Fantasy mailbag is open for the weekend – ask your questions here.
I really want to work a $ sign into Bryan Bickell's name, but it doesn't fit anywhere. Either way, he is going to get PAID this summer. Another goal (and an assist) last night. I'd say about 29 other NHL teams could use a player like Bickell on line two or three. How much does he end up going for?
Is he a legit second line scorer? Or is this just the latest John Druce postseason hot streak?
Nick Hjalmarsson had two helpers and 25 minutes of ice time – he stepped up in a huge way without Duncan Keith.
Pat Kane had his best game in a while – a goal and seven shots on net, and way more involved offensively (as the SOG indicate) than he has been in any other game this series (or in recent postseason memory).
The AHL's Calder Cup will be streamed online for free. Booya.
Andrei Loktionov will likely center the top line in NJD next year (or at least whatever line Kovalchuk is on). And he’s close to re-signing.
Craig MacTavish was on Edmonton radio yesterday – reading between the lines, don't be surprised to see both Hemsky and Horcoff elsewhere next season.
St. Louis forward Andy McDonald has officially retired, citing concussion issues as the reason. McDonald had a great career (too short, though), and he was instrumental in Anaheim's Stanley Cup in 2007 – remember him centering Kunitz and Selanne on the top scoring unit?
Will this have any ramifications on other veterans with concussion issues?
"The last few years too much of the focus became worrying about the next hit. I was always thinking about it." Said McDonald.
Retirement began creeping into McDonald's head during the regular season but it wasn't until after the Blues were eliminated by the Los Angeles Kings did he become 100% sure. He spent the last several weeks with his family and is confident now is the right time to move on with his life.
"I'm fortunate to get out now. I know I could play two or three more years and I love the game of hockey, but healthwise I know I shouldn't be playing."
For a little guy, McDonald always played with a lot of grit and tenacity.
Dallas Eakins had a second interview with the Canucks yesterday – the Stars and Rangers also like him. So did former player Mike Mottau, who played under Eakins with the Marlies.
Coaches have a significant impact on the fantasy performance of their players. Vigneault's radical zone start strategy helped the Sedins win Art Ross titles, and it also helped Ryan Kesler score 40 goals. What kind of impact would Eakins have?
His AHL teams were always stingy defensively, but it is a lot different coaching at the NHL level in terms of personnel and the focus of the game (AHL is just as much about development as it is winning).
The Canucks will have their AHL affiliate play in Utica, New York next year. They purchased the Peoria organization as they wanted to have more control over the development of their prospects (which they didn't have with the Chicago Wolves).
Vancouver doesn't have a very good prospect pool – here are some fantasy-relevant guys who could be in Utica next year:
Nicklas Jensen – top six upside, big winger with a great shot
Frank Corrado – mobile defensive defenseman with a big point shot
Henrik Tommernes – skilled two-way defenseman who is coming over from Sweden