Angus here – breaking news (not sure if any other sites have picked this up yet) – Daniel Sedin is out four to six weeks with a broken foot. Huge blow to the Canucks. Will be interesting to see how Henrik fairs without his brother. Expect one of Grabner or Shirokov to be called up shortly.
Daniel Sedin will probably not be in the lineup today with a bruised heel. Updated above.
Kris Versteeg – what a great player. You look at Chicago’s depth chart and you just don’t see a way for him to possibly get to 60 points barring a trade. Then he managed 12 points in the postseason …and six in four games to start this year. He is one of those guys who seems to always prevail – and that’s precisely the type of player I love to have on my team. He saw more time than Patrick Sharp yesterday.
With Chicago’s upcoming situation – lots of money committed for next season pushing them close to the cap, but with Keith, Kane and Toews still to sign – I have some thoughts on who will go. They will never get rid of Kane, Toews or Keith. Huet stays, unless Niemi becomes a superstar over the course of this season (he’s an RFA next summer too, by the way). Campbell is their prize free agent acquisition and so is Hossa – so they all stay. That means some of the fat needs to be trimmed from other areas. You may only see one or two players moved at the deadline to get a veteran expiring contract to help for a Cup push. The rest will be moved heading towards the draft. But I think Byfuglien is gone (99% certain), as is Versteeg (65%), Seabrook (45%) and Ladd (who is an RFA next summer and will get a big raise). They could also buyout Brent Sopel. All of those moves would cut them down to about $31 million give or take a million (didn’t pull out the ol’ calculator for the exact number, sorry). Assuming the cap stays where it is, they would have $25 million to spend. They’ll need about $8 of that to fill some holes and re-sign Niemi. Included in those holes would be Igor Makarov, who will be under the rookie salary cap. $17 million is more than enough to keep the Big 3 – but the ‘Hawks definitely have to move Byfuglien, Versteeg and one of Seabrook/Barker. They will probably need to move Ladd as well.
As for Patrick Sharp – I think the ‘Hawks really love what he brings to the table from an all-around perspective. Versteeg brings some of that too, so it will be one or the other who goes – but my hunch is that the Hawks would prefer to keep Sharp.
If Dumont fares well in practice today, he will return to the Preds lineup Monday.
Ryane Clowe (five games), Nathan Horton, David Krejci, David Backes and Milan Michalek (four games) are the big names without any points this season. Krejci came back to early, Michalek is off to his usual hot/cold ways and Horton and Backes will come around. Clowe is also pretty streaky.
Matt Carle has a four game points streak going. He has eight points in that span. He played 32 minutes last night. I still conservatively place him at 40-45 points for this season.
As a f