Colorado signed Shane O’Brien, adding to their collection of 5 and 6 defensmen (Ryan O’Byrne, Ryan Wilson, Matt Hunwick, and Kyle Cumiskey). The top four will likely be comprised of Erik Johnson, Kyle Quincey, and Jan Hejda, and two of the above mentioned defensemen.
There may appear to be a numbers game blocking a prospect like Stefan Elliott or Tyson Barrie from cracking the roster, but a strong training camp would likely be enough to send a veteran or two to the pressbox.
2011-12 is a huge year for TJ Oshie. Does he take a step forward and become the star forward who packs a physical punch? He has the talent, the drive, and the energy to become a game changer on a consistent basis.
Derek Zona of The Copper & Blue is one guy I always make sure to read. He breaks down the current power forward situation around the league (a ton of fantasy significance for the growing number of pools that include hits in addition to PIM and offensive scoring categories).
From the column: “A couple of surprising names on the list are Blake Comeau and Brandon Dubinsky. I think both Islanders’ fans and Rangers’ fans are going to choke on their Cheerios when they see this because neither player gets much love from their fans and both take heat for being soft. It will be interesting to see the explanations.”
(addition: Derek is wrong regarding Dubinsky, but I don’t understand discrediting his entire piece – which I found quite insightful. Obviously there is no perfect measure to rank or even identify power forwards, but he does a good job).
The ‘Canes locked up Brandon Sutter for three years – his cap hit will be just north of $2 million per season. He’ll likely see some time in the top six next season, but he projects long-term as the third center behind Eric Staal and Zac Dalpe.
Sutter will consistently hover around the 20-25 goal mark, potentially more with increased power play time. A lot of his short term value depends on how quickly Dalpe can adjust to the NHL game.
There are rumors circulating that the Chicago Wolves are going to announce MacT as their next head coach. Great move – he's a smart hockey guy and gets the most out of his players.
Jonas Hiller has been practicing hard and seems to be on his way to a full return starting at training camp this fall for Anaheim.
Calgary's slowly-improving prospect group – the top 10 list.
A public debate is starting between Jhonas Enroth and the Sabres regarding a new contract. Enroth is one of only a handful of small (very small) goaltending prospects around right now.
More on my topic from yesterday – the Rangers need an offensive defenseman.
Some thoughts from Panthers camp from a great site – Litter Box Cats.
From the link above: "The forwards had their practice first, and three players who stood out to me were