June 24, 2014

Rick Roos

2014-06-24

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Greetings again! I'm back for a third straight Tuesday Ramblings. Hopefully you've enjoyed reading these as much as I've enjoyed writing them.

 

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Some interesting developments in Philly yesterday, where new GM Ron Hextall is wasting no time getting his feet wet.

 

First, he traded Scott Hartnell to the Blue Jackets for previously rumored buyout candidate R.J. Umberger plus a fourth round pick in 2015. As usual, the analysis at DobberHockey was top notch. Personally, I like this trade for Philly, since as you'll read below there are at least a couple of reasons to be concerned about Hartnell's production for this season and beyond. Too bad the aftermath has gotten ugly.

 

Mere hours later it was announced that Hextall had inked Brayden Schenn to a two year, $5M extension. Schenn is right about where he should be in his development, although sometimes you can forget that since despite being only 22 it seems like he's been in the league for ages. Look for Schenn to take a run at 50 points as early as this season, with a chance to make a really big jump in 2015-16, which technically will be his magical fourth full season.

 

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There was also the hiring of Willie Desjardins as coach in Vancouver. Beyond the already posted DobberHockey analysis, one interesting thing I dug up about Desjardins is that – at age 57 – he's not just one of the oldest current NHL coaches, but the few who are older first became an NHL coach at a younger age than 57. Could that be something which stands in the way of him connecting with younger players during the team's likely rebuild? Doubtful, but you never know.

 

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As much as Andrei Markov re-signing with Montreal was likely the right move for both sides, I really had hoped he'd go to a team (like Edmonton) where his veteran presence and scoring ability would’ve made more of an impact. But now we can figure on Markov having a few more seasons like last one, getting somewhere in the neighborhood of 0.5 points per game, with 10-15 PP points.

 

Of course if somehow P.K. Subban ends up elsewhere, Markov's realistic points ceiling immediately expands to 50. Oh, and all this assumes Markov defies the odds and remains healthy yet again, as he's somehow managed to do over both of the past two seasons.

 

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And while most would label Curtis McElhinney re-signing with Columbus as a minor move – and basically it is – what it does is allow Sergei Bobrovsky to keep the same environment that's seen him produce back to back outstanding seasons. The familiarity and continuity of having not only the same back-up, but one who has exactly zero chance of becoming the #1 guy even if he gets a shutout every time he starts, is very valuable for a franchise netminder. Bob the goalie is poised to have a fantastic season.

 

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In other back-up goalie news, the Bruins re-signed Niklas Svedberg to a one-year, one way deal. Before we assume that automatically makes him the de facto back-up for Boston, keep in mind that his AHL numbers last season were just okay (2.63 GAA, .910 SV%) and I wouldn't be shocked to see the Bs end up inviting an unsigned veteran to camp. But this does suggest that soon to be UFA Chad Johnson will be tending net elsewhere for 2014-15.

 

And while Tuukka Rask is about as