Morning updates –
Aleksander Barkov, in my opinion, will be an 80-point player in this league. Perhaps more. But that’s where I have him pegged. Whereas I think a lot of pundits figure him for 70 at some point down the road and an excellent two-way player. But I also think he reaches that big step before he turns 23. The Olympics will tell us a little more, as the Finns are without Mikko Koivu and Val Filppula. That means Barkov is going to be the top center on the team. The only time you will acquire him for a lowish price is now, as he may not get even 40 points this season.
Kyle Okposo is the top scorer in the NHL not going to the Olympics – so I guess if Pacioretty couldn’t have gone, they would turn to Okposo rather than sheepishly ask Ryan (referring to my blurb below).
Men’s Olympic hockey gets underway Wednesday with two games at noon (Eastern) – Czech vs. Sweden and Latvia vs. Switzerland. Odd that the games aren’t spread out so we could watch both. Unfortunate that most of the games that I would want to see are played at noon – I have to leave at two to pick up my daughter from school every day. I’m trying to convince the wife to let me take her out of school at noon so I don’t miss the third period. Not winning that one. Yet.
As all eyes shift from the NHL to Olympic hockey, just know that your hockey pool interest doesn’t need to end. I have an Olympics pool, free and courtesy of Office Pools, ready to roll. Just fill in your team. I’ll wait.
You can check out each of the Olympic rosters right here. Or, you can go through the list of Olympians broken down by NHL club here.
Not going to the Olympics, from what I’ve compiled (and feel free to add in the comments anyone missed – and I’ll update it here):
Steven Stamkos (Canada), Tampa Bay; Marian Gaborik (Slovakia), Columbus Blue Jackets; Henrik Sedin (Sweden), Vancouver Canucks, Lubomir Visnovsky (Slovakia), New York Islanders; Vladimir Sobotka (Czech), St. Louis; Mikko Koivu (Finland), Minnesota; Valtteri Filppula (Finland), Tampa Bay; Johan Franzen (Sweden), Detroit;
One player who is playing, or so he says, is Max Pacioretty. He left Saturday’s game with a lower-body injury but says it was just a precaution and he will be fine for the Olympics (for Team USA). It would funny (for anyone not named Pacioretty) if he couldn’t play and the Americans were forced to turn to Bobby Ryan…
Over at DobberBaseball the sixth annual Fantasy Guide is released Thursday and for a limited time it is selling for $5.99. You can pick it up here. DobberBaseball is coming off of a very successful year, with 2013 reaching 2 million page views for the first time in its history and a full, dedicated writing staff.