The Hamilton Predators! Wow – that would sure teach the Leafs some lessons…
Unbelievable – the Flames have hired Mike Keenan as their head coach. Funny how all the Playfair talk had died off and Keenan was snug in his European job…and now this. I'm not sure I would be so interested in Kristian Huselius now. He is coming off a breakout season that can only get better…but if he is not a Keenan player, and he wasn't in Florida, than it could change things. I'm saying be careful. I was about to pursue him in on e of my pools, but I won't now.
Keenan also has the ability to push an underachiever into stardom. See Jokinen and Thornton for details. Now, Matt Lombardi is certainly not of that caliber, but he is capable of 70 points and if anyone can get that out of him it's Iron Mike.
Florida has traded Chris Gratton to Tampa Bay for a second-round pick. That's a huge price to pay, I think Florida did well there. Gratton will be the third line center, BUT he will also get an audition on Brad Richards' left wing. Since TB does not have a lot of options there, he could very well stick. His fantasy value goes up and put his upside at 55 points for now and re-evaluate 10 games into the season.
The Devils signed their first round pick of last year Matthew Corrente to a three-year entry level deal. He is years away from making this team, which is why he is pretty far down my prospects list.
New Jersey also signed Jari Viuhkola out of Finland. He is 27, a former Chicago draft pick and he tore up the Finnish League. Guys – put him on your radar right now. He will make the team and if he gets any kind of chemistry going with Gionta he will surprise with his numbers. He is a pure setup guy and the Devils are hoping they just found a cheap Gomez. He is worth a middle-round flyer. He gets the Dobber stamp of approval as a sleeper.
The Devils also signed Andy Greene.
The Avalanche have re-signed Scott Parker. He'll get minimal ice time and see less than half the games.
Former Edmonton assistant GM Scott Howson has been named GM of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Andy Delmore is off to Europe. He signed to play in Germany.
Evgeni Malkin is in Metallurg right now (apparently) and so will not be around to accept his Calder Trophy win, which I assume he will get.
Paul Kariya would like to stay in Nashville, and the only thing holding up a deal is a budget for the Preds.