Sunday, March 01, 2015

Red Wings Add Cole

2015 Season Cap Hit
To Detroit POS GP G A P 2015 2016
Erik Cole F 57 18 15 33 $4.5 mil UFA
2015 3rd Round Draft Pick
To Dallas POS GP G A P 2015 2016
Mattias Backman D 0 0 0 0 $718k $718k
Mattas Janmark-Nylen F 0 0 0 0 Unsigned
2015 2nd Round Draft Pick

The Detroit Red Wings assessed their needs in the melee that was the day before the deadline and saw a number of big names come off the list.  With the injuries that they have at hand, they decided to see if they can make some improvements for a possible playoff run this year, acquiring Erik Cole from the Dallas Stars in a deal that saw futures go in the other direction.

In Cole, the Red Wings shore up their goal scoring this season, as Cole is on the verge of another 20-goal season.  He has been pretty good for the Stars this year in a supporting role, but with the losses of Johan Franzen and even Henrik Zetterberg of late, the Red Wings may lean upon Cole for a little bit more than just a supporting role down the stretch.

The Red Wings didn't give up a great deal, especially with a pick coming back the other way in this one.  It sounds like the two prospects that went were unlikely to crack the roster any time soon, so a fresh start with a different club could be good for them.

ImplicationsIn the main pool, Stacey C. snagged Cole in the Week Eighteen Waiver Draft and since then, his team has remained in 14th place, only shifting at the end of one week to 13th, but has since dropped back down.  Stacey's team is 16 points out of the top 10 and one of his players gets new life in a playoff-bound city.

Let's not forget about the side bet either, which we'll touch on in the Newsletter tomorrow.  Both players in the side bet were considered to be trade bait for the deadline and now one of them has moved in Cole, now we just wait to see where Chris Stewart ends up.

Jets Add Stempniak

2015 Season Cap Hit
To Winnipeg POS GP G A P 2015 2016
Lee Stempniak F 53 9 9 18 $900k UFA
To New York POS GP G A P 2015 2016
Carl Klingberg F 2 0 0 0 $650k RFA

In the Rangers second deal of the day, they were able to unload a future unrestricted free agent of their own in Lee Stempniak, moving his remaining salary to Winnipeg, in exchange for 24-year old Swedish forward Carl Klingberg.

Stempniak has been on my trade radar this season, after he had been a healthy scratch for the Rangers a number of times already this year.  The Jets have had more than their fair share of injuries to some of their key forwards, so this should give the 32-year old forward a regular place to play, as we head towards the playoffs.

ImplicationsLeo's team is currently in the mix for the third segment race, currently sitting in 4th place in the standings, going into Sunday's action. It is about the only honour he has left at getting a good shot at and the move for Stempniak may be a positive one, as his role in the Big Apple had diminished so much.  I think this ends up being a positive move, but likely not one that really boosts Leo into that top end spot.

Rangers Pony Up for Yandle

There is just no waiting for the theatrical nature of the actual deadline day this year, as another whopper of a blockbuster descended upon the NHL on Sunday afternoon, getting a big jump on the proceedings on Monday.

The first of a couple trades by the New York Rangers, saw them acquire Keith Yandle from the Arizona Coyotes, mortgaging their youth going forward to do so.

2015 Season Cap Hit
To New York POS GP G A P 2015 2016
Keith Yandle D 63 4 37 41 $5.3 mil $2.65 mil
Chris Summers D 17 0 3 3 $600k $600k
2016 4th Round Draft Pick
To Arizona POS GP G A P 2015 2016
John Moore D 38 1 5 6 $851k RFA
Anthony Duclair F 18 1 6 7 $773k 2 years, $773k
2015 2nd Round Draft Pick
2016 1st Round Draft Pick
50% retention of Yandle's salary

There's no question that the Rangers have improved their blueline, exponentially, with this move to acquire Yandle, at only 28 years old, still has quite a bit of upside for years to come, if all goes according to plan.  The Rangers will boast a very talented blueline going down the stretch, especially when you consider they still have Ryan McDonagh, Marc Staal, Dan Girardi and Dan Boyle already there.  This move likely gives them the best blueline in the NHL today.  The entire back end will get interesting as well, once Henrik Lundqvist gets back from injury in a week or two.

There is absolutely no hiding the fact that the Coyotes are now in full rebuild mode.  Moving their best player did net them an impressive prospect in Anthony Duclair, not to mention a couple of great draft picks over the next couple of years, but that is a whole lot of uncertainty to take on by moving Yandle and keeping half of his remaining salary for the rest of this season and all of next season (his last year of his current deal).  The high picks are coveted around the league and the onus will be on their scouts to rebuild this team from the ground up, it would seem.

ImplicationsIf awards and accolades were what helped your pool team do well in a season, then a Stanley Cup wouldn't be out of the question for Yandle and the Rangers and Kristy & Don would be really happy about the whole thing.  I don't think it will work that way, exactly, given that Yandle was a big minute man in the desert and he's now moving to a team that already has numerous big minute defenders at their disposal.  How are they possibly going to share those minutes?  This will definitely be a test of Yandle's overall talent, more of how he can translate less time into more points, if that is at all possible.

Glencross Goes to Washington

The next in line for the dominoes to fall on Sunday morning/afternoon, Curtis Glencross, formerly of the Flames, is on his way to Washington, moved for a couple of draft picks.

2015 Season Cap Hit
To Washington POS GP G A P 2015 2016
Curtis Glencross F 53 9 19 28 $2.55 mil UFA
To Calgary POS GP G A P 2015 2016
2015 2nd Round Draft Pick
2015 3rd Round Draft Pick

The Flames, who I had outlined as a team that could definitely do well to move out some of their free agent assets earlier on in the week, did just that, in moving Glencross.  The return for the soon-to-be-free agent forward was quite hefty in return, picking up a 2nd and a 3rd round pick from the Capitals, who are now buying into a possible long playoff run.

Although Glencross' numbers are not quite up to par with where they have been in previous years, he does provide a level of flexibility and experience, which comes from a fairly solid career as a middle-of-the-pack forward.

The Capitals were certainly benefit from adding more veteran help, especially a guy that has been to the Finals once before.  Having already added a defenseman in Tim Gleason, earlier in the weekend, they are giving their fans a sign that their commitment to winning this year is paramount.

With mention that the 2015 Entry Draft is one of the deepest drafts the NHL has seen in a number of years, the Flames add two more selections to their totals.  This gives them two picks in the 2nd round and two picks in the 3rd round, to go with their 1st round pick.  Since the Flames didn't have the highest of expectations going into the season, not making the playoffs for a reasonable return in a trade doesn't seem too far out of the question, from a franchise perspective.

In the pool, unfortunately, this doesn't have a great deal of impact on the money race at all.  Glencross belongs to Mike, who sits down near the bottom of the standings, but he should expect a little bit of a boost, since he will likely be implemented in a way that fits his game a little bit better.

Blackhawks Nab Vermette

Another big domino of the Trade Deadline fell, well before the Monday broadcasts for the final day of movement in the NHL.

The Chicago Blackhawks have been busy, acknowledging that their team needed some help after the loss of Patrick Kane to his collarbone injury.  On Friday night, they acquired non-pool defenseman Kimmo Timonen from the Philadelphia Flyers and then on Saturday night, they picked up Antoine Vermette from the Arizona Coyotes.

2015 Season Cap Hit
To Chicago POS GP G A P 2015 2016
Antoine Vermette F 63 13 22 35 $3.75 mil UFA
To Arizona POS GP G A P 2015 2016
Klas Dahlbeck D 4 1 0 1 $613k RFA
2015 1st Round Draft Pick

The Blackhawks are definitely going after another long playoff run this year, opting to move their 1st round pick in the move for the veteran centre and they also moved prospect defenseman Klas Dahlbeck in the transaction as well.

The Coyotes have been fairly public in their desire to restart the focus of their club, especially after a disaster year, like they had thus far in 2015.  Starting that, the team moved out Vermette, who plays a good two-way game, but being a free agent in the Summer will mean a pretty good payday for him, something the Coyotes likely don't want to commit to in a rebuild situation.

For the Blackhawks, this should be just a straight rental for the remainder of the season and into the playoffs, as their cap situation won't be conducive to re-signing Vermette in July, as his contract demands will be around the $5 million mark.  He will offer some quality depth to the Blackhawks, likely in a 2nd or 3rd line centre role, giving the team some offensive upside in the transition game.

In the pool, Vermette belongs to Cam, who can now see Brian in his rear view mirror and isn't making up any ground on Wes or Clayton for the last money position.  This move should be able to provide some more offense to his side, since he will be playing with a higher octane offense, up and down through the Chicago lineup.  Being 28 points out of the money might be too much for Vermette to make-up on his own, but he'll help shrink the number, in theory, to aid the rest of his team in making the move.

Player Notes in the Draft (Mar 1)

Nashville defenseman Ryan Ellis came back to the lineup this week, returning from a lower-body injury, which had kept him out for quite some time. Unfortunately for him, he didn't play his best game, upon his return in the week, so on Saturday, he was a healthy scratch for the game against the Red Wings. It doesn't sound like anything major, but it may be just that he needs a little bit more practice time before he can make a big impact in the lineup.

Wilton's team has struggled this season and this week again, ranking near the bottom of the weekly scoring for Week Twenty-One. Wilton also sits down at the bottom of the third segment standings, having only picked up 39 points since the start of Week Nineteen.

The Philadelphia Flyers decided to scratch defenseman Andrew MacDonald again on Saturday night for their game against the New York Rangers, which has become more of a frequent occurrence after he took some time off for personal reasons last month.  With the trade deadline looming and the rest of the league looking for defensemen, but with MacDonald, you're getting a veteran player with term on his contract remaining.

Dale B. loses out on another player game, but his team has been able to keep pace this week, staying in 9th place, through Saturday night.  I'm sure Dale wouldn't mind seeing MacDonald get moved, if necessary, just so he could get some more skater games under his belt.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Zetterberg Still Suffering from Suspicious Head injury

Although it hasn't been confirmed as such, it sure has all the signs pointing at a concussion for Detroit Red Wings captain, Henrik Zetterberg. On Saturday, the 34-year old forward was placed on the Injured Reserve with his head injury, likely retroactively to the 21st or so.  If it is the 21st, that would mean that he would be eligible to play next week, if he was cleared by the doctors to do so.

Zetterberg was quoted this week as saying that he was still experiencing symptoms from his injury, a term generally reserved for concussions.  As much as the team won't confirm, he has been tagged on my list as having one and that would normally adjust my thinking of him at the hockey pool draft.

In 57 games this season, Zetterberg has 15 goals and 49 points this season, good enough for 50th overall in pool scoring on Saturday.

Dale B. took the veteran Swede in the 3rd round this year, 58th overall, so he was getting good bang for his buck, in terms of his draft selection and production.  Dale's team has took a bit of a downturn of late, however, dropping down to 10th place this week and he's losing ground on some of his fellow teams in the top 10.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Friday, February 27, 2015

More Player Notes in the Draft (Feb 27)

The Boston Bruins are waiting to hear if their number one goalie will be able to go tonight, as Tuukka Rask is feeling under the weather and is now questionable for the game against the Devils.  The Bruins have called up Jeremy Smith from Providence of the AHL, but the team has also not commented on whether or not Niklas Svedberg would be the guy to start, if Rask can't go.  The Bruins are fading away from the playoff picture and that process could be expedited without their best keeper tending their net.

This sounds more likely to be a missed start for Dale B. tonight, something he could use, if his team is to close up the 35-point gap to the money.  The clock is ticking on that gap, before it gets too vast and there is no chance at a piece of the cake at the end.

There are only six games going on Friday night, which means a total of 12 goalies with starts and it looks like there will only be three goalies that won't register anything for the pool tonight.

If Rask doesn't go in Boston, either goalie that takes his place will be one, while Anton Khudobin gets the call for the Hurricanes against the Capitals and John Gibson goes for the Ducks against the Kings.  Both Khudobin and Gibson were drops this season and they're now seeing more time in net, but for different reasons, of course.

Benson has his goalies going head-to-head once again this season, the pitfall of picking two goalies from the same division, as Semyon Varlamov and the Avalanche visit Kari Lehtonen and the Stars tonight.

Leo, the leading contender for this week's Mover & Shaker, has the Flames playing tonight, which means he has a goalie playing and Calgary will send Karri Ramo out to face the Islanders tonight.  A win could bring Leo back into a race to move up a few spots in the standings, possibly finish with a little more dignity than 20th place.

Martin Jones will reportedly make his first start since January 14th tonight, as he gets the Ducks in Anaheim tonight.  He's the only notable non-starter going tonight, beyond all that has already been mentioned.  Good news for Wyllie, I guess... assuming he wins.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Girgensons to the IR

On Thursday, the Buffalo Sabres put forward Zemgus Girgensons on the Injured Reserve, as they expect the Latvian All-Star to miss a few weeks worth of action, due to an injury he suffered earlier in the week against the Blue Jackets.

It sounds like a lower-body injury, somewhere in the foot/ankle area, where he ended up blocking a shot from Columbus' James Wisniewski.  The team isn't saying anything about broken bones or bone bruises or anything of that nature, but a few weeks could lead anyone to suspect that something is possibly broken.

The 21-year old has had a pretty good year, despite being on a disappointing Buffalo team, scoring 15 goals and 30 points in 61 games, which has him ranked 188th overall in pool scoring, after Thursday night's action.  He certainly didn't blow the doors off this season, but thanks to his countrymen back in Europe, the voting for him did blow everyone away, as he was named a starter to the All-Star Game in Columbus this year.

ImplicationsA few weeks without Girgensons may be enough to sink Scott's hopes of making his way into the money before the end of the season, although the difference from having him in the lineup, opposed to not, may only be about 5 points.

Scott's team sits in 7th place after Thursday night, now 31 points out of 3rd place and after this weekend, we're only six weeks from the end of the year.  Scott's team is still in the mix for the third segment trophy, currently in 5th place in that race, now 17 points back of top spot, but he would probably need a full compliment of players to take that one as well.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Player Notes in the Draft (Feb 27)

The Columbus Blue Jackets were without their new standout defenseman on Thursday night against the Canadiens, as Kevin Connauton was held out of the lineup with a lower-body injury. There was no indication about how severe the injury is, but he is listed as out day-to-day right now, while we await word on what the injury is.

Grant K.'s defense let him down this year, as his team blueline ranks 22nd in scoring this season, picking up only 57 points, 40 points back of the pool average and nearly 100 points back of the pool leaders in the category.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Jagr Preps for Shuffleboard in Florida

2015 Season Cap Hit
To Florida POS GP G A P 2015 2016
Jaromir Jagr F 57 11 18 29 $3.5 mil UFA
To New Jersey POS GP G A P 2015 2016
2015 2nd Round Draft Pick
2016 Conditional 3rd Round Draft Pick

On Thursday afternoon, another key domino on the trade market fell, as the New Jersey Devils sent veteran forward Jaromir Jagr to the Florida Panthers, in exchange for a pair of draft picks.

Jagr, 43, has been having an okay season with the Devils and an okay season is only really measuring that against some of his previous work, not really taking age into consideration.

There have been many rumours rampant on his possible availability in the trade market, suggesting that he would be open to a move, but there is plenty of surprise from this seat, when the Panthers, who may not exactly be contenders, won the sweepstakes for his services.

Nevertheless, Jagr will provide help on a number of levels in the Florida dressing room, as he brings experience, leadership and still enough hockey sense & skill to help the run to get into the playoffs.
In the pool, Cam has certainly benefitted from Jagr's good play this year, as it has helped him reach 5th place in the standings, going into Thursday night.

Florida has only been marginally better than New Jersey in the pool points department, but it is a step up, which should include a good deal of ice-time for Jagr, so this could definitely help Cam down the road.  His team is 19 points out of the money and he could use all the help he can get.

Player Notes in the Draft (Feb 26)

There is a tiny bit of concern for Calgary Flames defender Marc Giordano, who left last night's game against the New Jersey Devils after being tripped, late in the 3rd period of the game. The initial reports are positive for the team's captain, as he was seen walking around without much problem after the game, so it may have just been a precautionary measure, given that the team was winning at the time of the injury.  There shouldn't be any reason to panic yet for the Flames, but Giordano will be evaluated on Thursday, just to be sure.

This season, Giordano belongs to Mike in the pool, but he isn't going to have much bearing on the end result in the standings, but he does have a shot at the third segment standings, which would earn him a shitty trophy at the end of the year.  Mike currently sits 2nd in that race, 14 points back of Brian, who has gotten off to a rocking start to the final segment of the year.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Canucks Lose Miller to Knee Sprain

When we left Ryan Miller and the Vancouver Canucks, he was on his way back home, while the team continued on their East Coast road trip, for tests on his knee, which he injured on Sunday on Long Island, when teammate Jannik Hansen crashed into him on a defensive play.

As you can likely surmise from the big blog post that he's getting and/or the blog post title, the news wasn't good for the number one goalie for the Canucks, as they race down the stretch to the playoffs.  An MRI this week showed that Miller has a sprained knee and the initial timetable for his return is 4-to-6 weeks, which is now the better portion of the remainder of the regular season.

Of course, there is a chance that he returns for some action, before the playoffs, assuming they are able to stay afloat without him, as they are only 4 points up on the Minnesota Wild, who are the first team in line, if anyone was to falter.

Miller has made 44 appearances in the Vancouver net this season, winning 28 games, with 6 shutouts for a grand total of 68 points, to date.  As of Thursday morning, his point total was good enough for 6th overall in pool scoring, but that will soon fall drastically, as players below him continue to put up points.

This certainly makes the ground underneath Grant S.'s team awfully shaky, being without his best player for the better part of the remaining schedule.  His team has been able to claw back some points, thanks to some pretty good depth on his side, but he is already without forward Clarke MacArthur as well, so there isn't anything safe about his position.  His team currently sits 27 points up on 3rd place, but with six weeks and a bit to go, it doesn't take much to chip away at that lead, unless his team can somehow hang on.

How long until Grant starts to white-knuckle to the finish?

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Jets Make Room, Wheeler to the IR

When the trade for Jiri Tlusty came down, the Winnipeg Jets had to make some roster room right away and the injury to forward Blake Wheeler was the easiest move to make, as the lower-body injury was likely going to keep him out for the remainder of the necessary week off, from when he started sitting on the shelf.

The move was likely retroactive to the 23rd of February, which means that Wheeler would be eligible to come off for Monday, missing two more games: Thursday, home to St. Louis, and Sunday, home to Los Angeles.

The Jets can't be without Wheeler for too long, as they are currently sitting in the first wild card spot in the Western Conference and as much as they are making moves to help out their injury situation, they'll need their best players to come back soon.

In the 2015 season to date, Wheeler has 16 goals and 44 points in 61 games with the Jets and currently ranks 66th overall in pool scoring.

You have to give some credit to Wilton, who picked him up with the 72nd pick in the draft, in the 4th round, as he is getting full value of the selection, compared to where he had selected him.

Unfortunately for Wilton, his season hasn't translated like the pick of Wheeler has for him, as his team sits in 17th place in the standings and his team is 30 points back of the top 10.  His team still belongs in the 3 goals per week streak club, but only barely.  Wilton loses a decent goal scorer in Wheeler with this injury and his team has struggled to reach 3 goals for the last couple of weeks.  Does his team fall out this week, due to injury?

An updated list of injuries can be found here.

Kane Considered Long-Term

The verdict came in during the evening on Wednesday, as the Chicago Blackhawks announced that their brightest star, Patrick Kane, underwent successful surgery to repair a fractured clavicle (collarbone) and a fairly long-term prognosis was given for a timetable, in the realm of 10-to-12 weeks.  The Blackhawks obviously knew the worst earlier on in the day, as they had already placed the dynamic forward on the Long Term Injury Reserve, which meant that they could get cap relief from this injury right away.

With only a little over six weeks left in the regular season, this means that his time is done here and it will now depend on how far the Blackhawks go in the playoffs, as to whether or not he will be able to play during the Spring Dance.

There is definitely so substituting the offense that Kane provides the Blackhawks, as he has played in 61 games this year, scoring 27 goals and picking up 64 points in total.  That's good enough for 8th overall in pool scoring after Tuesday night's action.  He has done more than enough to be considered a 1st round pick in any pool.

This season, he was the 1st round pick, 13th overall, in this pool, taken by Stacey C., but unfortunately for Stacey, the rest of his team didn't carry the necessary load to help Kane and earn some money by the end of the year.  This injury won't ruin Stacey's season, but it will put a rotten cherry on top of a pretty ugly year.

An updated list of injuries can be found here.