Archive for the ‘Columbus Blue Jackets’ Category

NHL: 2010-11 Eastern Conference Playoff Picks

September 30th, 2010 2 Comments

With the regular season just a few days away from commencing there are still a lot of roster decisions to be made. That said, for the most part, the top three lines on most NHL rosters are all but set, which makes it all the easier to make some solid predictions for the upcoming 2010-11 season. The following is a look at the Eastern Conference teams and where I see these teams finishing. Washington Capitals: Prediction- 1st In the Eastern Conference. After an excellent regular season which saw the Capitals earn the Presidents Trophy and set all kinds of franchise records along the way, the Caps fell victim to Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jaroslav Halak’s superb goaltending in the first round of the playoffs. Consdering just how poorly the Capitals season ended,  you just got to believe that the Capitals will come back with a

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Toronto Maple Leafs: Season May Be Won or Lost Down the Middle

August 17th, 2010 No Comments

As much as it pains me to write this, Toronto Maple Leaf fans look to be headed for another long/frustrating season in 2010-11. While the Leafs will be a tougher team to play against, if general manager Brian Burke hits the floor running with the likes of Tyler Bozak, Nazem Kadri, Mikhail Grabovski, and Christian Hanson down the middle they will lose more battles and more games than they win. Want proof? Here is a sample of the top three centres from the top eight Eastern Conference teams as projected by The Hockey News: Boston Bruins: Marc Savard, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron  Buffalo Sabres: Derek Roy, Tim Connolly, Paul Gaustad Montreal Canadiens: Scott Gomez, Tomas Plekanec, Dustin Boyd  Ottawa Senators: Jason Spezza, Mike Fisher, Peter Regin Pittsburgh Penguins: Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Jordan Staal Philadelphia Flyers: Mike Richards, Jeff Carter,

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Tomas Kaberle: The Five Best Fits for Kabby

August 15th, 2010 1 Comment

The jury is still out on whether or not Toronto Maple Leafs veteran defensemen Tomas Kaberle will be traded, but with just over 24 hours to go before Kaberle’s no-trade clause kick’s back in, there seems to be a number of teams that are interested in Kaberle’s services. Leafs general manager Brian Burke has said that he would prefer to bring in a top six forward that can help elevate the Leafs into a playoff position as early as this season. But he said he would consider a “futures package” that may include one or more prospects and/or draft picks coming to Toronto. While there has been plenty of speculation as to which teams appear to be interested in Kaberle, there has been no confirmation. Of that teams that may be interested in Kaberle only a few may offer a

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Ilya Kovalchuk a Free Agent After NHL Wins Arbitration Hearing

August 9th, 2010 No Comments

Numerous on-line publications are reporting that Independent arbitrator Richard Bloch has ruled on the 17-year, $102 million Ilya Kovalchuk contract and the that NHL has won it’s case. As a result, Kovalchuk’s deal is now null and void and the talented Russian is now a free agent…again! The NHL had challenged the Kovalchuk deal on the pretense that the contract circumvented the NHL’s CBA. While many suspected the NHL would have difficulty proving their case, it appears as if Bloch, like so many other NHL fans, was able to see the Kovalchuk deal for what it was—a joke! Kovalchuk’s 17-year, $102 million deal would have seen the sniper retire at the age of 44. Needless to say, nobody was buying that Kovalchuk would play until he was 44, in fact, given the deal was largely front-loaded, it was thought that

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Ilya Kovalchuk Arbitration Hearing Concludes…And the Winner Is?

August 9th, 2010 No Comments

It appears as if the NHL and NHLPA will finally have an answer as to which side will emerge victorious in the grueling Ilya Kovalchuk saga. Richard Block—who was elected to be the arbitrator in the Kovalchuk hearings—has concluded his two-day hearings and now has until Monday to render a decision. Block has two options. First, he can choose to allow the Kovalchuk contract which would mean the NHL would have to accept the ridiculous 17-year, $102 million deal at face value. The other option would see Block side with the NHL, which would mean the contract would be rejected on the premise that it circumvents the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. If Block does side with the NHL, the New Jersey Devils (the team that signed Kovalchuk to the deal) would not only potentially lose the services of the talented

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All About the Benjamins: Why NHL Players Are Choosing the KHL

August 7th, 2010 No Comments

This offseason we have watched as several NHL players have chosen to continue their career with the KHL, shunning the NHL in the process. At the top of the heap, former San Jose Sharks goaltender Evgeni Nabokov signed a four-year, $24 million deal with SKA St. Petersburg, followed by former Atlanta Thrashers forward Maxim Afinogenov, who signed a five-year contract with SKA just yesterday. For many Russian players, heading back home to play is as much about convenience as it is about the money. That said, given the choice to make the same money, I suspect every one of them would rather be in the NHL—fact is, most of them are not worth it! While the skill level in the KHL is getting better, the league is nowhere near what the NHL is. SKA St. Petersburg, widely believed to be

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