July 27, 2013

Dobber Sports

2013-07-27


In what world does it make any sense for the Leafs to trade away Cody Franson? Rumours started swirling yesterday that Toronto may have to move the young defenseman for financial reasons. That's why inking Tyler Bozak and David Clarkson to those lucrative deals before getting things settled with their RFA's was questionable. By the way, Franson had more points than both Bozak and Clarkson last season. The sad part of this is as a Leafs fan, I'm no longer shocked by this level of stupidity.

 

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Winnipeg is starting to throw some dollars around as Blake Wheeler re-signed with the Jets for six years at $33.6M. The move comes after Bryan Little was re-upped earlier in the week with a five year $23.5M deal. Add in off-season additions Devin Setoguchi and Michael Frolik, and all of a sudden the Jets are slowly building an underrated forward group.

 

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I'll spare you my picks for the Canadian Olympic team right now as something tells me every sports media outlet is going to be going over them ad-nauseam for the next six months. I will say it's wise to wait on penciling everyone in until having a gander at the way the first half of the season plays out. There are always a few young players that get off to a hot start and in a short tournament there is an opportunity to catch lightning in a bottle, as opposed to selecting someone off of name recognition.

 

Staying with the Olympics, it's funny how a player's outlook can change so quickly. It was just a few months ago where Roberto Luongo seemed destined to be dealt from the Canucks, but now Vancouver is counting on him to be the starter again and Canada will be doing the same at Sochi unless something unforeseen goes down.

 

Canada normally has a huge advantage between the pipes in international play, but that is rapidly disappearing. Luongo and Carey Price figure to be the two goalies they go with, but it's hard to argue that countries like the United States and Finland aren't in much better shape in goal. I don't envy the Finnish squad's task of narrowing down their list from Niklas Backstrom, Kari Lehtonen, Antii Niemi, Pekka Rinne, and Tuukka Rask.

 

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Speaking of Finnish goalies, Karri Ramo will be hard pressed to crack the Olympic roster, but he should see plenty of time in the crease for the Calgary Flames next season. The Flames figure to be every bit as bad as advertised in 2013-14, but he has a chance to get the bulk of the starts and face a ton of shots. Ramo has averaged a .926 save percentage in his last three seasons in the KHL.

 

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A quiet signing from earlier this week was the Buffalo Sabres agreeing to terms with goaltender Matt Hackett on a one-year deal. He was made expendable by the Minnesota Wild last year thanks to the strong play of fellow youngster Darcy Kuemper. Hackett is an intriguing one to watch because he has posted some solid numbers in the AHL and if the Sabres do eventually trade away Ryan Miller to continue their rebuild, he could be a guy that gets a chance to claim the starting job down the line.

 

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The Wild will likely have some opportunities for young players to step up and grab a spot in their top six for 2013-14. Nino Neiderreiter should be one of those who get a shot to show off their skill set, but keep an eye Charlie Coyle as well. He led Minnesota in shooting percentage last season and posted eight goals in 37 games. With increased minutes in that group, I wouldn't be shocked to see his numbers climb.

 

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The Ottawa Senators have signed forward Ludwig Karlsson to a two-year two way deal. The Swede had 26 points in 32 games for Northeastern University two years ago, but missed much of 2012-13 with an injury.

 

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Anaheim re-signed Kyle Palmieri to a three year $4.4M deal. His chances look good for next year to build on the 21 points he posted in 2013, especially with Bobby Ryan now gone to the Sens.  

 

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Valtteri Filppula said recently he couldn't produce the points he wanted to last season. That's always nice to hear as a fantasy owner isn't it? Filppula is a tricky one to forecast for 2013-14 because it should be high risk/high reward. Tampa has some high end talent in Steven Stamkos, Martin St. Louis, and if he makes the team Jonathan Drouin. However, after that it's a pretty significant drop off and if Filppula doesn't see much time with any of the aforementioned three it could be trouble.

 

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Shout out to Puck Daddy for posting this video of Pavel Datsyuk displaying his slickest moves yet.

 

 

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Alex Edler will have a hearing on Saturday with the IIHF in Switzerland for his hit on Eric Staal at the 2013World Hockey Championship. Depending on the outcome, it could cost Edler a spot on team Sweden's Olympic roster in Sochi.

 

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Joel Quenneville has signed an extension with Chicago that will take him through the 2016-17 season. That's what happens when you lead a team to two Stanley Cups in four years.  

 

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Montreal may have themselves a steal by taking Michael McCarron 25th overall last month in the draft. The 6-foot-5 winger has the size that the Canadiens desperately need at forward and that fact might advance him to the big club in a hurry. He has a great presence in front of the net and has an above average skill set. Looking at this highlight pack McCarron reminds me a little of Eric Lindros.

 

 

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In case you missed the Dobber Nation podcast yesterday you can check it out here. One of the things we touched on was who is closer to capturing a Stanley Cup, Ottawa or Detroit? The topic came up when discussing Daniel Alfredsson's decision to leave the Sens in pursuit of his first championship. The Red Wings clearly have been the model franchise of the past quarter century, but an argument can be made that Ottawa is actually in better shape today because of some of the moves they made in the off-season, combined with a decent group of young talent. What say you, folks?

 

Feel free to follow me on Twitter at @amato_mike   

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