Every Sunday, we’ll share 21 Fantasy Rambles from our writers at DobberHockey. These thoughts are curated from the past week’s 'Daily Ramblings'.
Writers/Editors: Ian Gooding, Michael Clifford, Cam Robinson, and Dobber
1. It’s now officially official. The NHL and NHLPA have voted to accept the new CBA and the return-to-play plan. Barring a massive COVID-19 outbreak either in the bubble or nearby, we will witness playoff hockey in less than a month. Training camps will open on Monday, with teams travelling to the hub cities on July 26. After months of virtually nothing to talk about, the stretch from August onward could be very jam-packed with hockey news both on and off the ice. Weekday daytime hockey may not be ideal, but it’s better than what we’ve had the past few months.
Here are key dates per NHL Public Relations:
– July 13: Training camps open
– July 26: Travel to Hub City
– July 28-30: Exhibition Games
– August 1: Stanley Cup Qualifiers Begin
– August 10*: Phase 2 of NHL Draft Lottery
– August 11: First Round Begins
– August 25*: Second Round Begins
– September 8*: Conference Finals Begin
– September 22*: Stanley Cup Final Begins
– October 4*: Last Possible Day of Final
– October 9-10*: 2020 NHL Draft
2. Player opt-outs have to be submitted by 5 p.m. ET on Monday. I don’t think there will be a ton of players that will go this route, even though just over 20 percent of players voted against the full CBA and RTP package. Travis Hamonic was one of the first, as he informed the Flames on Friday that he will opt out due to family reasons. In a statement, Hamonic attributed his daughter’s battle last year with respiratory virus. For that reason, I can wholeheartedly respect Hamonic’s decision here. (july11)
3. Thinking of the Lindy Ruff coaching hire, something else came to mind: where does Ty Smith stand?
I ask this because P.K. Subban is the obvious bounce-back candidate on the blue line. If he does bounce back, he’s a top candidate for power-play minutes, as are Damon Severson and Will Butcher. If we expect the Devils to be a low-scoring team – or not among the top-10 anyway – then their blue line probably needs PP exposure to have relevance in a lot of fantasy leagues. Just think of guys like Dante Fabbro or Victor Mete. Both of their teams were middle-of-the-pack scoring-wise, but both were stuffed down the depth chart for PP minutes, and so they had very middling production totals. (Fabbro was playing 19 minutes a night.)
4. If you’re not playing top PP minutes (