June 16, 2013

Dobber Sports

2013-06-16

 

I wrote out some thoughts on the New York Rangers hiring of Alain Vigneault yesterday. 

 

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In terms of the fantasy impact of Alain Vigneault coaching in New York, it’s worth keeping in mind that while Rick Nash and Derek Stepan are very likely to receive the “Sedin treatment” from Vigneault next season in terms of their deployment, those two were already handled in a calibrated, offense oriented manner by Tortorella last season. While I’d wager that’ll become even more dramatic with Vigneault as their head coach, it’ll be a marginal difference as opposed to a seachange.

 

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Also, Vigneault has tended to reward solid two-way effort guys with plum offensive minutes in the past (think Chris Higgins, Jannik Hansen, Alex Burrows), and  I wonder if Vigneault might be worth a few extra points for the likes of Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin – especially since Vigneault will, if he stays true in New York to his M.O. in Vancouver, likely bury Brian Boyle, optimize the Stepan line, and use Callahan’s group to wreck opponent’s third and fourth lines.

 

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Finally, Vigneault’s teams in Vancouver were built around an active defense that looked to regularly join the rush. While I’ll be curious to see if he can overlook Michael Del Zottto’s occassional defensive blunders, ultimately I’d wager he probably can. Perhaps Del Zotto will get Ehrhoff type zone-starts and face secondary competition next year, in which case he could be a very interesting gamble a bit earlier in your fantasy draft next year.

 

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Ovechkin won the Hart, while Crosby won the Lindsay – which result makes more sense to you? I’m going to go with the latter, and by a long shot. Interesting and unsurprising how the writers arbitrarily penalized Crosby for missing time, while the players had no trouble identifying the league’s best player this past season… Anyway, I really think it’s time to take the awards votes out of the writers hands, it’s crystal clear that too many don’t care enough or don’t understand the game well enough to cast knowledgable votes. To their credit they nailed Subban as the clear cut Norris winner, but still, Ovechkin won the Hart, Toews won the Selke, and Brodin wasn’t even nominated for the Calder. That’s kind of embarrassing.

 

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My sollution? More “voted by peer” awards like the Ted Lindsay. For example, how cool would it be if the top-50 forwards in NHL scoring all got to cast a vote for the Selke? If you want to know which player is the best defensive forward in any given season, ask the guys he’s tasked with shutting down on a nightly basis. I’m pretty sure more of them would answer with “Patrice Bergeron” than with “Jonathan Toews.”

 

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Continuing on with hockey news, it was reported during the Hockey Night in Canada panel yesterday that the Calgary Flames had offered three first round picks (the 6th pick, the 22nd pick, the 28th pick) to the Colorado Avalanche for the first overall selection at the 2013 NHL draft. On the one hand, Calgary has an awful lot of holes to fill and a relatively shallow prospect pool that arguably stands to benefit more from three first round selections in a historically deep draft than just the first overall pick. On the other, if you have a chance to acquire Nathan MacKinnon or Jonathan Drouin at this years draft – yeah,  you should probably get MacKinnon or Drouin.

 

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If I’m the General Manager of a team with a