June 11, 2014

Dobber

2014-06-11

I released the Fantasy Prospects Report last week, but there will be a big update for it 48 hours after the Cup is won…which could be, uh, Friday. This is my eighth annual Prospects Report. My best one.

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Kings in four?

Quite the discussion as to who should win the Conn Smythe Trophy here. Weigh in! At this point, my vote goes to Drew Doughty. You take Doughty out of the Kings’ lineup and they don’t get past the first round. Or any round, for that matter. Jeff Carter, Justin Williams and Anze Kopitar are the only other players who I can say that about. This is a close race and my vote for Doughty isn’t a runaway decision – if Kopitar, for example, got three points tonight and carried the team, it would be enough to swing me.

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Logan Couture underwent surgery on his hand. He injured it in a fight with Mike Richards in Game 6 of the opening round. He’ll be ready for the start of training camp.

Here is the fight. Couture vs. Richards:

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Dan Bylsma is the favorite to be the next coach of the Florida Panthers, and what a great fit he would be. He was at his best in his first two years with Pittsburgh, when the team was extremely young and full of budding stars. And what are the Panthers today? Here are the six candidates – Bylsma, Marc Crawford, Tom Renney, Gerard Gallant, Bill Peters (Detroit assistant) and Ron Wilson. If Bylsma takes over, I can actually see a handful of Panthers reach and even exceed the 60-point mark. A marked improvement would be in the cards.

Speaking of the Panthers, they have apparently received a “fair offer” for the first overall draft pick.

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Joe Thornton, whose three-year contract extension hasn’t even kicked in yet, also has a no-movement clause. Yet every hockey analyst is in agreement that he will not begin the season with the Sharks. So where does he go? There are rumblings that Chicago is a possible destination. But I actually think the Maple Leafs will take a long look at a potential offer.

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Speaking of Chicago, the Blackhawks signed free agent Swedish center Dennis Rasmussen to a one-year deal.

Rasmussen, 23, had a productive season while playing with Växjö of the Swedish Hockey League. A native of Västerås, Sweden, Rasmussen produced 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists) to rank 10th in the league. Rasmussen also helped Sweden win a bronze