Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Over the Last 7 Days

If the Northwest Division was going to get any harder, Edmonton was going to have to get a scorer... and they did. Petr Sykora joined the Oilers on Friday (the 11th) as an unrestricted free agent and will be a top 6 forward for Edmonton joining some good young talent down the middle. Sykora, scored 23 goals last season and had himself a moderate-to-good year with the Rangers, playing with the likes of Jaromir Jagr.

When the line-up comes together, there would be a good likelihood that you may see lines look like:
Ryan Smyth - Shawn Horcoff - Ales Hemsky
Joffrey Lupul - Jarret Stoll - Petr Sykora
Raffi Torres - Marty Reasoner - Fernando Pisani
Ethan Moreau - Marc-Andre Pouliot - Brad Winchester

The first two lines looking very dangerous with a good mix of experience and youth. For a lot of hockey poolies, especially in Alberta, there will be a close eye on those Oilers and probably for good reason.

Greg Johnson, a role-playing centreman has signed on with the Wings for 1 year. The 35 year-old pivot has played 12 NHL seasons and is generally regarded as more of a defensive-minded player who also gives a little offensive support. Johnson scored 11 goals last season for the Predators in Nashville and will more than likely provide support as the third line centre behind Pavel Datsyuk and Robert Lang.

If your pool has a plus/minus component, Johnson may be considered a late round pick, since he will compliment the likes of Kris Draper or Kirk Maltby on a top-line shutdown line.

Today, it was reported that defenseman Sean Hill has joined the Islanders in New York. Hill, 36, has joined a beefed up blueline with the likes of Brendan Witt, Alexei Zhitnik, Tom Poti and Radek Martinek. Now, it's true that pairings and match-ups are sort of unclear, but Hill's 20 points with Carolina may take a hit as the forecast for Long Island is still sort of stormy. Hill does generally find his way on to a hockey pool team or two, since point production from d-men does tend to drop off in deep pools.

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