By popular demand (or should I say, head honcho's command…..lol), I'm back for another edition of Tuesday Ramblings. Hopefully I don't disappoint, after apparently setting the bar fairly high with my three week run in June.
Nashville highlighted yesterday's news. Their already thin center ranks were further depleted when Mike Fisher ruptured an Achilles. Recovery time is 4-6 months; however, this is one of those injuries (shoulders are another) where you worry it'll affect Fisher even once he returns "healthy" this season.
And going beyond that, with Fisher already 34 you have to wonder if this will officially mark the tipping point where he'll no longer be a threat to hit the 50 point mark going forward, as he's done twice and come within three points of doing three other times.
The Preds also signed recent buyout casualty Anton Volchenkov for one year, $1M. He's good for about two to three hits and 1.5 blocked shots per game, but little else. In fairness to him and Nashville, there are worse ways to spend that kind of money.
One time Leaf Jussi Rynnas inked a two year deal with Dallas. With Anders Lindback just brought in to back-up Kari Lehtonen, Rynnas is basically another spare body and replaces Christopher Nilstorp, who recently inked a deal to play in Sweden.
In other words – this signing has no effect at the NHL level or on the continued development of Jack Campbell, a top ten NHL goalie prospect according to the DobberHockey Prospects Report, which is still available for order here.
Two RFAs also have been locked up – Jeff Petry with Edmonton (one year, $3.1M) and Tommy Wingels with San Jose (three years, $7.4M), with each deal marking a healthy raise (Petry will earn a shade under double his 2013-14 salary, Wingels triple) and taking the associated player to UFA status when all is said and done.
Petry's trajectory has changed from possible all-around performer to a guy who'll throw his body around, as literally indicated by his 181 hits and 132 blocked shots in 80 games last season. The Oilers could ill-afford to lose him, but he was unlikely to want to forego any UFA years, hence this one year bridge deal. Look for Petry to be trade bait come deadline time.
Wingels outhit Petry in 2013-14, which is saying something. But he also showed some maturity and offensive talent. His ability to play in many spots without being out of place should guarantee he stays in favor with the Sharks. The question is whether he can rise to the 50 point level, which would turn him into a real multi-cat star. A lot will depend on when/if the Sharks rebuild, which would free up a regular top six spot for Wingels.
If you've read all the excellent Do