9/29/2009

Quote of the Day

"Six years, four teams and one celebrity girlfriend later, the longest holdout in NHL history has drawn to a close. Mike Comrie and Kevin Lowe both did interviews after the signing talking about letting bygones be bygones. I thought Comrie did a better job of selling his love for Big Brother - Lowe still seems to be struggling with thoughts that maybe the war with Eurasia isn’t going so well."

- Tyler Dellow (Mudcrutch)

9/28/2009

Prospect Draft Review

I'll post a review of each team when I get the chance, but for now I thought I would concentrate on how the Prospect Draft played out.

1. Duchene-C Col, The Edge

I suggested that he was the one no-brainer, no-risk pick. Terrific offensive talent, a good organization in Colorado, and he could make the Av's as soon as this season.

2. Kabanov-F KHL, Lost Boys

I had predicted in my first prospect draft rankings that Kabanov was the second best talent availabe, and he went exactly where he should. The latest in a line of Russian scoring wingers that includes Kovalchuk and Filatov he does come with two question marks; will he come to North America, and does having to burn an extra year still make him worth taking 2nd overall? The second question is Yes, but the first remains to be seen.

3. Kulikov-D Fla, Great Whites

You have to feel bad for the GM of the GW's, as the two obvious guys to take were off the board before he could select either at pick three. After taking his time to weep at the unfairness of it all, he eventually selected puck moving defender Kulikov. A solid prospect, but perhaps something of a reach this high in the draft.

4. Grachev-L NYR, Shadowmen

A big strapping winger with scoring ability, Grachev has the size, wingspan, speed and shooting touch to be a 40-40-80+ scoring winger. Unexpectedly dominated his last year of Junior and would be a top 5 pick instead of a 2nd rnder if the NHL draft were done over again.

5. Kulemin-L Tor Knights Templar

A young scoring winger, the advantage is he is already in the NHL and productive enough to be a depth forward. The downside is that Kulemin lacks elite talent and is likely a 2nd line forward at his peak. Solid if unspectacular pick could likely have been taken later.

6. Anisimov-C NYR, Shadowmen

Has already had an AHL season of ppg stats playing against men, is older than most prospects, and has made the Rangers out of training camp. Scores highlight reel goals. Projects to be a 1st line center.

7. Shirokov-R Vcr, Ramapithecines

Has emerged in Canucks training camp as perhaps the teams best prospect - including wunderkind Cody Hodgson. A speedster with an excellent shooting arsenal he rocketed up the prospect rankings as the pre-season progressed and he continued to flash his skills. Legit first rounder.

8. Tangradi-L Pit, Shadowmen

Compares well to Kevin Stevens at the same age. A wide body powerforward with goalscoring ability, the questions are whether he has NHL grade wheels, and how long will the grooming process take before he can contribute? Should have elite linemates when he arrives, and was undoubtedly higher than 8th on many teams lists.

9. Gilroy-D NYR, Shadowmen

A late bloomer, Gilroy was a free-agent signed in the off-season by Sather to bolster the blue-line. An all-round rearguard he has the ability to play both ends of the ice and has already made the team. What is his ceiling is the real question, as he may top out at the level he currently is at.

10. Carlson-D Wsh, Severed Heads

6'3, 215lb offensive defenseman had 76 pts in 59 games for the London Knights with another 22pts in 14 playoff games. Is still in the mix for a roster spot on the Capitals as a rookie.

11. Leclaire-G Ott, Knights Templar

Undrafted starter in Ottawa merely needs to prove he can stay healthy and hold off Elliot for the top job on the Senators. Could be the steal of the draft at pick 11 if he pans out, but given his injury history, and the team he plays for, the bust potential is also high.

12. Kane-R Atl, Personal Vendetta

A fast, robust scoring winger, with World Jr. cred, scoring touch and leadership abilities, on a team that craves all those things. Should have been a top 5 pick.

Round 2

13. Cowan-D Ott, Lost Boys

A miss-step IMO as coke-machine sized rearguards with little or no history of offense rarely translate into anything other than defensive specialists at the NHL level, no matter how highly rated they may be. See: Kristian Kudroc for an historical example.

14. Kadri-R Tor, Lost Boys

They make up for that miss-step with this pick, as Kadri was nothing short of electrifying in the pre-season and appears to have a strong future as an offensive forward despite being returned to junior. Will likely play a prominent role on the next Canadian entry at the WJC.

15. Benn-R Dal, Shadowmen

A goalscoring machine, Benn isn't a lock to make the Stars this year, but his offensive prowess will eventually earn him a role on a top line. A future top six gunner in Dallas, all he needs is time.

16. Eberle-C Edm, Scourge

Another in a long line of undersized Oiler forwards with offensive ability, Eberle is nevertheless in danger of being a 'tweener', good enough to eventually run away with the AHL scoring title, but not good enough to solidify a job scoring in the NHL. Still, he defines what prospects are about, as his potential is obvious.

17. Wilson-C Nsh, Ramapithecines

A goal scorer with the chest of a power lifter, Wilson's only blemish is that he lacks an elite NHL gear. Otherwise he is the heir apparent to Jason Arnott in Nashville, and plays a very similar game. A second round steal.

18. R.Ellis-D Nsh, Scourge

The knocks against him are obvious; he's tiny (5'8"), and he is part of a Predator blue-line corps already stacked with NHL talent. That said, his game is ridiculously good, especially on the powerplay where he has an NHL caliber shot and elite passing ability.

19. Neal-R Dal, Ramapithecines

An un-drafted by the FUNHL sophomore who has already made the Stars team, Neal brings a Brendan Morrow type of skillset to the game, and has similar upside. Looks like another 2nd round steal for the knuckledraggers.

20. Myers-D Buf, Bladerunners

Another coke-machine defenseman. See: Cowan above.

21. Helm-L Det, Bladerunners

I understand the appeal, he's faster than a Catholic school girl with a birth control prescription, he plays the game with abandon, he's a Red Wing, and he's young. But the truth is he is more likely to develop in the mold of super-checker Kris Draper than anything else - and that kind of player, though valuable in the real world, is useless in the FUNHL.

22. Subban-D Mtl, Bladerunners

Easily the best of the three Bladerunner picks, Subban is a river-boat gambler on the blue-line with exceptional mobility and offensive instincts, and he should see action as soon as this season.

23. Del Zotto-D NYR, Highlanders

A pure offensive defenseman, he may even make the Rangers blue-line this year. Lots of upside as he can run the powerplay, pinch with aplomb, and possesses a bullet shot. Could be FUNHL dressable as soon as next year.

24. Eller-L StL, Personal Vendetta

The slick Dane is a very talented two-way forward with strong offensive tools, he'll land in a top-six role for the Blues once he completes his maturation process overseas.

Round Three

25. Boychuk-L Car, Personal Vendetta

A smallish scoring winger in the mold of Ray Whitney. Has top shelf offensive ability and nearly made the Canes last year out of training camp. Would not have been out of place in the first round of the prospect draft given his scoring potential.

26. Colburne-C Bos, Lost Boys

A 6'6" skill pivot, Colburne is gradually adding mass to his goliath frame while playing in College. Known more for being a playmaker than goal scorer, he projects as a first line center in the Joe Thornton mold once he gets his muscles to catch up to his physique. Will need more time to mature than most prospects, and is a project, but could have big upside.

27. Fleischmann-L Wsh, Edge

The former Red Wing prospect is a scoring winger who because of injury went un-drafted in the FUNHL. Has the skills to do damage on the Capitals second line. Unfortunately, he's as fragile as they come, so even though he is older and more capable than most prospects, his upside is limited. That said, a clever pick by the Edge Gm as he neatly backs up FP Ovechkin should OV ever go down with an injury.

28. Pacioretty-R Mtl, Bladerunners

A burgeoning power-forward with goal scoring ability, Pacioretty looks prepared to win a spot on the Canadiens this year, and could even work his way up to a scoring line. Does not appear to have elite hands or speed, but makes up for it with hard work and hitting. A strong selection for the third round.

29. Radulov-R KHL, Highlanders

Once highly sought after 1st overall prospect, now overseas headcase. Too much talent to ignore, Radulov may eventually work his way back to the NHL. Nice long shot pick given the obvious upside should he return.

30. Zherdev-L KHL, Ramapithecines

Unlike Radulov, Zherdev managed to flame out first before heading overseas. A terrific talent, but with an indifferent work ethic, Zherdev has never lived up to his early draft spot despite flashing world class speed, shot and skill. Winning his arbitration was the last straw for the Rangers, and they let him go to free agency, where he languished before jetting off to the Motherland. More likely than Radulov to return, he also lacks Radulov's upside.

31. McLeod-L Col, Knights Templar

A marginal NHL talent, McLeod has carved out a third line role with the Avs by being a willing pugilist and checker. Lacks anything resembling upside, but could be an injury replacement goon. All in all, something of a weak pick, but could end up being useful in small doses.

32. Repik-R Fla, Shadowmen

Repik is the latest in a long line of Euro-prospects moving up through the Panther system. Like the previous (Olesz, Nilsson, Frolik, Huselius, etc.) he possesses more than a modicum of speed and skill. Like the others he will have to show he actually has the goods before we should get too excited. A decent pick for the third round.

33. Kindl-D Det, Shadowmen

A big, mobile defender with a booming shot, Kindl is on his second go-round as a prospect, largely because the Wings system is so deep that Kindl simply can't crack the top powerplay or log big enough minutes to earn anything like offensive points. Solid long term project in the event Lidstrom ever shows his age.

34. McBain-D Car, Highlanders

A name best said with a Schwarzenegger accent (Simpson's fans will get this). A solid offensive blue-line prospect with decent size and mobility. A good bet to crack the top 6 defensemen in the next couple of years.

35. Plekanec-C Mtl

Undrafted pivot wasn't deemed worthy of even a fourth line spot in the FUNHL, but somehow swings himself a prospect designation for 4 years plus an RFA. Has an outside shot at being an injury replacement, but is of marginal value even in those circumstances.

36. Stoa-L Col, Edge

Future power-forward has goal scoring ability and size that teams covet. Just finishing his four years at College, he should be ready for the NHL soon. Nicely matches up with Edge first overall pick Duchene. Terrific late round selection, but Edge mgt have to be patient.

37. Garon-G Clb, Ramapithecines

Backup goalie only useful in case of injury to starter starter Steve Mason. If he makes it to a second season of prospect status it will be a miracle.

38. McFarland-C OHL, Severed Heads

Projects to be a high draft pick in the NHL for 2010. Skillset is very similar to LA's Brayden Schenn, in that he has offensive ability and grit. Downside is the year burned by taking him as a 17 year old.

39. Rolston-L NJ, Personal Vendetta

No longer a scoring threat, Rolston will patrol one of the checking lines in New Jersey. A plane crash would have to occur before he would be a viable option to dress in the FUNHL. Somebody should make sure the PV Gm isn't buying box cutters and taking flying lessons.

40. Markstrom-G Fla, Edge

Large sized, athletic goaltender is highly rated and the likely heir apparent to the aging Tomas Vokoun. A few years away still, but a future starting goaltender in the making. Awesome late round pick.

41. Nugent-Hopkins-C WHL, Severed Heads

Heads Mgt once again forecasts the future and takes a 16 year old scoring sensation, this time from the dub. Nugent-Hopkins burst on the scene with 6 points in 5 WHL games as a 15 year old and is an early candidate to go 1st overall in 2011. Another 'swing for the fences' pick of the type favored by Heads mgt.

42. Montoya-G Phx, Personal Vendetta

A bust in the Rangers system, Montoya has been slowly working his way up the ladder in Phoenix. Despite being on a team desperate for netminding, Montoya has yet to prove he can do the job, but remains an option for the team as they develop with kids.

43. Goncharov-D Phx, Personal Vendetta

Completing the prospect draft is Goncharov, a smooth all-purpose defender with some strong offensive skills, he was inexplicably taken over the highly regarded offensive blue-liner Ekman-Larrson from the same team. May develop into a Wade Redden two-way type.

Left On The Table:

Blum-D Nsh - similar skillset and issues as Ellis, but a year further in his development.

Smith-D Det - another offensive defenseman logjammed in the Detroit system.

Granlund-F Fin - offensive sparkplug is racking up points against stiff competition in the SEL.

Schroeder-L Vcr - top pick of the Canucks has excellent skills, and is similar to Parise

Gerbe-C Buf - Theo Fleury sized gunner lead the AHL in scoring last year

Ekman-Larson-D Phx - pure offense from the D-spot.

Gustaffson-G Tor - Leaf fans already in love with 'Monster'

Moore-D Clb - Looks to have made the team. All round rearguard should advance gradually.

Tedendby-L NJ - Top offensive prospect in Jersey.

Schneider-G Vcr - Luongo's heir apparent is likely trade bait as he is ready now.

Beach-L Chi - power forward prospect part of deep system of talent for the Hawks

Tikhonov-C Phx - all purpose offensive forward will get seasoning in AHL

Rundblad-D StL - offense-first defenseman will mature in Sweden for another year

Nemisz-C Cgy - strapping power pivot was returned to junior for another season

Mathias-C Fla - big, strong potential second line center was cut and not redrafted

Ferarro-L Det - offensively skilled 1st rounder joins an excellent system, but will be two years away at least.

FunHL Challenge Cup Schedule 2009-2010




Hello Hockey Pool Fans!

UPDATE: I've reposted this from my previous post in July as we are now at the start of the Challenge Cup season! Remember that the first week is a very short 3-day week of games from Thursday thru Saturday. Game on and drop the puck!

Yes, the dark days of the offseason are now upon us and the puck will not officially drop for another 2 months but that doesn't mean that we can't get geared up for the season to come.

The NHL released their schedule a few weeks ago and I have now had a chance to create ours.

As usual, everyone plays nine of the other teams in a series of home-and-away games, and two neutral-site games against the remaining two teams. Neutral site games are against teams that have only played each other in one previous neutral site match-up in previous seasons. The home-and-away series against the non-neutral site teams are expanding on a twist I introduced last season: back-to-back home-and-home games all season long against all nine other teams. The hope is that teams will really be able to make ground on their rivals in the standings, or fall further behind, with this format.

Week one opens on Thursday October 1st until Sunday October 3rd and will be a neutral-site game as the Challenge Cup, and Predator Cup, Champion Personal Vendetta take on the Ramapithicines. Games continue starting every Monday thru Sunday until the conclusion of the FunHL regular season in week 20 on Sunday February 14th with the top four teams in the regular season making the playoffs. Two pts for a win, one pt for a tie (within one pt for the teams' FunHL stats for that week). Tie breakers are based on most wins, head-to-head record, pts scored in head-to-head games, FunHL Predator Cup standings.

With the Olympic break, the NHL's season is only 26 weeks long as opposed to 27 weeks last season so there will be no All-Star Game this year - just as in the NHL. The Olympic break also fits nicely into our schedule such that the FunHL playoffs get underway on Monday March 1st with semi-final action between the first and second placed teams hosting the fourth and third placed teams, respectively. The winners of these series go on to play for the Challenge Cup.

The schedule is above (if you have trouble reading the microfiche, let me know and I can e-mail it out to you).

The Guides' Fearless Mystic Predictions



Last season the all-powerful predictive power of the Hockey Pool magazines correctly presaged that the Personal Vendetta would hoist the Predator Cup - (Well McKeen's predicted a Vendetta win while the Score predicted the Scourge and the Hockey News predicted the Edge?!) - so who now can doubt the uncanny powers of the Mystic Order of Hockey Pool Sages...

While there may have been confusion and doubt in last season's predictions this year the Hockey Gods foretell but one outcome and one race - the Highlanders will win a narrow victory over the Bladerunners, reprising their most recent win in 2007. The Herbivore will go to the Lost Boys (according to both the Hockey News and McKeen's) or the Wolves (according to the Score).

The table is based on the consensus of the predicted rankings according to three usual guide magazines: the Hockey News Ultimate Pool Guide, the Score Sports Forcaster and McKeen's Pool Guide. The individual predictions do not include any accomodation for tough guys, +/- players, injuries, astute coaching decisions, expert trading of players, prospects or draft picks or even (in the case of McKeen's, who are now alone in not providing these) goaltending stats. It does assume that you will use the highest predicted pointing line-up based on each guide's point predictions as of draft day.

Please package my Predator Cup in the double-strength bubble-wrap that I usually wrap Sidney Crosby in every night and ship same to the City of Champions c/o Not Worth The Paper They Are Written On Enterprises, corner of Vanity Way and Ego Lane.

Lucic Hamburgers Neil

9/23/2009

Nexus Review vs. Heads Review

Just a quick comparison between how the two systems ranked the various teams. The revised ranking is how the SH Team Review ranked them along with that score. The bracketed number is how the Nexus Review ranked the team. Some interesting disparities!

1. Wolves 16.0 (3rd)
2.T Bladerunners 15.5 (5th)
2.T Scourge 15.5 (T11th)
4. Lost Boys 15.0 (8th)
5. Severed Heads 14.5 (1st)
6. Edge 13.5 (10th)
7. Great Whites 13.0 (7th)
8. Ramapithicines 12.5 (9th)
9T. Shadowmen 12.0 (4th)
9T. T Knights Templar 12.0 (11thT)
11. Highlanders 11.5 (2nd)
12. Pers. Vendetta 9.5 (6th)

Key differences will be seen in how each system does at predicting the success of the PV and the Scourge. Both systems agree that the Great Whites are the 7th best FUNHL squad as currently constructed. Curiously my system has the Bladerunners as one of the top 2 teams with the Severed Heads in 5th place, while his system ranks the Severed Heads as the top team with the Bladerunners in 5th place. Perhaps familiarity breeds contempt?

NEXUS - Pre Draft Team Assessment

The Nexus - Team Assessment - September 2009

The Nexus has been in hibernation for awhile … but the editor has a lot of extra time on his hands (and sitting around on his butt) these days so he decided to make a pre-entry draft assessment of overall team strength based on various categories.

This assessment takes a somewhat different angle than Cam’s (his is based on position strength and goes into a deeper commentary on specific players). Cam’s article was great – the Nexus probably takes even greater risk of receiving complaints / scorn / dismissal due to the perhaps erroneous inclusion of the last category “intangibles”. I will accept all scorn - now and post season.

Remember, this is NOT at all a prediction on how your team will do this season!! Its a whole new ballgame after the Entry Draft!

CATEGORY DESCRIPTIONS:

FPs – mainly based on value NOW but also taking into account future value (i.e. improving, length of service) Weight – 40%

Prospects – players and current picks; mainly based on value NOW (i.e. can they help the team this year) but also taking into account future value Weight – 30%

Other assets – looking at RFAs and/or picks from next year …. RFA value is not as significant in this author’s eyes as per others GMs…. but the Nexus acknowledges that good RFAs and/or a fair number of decent/good RFAs can help Weight - 15%

Intangibles – GM’s experience, history, etc. Weight - 15%

SCORING

Geez, Cam’s system is easier. Too late. I made more complex by categories having different strengths and also adding a grade to the numerical score. I’ve explained it more clearly during Bladerunners assessment. Lowest value for a category is a D.

A = 10…A- = 9…B+ = 8 …B = 7 …B- = 6 …C+ =5 …C =4 ...C- = 3… D+ =2…D=1

BLADERUNNERS (7.9 “B+”)

FPs: B (7 x 0.4 = 2.8) … I gave my FPs a B which equals a score of 7 out of a possible 10 which is then multiplied by 40% for a category rating of 2.8 out of a max. possible score of 4 .. yup, I’m a geek
• Iginla is likely the best RW in the league and Hossa is in the top handful… however Hossa is not turning out to be as elite a Rwer as hoped + is also out for first 2 months of the season

Prospects A- (9 x 0.3 = 2.7) i.e. 2.7/3
• Backstrom appears to be an elite center now and bumps the rating up on his own; at least one of Stamkos and Giroux have an above average shot at playing this year; Filatov is ranked as an elite prospect who’s time is close; Franson and Kindl are biding their time to make an impact (Franson closer than Kindl); picks for this year are okay but none in top round

Other assets B+ (8 x 0.15 = 1.2) … i.e. 1.2 / 1.5
• a handful of decent d-men RFAs and a good goalie RFA in Miller (could be very good if he plays 70 games and Buffalo plays some def); extra 1st and 2nd rnd pick next year

Intangibles B+ (8 x 0.15 = 1.2)…i.e. 1.2/1.5
• the Bladerunners have a pool obsessed GM, a good history with 2 Predator cups and some other hardware and are a yearly contender … however, they haven’t found a way to get over the hump the past few years to get that elusive 3rd cup

GREAT WHITES (6.8 “B”)

FPs: C+ (5 x 0.4 = 2) i.e. 2/4
• Staal is above average, young, and all signs are that he can be great as he has had a 100pt season but Richards no longer appears to be FUNHL FP material although he could dress as a 2nd line C for now (he’s more of an FP type in the NHL world)

Prospects: A- (9 x 0.3 = 2.7)
• Stastny joins E.Staal for a nice 1-2 punch at C this season; Doughty + Price both useful now; Tavares may not have a significant impact this year but has huge upside (FP to be?); other prospects are interesting and with a top pick this year the prospect stable looks great

Other assets: B (7 x 0.15 = 1.05)
• Vanek in the late 2nd round is nice and the team has a couple of further good RFAs in Michalek and Edler; less RFAs than past years for this team but the prospect stable more than makes up for this

Intangibles: B (7 x 0.15 = 1.05)
• The Great Whites have a skilled + experienced GM and a storied history as demonstrated by 3 Predator Cups …however, its been awhile since a cup run has been made so its time to bring the fear back to the competition; hmm, a B might be a bit low on further thought as this team always looks nice on paper at start of each year (with slight exception of the 2nd FP at the moment)

RAMAPITHICIES (6.45 “B-”)

FPs: B- (6 x 0.4 = 2.4)
• Chara is an above average, almost elite perhaps FP … well, he’s elite when he has a season with good scoring and lots of penalty minutes; Tanguay is on the cusp but maybe has some life left him, especially playing with some nice line-mates in Tampa (for those who think Chara is actually an ongoing elite FP – bump this category up to a B)

Prospects: B (7 x 0.3 = 2.1)
• Turris is one of the few promising things in the Phoenix mess; Johnson & Johnson and Russell could all contribute this season; there are a couple/few more interesting prospects and a top prospect pick + some extra picks

Other assets: B- (6 x 0.15 = 0.9)
• Weber and Brown are nice, a couple of centers that could have an impact

Intangibles: B (7 x 0.15 = 1.05)
• The Ramapithicines’ GM has led them to two predator cups so he knows how to go for it … preparation for the season or WDs doesn’t “seem” important but confidence and experience seems to make up for this; the league waits for the cavemen to reappear as a contender

HIGHLANDERS (8.35 “B+”)

FPs: A (10 x 0.4 = 4)
• Crosby is of course an elite center (arguably the best) and Brodeur is one of the elite goalies who should bounce back from last year’s freak injury vacation

Prospects: A- (9 x 0.3 = 2.7)
• Green is an elite d-man who appears to be the league’s #1 d-man now; Gagner is a nice center prospect; Voracek is a nice RW prospect and there is some future potential with other RW prospects; the team has no 1st rnd pick this year but the prospect situation looked much worse early in the summer

Other assets: D (1 x 0.15 = .15)
• Uh well, nothing to report but this is due to gunning for it last season and trading away RFAs + prospects; further trading of picks from next year hurts this category BUT it brought the Prospect category up to a A- with an awesome rebuilding of the prospect stable which was non-existent (except for Green) at beginning of the summer

Intangibles: A (10 x 0.15 = 1.5)
• The Highlanders have a great histotry with 3 Predators; their pool obsessed GM fought to the end for a potential 4th last year; the GM is always “on top of things” (that sounds worse than what is meant) and is a feared yearly contender

EDGE (6.4 “B-”)

FPs: A (score = 10 x 0.4 = 4)
• Geez, just having one of these FPs would still give a high rating…who has a better pairing than Ovechkin and Thornton? (the Severed Heads and Highlanders will compare once Malkin and Green become FPs)…ok Collin, no Herby allowed this year or your punishment will be to release these two FPs (new rule proposal ;-)

Prospects: C- (3 x 0.3 = 0.9)
• the most (only?) notable thing in the category is the Edge have the 1st overall prospect pick which should produce a nice prospect or some further assets if traded

Other assets: B- (6 x 0.15 = 0.9)
• Smyth and Havlat are nice if they can be picked ‘later’ and there is some d-man depth

Intangibles: C (4 x 0.15 = 0.6)
• The Edge are yet to have the pleasure of owning the Predator cup although several GMs would love to be in Collin’s shoes with the 2 FPs he has … team has had some bad karma with injury bugs although a bit more prep time and somehow finding a bit more time to avoid dressing injured players on a weekly basis would pay dividends

LOST BOYS (6.65 “B”)

FPs: B+ (8 x 0.4 = 3.2)
• Kovalchuk is a top notch LW who could be even better if he had some good line mates and Nash is a skilled RW who might be considered elite if he also got some line mates (and if Hitchcock lets his skilled players actually play)

Prospects: B- (6 x 0.3 = 1.8)
• Bailey and Boedker have promise; Rask has promise but has hit P4 status too soon (Gm needs to decide if he says adios to Rask or keeps him one more year as a P4 and pray he gets traded / Thomas blows up); Lost Boys have their own 1st and 2nd picks and the Edge’s 2nd which should help rejuvenate the prospect corps

Other assets: B (7 x 0.15 = 1.05)
• M.Koivu is nice (hey, I remember trading him to Richard 3 years ago!) and there is a lot of depth with the defense RFAs

Intangibles: C ( 4 x 0.15 = 0.6)
• The Lost Boys are a young team and therefore their GM is not yet a “Vet”; the GM also took last year off … experience can only help along with some more time to manage the team

PERSONAL VENDETTA (6.9 “B”)

FPs: A- (aggregate score = 9 x 0.4 = 3.6)
• Zetterberg + Lidstrom are stud FPs … even though Zetterberg is turning out to perhaps be an 85 pt rather than 100 pt type of guy and Lidstrom is possibly starting to fade a bit, echo – they are still stud FPs for the present

Prospects: C- (3 x 0.3 = 0.9)
• winning the Predator took a bite out of the stable; there are a couple of interesting prospects that might yet increase in value and if Harding gets traded, he should be a starting goalie; how the heck did Darrell manage to keep his 1st rnd pick? (this helped bring rating to a C- ;-)

Other assets: B- (6 x 0.15 = 0.9)
• some nice d-men RFAs behind Lidstrom … somewhat doubtful that Bryzgalov is going to stick around as the Vendetta’s starting goalie or back-up (but go for it Darrell ;-)

Intangibles: A (10 x 0.15 = 1.5)
• The PV are the defending champs (so their team rating could be a D and Darrell could still just point to the cup); the PV have now won the Predator 3 times; the GM is a machine and contends year after year; GM also has reputation as the best FUNHL drafter… enough said

KNIGHTS TEMPLAR (6.0 “B-”)

FPs: C- (3 x 0.4 = 1.2)
• uggh … that’s out of the GM’s mouth, and the rest of us agree – time to replace the FPs although to be fair, Turco and Hejduk are both ‘good players’ that can dress (although that isn’t the definition of an FP)…. How does Parise and Perry sound for a new FP pairing which would of course bump the rating up considerably

Prospects: B+ (8 x 0.3 = 2.4)
• led by Kane who is instantly a top Rwer and potential FP at some point…closely followed by Ryan who is a nice Lwer; some other interesting prospects along with an extra pick in the 1st rnd ….things are looking good here

Other assets: A (10x 0.15 = 1.5)
• umm, Perry and Kopitar… followed by Lucic, Franzen and Horcoff … tied with the Wolves for best RFAs

Intangibles: B- (6 x 0.15 = 0.9)
• A vet who hasn’t yet seen the promised land…has been awhile since finishing in top 3 but always seems to draft pretty well….taking a few more risks on the trade front might help but that’s just an opinion

WOLVES (8.2 “B+”)

FPs: B (7 x 0.4 = 2.8)
• Gaborik is perhaps the most skilled RW in the league (and this coming from the GM who has Iginla) but is also a skating time bomb … veteran Pronger is a VG pt and pm combo deal who leads Philly’s def

Prospects: A (10 x 0.3 = 3.0)
• Holy crap… and if you don’t know what I mean, take a look at the Master …Toews is FP material and several will make an impact soon and/or will definitely help as trade assets

Other assets: A (10 x 0.15 = 1.5)
• Phaneuf (FP?) leads a pack of quality RFA; again – just took a look at the Master, holy crap

Intangibles: B- (6 x 0.15 = 0.9)
• a vet from the beginning …. is it bad luck stopping this GM from winning or just not finding that extra ‘something’ to start contending more often? He seems to do well in playoff pools but that doesn’t help here… IMO the early rounds of the draft need a bit of work (this GM sometimes tends to draft players in the 1st / 2nd /3rd rnd that others GMs would draft in the 2nd/3rd /4th rnd respectively; lots of work last season to build up the team’s assets so let’s see what happens….

SCOURGE (6.0 “B-”)

FPs: A- (9 x 0.4 = 3.6)
• almost gave a B+ as Spezza doesn’t seem to be hitting his potential but both these FPs at the top of their game are elite FPs

Prospects: B (7 x 0.3 = 2.1)
• I like the Scourge’s prospects, especially VanRiemsdyk, but none are likely to help this year (nice trade value though or waiting game)

Other assets: B (7 x 0.15 = 1.05)
• Carter is perhaps Philly’s best player now and might even be FP material in near future; there are also a few other RFAs that could contribute

Intangibles: C+ (5 x 0.15 = 0.75)
• not a rookie anymore… pays lots of attention and will keep getting better (especially if he decides to ever pull the strings on a deal with the Bladerunners… okay, just a comment ;-)

SEVERED HEADS (8.5 “A-”)

FPs: B (7 x 0.4 = 2.8)
• although his character is in question, Heatley on LW is still a top notch FP but Elias, especially as a C, gives the score a hit (Elias is of course soon to be toasted and this category gets an A the moment Malkin is a FP)

Prospects: A- (9 x 0.3 = 2.7)
• Setoguchi and Kessel are good Rwers who will both contribute now (well, Kessel will when healthy) and Hall is an excellent future asset + potential FP, a couple/few other prospects here look interesting as well

Other assets: A (10 x 0.15 = 1.5)
• Malkin being turned into an FP is all it takes to get a 10.. Hartnell is a nice RFA too

Intangibles: A (10 x 0.15 = 1.5)
• The Severed Heads have a great history with 2 Herb… I mean, 3 Predator Cups, are always going for it, are on top of things and have built a strong team again going into this season (actually, strongest team as I add everybody up) …all this along with lots of confidence year after year

SHADOWMEN (8.1 “B+”)

FPs: A- (9 x 0.4 = 3.6)
• Luongo is working on proving he is best goalie on the planet and St. Louis is up there in the top handful of Rwers (he seems to get a little less respect than he deserves IMO); after several years, Bob can finally boast of having an elite FP tandem to start the season …not sure who the pairing will be by Christmas

Prospects: B+ (8 x 0.3 = 2.4)
• Okposo and Oshie will hopefully contribute this seasonand the Shadowmen have four (yup, still!) 1st round picks to replenish the stable; this category is looking really good - assuming the GM doesn’t trade these picks away in the next 2 days

Other assets: B- (6 x 0.15 = 0.9)
• Good RFA depth on RW with Burrows and with Knuble now in WSH, Koivu might dress; down picks in next year’s prospect draft

Intangibles: B+ (8 x 0.15 = 1.2)
• The Shadowmen haven’t scared anyone the past several years (i.e. haven’t had the gas to last much past Christmas the past several years)… now with great FPs and lots of prospect assets, this team can get back into contender status and we know they can thrive as this is a savvy GM

RANKINGS (remember, this is NOT a prediction of how teams will do this season but rather an assessment of current team strength – I reserve the right to be wrong)

1. Severed Heads 8.50 A-
2. Highlanders 8.35 B+
3. Wolves 8.20 B+
4. Shadowmen 8.10 B+
5. Bladerunners 7.80 B+
6. Pers. Vendetta 6.90 B
7. Great Whites 6.80 B
8. Lost Boys 6.65 B
9. Ramapithicines 6.45 B-
10. Edge 6.40 B-
11T Knights Templar 6.00 B-
11T Scourge 6.00 B-

Two Prospects Make Their Case

First up, Nazim Kadri and his wicked shoot-out move;



Here's Artem Anisimov and his inisde/outside move that turned the Bruins D-man into a pylon;

9/22/2009

Steak? Reservations?

Hi,

Has anyone made reservations for dinner? We've all discussed it, but have we picked a place and called in? By my count a reservation for 10 should be more than enough (because 2 GMs won't be there at all, and that way everyone can join at the last minute if they need to.)

Um, if a place is picked, can I suggest we make the reservations in the name of "Dr. Dan Ross."

First, cause Dan's a pretty cool guy--who wouldn't want to sit at his table?--and my experience is being a "Doctor" gets you better service and easier reservations. (What can I say, a lot of dinner's with Bob.)

And Second, that way any of us can call in to "make sure my assistant got the details right." And confirm the reservation happened.

So, where're we eating?

R.

(See you in 4 days.)

9/20/2009

Mock draft Again...rnd 1 only

Let us see...RND 1 FPs dropped ELIAS, GABORIK, TURCO, HEJDUK

HL - BIDS ON Malkin- matched, takes Getzlaf, C -ANA
PV - Datsyuk,C DET
KT - NEW FP - Parise,LW NJ
GW - BIDS ON Phaneuf - matched, takes Alfreddson, RW OTT
EDG - Kiprusoff [?sp], G CGY
RAM- Nabokov, G SJ
WLF - NEW FP Phaneuf, D CGY
LB - Savard,C BST
BL - LeCavalier, C TB
SM - BIDS ON Perry - matched, takes Boyle,D SJ
SC - Markov, D MTL
SH - NEW FP - Malkin,C PIT

THOUGHT, COMMENTS?

ANY OTHER RND PREDICTIONS?

9/17/2009

Phaneuf trainwrecks Okposo



That's going to leave a mark.

(Update: Though he lay on the ice for 6 minutes, and was carried off on a stretcher, Okposo only has a mild concussion and called his father during the 2nd period to say he was OK)

VOTING RESULTS

VOTING RESULTS (2009-10 Rule Proposals)


Rule Proposal 2, Ongoing Waiver Wire - Option B, is the only rule proposal that passes. This becomes effective immediately for the 2009-10 season (Doug, let’s talk about updating the covenant). Thanks everyone for your votes. Good try Cam on the proposal about a rule moratorium – it was almost passed!

Interesting note – we would have had a bit of an issue if rule 1 had passed … as 6 GMs said if there is a single waiver draft, they would want it at the one third point of the season and 6 said they would want it at at the halfway point.

Richard – I agree with your point about “abstentions” … however, the rules state we need 9 votes to implement a new rule or a rule change. Something to talk further about (hey, a rule proposal for next year! ;-)

Details on voting below:

RULE PROPOSAL #1 - FAILS

Reduce the number of waiver drafts to one a year. 7 YES, 5 NO

Regardless of how you voted for the above, if it is implemented then which of the two systems below would you prefer? (majority wins for a or b below)

a) the single WD will be held at the 1/3 mark of the season as per the setting of WD1 in past years (i.e. early December; around week 9 based on 27 week NHL schedule). [6 VOTES n/a]

b) the single WD will be held at the 1/2 mark of the season which would be approximately week 13 (i.e. early January). [6 VOTES n/a]


RULE PROPOSAL #2 – Option B - PASSES

Do you accept the concept of a continuous waive wire? 10 YES, 2 NO

Regardless of how you voted for the above, if it is implemented then which of the two systems below would you prefer? [majority wins for a or b below]

a) waived players remain on waiver wire for the remainder of the season. [1 YES]

b) waived players lose RFA or prospect status if not claimed in first week on wire. The waiver wire is dissolved at end of week prior to the WD(s) so that waived players are available for the WD(s). The waiver wire then starts with a clean slate after the WD(s). The waiver wire is dissolved permanently at the trade deadline. [11 YES]


RULE PROPOSAL #3 - FAILS

Reduce the number of prospects to 6 effective for the 2010-11 season. 2 YES, 8 NO, 2 ABSTAIN


RULE PROPOSAL #4 - FAILS

Prospects must be 18 years of age or older when drafted. 1 YES, 8 NO, 3 ABSTAIN


RULE PROPOSAL #5 - FAILS

There will be a moratorium on rule changes for 5 years unless all GMs unanimously agree to a rule change AND/OR some change within the NHL seriously affects the FUNHL which would trigger a FUNHL vote 8 YES, 4 NO


RULE PROPOSAL # 6 - FAILS

Members of the dispute committee sit for three years with one member changing each year. If there is more than one candidate to take over the vacating member’s place, then there will be a vote. 7 YES, 5 NO

Excel documents

Hi all,

As usual, my progress in entering players' names into an Excel spreadsheet is painfully slow. If anyone has an updated spreadsheet with current player status and position and is inclined to share, please let me know!
Thanks!

Dan

9/15/2009

Quote of the Day

"Once upon a time I worked at a computer store and once NHL (game) arrived we would open one up and put it in a machine and run a game of Canada vs. USA.

If Canada lost we would send the game back defective."

- Justin Kendrick, commenter on the 'motherpucker' blog.

9/12/2009

Heatley a Shark part 2

It wasn't the deal that John Buccigross said it would be, but Heatley is now confirmed to be a San Jose Shark.

Heatley, Ott 5th rnd pick --> San Jose

Michalek,M and Cheechoo, SJ 2nd rnd pick--> Ottawa

Looks like Murray got over the issues he had in taking Cheechoo back in the deal, perhaps because he has another deal lined up to move him on (I would guess Edmonton) but perhaps because he had simply run out of options and it was either make a deal or let Heatley back on the team. Seems to me like this offer was probably on the table for the Senators to consider for quite some time.

Anyway you cut it, this looks to be good news for the Heads (Heatley on a better team, happy, and playing with Thornton) and for the Edge (Thornton now has an elite goalscoring winger to pass to).

9/10/2009

PLEASE VOTE !!!

VOTING FOR 2009-10 RULE PROPOSALS

Here are all the proposals. Your vote is required by midnight MST on Wednesday, September 16. Please email your vote to Brian (bladerunners@shaw.ca) however if your vote is on the blog it will be accepted (but the DC STRONGLY suggests you email your vote to Brian so it isn’t missed on the blog).

*** NOTE – 9 votes are required to pass a proposal. You can abstain instead of voting ‘no’ but essentially abstaining counts as a no vote. No vote received will count as abstaining. Any rule change(s) voted in will become effective immediately.

RULE PROPOSAL #1

Reduce the number of waiver drafts to one a year.

Regardless of how you voted for the the above, if it is implemented then which of the two systems below would you prefer? (majority wins for a or b below)

a) the single WD will be held at the 1/3 mark of the season as per the setting of WD1 in past years (i.e. early December; around week 9 based on 27 week NHL schedule).

b) the single WD will be held at the 1/2 mark of the season which would be approximately week 13 (i.e. early January).

RULE PROPOSAL #2

Do you accept the concept of a continuous waive wire?

Regardless of how you voted for the above, if it is implemented then which of the two systems below would you prefer? [majority wins for a or b below]

a) waived players remain on waiver wire for the remainder of the season.

b) waived players lose RFA or prospect status if not claimed in first week on wire. The waiver wire is dissolved at end of week prior to the WD(s) so that waived players are available for the WD(s). The waiver wire then starts with a clean slate after the WD(s). The waiver wire is dissolved permanently at the trade deadline.

RULE PROPOSAL #3

Reduce the number of prospects to 6 effective for the 2010-11 season.

RULE PROPOSAL #4

Prospects must be 18 years of age or older when drafted.

RULE PROPOSAL #5

There will be a moritorium on rule changes for 5 years unless all GMs un-animously agree to a rule change AND/OR some change within the NHL seriously affects the FUNHL which would trigger a FUNHL vote

RULE PROPOSAL # 6

Members of the dispute committee sit for three years with one member changing each year. If there is more than one candidate to take over the vacating member’s place, then there will be a vote.

Heatley to be a Shark

As presciently predicted by moi months ago when his trade demand became public, Heatley looks to be headed to San Jose.

The deal would be;

Heatley-> San Jose
Marleau-> LA
Frolov and Stoll -> Ottawa

(afternote: all three GMs are currently denying the deal. Hmmmm. Maybe Bucci is a little out ahead of this one)

9/09/2009

Don't Panic



FYI: add this guys name to your prospect list; 'Richard Panik'.

9/08/2009

Steak Dinner & Poker

Just so as not to get lost in other posts, let me know if you plan to come out for steak, and if you plan to play poker (one not dependent on the other though I agree it would be nice to win back the meal $)...

Poker likely $20 buy in, with one option to re-buy (just so we don't get you guys with disposable income (ie no kids) going all-in right away :-)

D

Off Season Team Review

Here's my Off-season Team Reviews.

I used a similar format to previous seasons, listing each player at their position and how they rate as a group out of a possible 0-5 score. Team totals are simply the compilation of each positional score. It ain't pretty, or perfect, but it gives a snapshot of each teams needs and depth.

For the team pictures I decided to eschew official logos and look for alternatives. In the case of the Edge I went with their 'dragon' motif, and used a terrific picture of 'Tiamat' I found. In the case of the Ramapithecines I was forced to use Frank Frazetta's 'Neanderthals'. (Your welcome Corey). Apparently their aren't a lot of Ramapithecine images kicking around our culture at this point. In the case of the Scourge it turns out the team shares the name of a relatively minor Decepticon - so there you go.

All ratings are purely subjective, and for any of your complaints, please make sure they are written by hand, in triplicate, on Holly Hobby paper, with Orange crayon and sent by snail mail to somebody who cares. Just keep in mind that somebody isn't me.

(Note: the Franson/Brodeur omissions have been corrected)



The Severed Heads

LW: Heatley-Ott FP, Hartnell-Pha RFA, Ryan-Ana P4, Leino-Det P2, Dupuis-Pit P2

Rating: 4.5

Heatley has question marks against him this year, but has shown that even at his worst he's still a ppg player. For now, there is a 50% he stays in Ottawa and a 50% chance he is dealt to either San Jose (big upside) or the Rangers (still better than Ottawa). Last years numbers should be the bottom for Heatley, with a good chance he rebounds to his more typical 45-45-90 type totals. Hartnell had a career year going 30-30-60 with 120PIM giving him elite totals as a combo goon. Ryan is a ppg+ scoring fwd with size just starting to blossom and will be entrenched on the top line with Getzlaf and Perry to form a killer offensive trio. Leino will likely claim the ice-time and roster spot voided by Jiri Hudler's escape to the KHL, and should project to average 3rd line FUNHL numbers in the 50+ range. Dupuis was a horrible prospect draftee and is now clearly Bantha fodder.

C: Elias-NJ FP, Malkin-Pit RFA, Hall-OHL P2, Stoll-LA P2

Rating: 3.5

Elias's switch to pivot hurts his productivity, but he is still a marginal FP based on his stats. His age and injury prone nature are what really make his contract expendable. Malkin is the reigning Art Ross champion, Conn Smythe winner and is young enough that we haven't seen his best stats yet - he is also a mortal lock to be the next Severed Heads FP. Hall is likely the top pick in next years draft, and recently won the Memorial Cup and tournament MVP with the Windsor Spitfires. With Pavel Bure type speed and scoring skills he looks born to be an offensive gunner. Stoll is a borderline FUNHL player at best and will be cut to nobody's surprise or interest.

RW: Kessel-Bos P4, Skille-Chi P4

Rating: 2.5

Kessel is emerging as a scoring star for the Bruins, but with his contract up for renewal and a commensurate big pay day, he may not be a Bruin for much longer. Skille is a full pkg forward who recently posted ppg totals in the AHL. Has Bill Guerin like potential, but has been groomed slowly by the Chi-Hawks - a fourth line spot and RFA contract with the Heads is all but assured.

D: Kuba-Ott RFA, Leopold-Fla RFA, Sanguinetti-NYR P3, Karlsson-Ott P2, Murphy-NJ P2

Rating: 2.5

Kuba is a solid 40 point D-man who has few threats to displace him from the top unit of the Senators powerplay. Leopold never developed the offensive tools he flashed early on and has become more recognized for his solid defensive zone play than powerplay abilities. If he cracks 30 points somebody should call the Vatican. Sanguinetti has a shot at moving up the Rangers depth chart having completed his apprenticeship at the AHL where he was an offensive star on the blue-line. Karlsson is also a future powerplay star with oodles of offensive ability and is now clearly the Senators top prospect. His game is advanced enough that he is considered to be a strong Calder candidate. Murphy is a late bloomer who has bounced around the Panthers and Bolts organizations as a powerplay specialist. Now landing on the depleted blue-line in New Jersey he'll get a chance to prove himself once again as an offensive contributor.

G: Theodore-Wsh RFA

Rating: 1.5

Though his numbers for the year weren't atrocious, Theodore is simply no longer a starting caliber goaltender and looks to have permanently lost his job to the surging Simeyon Varlamov. Little chance he'll seize the job back from Varlamov or the other talented new comer, Mikael Neuwirth, and he appears destined for a mentor/back-up role from now on.

Total: 14.5



The Bladerunners

LW: Malone-TBay RFA, Pesonen-Pit P2, Filatov-Clb P2

Rating: 2

Malone is currently a legit third liner with upside as a combo/goon. If his PIM and points can improve back to his career highs as a Penguin while riding shotgun for Lecavalier he's a solid 2nd liner. Pesonen was one of the three dwarves from last years prospect draft (Leino and Brunnstrom being the others), as he was a slightly built Euro league scoring star making his way over to the NHL for a taste of the big time. Spent most of his year toiling in the AHL only getting a brief cup of coffee early on. He is of an advanced age for a prospect so he will need to prove he can play in the bigs on a scoring line ASAP or its likely back overseas for Janne. Filatov has all the skill of Nik Zherdev but none of the baggage. Appears destined to be a high end scoring threat with lethal speed and a rocket shot. Could be a Calder candidate this year.

C: Backstrom-Wsh P4, Giroux-Pha P3, Stamkos-TBay P3

Rating: 3

Backstrom is turning into an elite playmaking center with 100pt potential as OV's sidekick. Could be a future FP. Giroux's move to the pivot spot dampens the enthusiasm for him, but the smurf's offensive game could be excellent. Stamkos is the future in TBay, and is all but pencilled in as the #2 pivot behind Lecavalier. Both Giroux and Stamkos should clock in between 60-75 pts.

RW: Iginla-Cgy FP, Hossa-Chi FP

Rating: 4.5

Hard to improve on a wing that has two potential 40 goal scorers on it. Iggy lacks the linemates he had last year to boost his assist totals, but will have Jokinen for a full year to develop chemistry with. Hossa was the big aquisition in Chicago's offseason and signed a monster contract that he will need to live up to.

D: Whitney,Ryan-Ana RFA, Gilbert-Edm RFA, Goligoski-Pit RFA, Ballard-Fla RFA, O'Brien-Vcr RFA, Franson-Nsh P3, Kindl-Det P2

Rating: 3

Whitney is a potential 50pt defenseman if he can rebound from his injury troubles with his new team. Without the potent Pittsburgh offense around him he may be more likely in the 40+ range. Gilbert is still blooming into an offensive rearguard, but its not clear what his ceiling is yet. A slick puckmover he has the tools to be excellent, but must grind it out for the Oilers rather than a more offensively supporting club. In contrast Goligoski will be the beneficiary of the Pittsburgh offensive blitz and if he can hold his own down in the defensive zone he may become a reliable top 4 guy for the Penguins. Ballard has bounced from bad team to bad team, and is now plying his trade in the forgettable Panther market. His PIM may elevate him into dressable status. O'Brien is now part of a deep Canuck blueline, one that may limit his offensive and PIM totals. Swiftly sinking into depth player status. Franson is another in a long line of big body defenders with heavy point shots populating the Nashville farm system. Lots of guys ahead of him on the depth chart, but he has the tools to be another Weber if he puts it all together. Kindl is one of the long suffering prospects in the Red Wings system that has to wait for someone to die to get ice-time. There are spots open at the bottom end of the Wing roster and Kindl may claim one, but he is unlikely to be reliable offensively for a few more years.

G: Miller-Buf RFA

Rating: 3

Miller has solid starter credentials - when he is healthy. Unfortunately, the Sabers best player routinely catches the injury bus every year to diminish what would otherwise be very reasonable stats. Entering his prime, he could break out if the Buffalo defense improves (unlikely) or if he can stay healthy for a full season and post a record number of starts.

Total: 15.5


The Great Whites

LW: Vanek-Buf RFA, Michalek-SJ RFA, Comeau-NYI P2

Rating: 3

Vanek is a legit top end sniper with hands capable of scoring 50 or more if things go well for him. Last season was derailed by injuries, so the caution light is on for him ever hitting his full potential. Michalek is a more play maker than scorer, preferring to dominate the half-wall rather than drive the net. His ceiling is likely in the 70 point range. Blake Comeau has the all-round game that will get him to the NHL (43 pts in 61 AHL games) but lacks a high ceiling offensively as he possesses only average speed. Looks like NHL third line material, and fringe FUNHL player at best.

C: Staal,E-Car FP, Richards,B-Dal FP, Esposito-Atl P4, Staal,J-Pit P4, Stastny-Col P4, Tavares-NYI P3, Couture-SJ P2

Rating: 4

Eric Staal is still the best of the brothers, and is capable of ppg+ seasons as an elite offensive pivot. Brad Richards has faltered from his once lofty status, and appears to be a sub ppg center moving forward, and is an excellent candidate to be cut. Esposito may never be the #1 center he was projected to be as a precocious 15-16 year old, but his speed and hands should help him carve a career out running a 2nd line in the NHL. Jordan Staal possesses many of the gifts his older brother does, but has less offensive upside, and demonstrably greater defensive abilities. Should be a Selke candidate power-pivot in the Bobby Holik mold - which ain't bad, but it ain't Eric Staal part 2. Stastny is the real gem in the group, as he has ppg+ ability and is poised to assume control of the Avalanche as their best player and Sakic heir apparent - future FP. Tavares is most the hyped prospect since Sidney Crosby, but his faults are also now well known. Can his skating launch him to elite status in the NHL? Not this year, but he bears watching as a Brett Hull like goalscorer with mediocre speed. Couture is a finesse pivot being groomed for one of the top lines in San Jose. Is on the slow path however, so is still a few years away.

RW: Svatos-Col RFA, Boll-Clb RFA

Rating: 1.5

Svatos has the tools of a sniper, but never seems capable of locking down his role on a top line. Frustrating would be one way to describe his production, but he remains a possible 3rd liner in the FUNHL. Boll is big and can goon it up. If he's not doing that, he's useless. Even as a goon, his offense is so limited as to make him an unlikely contributor except in spot duty.

D: Edler-Vcr RFA, Alzner-Wsh P3, Bogosian-Atl P2, Doughty-LA P2

RAting: 2.5

Edler is rounding into form as a potential #1 defenseman, capable of playing big minutes, running the powerplay and killing penalties. Is a smooth skater still tapping his considerable upside. Alzner is likely going to be concentrating on the defensive side of the puck as his offensive gifts are not exceptional, but his skating and size are. Washington has enough run and gunners and don't need him to be one. Bogosian is a massive talent and could eventually put together Chris Pronger type of stats. Is already Atlanta's most complete defender as a sophmore and responsibilities will be gradually increased. Despite the talent already mentioned, Doughty is potentially the best of the GW defense prospects. He has Bourque like composure at both ends of the rink, and he has already displaced other LA prospects on their depth chart to earn a regular role. His offensive game could be exceptional, and he should make the GW roster from the start of the year.

G: Carey-Mtl P3

Rating: 2

Once considered Brodeur's heir apparent, he is now a huge question mark after flaming out last year. The talent is their, but will playing in the Montreal fishbowl burn him out the way it did Jose Theodore? Not draftable for his numbers as it stands, he is questionable even as a backup.

Total: 13



The Ramapithecines

LW: None

Rating: 0

C: Tkachuk-StL RFA, Pavelski-SJ RFA, Connolly-Buf RFA, Brassard-Clb P4, Hensick-Col P3, Turris-Phx P3

Rating: 2.5

Keith 'Buffet table' Tkachuk is no longer the elite power forward he once was, and now tops out around 60 points, and around 90 PIM. Pavelski in contrast is a player on the rise and could seize the 2nd line job in SJ permanently. So far, his numbers are just below draftable, but a slight uptick could make him valuable. Connolly has all the skill to be a #1 center, but is never, ever, ever healthy for a full season - he makes Mikael Nylander and Martin Straka look like ironmen. Brassard will in all likelihood have draftable numbers this year, and start for the knuckledraggers 4th line, with the expectation he could move up quickly. Hensick has made the AV's based on his talent, but will need to compete with up and comer Duchene, fellow prospect Ryan Stoa and a converted back to center Wolski for ice-time behind Paul Stastny. Turris has a high end skill set well suited to being an offensive center, but has been delayed from reaching his potential by the crappy developmental system of the Coyotes. One day he may well emerge from the 9th circle of hell as an offensive force.

RW: Perry-Ana RFA, Brown-LA RFA, Afinogenov-??? RFA, Pominville-Buf P4, Mathias-Fla P2, Williams, Justin-LA P2

Rating: 4

Perry is a true top line winger with a full arsenal of offensive shots. He is also something of a dink - and will rack up PIM to make him a legit goon option. Biggest risk for Perry isn't injury but suspension. Brown is middleweight powerforward in the mold of a young Ryan Smyth. Nobody knows what the deal is with Afinogenov as he has the million dollar skating stride and a 10 cent head - likely bound for the KHL. Pominville is a solid 2nd or 3rd liner. If his offensive retuns to previous heights he could flirt with being a solid #1. Mathias has been something of a bust so far as more was expected of him last year than was delivered by the strapping forward. Still lots of time for him to mature into form. Justin Williams is a plug-N-play winger/center who can fill in on any line. Sadly, he is a big injury risk and can't be counted on for productivity other than in short bursts.

D: Chara-Bos FP, Spacek-Mtl RFA, VanRyn-Tor RFA, Johnson,E-StL P4, Johnson,J-LA P4, Russel-Clb P3

Rating: 3.5

Chara is simply a beast, posting 50+ pts and excellent PIM. Spacek is running out the clock on his career with an encore in Montreal. VanRyn has been hit hard by injuries the last five years and seems to have stalled out in the 30 pt range even when healthy. Erik Johnson lost last year to a freak golf car accident but should be ready to assume his status as the next big thing, a break out year is likely. Jack Johnson has pissed off every team he's played for (and some he never did, see Carolina), but has all-world talent. Was leapfrogged on the depth chart by Drew Doughty and has much to prove. Russel is developing nicely for Columbus and could have a Kris Letang like impact on the Bluejackets.

G: Turco-Dal FP

Rating: 2.5

Turco had a disastrous season for Dallas and posted career lows in just about every category imaginable. Had to describe how wretched his season was. With Zubov now in the KHL he'll also be missing his top defenseman and puck clearer. Could be another long year fishing black disks from the cave-dwellers net.

Total: 12.5




The Highlanders

LW: None

Rating: 0

C: Crosby-Pit FP, Mueller-Phx P4, Gagner-Edm P3

Rating: 4

Crosby won't score 50 goals, but he is a relentless dynamo that could well lead the league in scoring. Mueller is the prototype big body pivot with wheels, hands and a high upside. He is however, trapped in the 9th circle of Hell that is Phoenix. Gagner is a slick Vincent Damphousse type of pivot, gradually coming into his own. Draftable numbers are predictable, but not sure enough to guarantee him a roster spot.

RW: Radulov-Nsh P4, Caputi-Pit P2, Purcell-LA P2

Rating: 1.5

Radulov is a first line talent toiling in the KHL, and his contract is now up. Caputi is a big body powerforward type, who will score most of his points from within two feet of the crease. If he can stick with either Crosby or Malkin the upside is apparent, otherwise, his slow foot speed may see him better suited for a checking line. Purcell is a high end talent, but is having a hard time cracking the Kings lineup, and has been passed by better all-round prospects in the organization.

D: Green-Wsh P4

Rating: 2.5

Best offensive defenseman in the league, he scores like a high-end forward, and still hasn't hit his ceiling. The Paul Coffey comparisons are not overblown.

G: Brodeur-NJ FP, Bernier-LA P3

Rating: 3.5

Brodeur isn't the unstoppable force he was earlier in his career, and his team has been bleeding blueliners to retirement and free agent signings, but he still manages to put up top 5 season after top 5 seasons. Could be extra motivated by the possibility of starting in another Olympics and holding off the challenge of Luongo in his prime. Bernier isn't expected to take over the full-time starter duties in LA this year, but he is still the teams goaltender of the future despite the Kings decision to play Ersberg and Quick ahead of him.

Total: 11.5



The Edge

LW: Ovechkin-Wsh FP, Smyth-LA RFA, Maclean-Phx P2, Boyd-Cgy P4

Rating: 4.5

Ovechkin is arguably the best player on the planet, and contributes virtually all of the wings rating, he's the centerpiece of the Edge organization. Smyth is a capable warrior with an upside in the 60s, but breaks down too often from all the hard miles on his chassis. Maclean is the third rated prospect in the Phoenix farm system, lead the OHL in goal scoring (61) and finished third in overall points (119). A weak skating stride is the only major concern for him being a full-time NHL winger. Boyd has been sheltered in his limited ice-time, but should see his confidence and productivity soar under a new coach. Remains to be seen if the hyper talented youngster can make the squad in a scoring line, but he's definitely NHL caliber, unfortunately, his contract time is almost up.

C: Thornton-SJ FP, Kontiola-Ana P2

Rating: 3.5

Thornton is a threat to win the scoring title every year because of his playmaking abilities, and should be motivated to prove he is one of the NHL elite. Kontiola is only the ninth best prospect in the Anaheim system and may be a long shot to make the team in his contract tenure.

RW: Havlat-Min RFA

Rating: 2.5

A solid first liner, the biggest issue with Havlat isn't talent - which he has in spades, but fragility - which he also has in spades. He is coming off his healthiest year ever, and needs to make it two in a row.

D: Eminger-Fla RFA, Bergeron, MA-Min RFA, Aucoin-Phx RFA, Oduya-NJ RFA, Salcido-Ana P2

Rating: 2

Eminger has turned out to be a dreaded 'tweener' on the blueline, he's got enough offense to forge a career, but not enough size or defense to keep his spot. As such, he's bounced around the league and should probably keep his suitcase packed. Bergeron is a powerplay specialist - which is a good thing and a bad thing. Its good in that he will see PP time, but bad in that he will rarely be trusted on the ice in any other situation. Aucoin is playing out the string in Phoenix where his big point shot is about the only skill that hasn't vanished utterly. Oduya was a pleasant surprise for the Devils and has secured himself a top four spot. Improved totals are a distinct possibility as he will be counted on more this year. Salcido has fallen off the prospect map in Anaheim, but remains a legit contender to reach the NHL - but expectations have to be kept to a minimum.

G: Pogge-Ana P4

Rating: 1

Much more was expected of Pogge by this stage of his development and it is hoped that a trade to a new organization will give him a new opportunity to succeed. However, with no fewer than two established goaltenders ahead of him as well as a prospect in Modig considered to have better potential, Pogge's shot for the backup role on the Edge is likely gone. Strong possiblity he could re-enter the prospect draft for another go-around.

Total: 13.5


The Lost Boys

LW: Kovalchuk-Atl FP

Rating: 3.5

Kovalchuk in a bad year is still a 35+g, 70+ pts weapon. Motivated, and with a talented linemate, he could threaten 60+g, 100+ pts. The best bet for someone other than Ovechkin to win the Richard.

C: Koivu,M-Min RFA, Zajac-NJ RFA, Vermette-Clb P4, Bailey-NYI P2

Rating: 3

Koivu-the-younger has all the tools to be a Mats Sundin type of pivotl, but has been slowed by developing in a system that requires him to reign in any offensive instinct he has - until now. Wild mgt has insisted that the kid gloves are coming off and Koivu should be the primary beneficiary, expect career highs. Zajac formed some chemistry with Parise last year, but may have to fight to keep his spot. Vermette is a speed pivot with limited instincts for offense, but he'll get a good chance to prove he's worthy of being an offensive center rather than checker. Bailey is the future, a two-way pivot with high-end skills, and a team that requires him to be a key player moving forward.

RW: Nash-Clb FP, Ruutu-Car RFA, Boedker-Phx P2

Rating: 4

Nash is the flawed mirror image of Kovalchuk, a blend of high end skill, speed, size and offensive ability. All he does is score highlight reel goals. Ruutu is an underated mix of nasty and scoring punch. His biggest issue is staying out of the infirmary, where he seems to have his wing dedicated to him. Boedker is a swift footed burner who made the Coyotes right out of Jr, one who bears an uncanny resemblance to Alex Mogilny. May be a year away from full time FUNHL duty, but his time will eventually come.

D:Blake-SJ RFA, Kubina-Atl RFA, Rivet-Buf RFA, Hamhuis-Nsh RFA, Hamrlik-Mtl RFA, Harrold-LA RFA, Ranger-TBay RFA, Lee-Ott P4, Vishnevsky-Dal P4, Wishart-TBay P4

Rating: 3.5

Blake is on his last legs, but has a good chance of putting up points on his way out. Kubina gets a fresh start in Atlanta, and may have something to prove. Rivet is Bantha fodder. Hamhuis is a solid two way rearguard who will make a nice second or third pair d-man. Hamrlik has seen better days. Harrold is unproven but could surprise. Ranger had a solid season a year ago, but several newcomers (Ohlund, Hedman) will compete for his powerplay time. As a unit there is a lot of middle tier defenders but not much at the top end.

G: Rask-Bos P4

Rating: 1

Rask may be the goalie of the future in Boston, but right now the present is Tim Thomas, and Rask is unlikely to play enough minutes (barring injury) to make any kind of difference in the time left his contract affords.

Total: 15



The Personal Vendetta

LW: Sterling-Atl P2

Rating: .5

Sterling at 24 is 5'9" and a 165 soaking wet. He was a prolific offensive producer at college and in the AHL, but has been unable to keep pace at the NHL. A 5th rnd NHL pick, he's bucked long odds to even get this far, but appears to have an AHL or overseas career ahead of him. Is now a fringe prospect at best.

C: Zetterberg-Det FP, Brule-Edm P2

Rating: 2.5

Zetterberg has developed into one of the leagues top 2 way performers capable of putting up excellent offense while shadowing the elite. Brule bombed out in Columbus and is now a longshot to make the Oilers as an energy line player. Classic tweener was dominant in junior, but totally unable to translate his game at the big league level.

RW: Downie-TBay P3

Rating: 1.5

Downie is the second coming of Ken Linesman. A gritty/dirty forward with better than average offense. Should crack a checking line this year or next and work his way up from there.

D: Lidstrom-Det FP, Suter-Nsh RFA, Martin-NJ RFA, Erhoff-Vcr RFA, Staal,M-NYR P4

Rating: 3

Lidstrom is still one of the NHL elite, but his game noticeably slipped a notch last year, and he is now pushing his way towards 40, and could slip another. That said, Lidstrom has worked his way into the conversation for best defenseman ever, so you can't count him out. Suter is a serviceable mid range defenseman who doesn't belong in your top 2, but can comfortably be a part of your second pair. Ditto Martin. Erhoff's arrival in Vancouver is interesting as Erhoff has more than average offensive talent, and will now get an opportunity to show it off. Staal is already a very good defensive defenseman, but has yet to demonstrate he has powerplay QB skills.

G: Bryzgalov-Phx RFA, Harding-Min P4

Rating: 2

Bryzgalov is in Phoenix where goaltenders (and apparently teams) go to die. Harding has the talent to be a #1, but finds himself stuck behind Nik Backstrom for minutes. Would be well served with a trade.

Total = 9.5

a
The Knights Templar

L: Tanguay-TBay FP, Lucic-Bos RFA, Franzen-Det RFA

Rating: 3

Tanguay suffered through a miserable season in Montreal, but has landed on his feet with the Lightning. He'll be used in lots of offensive situations, could occasionally draw Big Vinny as his center, and at worst will play with offensive wiz-kid Stamkos on the 2nd line. Look for a rebound close to a ppg or better. Lucic is a beast, and if he can show any kind of goalscorer touch the Neely comparisons won't ever stop. That said, he's never possessed scoring ability at any other level, so it may be a bit much to ask. Franzen flashes all-world power-forward abilities, but can also go long stretches without productivity. Will have to prove he can earn his long term mega-contract.

C: Kopitar-LA RFA, Horcoff-Edm RFA, Hanzal-Phx P3

Rating: 2.5

Kopitar looks ready to take the next step up to being an unstoppable offensive force. If the big Slovenian breaks out he could score well over a ppg. Even if he doesn't, he's a legit 2nd liner based on his stats so far. Horcoff is constantly miscast by Edm coaches as a #1 center, and would be better served doing less heavy lifting as a #2. He's likely already peaked offensively and the results are a career best 70+ pts a couple years back - which he is unlikely to duplicate. Hanzal has a big body, skates well and possesses some offensive talent, but is likely to be a career third liner ala RJ Umberger and Martin Handzus.

R: Hejduk-Col FP. Little-Atl P3, Kane-Chi P3, Setoguchi-SJ P3

Rating: 3.5

Hejduk is now all but useless as an FP, and it is an open question as to whether the KT would be better served replacing him, either with someone new at the draft, or with Pat 'Twenty Cents' Kane from their farm system. In any case, he is now a drag on the roster. Little had a nice breakout year and is a solid promotable prospect for the 2nd line. Kane is the niftiest player in Chicago since Denis Savard, and has his future status as an FP all but stamped for him. So long as he takes limos from now on, it should all be gravy for him. Setoguchi flourished in a scoring line role in San Jose, and should build on his success. He has terrific wheels and finishing ability, but may be trade bait, and there is a concern he could be pulled from Thornton's wing at any time.

D: Weber-Nsh RFA, Carle-Pha RFA, Girardi-NYR RFA, Sekera-Buf RFA, Shattenkirk-Col P3, Pieterangelo-StL P2

Rating: 3

Weber is an all-purpose beast, and early on last year was garnering attention as a Norris candidate. A clear #1 defender he has an outside shot to be an FP replacement for the ever sucking Hejduk. Carle bounced around a bit the last few years (SJ/TBay/Pha) but seems to have found a home. He's got offensive ability but is unreliable in his own zone and can see intermittent ice-time as a result. Girardi is a nice two-way defender in the Rangers corps who can man the powerplay. He's a decent top 4 defensmen, but would be excellent as a 5-6 man. Sekera will get a chance to prove he can be a powerplay QB and with the dearth of puckmovers in Buffalo his stats should improve. Shattenkirk is the Av's best prospect, but a full rookie season is necessary to see whether the slightly undersized rearguard will prosper or flounder. Pieterangelo is a fast skating refrigerator sized D-man and should form a potent partner for the similarly talented Erik Johnson on the Blues.

G: none.

Rating: 0

Total = 12


The Wolves

LW: Kozlov-Atl RFA, McDonald-StL RFA, Umberger-Clb RFA, Frolik-Fla P4, Hudler-KHL P3, Bowman-Car P2, Svensson-Paajarvi-Edm P2

Rating: 2

Despite the volume of players available there isn't a lot of top-end talent. Kozlov is aging rapidly and is on the downside of his career. He'd make a nice #3. McDonald could rebound to be a great 2nd liner, but has a big injury risk asterisk next to his name. Umberger is a linebacker on skates but despite some decent offensive ability is unlikely to land on a scoring line with Brassard taking over his spot on the #2 line. Frolik should make the jump on to the active roster, but isn't a lock to produce and is based more on reasonable projection. Hudler would have been a logical fit but is going to play overseas for big coin and will be missed. Bowman and MSP are both likely a year or more away from productive stats.

C: O'Sullivan-Edm RFA, Toews-Chi P4, Backlund-Cgy P2, Berglund-StL P2, Hodgson-Vcr P2, Schenn, B-LA P2

Rating: 2.5

O'Sullivan should land on a scoring line but Edmonton's wingers aren't great, and O'Sullivan is running out of kicks at the can to be an above average offensive producer. Toews is a stud, and could end up the teams best pivot regardless of who else the Wolves draft. Backlund has wicked talent, but is still at least a year away from cracking a top line in Calgary. Berglund has the full tool-box of; size, wingspan, shot and skating ability and could well end up as a productive pivot. That said, he tailed off badly after a hot start last year, so endurance and conditioning are suspect. Hodgson is a true Calder candidate, but its premature to expect him to post dressable numbers this season. Schenn is as rock solid as his brother but with lots more offense, and could develop into a Mike Richards type - best bet is that he is at least a year or more away from threatening for a lineup spot.

R: Gaborik-NYR FP, Antropov-Atl RFA, Holmstrom-Det RFA, Ericksson-Dal P4, Wheeler-Bos P2

Rating: 4.0

If Gaborik can manage to stay healthy (a big 'if') this rating goes higher, but as it is Gaborik should be an elite force the Wolves who will need all the offense from him they can get. Could be trade bait though, as Gaborik lacks the consistency to be an elite FP. Antropov will not likely produce enough to be anything other than a 4th liner. Holmstrom has battled nagging injuries for two years running, but if he's healthy he'll lock down the 3rd line. Ericksson blossomed into a legit 30 goal scorer last year and is a mortal lock to be the teams 2nd liner barring the drafting of a superior talent. Wheeler had a terrific first half of the season before hitting a wall. A full-season from him on a scoring line would give the Wolves a monster winger with scoring touch. They can easily wait on him to see if it happens.

D: Pronger-Pha FP, Phaneuf-Cgy RFA, Seabrook-Chi RFA, Ohlund-TBay RFA, Salo-Vcr RFA, Hedman-TBay P2

Rating: 4

Pronger is the prototype d-man, big, nasty, skilled, powerplay QB, and minute muncher. Phaneuf is similar but lacks the overwhelming size Pronger brings to the table. Together they form a devastating 1-2 punch. The only question is whether the team wouldn't be better served moving Pronger on and bringing in Phaneuf as his FP replacement. As a short term strategy it makes sense to keep Pronger, but he is already 35, and the long term strategy of building around the much younger Phaneuf would seem to be ideal. Seabrook is just arriving as an elite defenseman, and while his offense last year was good, his +/- stats were awesome. Ohlund and Salo are excellent depth defenders who can chip in respectable offense. Hedman gives the team a home run threat coming down the pipe, and is a likely Calder candidate based on the fact he's already dominated a league playing against men.

G: Fleury-Pit RFA

Rating: 3.5

Fleury's regular season stats were nothing to get excited about, especially as the team in front of him played some terrible hockey early on, and leaves him hung out to dry even when they are playing well. Still, his playoff performance leads one to think he should be at least average as a starter in the FUNHL.

Total = 16


The Scourge

L: Tlusty-Tor P3, van Riemsdyk-Pha P3

Rating: 1.5

Tlusty could well end up on a scoring line in Toronto, or he could spend another year in the AHL, or he could be traded, or he could be injured, or he could be naked on the internet again. van Riemsdyk was taken 2nd overall behind Pat Kane, but has yet to play meaningful minutes. Trade rumours surround him in Philly, but he has the frame and goalscoring abilities teams crave, and could be this year's Bobby Ryan.

C: Spezza-Ott FP, Carter-Pha RFA, Bergeron-Bos RFA, Pouliot-Min P4, Winchester-Ott P2

Rating: 4.5

Spezza should bounce back to well over a ppg - especially if the team stops screwing around with his best line-mate. Carter and Bergeron are elite players for slots 2-3, and give the Scourge a powerful 1-2-3 punch down the middle. Only concerns are with Bergeron's health - which frankly should be a large concern given his concussion issues. Pouliot can fill the 4th line role so long as nothing is expected of him. Winchester will be a long shot to make the AHL all-star team.

RW: Brunnstrom-Dal P2, Perron-StL P2, Hornqvist-Nsh P2

Rating: 2.5

Brunnstrom started with a bang (hat-trick his first game) but quickly faded out of the picture in Dallas, never living up to the hype he had in the offseason. He should do better this year, but unless he lands on a scoring line his impact will be minimal. Perron is a Martin St Louis clone with great hands and wheels. Is further along in his development than Brunnstrom and should play a meaningful role in the Blues offense this year. Hornqvist is a big body goal scorer with limited foot speed. If his skating is improved he could fill the hole on the Preds 2nd line. Don't count on it though.

D: Hainsey-Clb RFA, Robidas-Dal RFA, Barker-Chi RFA. Hickey-LA P2

Rating: 2.5

Hainsey is a low-grade powerplay quarterback with defensive deficiencies. He's also the best offensive option in Columbus till Bogosian takes over. Robidas is a nice all-round defender but lacks offensive punch and is best suited to the bottom four. Barker is the prize, as he could easily explode and produce top end offensive numbers for Chicago - lord knows we've waited long enough for that to happen. Hickey is still a project, but an intriguing one. He's gifted offensively but is of slight build, and may need added muscle and experience. Probably still a year or more away, but he should be a keeper.

G: Lundqvist-NYR FP, Valiquette-NYR RFA

Rating: 4.5

Lundqvist is one of the elite netminders in the game and is easily the Rangers best player. The only concern is Lundqvist has had some nagging injuries the last two seasons. Valiquette will be turfed as he is no longer in the Rangers plans.

Total = 15.5


The Shadowmen

L: None

Rating: 0

Sure looks like one of the key draft areas for the Shadowmen will be at Left wing.

C: Sundin-UFA RFA, Koivu,S-Ana RFA

Rating: 1.5

Sundin hasn't decided if he is even going to play yet, but if healthy and motivated might be a very good 3rd liner with 2nd line upside. Saku the Elder has talent to burn and will get ice-time with fellow aging Finn Selanne, but can't be counted on to stay healthy for more than 50 games.

RW: St Louis-TBay FP, Knuble-Wsh RFA, Burrows-Vcr RFA, Okposo-NYI P4, Oshie-StL P3

Rating: 4.5

St Louis is still an elite RW despite advancing age, he's playing out the string as an FP, but should be a well above average top level scorer for his position. Knuble has a lot of miles on him, but his linemates should be excellent for at least one more season of goalscoring stats. Burrows is a great agitator/scorer combo and in most circumstances would slot comfortably into the 2nd line role. Okposo has all the tools to threaten for a spot beneath St Louis on the active roster, but he will likely start the season as the teams 4th liner until he shows his offense off. Oshie is equally a threat to move someone off one of the playing lines, but he has another year of eligibility on him so the urgency to give him a shot isn't there unless he really lights it up. This position is clearly one of the Shadowmen's two pillars of strength.

D: Yandle-Phx RFA, Tyutin-Clb RFA

Rating: 1

Yandle has yet to have a breakout season with dressable stats, though he would be in the mix for most teams bottom pairing. Tyutin has a better track record, but is still most likely a bottom four defenseman. Neither would be worthy of a match if taken earlier than expected.

G: Luongo-Vcr FP, Vokoun-Fla RFA

Rating: 5

Arguably the world's best goaltender, and a backup who is arguably a starting caliber netminder in his own right. Doesn't get more rock solid.

Total = 12

9/05/2009

A Matter of Clarity

If a player from Franchise A is bid on in the first or second round, and the GM for Franchise A is picking 1 or 2 new FPs, and has not had his first or second pick yet. Matching that player does not make that player the new FP correct?

Are the players that are matched therefore be picked in Franchise A's 3rd and or 4th slots?

9/03/2009

Quote of the Day

"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the owners he could run a league"

Puck Daddy commenter 'journeyman'
on the 'Verbal Kint-esque' picture below;

9/02/2009

RULE PROPOSALS and VOTING

RULE PROPOSALS AND VOTING PROCESS FOR 2009-10 SEASON

Deadline for Rule Proposals: Wednesday, September 9 (midnight MST) *

Final Rule proposals then officially posted on Thursday, September 10

Voting deadline: Wednesday, September 16 (midnight MST) **

Results then posted on Thursday, September 17


* note – please post your proposals and/or send them to Brian

** note – votes to be submitted to Brian (he will submit his votes to Rob + Bob) - please do NOT send in your votes until AFTER proposals posted on Thur, Sept 10.


RULE PROPOSAL #1 (proposed by Richard; see May 27 on blog)

Reduce the number of waiver drafts to one a year.


RULE PROPOSAL #2 (proposed by Richard; see May 27 on blog)

Waived players remain on waiver wire for the remainder of the season.


RULE PROPOSAL #3 (proposed by Rob; see May 27 on blog)

Reduce the number of prospects to 6 effective for the 2010-11 season.


RULE PROPOSAL #4 (proposed by Chris; see May 27 on blog)

Prospects must be 18 years of age or older when drafted.

The Hockey Pool Guide Book

You know, the one with the white background cover...anyone seen it yet this year?