March 10, 2014

Dobber Sports

2014-03-10

Bob McKenzie reports that George Stroumboulopoulos will be the face of hockey for Sportsnet and he indicates that Ron MacLean will still be there but not in the main role. Meanwhile, Don Cherry is closing in on a two-year contract. We are all a-flutter when a guy like Roberto Luongo signs a contract that takes him into his 40s… how do we feel about Grapes doing this into his 80s?

I look at the Strombo idea as interesting, but insulting…to Elliotte Friedman. I think we all assumed Friedman would take over as “the guy” when MacLean was done. For him to get passed over in favor of a non-hockey guy is a slap.

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Speaking of Cherry, if anyone caught Coaches Corner Saturday, Don Cherry said what I’ve been saying here for years and nobody listens – that Steven Stamkos is the product of Martin St. Louis. (And by extension – Malkin is better. Just had to throw that in there). Sure, Stamkos is still a superstar and he’ll still get his 50 goals and 85 points. But not 60 and 95. Not unless and until Jonathan Drouin can replace St. Louis. As Cherry says – although Brett Hull was still a superstar (and a Top 5 fantasy own), he was no longer the 75-goal guy (and a Top 3 fantasy own) without Adam Oates.

Here is Coach’s Corner (Stamkos talk at 5:30) –

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St. Louis has one assist in three games for the Rangers. Not exactly eye-popping. So much for the chemistry with Brad Richards. But with him on that line, it actually makes the Richards line a threat to put points on the board. And really, since mid-November, have we been able to say that? Meanwhile, with that line as a threat, the other lines are getting it done.

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The two reasons that the Burke-haters had for running him out of Toronto -

1) For what he didn’t do (not sign big free agents, stood pat on deadline day, etc)

2) The Kessel trade

So while his highway robberies involving Kaberle, Blake, Giguere, Beauchemin, etc that brought in the likes of Lupul, JVR, Gardiner, Phaneuf and restocking the draft picks were ignored, the dummies focused on the above two issues. And now they’re starting to see that hey – not signing Brad Richards was genius. Not overpaying at the Trade Deadline and Free Agent Frenzy was the right move. And as for Kessel – let me ask you this:

If you knew in advance that you could acquire a player who finishes sixth in scoring, fourth in scoring and third in scoring – three years in a row. Would you pay two firsts and a second even knowing that one of the firsts could be a Top 3 pick? Nobody belittled the Rangers for giving up a first, a second, and Callahan for St. Louis. I’m saying that you can’t be down on a trade when it lands a player who goes on to become a Top 6 NHL scorer three years running.

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Funny enough, the guy going the other way in that Kessel deal – the pick that became Tyler Seguin – is now fifth in scoring, just four points behind Kessel.

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After 22 points in his prior 16 games, Gustav Nyquist was finally shut down Sunday by the Rangers.

I will say this about Martin St. Louis as a Ranger that does indicate that his production will go down by 10% or more &