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It's been an awesome six-plus years here at DobberHockey… only two days left as the website manager, and you can bet your last dollar that these will be two ramblings/days that you don't want to miss.
My updated thoughts on Canada's potential roster for the 2014 Olympics (a seven update with a few lineup changes from my take from back in February).
My new lines (explanations are in the above link):
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From my favourite Carolina blog, Shutdown Line, an early look at the Hurricanes lineup for this season.
A lot of question marks on line three:
Drayson Bowman – Elias Lindholm – Zac Dalpe
Personally, I would like to see Mason Raymond or Damien Brunner signed for one of the wing spots on this line because I’m not 100% sold on Dalpe or Bowman, but if we’re going with what the team has now, this is a line I’d like the Canes to experiment with. Having three scoring lines will be important and you have three players who can provide secondary scoring here. It also features three excellent skaters who can tilt the ice in the Hurricanes favor and possibly play some tougher minutes to take some heat off the first two lines.
Being able to control territorial play is one thing Bowman did well last year and Dalpe has shown flashes of being a great puck-possession, guy too. If they want to stick in the NHL, next year is as good of a chance as ever for both of them.
Dobber offered up his thoughts on the Linus Omark signing a few days ago. Here are mine:
Great move with essentially zero risk for Edmonton. To those saying that the Oilers have enough skill guys, I say – can you really ever have too much skill? Even in a depth role, Omark is a massive upgrade on the below-average players that Edmonton was rolling out last season.
Nugent-Hopkins could very well be out for five or six weeks at the beginning of the season (still rehabbing his shoulder injury). Edmonton’s center depth even with the Nuge around is very thin… Gagner, Lander, and Gordon, essentially. Arcobello is in the mix, too.
With a fully healthy lineup:
I could see Yakupov and Hemsky switching spots once in a while. Gordon is definitely going to put up some nice numbers, even with the tough defensive minutes he should see. He will have some talented wingers at the very least.
Without the Nuge, I’d potentially look at moving Hall to center, or bumping every center up and calling up Arcobello.
Cory Conacher checks in at eight on the top 25 under 25 list for the Senators.
His play in the Montreal series illustrates that Conacher has the potential to develop into an effective agitator/pest player in the NHL. He visibly irritated several Canadiens players in the crucial third game of that series. Playing with that kind of edge more often will help Conacher cement his place in the lineup. While he has the potential to be a top-six player for the Sens, bouncing between the second and third lines seems realistic for a player entering his first full season in the NHL.
I may be alone, but I could see Conacher busting out with 20 goals and 45-50 points a