Matt Duchene signed a five year extension worth $30 million yesterday. He had/has one year left on his current contract.
Duchene will be a $6 million player very soon (if he isn’t already). I wouldn’t be surprised to see him score 40+ this year playing alongside Parenteau. It will be interesting to see how Patrick Roy utilizes his forwards – lots of talent.
The defense still needs some work, though. There is a lot of pressure on Tyson Barrie/Stefan Elliott to produce, as the Avs don’t have any other offensive guys on the back end.
Edmonton brought Denis Grebeshkov back from the KHL yesterday. He’s a strong two-way defenseman with decent offensive abilities, and he will definitely be an upgrade on the back end for the Oilers.
Grebeshkov very likely bumps Philip Larsen and Corey Potter out of the lineup (with the other five starting defensemen being Schultz 1 and 2, Ference, Smid, and Petry).
DobberHockey is looking for a few new columnists. A great opportunity to get your writing in front of thousands – info here.
Latest Canucks post – does Jannik Hansen have top-six ability? The answer may surprise you (it surprised me after doing some research).
To me, the key to the Canucks forward group is Zack Kassian. If he can perform over 82 games (or even 50 games) as well as he did over the first 10-15 games of 2013, the Canucks could really ice three strong units up front:
Kesler with Burrows and Hansen
And Booth with Higgins and Schroeder (or another center – Richardson, potentially).
Scott Wedgewood (Devils goalie prospect) doesn't believe that the Schneider acquisition hurts his long term future in the organization at all. I'm sure he is just speaking from a politically correct standpoint, but I'd say Schneider 100% hurts his long term future with the Devils. Schneider is now their goaltender of the future.
Have the Stepan-Rangers contract negotiations hit a… snag?
There is no progress regarding talks with Derek Stepan, sources report. Stepan, the club’s first-line center, is a Group II free agent without arbitration rights. Absent pressure points (or an unexpected offer sheet), negotiations with Stepan could well go into September and perhaps bleed into training camp.
This is classic Glen Sather. He has made a habit of overpaying for UFAs and nickel-and-diming his RFAs. I wouldn't worry unless this dragged on into September. I realize that is a long time to wait… welcome to the dog days of summer!
A look at Detroit's top OHL prospects, from Brock Otten.
Brock on Ryan Sproul:
I’m a big fan of his, but there’s no denying that he’ll have some areas to work on at the pro level next season. He’ll have to be more cautious on his pinches to prevent himself from getting trapped and his defensive game (particularly below the hash marks) will need to continue to improve. But the potential is massive. I’m really hoping he has a huge year in the AHL, but I could see him struggling initially.
Playing every day and amassing 25-30 points would be a great goal.
Nathan Horton had surgery earlier this week. And it was… drum roll please… a success!