July 4, 2014

steve laidlaw

2014-07-04

Happy Independence Day to our friends to the South!

 

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Former DobberHockey writer Justin Goldman is coming for a visit to Toronto! To celebrate Dobber is hosting an event on Tuesday, July 29. More details can be found here.

 

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As expected, things have really quieted down on the transaction front. The biggest moves of the day were made by Toronto signing Petri Kontiola and Mike Santorelli. You can find my take here but I'll talk about it in the ramblings as well.

 

These are mostly minor signings but they are good signings all the same. Good teams have quality depth and that's what this fills. The Leafs now run six or seven deep with NHL calibre centermen. Not everyone will play up the middle of course but they've got plenty of guys who are capable. These two also came cheap, which means (unlike last year's free agent pickups) they actually have a chance of outplaying their contracts.

 

So for Leaf fans, you should be happy your team was patient in free agency this year. They may have hit on some real bargains.

 

Another consequence of these signings is that it may bring up trade rumours around Nazem Kadri. It's already in the comments section of the fantasy take I posted yesterday as well as in the forum. Perhaps Kadri for Nail Yakupov?

 

I think that trade would be stupid but the speculation is out there and you don't have to go far to find it.

 

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By the way, the Leafs also re-signed Troy Bodie, if you care about such things.

 

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Forward prospect Brendan Ranford signed his first pro deal with the Dallas Stars. He spent last season with their AHL team after going unsigned by the Philadelphia Flyers. He probably won't amount to anything but he was an impressive scorer in the WHL. He had 33 points in 65 games as an AHL rookie.

 

My main reason for scepticism is how barren the Flyers prospect cupboard is and yet they couldn't find room for Ranford. The Stars have done a good job of developing prospects lately though so maybe he can be salvaged.

 

You can read more on Ranford over at DobberProspects though his profile does probably warrant updating.

 

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The Flyers re-signed Jason Akeson to a one-year, two-way deal. Akeson showed some flashes in the playoffs but will still have to earn his spot. He's a diminutive depth scorer but it is looking like he has the fight to stick around the NHL. He has nothing left to prove in the minors having scored 172 points in 208 AHL games.

 

As of right now Akeson appears setup to be the 12th forward but fellow prospect Scott Laughton may have something to say about that – not to mention it's a long summer, the Flyers may be looking to add.

 

Check out Akeson's DobberProspects profile. Laughton's too, while you are at it.

 

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