Leaf fans are getting a little carried away. Again. Anton Stralman? The next big thing? Even the local media is on board, calling him 80% of Nik Lidstrom. I have to laugh. He's a good prospect…not good enough to make THN's 20 best defensemen in their Future Watch issue, not good enough to crack Toronto's Top 5 prospects in that issue (and Toronto's farm system is only average), not good enough to crack Hockey's Future Top 15 Leaf prospects and HF has four Leaf defensemen ranked higher than him…but he is a good prospect with a bright future. He was signed because they had to sign him or he would go back into the draft. He was a seventh round pick two years ago. Nik Lidstrom he ain't. The guy is ninth on the depth chart behind McCabe, Kaberle, Kubina, White, Gill, Coliaicovo, Kronwall, Harrison and Wisneiwski. The best he could hope for in camp? Pass Kronwall, Harrison and Wisneiwski. That would make him the No.7 guy. An injury to Coliaicovo (which you can expect) would bump Stralman to No.6. Let's stay realistic here Leaf fans.
Dan Cleary had three points in the Detroit loss last night and Todd Bertuzzi had two points. Cleary also had six penalty minutes and continues to lead the team in that category. I see Cleary settling into that 55-point range as a second liner and I can see him continuing his aggressive play and pushing his PIM totals up next season to 60+.
I can't believe how much the Detroit media is fawning over Bertuzzi. It's like his agent is paying them. For the last two weeks all I've read are articles saying how Bertuzzi doesn't need to be a star, he just needs to fit in. What a load of crap – he needs to be a star! That's why they pay him the big bucks! It is his fault that the Ducks took a 1-0 lead last night with a brutal giveaway. Quit rewarding him with positive press.
The Chicago Tribune is reporting that the 'Hawks are already talking about a Toews-Havlat pairing. That tells me that they are unable to sign Handzus.
Ric Jackman played under 10 minutes in his playoff debut but did score a PP goal.
Carolina signed their 2004 third-round pick, rearguard Casey Borer to a two-year deal. He will not have an offensive impact.
Philadelphia signed Lasse Kukkonen to a two-year deal. His ceiling is 30-35 points at the most. The team also signed prospect David Laliberte, who is not a part of my prospects list and does not deserve to be at this point.
The Nashville Arena is no longer Gaylord. The naming rights have been bought and it is called Sommet. Not fantasy news…I just like the word Gaylord, and wanted to say it at least once on this site.
Dainius Zubrus will miss Game 5 on Saturday with a lower body injury. Drew Stafford will likely draw in.