Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Collision Sidelines Hossa

The Blackhawks have received some hard-luck news, as it appears they will be without one of their superstars for the next few weeks.  It was announced on Tuesday morning that Marian Hossa will miss the next 2-to-3 weeks with a lower-body injury, which he suffered in a collision with teammate Nick Boynton at practice on the weekend.  Hossa had to be helped off the ice and now the team has confirmed that he will miss some time here in December.

It hasn't been a great year for Hossa, thus far, already missing time this season with an upper-body injury.  Hossa has played in 21 games for the Blackhawks this season, scoring 8 goals and 10 assists, giving him a reasonable scoring rate, but not a superstar scoring rate by any means.

Hossa's two-way game will also be missed, as the Blackhawks didn't fare too well without him in the line-up earlier this season, going 2-3-0 with Hossa out of the line-up and the two wins didn't come against the greatest opponents, so this could hurt the record overall as well.

ImplicationsIn the draft, this is a pretty big hit to one of the top teams in the pool, as Allan S., the current leader in the standings, will be without one of his top forwards for a few weeks now.  Allan drafted Hossa in the 4th round, 61st overall, but since he has missed time with injury, his bargain status has been removed from his name, since he went into Week Nine ranked 76th overall in pool scoring and will drop right away.

Three weeks out of the line-up shouldn't warrant being dropped, especially with the limited talent out there to replace him with, but that's just my theory.

Link to the Injury/News Page

Fleischmann for Hannan

2010/2011 NHL Statistics
To ColoradoPositionAgeGPGAPYearsCap Hit
Tomas FleischmannForward262346101$2.7 million
To WashingtonPositionAgeGPGAPYearsCap Hit
Scott HannanDefense31230661$4.5 million

The Avalanche remain busy on the trade news this week, as they have made another deal, this one recognizably larger than the deal that went down on Monday afternoon. The Avalanche have sent veteran defenseman Scott Hannan to the Washington Capitals for scoring winger Tomas Fleischmann.

The Avalanche just lost the services of their current scoring leader, Chris Stewart, and they were in need of supplementing their offense with a bit of a boost.  Fleischmann has been on the outs with the Capitals line-up of late, spending some time in the press box as a healthy scratch, due to a lack of production.  There is little doubt that the skill level is still there, it is just questionable how much desire he had left, playing for the Capitals.

As for the Capitals, they have been rumoured to have been in the market for a big name defenseman to help bolster their lacking blueline and they have seemingly found one in the shutdown services of Hannan.  Hannan will bring a veteran presence to the team and some good physical play to a Caps defense that is bulking up in that department.

This definitely appears to be a deal that plays to both teams wants and desires.

Salary CapIn the deal, the Avalanche actually manage to drop a bit of their current cap hit, which wasn't a concern when they picked up Matt Hunwick from the Bruins on Monday. I have the Avalanche's estimated annual hit, with Hunwick and Fleischmann in the line-up at only $40 million, which includes a buyout still on the books.

The Capitals are not in terrible shape with this deal in place, in the annual sense. If the season were to have started today, the Capitals would have a projected annual cap hit of only $57.8 million, with Hannan in their line-up. Of course, there have been injuries, call ups and other miscellaneous movements in the organization in the first eight weeks of the season, which would alter their number, but I have the feeling that the Capitals are in fine shape with this deal.

ImplicationsThis is the kind of deal that Clayton was looking forward to in the draft, as Fleischmann was underachieving in Washington and spending all that time in the press box. If the Avalanche have done well with players like Peter Mueller or Kyle Quincey, why not Fleischmann?  At the very least, Fleischmann will get a chance to take Stewart's spot that was left open by the injury, so that will be some top six minutes with the new club.  This may have saved Fleischmann's bacon from getting dropped in the second round of the waiver draft.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Bruins Clear Hunwick to Colorado

2010/2011 NHL Statistics
To ColoradoPositionGPGAPYearsCap Hit
Matt HunwickDefense221231$1.45 million
To BostonPositionGPGAPYearsCap Hit
Colby CohenDefense00003$875,000

It appears that preparations for the season debut of Marc Savard have begun, as the Bruins have dealt defenseman Matt Hunwick to the Colorado Avalanche for prospect defenseman Colby Cohen on Monday afternoon.

The Bruins are dealing with some cap concerns before the return of Savard, who currently has an annual cap hit of $4.2 million, so in order to make sure they are compliant with the cap, the Bruins had to open up some space and the team's depth at defense made Hunwick somewhat expendable.

In Hunwick, the Avalanche get a 25-year old puck moving defenseman, who has shown some flashes of good offense, but also does a good job of eating up some solid minutes for his club, which is something the Avalanche can still use with some of their injury problems they've gone through this year.

The Bruins get a 21-year old prospect defenseman in Cohen, who is a bit bigger in size and is just starting to learn the pro game after a full career in NCAA hockey.  The biggest benefit of Cohen for the Bruins right now is that he is on an entry-level deal and his cap hit disappears during his development years in the minors.

Salary CapSpeaking in annual numbers, the Boston Bruins are hugging the salary cap ceiling with all their might and they won't let go any time soon. With two buyouts and a cap overage penalty on top of their roster on the books, the math gets really interesting. Players have already been up and down, Savard has missed out on over $800,000 of cap space worth of action, call-ups, send downs and whatever else, the math should be rather close to good for Boston going forward. They may have to get rather creative with their work.

The Avalanche had plenty of space going into this deal, especially with the injuries that have been sustained to some of their better players.  There should be no concerns about their cap situation, unless you're signing the cheques and you're running on a tight budget.

ImplicationsThere hasn't been a great deal of fantasy value coming from Hunwick this season and he can only be found in Box 29 of the selection sheet, unless someone wants to pick him up in the waiver draft this week. With only 3 points in 22 games, I don't think Hunwick is going very far, very fast.

Stewart Suffers Broken Hand

Just to add fuel to the fire, the argument of whether or not to let your star players fight will get stoked with news that Chris Stewart of the Avalanche has broken (or fractured) his hand after a fight with the Wild's Kyle Brodziak.  The diagnosis on Monday afternoon is that Stewart is slated to miss 4-to-6 weeks, which would put him back in the Avalanche line-up by the middle of January at the latest, more than likely closer to the New Year.

Stewart has been dynamite for the Avalanche this season, picking up 11 goals and 14 assists in the first 23 games, which is good enough for 18th in pool scoring going into Sunday's action, better than a point-per-game pace.  This will be a huge hole to fill for Colorado for at least the next few weeks, but the Avalanche have been known to look straight into the eyes of adversity and prevail, so here's another test.

ImplicationsStewart is Dale C.'s best player after Saturday's action and trying to recover from sitting in 13th place will require your best player in action, so this is a big blow to Dale's season.  The biggest question for Dale would be, is it worth it to drop Stewart, who will miss 3-to-5 weeks of the next 9-week segment, for another player who likely won't score at the same pace and risk not being able to get him back when the second waiver draft rolls around.  Decisions, decisions.

Link to the Injury/News Page

Week Eight Newsletter

Newsletter Header

Happy Waiver Draft Week everybody! Well, everyone in the draft, that is... the selection sheet runs smoothly throughout the season without any fancy breaks or notable prize giveaways, until we get more people in it, of course.

First of all, I want to acknowledge a major correction this week in Don D.'s team, which was only brought to my attention this week. His goaltender points were not correct for the first seven weeks of the season, as he was showing points for only half of his goaltending tandem, while the other half was Derek W.'s team. In short, Henrik Lundqvist was not redeeming all of his points in the standings, but now that we have a correction, Don's team is back to being correct and we'll play the correction as is.  This correction has lifted Don out of the basement of the pool and given him his correct pick in the waiver draft this week.

Yes, we're in the last week of the first segment of the season, which will begin our waiver draft and conclude our prize giveaway this year. Very exciting times and it is a pretty good race for the prize, with two teams taking a large percentage of the chances of coming away with the jersey, but I would say there are three more teams with an outside shot and two more teams as real dark horses to take the jersey home.

Thankfully, with the waiver draft upon us and a new segment starting next week, teams can refresh their chances and get their teams back in contention for the second jersey, just like that.  If you had a bad segment in the first nine weeks, make a couple of good drops and pick-ups and you could be back in the race for a jersey right away.

So, let's hit up the waiver draft page to check out the drafting order and get it going!

PhotobucketNot taking into account the massive correction that saw Henrik Lundqvist be worth 21 points in Week Eight, we had three other goaltenders vying for the spot of Player of the Week, all scoring 8 points each with the same record of 3-0-0 with 1 shutout.  Since it was three goalies with the exact same records in the same number of games played, I took to the number of saves to break this tie and it was Marc-Andre Fleury who came away with the prize after making 100 saves in three games for the Penguins.

It's taken a little while for Fleury to get back in the saddle as the number one goalie for the Penguins, with Brent Johnson doing such an amazing job while Fleury struggled, but now it seems like the Flower is back to his rightful spot as the starting goalie.  Just in time too, with the waiver draft upon us, I would wonder if John P. would consider moving him if Johnson had successfully dethroned Fleury.  Okay, that is a tad far-fetched.

On Monday, Fleury made 27 saves against the Florida Panthers in a 3-2 victory to open the week, then made  30 stops against the Buffalo Sabres in a tight 1-0 shutout victory on Wednesday, capping off the week with a 43 save performance against the Senators on Friday night, giving him 8 points on the week and 100 saves for the Player of the Week nod.

Fleury's week nearly doubled his overall output in points this season, bringing his season total to 18, which currently ranks him 86th in league scoring and 20th among goalies.

PhotobucketEven if I was to take the corrected team as the best team in the pool this week, it wouldn't have been by much, but that isn't really fair to the team that actually did the business without getting corrected in Week Eight.  Dale B.'s team had a fantastic week on the scoresheet, despite it being a pretty poor week for points as a whole.  Dale finished the week with 32 points and moved up from 13th to 10th spot, which is somewhat counter-productive just before a waiver draft, but he's at least putting himself in better striking distance when he improves his team this week.

This is Dale's first mention in the newsletter this season and it is definitely a good one.  Dale's good fortune has now put him only 18 points out of the money spots and he can deal with a couple of injuries that are holding him back at the moment.

The only two players not to score any points were those players holding Dale back in Week Eight, while everyone else was out there registering at least a point for him in Week Eight.  Leading the way for Dale B. was Brian Gionta, Jimmy Howard and Cam Ward, who all finished with 4 points each.  Johan Franzen, Scott Hartnell, Jakub Voracek and Marc Staal were all good for 3 points each as well in the week, showing some definite consistency throughout his line-up.

His two zeros, Simon Gagne and T.J. Oshie may be hard to part with this week, but it might have to be done, especially if there are suitable replacements to help boost his season.

Unfortunately, only being in 10th going into Week Nine doesn't suggest great things about his pool team overall, nor does it have him in the running for a jersey this week, but that kind of consistency he had this week would do well for him in the second segment.  Dale's statistical strength this season has been in goal, where Howard and Ward have been good enough for the 2nd most minutes played in the pool for a tandem with 2,108 and he's gets the 3rd best production per 60 minutes from them as well, 1.42 points, which has worked out to be 50 points through eight weeks, tops in the pool.  If Dale can improve his forwards, he'll be tough to stop.

PhotobucketWell, the only real benefit of having back-to-back weeks in the Basement Dweller spot is that this team is going to likely have the first pick in the waiver draft this week, but that's a far cry from where any team wants to be in the season... last place.  This is Clayton's dilemma, as his team has again fallen well-below expectations and things are in need of some serious change.  With only 15 points in Week Eight and a correction to one of his competitors in the bottom-third of the pool, Clayton has been left all by himself, 9 points back of 19th place and still a week away from having his new players activated.

Clayton had no help from his goaltending, 0 points, 4 points from his two rookie defensemen, 0 points from his veteran defensemen and then a smattering of 11 points from his forwards with Ryan Getzlaf leading the way with 4 points, which he had in one game.

No team has ever come back from last place in the pool at the waiver draft to win the whole thing or win money, but it's time to just aim low and just get out of last place with whatever changes can be made.

PhotobucketWell, I haven't received many trade requests coming out of Week Eight, most of the excitement of making the trades must have passed and now we'll wait and see how they all pan out now.

Our leader, Wes M., has now led four teams, including himself, over the 500-point mark in Week Eight, while there are still four teams yet to click over 400 points for the year, but that should happen by the end of Week Nine.  Wes opened up a little bit more of a lead, scoring 13 more points than Mitch F., a total that can be made up in a week as well.

Top billing for points in Week Eight belongs to Don C., who finished the week with 77 points, helping him move up three spots in the standings to 17th place and on the climb upwards.  Don was led by Alex Ovechkin (6 points), Dustin Byfuglien (6), Joe Thornton (5), Dany Heatley (5), Patrick Sharp (5), Nicklas Backstrom (5) and four others with 4 points a piece.  Don has made six of his seven trades this season to get this far and now he's hoping those moves can get him a little bit higher into the standings and start fighting for the money.

The biggest mover in the standings was Zarcar's Magic, who went up five spots from 30th to 25th, thanks to making four trades at the beginning of Week Eight.  Trades are good, they'll move you out of the basement!


A bout of the flu was enough to keep David Krejci from practicing and playing on the weekend.  The flu shouldn't keep Krejci out of the line-up for too long, which is likely music to the coaching staff's ears, because the team looked a little lost without him on Sunday against the Thrashers, losing 4-1 in the process.

Nikita Filatov returned to the press box on Sunday when the Blue Jackets took on the Red Wings in the second half of a home and home series on the weekend.  Filatov has not been dynamic in his return to the NHL this season and that can likely be attributed to one or both points here; he's not fitting in with the system and/or he doesn't care.  Neither of which are sitting well with the Jackets and I'm beginning to wonder what they'll do with him.

The Florida Panthers lost the services of Cory Stillman to back spasms in Saturday night's shootout victory over the Lightning and we are currently awaiting word to how much time he is expected to miss, if any, this week.  Back spasms are not the most severe ailments in the league, so he could just as easily return right away, but I imagine he'll miss at least one game.

Link to the Injury/News Page


Tripleheader!  Already being eight weeks through the season, I almost forgot that Hockey Night In Canada occasionally broadcasts a game on Saturday afternoon, but we will all be reminded with an early game, which may keep the interest in the jersey race alive!

To start Saturday's action, we'll see the San Jose Sharks take on the Montreal Canadiens and the top scoring player among these six teams, Carey Price (37 points), which should be a pretty good test for both teams.  The Sharks come into this game with 11 players drafted, but will definitely finish Week Nine with a couple drops to their team name in the waiver draft, while the Canadiens will come in with eight players and may have a couple drops and pick-ups on the blueline.

In the middle game, an Original Six match-up between the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs will feature 18 drafted players this week, with Tim Thomas leading all players in this game with 31 points this season.  Looking at who has who in this game, I'm not sure how many players are poised to get dropped, but we may have one or two new faces in the draft next week from these teams.

In the late game, we will see the Edmonton Oilers host the St. Louis Blues and it will be the return of Jaroslav Halak to Hockey Night In Canada, this time in the road whites with blue and yellow trim.  Halak leads all players in this game with 26 points through eight weeks, ranking 17th in the league.  It's hard to say whether or not players from either team will be dropped this week, while there are not many candidates for being picked either.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sharks Have Injury Woes

It's looking like a very tough stretch of luck here for the San Jose Sharks, who are seeing players drop like flies these days. First, Jason Demers went down earlier in the week with an upper-body injury, which has caused him to miss the last couple of games. Demers was also placed on the injured reserve this weekend, to make room for the call-ups (which included Box 9 forward Benn Ferriero).  Next, non-pool forward Scott Nichol went down with an eye injury and is listed as out day-to-day.  On Saturday night, the Sharks were then without Devin Setoguchi, who suffered an upper-body injury against th Canucks on Friday night and he is currently listed as out day-to-day.  During Saturday night's game against the Oilers, they then lost Box 13 defenseman Kent Huskins to an undisclosed injury after blocking a shot.

For the blog purposes, I'll just stick with the drafted players during the review.

In the 2010 season, Demers had a bit of a breakout season, but he has not been able to grow as a player and improve on those numbers in the 2011 season, but the Sharks defense as a whole seems toothless without having Rob Blake back there.  Demers has only counted 5 assists in 19 games for the Sharks this season, which is almost half of the scoring rate he had in 2010.

Setoguchi has not been much better as the scoring winger he is supposed to be in San Jose, scoring only 2 goals and 5 assists in 21 games this season, which is only good for 344th in pool scoring this season, a little ways down from his 2010 ranking of 226th.  Setoguchi is quickly finding himself on the same path that Jonathan Cheechoo was on, but this time, I don't see any teams lining up to take a chance on Setoguchi after the failure of Cheechoo in Ottawa.

ImplicationsWell, the biggest hit from this news is taken by Wes M., who has both Demers and Setoguchi this season, but you could also argue that the hits have already been taken, since neither player has done very well this season.  Wes already sits in 19th spot in the standings going into Sunday's action, so he should have a pretty good pick when the waiver draft starts on Monday, but the likelihood of coming back into the money remains slim-to-none, unless his picks are going to be great.

Link to the Injury/News Page

Gaborik Has the Flu

The New York Rangers were again without their top sniper on Saturday night, as Marian Gaborik sat out of the contest against the Predators with a bout of the flu.  The Rangers did manage to get the two points in the standings with a 2-1 win in the shootout, but with only one goal in regulation time, a dynamic player like Gaborik likely would have helped.

Gaborik has not seen the whole season with the Rangers, thanks to a shoulder injury at the start of the year and his hot start upon his return has since cooled down.  In total, Gaborik has only picked up 4 goals and 6 assists in 12 games for the blueshirts, which is a way down from his expectation levels.  Maybe the drive to return to the line-up will infuse Gaborik's game with some more intent to put the puck in the net.

ImplicationsIn the draft this season, Gaborik belongs to Stuart G., who currently sits in 14th place, 31 points out of the money, which could have been closed up a little bit if Gaborik didn't miss that time at the start of the season.  Stuart is the leader of the pack when it comes to the bottom-third of the standings, but has a 7-point gap to clear before he can get into the middle group.  At this point, he will be picking 7th in the waiver draft, pending Sunday's action.

Link to the Injury/News Page