Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Too Long for Twitter

Sometimes 140 characters just isn't enough to put out talking points, so I'm hoping to develop this feature to be almost a weekly thing where I write 15 or so points that I wanted to elaborate on more than Twitter allows without destroying your feed. Hope you enjoy. 
  1. Ray Whitney signed with Dallas because they were willing to give him two years while other teams weren't. He threw up 29 points in 32 games last year and though he is pricey at $4.5M, how many teams that need scoring wouldn't want him right now? 
  2. It's funny now to think that Phoenix was trying to pry David Krejci out of Boston with a possible Keith Yandle swap not even two years ago in part because the Bruins had young Seguin waiting for a bigger role. So many people talk about sample sizes but hockey decision makers seem to make moves based on very little. 
  3. Dug up this old gem from a 30 Thoughts blog in July 2012: "Have to believe that, yes, Toronto's inquired about Jonathan Bernier. Brian Burke isn't doing his job if he doesn't. But there are doubts Burke is incredibly serious about him. Was he serious about Martin Brodeur? Yes. Is he more serious than he lets on about Luongo? Yes. Bernier doesn't really fit Toronto's stated criteria of a veteran in goal." 
  4. One other quick Leaf thought: When the Jets drafted Mark Scheifele seventh overall it caught quite a few people off guard (teams were trying to get into the top 15 to draft him, as opposed to the top 10, apparently).  The rationale at the time was that Scheifele was in junior B the year before and had a large development curve. Now, relate that to the Leafs first round pick this year Frederick Gauthier and you see the similarities as a guy who got drafted after his first season in the CHL, except he was coming from AAA midget hockey. I’m not saying Gauthier will develop into a high-end prospect like Scheifele based on a severe learning curve, but to be able to step into the CHL coming off a season at a significantly lower level and play at a high level to be drafted in the first round is impressive. This is how you draft steals.
  5. In the old days the NHL used to be all about signing veterans and having the young kids really bide their time. Nowadays, it's completely reversed. Why else are guys like Brenden Morrow, Damien Brunner, Ron Hainsey, Mason Raymond, and so on still unsigned? They all want a little more money because they are proven, and they've all probably maxed out their production rates at this point (maybe not Brunner, but he's the exception here). It seems teams would rather swing for the fences with their own drafted kids.
  6. When Detroit acquired Todd Bertuzzi from Florida the Panthers wanted Cory Emmerton but the Wings insisted on Shawn Matthias. I think Detroit did them a favour.
  7. Another interesting 30 Thoughts point from the past to read now: "GMs didn't have many complaints with Tyler Myers getting $38 million. "He had 48 points two years ago and 37 in what was supposedly a down year for him [last season]," one said. "You figure he'll get better and in arbitration, that's what those guys get." However, these same GMs would like to see Buffalo stop cutting $10 million cheques for signing bonuses." That contract is ugly right now, to say the least, and we're only seeing more of them getting signed now by younger and younger players (Eberle, Landeskog, even Henrique to a degree). 
  8. In that same blog Friedman points out a lesser-known prospect that looked good in the Traverse prospect tournament. His name? Brandon Dillon. If you still don't know who he is, look him up. Was awesome in Dallas last year. 
  9. One of the most confusing things of this offseason was San Jose getting serious attention for tracking CORSI to draft CHL players. The Sharks have had exactly one player drafted over the last four drafts (not including this year's for obvious reasons) play an NHL game. One. In fairness, the player (Charlie Coyle) was the only first round pick other than Thomas Hertl so they haven’t been drafting high; Hertl is also expected to make the team this year so there’s that. But one player is still awful. Not one surprise pick late has mustered even one NHL game yet and we’re supposed to be excited/care how they scout players? Results need to be there to justify that and I’ll be very interested to see what this year’s and the next few drafts produce (for the record I think Mueller is going to be solid). If they revolutionize scouting somehow and start churning out NHLers with their picks then this is a different story and I’ll gladly note that. Right now though, it’s just another team using a method that they think is best and it really shouldn’t be that noteworthy.
  10. Everyone is talking about how great Detroit looks on paper and I really feel like I’m missing something here. Swapping Brunner, Cleary (for now), and Filppula with Alfredsson and Weiss sure looks great in name value, but actual value? Brunner and Alfredsson actually had the same amount of points last year, but only one of them is rounding into his prime while the other is far past his. Then there’s swapping Filppula with Weiss- Weiss is obviously the better player but he better be healthy and that wrist better be okay because he’s 30 now and just missed a large amount of his last season. At least Filppula is generally healthy, and as the saying goes “stick with the devil you know, not the devil you don’t.” Plus Cleary was a valuable depth guy that I assume they’ll replace internally with Bertuzzi/Samuelsson returning (not sure either is as versatile as Cleary at this point). I guess what I’m saying is that Detroit looks more different as opposed to better to me. I think Detroit will improve because Nyquist, DeKeyser and Tatar are all really good young players more than anything else.
  11. Every year when the draft rolls around high profile prospects drop due to stereotypes that most fans roll their eyes at. A few years ago fans were rolling their eyes at Ryan Ellis and then Ryan Murphy dropping because they were studs in the OHL, but were very small defensemen. Ellis is expected to make Nashville this year while Murphy should at least push for a spot on Carolina, but I can’t say I’d be dying to have either prospect in my organization right now. It’s way too early to draw any sort of conclusion on either player, but I always have my eyes on them because their lack of height generated a lot of noise and I’m extremely interested to see how it all unfolds.
  12. I have no idea how Finland picks 3/5 of Rask, Rinne, Lehtonen, Niemi and Backstrom to some degree, let alone decide who the starter is going to be. If I had to pick today, I’d go with Rinne, but you can see how unbelievably important getting off to a good start will be for each of these goalies. The separation between the five will literally come down to who is playing hot to start the year and of course, health.
  13. Can’t believe team Canada is trying to sell people on their downfall in 2006 as a follow-up to 2002 gold was in part due to being too loyal to the gold medal winning team. Here are the players who played on both squads: Pronger, Sakic, Blake, Foote, Gagne, Iginla, Smyth and Brodeur. Now, do you think the problem was those players, or the fact that the 2006 team had, on international ice, Kris Draper, Shane Doan, Todd Bertuzzi, Bryan McCabe, Robyn Regehr and even big guys that were elite at that time but struggled to move quickly in Lecalvier and Thornton? Canada needs to respect the big ice and the real difference that it is. The players can downplay it all they want (I think they don’t want to admit they aren’t as good as usual on it, personally) but it’s real. What this really means is that players who are unbelievable skaters have to be valued maybe a little higher than they would be on NHL ice and vice versa; that means guys like Taylor Hall, Matt Duchene, and even Brian Campbell should really get pushed to see if they can play with Canada's best. Yeah I think Canada needs to stick to their physical roots, but they need to be able to flat out out-skate teams too.
  14. The only RFA contract dispute that I can remember in recent memory that actually got ugly which forced a trade/loss of said RFA was Kyle Turris and Phoenix. However, that marriage was doomed for quite some time before then and Turris was trying to force himself out from the beginning of that contract negotiation by asking for crazy money. If there are similar disputes that I’m misremembering I’ll be happy to hear them, but either way I am enjoying fans freaking out about unsigned RFAs right now.
  15. I’m not excited for the prospect tournaments to start just because I want to see the puck drop and some hockey played; I’m genuinely excited to see prospects team together and really battle. It’s a time to show off, to make good impressions, to go all-out. If you are able to watch any prospect tournaments, make sure you do. It’s good hockey. 


  1. Number 4 is my favourite point. Really awesome points though. If Taylor Hall doesn't make team Canada I will be shocked.

  2. Thanks, I appreciate that. Hope to make this a weekly feature type thing.