KK Members Blog
The first week of the NHL's regular season has provided plenty of "buzz" fodder, be it good, bad, or otherwise. But in the interest of objectivity, let's let the numbers do the talking. Here are the cold, hard stats behind week 1 in the Pacific Division:
11 - teams in the NHL with as many or fewer goals than San Jose's Tomas Hertl
46.2 - Hertl's shooting percantage, with 6 goals on 13 shots
15/20 - players on San Jose who have tallied points through the first three games
2 - point total of Los Angeles Kings' leading scorers Jeff Carter, Jake Muzzin, Matt Frattin, and Anze Kopitar
28 - teams with fewer goals against than the Edmonton Oilers
For its 20th birthday, the Pacific Division got a few new playmates as the NHL's geographic realignment meant out with the East and in with the new. After jettisoning the Dallas Stars, the Pacific added former Northwest Divisioners Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton to its existing tenants: Phoenix, Los Angeles, Anaheim, and San Jose. As the season gets under way, here are a few storylines worth following among the NHL's West-coast contingent.
1) Will Jonas Hiller stay a Duck?
This is sort of an aside to the more obvious storyline in Anaheim: Teemu's "last season." Hiller has never known any other home since the Ducks signed him as a free agent in 2007, but there are plenty of places that would welcome him with open arms. With Victor Fasth proving to be a more than capable 1A goaltender and white-hot prospect John Gibson waiting in the wings, one has to wonder if Hiller wouldn't be the perfect expendable asset to help GM Bob Murray fill some gaps in the reigning Pacific Division Champs. Hiller's stock isn't quite where it was before his bizarre, vertigo-shortened 2010-11 campaign, but he has still proven he can be a dependable backstop and could probably challenge for a starting job with any number of organizations. There’s no immediate pressure for Murray to make a move, nor is there any guarantee he will, but Hiller represents a very playable chip if the Ducks need some pieces later in the season.
The American Hockey League is apparently looking to build on the hockey connections between Sweden and North America, and build a little rivalry in the process.
The league has announced that this year's AHL All-Star Classic in St. John's NL will feature an inter-league game between a team of AHL stars the SHL's Färjestad BK.
This is a really cool idea, and one that will probably get tongues wagging about increasing the integration between North American and European pro-leagues. No word on any reciprocation by the AHL - but one has to assume that something could be in the works that will see an AHL team head to Sweden at some point.
Bobby Ryan took on the role of a 'Sens TV' reporter, and asked some Sens fans what they know about...Bobby Ryan.
If there's been good news about the Senators in the media this off season, it's mostly been about the deal the Senators made to bring in Ryan, and the positive attitude he's shown since he arrived. One of the first questions that usually gets asked when a player comes in from a place like Anaheim, where there's no natural ice, to a hockey-first Canadian market is whether they'll be able to handle the increased media attention.
Bobby doesn't seem to be shrinking from it. He may even have a lucrative ice modelling career ahead of him.
As some will be aware, the Senators, Maple Leafs, Penguins and Blackhawks recently conducted their annual rookie tournament in London Ontario.
I had a chance to attend Saturday's games - including the Sens 4-3 shootout win over Chicago, and the Leafs 4-3 shootout win over Pittsburgh. I also paid attention to the other games, but most of my impressions come from seeing all four teams play on Saturday.
Here are one Sens fan's impressions of individual players (completely un-professional impressions, heavily biased towards the Sens, natch). Unfortunately, I didn't get to see Sens prospects Derek Grant, Matt Puempel or Shane Prince as they did not play Saturday. Prince had a great tournament despite not being in Saturday's lineup, including scoring a pair in the Sens 6-2 win over the leafs on Sunday night.
Since Bettman has decided to grace all of us fortunate hockey fans with a full year of NHL hockey, I've decided to bring my long running 5Hole Fantasy Hockey League out of hiatus. After taking a break last year, we're looking to fill some spots for the upcoming season, and I wanted to offer those spots to KK members first. We've had members in the league in the past, and they have been some of the most active and competitive GMs to date.
Some of the league details are:
- 10 team Head to Head league
- Live Draft on September 26, 2013 @ 9:00pm EST
- 7 Max Aquisitions/week
- 3 Minimum Goalie Appearances
- All Trades Reviewed by League
- Roster Add/Drop Deadline is Daily, and Changes Take Effect the Next Day
- Positions: C, C, C, LW, LW, LW, RW, RW, RW, D, D, D, Util, Util, G, G, BN, BN, BN, BN, BN, IR, IR
- Scoring: G, A, +/-, PIM, PPP, SHP, GWG, Wins, SV%, SHO
It was on July 5th when the Edmonton Oilers traded their captain Shawn Horcoff to the Dallas Stars in exchange for a 7th round pick in 2016 and Philip Larsen. Since then, there has been some wondering as to who will be wearing the C for the Edmonton Oilers this season. One of the names that's been thrown out there quite a bit has been Taylor Hall's, who would be a solid choice, but no the best.
It was last Wednesday when reports came out of Edmonton saying that'll Sam Gagner wearing the C for the Oilers this season. Nothing has been confirmed, nor has there been anything ceremonies to happen since the reports came out. If it is true that Sam Gagner is the next captain, that, would be the right decision.
Connor Murphy is a 20 year old who has spent his last two years with the Sarnia Sting of the OHL. In those two season, Connor Murphy tallied 40 points with a +11. He was drafted by the Coyotes at 20th overall in the 2012 NHL Draft. The scouting report on Murphy from Hockey's Future:
A rangy blueliner who is a very mobile skater, Murphy is still growing into his size and high potential. He is a smooth skater who gets around the ice and plays a smart, confident gamewith and without the puck. Plays with some good physicality and is very effective with a long reach and wing span.
At some point on Thursday, the Ottawa sports media will be stirred from the sleepy doldrums of summer to meet with the man who was, until recently, the longest serving captain in the NHL and the dominant face of the Ottawa Senators franchise. They'll get to question him on why he chose to break the hearts of his faithful and leave for the apparently greener pastures of the Motor City.
The thing is, in the Ottawa media, questioning Daniel Alfredsson is not exactly the natural state of things. Alfie's word has been held to be gospel truth, his actions sacrosanct, his motives pure. Even when he might have seemed to have mispoke, it would be considered the height of blasphemy to do anything less than rush immediately to his defence. A lack of faith in the cult of Alfie was enough to prove one was (at least) out of touch with reality (or worse still, a Leafs fan). Little wonder, to those in Ottawa, that I-Phone's helpful homonculus, Siri, famously confused Alfie with God.
By now, most with any interest in the drama surrounding Daniel Alfredsson's departure from Ottawa will be aware of most of the story. Paul has linked to James Gordon's great piece in Senators Extra where he interviewed Sens owner Eugene Melnyk (insert CSI joke here...and now that that's out of the way). Gordon attempted to get some answers, and ended up with a story that was a bit different from the one that the team put out in the immediate aftermath. It was also chronicled in a fullsome and thoughtful way in the pages of the Malik Report, from the perspective of one Wings fan who happens to have a Senators' jersey with Alfredsson's name on it hanging in his closet. I thought I'd offer one Senator's fan's perspective on the evolving drama, and the evolving explainations that have come from the Sens management and ownership.
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