Mikhail Grabovski just may have landed in the perfect spot in Washington for a few reasons. Adam Oates is much more offensive minded than Randy Carlyle and even though both teams had similar Goals For numbers last year, Grabovski figures to get put in better offensive situations this year. The departure of Mike Ribeiro should also help his cause with added minutes. A one-year deal at $3M shouldn't bring much pressure and if he can hit 60-plus points, he's got a shot to cash in with a better deal next summer.
Speaking of Mike Ribeiro, it will be interesting to see what he does for Radim Vrbata this season. Not counting the lockout shortened year in 2013 where he had 12 goals in 34 games, Vrbata had averaged 26 tallies in the previous three campaigns. Playing alongside a creative player like Ribeiro it's not unreasonable to think Vrbata has 30-35 goals in him if he stays healthy.
If I were the Flyers or a Claude Giroux owner I would be mildly concerned about the news that he won't be attending Team Canada's Orientation Camp. His injury situation certainly doesn't warrant avoiding him this season, but tempering expectations for the early part of the year might be wise. Giroux should be ready for the start of the campaign, but finger injuries can be annoying and hamper the way you shoot. Not to mention that missing a large chunk of training camp can lead to a slow start.
Tiering players based on specific positions prior to your draft is a great way to assist you when making selections. It works really well for fantasy football and it is helpful with hockey as well. If you don't already use this method give it a shot.
Essentially you take a position and place players into different Tiers based on where you feel they should be. So if you're looking at centre you might have Sidney Crosby, Steven Stamkos, etc. in Tier number one. Then when you feel like there is a legitimate drop-off from one player to the next, you start a new Tier. You may end up with five, six, or seven Tiers of centres depending on your draft size.
If you value all the players similarly in a Tier, in theory it shouldn't really matter who you get. Meaning if it's your selection and you see 10 centres still available from your second Tier, and there are only eight selections after you before it becomes your pick once again, you don't need to reach for a centre. You know at least two will be waiting for you when the draft snakes back around. You could look at another position in the meantime and it helps prevent you from jumping the gun on someone. It's all about value.
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