Ramblings: The Fallout in Winnipeg, JVR done for the year (Feb. 26)

by steve laidlaw on February 26, 2016
  • Hockey Rambling
  • Ramblings: The Fallout in Winnipeg, JVR done for the year (Feb. 26)


The fallout in Winnipeg, JVR done for the year, Rinne showing some positive signs and more.

We begin in Winnipeg because shit went down there yesterday. The biggest news of all was that Andrew Ladd was traded to the Blackhawks last night. I broke that trade down for you here.

I waited all of yesterday for a deal to go down but the last I had heard before I went to my indoor soccer match was that Ladd would be playing last night. Then I get to soccer and my buddy asks me why Ladd was sitting out. “Oh crap,” I think to myself. Something happened. So I get home two hours later drenched in sweat and load up Twitter. Ladd traded. So still drenched I hammer out a column in about 30 minutes get a shower and it’s on to the ramblings. Fun night, though I do wish that trade could have gone down around 4:00 pm so I could have written the impact column with dry underpants on. Not sure my desk chair will smell the same ever again… TMI?

The Ladd deal wasn’t the only Jets news that broke:

Tank mode engaged. Not that Bryan Little wouldn’t have likely been out anyway but they are down two thirds of their top line now so the rebuild is on!

Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers have already been skating with Blake Wheeler for the past few weeks so not much changes on that front but you will see Scheifele start to see some top unit power-play time. Scheifele is already owned in 46% of Yahoo! leagues so there is a decent chance that if you want to act on this information that you will have to make a trade. Ehlers, on the other hand is widely available.

The second line with Mathieu Perreault takes a hit here. We might even see Perreault moved to centre to fill in the gap or perhaps Alexander Burmistrov or Adam Lowry gets bumped up. No ideal solution here.

The Jets also had a game to play against the Stars so let’s check in on how the lines broke down:














That’s all pretty well as expected with the exception of Perreault getting bumped to the second power-play unit with Drew Stafford and Joel Armia alternating alongside Ehlers, Wheeler and Scheifele.

Breakout game for Scheifele with four points.

Also having a breakout performance was Armia with two goals and an assist to boot. Check out this individual effort:

If Armia is going to produce like that the rest of the way, it calls into question the possibility of Marko Dano making the leap to the Jets to close out the season. It may in fact take another injury for Dano to get his opportunity though I think the Jets should try to make room for him to see what they have before next season.

I would also comment that the Jets, while clearly rebuilding, still have a whole lot going for them. Next season Connor Hellebuyck will be up full time and they’ve got another good goalie prospect in Eric Comrie putting in work for the farm team. They are also stacked with prospects even after graduating Hellebuyck, Ehlers and Andrew Copp to the top club this season. How stacked? Well, they have former first rounder, Josh Morrissey, plugging away for their farm team in his first pro season, ditto for Nic Petan who has already seen NHL action. They just added Dano, a former first round pick. Then they’ve got their two first rounders from last year in Kyle Connor and Jack Roslovic plus they’ll have two more firsts this year, one of which should be a top five pick in a draft where you want one of the top five picks. Auston Matthews or one of the Finnish wunderkinds?

I need to talk about Kyle Connor for a minute. He really ought to have been on the US World Junior team this year. He wasn’t and has since ripped US College hockey to pieces to the tune of 26 goals and 53 points in 29 games, which leads the nation, and all as a 19-year-old freshman. Your last freshman to lead the nation in points was none other than Jack Eichel who did it as an 18-year-old. The better comparison might be Dylan Larkin who suited up for the same Michigan team that Connor plays for now. Could we be looking at a similar mid-first-round steal? Dobber Prospects has more info on Connor here. My advice is that if you have him in a keeper league you hand on for dear life.


There were murmurs of the Stars trying Valeri Nichushkin on the top line once again, here’s what happened instead:














Oh sure, Nichushkin started on the top line but after the Stars got blitzed by the Jets in the first period Lindy Ruff threw the lines into the blender. For this season, it just isn’t meant to be.


The Jets weren’t the only ones breaking major injury news:

How long until we find out Tyler Bozak is done for the year as well?

There was a chance for some fantasy value in Toronto popping up before the end of the season if JVR, Lupul and Bozak returned but that’s looking pretty slim right now. Not looking good for the likes of Nazem Kadri, Jake Gardiner and Morgan Rielly.

The Leafs played last night, AND WON. They did find some offense from PA Parenteau who continues to be an intriguing piece in deeper leagues. Right now the line of Parenteau, Mark Arcobello and Josh Leivo has all the makings of an AHL top line but it was good enough to take down the Hurricanes.


For Carolina, every loss pushes them closer to making an Eric Staal trade at the deadline, no matter how small the list of teams he’d be willing to go to is. This whole situations just reeks of how things went down with Antoine Vermette getting dealt to Chicago at the deadline last season and then re-signing in Arizona over the summer. We all know that the Eastern Conference bracket is essentially locked where it is at so get on with the trading, Carolina.

Saw an interesting tweet yesterday that might excite you a little about the possibilities of Staal with a new team:

Not sure how much stock you want to put into this. The Hurricanes have spent much of the season underperforming relative to their possession stats. Some of that is because of having Cam Ward as their #1 but some of it is because they lack finishers. Staal has some great possession numbers but he’s got some of that late-career Dany Heatley shooting from the perimeter stink on him. But maybe… just maybe if the situation is right and you get some finishers around Staal there is one last run of productivity. I’m kind of grasping at straws with that one as I don’t really expect it.

Justin Faulk re-aggravated his lower-body injury when he made his return on Tuesday. Faulk was not particularly good when he played on Tuesday and then sat out last night. Wouldn’t be shocked if he misses another week.


Holy moly the Blue Jackets are enjoying spoiling things for their playoff hopeful opponents. The BJs wrecked the Devils on the back of a Nick Foligno hat-trick. Does that double, triple or quadruple Foligno’s scoring output this season? I kid, but Foligno has been bad and despite the four-point night you really can’t expect him to produce much going forward. Foligno has been skating on the third line with Matt Calvert and William Karlsson. It just happens that that third line clicked last night but I would be looking at Brandon Saad, Scott Hartnell, Brandon Dubinsky, Boone Jenner and Cam Atkinson before looking at Foligno. All bets are off if Hartnell gets traded, however.

Joonas Korpisalo continues to be the under-the-radar goalie option that everyone is afraid to grab but has been killing it for months now. Sleep on him if you want, I’ve stashed him in one league already and am using him only in favourable matchups, like last night’s. Korpisalo also makes a great goalie pick in daily fantasy as he’s under-the-radar on that front as well and comes cheap.


We may have reached an injury crisis in St. Louis as Jori Lehtera was knocked out of last night’s game after taking a puck to the face. No update on him yet. Why is this a crisis? Because Patrik Berglund was centering Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko. That’s like making poutine with single cheese slices instead of legit curds.


Pekka Rinne, ladies and gentlemen! He just beat the Blackhawks, in Chicago for his fourth straight quality start and he did it without Shea Weber in the lineup. 38 saves on 39 shots. Dare I say Rinne is turning the corner?

Weber, by the way, remains day-to-day with that lower-body injury of his. This reminds me of what we had going on with Faulk and John Carlson before him. It starts as a game-time decision and then all of a sudden he misses multiple weeks in a row. With the lack of information that NHL teams provide you cannot assume Weber will be back with any immediacy.


Erik Karlsson goes minus-four in a crippling loss to the decrepit Canucks and the Sedins didn’t even score? That just adds more fuel to the fire for Karlsson’s detractors. I am a staunch supporter who believes Karlsson is the best defenseman in the game. Some of the stuff people say about Karlsson I can only shake my head. I swear that Bobby Orr could be playing today and people would come up with reasons why he isn’t the best defenseman in the game.

Dion Phaneuf is most certainly not the best defenseman in the game but he did well last night with a pair of assists. That gives him six points in eight games with the high flying Senators. This move has certainly perked up Phaneuf’s fantasy value.


The Oilers scratched Justin Schultz and Teddy Purcell for last night’s game for precautionary reasons. I guess these guys are pretty heavily on the block. Todd McLellan indicated after the game that if they were still with the Oilers both Schultz and Purcell had a shot at playing this weekend. That says to me that something may be imminent. Heck, you may have already read about a trade that went down overnight that I haven’t yet gotten to.

Purcell strikes me as a guy who would lose fantasy value moving to a contender because having Taylor Hall and Leon Draisaitl as linemates has been fairly lucrative, even if only for stretches.

Schultz, meanwhile, could be more productive in a new destination but I almost feel like he needs to go through a training camp to have his confidence rebuilt with a new team for any chance of productivity to emerge so don’t look for immediate results if a deal goes down.

In the meantime, Zack Kassian looks to benefit from Purcell being out of the lineup. He skated with Hall and Draisaitl last night and scored the lone goal for the Oilers. We could be looking at 35-45 points with some excellent peripherals if Kassian sticks in that spot next season.


So the Ilya Kovalchuk situation just got a little more interesting:

I can’t speak to how legitimate this is but if it’s true:

1. You have to assume SKA caves.

2. Is this just a bluff by Kovalchuk?


This was already presumed to be the case but Jeff Petry and Tom Gilbert have been officially shutdown for the season with injuries. Will Carey Price be next?

This would be a good spot for Nathan Beaulieu to get 20+ minutes a game but he has missed time with a lower-body injury. Instead, at least on Wednesday night, it was Greg Pateryn skating over 21 minutes. No fantasy relevance for Pateryn except for the deepest of leagues.


Dobber looks at some trade candidates who would benefit from a change of scenery.


Sean McIndoe breaks down the 20 stages to learning your team made a trade.


Ryan Kesler lets us know how they play hockey in America with this latest contribution to The Players’ Tribune.


I’ve opened up a mailbag in the forums, which you can find here. Fire away and I’ll get to your questions this afternoon.


Steve Laidlaw is the Managing Editor of DobberHockey. You can follow him @SteveLaidlaw.