September 15th, 2013

Dobber Sports

2013-09-15

 

Have you bought Dobber’s updated Fantasy Guide and Draft List? Why exactly not? Buy it here and fix this gross oversight on your part.

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Its been a while since I last filled this space with spare thoughts, and I must say it’s good to be back. Somehow it doesn’t quite feel like hockey season to me just yet. But with the autumn chill returning to the air and preseason games beginning in earnest, I expect that will change soon.

 

 

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One thing I usually dread about the first few games of the season is having to pore over play-by-play sheets while counting scoring chances until timeonice.com gets updated (which always takes a while, if it happens at all). Luckily there’s a new chance counting app for anyone who cares designed by Joshua Weissbrock. Check it out.

 

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I was traveling in Europe for much of the past few weeks so I missed the various rookie tournaments, and I have to say: I legitimately missed watching them.

 

Traverse, London and Penticton aren’t the best places to evaluate prospects – the age gap between participants can be as big as six years and it’s the first hockey of the new season for most of the players – but the games are fun, and it’s a good way to dip your toes in, easing your way back into what promises to be a long, busy hockey season.

 

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From what little I did see at Penticton (two games total) I was pretty impressed with Jets prospect Josh Morrissey, Flames prospects Markus Granlund and Joni Ortio, and Canucks prospect Hunter Shinkaruk.

 

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Did you catch Taylor Hall’s non-goal in the opening twenty-four seconds of Saturday night’s Edmonton based split-squad game between the Oilers and the Flames? How about Alex Ovechkin taking a really scary stick in the face in the first period of the Kraft Hockeyville game in Belleville? Preseason hockey baby!

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Speaking of pre-season hockey, the Nation Network is hosting a Streakcred competition. It’s free to sign up and you could win $200 before the start of the regular season!

 

Here’s how you play: you pick teams you think will win every night and try to build a “streak.” The owner of the longest streak when the regular season rolls around wins 200 dollars.

 

Sign up here!

 

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If you watched any of the preseason games on Saturday night you probably got a bit of a taste of the proposed hybrid icing rules. Just to recap in case you haven’t paid close attention to this: the preseason will be played with Hybrid icing. Then before October 1st the NHLPA will vote on whether or not to keep the rule. If the players vote to institute hybrid icing, then the rule will be in place during the regular season.

 

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I’d be curious to hear some of your thoughts on this subject, but I can’t stand “hybrid icing” frankly.

 

Now let me be clear: I think it’s vastly preferable to touch icing, which too often puts defenseman in vulnerable positions. But I hate the redundant layer of subjectivity it adds to the game. It’s significantly messier and more confusing than plain old no-touch icing, which is a better system anyway.

 

Hybrid icing is, in my view, fraught with potential for human error and makes the game as a whole more difficult for new fans to understand. Still if it can help protect defenseman from potentially devastating injuries, then it’s certainly better than nothing.

 

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That Jared Cowen extension is a bit of a stunner. Over three million for four-years is a pretty steep price to pay for a player whose spent 90 games playing mostly on the third-pairing. Not to ment