October 7, 2014

steve laidlaw

2014-10-07

The latest news on training camp cuts, injuries and more…

 

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Another big day of camp cuts. We sit just one day away from the NHL season opener. Psyched?!

 

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Ryan Johansen finally signed and didn't even need to miss any time. He'll still be rusty no matter how good of shape he is in. On the plus side, no team is in top form to start the season so he won't be in over his head.

 

Of course, Johansen will also be without both of his linemates (Boone Jenner and Nathan Horton) for the first month or so. That won't help him get off to a good start. I think that it would be a good idea to go trick-or-treating for Johansen come the end of a month where he will probably struggle.

 

The details on this deal are favourable for both sides. The Blue Jackets get a decent bargain on the cap over the next three years with an average annual value of $4 million but Johansen gets a huge boost in salary on the third year coming in at $6 million. That's where negotiations will start for his next deal, which puts him in a good spot once the deal ends.

 

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The Blue Jackets also made some cuts sending Kerby Rychel and a few others to the AHL. They also placed Brian Gibbons on IR in case you play in a SUPER deep league.

 

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As I've harped on a lot over the past month, I don't put much stock in pre-season line combos or really anything pre-season related. Still, I think it's worth noting that Patrick Roy changed up the lines yesterday skating Nathan MacKinnon on the wing for the first time this fall.

 

If Mackinnon is not taking draws that affects his value in FOW leagues. That's a low percentage of leagues but still worth noting. He had Ryan O'Reilly lining up at center and Gabriel Landeskog on the opposite wing. I don't think this changes the point projections but it's interesting all the same.

 

I actually kind of like the move as a MacKinnon optimist. Skating on the wing should make things easier as O'Reilly can deal with the greater defensive responsibility.

 

On the flip side, this becomes the Avalanche's de facto top line in terms of being the line that skates against the opponent's best forwards. This is because Landeskog and O'Reilly are such strong two-way players. This will eat into the favourable matchups and offensive zone starts MacKinnon might have otherwise seen had he been skating at center.

 

Also part of the shakeup, Alex Tanguay was moved onto Matt Duchene's left wing opposite