Ramblings: the latest on Lucic, Nichushkin, Sobotka, Trouba, Stamkos and more…
Milan Lucic has reportedly come to a contract agreement with the Edmonton Oilers. He, along with Jason Demers, has been touring the facilities in Edmonton while management puts forth their best pitch. Apparently, and I think the original source is via the Edmonton Journal, they have a deal worked out. No contract can be officially signed until Friday, but I think they can agree to the main structure of a contract and it’s just not binding. As in, if Team X wanted to waltz in tomorrow and offer $10 million per year he could walk away from Edmonton and it wouldn’t be tampering.
The Oilers have apparently also signed Jason Demers. Sorry, not “signed”. “Agreed to a contract in principle” maybe. Demers is not the answer and I don’t think this is a signing the Oilers should pursue. What they should pursue is a top defenseman using Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov. Take those two out and let’s look at a possible lineup:
Hall – Draisaitl – Pouliot
Lucic – McDavid – Eberle
Maroon – Letestu – Puljujarvi
Korpikoski – Lander – Kassian
Nurse Player X (return they get for RNH/Yak)
Cam Talbot (After December 14: 2.37 GAA, 0.924 SV%)
A marked improvement?
Vladimir Sobotka, after two years in the KHL, is probably coming back to the NHL to play for the Blues. He still has his $2.725 million arbitration award to play through for this season. Last season he was Omask Avangard’s best offensive player with 34 points in 44 games. Yes, 44 games. He was injured yet again. And therein lies the problem. When he left the NHL he had a career high 33 points and he did it in just 61 games. Clear 50-point potential and frankly I think he can get 60. But only if he can play 82 games! And he can’t and never will. The goal for fantasy owners should be for him to play 70 games. That’s the goal. And that means his ceiling is around 50 points. Expect 40.
Vancouver GM Jim Benning was fined $50,000 (or an decent normal person’s salary) for saying last week that he wanted to add both Stamkos and Subban to the Canucks this summer.
Interesting stuff from Boston beatwriter Joe Haggerty:
“According to a hockey source, Don Sweeney and the Boston Bruins “are preparing an offer sheet” this week for Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba as an aggressive option to land a No. 1 defenseman after trades didn’t pan out at last weekend’s NHL Draft.
The Bruins have watched Trouba closely for some time, and clearly have an interest in the 22-year-old D-man with size, offensive abilities and a workhorse nature that’s seen him average more than 22 minutes of ice time per game since entering the league as a 19-year-old…With Trouba, a restricted free agent, and the Jets locked into big money deals to fellow right shot D-men in Dustin Byfuglien and Tyler Myers, the writing has been on the wall for some time that the Jets would need to give one of them up.
Now it appears the Bruins may be willing to put their money, and their assets, where their interest is, and come up with an offer sheet that totals a minimum of $47 million for Trouba’s services.”
The 18th overall pick from 2009 has retired from professional hockey. How great was it for Montreal fans and Louis Leblanc to see a highly-ranked local boy go to the Habs? And after 42 games and 10 points for the Habs as a 20 year old, things were looking great. But after that, he couldn’t get it going. Last season he was in the KHL, the Slovak League and the Swiss League. He has decided to go to school at Harvard University.
Eric Engels is reporting that David Perron is very interested in playing for the Habs and that the interest is quite mutual. A great addition as a second/third line tweener who will score 20 goals and 50 points. The parts that the Habs are adding, assuming he signs, are really solid. But you and I both know that the reason the team will rebound is because Carey Price is healthy.
Matt Martin is reportedly looking for Deryk Engelland money – over $3 million per season. Crazy? Well, yes. But could he get it? I think it’s possible. Here are his hits, last five seasons (pro-rating the lockout year to 80 games):
You can talk about “home bias” on hits, but I hear that every year about the leader. Minnesota was supposed to be biased about hits, but as soon as Cal Clutterbuck left, that kind of talk magically disappeared. Regardless, even if you cut Martin’s hits in half – IN HALF! – he’d still be Top 20 year after year after year.
So Monday I dialed back my Steven Stamkos to the Leafs projection to a much more conservative 10%-20% chance due to cap concerns after being pretty bold and vocal about it being almost a certainty for much of the past year. It seems as though as soon as I dialed it back, 50 articles cropped up about how it’s likely he’ll go there. I’m often pretty stubborn about the positions I take, sticking to my guns until it’s absolutely time to give up. But on this I feel like a fickle little kid. I think he wants to play in Toronto, but I also know he could get $10 million from a team per season on a seven-year contract. And that’s way above what the Leafs can afford. Would he go there for $8.5 per year, taking a discount? Could the Leafs go that high? I’m gonna go back up to 50%, and that’s where I’ll stay until Friday. Or until someone posts another convincing argument.
Here’s Neil Parker on the Fantasy Sports Network with his take on ‘Big 3’ of this year’s draft:
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