Here's a behind-the-scenes look at the NHL salary arbitration process. I was invited to take part in the "mock" arbitration hearing, and ended up facing off against Brian Burke. It was quite the experience to say the very least.
We are going to hear it a lot more in the coming days and weeks – but this summer is going to be particularly crazy in terms of player movement (temporary cap drop, buyouts, and so on).
Last night’s game was phenomenal. More goals doesn’t always = more excitement… but that was exactly the case last night. Tuukka Rask made some great saves, but he still allowed six. Crawford’s glove hand was shaky all game long, but he battled too.
Kane-Toews-Bickell were really good – Bickell opened up a lot of ice for them, and Kane, in particular, was flying.
Sharp was the best Blackhawk I thought. Made several great plays defensively and had several grade-A scoring chances.
Nick Leddy barely played – injury or poor performance? Chicago’s other five defensemen were all pretty solid – perhaps Coach Q wanted to shorten the bench. If so, he sure did it early.
I respect the fact that he used to play the game, and I am sure he is a nice enough guy, but Glen Healy is absolutely painstaking to listen to as a color guy. More OT = more hockey, but it also = more Healy. Catch 22, if you will.
Patrice Bergeron won 400 faceoffs last night (this is just an approximate guess).
Hard to pull a ton of fantasy-relevant stuff from this series. Perhaps another great example of why veterans shouldn’t be overlooked. Handzus and Rozsival are two guys who people overlooked when Chicago acquired them (particularly Handzus), and they have both had huge impacts on this series.
Seabrook’s OT winner was almost an exact replica of his goal against the Wings in Game 7. Bomb of a point shot to the stick side.
Does Mark Arcobello have a legit shot at NHL minutes for the Oilers next year?
Right now, Arcobello is (certainly) behind just Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Sam Gagner, Shawn Horcoff and Eric Belanger on the team’s center depth chart, but that’s a position likely to undergo plenty of change.
Horcoff and Belanger likely aren’t going to be back by the start of next season, Gagner may get moved to the wing, and some new faces are sure to arrive. As such, it makes any prediction pretty tough at this point, though the best-case scenario for Arcobello is likely an open competition between him, the 2013 first-round pick, and Anton Lander for the last spot.
The Lightning goaltending situation gets a bit less murky – Jaroslav Janus will spend at least one more year in the KHL.
Helenius, Bishop, and Lindback all have one-way deals and would have to clear waivers for next year before getting sent down to the AHL. Helenius may be the odd man out, but he has a lot of talent and I wouldn't count him out in the goalie battle.
Will the Penguins trade Kris Letang? It sure sounds like they are hea