Ramblings: Does Tampa Need Stamkos? Laine, Boeser, & Dumba (Sept. 9)
Remember the good old days when there were 12 hours of playoff hockey on all day and I could simply watch until my heart's content and then write 1500 words on it? Great times. Alas, as the teams fall by the wayside and depart the bubbles, we slowly but surely lose our quantity of hockey. The quality should be going up at least.
We're down to a game per day and that means I'm left to search far and wide for interesting topics to discuss. So, let's talk about good young players who could move this offseason.
Dumba had a big weekend. He was named the most recent King Clancy Memorial Award winner for his anti-racism and community work. His courageous effort with the Hockey Diversity Alliance has been inspiring to so many.
This past weekend, it was also revealed by The Athletic’s Michael Russo that his name is out there on the block. "I am hearing from a lot of sources that they are shopping Dumba", Russo said in an episode of, The Russo Hockey Show. You can find the discussion about Dumba around the 39:00 mark of the hour-long show.
The 26-year-old has three more seasons at 6M per.
The right-shot defender just struggled through his most difficult offensive season since 2015-16. He paced for just 29 points after pacing for 50 and 56 the two prior seasons. Despite that, he should be an appetizing target for teams looking to add offensive punch from the backend.
From a fantasy lens, whoever trades for him would most likely consider him an option on PP1 – a place where he had to share duties with Ryan Suter. That could be a boost to his overall value. The same goes for the quality of teams who would likely target him – they should have some nice pieces to work with.
You never know for certain until it gets done (if it even does) but a move for Dumba could certainly end up improving his fantasy value. At the very least, I predict a rebound for him – whether that’s in Minny or elsewhere.
Just last summer, the Canucks awarded Boeser with a solid three-year deal worth 5.875M per season. It was something of a 'prove-it' deal. Boeser had taken the world by storm as a rookie, but his sophomore season was marred by injury and inconsistency. But with the team in cap trouble and Boeser holding quality trade value, the whispers have been out there.
In comparison to Dumba's position, a trade out of Vancouver for Boeser would more than likely result in a downgrade in production – at least at even-strength. The 23-year-old right-winger is best buddies with Elias Pettersson and the two have formed quite the connection at 5v5 over the past two seasons.
Until being supplemented by Tyler Toffoli at the trade deadline, Boeser had 39 points in 41 games in 2019-20. After the line demotion (and a return from injury) he had just six points in the remaining 17 regular-season contests. He saw similar results in the playoffs – skate with Pettersson and J.T. Miller on L1? Points come. Anywhere else in the lineup? Points don't come.
The double-edged sword is what happens with Toffoli. If Vancouver management decides they can extend Toffoli at a similar number as Boeser (maybe even less) and then have Boeser as a trade chip, then it could make some sense. If they decided to keep Toffoli AND Boeser, well, now we're a spot where Boeser may not be on L1 or PP1.
Does Toffoli walk in free agency? Well, now Boeser is back to king of the castle.
If the club did decide to move on from Boeser to help build the backend, then whoever trades for him would likely slot him on PP1 – good for us in fantasy. But it's very unlikely he is matched with anyone on the same level as Pettersson or Quinn Hughes to work with at even-strength.
A Boeser trade likely means a more secure spot in a less talented lineup. So, a wash?
Last week, TSN's Frank Seravalli – who despite all evidence to the contrary is 32 years old and not pushing 50 (sorry, Frank, I had to clarify), had Laine at the top of his Trade Bait List.
The 22-year-old sniper has been something of an enigma in Winnipeg so far in his young career. He's dazzled for long stretches and gone quiet for equally long periods. He's also just one of 14 players to record 40 or more goals in a single-season before his 20th birthday.
Ever. In the history of the NHL.
If I'm a club with a chance to trade for a 22-year-old Patrik Laine, I'm bringing my A-game.
Only 14 U20 players in NHL history have ever scored 40 or more goals in a single season. Laine sits 6th on that list.
You may need to light a fire, but once it's roaring, watch out pic.twitter.com/zznfD5qdSP
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) September 7, 2020
I feel exceptionally confident that whoever is fortunate enough to trade for Laine will immediately place him with the team's top pivot at even-strength and on the PP. That, my friends, would represent a nifty little upgrade for a player who has found himself more often than not on L2 in Winnipeg – a team that lacks a legitimate 2C.
In all honesty, I'm buying Laine in fantasy leagues whether he's dealt or not. He's an elite offensive player who is a good bet to continue figuring things out as he matures. If he ends up in a spot like Carolina with his good buddy Sebastian Aho, then I’m even more titillated.
Vegas and Dallas met up for Game 2 of the Western Final. The Stars ran a pretty nice defensive clinic in Game 1, but you knew the Golden Knights would be coming guns blazing. And they did. Outshooting and out chancing Dallas in the opening frame. However, Anton Khudobin weathered the storm.
Until the second period that is.
Paul Statsny broke through as the first VGK forward to score since Game 4 against the Canucks. He grabbed an apple on the second goal as well. It had been a very quiet postseason for the team’s second-line centre so this was a nice boost.
In the end, it was a 3-0 victory for the Golden Knights with Robin Lehner grabbed his fourth shutout of the post-season. He had just one goose egg in 36 regular-season games. Nice time to be an upcoming UFA.
Positive signs for the Stars are that they outshot and out-chanced Vegas in the final 40 minutes. No small feat. This serious should be a smashup.
Khudobin got the hook and rookie, Jake Oettinger saw mop-up duty. Expect the vet back between the pipes for Thursday.
The KHL is currently running its regular season WITH SPECTATORS. Crazy beans to see folks in the stands even if they’re spread out.
It’s early, but Vasily Podkolzin has grabbed a goal and primary assist in three games while seeing an average of just 11 minutes of action per game.
Vasily Podkolzin with his first of the KHL season. A gorgeous tip in front. pic.twitter.com/HlmLTDa49y
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) September 8, 2020
There were whispers that the 19-year-old had grown a couple of inches and put on 10lbs of muscle over the summer. However, I reached out to someone in the know and that has been deemed incorrect. Podkolzin remains about 6’1 and weighing 202-205lbs.
I have a big piece that I’m working on for EliteProspects diving into the deployment of youngsters in the KHL and how that affects their production and perception. But spoiler alert: Podkolzin is unlikely to see L1 and PP1 on this year’s SKA team. That means we won’t be seeing Kirill Kaprizov-like numbers.
That said, he has the skill and tenacity to push for 30-odd points in 50-odd games. That level of production will be very telling towards his early impact in the NHL.
A reminder: the KHL regular season ends in February while the playoffs end in April. Podkolzin, Vitali Kravtsov, and other expiring KHL prospect contracts will be available to cross the pond at the completion of their team’s season.
Don’t be surprised if the Canucks slide the 2019 10th overall pick right into the lineup for the playoff push. His brand of heavy skill was sorely missed against the Blues and Golden Knights this summer.
But seriously, we're seeing this Tampa Bay team run roughshod over the playoffs without their captain and a frontline asset. It seems to me that the team could quickly solve this lingering salary cap issues if they took a page out of the Oakland As and dealt a premier, expensive asset for some cheap, entry-level goodness.
Brayden Point is legitimately a top-five centre in the world. You could make the argument for an even loftier mantle, but I'll let someone else spill the proverbial ink. Nikita Kucherov remains a supreme producer. Do they really need a 30-year-old, oft-injured Stamkos making 8.5M for the next four seasons?
I know, I know. The NMC will nix any potential deal. These are the questions left rattling around my mind at midnight on a Monday.
No data at this moment.