Monday, October 13, 2008

Week Two Newsletter

It's a sad day in hockey again today, as the New York Rangers learned the news that their first round pick from a couple years ago, Alexei Cherepanov, has passed away during a game in the Kontinental Hockey League, due to a heart attack. Cherepanov, 19, suffered the heart attack after a shift in the third period playing for his team, Omsk, on Monday and the hockey world will mourn his loss.

Cherepanov was thought to be one of the premier prospects outside of the NHL and the Rangers were looking to try and bring him to North America for next season. He was going to be an electric player, in what could have been a great career, which would have made him a great player people would want on their pool team.

Another loss, way too early.

The poll for the second week surrounded around the rookies for this season and there was another good turnout of votes. It shouldn't come as any surprise that it was Steven Stamkos leading the way in the voting. Out of 44 votes during the week, Stamkos managed to snag 56% of the vote, which is quite the majority. Also getting plenty of consideration was Phoenix Coyotes forward, Kyle Turris, who managed 10 votes, coming in second. The rookie class already has had a good jump to the season, except for Stamkos, who has been snakebitten in his first three games of the season, having no points to show for it.

This week, the poll asks 'which current pool scoring leader has the best chance of being the top scoring pool player for the year?'

This week, we'll actually have a Mover & Shaker award for the Draft and our winner will receive a Daniel Sedin jersey swatch hockey card for getting the most points in the Draft during Week Two.

In the Draft, it was John Preston who earned the title of Mover & Shaker, picking up 27 points during the week and also gained the lead. Preston, with the help of both Sedin twins, Steve Bernier and Roberto Luongo, he managed to snag a lot of points from the Canucks alone. He also managed to get a few points from Milan Michalek and Joni Pitkanen as well, so his offense is not all from Vancouver.

Moving & Shaking on the Sheet Pool is our new leader as well, Mike Emery. A big 47-point week for him lifted him into first place, 12 places better than his spot after the European tour a week ago. His best players in the week were Andy McDonald, Evgeni Nabokov and Alexander Semin, all with 4 points.

Having a tough week to start the season in the Draft was Derek Wyllie, who only managed 10 points in the week, but still has a point advantage over last place in the standings as well. Only Dan Boyle and Pascal Leclaire really came out to play for him, but they only managed two points a piece for him.

On the Sheet, Kim Murdick only managed 23 points and had the biggest fall in the Standings, down 27 spots in the standings. His best player during the week was Roberto Luongo, who finished with six points, but that was the only effort out of his team.

This brings us to the Player of the Week award for Week Two and it shouldn't come as a surprise, that another goaltender took the reins through the week and earned the honour.

Roberto Luongo beat the Calgary Flames twice during the week, including a shutout in the first game of the season. That brought his weekly total up to six points. Luongo was not named to the league's Three Stars of the Week, which is pretty uncommon for the pool's Player of the Week. The Canucks open up Week Three in Washington and Luongo will start looking to pick up back-to-back honours.

After ripping up the pre-season, Teemu Selanne had a pretty poor start to the season, not registering a point in the team's first two games of the season. Selanne does have a lot left in him to give to the Ducks, but he hasn't given them anything and the team has taken a big hit, going 0-2 to start.

Other News and Notes
The Sabres have been able to promote some quality defensemen in the past couple years, which has seemingly been giving Nathan Paetsch a hard time. Paetsch has been a healthy scratch for the Sabres to open the season, as Andrej Sekera has been moved up into the sixth position.

Announced on Saturday night, Columbus forward Mike Peca has been suspended indefinitely, thanks to an incident in the first game of the season for the Blue Jackets, where Peca came into contact with one of the officials during a dispute and it was claimed to be abuse of an official, which comes with an automatic suspension. Peca is appealing the suspension, but will remain suspended until further notice.

On Friday and Saturday night, the Dallas Stars didn't dress free agent signing, Fabian Brunnstrom, against the Blue Jackets. It's now hard to take Brunnstrom seriously if he isn't going to jump into the NHL fray right away. There has been no notice of injury quite yet for the young Swede, but we'll keep you posted if there is any.

In other news for Dallas, they have been without Jere Lehtinen over the opening games, as he's been suffering from a groin injury. You should consider him day-to-day for now. Lehtinen is a choice of Larry in the Draft and will be missed on that basis.

The Panthers got some good news, learning that Bryan McCabe hasn't got as serious an injury as initially thought. It looks as though McCabe has only pulled a few muscles in his back, rather than some cracked bones in his vertebrae. His return schedule will be about two weeks, possibly 10 days.

Missed out in the shuffle this week, I missed the notice that Shawn Matthias was sent down to the minors from Florida. Matthias likely wasn't going to get a lot of time in the Florida plan at the moment, so he'll hone his skills down in the AHL. Matthias is another one of those Box 25 kids that didn't quite make the cut. Almost as if it was like a curse.

The Kings have reportedly lost prospect defenseman, Jack Johnson, for up to three months with what is believed to be a serious arm injury. Johnson wasn't picked in the Draft, so he won't be missed there, but he was in the Sheet pool at Box 11.

In order to fill the gap left behind by Johnson, the Kings claimed Kyle Quincey off of waivers from the Detroit Red Wings on Monday. Quincey wasn't going to be able to find his way into the line-up and had to clear waivers before heading to the minors, so a move like this was to be expected. Quincey's talent could bring him some good minutes for Los Angeles and he could make a good jump into the Draft pool, come waiver time in Week Nine.

Bad news hit the Flyers, worse than initially thought as well. Randy Jones could be out for up to 16 weeks thanks to surgery to his hip. Jones had sought out the best possible way to surgically repair his hip and be back in the line-up, but it looks like his best course of action will keep him out of the line-up for up to four months.

The emergence of Jonas Frogren and Luke Schenn on the Toronto blueline has moved Anton Stralman and Ian White to the press box this past weekend. Stralman, a pick in the Draft for John P., and White, a possible selection on the Sheet, both sat out on Saturday night against the Canadiens and may not see the next game either, unless the coaching staff wants to throw more youth in the line-up.

The Canucks had problems keeping their defensemen healthy all of last season, so it was a scary blow to see Kevin Bieksa leave the game with a knee injury. Although Bieksa wasn't picked in the Draft, he is on the Sheet, so there is some concern. Bieksa may have strained his knee, but it will be after an MRI before we figure out how long he'll be out.

In the home & home series versus Calgary, the Canucks didn't dress Kyle Wellwood at all. The Canucks likely wanted to be a bit bigger and a bit faster against their division rivals, especailly away from home after a 6-0 win in Vancouver. Wellwood might get to see some action on this long road trip to start the season, so don't panic right away if you own him.

The Capitals haven't seen any reason to put Eric Fehr in the line-up quite yet. Fehr, a minor league scoring machine, has seemingly made the big club out of camp, but in the first two games of the season, he is et to see any action.

Click here to see an updated injury page.

Hockey Night in Canada has a new anthem. Not the one I voted for, but nevertheless. Things don't look like they're going to change though either. The early game across the country will likely see Toronto and Pittsburgh square off, while regionally, the Habs host the Coyotes and the Sens host the Bruins. If you have satellite TV with all the CBC channels, then you can watch any game you like. The feature game, however, is the Battle of Alberta, where the now 0-2 Flames will host the now 1-0 Oilers.

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