Still Rambling about where Vesey will go, also Vrbata, Ristolainen, Alfredsson and more…
Welcome to National Jimmy Vesey Day! Or as I like to call it: Wednesday.
I updated the Fantasy Hockey Guide on Sunday. It was my fifth update, just to give you an idea of the frequency (by mid-training camp it becomes daily). This one had my projected goals-for by team article added. I also updated the Draft List so the unrestricted free agents have projections now (at least – the ones I can be sure will land jobs, that is). Thanks again for your support. I will have an update posted later today with Vrbata in the Arizona lineup.
Well what do you know – Vesey listened to pitches from four different teams yesterday, his first day as an unrestricted free agent. He didn’t rush off to the team that he wanted to sign with all along (as I thought he would). I’m thinking he is putting on a good front so that it doesn’t look as if he was negotiating before he was allowed to. Or, he is making sure that the team he is finally allowed to negotiate with doesn’t shortchange him (as they might if he tipped his hand to them that they were the team he wanted all along). I’m still with the Leafs here, but after that “wants to play closer to home” comment that circulated Twitter yesterday, my Boston pick is gaining ground.
We know Detroit is out of the mix. We also know that besides Toronto, Boston and Buffalo – Vesey also met with/will meet with Pittsburgh, Chicago and New Jersey.
First the Kings trade for failed goalie prospect (from Dallas) Jack Campbell. And now they sign failed goalie prospect Thomas McCollum (from Detroit). They signed him to a tryout agreement, but generally that means he’ll stay in their system and will fight with Campbell to stay out of the ECHL (Peter Budaj is in the AHL).
The Avs have signed Ben Smith to a two-way contract. No fantasy value there.
The Flames signed Jamie Devane to a tryout contract. I’ll be shocked if he makes the team.
The Blues signed T.J. Galiardi to a professional tryout contract. That’s a deep forward corps to crack, so I don’t expect him to crack it.
The Radim Vrbata signing is a head-scratcher, although I had a feeling that’s where he’d sign. When he went to Tampa Bay and it didn’t work out, where did he run back to? That’s right – the Coyotes. His comfort zone. But I don’t think there’s a lot of gas left in the tank and I doubt he gets 20 goals this year. Parker broke the deal down yesterday but he missed one player this signing impacts – Laurent Dauphin, who I felt would make the team and now he may not.
But this was a head-scratcher because the team bought out a better player in Antoine Vermette. I wonder if Vermette simply asked to get out of his contract and the team was only too happy to oblige since a buyout gives them free money towards the cap floor.
How boring is the hockey world right now? Well, there’s 50 articles circulating about how the Ottawa Senators are going to retire Daniel Alfredsson’s jersey number. That’s like posting an article about how the sky is blue. The least surprising, most expected thing on earth right now.
Here’s a report that quotes Dan Bylsma as planning to cut back on the ice time of Rasmus Ristolainen. Give him an easier workload. He plans to cut him back below 24 minutes per game. He had a great season (41 points) last year. But by quarter his points broke down like: 12, 14, 9, 6 (you can see breakdown by quarter easily – just click his name and see his player profile, it’s right there). His ice time was: 24:11, 25:25, 26:24, 25:08. So his ice time went up and his points went down. An easier workload should actually help his numbers, as long as his PP time isn’t cut into. He had 21 PPPts last year (11 first half, 10 second half).
Jurco has talent. Or at least he used to. The proof:
A United States Senator from Connecticut, Richard Blumenthal, is calling Gary Bettman to task for Bettman’s continued denial of the connection between head injuries and CTE. While it’s nice of Blumenthal to do something like this, Bettman isn’t listening. You see, Bettman already knows that there is a connection. But saying that he knows is like taking a billion dollars out of the NHL’s bank vault and flushing it down the toilet. So he’ll say that pigs fly, bears don’t shit in the woods and ice cubes survive just fine on the sandy beach in August, if that’s what it takes to earn his company the most money. And he’ll say it with a straight face and use every word in his Lawyer-Speak Handbook as is necessary.
When the connection is proven with 100% certainty beyond a shadow of a doubt, then he’ll back down. Only when he’s forced to. The NHL is doomed to pay a lot of money when this situation gets resolved, and all of Bettman’s circle-talking powers won’t save them a single nickel in the end (despite what he thinks). So he’s wasting his time. But I guess it’s good to have hope (that must be what he’s clinging to).
In case you’re interested, Upper Deck is producing a pack of cards for the World Cup of Hockey. Details here.
As always, DobberProspects continue to fire up steady prospect Ramblings. Read Monday's right here. I have added a link in the scroller at the top that you can click and it will take you to the latest DP Ramblings.
And the latest DobberProspects 30 in 30 piece – on Montreal – is here.