Thoughts on the BioSteel camp, the Oilers, Briere, some hockey notes from around the interweb and more…
According to TSN, Taylor Hall and Connor McDavid are building chemistry at the BioSteel Camp. I'm trying not to get too excited about this pairing, but it's so hard not to. How many generational players get to enter the league with a young, quality winger to play with right away? Sidney Crosby got Colby Armstrong. Alex Ovechkin had Chris Clark. If you consider John Tavares a generational player, well he got Matt Moulson (and rest assured, at the time Moulson was hardly considered a quality winger). So McDavid gets Hall and that absolutely helps his odds of making a big splash this year. Hall owners (wish I was one) must be pretty excited too.
The BioSteel camp doesn't seem to be an indicator of success by any stretch, but it certainly helps get players in shape and it's developing quite a reputation. Here are the attendees according to James Mirtle (just the notable names):
Chris Stewart, Anaheim
Max Domi, Arizona
Malcolm Subban, Zac Rinaldo, Boston
Carlo Colaiacovo, Buffalo
Andrew Agozzino, Colorado
Tyler Seguin, Jesse Blacker, Dallas
Luke Gazdic, Taylor Hall, Darnell Nurse, Connor McDavid, Edmonton
Devante Smith-Pelly, Montreal
Mike Cammalleri, New Jersey
Josh Ho-Sang, NY Islanders
Nick Paul, Mike Hoffman, Ottawa
Wayne Simmonds, Michael Del Zotto, Philadelphia
Jordan Binnington, St. Louis
Joel Ward, San Jose
Anthony DeAngelo, Tampa Bay
Tom Wilson, Michael Latta, Washington
Jay Harrison, Alexander Burmistrov, Winnipeg
Ray Emery, Paul Bissonnette, Nik Antropov, Lee Stempniak, UFA
Some things that I find interesting from that list:
Antropov really…really wants back in the NHL.
I'm very impressed with the commitment of Ho-Sang, Paul and DeAngelo. Max Domi, well I expected as much. But the other three – particularly Ho-Sang – is just nice reassurance.
I found this article on Justin Schultz timely, since I just rambled about him on Monday. It illustrates how often Schultz takes risks for the offensive opportunity, possibly at the expense of skilled teammates who may have been in a better position to take the shot. I would hope that a responsible defense partner will help him thrive in this role, but it would seem that he needs to consider passing the puck a lot more.
Not that you can blame Brooks Laich's poor numbers of late on his dating a woman, but for those that believe in that sort of thing – he announced his engagement to Julianne Hough.
I'll never forget the time I got a scathing email from a reader about six or seven years ago telling me how my Fantasy Guide is sorely lacking because I don't have key information like a list of players who are getting married in the season ahead, as well as players with pregnant wives. Now that's hardcore.
For the record, my Guide will never have such a list.
The Sedin twins try their hand at basketball:
A quick note about Daniel Briere, because he was at one time a "Dobber Darling" (as you guys have so kindly dubbed my favorites). He was a prospect I was high on, who I drafted, and who paid off for me. So those ones always hold a special place. If, between my two oldest keeper leagues, I draft about four or five prospects per year and you figure maybe two of them pan out, Briere is part of a club of perhaps 40 players.
He retired 27 games shy of 1000 and four points shy of 700 – a number he should have reached last season when he managed just 12 points. His best season was in 2006-07 when he had 32 goals, 95 points, 89 PIM and was plus-17. Of course that was a contract year. Poor Philadelphia…teams just never learn to be cautious when an unrestricted free agent is coming off of his best season ever. Though, to be fair, in the season prior to that he was just as good, it was because of the lockout that he didn't reach 95 points then too.
Chicago prospect Phillip Danault had surgery on his left hip. He's out for four months, meaning he'll miss training camp and will be looking at Christmas before he returns to AHL action. Also, thank you to USA Today for that article – because they didn't state that the surgery was successful. They allow us to assume that the surgery was as successful as it could be deemed at such an early stage.
Some other articles for you to check out on this hockey-dead, late-August day:
An article on Alex Stalock, and not a very flattering one. Left out the fact that Jones wasn't any better last year…
Catching up with Anders Lee…
Swiss League becoming a landing spot for "in between" players…
Guy buys a used hockey net on Craigslist, goes to pick it up, and the sellers turn out to be Phil Kessel's parents. And it's the net he was shooting on growing up.
Patrick Kane's lawyer is arguing with people on Facebook. What I find interesting is his lawyer, Paul Cambria, has the writing skills of an 11 year old. As a professional, even casual correspondence needs to at least have the basics in grammar covered. I couldn't possibly have someone like that represent me because I just don't consider him intelligent enough.