Friday, September 28, 2007

Rinne Won't Back-up Mason

Well, this one is kind of a shocker. Pekka Rinne was expected to be the number two guy in the Predators net, but he lost the job to off-season acquistion, Dan Ellis. Ellis, picked up from Dallas in the summer, will provide a good back-up to Chris Mason in Nashville. Ellis lost his opportunity to Dan Smith in Dallas, which should have been a cushy job, but now has his sights set on a Central Division title with the Predators.

Technorati Tags
, , , ,

Devils Demote

Injuries are plaguing the Devils as they head into the season as well, but they demoted 19 players on Friday and below is what is left among players in camp.

Patrik EliasBrian GiontaZach Parise
Tomas ZajacDainius ZubrusSergei Brylin
Jay PandolfoJohn MaddenArron Asham
Mike RuppDavid ClarksonRod Pelley
Cam Janssen

Nicklas Bergfors

Jamie Langenbrunner
Karel RachunekPaul Martin
Vitali VishnevskiJohnny Oduya
Andy GreeneRichard Matvichuk
Matthew CorrenteMike Mottau

Colin White

Martin Brodeur
Kevin Weekes

The Devils active roster, minus the players in red, is currently sitting at $42.8 million (approx.) and with players like Janssen, Langenbrunner and White looking to miss quite a few games, the Devils may need some of that salary relief. This should be the line-up they have going into the season, barring any other bad news or injury.

Technorati Tags
, , , ,

White Out Indefinitely

It's being reported now that Devils' defenseman, Colin White (Box 23), will be out indefinitely with an eye injury. White isn't a big point producer for the Devils, but he is that character-kind of defenseman that brings a lot to the team. This should open the door for one of a few young defenders who are still in Devils camp.

Technorati Tags
, , , , ,

Chara Injured?

Big defenseman, Zdeno Chara (Box 16), has missed four consecutive preseason games with a shoulder injury. Bruins management are quite positive that he'll be ready for the opening game next week, but for now, he's listed as day-to-day with the shoulder injury.

Technorati Tags
, , , , ,

Thrashers are Ready

The Atlanta Thrashers have now finished tinkering with their active roster, leaving 22 players after the Thrashers sent six more to the minors. Defenseman Tobias Enstrom is now the guy to watch in Atlanta and should possibly be on a few lists to be a major sleeper. There have been quite a few articles surfacing on the net and in some hockey magazines. Brett Sterling is another name that has stuck around in Thrasher camp. Sterling was pegged for 29 points by the Hockey News, so he has some upside for Atlanta.

Ilya KovalchukSlava KozlovMarian Hossa
Pascal DupuisTodd WhiteEric Perrin
Chris ThorburnBobby HolikEric Boulton
Bryan LittleJim SlaterBrett Sterling
Brad Larsen
Alexei ZhitnikNiclas Havelid
Ken KleeSteve McCarthy
Garnet ExelbyMarc Popovic
Tobias Enstrom
Kari Lehtonen
Johan Hedberg

Steve Rucchin is still on the Injured Reserve for the Thrashers. Without Rucchin in the active roster, the Thrashers salary figure sits at roughly $39.7 million.

Technorati Tags
, , , ,

Parent Goes Down

The Philadelphia Flyers have run into plenty of problems already this preseason. Injuries and suspensions already headline a lackluster performance. Surprisingly, Ryan Parent found himself heading down to the AHL club on Thursday as he joined 17 other players in the first major round of cuts. Parent looked almost like a lock with his dependable defensive style of play, but obviously it wasn’t enough. Still on the outside looking towards some opportunity heading into the season are Boyd Kane and Riley Cote. They are two names that may not be on too many lists, but they could be present come opening night.

Technorati Tags
, , , ,

Lisin Down, Prospects Still Up

21 year-old Enver Lisin was demoted by the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday. He was the only player sent to the Coyote farm team in San Antonio in the news release. He wasn’t necessarily going to be the guy to save the team this season, but the Phoenix management team have big plans for Lisin in the future. Still in the mix though for the Coyotes are Martin Hanzal, Peter Mueller and Alexei Kaigorodov. The Coyotes are also in need of some contract help to get to the league minimum and the three names listed aren’t quite going to be enough, unless they have some major bonuses that could be paid out.

Technorati Tags
, , , ,

McKee Out Again

The Blues received some bad news going into the season as defenseman, Jay McKee can’t seem to catch a break. Well, except in his foot that is. McKee will be sidelined 4 to 6 weeks with a broken foot in his foot and that should open the door for Matt Walker to have a full-time job for the first part of the season. McKee should miss about 13 games in the first weeks of the season. This follows a season where he missed 59 games with several injuries.

The St. Louis Blues did some sending down on Thursday; including Yan Statsny and Roman Polak. Statsny and Polak were thought to be good up and comers to make the Blues’ line-up, but that just doesn’t seem to be the case now. The Blues do still have David Perron at camp, as well as Martin Kariya, Paul’s younger brother. These are still names that could still be kickin’ around on some lists.

Technorati Tags
, , , , ,

Pilar Acquired Off the Wire

The Chicago Blackhawks made a move on Thursday by picking up defenseman Karel Pilar from the waiver wire. Pilar was being sent down by the Atlanta Thrashers after failing to make the big club in training camp, but due to his career circumstances, Pilar had to clear waivers before he could join the AHL club. The Blackhawks may have themselves another anchor on a young blueline, but even Pilar seems to be a bit of a longshot to make the Blackhawks for a full-time job.

Technorati Tags
, , , ,

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Oilers Move Nine

The Oilers moved nine players down to their AHL affiliate in Springfield, but if there was any surprise, it would be that Rob Schremp was one of those nine. Schremp was expected by many, including the Sherpa, to finally crack the Oilers' line-up, but it wasn't to be in the end. This now leaves a gaping hole in the Oilers line-up, but thankfully for them, they have kids like Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano who actually want the job and are good enough to possibly take that spot. Cogliano leads the way for that opening as he has a contract already signed with the club, while Gagner's camp is negotiating to possibly push him in.

Also being sent to Springfield were Danny Syvret and Ryan O'Marra, both of whom should be struck off those lists who possibly have them as sleepers in Edmonton.

Dustin PennerShawn HorcoffAles Hemsky
Raffi TorresJarret StollMarc Pouliot
Geoff SandersonMarty ReasonerRobert Nilsson
Patrick ThoresonAndrew CoglianoEthan Moreau
Fernando Pisani
Sheldon SourayJoni Pitkanen
Steve StaiosLadislav Smid
Matt GreeneDick Tarnstrom
Dwayne Roloson
Mathieu Garon

With Pisani gone for quite possibly the season, this 20-man roster does sit at $44.5 million against the cap. Of course, they will likely carry 23 into the season, but they still have a lot of youth, which shouldn't hurt the cap terribly.

Technorati Tags
, , , ,

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Flyers in the Infirmary

Four injuries plague the Philadelphia Flyers heading into the weekend. Scottie Upshall, Joffrey Lupul, R.J. Umberger and Randy Jones (Box 17) will all miss time and give the coaching staff some fits, trying to fill the gaps.

Upshall will miss 4 to 6 weeks with a fractured wrist, which is the most substantial time that will be missed of the four. Lupul will also miss time with a wrist injury, but it's unknown how long he'll actually miss until his test results come back. Umberger will miss up to 2 weeks with a broken finger. Finally, Jones will likely miss the weekend with a hip flexor strain.

Adjust your lists accordingly...

Technorati Tags
, , , , ,

Carolina Cuts Three

In net for the Carolina Hurricanes will be the same duo as they had last season. Cam Ward and John Grahame will man the posts between the posts for Carolina heading into October as newcomer, Michael Leighton was sent down to the minors. Ward is the clear number one for the Hurricanes and should see a few more than the 60 games that he played in last season, as he's becoming accustomed to the NHL way of life in the regular season.

Also being cut from the 'Canes was Trevor Gilles (minors) and Brandon Sutter (juniors). Both players were looking quite strong in the preseason, but didn't fit the team's plans heading into the season. Next season, however, should be Sutter's season to excel and could very well be worthy of some Calder and Pool consideration.

Technorati Tags
, , , ,

Giroux Back to Juniors

I thought there was an outside shot of Claude Giroux making it to the big club this season, but as it turns out, he got an early exit from camp to go get another look in the junior ranks. Giroux supposedly had a good camp, but with the CHL season already underway, Giroux was let go to play a full season with his team in the QMJHL. Now that he's been sent back to junior, he won't be eligible to play this season with the Flyers. You can now strike him from your list.

Technorati Tags
, , , ,

Lashoff Sent Down

Defenseman Matt Lashoff comes off the Bruins team update listing as he was sent down by the Bruins this morning. Lashoff played 12 games last season with the Bruins (scoring 3 points) probably wasn't a big time name to make the club this season, but should make some appearances through the season when injuries are abound.

Bobby Allen now takes his spot as the sixth defenseman on the list. Allen played 31 games last season, registering 3 assists and has had himself a pretty good preseason thus far.

Peter SchaeferMarc SavardGlen Murray
Marco SturmPatrice BergeronBrandon Bochenski
P.J. AxelssonPhil KesselChuck Kobasew
Shawn ThorntonCarl SoderbergPetteri Nokelainen
Zdeno CharaDennis Wideman
Aaron WardAndrew Ference
Andrew AlbertsBobby Allen
Manny Fernandez
Tim Thomas

At this point, I have added Carl Soderberg and Petteri Nokelainen to the forward list as well. They've stuck around in camp so far and have a pretty good shot at making the Bruins, it would seem. Also sticking around, so far, is Milan Lucic. Lucic is more likely to be sent back to juniors for some seasoning, but his grit is proving to be rather valuable in the Bruins line-up so far in the preseason.

Technorati Tags
, , , ,

Last Night's Notable Preseason Players (Sep 26)

In the really early game on a Tuesday, the Panthers defeated the Blackhawks 3-2 on the strength of 3 assists from defenseman, Cory Murphy. Murphy has really made good in Panthers camp this Fall and has almost assured him a spot on the blueline coming opening night for the cats on October 4th in Madison Square Garden. Murphy has played the last 6 seasons in Europe, between Finland and Switzerland, putting up some substantial numbers offensively as a defenseman. He could be one of the more surprising additions to the league this season.

Henrik Zetterberg (Wes) scored a pair and added a helper against the Rangers as the Red Wings rolled to a 6-1 win. Zetterberg has been a marvel in the preseason and will make pool teams proud this season. Zetterberg lasted until the 3rd round in the Opiated Sherpa draft, but should be a higher prospect for a lot of teams this draft season. He's in Box 2 on the selection sheet, for all those having a look at it. Stock is rising here!

The Dallas Stars had the teamwork going on Tuesday night as they had three players collect 3 points a piece. Sergei Zubov (2G, 1A), Mike Modano (1G, 2A) and Chris Conner (3A) all tallied for the Stars, which was something that Dallas lacked last season. Zubov and Modano are mainstays on the Sherpa's selection sheet pool (Boxes 4 & 2, respectively) and both will feature on teams in the draft pool (Chris & Dennis, respectively). Conner has made this piece a couple times already now in the preseason and must be getting quite the long look and impressing while he's at it.

Also in the game against Dallas, Joe Sakic (Dennis) had 3 points, which would have made it a big game for Dennis if the game was in the regular season. Sakic collected 3 assists in the loss and looks to be in good form heading into the season already.

Technorati Tags
, , , ,

Messy Game in Ottawa

In a deep draft, Dean McAmmond would usually find himself drafted by numerous teams. But with only three more sleeps until the open of the season, drafts may have already happened, sheets might already be selected and McAmmond has probably been picked. If not... don't. McAmmond will be out of the Sens line-up indefinitely with a concussion, which was suffered last night against Philadelphia. In both Opiated Sherpa pools, McAmmond does not appear, so there shouldn't be any worry there.

The guy who hit McAmmond was Steve Downie. Downie received a match penalty for attempting to injure and is suspended pending a review of the play. Downie wasn't likely to make the Flyers going into the season and probably won't want to meet the Senators this season, if he is to make the team.

Technorati Tags
, , , , , ,

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Blues Send Seven More Down

The St. Louis Blues sent down seven players, either to the minors or to a European club. Jeff Woywitka and Jason Bacashihua were more of the notable players heading down to Peoria of the AHL. Woywitka was listed on the last team update, but has now failed to crack the squad, making an opening for possibly a different seventh defenseman. With Bacashihua going down, it just leaves Manny Legace and Hannu Toivonen manning the net in St. Louis coming opening night.

Paul KariyaDoug WeightKeith Tkachuk
Lee StempniakBrad BoyesMartin Rucinsky
Petr CajanekJay McClementDavid Backes
Jamal MayersDan HinoteRyan Johnson
Martin Kariya

David Perron
Eric BrewerBarrett Jackman
Christian BackmanBryce Salvador
Jay McKeeErik Johnson
Roman Polak

Manny Legace
Hannu Toivonen

Martin Kariya, David Perron and Roman Polak remain in camp and it's my estimation that they'll get a pretty long look heading into the season at this point. I could be wrong though... Yan Statsny and Matt Walker could probably ease their way into the line-up as well.

Technorati Tags
, , , ,

Kasparitis Clears Waivers

Veteran defenseman, Darius Kasparitis, has been sent down to the Rangers' AHL affiliate in Hartford after clearing waivers on Tuesday. The Russian defender is on the last year of his contract and will likely not be re-signed by the Rangers next season, as he failed to make the big team this preseason. His $3.5 million contract won't count against the cap this season, but will count against the pocket book of the Rangers organization.

The race for the Top 6 defenders on the squad is still being contested with the winds of change knocking on the door. It's quite possible we'll see Marc Staal crack the line-up this season, but it hasn't been made public who might be on the way out to make room for the 3rd Staal brother in the NHL.

Technorati Tags
, , , ,

Last Night's Notable Preseason Players (Sep 25)

Despite the fighting and the idocy of having Chris Simon and Ryan Hollweg play in the same pre-season game, Mike Comrie still managed to have a great night. Comrie potted a pair of goals and added a pair of assists in the 5-4 win over the Rangers on Monday night. Comrie will be leaned upon on the island for a lot of offense, somewhat more than the 45 points he had in Ottawa/Phoenix. Comrie will get to see a lot of ice-time in the top two lines and power play, so he could very well be one that flies under the radar in your pool draft. Bill Guerin and Trent Hunter also put up 3-point nights for the Islanders, both of which who are in the same boat as Comrie. The success of the Islanders will more or less rest with their more offensive talents.

Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza each recorded 3-point nights as the Senators toppled the Leafs 4-3. The two offensive leaders of the Ottawa team look to be in fine form heading into the season. Of course, health is always a concern for Spezza, but the consistency of Heatley is something you can really bank on for your hockey pool team. He should be ranked quite high in your draft priorities.

Technorati Tags
, ,

Rask to the AHL

It looks like it will be Manny Fernandez and Tim Thomas will be working the crease for the Bruins as Tuukka Rask has now been demoted to the AHL team in Providence. Rask will more than likely get the bulk of the starts for the Baby Bruins, while they let their new acquisiton in Fernandez take the number one job for the time being.

It will be a good idea to elminate Tuukka Rask from your pool list.

Technorati Tags
, , , ,

Craig Sidelined

Quite possibly pegged as a second-line player for the Lightning this season, Ryan Craig has now been sidelined with a herniated disc in his back and is now on the shelf indefinitely. The Lightning, already hit by injuries, have now another hole to fill. This should blow the door wide open for Jan Hlavac to make an impact with the Lightning. Hlavac was a front-runner to have a decent job in Tampa this season, but Craig falling to injury should rank him much higher.

Technorati Tags
, , , , ,

Swapping Depth

Before heading off to London, but after announcing their opening night roster, the Ducks made a deal which sent defensemen Brett Skinner and Nathan Saunders to Boston for centre Mark Mowers on Monday night.

Mowers will join the team in London for their practices and quite possibly be in the line-up for opening night on September 29th.

The Ducks also announced that they sent Petteri Wirtanen back to the minors, so he can also be scratched off the roster of the Ducks that was posted below.

For the Bruins, they received a pair of depth-type defensemen, who had pretty decent camps for the Ducks, but were obviously expendable in the organization.

Technorati Tags
, , , , , , ,

Monday, September 24, 2007

Lots of Cuts for the Habs

The Canadiens made 27 cuts from camp and have really shrunk the roster to a very close resemblence of their opening night roster. Still in the mix, quite possibly on the outside looking in, are Carey Price (G), Kyle Chipchura (F), Mikhail Grabovski (F) and Ryan O'Byrne (D). The Habs still have Cristobel Huet and Jaroslav Halak in the mix for the goaltending jobs, but Price has opened up some eyes in camp and may find himself upsetting some of the vets for that number one job. Really, it will have to be the number one job for Price in Montreal or it will be for Hamilton. This kid won't be backing up anyone this year.

Technorati Tags
, , , ,

Ducks Fly Away

With Jason King, Aaron Rome and a couple others being sent down to the minors today, the Ducks will take 27 players to London on Monday. Unfortunately for the Ducks, injuries have hit the team, as noted in red, while Niedermayer, also in red, is suspended as he doesn't know what he's doing yet this season.

Pahlsson is sidelined indefinitely with a hernia injury, while Schneider is a few weeks away with his ankle injury and Giguere is still day-to-day after his hernia surgery.

Chris KunitzAndy McDonald
Corey Perry
Samuel PahlssonRyan Getzlaf
Todd Bertuzzi
Travis MoenRob Niedermayer
Bobby Ryan
Brad MayTodd Marchant
George Parros
Brandon Segal
Ryan Carter

Petteri Wirtanen
Chris ProngerFrancois Beauchemin
Sean O'DonnellShane Hnidy
Kent Huskins
Maxim Kondratiev
Mathieu SchneiderScott Niedermayer
Jean-Sebastien Giguere
Ilya Bryzgalov
Jonas Hiller
Gerald Coleman

The Ducks are taking 4 goalies to London, as Giguere is unlikely to start either game against Los Angeles. Bryzgalov will likely take the two starts and it will be a battle in practice to see who backs him up.

Technorati Tags
, , , ,

Don't Count on Pogge

Well, if you were looking to Justin Pogge to be your sleeper in Toronto... don't. He was sent down to the AHL over the weekend, where he'll get the bulk of the starts for the Marlies. Both Vesa Toskala and Andrew Raycroft are too expensive to send down and you'll know that Pogge will get his chance when Raycroft is moved and Toskala falters. With Toskala's 3-year deal, it may be quite a while before Pogge really takes the reigns in Toronto, but you never know.

Technorati Tags
, , , ,

Predators Slim Down

The Nashville Predators slimmed down their training camp roster by a bunch and (personally) surprisingly sent down young defender, Cody Franson. I thought he was going to be one of the new young ones of the blueline for the Predators, since they really like their young talent in Weber, Suter and Hamhuis.

J-P DumontDavid Legwand
Martin Erat
Jason ArnottRadek Bonk
Alexander Radulov
Jared SmithsonJed Ortmeyer
Martin Gelinas
Darcy HordichukVern Fiddler
Scott Nichol

Steve SullivanJordan Tootoo
Shea WeberMarek Zidlicky
Ryan SuterDan Hamhuis
Greg de Vries
Greg Zanon
Kevin Klein

Chris Mason
Pekka Rinne

With Steve Sullivan out of the line-up until December, the Predators are actually in need of a major signing to bring their salary number up above the league minimum of $34 million. With the 22 active players listed above, the Predators are only sitting at $29.7 million. You might think that they are hoping that Teemu Selanne (Wes) would come out of his retirement thoughts for $5 million.

Technorati Tags
, , , ,

Atlanta Cuts Down Roster

It was fairly recently when I did a Thrashers team update, but over the weekend they made some more changes that warranted a new look to their line-up. Gone from the line-up; Jason Krog and Alexandre Giroux, amongst other players that were sent down to the minors over the weekend.

Ilya KovalchukSlava KozlovMarian Hossa
Pascal DupuisTodd WhiteEric Perrin
Jim SlaterBobby HolikBrad Larsen
Chris ThorburnDarren HaydarEric Boulton
Alexei ZhitnikNiclas Havelid
Ken KleeSteve McCarthy
Garnet ExelbyJoel Kwiatkowski
Marc Popovic
Kari Lehtonen
Johan Hedberg

Still in the mix in Thrasher camp is Tobias Enstrom (D), Karel Pilar (D) and Ondrej Pavelec (G). But with two-way contracts, they are more likely to see time in the minors, rather than take a one-way contract away from normal playing time. The roster above is worth around $39.3 million.

Technorati Tags
, , , ,

Boyle Out 6 Weeks

Bolts defenseman, Dan Boyle (Dale C.), injured his wrist on Saturday night in the Tampa locker room after their loss to Washington. Boyle underwent surgery on Sunday to repair tendons in his wrist after he fell into his locker and injuring himself on the hooks inside. He will miss up to 6 weeks with the injury, which is quite a big blow to both the Lightning and the pool teams that picked him up. If you haven't drafted yet... you may want to avoid this offensive defenseman until late in your draft. If Boyle is to miss 6 weeks, he'll miss about 13 games out of the schedule for Tampa Bay... adjust your numbers accordingly.

Technorati Tags
, , , , ,

Last Weekend's Preseason Notable Players

Well, I have been without the internet for the last few days, so I haven't really been able to check anything out or write anything new. We're now counting down to Saturday, where the season will officially begin. So right now, I'm going to recap some of the big games some players had in the preseason games over the weekend. It might be a long one, since I should be looking over Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday night, where we'll begin, Martin Biron (Chris) and Antero Niittymaki shared the shutout of the Rangers, stopping all 33 shots that came their way. The Flyers goaltending maybe earned an upgrade on their stock price this weekend. For the scoring, however, the Flyers earned a couple 3-point nights from some familiar faces. Mike Knuble (Marcus) had a pair goals and a helper, while Simon Gagne (Peter) had 3 assists. Are the Flyers going to be the business this season?

There were a couple of 4-point nights to speak of out of the Detroit/Pittsburgh match-up. Detroit won 5-2 and it was Henrik Zetterberg (Wes) and Mikael Samuelsson who plastered their name across the scoresheet. Zetterberg had a pair of goals and a pair of assists while Samuelsson had a goal and 3 assists. The Red Wings should be a scoring powerhouse this season and those are a couple guys who can help your pool team this season.

The Nashville Predators are expected to be a lot less dominating than they were last season, but don't tell them that right now. Jason Arnott (Marcus) had a goal and 2 assists in a 4-1 win over Carolina. The Preds are going to need Arnott to have a healthy season, as he's now one of the more premier forwards on the team.

It was a scoring festival in the desert on Saturday night. The Coyotes went on to beat the Stars 6-5 and there were a couple good showings for both teams. For Phoenix, Shane Doan (Dale B.) and David Carcillo each had 3-point nights. Doan had a pair of goals and Carcillo had a pair of assists... and they both had one of the other kind of point... I'm just getting tired of explaining the whole thing. I am not overly convinced at how well the Coyotes are going to do, but at least a six-goal performance in the preseason does give some hope to the franchise.

The Stars had 3-point nights from Joel Lundqvist and Chris Conner against Phoenix. Lundqvist should be making the Dallas team and will likely provide a good scoring punch. Conner on the other hand won't probably make the team to start the season, but he'll likely provide a good call-up through the year.

Tomas Plekanec had a hat-trick on Sunday against the Bruins in Halifax. Plekanec didn't quite have the big year the team thought he might last season and he should be out to prove that he is a bit better than his 20-goal season last year. The Habs went on to beat the Bruins 4-3.

The Blackhawks beat the Blues on Sunday, 4-3, and it was on the shoulders of Jason Williams who had a pair of goals and added an assist. Williams, who played 78 games and scored 15 goals last season, is looking to have a bigger season and should have some talented help to get him some bigger numbers. He could come through the season as a pretty solid sleeper.

And finally, the last preseason game for the Ducks before leaving for London was a big one. They beat the Canucks 5-0 on the strength of a 40-save effort from goalie, Jonas Hiller. Hiller, looking to crack the opening night line-up, since J-S Giguere (Dale C.) probably won't suit up to start the season. Also having a big night for the Ducks was rookie Bobby Ryan and grizzled veteran Todd Bertuzzi (John P.). Ryan had 4 assists in the game while Bertuzzi had a goal and 2 assists. I haven't seen it quite yet, but the Ducks should be cutting their roster down on Monday before flying out to London and I'll have any of the surprise moves, if there are any later on today.

Technorati Tags
, ,