Looking Ahead: The Top Ten Unrestricted Free Agents Of 2011

March 24th, 2010 No Comments

Written By; Mark “The Hard Hitter” Ritter The NHL’s unrestricted free agent crop of 2010 is not a particularly strong one. Patrick Marleau and Thomas Plekanec make up two of the strongest forwards available while Nik Lidstrom and Evgeni Nabokov are two of the strongest players available on the back end. It is the belief of most prognosticators that Marleau, Lidstrom and Nabokov will all re-sign with their current clubs, with Plekanec being the most likely to move on. Given the suspected lack of movement and the belief that the 2010 unrestricted free agent crop will be very average overall, it may be wise for teams to save their cap space for 2011 (or so you’d think). When you look at the overall picture for 2011 UFA’s it mirrors 2010 very well—great talent at the top, but not much depth.


Jeff Carter Out For The Season, Giroux To Step Up?

March 22nd, 2010 No Comments

Written By: Mark “The Hard Hitter” Ritter If the Philadelphia Flyers are going to make the playoffs this season it looks as if they will have to do so without the services of Centre Jeff Carter. The Flyers have announced that Carter is expected to be out of the lineup with a fracture of his left foot for up to three to four weeks. When you do the math, three to four weeks would mean Carter will likely not make it back into the Flyers lineup until the first round of the playoffs…that is if they make it. Through 72 games the Flyers have amassed 79 points, which puts them sixth overall in the NHL’s Eastern Conference (tied with the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators), just three points up on the eighth place Boston Bruins and four up on the


Ritter’s Rant: News And Notes From Around The NHL

March 20th, 2010 No Comments

Written By: Mark “The Hard Hitter” Ritter Given the severity of the hit on Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook I completely understand why he is pissed off at Anaheim Ducks defenseman (and friend of Seabrook) James Wisnewski. That said, it is a long know fact that once the puck drops there are no friends on the ice, always has and always will be that way. I suspect once Seabrook has time to reflect on this that he will realize that Wisnewski was merely doing his job, albeit in a dangerous and gutless fashion. Seabrook can be mad at James Wisnewski the hockey player, but if they are really as tight as they suggest they are, then Seabrook can’t be mad at Wisnewski as a friend, can he? For the record, Seabrook practiced yesterday and feels ready to go as soon


Ritter’s Rant: Notes From Around The NHL

March 18th, 2010 No Comments

Written By: Mark “The Hard Hitter” Ritter Not doubt about it, James Wisniewski was guilty of a dirty hit on Brent Seabrook and probably deserved the eight game suspension he received. The Question is, why didn’t the NHL investigate the Seabrook hit on Corey Perry a little further—a hit that was clearly a headshot, something the NHL is trying to get out of the game. As much as I’d like to applaud the NHL for FINALLY standing up for the player (Seabrook) I gotta believe that if the NHL had been tougher/more consistent on headshots Wisniewski wouldn’t have taken matters in his own hands. This is exactly why the NHL should immediately enforce the newly proposed headshot rules, everyday the NHL waits is another day in which the players will have to police the game themselves and that will only


Are The Flyers In Trouble Long-term?

March 17th, 2010 No Comments

Heading into tonight’s action against the Nashville Predators the Philadelphia Flyers were 6-3-1 in their past ten games—not bad, but perhaps not good enough to hold onto the seventh seed in the eastern Conference—especially when you consider the Montreal Canadiens are on a five game winning streak of their own. Current struggles aside, may fans of the Orange and Black see a team that has a chance at long-term success and perhaps even a Stanley Cup victory. Like most fans, the Flyers faithful tend to look at their team with rose colored glasses, seeing only the positives and not dealing with the true reality. The honest truth about the Flyers is this—for as many positives there are negatives and those negatives may very well get compounded come next season. According to nhlnumbers.com, Heading into the 2010-11 season the Flyers will


Ovechkin Hit All Too Familiar, NHL Needs To Send Him A Message

March 15th, 2010 No Comments

By now NHL fans are all too familiar with Alexander Ovechkin’s hit on the unsuspecting Brian Campbell, question is, was it dirty or clean? Needless to say NHL fans can debate Ovechkin’s hit on Campbell from both perspectives and, in all likelihood, make a strong case either way. The play in which Ovechkin and Campbell went for throttle for the puck on Sunday afternoon happens about a dozen times a game, the end result usually being that nobody gets hurt. Unfortunately, due to Ovechkin’s carelessness Campbell is now faced with a season ending injuries including a broken Clavical and perhaps a concussion to boot. For Ovechkin, the Campbell incident marked the third time that he was awarded a game misconduct. The first time was for the hit against the Buffalo Sabres Patrick Kaleta, the second, a hit against Carolina Hurricane