Monday, February 26, 2018

Bolts Add McDonagh & Miller

2018 Season July 1st, 2018
To Tampa Bay POS Age GP Goals Points Cap Years Cap
Ryan McDonagh D 28 49 2 26 $4.7 mil 1 $4.7 mil
J.T. Miller F 24 63 13 40 $2.75 mil 0 RFA
To New York POS Age GP Goals Points Cap Years Cap
Vladislav Namestnikov F 25 62 20 44 $1.94 mil 0 RFA
Libor Hajek D 20 0 0 0 $864k 2 $864k
Brett Howden F 19 0 0 0 $894k 2 $894k
2018 1st Round Draft Pick
2019 Conditional 2nd Round Draft Pick

The biggest and most exciting deal of the day was one of the last ones to drop, as the Tampa Bay Lightning were certainly shopping around for the best deal around and it looks like they came away with a doozy, when they stopped by the New York Rangers' fire sale.

The Lightning walked out of the deal with two new roster players to compliment their style of play, giving up one of their own and a handful of futures and not terrible ones either.  Granted, their acquisition of Ryan McDonagh is quite impressive and quite possibly worth all the prospects and picks.  Yes, McDonagh and J.T. Miller head to Tampa for their playoff run and in return came Vladislav Namestnikov, top end prospects Libor Hajek and Brett Howden, as well as two top picks in 2018 and 2019.

The Lightning have been in the rumour mill floating around for a while, connected to a couple of big name defensemen, but they had to wait for a price that seemed a little more reasonable and it looks like they got a good player to join the ranks that already boasts Victor Hedman and Mikhail Sergachev, among others.

The Rangers don't come away empty-handed at all here.  Namestnikov will be inserted into the lineup immediately and is expected to do okay, while the prospects they acquired are both in junior still and both have some excellent upside.  The 2018 1st rounder is a sure thing and the 2nd rounder in 2019 can be a 1st rounder, if the Lightning win the Cup in either of the next two seasons.  Actually, I think the Rangers come away like bandits in this deal.

Hockey pool-wise, three pool players were exchanged... Dale C. has McDonagh, Stacey M. has Miller and Ryan has Namestnikov and I would have to think that the two players moving to Tampa are going to get the better end of the shake, since there is going to be some more excitement in that city, rather than the boat that is racing to shore before it takes on too much water.  Dale and Stacey are 11th and 12th in the standings, both outside of the top 10 by at least 15 points, so this deal likely isn't going to be enough to get them up and over the hump and into the top 10, but it could help... you know, once McDonagh is back to full health.

Goalie Announcements (Feb 26)

In the lulls of trade deadline day, I've snuck off to post the bits and pieces about the starting goalies for tonight.

We now have six full weeks of action left in the regular season and it looks like that this is now a three-horse race to the finish in the overall standings.  Until a team figures in on Stuart, Benson and Dale B., like in the 10-point range, there really is no point in concentrating on the overall standings, except for these three teams.  I think it's still fun to look at the Mover & Shaker at the end of each week, I'll continue to do that, but without many or any points on the board, we'll look at the top three.

On Monday... nothing!  Drats!  Now what?  I've started this post with such good intentions.

Braden Holtby (Grant) versus Sergei Bobrovsky (Derek B.)
Well, we know that Grant gets a start with the Capitals in Columbus tonight.  It was confirmed early on in the day that Braden Holtby had taken to the starter's net for the morning skate, which is usually a good indication of starting this evening.  Grant's team is currently the closest to the top three, opening the week 35 points out.

The Jackets were wheeling and dealing on Monday, but nothing has really changed in the crease.  Although it hasn't quite been confirmed at the time of the post, one should safely assume that Sergei Bobrovsky gets the nod tonight.  Derek B. has been watching his team fall from the middle of the pool and then fall away, as his team opens play 10 points out of 13th in 14th place.

Petr Mrazek (Mike) versus Charlie Lindgren (N/A)
The first full match-up that was noted among all the writers today was the Flyers and Habs game, where there is only one hockey pool goalie set to go.  Petr Mrazek will go for the Flyers, giving Mike another start, running the table there in Philadelphia, with the other two goalies hurt for the long-term.  I don't think Mike will complain, as his team has already moved up two spots since the trade.

Frederik Andersen (Mike) versus Andrei Vasilevskiy (Wilton)
One of the first goalie confirmations of the day was the Lightning going with Andrei Vasilevskiy against the Maple Leafs tonight.  This shouldn't come as a surprise, as the Russian workhorse has just continued to pave the way for a big season for the Bolts.  Wilton's team, once right in the thick of the money spots, has seen his team fall away, now 53 points out of the top three.

At the other end, Mike gets a second start on the night, as the visiting Leafs will go with the reigning Player of the Week, as they roll through the US southeast.  Mike's team is really rolling these days and the Leafs are already adjusting well to life without Auston Matthews.  Can they keep the good mojo flowing against the top team in the east?

Anders Nilsson (Brian) versus Semyon Varlamov (Stacey C.)
The Avalanche confirmed after their morning skate that Semyon Varlamov will get the nod tonight, with the traveling Canucks in town after playing last night in Arizona.  It's hard to say what Stacey's team has left to play for this season, except for pride, I suppose.  His team starts the week in 22nd, 10 points back of 21st.

All signs are pointing to Anders Nilsson getting the second half of the back-to-back nights for the Canucks, which will give Brian another start.  Ever since Nilsson got picked up by Brian's pool team, he has had a few minutes in the crease, but he certainly hasn't been producing the results.  In 11 games, Nilsson only has 1 win and 1 assist, which has not helped Brian's team at all.

Marc-Andre Fleury (Scott) versus Jonathan Quick (Chris)
The first to declare in the late, late game between Vegas and Los Angeles was the Kings and to no one's surprise, it will be Jonathan Quick taking the reins for this big Pacific Division clash.  Chris has the top team in the third segment, so far, and he owes a lot of that to his goaltending tandem, which includes Quick.  It's hard to say whether or not this run could move his team into the money, but it'll be fun to watch.

For the Golden Knights, it will be Marc-Andre Fleury, as he gears himself up towards the playoffs.  This should be a very good game here, as both teams match-up with their number ones.  Scott, in the pool, sees his team trying to fend off Steve in last place and trying to catch up to Ryan.  If the Golden Knights keep their pace, there's a chance Scott's team could finish in 23rd.

Devils Have a New Shade of Maroon

2018 Season July 1st, 2018
To New Jersey POS Age GP Goals Points Cap Years Cap
Patrick Maroon F 29 57 14 30 $1.5 mil 0 UFA
To Edmonton POS Age GP Goals Points Cap Years Cap
J.D. Dudek F 22 0 0 0 USD 0 USD
2019 3rd Round Draft Pick

The New Jersey Devils didn't exactly have to pay a pretty penny for the services, other than a NCAA prospect and a mid-round draft pick, for the added depth of Patrick Maroon.

Maroon is a rugged winger who does carry a bit of a touch around the net, he should be able to provide the Devils with a bit more toughness and a big body for in front of the opposition net from time to time.

One would have to think that taking Maroon away from the likes of Connor McDavid would probably be more like a loss, depending on who the Devils line him up with, but any time you leave the wing of one of the best centres in the NHL, your production is bound to go down.

For Stacey C., this is the case and his luck probably won't get any better with this deal.  His 22nd place team probably takes a hit with this one.

Vanek Has a New Blue Jacket

2018 Season July 1st, 2018
To Columbus POS Age GP Goals Points Cap Years Cap
Thomas Vanek F 34 61 17 41 $2 mil 0 UFA
To Vancouver POS Age GP Goals Points Cap Years Cap
Jussi Jokinen F 34 46 1 7 $1.1 mil 0 UFA
Tyler Motte F 22 31 3 5 $925k 1 $925k

The Vancouver Canucks were looking to help their rebuild process along by dealing forward Thomas Vanek as a serviceable rental to a contending team and they were able to deal him to the Columbus Blue Jackets for forwards Jussi Jokinen and Tyler Motte.

The Blue Jackets have acquired a seemingly refreshed veteran in Vanek, who has quietly had himself a very decent year with the Canucks and he comes at a very reasonable cost.

The Canucks, on the other hand, are the fourth NHL team that Jokinen has been a part of this season, failing to find any stable footing in either Edmonton, Los Angeles or Columbus, and now will join the Canucks who are just coasting to the finish.  In Motte, the Canucks do get somewhat of a younger prospect, who has been traded once already and hasn't been able to stick with the big club in  Columbus over the last year.  He'll at least get a look in Vancouver.

This move is a bit of a toss up, as to whether or not there will be any great improvement in his production, as Benson's 2nd place team is in real need of a shot in the arm, since it has lost much of its buffer over 3rd place in the last week.  Vanek wasn't under a lot of external pressure and may have been thriving because of it, since the last couple of deadline moves he's made, he hasn't done so well.  Vanek will likely enjoy a playoff run with the Jackets, but there's still no real sense of just how far they might go this year.

Evander Kane Goes to San Jose

2018 Season July 1st, 2018
To San Jose POS Age GP G/W Points Cap Years Cap
Evander Kane F 26 61 20 40 $5.25 mil 0 UFA
To Buffalo POS Age GP Wins Points Cap Years Cap
Danny O'Regan F 24 10 0 4 $859k 0 RFA
2019 Conditional 1st Round Draft Pick
2020 Conditional 4th Round Draft Pick

It took a while for things to really materialize at the trade deadline, but when things finally got rolling, there was some interesting moves.

Evander Kane was picked up by the San Jose Sharks for a part-time roster player/prospect in Danny O'Regan and then two picks, including a 1st round pick in 2019, if Kane was to re-sign in San Jose.  If Kane doesn't sign, it will turn into a 2nd round pick.

The Sharks are in a Pacific Division playoff spot, currently sitting 2nd in the division, so this move will shore up their offense, adding some much needed depth, when it comes to the spring dance.  It will be interesting to see who he lines up with on the roster.

Unfortunately, this is another trade that really has no bearing on the hockey pool money situation, but it should make Eric's team just a little bit better, as one of his better offensive tools will be going to a club that likes to score goals in bushels.  Eric's team is looking to move into the top 20 before the end of the year, which is only 3 points away, at the start of play on Monday night.

Jets Acquire Stastny From Blues

2018 Season July 1st, 2018
To Winnipeg POS Age GP Goals Points Cap Years Cap
Paul Stastny F 32 63 12 40 $3.5 mil 0 UFA
To St. Louis POS Age GP Goals Points Cap Years Cap
Erik Foley F 20 0 0 0 USD 0 USD
2018 Conditional 1st Round Draft Pick
2020 Conditional 4th Round Draft Pick
Retained Cap Hit on Stastny 50% $3.5 mil

The Central Division saw a shake-up of sorts, as the St. Louis Blues have parted way with forward Paul Stastny, sending him to the Winnipeg Jets for a package, which includes an NCAA prospect forward and a couple of conditional picks, while the Blues retain half of Stastny's remaining salary for the rest of the year.  The 32-year old is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, but the Blues were in need of something major, as they have been suffering through a tough stretch and they needed to right the ship before the playoffs, if they can make it.

The Jets, on the other hand, are running hot at the moment and were looking to possibly add a piece for the stretch run.  Adding a forward like Stastny, gives you some experience in the playoffs, albeit without winning too much, that extra bit of offense they're looking for and with the Blues hanging onto some salary, it shouldn't hurt the bottom line too much.

The draft picks and prospect... the cost of doing business.  The conditions of the deal would be that if the Jets were to miss the playoffs this season, they could likely push the 1st rounder to 2019 and the 4th round pick goes, if Foley, an unsigned draft pick, doesn't sign with the Blues before his deadline, which isn't until 2019.

This is another plus for Neil, who is seeing a good portion of his roster move at this deadline.  The goal of moving up to 14th place is certainly there, as I think that Stastny is a pretty good addition to the Jets, assuming that they can find that special spot for him in the lineup.  The Jets have lots of complimentary players and they used their deep wealth of futures to help them win now.

Sens Flip Cole to Jackets

2018 Season July 1st, 2018
To Columbus POS Age GP G/W Points Cap Years Cap
Ian Cole D 29 47 3 13 $2.1 mil 0 UFA
To Ottawa POS Age GP G/W Points Cap Years Cap
Nick Moutrey F 22 0 0 0 $693k 0 RFA
2020 3rd Round Draft Pick

The Senators are in full wheeling and dealing mode, as the acquisition of defenseman Ian Cole was nothing more than a paper transaction.  Three days after they acquired the defenseman in the Derick Brassard deal, they were able to flip him to Columbus for a prospect forward and a 3rd round pick in a couple of years.  For being the first pool relevant deal of the day, it doesn't really come across as much.

The Blue Jackets do add another key piece, which should help them deal with Jack Johnson's trade situation at the moment.  Getting another strong defenseman for their playoff run was certainly key.

For Neil, this probably could work out okay for him.  Cole won't be getting a ton of top minutes, especially with Seth Jones and Zach Werenski doing all the heavy offensive lifting from the back end, but Cole should provide a pretty solid veteran influence back there.

Neil's team opens up the week 12 points out of 14th place, a very reasonable goal for his team to hit before the end of the year.

Week Twenty-One Newsletter

This week, we had ourselves a good ol' fashioned goalie duel for the Player of the Week nod and this one was a dilly of a pickle to tie-break, seeing as though they both had identical records in the week, 3-0-0 with a shutout for 8 points.  When it comes to the player rankings, however, I give more onus on players who play more than the others, as their value is significantly worth more to me than a player who doesn't and with an overtime victory in his three wins, that is why Frederik Andersen of the Maple Leafs takes the nod over Pekka Rinne of the Predators.

Andersen shutout the Panthers on Tuesday, beat the Islanders in overtime on Thursday and then defeated the Bruins on Saturday for his three wins, stopping 92 of 98 shots in the week to earn the honour, his first nod of the 2018 season.

Despite his team's inconsistencies of being a youthful group, Andersen is stringing together a pretty good season, currently ranking 6th overall in pool scoring, 4th among all goalies, picking up 32 wins, 5 shutouts and an assist for 75 points in 53 appearances.  This makes the Maple Leafs buyers at this trade deadline, as they are firmly in the thick of the playoff race.

For Mike, however, his team is right in the middle of the standings, but his 16th overall pick in the draft is not at fault here, as he is getting more than his pick value at the moment.  It's just a shame the rest of his team couldn't make those kind of bargains that Andersen has been this season.

If Dale B. was going to repeat as pool champion this year, his team would have needed to stop the bleeding of the last few weeks with something of the 'very good' variety or better, so his team's 39 points in Week Twenty-One should fit the bill, especially since it was worthy of this week's Mover & Shaker nod.

I hope no one felt bad for Pekka Rinne of the Predators, because he does get to have his picture posted in this Newsletter, despite losing out on the Player of the Week nod.  His 8 points was the guiding light for Dale's team in the week, helping to get his team back on track and close down the gap to 2nd place, which is now down to 2 points.

Also having a solid week for Dale's team was Mark Stone of the Senators with 7 points, Claude Giroux of the Flyers and Mitch Marner of the Maple Leafs with 5 points each and then Ryan Suter of the Wild had 4 points.

It wasn't the most consistent Mover & Shaker weeks we've seen, as four players on Dale's active roster failed to get points, three of which were due to injury and the last one was just a cold streak.

Dale's team does seem destined for some money this season, as his team has been consistently among the top five teams in each of the segments, so far, not having much of a drop off at all, minus a couple of less-than-stellar weeks. 

The most dubious distinction Dale's team actually has this year, is that it ranks last in the pool in games played by his forwards, with only 421 games collected by the eight active players up front this season.  His team does rank tied for 1st for defenseman games played, with 248, and that seems to be making up for it.

As Basement Dweller weeks go, we've seen some pretty good ones already this season and this week was one of those decent ones, as Ryan's team did finish last in the weekly scoring ranks, but he did so with the 2nd-best total of points this season, with 16.  It didn't help his team in the standings, as his side still dropped a position, down to 23rd from 22nd, but it is something, I guess.

Ryan's team got an okay week from both Antti Raanta of the Coyotes and T.J. Brodie of the Flames, finishing with 4 and 3 points, respectively, but five of his players finished without a point this week, two of which saw injury troubles in the week.

Out of Ryan's 14 picks at the opening draft, only three of those players have rankings that are better than their pick position and they came from rounds 10, 11 and 12, and of the dud picks, only Mike Smith of the Flames (1st round) and Tanner Pearson of the Kings (8th) have rankings within 50 spots of where they were drafted.  Luck was not on Ryan's side this season.

After Week Twenty-One, we have seen the biggest end-of-week lead of the year, as Stuart's team has slightly pulled away, now leading Benson's team by 17 points.  It's not insurmountable, but it is going to be rather difficult to overcome, now that we only have six weeks of regular season play left to go.  It's going to be a tough slog, but it's possible.

As we saw in the Mover & Shaker nod, Dale B. is closely moving in on Benson for 2nd place, as that gap is now 2 points for the spot, while there is still a pretty big gap between 3rd and 4th place, 35 points, even after Grant's team had consideration for top spot in the week, with 36 points.  We might already have our top three teams this season.

Finally, the plus/minus pool is anything, but safe after this week, as Dale B.'s Mover & Shaker week also translated well in this mini-game, as his team went and posted a +18 combined effort and his team now trails Steve's leading team by only 17 points.  Steve's team got off to a bit of a rocky start I saw, but recovered to post a +7 after the seven days, as his team is now good for a +84 rating overall.


With the NHL trade deadline upon us, I wanted to get this post done nice and quick, I am straight into the statistically speaking and I can confidently say that this past week was a slightly-below average week this season.  The overall total for points was okay, we managed to collect 631 points as a whole, but it didn't look as good against the 52 NHL games played in the week, maybe thanks to the trade deadline scratches, who knows?  Both participation from skaters and goalies were down, so that was slightly disappointing.

After today's trade hooplah, hopefully everyone gets their acts together and we see some real scoring down the stretch.  Here we go!


With the Maple Leafs acquiring Tomas Plekanec from the Canadiens on Sunday (in a non-pool relevant trade), they had to make room for him on the roster and they did so by placing Auston Matthews on the Injured Reserve. Matthews is expected to miss the entirety of Week Twenty-Two, including the Stadium Series game this coming weekend and he will be reevaluated after that, in all likelihood.

This is the sort of news which can start to sink Benson's team, especially if his team falls victim to the injury bug on a regular basis, not unlike what Brian and Jeremy have already seen this season.  Benson's team finished the week in the money, but without Matthews, how quickly could his team possibly drop?

Before Sunday night's game against the Anaheim Ducks, Edmonton defenseman Kris Russell was among the list of players scratched, not because of a desire to trade the defender, but rather, because of a hand injury, which he suffered Saturday night in Los Angeles, while blocking a shot.  He's considered day-to-day for right now.  Oilers forward Zack Kassian left the game in the 2nd period with an undisclosed injury, falling awkwardly on the ice after a collision behind the Ducks' net.  It didn't look like too much, when it first happened, but it was obviously enough to knock out the tough guy.  There was no word on his condition after the game.

This was a lost skater-game for both Derek B. and for Wes on Sunday, but neither are figuring into the money this season, so this news may not figure too greatly moving forward.  Wes already has a handle on the PIM pool, even without Kassian being healthy, which is about the only story line here.

You can add Thomas Vanek to the list of players held out of contests, in order to keep their trade value up, ahead of today's trade deadline. The Vancouver Canucks held out the veteran forward from the game against the Coyotes, just in case they get the deal that they are looking for from a a contending team. There have been rumours that the Canucks may try to re-sign Vanek, but the whole point of this season was the rebuild and if there is a package worthy of it, then the Canucks will make that deal.

This is another skater-game lost for Benson, as his team is somewhat getting picked apart in this last week. At least with Vanek, he's healthy and should be ready to play, once all the dust settles.