Monday, February 29, 2016

McGinn Heads to Anaheim

2016 2016 2017
To Anaheim POS GP G/W P Cap Status
Jamie McGinn F 63 14 27 $2.95 mil UFA
To Buffalo POS GP G/W P Cap Status
Conditional 3rd Round Draft Pick

The last of the pool relevant deals on this trade deadline day went between the Buffalo Sabres and the Anaheim Ducks, where another player that seemingly came out of nowhere earned a team a decent return in a trade.

The Sabres acquired Jamie McGinn in the same deal that brought Ryan O'Reilly to town, almost like a throw-in for the deal and the Sabres were obviously quite pleased with what they got.  Thanks to a decent year and unrestricted free agency looming, McGinn became a pretty good rental option for a playoff bound team... enter the Ducks.

As the day wore on, the prices seemingly went down a little bit, as the Ducks managed to pick up the depth scoring forward for a conditional 3rd round pick, which likely improves upon how far the Ducks go into the playoffs.  Anaheim is certainly one of those teams to watch down the stretch and into the playoffs, because they may have a strong chance at going far.

The Chicago Blackhawks and Los Angeles Kings may have something to say about that though.

ImplicationsMcGinn was a Waiver Draft pick-up of Stacey M.'s in Week Eighteen and since becoming active, he has posted 4 points in 10 games with the Sabres.  That's little consolation to Stacey's team, which is really hurting from injuries and on the verge of not being able to escape last place in the standings.

Bruins Finish Shopping With Stempniak

2016 2016 2017
To Boston POS GP G/W P Cap Status
Lee Stempniak F 63 16 41 $850k UFA
To New Jersey POS GP G/W P Cap Status
2016 4th Round Draft Pick
2017 2nd Round Draft Pick

Is the window closing on the Boston Bruins or something?  Much like the Los Angeles Kings, these guys are a much better playoff team then they are a regular season team and all they have to do is make it into the Spring Dance, just to become a contender in the East.

With that being said, the Bruins have been gearing up for a playoff run and the acquisition of Lee Stempniak from the Devils is making the best of a limited situation at today's trade deadline, offering up a couple more draft picks to make themselves better equipped for April, May and possibly June.

Stempniak has had a career resurgence in New Jersey this year, nearing the 20-goal plateau for a guy that had to earn a contract on a tryout in training camp and quickly became an asset worth dealing, because of his low cap hit and high offensive return.  This definitely worked for the Bruins, as it was all coming together for them.

The Devils did get a nice little haul of a couple of picks, which should help their own rebuild, which they have going on at the moment.  The marquee pick doesn't happen until 2017, but its still a pick worth keeping around, especially given the circumstances of the player.

ImplicationsIn Benson's case, he needs a small miracle to ensure that his team won't end up in the pool's basement, although we've looked at most basement dwelling teams and they all seem to have some big injury flaws or more to them.  If Stempniak can keep the pace going in Boston, Benson could be safe from too much more falling.

Bruins Acquire Liles

2016 2016 2017
To Boston POS GP G/W P Cap Status
John-Michael Liles D 64 6 15 $3.875 mil UFA
To Carolina POS GP G/W P Cap Status
Anthony Camara F 0 0 0 $787k RFA
3rd Round Draft Pick
5th Round Draft Pick

The Boston Bruins were in the market for a puck moving defenseman at this deadline, trying to work their way through the priorities, top to bottom today and about third on their list was John-Michael Liles of the Hurricanes, who they opened up the vault for, offering up a 2011 draft pick prospect and a couple of picks to get the deal done.

Liles, 35, has certainly made the rounds in his career, jumping from team to team, usually around this time of year and now the Bruins are trying to work their way into a long playoff run in the Eastern Conference with a new blueliner in their collection.

His season to date hasn't been spectacular with a Hurricanes team that was still somewhat in the playoff race, but opted to be sellers for long-term gains, instead of heading to a short playoff run, if there was one at all.

The Hurricanes will give this older prospect a try in their system or maybe at the top level, since they've sold off a lot of pieces already, see if it is worth while to keep Anthony Camara on after this deal, when it expires in July.

ImplicationsIn the pool, Stuart gets a little bit of a boost, since the Bruins are a good team from the blueline to the offensive net, which should help Liles pick up a few more points down the stretch.  His team is 26 points from the money, which, like a lot of deals already done today, won't be assumed by one player making an impact on his team with only six weeks to play.

Maybe more to the point, Stuart has some side bets on the go, including one defenseman bet, that he's losing quite badly to Clayton, 139 to 111.  That's an even bigger gap than his one to the overall money prizes.  Oh, but he is winning the defenseman bet with John S., 111-59... that helps.

Ducks Add Injured Pirri

2016 2016 2017
To Anaheim POS GP G/W P Cap Status
Brandon Pirri F 52 11 24 $925k RFA
To Florida POS GP G/W P Cap Status
2016 6th Round Draft Pick

The Florida Panthers dealt injured forward Brandon Pirri to the Anaheim Ducks on Monday, receiving a late round pick this year as compensation in the deal.

Pirri, 24, has seen a couple moves now in his young NHL career and in order to make the most out of this one, he'll have to come back from a fractured ankle, which has kept him on the shelf since the middle of February, likely still a month away from returning, at best.

Since the Panthers have continued to roll without him and his potential free agency status at the end of the year, the Panthers were obviously comfortable moving this asset here at the deadline and even more comfortable taking on a much-lesser pick in order to accommodate the move.

It's by no means a bad deal for either side, very low risk and decent reward for the Ducks.

ImplicationsThis move will be a while before it starts to pay off for Derek W., if it does at all, as the injury will still play a huge role in how much he can produce still this year.  Derek's team currently sits in 15th, 54 points back of the money.  There isn't much left that Pirri can do for him in this deal.

Stars Add Russell From Flames

2016 2016 2017
To Dallas POS GP G/W P Cap Status
Kris Russell D 51 4 15 $2.6 mil UFA
To Calgary POS GP G/W P Cap Status
Jyrki Jokipakka D 40 2 6 $900k 1 year
Brett Pollock F 0 0 0 USD USD
Conditional 2016 2nd Round Draft Pick

The Calgary Flames were reportedly taking a lot of calls on their future free agent-to-be defenseman Kris Russell leading up to the deadline and they were able to swing a deal that brings a couple of prospects over to their side to fill their shelves, while the Stars add another puck moving defenseman for their side.

Russell, who's currently nursing an injury, currently day-to-day, will help a pretty potent offense by moving the puck like he does and he also provides a shot blocking element, bettered by few in the NHL today.  The Stars have a defense that offers up a lot of shots against, so he'll have his work cut out for him.

Jokipakka, 24, will likely get some early work with the Flames, as they moved out another big minute defenseman and they wait on the Dennis Wideman process to end, but he'll come to a team as a young, emerging talent with some offensive upside to him.

The 2nd round pick for this year, could improve to a 1st round pick, if the Stars reach the Western finals and Russell plays in 50% of the games.

ImplicationsA move from an inconsistent offense to an inconsistent defense could help Russell's numbers, when he's healthy and back playing again.  Well, at least that's the hope for Troy, who will open the week in 17th place in the standings and among the pool low in projected games to be played this week.  Now 62 points out of the money, I am thinking that's way too far out to have this trade make any difference for him.

Noon Player Notes in the Draft (Feb 29)

The Boston Bruins have announced that they have demoted forward Zac Rinaldo to the AHL on Monday, likely trying to make some room for any potential moves at the trade deadline.  Rinaldo is also due to have a phone hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety in the next 24 hours for a hit he laid on the weekend, which sounds like will earn him some kind of league mandated time off.  Either way, it sounds like Rinaldo will be missing some games.

This will have a pretty big effect on the PIM pool, especially if Rinaldo is buried in the minors for any length of time.  Wes was counting on some big minutes from one of his new hired goons, so now that he's out of the picture for the time being, Derek & Dan might be licking their chops.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Coyotes Deal Boedker to the Hills

2016 2016 2017
To Colorado POS GP G/W P Cap Status
Mikkel Boedker F 62 13 39 $3.75 mil RFA
To Arizona POS GP G/W P Cap Status
Alex Tanguay F 54 4 22 $3.1 mil UFA
Conner Bleakley F 0 0 0 USD USD
Kyle Wood D 0 0 0 USD USD

The shuffle in Arizona has begun at the trade deadline, as the Coyotes have parted ways with forward Mikkel Boedker on Monday, receiving veteran forward Alex Tanguay and a couple of unsigned prospects to help fill their shelves.

Boedker has been having a decent year in the desert, working towards a 20-goal year and with the Avalanche's high-potential offense, he has a chance of hitting that total before the end of the year.  With the Avalanche holding the last wild card spot in the Western Conference going into Monday's action, this move should help cement their spot in the Spring Dance.

Going the other way, a relatively good sized contract in Tanguay, who is having an okay year, as he winds down a pretty good career.  At age 36 and his numbers somewhat dwindling, the questions will likely come down upon him about how much time is left in his career.  At least at this point, he can bring some veteran wisdom to a young Coyotes team.

ImplicationsSo, both big contracts in this deal are players in the hockey pool, and they have relative value in the standings at this point in the year.  The improving situation for Boedker means an improving situation for Kristy & Don, who open this week 30 points back of the money.  There's no way Boedker is going to close that gap by himself, but he could make a dent in that body of work that needs to be done.

On the other hand, Tanguay belongs to Grant, who is just trying to stay out of last place.  He opens this week in 26th spot, now 5 points clear of last place, but Tanguay going to a lesser offense won't help him stay afloat as well.

Ankle Sprain Shuts Down Turris

The first really big news of the day isn't a trade, rather a big injury, as the Ottawa Senators are shutting down forward Kyle Turris for the rest of the year, as a high ankle sprain is not working for him at all these days.

The talented play-making centre has been in and out of the lineup a bit in recent weeks, but his last appearance, Saturday night against Calgary, appears to be his last, as he left the game early and didn't return.  An unfortunate finish to a bit of a disappointing season.

In 57 games this season, Turris picked up 13 goals and 30 points, which currently has him ranked 200th overall in pool scoring, which is surely to fall in the last six weeks, likely quite significantly.

For Stacey M., this now make three players on her roster that are now done for the rest of the season, increasing her team's chances of finishing 27th overall in the standings.  Her team only has 13 points to drop for that to happen and now down two forwards and a defenseman for the last six weeks, it is more than likely that it will happen.

Turris was taken in the 4th round of the draft, 87th overall this year by Stacey.

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Week Twenty-One Newsletter

It wasn't a great scoring week, in the grand scheme of things, so there were only a couple of close candidates for the Player of the Week, both of which were playing in Nashville, and in the end, it was their number one goalie carrying the load. Pekka Rinne was the best player in the pool, the only player to have 8 points in the week, clearly taking the nod at the end of the week.

The Nashville number one finished Week Twenty-One with a 3-0-0 record, with 1 shutout, only allowing two goals against in the week.  Rinne was able to beat the Canadiens, Blackhawks and shutout the Blues on Saturday night for his big week, just narrowly edging his teammate Filip Forsberg for the weekly honour.

Rinne's numbers have been pretty good this year, as he finished the week ranked 19th overall in pool scoring, 11th among all goalies, thanks to 24 wins, 4 shutouts and 2 assists this year, making up 58 points in total.

For Ryan, his 1st round pick is still playing like a 1st round pick, even if he is a little bit below his overall draft position.  Rinne was taken 10th overall by Ryan this year, but is still paying off in the 19th overall position.  Rinne kept Ryan in the hunt for the Mover & Shaker nod for the week, but the rest of his team had him falling a bit short in the end.

Instead, it was Brian who came away as the big Mover & Shaker in Week Twenty-One, as his team put together quite the effort to take the nod, picking up 36 points in the end, 2 points better than Tony and 5 points better than Ryan's team, mentioned above.  The Mover & Shaker nod has likely renewed a whole bunch of hope that Brian's team could offer up a challenge for the money positions before the end of the year.

What a solid week across the board for Brian's team, as his side only had one player on his active roster that finished with no points in the week, otherwise, it was points coming from anywhere and everywhere.  Mark Scheifele of the Jets and Johnny Gaudreau of the Flames both led the way in the week before the trade deadline, each picking up 5 points.

Evgeny Kuznetsov of the Capitals and Jhonas Enroth of the Kings each chipped in with 4 points a piece and then you can add 3 points from Jamie Benn of the Stars and Cam Talbot of the Oilers, that encompasses all of his top notch forwards and both of his goalies in the impressive week.

Brian's team is finally working its way out of a mid-season lull it was suffering from, as the best team, so far, in the third segment of the season.  Brian's team was in the money conversation early on in the season, peaking at 4th place as late as Week Five, but dropped down to 12th in Week Fourteen.  His team has really started to make a turn and with the names that are listed above, that shouldn't come as a major surprise.  Some injury problems were to blame for that drop and maybe a lack of scoring depth in the dog days.

Nevertheless, his team is back up to 5th place, thanks to his Mover & Shaker week and he is right back into the money conversation, now 5 points out of 4th place and 12 points out of that last paying spot, 3rd place.  His team made up 18 points on John P.'s money team, so there is plenty of potential to do it sooner, rather than later.

Two players on the Injured Reserve, both done for the remainder of the regular season, with six weeks still to go, is really going to hurt Stacey M's chances of not being in the Basement Dweller nod from one week to another.  Yes, both James Van Riemsdyk in Toronto and Jeff Petry in Montreal have been shut down to injury and it doesn't help that Shea Weber has also been on the shelf this week in Nashville, and that all adds up to 9 points in the week.

Stacey's team didn't have very far to drop, as her team had a cushion before the 24th ranked team, which was also vying for the Basement Dweller this week, but her team really fell away from 22nd overall and the conversation for last place is increasing to five teams this week.  With a weighted draft order system now in place, it isn't a terrible thing to finish at or near the bottom.

Out of her team's 9 points, Lars Eller of the Canadiens, Morgan Reilly of the Maple Leafs and Antti Niemi of the Stars led the way, each with 2 points, making up the gist of her scoring for the week.

As we head into the trade deadline today, her team does have one of the big chips in play today, as Jamie McGinn of the Sabres could get dealt to a contender, helping her team's cause immensely... or as best he can.

Jeremy almost gave up 1st place overall for the Newsletter mention, as Brenda & Seward's team put up a pretty good week, closing the gap back down to 1 point at the end of the week, down from 5 points at the end of Week Twenty.  At a couple points in time, they even held the lead, but the Newsletter is the know-all end-all of the week.

John P.'s grip on 3rd place has been slipping, as was mentioned in the Mover & Shaker this week, but it's both Neil and Brian coming up for him this week.  Neil will start Week Twenty-Two with only a 7-point gap to make up this week and that isn't very much, as we've seen from week-to-week.

The PIM pool gets bumped up the rankings in the Newsletter this week, because it is the only mini-game with a race left in it.  Wes dominated Derek & Dan this week, to open the lead back up to 35 minutes, after a 30-8 romp in the week.  It's still only a two-horse race though, as Dale B. is still 21 minutes behind the pool's third duo after making up 14 minutes and things should still come around and make this one interesting.

Has Ryan won this mini-game yet?  Probably.  Do I still have to write about this mini-game still?  Well, okay... maybe a little bit.

Ryan's rookies were not tops in the week, as that honour actually belongs to Mike, as all three of his rookies hit the board in Week Twenty-One, leading all rookie teams with 5 points.  Small consolation, I suppose... there's no prize for each week.


Could there have been nerves through the last week before the trade deadline?  Scoring was down by a point and a half per game, we were down an entire minor penalty per game and participation from players and goalies were all down too.  It wasn't really a good week for the pool, in the grand scheme of things.  Maybe once the deadline passes this afternoon, everyone will feel a bit better and go back to what they do best.


At the Stadium Series game in Denver, it would have been a pretty big disappointment to be a healthy scratch in that game and that's what it likely was for Teemu Pulkkinen, who returned to the press box, just in time to miss a grandstand game like that.  Pulkkinen has been a fairly regular scratch this season, featuring in only 32 games this season, about half, and there's a pretty good chance he'll feature as the lead popcorn guy for a few more down the stretch as well.

Kristy & Don activated him in their lineup in Week Nineteen and since then, he's only played in three games and not registered a point yet.  Maybe my mock draft wasn't so hot for them, eh?

As the trade deadline rolls closer and closer, there are a lot of eyes on the Toronto Maple Leafs and one of their trade pieces, PA Parenteau, was reportedly hurt in Saturday night's game against the Canadiens, dealing with some cramping of some sort.  Of course, when he left the bench, it caused quite the stir, but as of finishing this Newsletter on Monday morning, he still hasn't been dealt yet.

There's a pretty good chance that John P. will get a little bit of help with a deal that sees his player head to a contender, it's something his team could really use about now, after a bit of a soft week in the standings.

It was a rare start for Al Montoya on Sunday, as the Panthers number two goalie got the nod for the game against the Wild in the afternoon, but his appearance lasted less than eight minutes, as he suffered an upper-body injury in the game and was unable to finish.  The injury did appear to be a head injury, as he took an accidental elbow early on in the game, but I would have to think that the team will wait to see what his tests come back as today, before they make any big announcement.

This has some potential to be a big loss to Jeremy, despite only getting the odd start here and there.  Montoya has been great as the number two guy in Florida and our pool leader has already picked up 12 points from him this season, coming as a Waiver Draft pick.  That's not too bad.

I may have missed this once or twice in the last few weeks, but the 39-year old defenseman on Long Island, Marek Zidlicky, was again a healthy scratch on Sunday, as the Islanders were in Edmonton for one of the late games.  Zidlicky has played in 48 games this year, picking up 15 points, so he has been somewhat productive this season, but his age does lend itself to being a healthy scratch on a regular basis this season.

All three teams made up ground on Benson, as his aging defender sat up in the press box on Sunday night.  Benson's team is only 9 points up on 27th place, but on the plus side... his team did make up some ground on Stacey M., who is only 4 points away.

One last note to add here at the end... it appears that Edmonton forward Benoit Pouliot suffered a significant shoulder injury in that game against the Islanders last night, as the coaching staff believe it is going to be more than a day-to-day injury.  That's a tough loss for the Oilers, if they were still in the playoff hunt, but improving their lottery status for June isn't a terrible thing either.  How many more 1st overall picks can they get in the next decade?

Mike's rough season continues to get rougher and rougher.  His team ranks tied for 15th in skater games played this year, 53 games back of the healthiest team, tied for 19th in forward points, 111 back of the leader in the category.  It's been a hard luck year, but it could make for a good start to next year, with a high profile pick!

Click here for the updated injury/news page on the website

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Kings Add Playoff Performer Versteeg

2016 2016 2017
To Los Angeles POS GP G/W P Cap Status
Kris Versteeg F 63 11 33 $2.2 mil UFA
To Carolina POS GP G/W P Cap Status
Valentin Zykov F 0 0 0 $736k 1 year
Conditional 5th Round Draft Pick

The Carolina Hurricanes were the only dedicated sellers on Sunday, by the quick review tonight.  As the trade deadline approaches, they were ready to move assets, before and after their game against the St. Louis Blues.

The latter of the two moves saw Kris Versteeg, rental player extraordinaire, heading to the left coast, Tinsel Town, Hollywood... to the Los Angeles Kings for a prospect and a conditional pick.

The Kings get themselves a player that has been on two Stanley Cup winning teams with the team that they will be vying to get past this Spring, at one point or another, the Chicago Blackhawks.  Versteeg is a pretty good playoff performer and with the Kings ready to take the Pacific crown in the regular season, they will need someone of his calibre to keep that party going into the deep Spring.

On the other hand, the Hurricanes get another prospect that is a little bit more matured in Valentin Zykov, a 2013 pick (2nd round, 37th overall), who hasn't been able to crack a Kings lineup, where veteran presence is all the rage.  The Hurricanes have shown that they aren't afraid of youth and their acquisition of more is cementing that idea.

ImplicationsThis is another bottom of the standings acquisition in the hockey pool, as Cindy's team is in the bottom third, late on Sunday night.  This is the second player on her pool team to get dealt in the last few days, but on a win by one Kings team, it's tough to think that Versteeg will get any offensive gains out of the move to Los Angeles.  He certainly has a better shot in the playoffs, but his individual successes in the regular season will still be limited.