Top prospect Vladimir Tarasenko has decided to play out the final year of his KHL contract, rather than buy it out and cross the pond for St. Louis.
Cosmetic changes coming to DobberHockey today. Bear with me. Menu being moved to the top, with drop-choices to make navigating easier. The left menu to be replaced by a Twitter box with everything that DobberHockey writers have to say…
I'm not sure what Nashville is thinking, if they're close to signing a late-blooming undrafted defenseman. The deepest blueline corps in the league, from one through 10 on the depth chart. I mean – upgrade a forward or two!
Besides the Rafalski retirement, Doug Weight is also going to hang 'em up this week. Weight's not a shocker, though. Weight had 104 points in 1995-96 and he had 90 in 2000-01. He had 1033 points in his career and 970 penalty minutes – solid fantasy numbers for 1238 games.
Rafalski retires after a 48-point season – that's his sixth highest season in his 11-year career. You'd think he has three good years left in him still. So Rafalski's PP time will go to Kronwall. Kronwall's PP time will go to Kindl. And now Smith may make the team in the fall.
Thing is – Rafalski's retirement frees up another $6 million for the Wings, leaving them with $21 million to spend (assuming the cap goes up $2 million). They have eight roster spots to fill, with a good $6.8 million to give to Lidstrom (my estimate, because that would pay him more than Datsyuk). So seven spots and about $14 million. Lots of flexibility. If I'm the Wings, I pocket the cap space for a rainy day, and just build from within. Lots in the system. Maybe add two or three spare parts via free agency, but no big money FA's.
Mike Smith started okay (not that he saw a lot of rubber), but didn't steal the game for TB – 17 saves on 19 shots. Would Roloson have done better? Discuss.
Tyler Seguin – back down to seven minutes. Coaches who won't play young players because they're young….I can't stand. See Hitchcock, Ken.
Sean Bergenheim left the game with an undisclosed injury. Steve Downie, who left last game, was back in the lineup.
Los Angeles has signed prospects Linden Vey and JF Berube to ELCs. Vey is ranked 182 on my prospects list and is profiled in the Fantasy Prospects Report. Berube is not ranked, nor profiled. Vey has pretty good upside, but is three to four years away, so the wait on him will be a long one for fantasy owners.
Poor Bob Cole. Love the play-by-play voice and you can't beat his goal calls… but it wasn't Downie cutting in. It was Stamkos:
Smith and Thomas each with beauty saves…