Thursday, September 30, 2010

Update on Samsonov

The Carolina Hurricanes have placed forward Sergei Samsonov on the injured reserve because of the neck injury he suffered against the Atlanta Thrashers. The Hurricanes said they will not be taking him overseas for their Premiere games and they will re-evaluate him upon their return.  With the Premiere games going in a week and the team getting some time off when they return (for jet lag purposes), that will be two weeks before we can even start talking about a return.

ImplicationsSamsonov was not taken in the draft this week, likely because of this injury, but he is available in Box 20 on the selection sheet.  Since its a pretty high up box in the Eastern Conference set, you probably weren't going to give much of a look to him, but this  injury should set that in stone.

Link to the Injury/News Page

Ferriero Sent to Worcester

Another selection sheet casualty this morning, as the Sharks have sent down their Box 9 entry, Benn Ferriero, down to Worcester of the AHL. Ferriero played in 24 games last season with the Sharks, picking up 5 points, but it looks like he's destined to be a depth player for call ups this season, unless decided otherwise this year.  He's become another landmine on the sheet, so be careful stepping around him.

Playing Catch-Up on the News Page

With all the prep for the draft and the sheet pools, I have kind of fallen behind in my keeping the injury page up-to-date with links and such, so I'm going to play a little bit of catch up. I have updated the page to only have players that have been chosen in the draft or included on the sheet, so it isn't the best reference point for all the injuries and transactions in the league (just as a heads up).

The Flames are currently dealing with issues down the middle, still missing Daymond Langkow, who is dealing with a neck injury, which he suffered last season, and now Olli Jokinen is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.  Langkow has been on the ice, but says he is nowhere near returning to game action, while Jokinen left Tuesday night's game against the Coyotes and did not return.  If there is a major update to his condition, it will be posted.

In a case of an impressive training camp by other players, the Hurricanes felt that they had to send Zach Boychuk down to the AHL before they left for Europe to play in the NHL Premiere games. Boychuk should have been a lock on the squad, but obviously didn't play well enough to be on the 25-man roster (which is allowed for the European-bound teams) and was left at home for the time being. Since he was one of the last cuts, he would be one of the first call-ups later on in the year.

The Avalanche blueline hopefuls are getting some extra looks, as Kyle Cumiskey is dealing with a groin issue at the moment. Cumiskey has been listed as out day-to-day with a groin problem, opening the door for Colby Cohen and Jonas Holos to get some extra looks.  I would expect Cumiskey to be back and taking on a key role on the blueline.

The Kings are without forward Scott Parse at the moment, as he has been troubled by a groin issue and I believe an issue with his foot. He's currently still day-to-day with the club and is expected to make it through some of the cuts that still need to be done for the Kings opening night roster.

There was plenty of hype around Cody Almond possibly cracking through the Wild roster before training camp started, but the hype machine went for naught, as Almond didn't surive through to the final week of training camp, losing out to Casey Wellman and Matt Kassian.  Almond may have himself some more looks through the season, but the Wild's entry in the young players box won't be picking up many points to start the season.

The same has to be said about Louis Leblanc of the Canadiens, the team's 1st round pick in 2009. Leblanc left school in the States early to get a jump on his pro career, but his hype machine was apparently a little too strong as well, watching Leblanc be sent down to the minors to start the season. It was a fairly early cut, so he'll have to excel in the AHL before making the jump back up to the NHL.

The offensively talented Ryan Ellis was sticking around for quite a while in Predators camp, despite his smaller stature, which led me to believe he could crack the line-up when it was all said and done. Sadly, that wasn't the case, as he was sent back down to his junior team in Windsor, where he'll likely dominate at that level. He may still be another year or two from cracking the line-up, but at least he had himself a pretty good look in camp.

The Devils are still awaiting more tests on defenseman Bryce Salvador this week, after he was knocked out of a preseason game with a big hit. The belief is that he may have suffered a concussion, but the Devils are being awfully guarded about releasing injury information too soon, likely hoping they won't damper his season too badly. It's my feeling that if it is taking this long to get results, the news isn't likely going to be good.

The Sens are keeping Mike Fisher off the ice for the time being, as he's dealing with some minor soreness in his neck, after getting rattled in a preseason game this week. The team maintains that the injury is fairly minor and he should be ready to go for the start of the season, but it's all still worth mentioning at this point.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Avs Demote Shattenkirk

The Colorado Avalanche made a move to demote one of their top prospects, defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, on Wednesday, along with forward Mike Carman, bringing their roster total down to 27, with just over a week until the NHL regular season starts.  With some openings on the blueline in camp, there was some hope that their future puck-moving phenom would crack the opening night roster, but that isn't going to be, barring any injuries in camp.

ImplicationsCount another Selection Sheet casualty up on the board now with this demotion today.  As we grow closer to opening night, there may be a few more on the blog before its all said and done.  It sounded like Shattenkirk had a pretty good shot through camp, so I thought this move would really make things interesting in Box 14, but only a return from the minors will see that happen, I guess.

Welcome to the 2010/2011 Regular Season Draft

Welcome to this year's incarnation of the hockey pool draft, the draft went awfully well at Jameson's last night. I couldn't be happier to say that I am now frantically working to get the draft live up on the website, but please note... we haven't been above 17 teams yet, so it might take while to input 20 teams this year!  Thankfully, I have a bit better than a week to get the website up and running with all the draft details before the season actually begins and now that the draft is done, I don't have to recap the preseason players anymore... unless I am specifically asked to.

20 teams, 280 players to start, $1,000 in the prize pool... I think this is going to be one hell of a year.  Since I have some time before the season starts, I'll try and get a preview up for each team, just to fill up some space here on the blog.  Until then, I better get to work.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Islanders Sign Mottau

All of these injuries are in need of some band-aid solutions to their roster and the Islanders solved one of them by signing unrestricted free agent defenseman Mike Mottau to a new 2-year deal. After the loss of Mark Streit, the Islanders were in need of some good budget veteran help and they seemed to have found that in Mottau, who signed for $1.6 million in total, an $800,000 cap hit per season.

In 2010 with the Devils, Mottau scored 2 goals and 16 assists in 79 games, which likely won't fill the entire gap left behind by Streit offensively, but he should at least provide enough of that defensive stability that the Islanders will need while he is away.  Mottau usually played a shade under 20 minutes per game with the Devils in 2010, but he should have a bigger role with the Islanders for the time being, which could definitely increase his point production, just by default.  Definitely something to consider.

Blues Cut Hensick

On Tuesday, the Blues decided to demote T.J. Hensick down to Peoria of the AHL, bringing their active camp roster down to 29 players. Hensick had an outside shot of a return to the NHL after only being a part-time player in 2010.  Hensick will likely have to stick with being a part-time player again, as he refines his game closer to being a full-time player.

Islanders Also Lose Okposo

It's going downhill quickly for the Islanders, who haven't even played a regular season game yet. Already losing Mark Streit for the next 6 months to shoulder surgery, the word is that they will be without Kyle Okposo for an indefinite amount of time after it was determined that he will also require shoulder surgery on Tuesday.

Okposo has missed the bulk of training camp and all of the preseason as he was getting his shoulder checked out and worked on, but obviously this has all gone for naught and surgery is their only option now.  The extent of the rehab time likely won't be known until after the procedure has been done, so don't expect anything too concrete right away.

Link to the Injury/News Page

Flyers Lose Leighton & Laperriere

The Philadelphia Flyers goaltending situation became a little cloudy with the announcement that Michael Leighton is now expected to be out of the Flyers line-up for a month with a bulging disc in his back.  Leighton has not spent much time on the ice during camp or the preseason.  This currently leaves Brian Boucher as the top dog for the moment in the net, with the back-up situation still up in the air.

The Flyers also announced that they will be without veteran forward Ian Laperriere for an indefinite period of time, because he is suffering from post-concussion syndrome.  There is no timetable for his return and he will now open up a spot in the line-up, likely for some of their youth to jump in.

Link to the Injury/News Page

Last Night's Preseason Notable Players (Sep 27)

Jonas Gustavsson made 35 saves on Monday night to help the Leafs beat the Sabres 5-4 at home. The Monster played the entire game for the Leafs, giving him his first full start of the season and he did enough to keep the team in it and win it. Nikolai Kulemin and Phil Kessel were the trigger men on the evening, scoring a pair of goals each, while Dion Phaneuf, Clarke MacArthur, Kris Versteeg and Mikhail Grabovski all picked up pairs of assists in the game.  This game recap looks to be the formula that the Leafs will need to use when they try and string wins together in the regular season.

The Sabres may have lost last night's preseason match-up to the Leafs, but they did manage to score four goals and they had it all done by four players as well. Nathan Gerbe had a pair of goals, Drew Stafford had a goal and 2 assists, Jordan Leopold had a goal and an assist, while Derek Roy chimed in with 3 assists.  This doesn't exactly scream scoring balance, but at least there were some players who were motivated enough to keep the Sabres in the game for as long as possible.

Finally... Carey Price was on the right side of a 6-2 scoreline, as the Canadiens beat up on the Panthers on Monday night. Price only had to make 19 saves in the victory, but it was a victory at home nonetheless. Plenty of points and penalty minutes in this one, as it looks like it was a scrappy affair. Mike Cammalleri led the way with a goal and 2 assists in the game, followed closely behind by Lars Eller, who had 3 assists. Tomas Plekanec had a couple of goals and Yannick Weber had a pair of assists to round out the notable players. The Canadiens made a few more cuts after the game, but everyone in this paragraph was safe.

Much like the Sabres above, the same group of players were responsible for the Panthers goals on Monday night and it was a trio of what should be their usual suspects. David Booth and Stephen Weiss each had a goal and an assist, while Dennis Wideman had a pair of assists, which evenly spread out the points for both goals in the game. It may appear that Wideman will be a good fit with the Panthers, which may boost his projections in your list.

Finally, the Predators hosted the Thrashers in some preseason action and it was Nashville coming away on top, 2-1 in the game. The scoring star of the game was Shea Weber, who had a goal and an assist in the victory, the only player to have multiple points. In net, it was the team's number one goalie, Pekka Rinne, making 21 saves for the win and not helping the back-up battle at all... unless the Predators are okay with Rinne making 82 starts this season.

Late Night Cuts in Montreal

After a major round of cuts and sending some junior players back down, the Canadiens had another preseason game against the Florida Panthers. After that game, the team decided to make a few more cuts, bringing their roster down to 31 players, which includes a number of injuries, so its safe to start posting the roster now.

Currently, I have the Canadiens total roster has 18 forwards, 10 defense and three goalies, but the team currently has serious injuries to Andrei Markov and Roman Hamrlik, while the other four in red below are all out with minor injuries and are considered to be day-to-day.  If the day-to-day players can make their way into being healthy again, there likely is a chance they'll feature in one of the team's last two preseason games, which go at the end of the week.

For the most part now, the cuts will likely be somewhat minor and the players that go down now will also likely be the first call-ups when more injuries hit the team or just general inconsistencies.

Tomas PlekanecAndrei MarkovCarey Price
Scott GomezRoman HamrlikAlex Auld
Mike CammalleriJaroslav SpacekCurtis Sanford
Brian GiontaAlexandre Picard
Andrei KostitsynHal Gill
Benoit PouliotJosh Gorges
Dustin BoydRyan O'Byrne
Jeff HalpernAlex Henry
Travis MoenP.K. Subban
Max LapierreYannick Weber
Tom Pyatt
Hunter Bishop
Mathieu Darche
Lars Eller
Ben Maxwell
Max Pacioretty
Ryan Russell
Ryan White

Salary CapSince there is a chance that Markov and Hamrlik will both be back in the line-up before the end of October, there is little point in eliminating them from the cap calculation, so we'll run with all 31 players, a buyout and a cap overage penalty when we look at their annual cap projection. Currently, I have the Canadiens sitting at $64.2 million, $4.8 million over the salary cap ceiling. The team does, in theory, have to cut a minimum of eight players when its all said and done, which at league minimum (which they are not all making) each would already be $4 million, so the Canadiens should be safe when the deadline hits.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Kings Cut Down to 29

The Los Angeles Kings cut four players on Monday and also have four players awaiting their demotion due to injury, making their active roster down to 29 players.  Included in the cuts today were Oscar Moller, Alec Martinez, Andrew Campbell and Johan Fransson, while Marc-Andre Cliche, Ray Kaunisto, Colten Teubert and Vyacheslav Voinov are all injured with the club and are using the team's resources to get healthy before they head down to Manchester of the AHL.

Remaining on the current roster are 17 forwards, nine defense (including the injured Matt Greene) and three goalies, all vying to make the opening night roster for next week.  Four forwards, one defenseman and a goalie should expect to be cut in the next week, leading up to the end of the preseason, so the audition is on for the few remaining jobs.

Anze KopitarDrew DoughtyJonathan Quick
Dustin BrownJack JohnsonErik Ersberg
Ryan SmythWillie MitchellJonathan Bernier
Alex PonikarovskyRob Scuderi
Jarret StollMatt Greene
Michal HandzusDavis Drewiske
Wayne SimmondsPeter Harrold
Justin WilliamsVyacheslav Voynov
Brad RichardsonThomas Hickey
Scott ParseJake Muzzin
Marc-Andre ClicheColten Teubert
Richard Clune
Kyle Clifford
Ray Kaunisto
Trevor Lewis
Andrei Loktionov
Brayden Schenn
Kevin Westgarth
John Zeiler

Salary CapOkay, so the math gets a little sticky with all the names on the list and we're only taking away four of the five players in red for the moment.  This leaves us with the 29 players that are understood to be on the active camp roster and these players and one buyout come in at an annual cap projection of $62.5 million.  That puts the Kings about $3.1 million over the salary cap ceiling, which should be easily taken down by the demotions of five players to the minors.  It will be close though.

Capitals Sign Hendricks

A hat-trick in a preseason game on Wednesday last week was good enough to warrant a new contract for Matt Hendricks, who was playing the Washington Capitals on a professional tryout. Hendricks signed a 1-year deal, cap hit not disclosed, and currently remains in camp after the team send down a number of players, reducing their camp roster to 33 players.

Hendricks has played 60 career NHL games over two seasons with the Colorado Avalanche, scoring 9 goals and 7 assists.  He was originally drafted in 2000 by the Predators and also saw time in the Bruins organization.

The Capitals have one more invite still in camp, Lawrence Nycholat, who is vying for a job on the Capitals blueline and has found himself in the final nine.  A full camp roster update will come when three or more cuts have been made.

Canucks Demote Schroeder

The Canucks cut their roster by 10 players on Monday, bringing their active roster down to 37 players, including three players who are on the injured reserve. Included in the group of players being sent to Manitoba included 2009 1st rounder Jordan Schroeder, who had a pretty good camp with the team, but it looks like its a depth issue that has sent him down.

ImplicationsSchroeder is another Selection Sheet casualty, as he was placed in Box 9, the Western Conference prospect box.  Schroeder can be called up from the minors at any time in the season without having to clear waivers and may be called upon if injuries are to happen, but you'll have to be patient if you want him on your pool team this year.