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Category: NHL-Teams

Roloson for Khabibulin—Thoughts?

So I was watching the highlights from the Lightning-Leafs game last night (7-3 TOR) and trying to think of a decent shakeup for TB, especially in net after watching what happened. 

What about Nikolai Khabibulin for Dwayne Roloson straight up (or maybe a pick going with Rollie given Khabby’s play this year)?  This would give Khabibulin the chance to return to a place where he has had success (‘04 Stanley Cup) and is comfortable and likewise with Roloson (‘06 Finals).  In addition, it would get Khabby’s (1 year remaining on his deal) $3.75M off next year’s books for Edmonton while giving Tampa the time to figure out a long-term solution.  The teams’ caps would barely be affected this year as Roloson’s cap hit on his one-year deal is $3.5M.

If Khabby can keep up his strong play upon his return to Tampa, it will give them a chance to turn things around a bit and possibly give them the shake up they need without having to rattle their core before they’re sure that’s necessary.  In addition, it would be good for PR bringing back the cup-winning goaltender (although I’m not sure how bitter people are about Khabby darting to the $$ in Chicago upon becoming a UFA).  This could give Tampa a good jolt without anything too drastic.

Does anyone else think this is feasible/a good way to shake things up in Tampa?

Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, Tampa Bay Lightning, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: dwayne+roloson, nikolai+khabibulin

The Face[s] of the NHL

Recent conversation among pundits has been sobering with Crosby shut down and Ovechkin not playing like Ovechkin for the second season in a row. They claim that the NHL currently does not have a face because the two biggest names (they chose and marketed the eggs in one rivalry basket) are not currently the best players.

As Colonel Potter would say, horse hockey!

The NHL has a face, and it\‘s shared by two players! They happen to be twins who play on the top line for the Vancouver Canucks. Over the past two seasons they became the first brothers to alternately lead the league in points in consecutive seasons. They are the Sedin twins. It started in \‘09-\‘10 with Henrik winning the Art Ross and the Hart Memorial Trophies as well as making the first All-Star team. It continued last season, \‘10-\‘11, with Daniel winning the Art Ross Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Award. Both brothers made the first All-Star team last season. The rise of the Sedin twins began after the lockout, in the \‘05-\‘06 season. After helping Sweden win Olympic Gold the Sedin twins completed their first breakout seasons together. (1)

But why hasn\‘t the NHL awakened to its current face[s]? Is it the same reason Nicklas Lidstrom was a bridesmaid three consecutive years before they had to hand him the Norris Trophy the following three years and not denied him any season since then that he has earned it, because he\‘s Swedish? (2) Or has the NHL finally gotten past the most ridiculous of all its prejudices only to fall into its worst one: The Sedin twins play for a Western Canadian team and that is simply not marketable to the rest of the league?

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Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Members Blog | Permalink

Dustin Penner: He’s Not THAT Good

Yahoo`s Puck Daddy decided to dedicate more time than deserved to the lazy-sack-of-crap Dustin Penner, wondering why/when Penner is going to start producing for the Kings.

Ever since the Oilers delivered trucks of money to Penner to join their club, the guy has been, somewhat unfairly, expected to be a premium goal scorer in the NHL. Remember, Penner was undrafted and never given much notice until the Ducks gave him a shot. I`d never reject that kind of money thrown my way, but that doesn`t necessarily mean he was worth that much or would ever produce enough value.

A quick answer to Greg, and anyone else holding their breath: Stop expecting Penner to be a good player.

Look at Penner`s career stats. It`s pretty clear what his true level of play is.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: dustin+penner

Parched? The Watered-Down NHL Will Quench Almost Any Thirst

Remember back in the late 80s when players like Gretzky, Lemieux, Messier, Hull, and Yzerman were racking up points; and Brendan Shanahan was racking up fights and PIMs? My how things have changed. Lemieux, having made his millions after freely roaming the ice for years protected by the likes of Troy Loney, Grant Jennings and Jay Caufield is now an owner. One that is more content bashing tough guys instead of respecting them. Shanahan, who first made his mark in the league because of his fists, is now dishing out suspensions at a torrid pace, as the league’s head disciplinarian.

The late 80s gave us a multidimensional game, full of both individual displays of scoring feats and enforcers who were actually allowed to enforce the game in the moment. Was the correlation a simple coincidence? Or did opposing players know that if they touched Wayne, Marty was coming for them? Or if Steve was touched, Bob wasn’t going to be far behind? Don’t even look at Brett cross-eyed… the Twister was watching your every move.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Members Blog | Permalink

James Neal: The New Brian Savage?

After a tweet by NHL.com`s Brian Metzer about James Neal`s stats in October(s), I joked that perhaps Mr. Neal is the new Mr. Savage. Thus far, Neal has 5 points in 5 games to start the season.

Is there something to this comparison?

Let`s look at Neal`s career month-by-month splits (Apologies for the formatting)

                GP     G     A   Pts   PPG   +/-    Pct
October       40   19   16   35   0.875   7   0.178
November   29   12   10   22   0.759   1   0.146
December   42   16   11   27   0.643   -2   0.137
January       38   13     7   20   0.526   -7   0.143
February     31     7     7   14   0.452   -5   0.101
March         46     8   11   19   0.413   -6   0.075
April           13     2     3     5   0.385   2   0.067

Hmm, very good totals in October and November, and an obvious, steady, decline as the season wears on. This does look suspiciously like Brian Savage`s career, with a very clear trend.

Still, I think the reasons must be quite different. Neal plays a much more rambunctious style than Savage ever did, perhaps leading Neal to wear down as the season progresses. Also, Neal`s shots-per-game totals are consistent, while his shooting percentage declines. It`s not as if he`s not getting chances, he`s just not scoring.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Pittsburgh Penguins, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: brian+savage, james+neal

Detroit at St. Louis Nov 15th

Anybody going to the game?  I will be taking the train into STL from my home in KC.  I have done this the last few years and had a great time.  The Blues fans are pretty good.  I always wear my Gordie Howe jersey and when they see it has the number 9 on the back, they always say something nice about him.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, St. Louis Blues, | KK Members Blog | Permalink

The Winnipeg Jets - Getting on Board

These are exciting times to be a hockey fan in Winnipeg, heat wave be damned – from the announcement of True North’s purchase of the Atlanta Thrashers to the draft party at the MTS Centre and the naming of the team, there has been no shortage of exciting developments in regards to Winnipeg’s return to the NHL.

I went to my fair share of Jets games in my time, and like almost every aging hockey fan in town was a huge fan of the team. I was upset when the original Jets were relocated to Phoenix back in 1996, but couldn’t deny the reasons the team left – no local owner, no new arena, etc.

Fast forward fifteen years and the Jets are back – sort of. There’s a new arena and owner (thank goodness), and the team, once again, is called the Jets (to the absolute delight of most). But until the team skates out on to home ice, I think I’ll continue having a hard time calling them “my” team.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Winnipeg Jets, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: atlanta+thrashers, blake+wheeler, jason+jaffray, montreal+canadiens, winnipeg+jets, zach+bogosian

Anderson, MacLean, Cowen, Zibanejad, oh my!

Last season was interesting for Sens fans. There were the lows from the injuries, constant reports the coach and players wanted to kill each other, and another season wondering how many games Pascal Leclaire would miss after getting hit by the Higgs Boson particle (Google it, it’s a tiny particle and it is essentially harmless).

I went into this offseason with some sense of optimism sprinkled with a sense of hope that this season was going to be better then everyone was predicting.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Ottawa Senators, | KK Members Blog | Permalink

Kostopoulos Deserves 10 Game Suspension For Blind Side Head Shot Breaking Brad Stuart’s Jaw

On Friday night during the Wings/Flames game, Brad Stuart sustained a broken jaw that will require surgery.  He will be out indefinitely.  The injury resulted from a blindsided, vicious hit to the head with a deliberate intent to injure by Tom Kostopoulos.  Unbelievably, Kostopoulos only received a two minute minor for roughing.  Stuart left the game hunched over and bleeding.  How did four on ice officials miss the severity of this deliberate intent to injure?

Well, now it’s up to Colin Campbell.  If we want to get blindsided hits to the head out of the game, here is your clear textbook opportunity to do so.  This action deserves a ten game suspension.  Maybe that will wake up the players to knock it it off.  Someday, I hope that the discipline becomes that you are out as long as the injured player is out.  That will hit them hard on games lost and in the pocketbook.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: brad+stuart, tom+kostopoulos

Team Value-Filppula

Paul recently posted about a speculative trade of Versteeg for Filppula. Although interesting, I think Filppula offers far more to the organization over time. Versteeg could boost the Red Wings’ offense and offer some scrappy, physical play on the wing, but I think Versteeg’s potential is at best a second-line winger on a poor offensive team.

Filppula, on the other hand, is a center that is being given a growing role as the team’s number two centerman. He is slowly filling into that role, being given a regular opportunity on the power play and playing on the second line. He began last season on the third line with Leino and Jason Williams, an unproven NHL rookie and a gamble forced on Holland by Hudler’s departure. When he returned from his hand injury, he was soon given an opportunity to play on the first and second line wing and now started the season as our second line center, alongside proven NHL veterans Franzen and Bertuzzi. Babcock’s belief in Filppula is reflected not only in the line combinations but his post-game comments. Everyone knows Filppula is always being encourage to shoot the puck more often, and we’ve heard that he is like a mini-Datsyuk. To be compared to one of the star forwards is no small compliment.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, | KK Members Blog | Permalink
  Tags: valtteri+filppula

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