Ramblings: Vesey, Kreider, Pouliot, the Hip and more (Aug 22)

by Dobber on August 21, 2016
  • Hockey Rambling
  • Ramblings: Vesey, Kreider, Pouliot, the Hip and more (Aug 22)

Rambling about… (Bah, why not) let’s hear from Dobber on this whole Jimmy Vesey thing …

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If you’ve read this far (as in – past the intro line) then I’m assuming you’re not yet sick of people giving their views on Jimmy Vesey as a Ranger. Right here on this very site you’ve had Cliffy’s take on it (here), Parker’s take on it (here), and from Fragopoulos (here). None of the three contradicted each other (trust me – they are more than welcome to) and each brought a different piece to the conversation. I agree with all three of them, and all I can really add is some shake-my-head stuff regarding the logic behind the decision (from both sides).

First of all, I’m shocked. I indicated this last week in the Ramblings that if he signed with anyone besides Toronto or Boston I would be shocked. And although the Rangers were (barely) on my radar, they were almost on that radar as a joke. As if the very thought of him wanting to sign there would cause me to spontaneously chuckle, regardless of what I was doing. I mean – why would he? It’s obvious that whatever he was promised in terms of ice time/opportunity/linemates that the promise won't come true. This is a deep team with a lot of skilled forwards with similar upside. So regardless of any promise, he’ll be shuffled up and down the lineup throughout the season. This would not be the case with Toronto, Buffalo, Boston or Nashville. On those four teams, a top-six spot promised would be a top-six spot fulfilled. On the Rangers? Hell no. So in my opinion Vesey agreed to one of the worst situations for both his short- and long-term potential.

A couple of players not mentioned in the other articles are Nicklas Jensen and Josh Jooris, neither of whom I had making the team. But with Vesey in the mix it’s almost certain that they won’t. And Jensen had been doing well in the minors since joining the organization. He’s 23 now so this is probably his last shot, or perhaps one more in 2017. Prospects rarely get a look once they turn 25 as organizations tend to shift focus away from them (give up on them) and instead look at the 19- and 20-year-olds. Jooris, for example, is 26 and the Rangers could care less if he becomes a career minor-leaguer.

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Correction – I do disagree slightly with Mike about Chris Kreider. I acquired Kreider on the cheap two years ago when his owner grew impatient with him. I landed him with pretty much zero expectations for the last two seasons. I had my eye on 2016-17 all along. This is the year that a player like that really comes into his own. He’s 25 and entering his prime four years (25-29). He’s a big (6-3, 226) power forward. He’s had just over three full NHL seasons of experience (i.e. entering his fourth year). As a Kreider owner, I must admit that I’m a little squeamish about his outlook for this season now due to the signing of a Hobey Baker winner. Even if Vesey turns out to be nothing special and has a poor rookie campaign – the fact is that Vesey will get plenty of ice time and PP time early on. And that’s at Kreider’s expense. Because Kreider is on the cusp (in my opinion), I believe he’ll eventually prevail. But the first few weeks of the season could see him stumble production-wise simply due to Vesey gobbling up a bit of his opportunity.

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Also – kudos to the Nashville Predators for getting a third-round draft pick for Vesey at the last minute like that. Now that’s good asset management right there…

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After seven years of writing for Puck Daddy I’ve decided to step down. At this point, I’ve decided that any work that I do for fantasy hockey should be for my own website or occasionally for Sportsnet (for the exposure). And any time that gets freed up should go to my family. But I love the Puck Daddy blog and have always felt privileged to write for them at all, let alone for as long as did.

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Some promising news for Derrick Pouliot owners here. I know that all we hear about each offseason for about 100 players is how they’re in the “best shape of their lives”. Blah blah blah. This article is promising, by comparison, in that Pouliot was singled out among all the Penguins.

“Derrick Pouliot is having a really good summer,” Rutherford said unsolicited after the Matt Cullen signing and reiterated after the Thomas Di Pauli signing this month. “All the reports are very good on (Pouliot). He's worked very hard. It's his time to jump in there.”

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Penguins recent signing, center Thomas DiPauli, was also a college free agent who chose not to sign with the team that drafted him. Just like Vesey, but without any media attention. But he strikes me as a possible Bryan Rust. We did profile him in the Fantasy Prospects Report, in the Washington section (the team that drafted him), call him a “two-way energy player capable of producing modest totals on the third line”.

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For those of you who like to track big changes in a player’s personal life (believe it or not, some poolies do look at this as a factor) – J.T. Miller got hitched this summer.

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Rickard Rakell has been added to Team Sweden’s World Cup roster in place of Alex Steen. Steen is still recovering from June shoulder surgery. The Ducks now have six players set for the World Cup: Getzlaf, Kesler, Gibson, Silfverberg, Vatanen and Rakell.

Before I forget, my projected winner of the World Cup: Team North America

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This week look for big changes to our Report Generator. It will improve/expand upon (or in some cases merge) many of the reports that are listed there, as well as add a couple of new ones. These reports will be far more helpful to you in terms of digging up new information and finding hidden gems for whatever category you’re looking at. Stay tuned. A couple of small changes have already been done, but just scratching the surface so far…

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Expect the Jimmy Vesey signing to be added to an update today for the Fantasy Guide. Normally it would have been done Friday, the same day it was announced. But I was out of town all weekend.

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The Tragically Hip has been my favorite band for 26 years. On the weekend I drove nearly four hours with my kids to an old high school buddy’s farm where he projected the final concert on the wall of his barn. The Hip put on a fantastic show and I’ll never forget that night. It’s hard to whittle things down to a favorite moment – the Hip giving their final bow; Gord Downie crying during Grace, Too – but here is another one:

 

You can donate to brain cancer research via this link