The Hockey Nuts Podcast, Season 1, Episode 7 is live!

On this episode of the Hockey Nuts Podcast, we get you caught up with all the World Cup preliminary round action.  We also discuss the NHL headlines from the past week.  Then, we give you team-by-team previews of all 7 teams in the Pacific Division.  All this, plus the KHL minute, and our picks of the week!

The Hockey Nuts logo final

Show notes:

Music by Bensound at www.bensound.com

Web site: http://www.thehockeynuts.com

Email the show: feedback@thehockeynuts.com
Voicemail: 919-960-1718

Twitter: Wayne: @waynehallee9 Steve: @sball504man

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thehockeynuts/

Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsHLvaKquh318nZsmtkKF3A

Episode 7 Show notes:

World Cup stories:
• Results & Schedule: https://www.wch2016.com/scores-schedule

o Sept. 17
 Team Europe 3, Team USA 0
 Team Canada 6, Team Czech Republic 0
o Sept. 18
 Team Sweden 2, Team Russia, 1
 Team North America 4, Team Finland, 1
o Sept. 19
 Team Europe 3, Team Czech Republic 2 (OT)
 Team Russia 4, Team North America 3
o Sept. 20
 Team Sweden 2, Team Finland 0
 Team Canada 4, Team USA 2
o Wednesday 9/21
 Team North America 4, Team Sweden 3 (OT)
 Team Europe 1 , Team Canada 4
o Thursday 9/22
 Team Finland vs. Team Russia, 3 p.m., ESPN, SN, TVA Sports
 Team USA vs. Team Czech Republic, 8 p.m., ESPN2, SN, TVA Sports
o Semifinals (single elimination; A1 vs. B2, B1 vs. A2)
o Saturday 9/24
 Semifinal 1, 7 p.m., ESPN2, CBC, TVA Sports
o Sunday 9/25
 Semifinal 2, 1 p.m., ESPN, CBC, TVA Sports
o Final (best-of-three)
o Tuesday 9/27
 Final Game 1, 8 p.m., ESPN, CBC, TVA Sports
o Thursday, Sept. 29
 Final Game 2, 8 p.m., ESPN2, CBC, TVA, TVA Sports
o Saturday, Oct. 1
 Final Game 3, 7 p.m. (if necessary), ESPN2, CBC, TVA, TVA Sports
• Team North America defenseman Aaron Ekblad, who missed a 4-3 loss to Team Russia at the World Cup of Hockey 2016 on Monday with an upper-body injury, is returning to the United States to be examined by Florida Panthers doctors. Initial reports said Ekblad had a concussion, but Sportsnet reported Tuesday it was a neck injury. https://www.nhl.com/news/panthers-defenseman-aaron-ekblad-leaving-world-cup-early/c-281977738
World Cup/NHL observations:
• Team USA’s surprising exit from the tournament
• Wayne’s Canadian consipiracy: Divide and conquer!
• Team Europe’s surprising dominance and play of Jaroslav Halak
• Tweets from players on NA vs Swe on 9/21: https://www.nhl.com/news/north-america-sweden-world-cup-finish-nhl-reaction/c-282024306
• Phil Kessel’s tweet shortly after USA loss to Canada on 9/20
• Hockey tech: Green screen boards. Distracting?
• Hockey tech: Ref cam? https://www.nhl.com/news/ref-cam-providing-must-see-footage/c-281993030
• Team web sites taking on general look of NHL.com

NHL stories:
• Dmitry Orlov signs one-year contract with Capitals. Restricted free agent defenseman had eight goals, 29 points last season https://www.nhl.com/news/capitals-sign-orlov-to-one-year-contract/c-282015510
• Penguins deliver season tickets with side of Stanley Defending champs surprise subscribers with a day with the Cup https://www.nhl.com/news/penguins-deliver-season-tickets-with-side-of-stanley/c-282022452
• Michel Therrien denies criticizing Max Pacioretty. Coach ‘never said those things’ about Canadiens captain https://www.nhl.com/news/canadiens-michel-therrien-denies-criticizing-max-pacioretty/c-281981112
• Columbus Blue Jackets forward David Clarkson failed his physical Wednesday and will not begin training camp because of a back injury, president of hockey operations John Davidson said. “Every time he tries to work out, it’s bothersome,” Davidson told the Blue Jackets website. Clarkson, 32, played in 23 games last season, missing time because of the injury, among other ailments. He had two goals and two assists. Clarkson has four years remaining on a seven-year, $36.75 million contract he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs before the 2013-14 season. https://www.nhl.com/news/david-clarkson-to-miss-start-of-training-camp-due-to-injury/c-282010386
• Forward Julien Gauthier scored two goals and goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic made 31 saves to give the Carolina Hurricanes a 6-4 victory against the Detroit Red Wings in the championship game of the Matthew Wuest Memorial Cup (Traverse City prospects tournament) at Centre Ice Arena on Tuesday. Gauthier, chosen No. 21 in the 2016 NHL Draft, scored twice in the second period when the Hurricanes scored three unanswered goals to take a 5-1 lead. Carolina won the championship for the second time and its first since its tournament debut in 2009. https://www.nhl.com/news/traverse-city-tournament-top-players/c-282004264 Final Standings: 1. Carolina 2. Detroit 3. Columbus 4. NY Rangers 5. Dallas 6. St. Louis 7. Minnesota 8. Chicago. Rangers’ Jimmy Vesey led all scorers w/ 5G, 2A. Complete stats available at: http://www.pointstreak.com/prostats/scoringleaders.html?leagueid=505&seasonid=16091&maxnumplayers=all&sortby=pts
• The next generation of United States-born NHL hopefuls will be in the spotlight at the 2016 USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Thursday 9/22. The event will feature 42 of the top U.S.-born players eligible for the 2017 NHL Draft who were picked by USA Hockey in conjunction with NHL Central Scouting. “This event provides some of the best U.S. players eligible for next year’s NHL draft the opportunity to showcase their talent on a national stage,” said Jim Johannson, USA Hockey assistant executive director of hockey operations. The teams will be coached by Hockey Hall of Fame member Mark Howe and United States Hockey Hall of Fame member John Leclair. A link to full rosters is contained in the show notes of this episode. https://www.nhl.com/news/2017-nhl-draft-hopefuls-in-spotlight/c-282017202
• Defenseman Niklas Kronwall, who injured his thigh during the offseason, said Monday he will not be able to start training camp with the Detroit Red Wings. Kronwall had surgery on his right knee in January and injured his left knee in March. Kronwall was unable to play for Team Sweden at the World Cup of Hockey 2016. He had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Jan. 18 and missed 15 NHL games, and sat out three games in March because of a sprained right knee. Kronwall, 35, had three goals, 23 assists and a minus-21 rating in 64 games last season, his 12th with Detroit. https://www.nhl.com/news/niklas-kronwall-to-miss-start-of-training-camp/c-281990654
• Restricted free agent forward Ryan Strome agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the New York Islanders on Tuesday. Financial terms were not released, but TSN reported an average annual value of $2.5 million. The No. 5 pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, Strome finished with eight goals and 28 points in 71 games last season, a decline from the 17 goals and 50 points he scored in 2014-15. He had four points in eight Stanley Cup Playoff games to help the Islanders advance to the Eastern Conference Second Round, their first playoff series victory since 1993. Strome, 23, has 32 goals and 96 points in 189 NHL games, all with the Islanders. https://www.nhl.com/news/islanders-agree-to-contract-with-restricted-free-agent-ryan-strome/c-281958620
• The Las Vegas NHL franchise has received deposits on all 16,000 season tickets available for the 2017-18 season. The season-ticket drive began in February 2015 with a goal of 10,000 deposits. More than 5,000 tickets were sold within two days and 9,000 season tickets were sold within a month of the launch, according to the franchise. Las Vegas will play at T-Mobile Arena, which has a seating capacity of 17,500 for hockey games.
• Forward Tomas Fleischmann on Monday accepted an invitation from the Minnesota Wild to attend training camp on a professional tryout. Fleischmann, 32, has played 11 NHL seasons, most recently with the Chicago Blackhawks, who acquired him and forward Dale Weise in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens for forward Phillip Danault and a second-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft on Feb. 26. Fleischmann also played parts of four seasons with the Washington Capitals and one with the Anaheim Ducks, under Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. Fleischmann has 137 goals and 335 points in 657 NHL games with the Capitals, Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers, Ducks, Canadiens and Blackhawks. He scored NHL career highs of 27 goals and 61 points for the Panthers in 2011-12.
• Joffrey Lupul starts training camp on injured reserve. Maple Leafs forward still not ready to go after sports hernia surgery in February
• Anaheim Ducks forward Rickard Rakell will need two weeks to recover after having surgery to remove scar tissue resulting from an appendectomy. Rakell, 23, was hospitalized in Sweden after he was scratched by Team Sweden from a World Cup of Hockey 2016 pretournament game against Team Finland on Sept. 10. Rakell, a restricted free agent, had 20 goals and 23 assists in 72 regular-season games, and a goal and an assist in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games for the Ducks last season.
• Forward Tyler Seguin has a hairline fracture in his heel and his status for Dallas Stars training camp will be re-evaluated in a week, general manager Jim Nill said Saturday. “Upon returning to Dallas [on Friday], Tyler Seguin underwent an MRI that detected a hairline fracture in his heel,” Nill said. Seguin sustained the injury playing in a World Cup of Hockey 2016 pretournament game for Team Canada on Sept. 9 against Team USA. Seguin pulled out of the tournament Wednesday and was replaced by Buffalo Sabres forward Ryan O’Reilly. https://www.nhl.com/news/dallas-forward-tyler-seguin-has-hairline-fracture-in-heel/c-281876444
o Toronto Rookie Tournament – 9/11-9/13 – Ott, Mon, Tor, Pit Winner – Toronto (3-0)
o Young Stars Classic, Vancouver, BC – 9/11-9/14 – Win, Cgy, Van, Edm Winner – Edmonton (3-0)
o Tampa Bay Rookie Tournament, Estero, FL – 9/12-9/15 – Fla, TB, Nsh, Was Winner – Florida (3-0)
o Buffalo Prospects Challenge, Buffalo, NY – 9/12-9/14 – Bos, Buf, NJ Winner – Boston (2-0)
• Most teams announced their training camp rosters this week, see NHL.com for your team.
• Notable PTO’s this week:
o D James Wisniewski to Tampa Bay
o D Matt Bartkowski to Ottawa
o G Anders Lindback to NJ
o F Daniel Cleary to DET
o F Tomas Fleischmann to Min
o F Jiri Tlusty to Col
o F Sean Bergenheim, F David Booth, G Yan Danis to ANA
World Cup/NHL observations:
• Team USA’s surprising exit from the tournament
• Wayne’s Canadian consipiracy: Divide and conquer!
• Team Europe’s surprising dominance and play of Jaroslav Halak
• Tweets from players on NA vs Swe on 9/21: https://www.nhl.com/news/north-america-sweden-world-cup-finish-nhl-reaction/c-282024306
• Phil Kessel’s tweet shortly after USA loss to Canada on 9/20
• Hockey tech: Green screen boards. Distracting?
• Hockey tech: Ref cam? https://www.nhl.com/news/ref-cam-providing-must-see-footage/c-281993030
• Team web sites taking on general look of NHL.com

• Pacific Division Team Previews:
o Anaheim http://thehockeynuts.com/mid-summer-report-anaheim-ducks/
o Arizona http://thehockeynuts.com/mid-summer-report-arizona-coyotes/
o Calgary http://thehockeynuts.com/mid-summer-report-calgary-flames/
o Edmonton http://thehockeynuts.com/mid-summer-report-edmonton-oilers/
o Los Angeles http://thehockeynuts.com/mid-summer-report-los-angeles-kings/
o San Jose http://thehockeynuts.com/mid-summer-report-san-jose-sharks/
o Vancouver http://thehockeynuts.com/mid-summer-report-vancouver-canucks/

• KHL Minute:
o CSKA had their 10-game winning streak snapped by Barys Astana, 4-0 on 9/20. Goalie Henrik Karlsson pitched the shutout while 4 different Barys players scored a goal a piece. The loss drops CSKA to 10-2 while Barys improved to 3-5-1
o Valeri Nichushkin’s KHL interest no surprise to Stars. The Dallas Stars would not be surprised if restricted free agent forward Valeri Nichushkin plays in the Kontinental Hockey League this season, general manager Jim Nill said. CSKA Moscow said Tuesday it has agreed to terms with Nichushkin, 21, on a two-year contract. “I’m not going to be surprised if he does sign there,” Nill said Monday. “They know our offer. They know where we’re at. It’s his decision. I’m not going to stop that. https://www.nhl.com/news/valeri-nichushkins-khl-interest-no-surprise-to-dallas/c-281958826
o EDM – Nikita Nikitin, D – Signed with European team Avangard Omsk (KHL-Russia)
o Standings rundown: http://en.khl.ru/standings/

• Picks of the week
o Wayne: Major Junior starts regular season play this week. OHL on Wed. 9/21, QMJHL on Thu 9/22 and WHL 9/23. Americans don’t care, but leagues are huge in Canada. Primary source of NHL prospects. All players 16-20 yrs old. US has junior leagues too, but they are considered lower level. Elite players in US generally go play in CHL or play in lower level junior leagues until they graduate from HS, then they attend a NCAA school. I prefer NCAA route. Here’s why…
o Steve:
• Episode wrap up

 

 

 

The Hockey Nuts Podcast, Season 1, Episode 6 is live!

On this episode of the Hockey Nuts Podcast, we get you caught up with the NHL headlines from the past week.  We also get you caught up with everything that has happened to date in the World Cup pre-tournament games.  Then, we give you team-by-team previews of all 8 teams in the Atlantic Division.  All this, plus the KHL minute, and our picks of the week.  Enjoy!!

The Hockey Nuts logo final

 

The Hockey Nuts Podcast, Season 1, Episode 5 is live!

The Hockey Nuts logo finalSeason 1, Episode 5 of the Hockey Nuts Podcast has gone live!  In this episode, we get you caught up with the headlines from the past week.  We also update you on the final rosters for all 8 World Cup of Hockey teams.  And We have all of the TV broadcast information for the pre-tournament exhibitions as well as the tournament itself.  Then, we give you team-by-team previews of all 8 teams in the Metropolitan Division.  All this, plus the KHL minute, and our picks of the week.  Enjoy!!!

If you liked the show, please show us your support by subscribing to it using your favorite podcatcher program or app.  You can also share it with your friends.  The Hockey Nuts Podcast can be found on major podcast search engines like itunes, Stitcher, and Google Play Music.  Just search for the term “The Hockey Nuts” in those apps.  There are a few ways you can get involved in the show.  You can email the show at feedback@thehockeynuts.com or you can leave us a voicemail in our mailbox at 919-960-1718.  We will address your feedback on future episodes of the hockey nuts podcast.  You can also tweet us, I’m @waynehallee9.  Steve is at @sball504man.

Finally, we are also looking for future guests for the show.  Obviously, we are not experts on every team and league in hockey.  So, if you consider yourself more knowledgeable than us on a particular team or league, we want to hear from you!

Thanks!

Wayne

Mid Summer Report: Washington Capitals

download (31)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Washington Capitals

Last Season’s Finish:  56-18-8, 120 pts, 1st in the Metropolitan Division, Lost in the 2nd round of the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Lars Eller (Trade)
  • F Brett Connolly (UFA)
  • F Brad Malone (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • F Jason Chimera (NY Islanders)
  • F Michael Latta (Los Angeles)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Stanislav Galiev
  • F Zachary Sanford

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/16)

  • D Dmitry Orlov

Current Cap Situation as of 8/16/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $69,545,126
  • Current salary cap space: $3,454,874

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson, T.J. Oshie, Lars Eller, Justin Williams, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Daniel Winnik, Tom Wilson, Jay Beagle, Andre Burakovsky, Brett Connolly, Stanislav Galiev
Defensemen
Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik, John Carlson, Karl Alzner, Dmitry Orlov, Nate Schmidt, Taylor Chorney
Goalies
Braden Holtby, Philipp Grubauer

 

Outlook:
Washington had a great regular season.  Well, enough about last year…   No, seriously, the
Capitals finished with 120 points and the president’s trophy last season, but once again, fell way too early in the playoffs, this time, to the eventual champion Pittsburgh Penguins.  Playoff disappointments have dogged this team for nearly 10 years now.  Over the past 10 seasons or so, they consistently rank among the top regular season teams, but, they have yet to get out of the second round of the playoffs during that time.  This season, the Capitals bring back virtually the same team they had last season.  They should cruise through the regular season once again, but time will tell whether they can finally put together a long playoff run.  They are certainly due for one.

Mid Summer Report: Pittsburgh Penguins

download (30)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Pittsburgh Penguins

Last Season’s Finish:  48-26-8, 107 pts, 2nd in the Metropolitan Division, Won the Stanley Cup

Key Arrivals:

  • None

Key Departures:

  • F Beau Bennett (New Jersey)
  • D Ben Lovejoy (New Jersey)
  • G Jeff Zatkoff (Los Angeles)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Oscar Sundqvist
  • F Scott Wilson
  • D Derrick Pouliot

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/15)

  • None

Current Cap Situation as of 8/15/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $75,299,999
  • Current salary cap space: $0 ($2,299,999 over cap)

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Evgeny Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, Patrik Hornqvist, Carl Hagelin, Chris Kunitz, Eric Fehr, Nick Bonino, Oskar Sundqvist, Conor Sheary, Bryan Rust, Tom Kuhnhackl, Scott Wilson, Pascal Dupuis
Defensemen
Kris Letang, Olli Maatta, Trevor Daley, Ian Cole, Justin Schultz, Derrick Pouliot, Brian Dimoulin
Goalies
Marc-Andre Fleury, Matthew Murray

 

Outlook:
The Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup.  You can’t have a much better season than that.  It didn’t come without struggles, though.  On January 1, 2016, they were sitting in 10th or 11th in the east, and on the outside, looking in on the playoff picture.  But after New Year’s, they just got better and better as the season went on.  They finished the season winning 14 of 15, before losing their last regular season game, which was essentially a throwaway game.  They stayed white hot throughout the playoffs.  The scariest part for everyone that is not Pittsburgh fans is, They are returning almost their whole entire team this season.  They did lose a few role players, but those guys can easily be replaced by young guys.  The only issue they have at the moment is that they are currently $2.3 million over the salary cap ceiling.  Pascal Dupuis (and his $3.75M cap hit) is on long term injured reserve, and will not be returning to hockey, so they are allowed to go over by the amount of his salary, but that still leaves then tight against the cap this season.  But for now, Pittburgh is in great shape, and are poised for another deep playoff run again in 2016-2017.

Mid Summer Report: New York Rangers

download (29)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the New York Rangers

Last Season’s Finish:  46-27-9, 101 pts, 3rd in the Metropolitan Division, lost in the first round of the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • D Nick Holden (Trade)
  • D Adam Clendening (UFA)
  • F Michael Grabner (UFA)
  • F Nathan Gerbe (UFA)
  • F Josh Jooris (UFA)
  • F Mika Zibanejad (Trade)
  • F Jimmy Vesey (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • D Keith Yandle (Florida)
  • F Eric Staal (Minnesota)
  • F Viktor Stalberg (Carolina)
  • F Derick Brassard (Ottawa)
  • D Dan Boyle (Retired)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Pavel Buchnevich
  • F Josh Jooris
  • F Brady Skjei

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/16)

  • None

Current Cap Situation as of 8/16/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $70,500,000
  • Current salary cap space: $2,500,000

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello, J.T. Miller, Mika Zibanejad, Kevin Hayes, Michael Grabner, Tanner Glass, Maxim Lapierre, Jesper Fast, Oscar Lindberg, Nathan Gerbe, Josh Jooris, Jimmy Vesey
Defensemen
Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Klein, Nick Holden, Brady Skjei, Dylan McIlrath, Adam Clendening
Goalies
Henrik Lundqvist, Antti Raanta

 

Outlook:
The Rangers had a strong season last year, but ran into a white hot Pittsburgh Penguins team in the first round of the playoffs.  The Penquins quickly dispatched the Rangers in 5 games, en route to their 4th Stanley Cup Championship.  But, this article isn’t about the Penguins.  In this off season, the Rangers were pretty active in order to keep their team competitive.  First, they traded Keith Yandle to Florida for a draft pick, because they knew they wouldn’t be able to fit him under the Salary Cap.  Then, they let Eric Staal and Vicktor Stalberg go to free agency.  Then, they made a trade with Ottawa that sent Derick Brassard there, and brought in Mika Zibanejad.  Zibanejad is younger (23 vs 28) and cheaper (by about half) than Brassard, but last season produced only 9 fewer points.   Finally, they won the Jimmy Vesey sweepstakes and signed him to an entry level contract just last week. Oh, and by the way, defenseman Dan Boyle also retired.  So the Rangers have fixed some of the cap issues that they have been dealing with, all while keeping most of the core of the team together.  They will have to rely on some younger players that they didn’t have to last season, so there will be some growing pains there, but at the end of the year, the Rangers should find their way back into the playoffs for the 11th time in the last 12 years.

Mid Summer Report: New York Islanders

download (28)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the New York Islanders

Last Season’s Finish:  45-27-10, 100 pts, 4th in the Metropolitan Division, lost in the second round of the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Andrew Ladd (UFA)
  • F Jason Chimera (UFA)
  • F P-A Parenteau (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • F Frans Nielsen (Detroit)
  • F Kyle Okposo (Buffalo)
  • F Matt Martin (Toronto)
  • D Brian Strait (Winnipeg)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Shane Prince
  • F Alan Quine
  • D Ryan Pulock
  • D Adam Pelech
  • D Scott Mayfield

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/15)

  • F Ryan Strome

Current Cap Situation as of 8/15/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $70,576,475
  • Current salary cap space: $2,423,525

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Andrew Ladd, John Tavares, Mikhail Grabovski, Nikolay Kulemin, Anders Lee, Casey Cizikas, Josh Bailey, Cal Clutterbuck, Brock Nelson, Jason Chimera, P-A Parenteau, Ryan Strome, Shane Prince, Alan Quine, Eric Boulton
Defensemen
Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Travis Hamonic, Thomas Hickey, Calvin de Haan, Ryan Pulock, Adam Pelech, Scott Mayfield
Goalies
Jaroslav Halak, Thomas Greiss, J-F Berube

 

Outlook:
The Islanders had one of the best seasons that they have had in a long time.  First, they hit the 100 point total in the regular season for the second year in a row, and for the second time since 1984.  Then, in the playoffs, they made it into the second round for the first time since 1993.  Unfortunately, that is as far as they went.  However, the Islanders had to make some tough choices this summer due to being right up against the salary cap ceiling.  They had to sit and watch their #2 and #3 point leaders from last season, Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen sign with other teams, leaving two big holes in the top 6 up front.  They were able to add Andrew Ladd to plug one of the holes, but that leaves another hole in the top 6.  They are hoping one of their younger players can step up and fill the role.  Ryan Strome looks ready to take that next step in his development.  If the Islanders find a way to replace the 116 combined points that Okposo and Nielsen represent, they should continue to be a strong team in the east.  If they don’t, they will likely take a step back in the standings.

Mid Summer Report: Philadelphia Flyers

download (27)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Philadelphia Flyers

Last Season’s Finish:  41-27-14, 96 pts, 5th in the Metropolitan Division, lost in round 1 of the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Dale Weise (UFA)
  • F Boyd Gordon (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • F R.J. Umberger (UFA)
  • F Ryan White (Arizona)
  • D Evgeny Medvedev (KHL)
  • F Sam Gagner (Columbus)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Jordan Weal
  • F Roman Lyubimov

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/15)

  • None

Current Cap Situation as of 8/15/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $71,961,666
  • Current salary cap space: $1,038,334

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier, Wayne Simmonds, Matt Read, Dale Weise, Michael Raffl, Boyd Gordon, Scott Laughton, Nick Cousins, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Chris VandeVelde, Jordan Weal
Defensemen
Mark Streit, Andrew MacDonald, Michael Del Zotto, Radko Gudas, Nick Schultz, Brandon Manning, Shayne Gostisbehere
Goalies
Steve Mason, Michal Neuvirth

 

Outlook:
Philadelphia was unusually quiet on the free agent market so far this summer.  The only players they acquired were a pair of bottom 6 forwards in Dale Weise and Boyd Gordon.  They obviously feel the team they have is good enough to have another go at it this season with them.  They did make the playoffs last season with this group, but that wouldn’t have happened if the Boston Bruins didn’t fall on their face in the last week of the regular season.  Once the Flyers got into the playoffs, they were quickly dispatched by the President’s Trophy winning Washington Capitals.  Now, the Flyers were a tale of two teams last year.  On November 25, 2015, they were 7-10-5, and in 13th place in the Eastern Conference.  After that date, they went 34-12-9 and grabbed the second wildcard spot in the playoffs on the last day of the season.  If they play as well as did during the last 2/3 of the season last year, they will be fine.  Assuming they play that well all year, they should have no trouble returning to the playoffs.

Mid Summer Report: Carolina Hurricanes

download (26)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the

Last Season’s Finish:  35-31-16, 86 pts, 6th in the Metropolitan Division, missed the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Teuvo Teravainen (Trade)
  • F Bryan Bickell (Trade)
  • F Viktor Stalberg (UFA)
  • F Andrew Miller (UFA)
  • F Lee Stempniak (UFA)
  • D Matt Tennyson (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • D Michal Jordan (UFA)
  • D James Wismiewski (Tampa Bay)
  • F Nathan Gerbe (NY Rangers)
  • F Riley Nash (Boston)
  • F Chris Terry (Montreal)
  • F Brad Malone (Washington)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Sebastian Aho
  • D Ryan Murphy
  • F Derek Ryan
  • F Brendan Woods
  • D Haydn Fleury

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/15)

  • None

Current Cap Situation as of 8/15/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $56,445,831
  • Current salary cap space: $16,554,169

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Jordan Staal, Jeff Skinner, Bryan Bickell, Victor Rask, Elias Lindholm, Lee Stempniak, Viktor Stalberg, Joakim Nordstrom, Jay McClement, Andrej Nestrasil Teuvo Teravainen, Phillip Di Guiseppe, Brendan Woods, Derek Ryan, Sebastian Aho
Defensemen
Justin Faulk, Ron Hainsey, Noah Hanifin, Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce, Ryan Murphy, Matt Tennyson
Goalies
Cam Ward, Eddie Lack

 

Outlook:
Carolina is one of the lowest budget teams in the NHL.  Since winning the Stanley Cup in 2006, Attendance at the PNC Arena has been in steady decline, despite the Raleigh-Durham area being one of the fastest growing areas in the U.S.  The attendance decline can be attributed to their lack of success on the ice.  They have missed the playoffs for the last 7 years, and 9 of the last 10 years.  When the team is that bad in a market that has to compete with some of the best college basketball teams in the country, it’s no surprise that attendance is as low as it ever has been in Raleigh.  But, that is going to change soon.  All those losing seasons have given them a lot of high draft picks, and they have not wasted them.  They have quietly assembled a nice young group of players that should develop into a real strong team in a few years.  At an average age of 25.3 years old, the Canes are one of the youngest teams in the NHL, if not the youngest.  If Carolina can get their ownership situation resolved, (Owner Peter Karmanos has been trying to sell the team for years), and hang on to this young group after they mature into big boy contracts this team will be a Stanley Cup contender one day.  Just not this year.  Expect more growing pains in the short term.

Mid Summer Report: New Jersey Devils

download (25)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the New Jersey Devils

Last Season’s Finish:  38-36-8, 84 pts, 7th in the Metropolitan Division, missed the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Beau Bennett (Trade)
  • F Taylor Hall (Trade)
  • D Ben Lovejoy (UFA)
  • F Vernon Fiddler (UFA)
  • F Luke Gazdic (UFA)
  • D Brandon Gormley (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • D Adam Larsson (Edmonton)
  • D David Schlemko (San Jose)
  • D David Warsofsky (Pittsburgh)
  • F Mike Sislo (Colorado)
  • F Jordin Tootoo (Chicago)
  • F Bobby Farnum (Montreal)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Pavel Zacha
  • F Miles Wood
  • D Steven Santini

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/14)

  • None

Current Cap Situation as of 8/14/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $60,461,307
  • Current salary cap space: $12,538,693

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Taylor Hall, Travis Zajac, Mike Cammalleri, Kyle Palmieri, Adam Henrique, Devante Smith Pelly, Vernon Fiddler, Jacob Josefson, Pavel Zacha, Sergey Kalinin, Beau Bennett, Reid Boucher, Luke Gazdic, Joseph Blandisi
Defensemen
Andy Greene, Ben Lovejoy, John Moore, Jon Merrill, Damon Severson, Steven Santini, Yohann Auvitu, Josh Jacobs
Goalies
Cory Schneider, Keith Kinkaid

 

Outlook:
New Jersey is one of the lowest budget teams in the NHL.  Not only are they carrying over $12 million in cap space, they are also using the injured reserve loophole to save even more.  Ryan Clowe and Marc Savard have almost $8.9 million combined cap hit.  Without those two players helping their cap situation, the Devils would be well below the $53 million salary floor.  On the ice, the Devils were the weakest offensive team in the NHL last season, scoring just 184 goals.  So, this summer, they set out to change that, and made a trade with Edmonton, who were themselves looking to upgrade their defense group.  The Devils traded defenseman Adam Larsson for forward Taylor Hall, which will accomplish that goal for the Devils.  It’s a start, but it will not be enough.  There is a serious lack of elite level talent on this team, and until they add another few elite level players, they will continue to struggle in the standings.  It looks like another year in the draft lottery for the Devils.

Mid Summer Report: Columbus Blue Jackets

download (24)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Columbus Blue Jackets

Last Season’s Finish:  34-40-8, 76 pts, 8th in the Metropolitan Division, missed the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Sam Gagner (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • F Kerby Rychel (Toronto)
  • D Justin Falk (Buffalo)
  • D Fydor Tyutin (Colorado)
  • F Jared Boll (Anaheim)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • D Cody Goloubef
  • D Zach Werenski
  • D Gabriel Carlsson

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/14)

  • None

Current Cap Situation as of 8/14/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $69,182,141
  • Current salary cap space: $3,817,859

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Brandon Saad, Brandon Dubinsky, Nick Foligno, David Clarkson, Scott Hartnell, Cam Atkinson, Boone Jenner, Matt Calvert, Gregory Campbell, William Karlsson, Alexander Wennberg, Sam Gagner
Defensemen
Seth Jones, Jack Johnson, David Savard, Ryan Murray, Dalton Prout, Cody Goloubef
Goalies
Sergei Bobrovski, Curtis McElhinney

 

Outlook:
Last season, Columbus was expected to be a good team, possibly one that could finally have some success in the playoffs.  But, the wheels fell off the bus right away, as they lost their first 8 games of the season.  They fired head coach Todd Richards after game 7, and hired coach John Tortorella.  They continued to be inconsistent and streaky the rest of the season.  This season, the Tortorella system should be well known by the players.  They didn’t make many changes to the roster in the off season, and they have several players under 25 who are all one year wiser.  If this team is capable of putting together a strong season, this is the year.

Mid Summer Report: Dallas Stars

download (23)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Dallas Stars

Last Season’s Finish:  50-23-9 109 pts, 1st in the Central Division, lost in the second round of the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • D Dan Hamhuis (UFA)
  • D Andrew Bodnarchuk (UFA)
  • F Adam Cracknell (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • D Alex Goligoski (Arizona)
  • F Colton Sceviour (Florida)
  • F Vernon Fiddler (New Jersey)
  • D Jason Demers (Florida)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • D Jamie Oleksiak
  • D Patrik Nemeth
  • D Stephen Johns
  • F Brett Ritchie

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/14)

  • F Valeri Nichushkin

Current Cap Situation as of 8/14/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $66,415,833
  • Current salary cap space: $6,584,167

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Jason Spezza, Patrick Sharp, Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Ales Hemsky, Cody Eakin, Antoine Roussel, Patrick Eaves, Valeri Nichushkin, Brett Ritchie, Radek Faska, Mattias Janmark, Curtis McKenzie, Adam Cracknell
Defensemen
John Klingberg, Johnny Oduya, Dan Hamhuis, Jordie Benn, Jamie Oleksiak, Patrik Nemeth, Andrew Bodnarchuk, Stephen Johns
Goalies
Kari Lehtonen, Antti Niemi

 

Outlook:
Dallas was arguably the most entertaining team to watch in the NHL.  That will not change this season.  They boast the most potent offense in the league, leading the NHL with 267 goals last season.  But, they had the worst defense in the league among the teams that made the playoffs.  They set out this summer to improve on that, bringing in stay-at-home defenseman Dan Hamhuis to replace Alex Goligoski, who left in free agency.  Dallas is proving that you can win with an offense focused team in today’s nhl, and we should expect that they will make the playoffs fairly easy yet again this season.

Mid Summer Report: St. Louis Blues

download (22)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the St. Louis Blues

Last Season’s Finish:  49-24-9, 107 pts, 2nd in the Central Division, lost in the Western Conference Final

Key Arrivals:

  • F David Perron (UFA)
  • G Carter Hutton (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • F David Backes (Boston)
  • G Brian Elliott (Calgary)
  • F Troy Brouwer (Calgary)
  • F Steve Ott (Detroit)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Petteri Lindbohm
  • F Mackenzie MacEachern
  • D Jordan Schmaltz

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/14)

  • none

Current Cap Situation as of 8/14/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $69,679,582
  • Current salary cap space: $3,320,418

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Vladimir Tarasenko, Paul Stastny, Alexander Steen, Jaden Schwartz, Jori Lehtera, David Perron, Patrik Berglund, Ryan Reaves, Dmitrij Jaskin, Kyle Brodziak, Scottie Upshall, Robby Fabbri, Magnus Paajarvi
Defensemen
Alex Pietrangelo, Jay Bouwmeester, Kevin Shattenkirk, Carl Gunnarsson, Robert Bortuzzo, Joel Edmundson, Colton Parayko, Petteri Lindbohm
Goalies
Jake Allen, Carter Hutton

 

Outlook:

 

St. Louis had one of the best seasons in franchise history last season, first earning 107 points in the regular season, and then making it all the way to the conference final for just the second time since the NHL/WHA merger.  Unfortunately for them, they hit a salary cap wall this summer, and have had to sit idle as forwards David Backes and Troy Brouwer got plucked away in free agency.  Those two players represent 39 of St. Louis’ goals and 84 points last year.  They signed David Perron this summer, but his production was even less than Brouwer, never mind Backes.  So, St. Louis will need to find goals from some other sources that they already have.  Either way, St. Louis is still a strong team, and should make the playoffs again this season.  It just won’t be as easy for them this year.

Mid Summer Report: Chicago Blackhawks

download (21)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com

 

As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Chicago Blackhawks

Last Season’s Finish:  47-26-9, 103 pts, 3rd in the Central Division, lost in round 1 of the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • D Brian Campbell (UFA)
  • F Jordin Tootoo (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • F Teuvo Teravainen (Carolina)
  • F Bryan Bickell (Carolina)
  • F Andrew Shaw (Montreal)
  • F Andrew Ladd (NY Islanders)
  • F Dale Weise (Philadelphia)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Richard Panik
  • F Vincent Hinostroza
  • D Ville Pokka
  • F Nick Schmaltz
  • F Tyler Motte

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/14)

  • None

Current Cap Situation as of 8/14/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $70,601,794
  • Current salary cap space: $2,398,206

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Artem Anisimov, Marcus Kruger, Richard Panik, Artemi Panarin, Andrew Desjardins, Jordin Tootoo, Vincent Hinostroza, Dennis Rasmussen, Brandon Mashinter
Defensemen
Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Brian Campbell, Trevor van Riemsdyk, Michal Kempny, Erik Gustafsson, Michal Rozsival
Goalies
Corey Crawford, Scott Darling

 

Outlook:

 

Chicago is one of the best teams in the league, period.  In the last 8 years, they have won the Stanley Cup 3 times, lost in the Western Conference Final twice, and lost in the first round of the playoffs 3 times.  All of that extra hockey can be hell on the players, which is likely a factor why last year was one of their first round exits after playing 11 rounds of playoff hockey in the three years prior to that.  So, they should come into this season much more fresh, not that they need it.  They should have no trouble making the playoffs again this season.  They are arguably the most top heavy team in the league, which makes them vulnerable to injuries.  They have a lot of guys with big contracts, so they have no choice to fill the bottom two lines with guys that earn under $1 million per year.  But, no matter what, the Blackhawks can almost treat the regular season as their pre-season.  Once the playoffs begin in April, Chicago will again be the team to beat in the west.

Mid Summer Report: Nashville Predators

download (20)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Nashville Predators

Last Season’s Finish:  41-27-14, 96 pts, 4th in the Central Division, lost in the second round of the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • D P.K. Subban (Trade)
  • D Yannick Weber (UFA)
  • D Matt Carle (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • F Cody Hodgson (UFA)
  • F Gabriel Bourque (UFA)
  • F Eric Nystrom (UFA)
  • D Shea Weber (Montreal)
  • D Barret Jackman (UFA)
  • G Carter Hutton (St. Louis)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Colton Sissons
  • D Petter Granberg
  • D Anthony Bitetto

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/14)

  • None

Current Cap Situation as of 8/14/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $67,585,831
  • Current salary cap space: $5,414,169

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Filip Forsberg, James Neal, Mike Fisher, Craig Smith, Ryan Johansen, Colin Wilson, Mike Ribeiro, Calle Jarnkrok, Viktor Arvidsson, Colton Sissons, Cody Bass, Miikka Salomaki, Austin Watson
Defensemen
PK Subban, Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Ellis, Matthew Carle, Petter Granberg, Anthony Bitetto, Yannick Weber
Goalies
Pekka Rinne, Marek Mazanec

 

Outlook:

Nashville made a huge splash this summer by being part of the trade of the year in the NHL.  Two days prior to free agency opened on July 1, the Predators traded defenseman Shea Weber for Montreal’s P.K. Subban.  It has been a very unpopular move so far with Montreal fans, as Subban was a fan favorite there, as well as their best defenseman by far.  Well, Weber now goes to Montreal and assumes the undisputed #1 defenseman role, but he is 4 years older than Subban.  Subban was a controversial figure in Montreal, as apparently, the upper brass with the team felt he was becoming bigger than the team, and there is no room for that.  Subban comes to Nashville, and his individuality will not only be accepted, but encouraged.  In a non-traditional hockey market like Nashville, Subban will singlehandedly put butts in the seats, not that they need help.  This team has been very strong for several years now, and fan support has been strong as a result.  They should continue to be a strong team this season, and with Subban on the team, they will be even more fun to watch.  The only thing left for Nashville to do is finally advance past the second round of the playoffs, which is something they have yet to accomplish.

 

Mid Summer Report: Minnesota Wild

download (19)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Minnesota Wild

Last Season’s Finish:  38-33-11, 87 pts, 5th in the Central Division, lost in 1st round of the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Eric Staal (UFA)
  • F Chris Stewart (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • F Thomas Vanek (Detroit)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Alex Tuch

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/13)

  • None

Current Cap Situation as of 8/13/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $70,831,087
  • Current salary cap space: $2,168,913

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu, Jason Pominville, Eric Staal, Charlie Coyle, Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter, Jason Zucker, Chris Stewart, Erik Haula, Jordan Schroeder, Zac Dalpe
Defensemen
Ryan Suter, Jared Spurgeon, Jonas Brodin, Marco Scandella, Matt Dumba, Christian Folin, Nate Prosser
Goalies
Devan Dubnyk, Darcy Kuemper

 

 

Outlook:

Minnesota made the playoffs for the 4th season in a row, but once again, got eliminated early, this time, losing in the first round.  The road will be difficult for them any year, as they will almost have to get past the Chicago Blackhawks if they are going to go deep in the playoffs.  That said, the Wild has been very quiet this summer outside of signing their restricted free agents.  They have had only one unrestricted free agent signing worth noting, as they brought in Eric Staal to essentially replace Thomas Vanek, who’s contract was bought out.  Other than that, this team will look very much like last year’s team.  This is a team that would easily make the playoffs in any other division than the Central Division.  But, in the Central Division, they will have to scratch and claw for every point they get.  They will surely be one of the teams that is right there in the last week of the season.  What side of the playoff cut line they end up on when the season ends will be up to them.

Mid Summer Report: Colorado Avalanche

download (18)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the

Last Season’s Finish:  39-39-4, 82 pts, 6th in the Central Division, missed the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Rocco Grimaldi (Trade)
  • F Turner Elson (UFA)
  • D Patrick Wiercioch (UFA)
  • F Joe Colborne (UFA)
  • D Fedor Tyutin (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • D Nick Holden (NY Rangers)
  • F Shawn Matthias (Winnipeg)
  • D Zach Redmond (Montreal)
  • F Mikkel Boedker (San Jose)
  • D Andrew Bodnarchuk (Dallas)
  • D Nate Guenin (Anaheim)
  • D Brandon Gormley (New Jersey)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Rocco Grimaldi
  • D Nikita Zadorov
  • D Chris Bigras

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/13)

  • None

Current Cap Situation as of 8/13/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $72,040,593
  • Current salary cap space: $959,407

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Jarome Iginla, Carl Soderberg, Joe Colborne, Blake Comeau, John Mitchell, Cody McLeod, Mikhail Grigorenko, Rocco Grimaldi, Andreas Martinsen, Turner Elson
Defensemen
Erik Johnson, Tyson Barrie, Francois Beauchemin, Fedor Tyutin, Eric Gelinas, Nikita Zadorov, Chris Bigras, Patrick Wiercioch
Goalies
Semyon Varlamov, Calvin Pickard

 

Outlook:

 

Colorado’s summer had been relatively quiet.  Sure, their list of players coming and going is fairly long, but all of the changes were to the bottom two lines and their AHL affiliate in San Antonio.  But, on Thursday, August 11, their quiet summer became a wild summer, when Head Coach/VP of Player Operations,  Patrick Roy Suddenly resigned effective immediately.  Roy sited differences in the direction of the team that he and Ownership/Management had as the reason for his decision. This resignation leaves the team scrambling to find a coach when training camp is less than a month away.    Even without Roy’s resignation, it was going to be a difficult road ahead for the Avalanche this upcoming season.  Colorado finished out of the playoffs for the second consecutive season last season, and they effectively did nothing to improve the team through free agency.  Their top pick in this year’s draft, Tyson Jost, is just entering his freshman season at North Dakota, so his arrival in Colorado is years away.  So, this season looks to be a continuation of the rebuilding that has gone on in the last few years.

 

Mid Summer Report: Winnipeg Jets

download (17)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the

Last Season’s Finish:  35-39-8, 78 pts, 7th in the Central Division, missed the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Shawn Matthias (UFA)
  • F Quinton Howden (UFA)
  • D Brian Strait (UFA)
  • F Patrik Laine (Draft)

Key Departures:

  • None

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Patrik Laine
  • F Marco Dano
  • F Brandon Tanev
  • F JC Lipon

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/12)

  • D Jacob Trouba
  • F JC Lipon

Current Cap Situation as of 8/12/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $65,430,791
  • Current salary cap space: $7,569,209

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler, Bryan Little, Drew Stafford, Mathieu Perreault, Shawn Matthias, Alexander Burmistrov, Chris Thorburn, Adam Lowry, Joel Armia, Patrik Laine, Andrew Copp, Marko Dano, Nikolaj Ehlers, Brandon Tanev, Anthony Peluso, Quinton Howden, JC Lipon
Defensemen
Dustin Byfuglien, Toby Enstrom, Tyler Myers, Mark Stuart, Jacob Touba, Paul Postma, Ben Chiarot, Brian Strait
Goalies
Ondrej Pavelec, Michael Hutchinson

 

Outlook:

Winnipeg finished in last place in a very tough Central Division last year.  Fans in Winnipeg didn’t care.  They are still thrilled that they have a team in Winnipeg again.  Obviously, they want their team to be better, and they will be in a few seasons.  This team is building its foundation through the draft, as Winnipeg isn’t the largest market in the league.  The Jets’ biggest addition this summer was at the draft, when they took Patrik Laine with the second overall pick, right behind Auston Matthews, who went to Toronto.  All the experts say Laine is NHL ready now, and should make the Jets roster right away.  A few are even saying Laine was the best player in this year’s draft.  Time will tell on that one, but if he is ready, and some of the younger players take another step forward in their development, Winnipeg will make things interesting in the Central Division.  But it may not be enough.  With strong teams like Dallas, St. Louis, Chicago, Nashville, and Minnesota in their division, making the playoffs will be a tall order.  Perhaps in a season or two they will.