Friday, October 8, 2010

We Have Moved to Another Site

We have moved this blog from to

I felt as though wordpress can offer much more from the site. We have all the rosters, stats, standings, power rankings, pretty much anything you can get from, Yahoo Sports, or ESPN, you can find on our site. We will continue to improve things on the new site potenitally adding salary cap information, rumor mills, and player cards as well.

With the season just getting underway we will be publishing articles at an alarming rate, tons of articles for you all to read. So check out the new site and let us know what you think.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Kovy's In, So Who's Out?

By: Tim Brennan

The wait for Ilya Kovalchuk to get off the free agent market is finally over. Kovalchuk became a lifetime Devil when he signed a 15 year, $100 million deal on Saturday. The contract was finally approved by the NHL and will pay the 27 year old Russian $90 million over the first 10 years. Ironically, Kovalchuk's cap hit per season will be $6.66 million. By the time the Devils pact with Kovalchuk expires he'll be 42 years old and more than likely sick and tired of playing for New Jersey.

Now that the Kovalchuk saga has finally come to a resolution, the Devils sit 3 million dollars over the cap limit. This creates a serious problem for GM Lou Lamoriello and the New Jersey Devils.

The Devils certainly have plenty of options available to get under the cap but the wrong move could damper the team's chances at competing at a high level. Several players will be up for grabs but certainly not Travis Zajac, who's name has been brought up countless times in trade rumors. If there's anything that Lamoriello doesn't want to do, it's trading Zajac. The Winnipeg native is the number one center on the team, plays a strong two way game and has created a deadly one two punch with Zach Parise. Zajac's numbers have gone the past two seasons and the 25 year old has the ability to blossom into a future Selke Trophy winner. In other words, trading Zajac would be a huge mistake.

Now the club can dangle a few high priced players in front of other teams and see if they take the bait and the contracts to go along with it. Three prime candidates for relocation are Bryce Salvador, Dainius Zubrus and Brian Rolston due to their large salaries. But one must wonder whether teams will want to take on any of these contracts.

Salvador is a stay at home defender who worked over Lamoriello to get a contract that would pay him $2.9 million a year. That's a high price considering that he doesn't contribute much offensively and is undersized. Salvador is pretty expendable, as still unsigned defenseman Mike Mottau plays a similar style but adds more offensively and is pretty dependable on the back end. But would a team take a chance on Salvador, given that he's 34 and has two more years left on his contract?

Both Zubrus and Rolston are reliable forwards who bounce around every line and can play every position offensively. Zubrus' cap hit comes in at $3.4 million for the next three years while Rolston looks forward to raking in $5.062 million each of the next two seasons. When healthy, Zubrus can put up 20-30 points but will New Jersey want to pay that much for a 3rd line center? And Rolston was a steady 30 goal scorer not to long ago but has tailed off in recent seasons so will the Devils want to keep him on a such a high price?

Since Brian Rolston has a no trade clause there is no way that he will be moving. Rolston started his career in New Jersey and it appears that the Flint, Michigan native plans on finishing up in the Garden State. Not to mention, Rolston still possesses a booming shot and a knack for versatility so the team needs someone of his stature.

Salvador and Zubrus on the otherhand do not possess no trade clauses and are more likely to leave New Jersey prior to the start of the new season. However, both Salvador and Zubrus haven't garnered any interest, leaving the Devils without options. A possible move could be trading long standing Devil Colin White. White is set to make $6 million over the next two years and hasn't been as noticable and productive as he was say three or four seasons ago. White does have a no trade clause in effect but if he was to be moved for the sake of the franchise, White might consider waiving it since the Devils have respected him for such a long time.

If all else fails, Lamoriello could banish one of these players (most likely Zubrus) to the minors, like he did with defenseman Dan McGillis in 2005.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Guerin Diverting South to Philly?

By: Tim Brennan

As the off-season winds down and a multitude of free agents continue to look for homes, former Pittsburgh Penguin forward Bill Guerin might have found his.

According to Tim Panaccio of, Guerin was seen working out at the Flyers practice facility in Voorhees, N.J. on Wednesday. The 39 year old from Worcester, Massachusetts was cut loose by the Penguins last week following a prolonged negotiation to stay in Pittsburgh that ultimately fell apart. Guerin stated that he talked to Flyers GM Paul Holmgren about possibly spending some time on the ice to stay in shape while in the area visiting family, to which Holmgren obliged.

Could this mean that Guerin wants to become a member of the Broad Street Bullies?

Guerin expressed interest in a few teams, including Philadelphia, but since he worked out in the orange and black, one has to think that the 17 year veteran is aiming at either a tryout or a contract. The ex-Penguin seemed pleased with an opportunity to get back onto the ice and couldn't be more complementary of the Flyers organization.

Now if Holmgren can make a pitch for Guerin to join the team come time for training camp, the Flyers will look that much better at repeating last year's run to the Stanley Cup Finals. Guerin, a 2 time Stanley Cup winner, knows what it takes to claim hockey's ultimate prize and puts everything on the line to win. Along with a tremendous scoring ability, Guerin possesses grit and tenacity which are attributes the Flyers love to see in their players. Guerin also is considered to be a vocal leader on and off the ice and sticks up for teammates.

In terms of what the Flyers might get out of Guerin, they will have a top 9 forward who can mentor and help out youngsters James van Riemsdyk and Claude Giroux as well as post 15-20 goals and 40 or more points. Guerin's 45 point season last year only proves that the guy still has what it takes even at his age. The loss of Arron Asham leaves a spot open on the JVR/Giroux line and who better to fill the gap than Guerin?

Whatever happens in the upcoming weeks leading up to the season, Bill Guerin will find a home whether it's in Philadelphia or not. Based on the fact that Guerin has spent 9 of his 17 years playing for teams in the Atlantic Division, the odds are high in Philadelphia's favor.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Can Gaborik and Frolov be a Top Tandem in the NHL?

By Eric Bancker

The New York Rangers were one of the lowest scoring offenses in the NHL last year, Glen Sather came into this off-season looking to improve on that. Sather added Todd White, Mats Zuccarello Aasen, Derek Boogaard, and most recently Tim Kennedy to the forward corps. He also re-signed Vaclav Prospal and Erik Christensen. The biggest addition to the forward corps was Russian sniper, Alex Frolov.

Frolov is coming off a bad season with the Kings where he tallied his lowest amount of goals in his career (19). Frolov has scored 30 goals twice, once in 2006-2007 (35), and 2008-2009 (32). Frolov found himself benched multiple times last year and really fell out of favor in Los Angeles, he was allowed to walk via free agency and was considering going to the KHL next year. Glen Sather was able to swoop in and sign Frolov to a one-year/$3 million contract, giving Frolov a chance to prove he can still be a star in the NHL.

Frolov will find himself opposite of Marian Gaborik this season. Gaborik is one of the top players in the NHL and when healthy he has the ability to be a game-changer. Gaborik had a great season his first year on Broadway, scoring 42 goals which tied his career high. He had 86 points total which was a career high. Gaborik did all of this without a true center or another legitimate sniper on the other wing.

Now, can Frolov and Gaborik give the Rangers the one-two punch they have been looking for?

Its seems like the two could combine for roughly 70-80 goals this season. Now I'm not going to jump to conclusions and say that Frolov will score 30 goals, he may score 20-25, but he is a nice compliment to Gaborik. Now there's no way these two will rival the production of a Crosby and Malkin but these two give the Rangers a chance to win every night.

For the Rangers to be successful they will need Frolov to not be lazy and selfish like he was in LA, which is the reason why he is no longer a member of the Kings. If he goes back to his old ways then this will be like Nikolai Zherdev all over again, another Russian who didn't completely pan out for the Rangers. Frolov may feel more at home since his old roommate, Sean Avery, is a member of the Rangers. Now maybe Avery isn't exactly the best guy to help Frolov transition into the John Tortorella system since Avery is a bit of rebel himself, in case you didn't already know that.

Sather has also brought in players to make Gaborik feel a bit more comfortable, Todd White and Derek Boogaard, both played with Gaborik in Minnesota. Its kind of like when Sather brought in Nylander and Straka to play with Jaromir Jagr. But we all know White and Boogaard aren't on the same level as Nylander and Straka but its good to see him providing familiar faces to help Gaborik feel more comfortable. I'm also getting off topic but its still an interesting point.

The Rangers aren't ready to make a run at the Stanley Cup, but they are taking some positive steps to give Rangers fans more faith in the team and in Glen Sather. Maybe Frolov will pan out, maybe he wont but either way its a smart signing by Glen Sather, boy you don't get to say that often.

Done Deal: Sharks Sign Cup-Winning Antti Niemi

By Eric Bancker

As the Blackhawks continue to dismantle their Stanley Cup winning roster, they watched their goalie sign a one-year/$2 million contract with the already dangerous, San Jose Sharks.

After yet another disappointing playoff run the Sharks came into this off-season well aware that they were going to let go of long-time goaltender Evgeni Nabokov. Over nine seasons in the NHL, all with San Jose, Nabokov has become the Sharks leader in nearly every goaltending category, including games played, wins, and shutouts. One thing he was never able to capture in San Jose was a Stanley Cup ring. Nabokov had decent success in the playoffs during his nine years with the Sharks going 40-39 with a 2.29 goals against average.

Now Antti Niemi comes in at the age of 27 already having a Stanley Cup ring, which he got this past season with the Chicago Blackhawks. Niemi had a great rookie campaign ending the season with a record of 26-7-4 and a 2.25 goals against average. He also went 16-6 in the playoffs with a 2.65 goals against average helping the Blackhawks capture their first Stanley Cup since 1961.

Niemi immediately makes the Sharks Stanley Cup favorites. He may have been a little shaky in the playoffs but you expect that from a rookie goaltender but having all the experience under his belt will help him this season. It also doesn't hurt that he has the best team in the NHL playing in front of him every single night.

The Sharks already signed Antero Niittymaki this off-season to replace Nabokov. It seemed as though they were content on letting Niittymaki and Thomas Greiss battle in training camp for the starting job and then platoon them throughout the year. Now with addition of Niemi, Greiss is the odd man out. Having Niemi and Niittymaki gives the Sharks a very good goalie combination. Niittymaki can also be somewhat of a teacher to Niemi considering their goaltending styles are very similar. Doug Wilson recruited Niittymaki when free agency opened up because he felt that his goaltending style resembled that of Antti Niemi and Jaroslav Halak and what do you know almost two months to the day he signed Niittymaki, he brings in Niemi.

Now, this deal is great for the San Jose Sharks but from the Blackhawks stance this doesn't make any sense. Niemi was awarded arbitration and the Blackhawks decided that they didn't want to sign him and let him become an unrestricted free agent, then they signed Marty Turco to a one-year/$1.3 million contract. So instead of re-signing a goalie that helped them win a Stanley Cup they signed a goalie that is past his prime and really isn't all that good anymore. Now I know the Blackhawks have salary cap issues due to some of the horrible contracts they have handed out, which has led to the complete dismantling of the roster. But it seems that they have dug themselves quite a hole and Blackhawk fans will have to wait a little while for another Stanley Cup win, they might even be waiting a few years for the Hawks to get back into the playoffs.

Was it really worth it to release Niemi for Turco? Only time will tell but I think the Blackhawks will wish they hadn't let Niemi go.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Is Chris Drury the Right Captain for the Rangers?

By Eric Bancker

Chris Drury has always been a guy who can come up big in the clutch when his team needs him. He has scored many big goals in his career, he has won a Stanley Cup, he also has been the captain of two NHL teams, the Sabres and Rangers. Drury has always been renowned for his leadership skills and has been called a natural born leader. Now with all that being said, even though he has been the captain of two teams, is he really the captain the Rangers need? Or is it time for a change in New York?

On July 1st, 2007 ex-Buffalo Sabre, Chris Drury signed a five-year/$35.25 million contract with the New York Rangers. Drury was the captain of the Buffalo Sabres and it was expected that once Jaromir Jagr wasn't a member of the team anymore that he would be named the 25th captain in Rangers history.

Drury was named an alternate captain during the 2007-2008 season and he played well in his first season with the Rangers. He had 25 goals and 33 assists also collecting 29 points on the powerplay and also continued being the clutch player that he always has been by netting seven game winning goals. Drury was able to lead the Rangers to a first round series win against the New Jersey Devils in the playoffs but they fell short to Pittsburgh in the next round.

The very next summer the Rangers decided to let Jaromir Jagr walk via free agency and he signed in the KHL with Avangard Omsk. Then on October 3rd, 2008 Chris Drury was named the captain of the New York Rangers.

Drury's first year as captain of the Rangers was successful to a certain extent. He had another good season, scoring 20 goals for the second straight year. But it seemed all season that the Rangers just decided to give up in games and Drury's leadership was nowhere to be found. Thus prompting Rangers management to make a coaching change and let go of the mild-mannered Tom Renney and bring in the head-case that is John Tortorella. The Rangers were able to slip into the playoffs and were eliminated in the first round by the Washington Capitals after they had held a 3-1 series lead.

Now taking a look at this season, Drury had the lowest amount of points he has ever had in his career (32). He really never showed any sort of leadership throughout the entire season, I know he isn't the vocal leader but he still didn't show any sort of ability to lead this team. He was bounced around between the 3rd and 4th lines and the Rangers fell flat on their face in the last game of the season and missed the playoffs for the first time since the lockout.

The one thing that sold me that this team doesn't really fall in with Drury as the captain was when the Rangers were in Calgary and he was blind-sided by Curtis Glencross, not one Rangers player went after Glencross after he hit him. A team should be standing up for their captain, the Rangers didn't and that raises some eyebrows.

Now the Rangers are looking to bounce back and Glen Sather has added a bunch of new names to the mix in New York. Should Drury be the guy to lead the team moving forward? For me that answer is easy, no.

Now how would the Rangers go about finding a new captain?

Ryan Callahan would be a great about five years. He has great leadership qualities but he isn't exactly ready to be taking charge of the team.

Marian Gaborik is without a doubt the best offensive player this team has, but he might not be ready to take over as captain. He's a good candidate though, he has a lot of energy out on the ice and that sort of thing can rub off on other players. But being a captain isn't all about having a high energy level, he needs to be able to lead.

Vinny Prospal is another energetic player who might fit well as a captain. I think he can teach they young guys coming up through the system and that's what you want from your captain.

Henrik Lundqvist is my final candidate. The Canucks named Luongo their captain so why not Lundqvist in New York? He is a guy who never quits, he hates to lose, and he's not afraid to show emotion out on the ice. He's definitely a guy the Rangers could name captain and I think he would do a phenomenal job.

But as of right now the Rangers should strip Chris Drury of his captaincy and go into this season without a captain, as they did in 2005-2006. Name Callahan, Gaborik, and Prospal as the alternate captains and let one of them emerge as a true leader, or maybe someone who I didn't name can rise to the challenge.

Either way, if the Rangers don't find themselves a good enough leader they will drown once again this season.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Where Does Tim Kennedy Fit in With the Rangers?

By Eric Bancker

Yesterday the Rangers came to terms with forward Tim Kennedy, the deal is for one-year/$550,000. This contract is also a one-way contract which means Kennedy is guaranteed a roster spot.

This signing is pretty much unnecessary for the Rangers. They have plenty of young talent that should be fighting for rosters spots in camp. Now Kennedy will be brought in and will be taking a spot away from a young Rangers forward looking to prove themselves. Now Kennedy is young (24) but the Rangers didn't need to add him to the roster.

There are only two reasons I could see for him being signed and one is if the Rangers were planning to make a move with their current roster. A trade could be possible but it doesn't seem like it will be something big that will really shake this team up.

The only other thing I can come up with is that fact that Kennedy was brought in to add competition during camp, and with a bunch of young players looking to prove themselves you want heavy competition.

Kennedy is a good bottom-six forward who can give you strong shifts on the penalty kill as well as contribute a little bit on the offensive side. He plays big for his small stature (5'10, 173lbs), he also possesses a quick release and has good speed.

The Rangers didn't have to really splurge to get Kennedy but this signing did put them over the salary cap. This signing also makes me feel as though Wade Redden will be waived, I wrote an article on that as well if you haven't seen it check it out. The Rangers now also have 15 forwards under contract for this season and as you know you only need 12. Now there will be healthy scratches and things like that but things don't seem right in Rangers camp.

Why sign Kennedy when you have young talent waiting to get a roster spot? Why was signing Kennedy more important than re-signing Marc Staal? The Rangers have added a ton of depth this off-season, which is great for the team but this signing really doesn't make much sense and it leaves me to believe that Sather has at least one move left before its all said and done.