Ramblings: Kakko vs. Hughes (again), Carolina Goalie Conundrum, Trouba on the block? More (May 20)
In case you missed it, I had the Ramblings on Saturday, pinch-hitting for Ian (here). I listed my picks for landing spots for this summer’s UFA goaltenders. I invited you to make your own. You can also do this in the forum here.
A reader on Twitter (you can follow me here, you can always ask questions – I think I get to more than half of them, probably most of them though some slip through) asked for a list of league types that would be best to draft Jack Hughes versus a list of league types that would be best to draft Kaapo Kakko. I’m here for you.
In real world hockey, I still think teams will go with Hughes. Franchise centermen are just too valuable. And rare. But Kakko is making it interesting. In pure fantasy hockey points-only leagues (no positions), I take Hughes. I think his upside is about a dozen points higher than Kakko’s – even though Kakko may actually out-produce him in the first season or two. He’s certainly showing that he’s better prepared against NHL competition at the worlds. In fantasy leagues where the positions are separated – either C, W or C, RW, LW – I think I go with Kakko. It is my stance that wingers are harder to get in fantasy hockey than centermen. In goal-heavy leagues you take Kakko. He could be the Patrik Laine to Jack Hughes’ Auston Matthews (though he’ll get more assists than Laine). And with regards to Hits or PIM leagues, I feel that won’t make a difference in the above. I take Kakko in goal-heavy leagues, and leagues that require winger designation. I take Hughes otherwise.
The same reader also asked about Jacob Trouba and where he’ll end up this summer. Trouba is a player who plays hardball. We saw that already with his trade request (two years ago), the tough arbitration battle, etc. At arbitration he reportedly wanted $7 million then, how much will he want after a 50-point season? People are trying to force the Esa Lindell comparable down our throats but to this I say – nay. Besides the fact that Trouba is his own man and will push almost as hard as if his name was Jacob Nylander, he’s also a much better player than Lindell.
Winnipeg has $26.5 million in cap space but they have to re-sign Trouba, Laine, Andrew Copp, Kyle Connor, Nathan Beaulieu, Eric Comrie, Laurent Brossoit and Joe Morrow. I think that’s possible – but it will be close. But then they have to replace their UFA’s: Brandon Tanev, Matt Hendricks, Kevin Hayes, Ben Chiarot and Tyler Myers. And that’s where they need their money. Unless Trouba can come (he won’t) in at a Lindell (he won’t) number (he won’t) of $5.8 million (he won’t), it would be wise if the Jets just traded him. He supposedly wants to go to Detroit as he is a Michigan boy, and Detroit could easily restock the Jets’ defense corps with one of their kids such as Filip Hronek, Dennis Cholowski, Jared McIsaac, etc. I’m sure one of those players plus a pick could get the deal done and it would help both clubs. The Red Wings only have $13 million in cap space but they only have three spots to replace, so signing Trouba for a big number is doable. I’m 50-50 on this one, between his staying or being moved. But if he gets moved, I think it will be Detroit.
The Sharks not only lost the game, but they lost quite a few players. To wit:
– Tomas Hertl did not return in the third period after taking a high hit.
– Joonas Donskoi went to the dressing room after taking a puck to the face. He ended up returning late in the game.
– Erik Karlsson did not return for the third period either, likely due to the nagging groin injury that bothered him all year.
– Michael Haley got a 10-minute misconduct in the third period, basically cutting their forwards down to nine over the final 10 minutes.
As always in these playoffs, we won’t be getting any details on any of these injuries until they are no longer playing. Peter DeBoer did say that he regretted putting Karlsson into the game in the first place, so it sounds as if the decision was questionable at the very least. There’s no way Karlsson would be playing if this was the regular season. With the team’s season hanging in the balance, he may try to get back in. But he’s only half-Karlsson right now. He needs a full summer to recuperate. Do not judge his production by the past year and instead consider this offseason as his second buy-low window.
Pavelski’s injury is a concern as he has already suffered a serious concussion in these playoffs. He’s also not getting any younger. He is an unrestricted free agent. If he doesn’t return in Game 6 and the Sharks lose – this is how his season ends. What kind of contract does that mean? And if his health/life is on the line will he even bother to continue playing? He turns 35 this summer. Here is the hit:
If St. Louis wins this series they will return to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1970…49 years. But they’ve actually just won their most playoff games in franchise history with Sunday’s 11th win. Back then you didn't have to win as many games to go to the Final.
The Fourth Period is reporting that the Hurricanes will buy out Scott Darling. Cap Friendly adds that the buyout cost would be as follows:
Cap Friendly goes on to explain that as per the CBA, all NHL teams must have three goalies in their system signed to a contract. This would leave them with only two (Callum Booth and Jeremy Helvig). I suggested to CF that rather than signing Alex Nedeljkovic before the June 15 buyout window, they wait until the second buyout window to buy Darling out. This would reduce any pressure to sign Nedeljkovic because by then July 1 will have passed and another goalie will have been signed. CF responded that to open up the second buyout window, the Canes would need to have club-elected salary arbitration on one of their three eligible players – Saku Maenalanen, Brock McGinn or Trevor Carrick. This leaves them with two options – take one of them to arbitration to get that window open, or sign Nedeljkovic by June 15. A third option would be to re-sign Petr Mrazek or Curtis McElhinney. Anyway, the inner workings of the CBA are interesting (and overly complicated).
You can pre-order all of this year’s products, including the Keeper League Fantasy Pack and the Ultimate Fantasy Pack. The first item – The Fantasy Prospects Report – will be out on June 1 at 3pm. I’ve been working hard on this, as has the rest of the team. I’ve written and researched eight of the teams already, and have another nine that I’ll be covering. The rest of the 15-person crew has submitted more than half of their assignment already. As always I’m finding some great sleepers for my keeper league and I can’t wait to share them with you.
Speaking of the shop, I am happy to report that much of the back end work is complete. We are designing the front end of the shop and will hopefully release to the public before June. When that happens I will be able to start taking Amex (I think). And with all the legwork done, DobberHockey and DobberProspects will be re-launched shortly after. They will look very nice on your phone soon!
See you next Monday.
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