February 11, 2014

Dobber Sports

2014-02-11

 

Attention: if you are, or have ever been, a regular user of the Forum, there is an important announcement here.

 

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Time is running out to join the DobberHockey Olympic fantasy hockey pool. Sign up now!

 

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It appears far from certain that Russian forward Pavel Datsyuk will be participating when the tournament kicks off later in the week. He missed 14 games with a knee injury before checking back in for two contests right before the Olympic break. However, Datsyuk wasn't himself and didn't take face-offs at times as well. It is likely a more difficult decision for him to skip the proceedings considering Russia is the host and he is the captain of the squad, but he also has to consider his responsibilities to the Red Wings with the rest of the year still to come. Not having Datsyuk in the lineup would be the equivalent of Canada losing Steven Stamkos. So Detroit fans, should he play?

 

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Martin Brodeur reportedly met with Lou Lamoriello to discuss his future with the team. Cory Schneider is clearly the No. 1 goalie in New Jersey now, so Brodeur is understandably not happy with ending his career as a backup. He's in a tough spot this season for a couple of reasons. The first being his play is far from what it once was and the list of potential interested teams in contention wouldn't likely to be long. Then there's also the fact that Ryan Miller is on the block and he obviously makes a lot more sense as an addition than Brodeur right now. Especially if you can lock him up long-term. It's rare we get to see a player finish a lengthy career with one team anymore and let's hope Brodeur doesn't pull a Mike Modano and go somewhere for a cup of coffee just for the heck of it.

 

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Speaking of Ryan Miller, where does he end up? The two probable destinations in my eyes are Minnesota and Washington. Even though the Caps are sitting outside the playoffs and looking in, it wouldn't take much for them to get on a run quickly after the break with all the talent they bolster. They're still a contender. Washington's goaltending is up in the air as they have used three different netminders at times this year. No one has been able to sustain success for a lengthy period of time, opening the door for someone like Miller to be added.

 

Minnesota is in a playoff spot and they have added fellow Americans Zach Parise and Ryan Suter in recent years, which could make it an attractive destination for Miller. The only issue here is there have also been rumors the Wild want to take a run at signing Thomas Vanek in the offseason, so they likely wouldn't have the dough to sign both him and Miller this summer to long-term deals. It would cost Minny a handsome sum to grab Miller before the deadline and giving up that much for a rental would be foolish.

 

Of course there is always the chance Buffalo hangs onto him. Starting a rebuild with an elite goalie isn't a bad plan, although they would have to convince Miller to re-sign, which won't be easy.

 

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Remember Janne Niinimaa?