Friday, Sept. 11

by Neil Parker on September 11, 2015
Micheal Ferland - USA Today Sports Images


Ferland and Franson sign, Galchenyuk will have a new role, more Kessel-Corsby linkage and Bruins laughs …




There was another article thrown up promoting the Sidney CrosbyPhil Kessel combo, and this time at The good thing for fantasy owners is it doesn't matter which center Kessel skates with.

While I'm sure this has been covered, the offseason commitment from the former doughboy is what should have you excited the most. Perhaps, I'll be mocked out the door, but investing a first-round pick on Kessel isn't out of the question in my books.

Kessel has one of the highest floors of all skaters, especially considering his durability, and now has an elite center for the first time in his career.

Don't be shy. You have a shot to grab the Rocket Richard winner.




This was pretty funny.

I've made no secrets about my expectations for the Bruins heading into the season, and this sort of stuff makes me laugh. It means absolutely nothing, but perhaps, Don Sweeney's own words could serve as a reminder for him, too.

"There’s still an educational process [here]," Sweeney said. "These are young kids, and they need to understand they are now being evaluated as pros.

"Really it’s about going forward for each and every one of them. Some guys will return to their junior teams with the expectation next year that they have to pass. We expect them to pass," he said. "They’ll have to do some work as a result of it. But it’s still an educational process as far as their personal growth."

There is all kinds of room for the educational process to help the Boston front office. So we'll see what is ahead, but this was a welcome to the pros moment for GM and players.

And yes, I know the conditions weren't ideal for the tests.




Alex Galchenyuk is expected to take a shot playing up the middle, according to general manager Marc Bergevin.

This all but curbs the fantasy value of David Desharnais, and it could have a major impact on Tomas Plekanec, too. Desharnais doesn't profile as a top-six winger in my books, but perhaps he receives a look. I just don't see it.

If Galchenyuk plays center, it'll put additional emphasis on Plekanec's defensive role. Early last season, Plekanec exploded out of the gate because Manny Malhotra was being tasked with more defensive responsibilities.

It is safe to expect Galchenyuk to be somewhat sheltered defensively to begin the season, and for Plekanec to eat up a few of those tougher minutes. The problem for the veteran is it'll leave Galchenyuk fresh to soak up those softer and typically more offensively prone opportunities.

Obviously, it isn't as simple as that, and there is no certainty Galchenyuk sticks up the middle, but it isn't positive fantasy news for either of the incumbent pivots.

The article highlights the chemistry between Brendan Gallagher, Max Pacioretty and Gelchenyuk. We should wait for more clarity in training camp before making any assumptions about line combinations.

Looking at the positives, there is an opening in the top six for another winger, which makes Zack Kassian an intriguing player. He already pushes the needle in leagues with penalty minutes and hits, but a top-six role should enable him another opportunity to chase the offensive upside he has flashed throughout his career.

Kassian is a player to watch closely in camp.




The Colorado Avalanche and Arizona Coyotes swapped fringe defensemen Stefan Elliott and Brandon Gormley Thursday.

Both come with quality pedigree but are in need of a fresh start.

Elliott debuted with the Aves during the 2011-12 season with 13 points through 39 games, and he looked to be a solid up-and-coming offensive rearguard. 

Gormley has paid his dues in the minors and is likely ready to step into a bottom-pairing role. He has posted respectable point totals in the lower ranks and boasts power-play acumen.

Gormley has a two-way contract, according to, so he isn't a lock to crack the opening-night roster. He can be ignored in all but cavernous seasonal leagues. However, there will likely come a time when he'll be a sneaky daily play.

Elliott, meanwhile, is currently without a contract. The nature of his deal will have a significant impact on where Elliott fits in with the Coyotes. At first glance, he projects to have a fair shot at sticking with the big club. If management feels the same way, he could even be inked to a one-way contract, and his fantasy stock has some value, albeit very minimal value outside of the deepest of leagues.

Take a wait-and-see approach with each in most fantasy leagues this season, but they're far too young to write off already.




There has been plenty of discussion about Cody Franson, especially considering his deal appeared to be a given for a couple weeks now. Still, it seems like a solid grab for Buffalo whose facelift has them eyeing the playoff conversation.

Sometimes these things all click, and sometimes it takes longer than expected. Buffalo should fall somewhere in the middle, but if Jack Eichel can carry a significant load offensively, it could be an interesting season. They're deeper than many will give them credit for, too, and they can fill out their lines with veterans who are capable role players.

Franson is most valuable in fantasy formats including hits and blocked shots. Cliffy noted the plus/minus risk, which exists, but the NHL is quickly becoming a reshuffle league. The upside in those counting stats might outweigh the plus/minus blow. Might.

Here is Mike's take on Franson from yesterday.




My favorite late-round flier Micheal Ferland re-signed with the Calgary Flames Thursday.

And speaking of counting stat upside, Ferland has ample. Assistant general manager Craig Conroy added some additional ammunition for hype with a potential top-six and power-play role for Ferland this season.

“We’re going to see a big power forward who can score, hopefully.”

Obviously, outside of deep leagues including hits and penalty minutes, you won't be turning to Ferland on draft day. There are plenty of deep drafts out there, though, so go sign up for one and grab some shares of Ferland.




Thanks, all.