The Hockey Nuts Podcast: Season 1, Episode 2 is live!

The Hockey Nuts logo finalSeason 1, Episode 2, recorded Wednesday, August 3, 2016 has been released.  In episode 2, Wayne and Steve get you updated with what’s been going on around the NHL since the last episode.  They also start talking World Cup of Hockey, running down the newly released final rosters of all 8 teams, and giving their initial impressions of each team.  Subscribe to the show using your favorite podcatcher by adding the following rss feed:

The Hockey Nuts Podcast RSS Feed:

http://thehockeynuts.libsyn.com/rss

 

Here is a direct link to episode 2:

 

Mid Summer Report: Ottawa Senators

download (10)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 Ottawa Senators

Last Season’s Finish:  38-35-9, 85 pts, 5th in the Atlantic Division, missed the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Chris Kelly (UFA)
  • F Derrick Brassard (Trade)

Key Departures:

  • D Chris Phillips (Retired)
  • F Alex Chiasson (Calgary)
  • F Mika Zibanejad (NY Rangers)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • D Thomas Chabot

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/8)

  • D Cody Ceci

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

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $64,139,166
  • Current salary cap space: $8,860,834

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Bobby Ryan, Mike Hoffman, Derick Brassard, Clarke MacArthur, Kyle Turris, Mark Stone, Zack Smith, Chris Neil, Jean Gabriel Pageau, Chris Kelly, Matt Puempel, Curtis Lazar, Ryan Dzingel, Nicholas Paul
Defensemen
Dion Phaneuf, Erik Karlsson, Marc Methot, Mark Borowiecki, Cody Ceci, Chris Wideman, Michael Kostka
Goalies
Craig Anderson, Andrew Hammond

 

Outlook:

Ottawa hasn’t done much so far this summer.  Their team is going to look a lot like it did last summer.  The only change at the top of the lineup was the trade with the Rangers, bringing in Derick Brassard, and shipping out Mika Zabanejad.  Brassard is an upgrade in the near term over Zabanejad, but in the long run, say, 3 or more seasons away, Mika Zabanejad will likely be the better player.  But this one move, which was basically the only one worth making a fuss over, is not going to improve the Sens enough to make them a contender in the east.  Sure, they will be right there near the playoff cut line at the end of the season, and they may end up grabbing a wildcard spot, but that will likely be as far as this team goes.

Mid Summer Report: Montreal Canadiens

download (9)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 Montreal Canadiens

Last Season’s Finish:  38-38-6, 82 pts, 6th in the Atlantic Division, missed the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • D Shea Weber (Trade)
  • D Zach Redmond (UFA)
  • G Al Montoya (UFA)
  • F Andrew Shaw (Trade)
  • F Alexander Radulov (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • F Lars Eller (Washington)
  • D PK Subban (Nashville)
  • D Tom Gilbert (Los Angeles)
  • G Ben Scrivens (KHL)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Stefan Matteau
  • F Dan Carr

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/8)

  • none

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

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $71,569,641
  • Current salary cap space: $1,430,359

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Tomas Plekanec, Alexander Radulov, Max Pacioretty, Andrew Shaw, Brendan Gallagher, David Desharnais, Alex Galchenyuk, Torrey Mitchell, Paul Byron, Brian Flynn, Phillip Danault, Daniel Carr, Sven Andrighetto, Stefan Matteau
Defensemen
Shea Weber, Andrei Markov, Jeff Petry, Alexei Emelin, Nathan Beaulieu, Greg Pateryn, Mark Barberio, Zach Redmond
Goalies
Carey Price, Al Montoya

 

Outlook:

Montreal started the season last season white hot, winning their first 9 games of the season.  They were 19-4-3 and the best team in the NHL on December 1, but a few games prior, defending Hart Trophy winning goaltender Carey Price hurt his knee for the second time that season.  This time, he never came back, and Montreal began tumbling down the standings.  They won only 3 games in December, and by January 1, they had fallen to 5th in the East.  They won just 3 games in January as well, and by February 1, they had fallen to 12th in the East.  They played roughly .500 hockey the rest of the way, but by then, it was too late, and they finished the season 13th in the East and missed the playoffs.  Losing Price was a huge factor in the team’s plunge, but this summer, we found out that there was likely another big reason for the fall.  The hockey world shook on June 29, when Montreal traded PK Subban to Nashville for Shea Weber.  In the weeks following the trade, stories began to emerge that the Montreal locker room may not have been as cohesive as it needed to be, and Subban was being looked at as a possible cause of the rift in the room.  So, Montreal decided to move him in a blockbuster deal with Nashville.  But that wasn’t the only move Montreal made this summer.  Four days earlier, they traded a pair of second round picks to Chicago for forward Andrew Shaw, and on July 1, they signed Russian star forward Alexander Radulov to a 1 year contract.  They were smart to sign Radulov to just 1 year commitment, as he has a long history of being a malcontent everywhere he’s been, which includes two other stints in the NHL, both with Nashville.  Montreal is banking on the third time being the charm.  This team is a playoff caliber team, as long as Carey Price remains healthy.  Montreal signed goalie Al Montoya as insurance, showing they don’t feel Mike Condon can handle the starting job should Price get hurt.

Mid Summer Report: Buffalo Sabres

download (8)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 Buffalo Sabres

Last Season’s Finish:  35-36-11, 81 pts, 7th in the Atlantic Division, missed the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • D Dmitri Kulikov (Trade)
  • F Kyle Okposo (UFA)
  • D Justin Falk (UFA)
  • G Anders Nilsson (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • D Mark Pysyk (Florida)
  • G Chad Johnson (Calgary)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Alexander Nylander

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/8)

  • F Zemgus Girgensons
  • D Rasmus Ristolainen

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

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $63,312,022
  • Current salary cap space: $9,687,978

Expected active roster

Forwards
Ryan O’Reilly, Kyle Okposo, Evander Kane, Matt Moulson, Tyler Ennis, Brian Gionta, Marcus Foligno, Johan Larsson, Jack Eichel, Zemgus Girgensons, Sam Reinhart, Nicolas Deslauriers, Cal O’Reilly
Defensemen
Zach Bogosian, Dmitry Kulikov, Josh Gorges, Cody Franson, Jake McCabe, Rasmus Ristolainen, Justin Falk
Goalies
Robin Lehner, Anders Nilsson

 

 

Outlook:

The Sabres are in a similar position as several teams in the NHL.  Similar to teams like Edmonton, Toronto, Phoenix, and Carolina, the Sabres are in the midst of a total rebuild from the ground up.  Developmentally, they are a season or two ahead of most of the above mentioned teams.  They made a ton of big moves last summer, and it resulted in an improvement of 12 wins and 27 points in the standings from the 14-15 season to the 15-16 season.  They also added 40 goals for and cut goals against by 52 goals.  This summer, the improvements continued with the adding of forward Kyle Okposo (UFA) and defenseman Dmitri Kulikov (Trade).  Those additions, combined with the continued maturation of several young players that they currently have should result in another step upward in the standings.  They should contend for a playoff spot, but they are probably not yet ready to contend for the Stanley Cup.  But, they are getting closer.

Mid Summer Report: Toronto Maple Leafs

download (7)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 Toronto Maple Leafs

Last Season’s Finish:  29-42-11, 69 pts, 8th in the Atlantic Division, missed the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • G Frederik Andersen (Trade)
  • F Matt Martin (UFA)
  • D Roman Polak (UFA)
  • F Auston Matthews (Draft)

Key Departures:

  • F P-A Parenteau (NY Islanders)
  • F Michael Grabner (NY Rangers)
  • G Jonathan Bernier (Anaheim)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Auston Matthews
  • F Mitch Marner
  • F William Nylander
  • F Tobias Lindberg

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/8/16)

  • None

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

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $72,944,084
  • Current salary cap space: $55,916

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Joffrey Lupul, Nazem Kadri, Brooks Laich, James van Riemsdyk, Tyler Bozak, Milan Michalek, Leo Komarov, Colin Greening, Matt Martin, Peter Holland, Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Tobias Lindberg, Byron Froese
Defensemen
Morgan Reilly, Jake Gardiner, Roman Polak, Martin Marincin, Matt Hunwick, Nikita Zaitsev, Frank Corrado
Goalies
Frederik Anderson, ???(TBA)

 

Outlook:

The Leafs are in the middle of a complete organizational rebuild.  It began at the end of the 2013-2014 season, when Brendan Shanahan left his job as NHL’s Senior Vice President to become the Leafs’ president and alternate governor.  Last summer, Shanahan brought on Lou Lamoriello to replace Dave Nonis at GM.  They also turned over the entire coaching staff, hiring Mike Babcock away from the Detroit Red Wings to be the head coach, then hiring several new assistants.  While Shanahan was busy rebuilding the front office from the ground up, he began turning over the team, letting older and/or ineffective players go, while restocking the proverbial cupboard with young prospects.  The results have not shown on the ice yet, but fans in Toronto are very excited for the future of the team.  Their biggest story of this off-season has been the drafting Auston Matthews with the first overall pick in the draft back in June.  Matthews is only 18, but he spent last season in the Swiss league, playing against full grown men.  The Arizona native scored 46 points in 36 games in that league, with 7 more points in 4 playoff games.  He followed that up with 9 points in 10 games for team USA in the World Championships, tying Dylan Larkin (Red Wings) for the team lead.  He led the team in goals, with 6.  With performances like that, it’s no wonder the fans in Toronto are excited.  He appears NHL ready now.  Even in the likely event Matthews makes the team, it’s unlikely the Leafs will make the playoffs this season.  They will, however, be a more difficult team to beat, and they will be more fun to watch.

 

Mid Summer Report: Anaheim Ducks

download (6)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 Anaheim Ducks

Last Season’s Finish:  46-25-11, 103 pts, 1st in the Pacific Division, Lost in the first round of the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Mason Raymond (UFA)
  • F Jaren Boll (UFA)
  • G Jonathan Bernier (Trade)

Key Departures:

  • G Frederik Andersen (Toronto)
  • F Brandon Pirri (UFA)
  • F David Perron (St Louis)
  • G Anton Khudobin (Boston)
  • F Chris Stewart (Minnesota)
  • F Jamie McGinn (Arizona)
  • F Mike Santorelli (Switzerland)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • G Kevin Boyle
  • D Andy Welinski

 

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 7/31)

  • D Hampus Lindholm
  • F Rickard Rakell

Current Cap Situation as of 7/31 (source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $63,729,166
  • Current salary cap space: $9,270,834

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler, Jakob Silfverberg, Andrew Cogliano, Ryan Garbutt, Nate Thompson, Jared Boll, Rickard Rackell, Mason Raymond, Chris Wagner
Defensemen
Sami Vatanen, Cam Fowler, Kevin Bieksa, Simon Despres, Clayton Stoner, Hampus Lindholm, Josh Manson, Korbinian Holzer
Goalies
Jonathan Bernier, John Gibson

 

 

Outlook:

 

The Ducks are a veteran squad that had a great regular season last year, finishing the year with a regular season division title.  Unfortunately, they lost yet another game 7 in the first round at home to Nashville, their 4th straight home loss in a game 7.  As a result, they decided to make changes, starting with the head coach.  They fired Bruce Boudreau, and re-hired the coach they fired 5 years ago, Randy Carlyle.  They also made a trade with Toronto, essentially trading goaltenders, sending Frederik Andersen to Toronto, and having Jonathan Bernier come to Anaheim.  Other than the goalies, the core of this team remains intact from a year ago, so their performance should be similar to the last several years.  They should make the playoffs fairly easily.  Once there, time will tell whether the coaching and goaltending changes will be enough to get them over their game 7 woes.

Mid Summer Report: Los Angeles Kings

download (5)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 Los Angeles Kings

Last Season’s Finish:  48-28-6, 102 pts, 2nd in the Pacific Division, Lost in round 1 of the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • D Zach Trotman (UFA)
  • G Jeff Zatkoff (UFA)
  • F Michael Latta (UFA)
  • F Teddy Purcell

Key Departures:

  • F Vincent Lecavalier (retired)
  • F Milan Lucic (Edmonton)
  • D Jamie McBain (Arizona)
  • D Luke Schenn (Arizona)
  • F Kris Versteeg (Switzerland)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • None known

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 7/28)

  • none

Current Cap Situation as of 7/28/16
(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $72,970,227
  • Current salary cap space: $29,773

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter, Marian Gaborik, Tyler Toffoli, Trevor Lewis, Dwight King, Kyle Clifford, Teddy Purcell, Tanner Pearson, Jordan Nolan, Nic Dowd, Nick Shore, Michael Latta, Andy Andreoff
Defensemen
Drew Doughty, Alec Martinez, Jake Muzzin, Rob Scuderi, Matt Greene, Brayden McNabb, Tom Gilbert, Zach Trotman
Goalies
Jonathan Quick, Jeff Zatkoff

 

 

Outlook:

 

The Kings are stuck in salary cap hell, and it is beginning to affect them on the ice.  They were unable to keep Milan Lucic, Luke Schenn, Jamie McBain, and Kris Versteeg this summer, as the team’s payroll is right up against the cap.  They also don’t have a very deep group coming up through the system, as they have only picked once in the first round in the last 3 years.  So, for the next several years, or as long as they remain in cap hell, they will need to fill out their 3rd and 4th lines with bargain-basement players.  8 players on the current roster are consuming almost $47 million in cap space, and all of those contracts have at least 3 years remaining, forcing them to be a very top heavy team for the next several years.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as long as this core group remains healthy and productive.  The Kings are led by Anze Kopitar ($10M), Drew Doughty ($7M), Dustin Brown ($5.8M), and Jonathan Quick ($5.8M).  They also have strong players like Jeff Carter, Marion Gaborik, Tyler Toffoli, Jake Muzzin, and Alec Martinez.  This core group make the Kings as good as any team in the NHL in terms of top two 5-man units.  This group has made the Kings a contender nearly every year for several years now, and barring any long-term injuries to these key players, that should continue for several more years.

Mid Summer Report: San Jose Sharks

download (4)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 San Jose Sharks

Last Season’s Finish:  46-30-6, 75 pts, 3rd in the Pacific Division, lost in Stanley Cup Final

Key Arrivals:

  • D David Schlemko (UFA)
  • F Mikkel Boedker (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • G James Reimer (Florida)
  • D Roman Polak (Toronto)
  • D Matt Tennyson (Carolina)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • D Mirco Mueller
  • F Marcus Sorensen
  • F Timo Meier
  • D Jeremy Roy

Unsigned RFAs (as of 7/29)

Current Cap Situation as of 7/29/16 (source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $72,004,164
  • Current salary cap space: $995,836

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski, Logan Couture, Mikkel Boedker, Joel Ward, Tomas Hertl, Tommy Wingels, Melker Karlsson, Joonas Donskoi, Matt Nieto, Chris Tierny, Michael Haley
Defensemen
Brent Burns, Paul Martin, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Justin Braun, Brenden Dillon, David Schlemko, Mirco Mueller, Dylan Demelo
Goalies
Martin Jones, Mantas Armalis

 

 

Outlook:

 

San Jose is coming off their best season in franchise history.  They went deeper in the Stanley Cup Playoffs than they ever had before, coming to within 2 wins from winning the Stanley Cup.  The good news is, the core of this team remains intact going into 2016-2017, so expect them to get yet another shot at their elusive first Stanley Cup.  The Sharks have been very quiet so far this summer, as all of their moves so far have only involved players that are well down the depth chart.  This is a veteran laden team, so the prospects they do have will have a tough time cracking the lineup.  One spot that is wide open on this team, however, is at the backup goalie position, which was previously held by James Reimer.  Reimer signed to be Roberto Luongo’s backup in Florida on July 1.  So far, San Jose has signed only 1 free agent goalie, Mantas Armalis, who played in Sweden last season.  They also have 2 other goalies signed in their system, Aaron Dell and Troy Grosenick.  All three will likely get a shot in training camp, but it looks like the job is Armalis’ to lose.  Martin Jones remains the clear #1 in San Jose, especially after his great run in the playoffs last season.  Ultimately, you will see basically the same Sharks team that you saw last spring.  The big question is, can they pick up where they left off, and can they sustain it for another long season after having a shorter summer than 28 other teams in the league?