because Chicago is awesome and he's the No.1 goalie. But backup Scott Darling was good enough to not only chase Antti Raanta out of town, but also steal a couple of playoff starts from Crawford. The concern here is how much Darling will cannibalize Crawford's starts. Semyon Varlamov, Colorado Avalanche - His 28 wins on a mediocre Colorado team should push him to the third tier. However, Varly is just a year removed from a 41-win campaign so we know what he's capable of. Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets  - The Blue Jackets are primed to take the next step. So if Bobrovsky can just stay healthy for a full season, he'd take a run at 40 wins. A big if. Roberto Luongo, Florida Panthers - What a great comeback year for Luongo. Though he had just 28 wins, his stats were stellar. If you subscribe to the theory that Florida is slowly getting better, then Luongo crossing the 32-win barrier for the first time in five years should be a snap. Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings - Coach Darryl Sutter has shown us time and again that he'll play Quick 70-plus games if he's healthy, no matter how good the backup is. That makes Quick gold. But the Kings are barely a 40-win team, which pushes Quick to the second tier. Devan Dubnyk, Minnesota Wild  - I really like Dubnyk and have completely bought into him being the 'real deal'. On my personal list, I'd probably push him up to the first tier. But since he's only been this prodigy for about 10 months…I'll play it safe with my public advice and call him a Tier 2 guy. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers - The King has spent time on the IR in each of the last two seasons, which pushes him from being a safe guy you can count on 100%...to a guy you can probably count on and hope for the best. Craig Anderson, Ottawa Senators - Anderson had a nice bounce-back season last year. Too bad he was only healthy for half of it. The injuries are such a concern that many of you would (rightfully) consider pushing him down to the third tier. Depends on your risk tolerance. But don't kid yourself into thinking that Andrew Hammond is a threat here. Injuries are a threat. Hammond is just a nice story. Tier 3 Here are a group of quality goaltenders who take a fantasy hit because they are either injury prone or they will be sharing starts. Great to have as your No. 3 goalie because they will have certain weeks throughout the year in which they are white hot. Karri Ramo and Jonas Hiller, Calgary Flames - This year will be interesting because both of these goalies are making a lot of money and both goalies could become unrestricted free agents next summer. Either one could seize the starting job. My money is on Ramo eventually taking it, but by the time it happens the two of them will have completely cannibalized each other's starts. Eddie Lack, Carolina Hurricanes - I have Lack here and I'm not including Cam Ward because I think Lack is the better goaltender (by far). You can disagree, and slot Ward here as well, that's your call. But Ward's contract is up after this year so there is little incentive to keep starting him if he's not winning. Antti Niemi and Kari Lehtonen, Dallas Stars - Another split-start situation in which I doubt either goaltender gets 50 starts. Maybe that works out for the team - and it might, because Dallas looks so much better for the season ahead what with Patrick Sharp and Valeri Nichushkin added. But it doesn't help fantasy teams. Jimmy Howard, Detroit Red Wings - Howard could be a Top 12 goalie in terms of wins and stats, were it not for Petr Mrazek. The youngster stole the starting job from Howard late last season and into the playoffs. Howard's contract should still ensure that he gets 50-plus starts, but that won't be enough to put him among the top fantasy owns. Cam Talbot, Edmonton Oilers - The Oilers are going to be a much better team in 2015-16 and Talbot is probably going to be the runaway starter. How many more wins will they get? Will Anders Nilsson or Ben Scrivens outplay Talbot? Those two questions keep Talbot in the third tier. Cory Schneider, New Jersey Devils - Schneider had 69 starts last year and managed just 26 wins. In the season ahead, I can see him getting 72 starts or more…but he'll be lucky to get 26 wins. The Devils are just that bad. Steve Mason, Philadelphia Flyers - I'm actually a believer in Mason and of all the Tier 3 goalies, he'd be the one I'd prefer to end up with. But he keeps getting hurt, and usually at the worst possible time (during a hot streak). Jake Allen and Brian Elliott, St. Louis Blues - As noted with the Dallas and Calgary situations above, this 1A/1B stuff is for the birds. In weekly leagues, all these types of goalies are good for are occasional starts when they're hot or when their partner is sidelined with an injury. Martin Jones and Alex Stalock, San Jose Sharks - Unlike the other 1A/1B situations above, this one I think will result in a winner by December. And that winner will walk away with it, shouldering much of the load from that point forward. Who? If I knew, I'd put him in the second tier (and the loser would drop to Tier 4). Jonathan Bernier, Toronto Maple Leafs  - Bernier's numbers will improve this season, but his win total may not. That being said, like everyone else in Tier 3, he'll have his useful weeks where you can activate him. Ryan Miller, Vancouver Canucks - The Canucks saw to it that Miller would be undisputed as the top goalie this year, electing instead to move the superior netminder Eddie Lack to Carolina. I don't know if you like what the Canucks did this summer, but I sure don't and I'll be surprised if Miller matches the 29 wins he got last season. Ondrej Pavelec, Winnipeg Jets - Kudos to Pavelec for a career season last year. The timing couldn't have been better for him as he has a pair of good goalies looking over his shoulder. Just 22 wins in each of the last two seasons. Tier 4 Here are a handful of goaltenders with the ability to enjoy an extended stay as the team's No.1 goalie thanks to an injury to the guy ahead of him. Or from just plain outplaying him. If you have room for a fourth goalie, or you have little faith in your first three - then one of these guys will be around late in your draft and are worth sitting on. Robyn Lehner, Buffalo Sabres - The No.1 goalie in Buffalo is a No.1 goalie. But it's Buffalo. Still, a great option to stick on your bench in a deep round. Cam Ward, Carolina Hurricanes  - As much as I like Lack, the fact of the matter is that Carolina's loyalties are with Ward so he'll get first dibs. I think he'll slip, but if he doesn't he'll obviously have a very productive year. That's worth a depth pick for sure. Scott Darling, Chicago Blackhawks  - Darling put a scare in Crawford owners late last season. Who says he can't do it again? Petr Mrazek, Detroit Red Wings  - Of all the Tier 4 goalies, Mrazek is the one I'd target. Not only because Jimmy Howard is a Band-Aid Boy, but because Mrazek has already shown us that he's better. Ben Scrivens and Anders Nilsson, Edmonton Oilers - Nilsson is coming off a lights-out performance in the KHL and Scrivens is coming off a…light performance in Edmonton (but two years ago he was awesome). Either one could theoretically steal the job from Talbot. If I could get one as a fourth goalie with my last pick, I'd do it and then drop him in November when it's clear that my gambit didn't pay off. Andrew Hammond, Ottawa Senators - Because Anderson is so injury prone, Hammond has a lot of value as Ottawa's backup. And who knows, maybe he has another 15-game unbeaten in regulation streak in him.   Dobber launched DobberHockey back in 2005 and his 10th annual Fantasy Guide can be found here . That's right - 10th annual. He's been around the block. Follow Dobber on Twitter @DobberHockey. And to get up-to-the-minute - free - starting goalie information, look no further than  Goalie Post .

New evidence in Boogaard case; Marty St. Louis pours out heart; best NHL rivalries (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)
(Thu, 20 Aug 2015 11:18:51 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. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at  puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com . Zeitgeist: Adidas already preparing for 2017 NHL Advertiser Draft. http://t.co/d2Nlgv9WyZ pic.twitter.com/6pjc4cs3AC — Dan Saraceni (@cultureoflosing) August 20, 2015 • Noticeably missing from Top 10 of advertiser draft: skin tag remover and flex seal. [ @cultureoflosing ] • The family of Derek Boogaard believes they have new evidence indicating the NHL's responsibility in their son's death. [ SI ] • Martin St. Louis writes about the death of his mother and facing the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals as a member of the New York Rangers. Heart wrenching and eye opening. [ Players' Tribune ] • Meet Rudi Ying, a 17-year-old hockey player from China, who hopes to follow in the footsteps of Yao Ming by opening up a relatively unknown sport to those in his homeland. [ Buzzing The Net ] • Editorial rips Calgary Flames arena plans due to 'ludicrous amount of tax payer support' required. [ Globe and Mail ] • Tyler Seguin talks about struggling to keep his mouth shut after his trade from Boston. [ Toronto 1050 ] • Good news for Jets fans: Andrew Ladd is skating after sports hernia surgery, but he's now been infected by 'playoff fever.' No word as to if more cowbell  has been prescribed. [ Winnipeg Free Press ] • Ryan McDonagh is back to skating at full-strength after breaking his foot in the Eastern Conference Final. [ NHL ] • Down Goes Brown awards the heavyweight belt for the best NHL rivalries over the decades. Find out if your team and your hated rival(s) made the cut. [ Grantland ] • Is Wayne Simmonds optimism about the Flyers this season justified? [ THN ] • If Nikolaj Ehlers doesn't make the Winnipeg Jets big show out of camp, he'll consider taking his talents to the Swiss League. [ Jets Nation ] • Arizona Coyotes winger Mikkel Boedker signed a bridge deal and has to prove he's worth the investment this season. [ Today's Slapshot ] • Least shocking news: Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel headline the NHLPA's rookie showcase. [ PHT ] • Top 30 goaltending prospects - McDavid and Eichel are automatically disqualified! [ The Hockey Writers ] • New St. Louis Blues player Troy Brouwer sits down for a fun Q & A with his new team. [ Blues ] • Celebrating the unsung hero of the Vancouver Canucks 'West Coast Express,' Brendan Morrison. [ Canucks Army ] • Analysis of goaltenders isn't as cut and dry as the skaters in front of them. [ TSN ] • One of the best female journalists in hockey, Katie Strang, is moving over to cover baseball. Big loss! [ KK ] • Detroit Red Wings director of player development Jiri Fischer talks his past work and future aspirations, and the future of Czech hockey. [ The Malik Report ] • Which youngsters are most likely to have a sophomore slump? [ Bleacher Report ] • The good and bad of Cody Hodgson for the Nashville Predators. [ Predlines ] • Finally, some of the NHL's best and brightest goof off at BioSteel camp. - - - - - - - Jen Neale is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @MsJenNeale_PD . MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY:

Puck Daddy's Summer Series: The New York Rangers from A to Z (Puck Daddy)
(Thu, 20 Aug 2015 08:59:17 PDT)
(Ed. Note: August is known to be a very quiet month in the hockey world. As we wait for September to arrive and training camps to begin, let’s learn a little history about all 30 teams. Behold, our summer A-Z series, in which we ask fans of all 30 teams to drop some knowledge on us! Add your own choices in the comments!) By:  Beth Boyle Machlan , contributor for The Other Half A. Amirante’s Anthems AND Amazons Had I written this in March, John Amirante would be featured here as the Rangers’ regular singer of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” But on April 18th, 2015, just before the second game of the postseason against the Pens, the Garden announced with little fanfare that Amirante was singing his last anthem, leaving the fans deranged with rage.  Keep in mind that Rangers fans are usually deranged with rage about something or other, but putting a 35-year veteran out to pasture at the start of the playoffs represented the exact sort of middle finger to ritual and tradition that the hockey gods were unlikely to overlook. They brought Amirante back by popular demand for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final, but the damage was done; the Bolts won that night, according to Dan Rosen, “by playing like the Rangers,” and went on to win the series. Published in 1980, Amazons claimed to be “An Intimate Memoir By the First Woman to Play in the NHL," Cleo Birdwell. It featured an author photo of a sultry blonde dressed as a Ranger (although her stick barely reaches her shoulder and her skates are the size of her torso), and the picture is an appropriate preface to a story that is light on hockey and heavy on sex. But in case you hadn’t guessed, Birdwell was never really a Blueshirt. She was created by Don DeLillo, author of American Lit survey stalwarts White Noise and Underworld , and apparently not much of a hockey fan. Sadly, DeLillo disowned Amazons back in 1985, and the book is now out of print.

Kane's endorsements; Stars' future success; Fleury Mr. Nice Guy (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 18 Aug 2015 11:25:31 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. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at  puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com .   

Watch Sedin Twins play H-O-R-S-E, as basketball weeps (Video) (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 18 Aug 2015 06:06:00 PDT)
The Vancouver Canucks have an ongoing series called “Sedin vs. Sedin,” in which hockey wonder twins Henrik and Daniel Sedin battle in a series of daunting challenges. Although once you’ve dragged Anson Carter to 33 goals, is any challenge really that daunting? The latest battle features the Bros. Sedin playing some basketball, specifically the game “H-O-R-S-E,” in which they attempt to replicate each other’s shots until someone spells out the titular name. (In Swedish, it’s “häst,” so once again American proves its awesomeness with a game that’s one shot longer.) And what a competition! Imagine LeBron vs. Jordan on their respective primes. Now imagine the complete, total, uncompromising opposite and you’ll have captured the spirit of two Swedish hockey players attempting to make a layup before just giving up on all creativity and turning it into a free-throw competition. We do have to give major props to Henrik Sedin for rocking that “Big Country” Reeves Vancouver Grizzlies jersey, although it does seem oddly appropriate after seeing the range of his jumper. (Luckily, neither of them chose a Stevie Francis jersey and decided never to step foot in Vancouver.) We won’t reveal who wins, but we can confirm that basketball lost … MORE FROM YAHOO SPORTS  

What We Learned: Why give Sergei Gonchar a tryout deal? (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 17 Aug 2015 06:58:24 PDT)
(Hello, this is a feature that 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.) As NHL signings go, any one involving a guy who turned 41 in April comes across as a pretty big red flag. But the Sergei Gonchar deal Pittsburgh signed is extremely low-risk, being that it's only a professional tryout contract. It's basically a way to assess a player exclusively for a little while and, if things go well, they can sign him to a real deal shortly thereafter. If not, he's gone and they face no penalty. This is basically the first of the training camp tryout invitees to make things official, but it's still one that can be a little confusing to understand from the team's point of view. Why not sign someone else — or rather, someone younger and better — to a tryout deal? Simply put, this locks Pittsburgh into at least one guy they think might still have some gas in the tank and tread on the tires (even if the latter is getting really, really bald and the former has been red-lining for the last 50 miles), which should't be that big of a deal at this point. Meanwhile, it seems very likely that Gonchar, at his age, probably didn't expect too many offers to come through the door in the month or so before camps open. Though it may not seem it on the surface, this is a mutually beneficial deal. No-risk quality assessment is a perfectly reasonable approach for any sort of a player, even one like Gonchar who doesn't come across as a big threat to make the roster, and hey, it just might get him a job. In fact, when it comes to Pittsburgh's particular situation, the idea of signing a 41-year-old who basically doesn't appear to be able to play the sport at a competitive level any longer might not actually be a bad one. Gonchar got roughly average usage across his time with Dallas and Montreal as a 40-year-old, not playing a ton of minutes.  And predictably, he got run over. In terms of numbers relative to what his team did when he was off the ice, here is how Gonchar ranked among all 12 defensemen getting 700-plus minutes for both Dallas and Montreal last season: Fourth-bottom in possession, fifth-bottom in scoring chance differential, and third-best in goals-for. But given that last number, would it also surprise you to learn he likewise had the third-highest PDO for these teams? It shouldn't. Now, could the Penguins theoretically use a guy who can drive goals? Sure. But unless he's being used in an extremely limited role, Gonchar doesn't really come across as a guy who can actually do that. He was close to 57 percent on the goal front at 5-on-5 last season, but that followed seasons of about 46.4 percent, 50.8 percent, 47.4 percent, and 41.8 percent since he turned 36. In short, he has done what a lot of defensemen over the age of 35 do: Deteriorate. Look, 40-year-old players are rare in the league to begin with. Since 2002-03, a defenseman has started the season north of 40 four times: Nick Lidstrom, Chris Chelios, Teppo Numinen, and Gonchar. Obviously Gonchar and Chelios played seasons beyond that, while Numinen retired after that 2008-09 season. That Gonchar didn't find himself getting healthy-scratched almost every night tells you a lot about his quality in some areas of the ice and reputation. But of this group of four, his usefulness was by far the lowest. But let's just sit here and think about the Penguins' blue line depth for a second.  Jim Rutherford has done a really good job of improving the team's forward depth this summer, not only in getting Phil Kessel, but also shoring things up down the middle. But all that attention seems to have made him forget there's a blue line to worry about. Kris Letang is there, sure, but if your next-best defenseman after that is Olli Maata, well, that's a big drop-off. Especially because Maatta didn't play a single game after December of last year. He's probably match-fit at this point, but given his resume of 111 games in the NHL between the regular season and playoffs, banking on him as your No. 2 doesn't seem prudent. But then again, that's what's going to happen. Because the other guys in the Penguins' defensive depth chart are Rob Scuderi (no thanks), Ben Lovejoy (underrated but not great), Ian Cole (meh), Derrick Pouliot (promising), and Brian Dumoulin (basically no NHL experience). Tim Erixon is also in the mix back there, but who knows with that guy. Where does a defense that looks like this rank in the division? Even with the acknowledgement that this is a division with pretty bad D corps in general — Philadelphia, Carolina, and Columbus are all dire here — you have to say both New York teams are definitively ahead of Pittsburgh, as is Washington, and maybe New Jersey. So let's say they're fourth at best, if you acknowledge that a healthy Letang, which is certainly no guarantee (he's missed more games than he's played the last two seasons), does a lot of good back there. That’s really not a great group and, sad as it is to say this, Gonchar might actually provide decent cover as a No. 7 given the overall quality of the D corps and the other options that are therefore available. The Penguins have serious cap constraints (a little more than $2 million in cap space with 21 contracts on the books), and therefore probably can't afford even a looked-over guy like Andrej Meszaros or Eric Brewer if they want to keep any sort of flexibility for the remainder of the season. Maybe Rutherford is hoping to be able to lure some more guys on training camp invites, but that's a bit of a guessing game. The fact that Gonchar is any sort of option for an NHL team at this point in his career speaks mightily to the problems that team currently has on the blue line. But again, there's no risk here, and if he does earn a contract, it's probably because they think he can provide something that an AHL call-up cannot. They might be wrong about that, but it may be worth finding out. What We Learned Anaheim Ducks : If Carl Hagelin ends up as the guy who plays with Getzlaf and Perry for the next four years, this contract is going to be a mega-bargain. His speed could really be a difference-maker on that line. Arizona Coyotes : Shane Doan says he has no plans to retire . A fun fact about Shane Doan is that even after all this time with the organization, he only leads it in one statistical category: Games played. He has a way-outside chance of breaking Dale Hawerchuk's goals-scored record (25 back) but he probably won't hit Thomas Steen's assists total (45 back) or Hawerchuk's points record (67 back). When he plays six more games, he will be one of only two forwards in NHL history to play 1,400 career games and have fewer than 1,000 points. The other is Scott Mellanby.  Boston Bruins : When I think of “Torey Krug,” the word “ undervalued ” is not exactly springing readily to mind. Buffalo Sabres : Buffalo sports fans now have an official beer into which they can sob when their teams stink year after year. Calgary Flames : Hahaha. Oh boy . Carolina Hurricanes : The Hurricanes only have four road trips of three or more games this season? That seems quite low. Chicago : In the Patrick Kane case, why WOULDN'T you take the word of an off-duty cop and family friend who often is employed by the accused, and drove Kane and his alleged victim that night, at face value? Good thing he was able to get more victim-blaming quotes out there. Colorado Avalanche : This all seems to be in order . Columbus Blue Jackets : Is this new slogan because March is when the team's season will effectively be over? Just kidding, they're a bubble playoff team. But this is the kind of slogan that invites that kind of joke. It's not my fault. Dallas Stars : The Stars' goaltending probably can't be as bad as it was last year, so that's almost certainly gonna win them like 10 more points in the standings right there. They really didn't need to spend all the extra money on it. Detroit Red Wings : College free agent Robbie Russo signed a two-year deal with Detroit on Sunday. Big-bodied player with lots of offensive talent, but if you aren't out for most defensive-zone faceoffs for your college team, that seems like a major point of concern. He was basically what people think PK Subban and Erik Karlsson are. Edmonton Oilers : Ryan Nugent-Hopkins thinks the Oilers' power play will be better next season . Given the talent level they have on their top power play units these days, you'd think their 12.2 percent shooting will rise at least a little there. Florida Panthers : You really shouldn't say stuff like this . Los Angeles Kings : Tyler Toffoli, Blake Griffin, Justin Turner and Clayton Kershaw were all at an event to hand out school supplies — including book bags, pencils, and notebooks — to kids in underserved schools around LA. Good job. Minnesota Wild : Just as an aside from this , isn't it weird how we all act like Thomas Vanek stinks now? Yeah he's overpaid (which isn't his fault) and his possession numbers aren't great, but he had 52 points in a down year. If he threw the body around a bit more everyone would be falling all over themselves to defend him. “One-dimensional player,” yeah. If that one dimension is putting up 50-plus points every year, I don't really care. Montreal Canadiens : Doooooooon't . Nashville Predators : Real nice article on the growth of hockey in Nashville . New Jersey Devils : A ton of guys that New Jersey allowed to walk as UFAs this summer haven't been signed yet . Try to find a less shocking fact this week. New York Islanders : Matthew Barzal threw the first pitch before Hisashi Iwakuma threw a no-hitter last week. This is what qualifies as hockey news in August. New York Rangers : The answer to this question - Dan Girardi. Ottawa Senators : How many “ guy who had a bit of an off season looks fully fit and will play better next year !” articles do you think we see every summer? Philadelphia Flyers : Two of the four Flyers who will “ bounce back ” next season are Andrew MacDonald and Vinny Lecavalier. Good luck to you all!!!! Pittsburgh Penguins : The Pens have a new practice rink and medical center that cost $70 million. Given the ownership rumors, though, maybe naming it after Mario Lemieux wasn't too wise. San Jose Sharks : To answer the headline - Pretty much everything. St. Louis Blues : There's being a homer and then there's this . Tampa Bay Lightning : Tyler Johnson has turned his hometown of Spokane, Wash., into an outpost of Tampa fans. Maybe try to get an expansion team there. Fertile hockey market. Toronto Maple Leafs : Well, they couldn't survive even with Phi Kessel's offense, so you get to make up your own mind there. Vancouver Canucks : If you have an hour and a half, check out this hilarious Trevor Linden interview. The team doesn't want to pursue a big rebuild. Why? I don't know! Washington Capitals : The Caps could soon sign KHL-based Russian defender Ilya Nikulin. Not a bad idea. Winnipeg Jets : Almost nothing going on in Winnipeg this week, so yeah, the team looks ready to bid Jim Slater adieu. He was a Thrashers draft pick in 2002 and stuck around this long. Gold Star Award Just answering some fan mail from a big fan...... pic.twitter.com/XHNVAUHuys — Strombone (@strombone1) August 14, 2015 Roberto Luongo is pretty great . Minus of the Weekend

Michael Futa keeps LA Kings away from rebuild (Puck Daddy Interview) (Puck Daddy)
(Sun, 16 Aug 2015 11:26:53 PDT)
Michael Futa is one of the the hottest non-general manager management names in hockey. Since he arrived with the Los Angeles Kings in 2007 as the team’s co-director of amateur scouting, Futa has helped acquire one of the top groups of young players through the draft. He helped select Drew Doughty, Kyle Clifford, Dwight King, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson. Former Kings Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds were also selected by L.A. under Futa’s watch. Also Futa helped identify Jake Muzzin to sign him as a free agent. People with lesser drafting/scouting resumes have assumed general manager roles in the NHL. Futa is currently the Kings vice president of hockey operations and director of player personnel. He has been considered by both the Vancouver Canucks and Buffalo Sabres for vacant GM roles in the past, but has stayed in Los Angeles. “I know where I stand with the Los Angeles Kings,” Futa said. “It’s the only team I’ve ever been a part of and if it’s the only team I’m ever a part of, I’ll be satisfied.”  Futa and his scouting staff had the interesting task of pivoting strategy to a degree as the team’s success has grown. Doughty was selected with the No. 2 pick in the 2008 Draft and was slam-dunk clear-cut future superstar. Pearson was selected with the 30th pick in 2012 after the organization’s first Stanley Cup and had gone through the draft already. Instead of finding that franchise cornerstone, like when you’re picking high early in Futa’s Kings tenure, now it’s about finding guys who can fit in the structure created by high-end players picked in earlier years. And from a scouting perspective on down to player development, Futa’s group has done just that. L.A.’s AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs, just won the Calder Cup. Doughty, Toffoli and Pearson are all 25-and-younger. Clifford has fit in seamlessly on the Kings' checking line. Schenn and Simmonds would look pretty nice in Kings black and silver if they weren’t traded for Mike Richards before the 2011-12 season. While other teams with recent success have opted for major changes (see Bruins, Boston) Futa's ability to keep unearthing talent have prevented the Kings from taking such a drastic step. Even after missing the 2015 postseason following the org's 2014 Stanley Cup victory.  We talked with Futa about the Kings' culture, how he scouts and what makes the team such a player production factory. Q: Once you started having that higher level championship success, as a scouting staff, how does that put more pressure on you to find guys lower in the draft? FUTA: There’s an understanding that you’re not worried about taking kids that have gone through a draft. We showed that the first time we picked 30th in 2012 after our first Cup, taking Tanner Pearson, who was somebody that had already gone through and wasn’t an easy pick to make because you passed on the kid earlier. You realize you see a more finished product that is going to put in the work to make himself better. We have been fortunate that way that we as a group go into rinks and we look for things now that we like, if we covet, whether it be hockey sense, or character or NHL assets. And then you look at things and areas of game that need improvement, we have such a good feeling for what our development team can fix. So we’re more looking for kids that are willing to fix and willing to put in the work because we know the synergy we have with our development teams is off the charts as far as what they can bring and the different parts of the game they can improve upon.  That being said if we look at kids where maybe puck protection is a bit of an issue or their release is a bit of an issue, we just know our development team is going to step in and take charge and I think that’s incredible. It’s the synergy between our amateur staff and handing them over to our development team who works hands on with our AHL staff and works with our college kids and works with our ECHL team. Our development team is going to be there to help And then you pass off a more finished product to the big team. This year was a tough learning curve or lesson for all of us. We’ve been very used to the success we’ve had. This year we found out if you’re not as focused off the ice and get distracted, you go through some periods where you’re not at you’re ‘A’ game that this league is too good and you find yourself on the outside looking in the playoffs and I think that has been a huge motivating factor from the day the last game of the season finished and we found ourselves as the outside as ex-champs and realizing how hard we had to work to get back to there. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today! ] What is the major difference between picking high and low in a draft year? I think early we were learning what (general manager) Dean Lombardi expected of us as a staff. Now we completely know and we’ve added our own personalities and additions to what we expect out of our staffs and what we expect out of ourselves. (Co-director of amateur scouting) Mark (Yannetti) and I, Dean threw us together in hope we would bond as friends and it kind of trickles down to how seamless we are at the draft table as far as moving up to moving down and knowing what we like and what Mark likes in a player and what I like and it trickles down to what we expect out of our area guys who have done an incredible job. We’re like a little family within a big family as far as how we communicate. It’s huge because we all like each other, we all respect each other. Last year with my job and the opportunities that were being set out there for me, it would have been easy for the group to break up and lose its synergy, but we actually got stronger. Everybody stepped up. I’ve had the ability to be a lot more involved with the big team. The same levels of work that are expected of our players. When you talk about a player, it’s the same thing. We expect them to put in their work when the teacher’s not in the room. It would be easy for a scout just to work when he has to, and I think that’s what our group does, whether it’s video or interviews, they’re always putting in that extra.

Puck Daddy's Summer Series: The Minnesota Wild from A to Z (Puck Daddy)
(Sat, 15 Aug 2015 09:00:49 PDT)
(Ed. Note: August is known to be a very quiet month in the hockey world. As we wait for September to arrive and training camps to begin, let’s learn a little history about all 30 teams. Behold, our summer A-Z series, in which we ask fans of all 30 teams to drop some knowledge on us! Add your own choices in the comments!) By: Donna Carpenter , writer for Runnin’ with the Dogs (with help from Emilie Wiener ) A. Aeros

Canucks to bring back flying skate jerseys for one night in February (Puck Daddy)
(Thu, 13 Aug 2015 12:21:32 PDT)
The Vancouver Canucks celebrated #ThrowbackThursday by taking us back to the 1980s and '90s with a special announcement. Dust off your Kirk McLean jersey; get that old beer stain our of your Greg Adams sweater; and straighten up your Jyrki Lumme shrine, the flying skate is coming back. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today! ] To celebrate the 20th anniversary of GM Place Canada Hockey Place Rogers Arena, the Canucks will don those oh so gorgeous black flying skate jerseys for their Feb. 13 game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Just. Look. At. Them.

Sami Salo finally retires, citing chronic wrist injury (Puck Daddy)
(Thu, 13 Aug 2015 07:14:37 PDT)


Puck Daddy's Summer Series: The Edmonton Oilers from A to Zed (Puck Daddy)
(Wed, 12 Aug 2015 09:00:00 PDT)
(Ed. Note: August is known to be a very quiet month in the hockey world. As we wait for September to arrive and training camps to begin, let’s learn a little history about all 30 teams. Behold, our summer A-Z(ed) series, in which we ask fans of all 30 teams to drop some knowledge on us! Add your own choices in the comments!) By: Sammi Silber , editor of Oil on Whyte A. Anderson, Glenn

Kane is 'a bad spot'; Canucks and racism; Ducks to debut new thirds (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 10 Aug 2015 11:32:40 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. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at  puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com .

Trying to sort out Vancouver's nonsense summer (Trending Topics) (Puck Daddy)
(Fri, 07 Aug 2015 07:12:05 PDT)
Brandon Sutter got a lengthy and expensive contract extension from the Vancouver Canucks this week, as Jim Benning continues to shuffle his feet. Does anyone have a clear indication of what Benning is going for here in his attempted... what do you want to call it? Rebuild? Rebuild on the fly? Remaking? Retooling? It could be all or none of those things, depending on your viewpoint. And also, it's important to stress “attempted.” Because what Benning has done to the Canucks over the last several months frankly just comes across as baffling. They've had a fairly quiet summer in terms of free agent signings — Matt Bartkowski, a useful-ish middle-of-the-lineup defenseman Benning would know from his Boston days, is the marquee name in the small group — but the GM has certainly been working the phones for trades. [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today! ] Since the end of the season, Benning has made five different trades, involving a hell of a lot of pieces. Some of the deals haven't been that big — blue line prospect Patrick McNally for a seventh-round pick next season is a good example — and some of them are, to use Benning's own term (against him?) “foundational;” the big Brandon Sutter trade could in many ways be a defining moment for his administration, however much longer it may have. The net result of all these trades is below. Try to make out what you think he's doing:

Benning on Sutter; meet new partner MLBAM; time to end NHL blackouts (Puck Headlines) (Puck Daddy)
(Wed, 05 Aug 2015 11:10:53 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. Have a link you want to submit? Email us at  puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com . What's this? The @CTWhale_NWHL and @BuffaloBeauts logos are evolving! #BetterThanEver #MerchIsComing pic.twitter.com/pof9gRCpTi — NWHL (@NWHL_) August 5, 2015 • The NHWL's Buffalo Beauts and Connecticut Whale logos are a changin'. [ @NWHL_ ] • Why did the NHL pick MLBAM as their new digital partner? Great background story on the evolution of the media monolith. [ The Verge ] • Canucks GM Jim Benning talks about the contract signed with Brandon Sutter. [ The Province ] • Chicago signed defenseman Viktor Svedberg to a one-year contract. (No word as to if he's being paid in monopoly money.) [ Blackhawks ] • The Coyotes and Arizona State - only D1 hockey program in the west - to announce a partnership. [ ABC15 ] • Andre Savard and Claude Noel have been added to the Devils ranks as pro-scouts. [ Fire & Ice ] • John Weisbrod named Assistant to the General Manager in Vancouver, along with other front office movements. [ Canucks ] • Tickets for the Wild vs. Blackhawks outdoor game border on astronomical. [ Star Tribune ] • Time for the NHL to end blackouts "because it really should not be this damn hard to watch a hockey game." [ Broadstreet Hockey ] • Joshua Ho-Sang should demand his extradition to the US immediately. He's not in trouble or anything. He's being suffocated by the Canadian media. [ Lighthouse Hockey ] • Expectations for Patric Hornqvist's 'ceiling' this season depend on his health and who his center is. The latter is complicated with the acquisition of Phil Kessel. [ Today's Slapshot ] • With Alex Galchenyuk in place for the next two years, how to the Canadiens forwards shape up coming into this season? [ All Habs ] • Mike Hoffman harbors no ill will towards the Senators after his first arbitration ruling. Also, Ottawa cannot buy out Colin Greening due to his low salary. [ Ottawa Citizen ]  • Ryan Spooner says listening to Claude Julien's direction made him better. (Was he the only one listening? Asking for a friend...) [ Causeway Crowd ] • Good question and great pun: "Is the New York Rangers Cup run-eth over?" [ Along The Boards ] • If the NHL realigns the way it is proposing, the Dallas Stars could benefit by not having to spend as much time in a plane traveling to their next location. [ The Hockey Writers ] • Fanatasy hockey mastermind Dobber gives his take on recent off-season action. [ Dobber Hockey ] • Want even more offense in the NHL? Make the nets bigger. [ Arctic Ice Hockey ] • Fancy stats: Using "netshots post-faceoff" to judge the effectiveness of a center beyond just winning the faceoff. [ Faceoffs.net ] • The pan-European Champions Hockey League is set to drop the puck on their sophomore season. After a successful first year, the league made changes to improve the experience for both fans and players; however, adding KHL teams to the mix isn't one of them. [ Ice Nation UK ] • The first Division 1 hockey team out west, Arizona State, is anxiously awaiting the opportunity to make its debut. Coach Greg Powers talks about the process of getting the program rolling. [ College Hockey ] • Finally, dying for some live hockey? Here's a little KHL preseason with an incredible goalie save to tide you over. - - - - - - - Jen Neale is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow her on Twitter! Follow @MsJenNeale_PD . MORE FROM YAHOO HOCKEY:

Puck Daddy's Summer Series: The Calgary Flames from A to Zed (Puck Daddy)
(Wed, 05 Aug 2015 09:00:01 PDT)
(Ed. Note: August is known to be a very quiet month in the hockey world. As we wait for September to arrive and training camps to begin, let’s learn a little history about all 30 teams. Behold, our summer A-Z(ed) series, in which we ask fans of all 30 teams to drop some knowledge on us! Add your own choices in the comments!) By: T. Ari Yanover , managing editor for Matchsticks & Gasoline A. Atlanta

Canucks give Brandon Sutter 5-year, $21.875M extension week after trade (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 04 Aug 2015 17:33:34 PDT)
Not long after he had acquired Brandon Sutter via trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins last week, Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning was already talking extension with the 26-year old center.  On Tuesday that extension became a reality as the two sides hammered out a five-year, $21.875 million deal. That’s a cap hit of $4.35 million, leaving the Canucks with just over $1 million heading into the season. Sutter also gets a full no-trade from the 2016-17 season to 2018-19. It then becomes a modified NTC in 2019-20 and 2020-21, where he can submit a list of 15 teams he would refuse a trade to, per General Fanager . Whatever you think of Sutter’s game, this is market value for top-end third-line centers, especially when you're buying up prime years. Benning was already talking up his game the day of the trade calling Sutter a “ foundation piece .”  [ Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football: Sign up and join a league today! ] Sutter scored 45 goals and recorded 78 points in three seasons with the Penguins. He never could live up the shutdown monster role that he assumed after being dealt for Jordan Staal at the 2012 NHL Draft. His offensive numbers were fine, but the possession stats weren’t , and his linemates did not benefit from his presence on the ice.  If you want to dig deeper into the numbers, like Rhys Jessop did over at Canucks Army , moving from Nick Bonino to Brandon Sutter is a downgrade of a move, on the ice and in terms of talking future salary cap flexibility.  MORE FROM YAHOO SPORTS :

Sutter signs 5-year extension with Canucks (The Associated Press)
(Tue, 04 Aug 2015 17:25:36 PDT)
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) -- The Vancouver Canucks have signed recently acquired center Brandon Sutter to a five-year contract extension at an average annual value of $4.375 million (US) per season.

Puck Daddy's Summer Series: The Buffalo Sabres from A to Z (Puck Daddy)
(Tue, 04 Aug 2015 09:00:00 PDT)
(Ed. Note: August is known to be a very quiet month in the hockey world. As we wait for September to arrive and training camps to begin, let’s learn a little history about all 30 teams. Behold, our summer A-Z series, in which we ask fans of all 30 teams to drop some knowledge on us! Add your own choices in the comments!) By: Stephanie Delio , contributor for Die By The Blade A. [The] “Aud” The Buffalo Memorial Auditorium opened in 1940 and would become home to the expansion Buffalo Sabres on October 15, 1970. Home to many firsts and lasts, the Aud would see the most infamous “only” in NHL history when Jim Lorentz became the only NHL player to kill a live animal (a bat) during a faceoff in the 1975 Stanley Cup Final, vs. Philadelphia. The Aud was well-known for its fog during warm-weather games, which likely made some quite painful games more tolerable and would’ve been a welcome addition to the 2014-15 season. The Sabres left the Aud and the fog behind when they moved to what is now the First Niagara Center in 1996. B. Butt-goal Need I say more, really? Over the last two seasons, the Sabres haven’t been good. But watching Arizona Coyotes’ goaltender Mike Smith score the craziest own-goal possibly in the history of the game helped to smooth the ride. I mean, watching the puck fall into the shorts of the goaltender, who then backs over the goal line is pretty phenomenal. Unless you hate fun. C. Carotid Artery Of all the infamous information that you can gather on the internet, it’s safe to say that Clint Malarchuk and Richard Zednik would gladly not ever have anything in common aside from being hockey players. On Buffalo ice, nearly 20 years apart, each suffered a skate to the carotid artery (on the neck). Thanks to quick-acting trainers and medical staff, both thankfully survived an incident that they, undoubtedly, would gladly erase from their histories. Although the incident left its mark, both physically and mentally, both players were able to return to their hockey playing ways.  D. [The] Dominator It’s hard to determine if Dominik Hasek was more well-known for his unique goaltending style , his well-documented disagreements with coaching staff , or his ego. Any way you put it, however, there is no doubt that Hasek is one of the best goaltenders to grace Buffalo’s dressing room. Hasek led to Czech National team to Olympic gold in 1998 and the Sabres to a Stanley Cup Final appearance in 1999. Despite nagging, and sometimes questionable, injuries, Hasek would lead an illustrious career on ice, including two Stanley Cups with Detroit. Hasek would return to Buffalo to see his jersey number retired, and take the greatest photo ever with Cody Hodgson, during the 2014-15 season. Cody Hodgson meets Dominik Hasek. #Sabres ( @BWipp ) pic.twitter.com/Ctws63B7NY — Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) March 28, 2014 E. Eichel, Jack If Jack Eichel doesn’t win Buffalo a Stanley Cup in the 2015-16 season, I will be genuinely concerned for his safety. We have been promised a savior, so he best get to saving. Or scoring, as the case may be. F. French Connection

Oilers pick Caleb Jones looks to make his mark in Portland (Buzzing The Net)
(Tue, 04 Aug 2015 07:08:42 PDT)


Puck Daddy's Summer Series: The Boston Bruins from A to Z (Puck Daddy)
(Mon, 03 Aug 2015 09:00:08 PDT)
(Ed. Note: August is known to be a very quiet month in the hockey world. As we wait for September to arrive and training camps to begin, let’s learn a little history about all 30 teams. Behold, our summer A-Z series, in which we ask fans of all 30 teams to drop some knowledge on us! Add your own choices in the comments!) By: Sarah Connors , associate editor at Stanley Cup of Chowder A. Art Ross

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