Archive for May, 2010

Which Player Will Brian Burke Draft If He Lands Columbus’ Fourth Overall Pick?

May 31st, 2010 No Comments

It’s not very often that an NHL team gets a shot at selecting in the top-five of the NHL Entry Draft. If Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke had elected to pass on  Phil Kessel and keep his first-round draft choice the Leafs would be doing exactly that, in fact, the Leafs would be drafting second overall. Recent reports from various news outlets suggest that Burke is in hot pursuit of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ first round draft pick, which would be the fourth overall selection. In order to get the Blue Jackets coveted first-rounder the Leafs would have to give up veteran all-star calibre defenseman Tomas Kaberle and perhaps a forward such as Mikhail Grabovski or Nikolai Kulemin—who has yet to sign a long term deal with the Leafs and is in the middle of a contract squabble.

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Monday Morning Musings With Me The Big E: NHL ‘Franchise Player’ Rule?

May 31st, 2010 No Comments

I write about hockey, a lot. I also read about hockey. I read about hockey teams and rumors, bloggers from all over the league and sports celebrities as well as so called hockey experts such as Al Strachan and Pierre Maguire. I however rarely read anything that gets me thinking like one article did last week. Patrick Storto of  The Checking Line.com wrote a piece about the possibility of the NHL adopting a ‘franchise player rule’ similar to the one that has been used in the NFL with varying degree’s of success. It isn’t the first time I’ve thought of this myself and I agree with Patrick’s idea but I think it’s important to provide a little background on the way it works in the NFL before I show you Patrick’s proposal. I couldn’t find a definite date on when

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Blackhawks Win Wild One, Lead Stanley Cup Final 1-0

May 30th, 2010 No Comments

Heading into the Stanley Cup Finals I really felt the Philadelphia Flyers and Chicago Blackhawks would play a tight checking brand of hockey that would see both teams score few goals. Low and behold the Blackhawks and Flyers scored ten goals in the first two periods en route to a 6-5 game one victory for the Blackhawks. A case of nerves and some bad goaltending from both the Flyers Michael Leighton—who was pulled for Brian Boucher with about four minutes to go in the third period—and the Blackhawks Antti Niemi, who let in his fair share of softies Saturday night. As bad as the goaltending was, both teams had to be disappointed in their star forwards as well. Flyers forwards Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were kept off the scoreboard and were a combined minus four on the night while

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Flyers/Blackhawks—Final Thoughts Before The Stanley Cup Final Begins

May 29th, 2010 No Comments

It’s funny how things work out. Last summer there were a few teams that kept creeping into the experts Stanley Cup champion predictions—the Chicago Blackhawks and, to a lesser degree, the Philadelphia Flyers. The Blackhawks and Flyers took very different routes to the Stanley Cup Finals. For the Hawks, their high-powered offense and stingy defense paved the way for their regular season and subsequent playoff success. As for the Flyers, their inclusion in the Stanley Cup Finals came in spite of a coaching change, numerous injuries and with the benefit of hard work, fighting through adversity and a little thing called lady luck. Regardless of the way these team have arrived in the Stanley Cup Finals, it’s safe to say both of these teams deserve to be here. Chicago enters the Stanley Cup Finals as the prohibitive favorites with a

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How Do The Philadelphia Flyers Stack Up Against The Chicago Blackhawks?

May 26th, 2010 3 Comments

The consensus pick in this years Stanley Cup Finals seems to be that the Chicago Blackhawks will make quick work of the Philadelphia Flyers with many prognosticators predicting the Hawks will take the series in five or six games. A quick look at the regular season standings reveals that the Hawks finished 24 points ahead of the Flyers, scored nearly a half a goal more per game and gave up about 0.30 goals more per game than the Hawks did. On special teams, the Flyers owned the superior power play with the Hawks emerging form the regular season with the better penalty kill. The Western Conference is widely believed to be the tougher Conference to play in, which only furthers Chicago’s numbers, which were amongst the very best in the NHL. If we have learned anything this playoff season it’s

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Steve Yzerman Named Lightning GM: Was It A Good Move???

May 26th, 2010 No Comments

Numerous media outlets are reporting that Steve Yzerman will be announced as the Tampa Bay Lightning’s General Manager at a 3:00 p.m. news conference this afternoon. Yzerman had been working with the Detroit Red Wings as an executive. Most recently, he served as Team Canada’s general manager at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. He will leave Detroit for what can only be described as a great situation in Tampa. The Tampa situation does not come without it’s challenges but, given his resume and accomplishments, Yzerman’s should be able to solve them. In Jeff Vinik, the Tampa Bay Lightning finally boast an owner who is both stable and has deep pockets. Vinik, who bought the Lightning on March 3, 2010, has stated on many occasions that he is committed to recapturing the winning ways of the Lightning and to make the

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