HF-NYR Fantasy Keeper League - Around The League Thread
Preseason Blog: Major Moves and Their Effect
Brenden Morrow to Tampa
The first move of the offseason was also one of the biggest. Eric Brewer and some picks moved to Dallas, in exchange for the power forward. Morrow has said, "I'm really excited at this opportunity. Not just to play alongside Stammer and St. Louis, but to have the opportunity to compete for the cup again, and hopefully win it here in Tampa" The line of Morrow, Stamkos, and St. Louis will surely be one of the most menacing in the league. Featuring the best scorer in the league, one of the best playmakers feeding the puck to him, and the body of Morrow adding physicality combined with a scoring touch.
Andrei Markov to San Jose
Adding Andrei Markov was a move that shows that the Sharks are in it to win it. Adding the experienced star defenseman will help the team that has struggled in the playoffs in the past in more ways than one. The move didn't cost the team any major pieces of their squad, and will truly pay off if the injury prone Markov is able to stay healthy. The playoff weathered duo of Markov and Dan Boyle will be one of the most menacing in the league, and possibly lead them to the finals, and possibly help them win the ultimate prize.
Isles Pens Exchange
This trade, featuring the likes of Jordan Staal, Michael Grabner and Nino Niederreiter. This is a trade that helps both teams. Really, any move that can fetch a return for Staal will help Pittsburgh, as the young center was clearly not as effective as he could be playing on the third line. The Islanders added a strong 2nd line center, who will help the team grow alongside John Tavares. The addition of a serviceable defenseman, and 1st round pick will help in the long and short run. The addition of a winger in Grabner, and Niederreiter, a prospect that just wasn't fit for Long Island, helps the Pens in the few areas where they are weak, and will help them continue their strong showings for years to come. All parties seemed happy with their moves, with Staal being given a chance to shine, and Grabner feeling he, "Will just get better playing with the two best players in the world"
Weber for Kesler
Vancouver went to the finals last year. Did they lose because of their defense? Probably not, but adding the best defender in the world definitely doesn't hurt. Nashville was able to upgrade their offense by adding Ryan Kesler, and brought in an okay replacement for Weber in Sami Salo. With Nashville still having Suter, they definitely didn't end up with a weak defense. The addition of Weber might have given Vancouver the best defense corps in the league featuring guys like Edler, Hamuis and Bieksa. Like the previous trade, this will benefit both teams, and help them compete for the cup.
San Jose Keeps Buying
San Jose continues to show that they are serious about competing this season. They have taken on the large cap hit of Rick Nash, and given up part of their future in Logan Couture. Columbus has landed a young star, and another 1st round pick, giving up their captain and star player. San Jose could now potential have a group of Marleau, Thornton, Nash, Boyle and Markov. That's scary! However, I'm not sure about how good this trade truly was, as Couture could potentially be a better scorer, and playmaker than Nash.
Oilers Lose Hall, Add OEL
In two separate trades, the Oilers have moved one of their young star forwards, and added another young star on defense. While Hall is a great talent, he seems not to be on the level of Eberle or Nuget-Hopkins. In these two trades, the Oilers also added two first round picks, which could both be pretty early, helping with the team's rebuild. On the other side, the Avalanche added Taylor Hall, who could help the team's offense, with a lot of speed. The final team involved here was obviously Phoenix, who in my opinion were the losers. They gave a future top-5 defenseman and 1st round pick for a group of scrap pieces, with no real star power.
Ryan Clowe had an exciting day, as he moved from San Jose, to Ottawa, to New York in a period of 6 hours. San Jose had to move a lot of their highly paid players, as their recent additions had put them over the cap. The lucky team that was San Jose's dump was Ottawa. They acquired 3 great established players in Clowe, Pavelski, and Burns, only costing them a few young pieces. Later in the day, Clowe moved to New York in exchange for two solid pieces in Sauer and Anisimov. The power-forward was excited about the move to New York, where he will play a large role in the team's bid in competing for the cup
Last year's cup champs Boston hope to hold onto the trophy with the help of two new star players. They traded a group of youngsters to the rebuilding Flames to acquire veteran forward Jarome Iginla. One of the best players of the past decade, Jarome hopes to finally win a cup after missing out in 2004. The other addition was Mike Green. Washington acquired David Krejci in exchange, and now have strong group of centers with Backstrom, David, and Johansen. Green might no longer be the Norris contender of the past, but is still an offensive catalyst. With these two offensive stars, one of the best offenses in the league has become better.
Blue Perry (get it)
The Blues had it all. A great offense with 4 lines that can put the puck in the net, and play defense. A defense with 3 more than capable pairings that can stop most stars, and create chances. And possibly the best goalie tandem in the league. The only thing holding them back from success was a spark. This spark has joined them in the form of a Blue Perry (yes, that is now his official nickname) While they gave up 2 strong forwards and a great defenseman for him, they have people to take their places. The deal also helps Anaheim, as they had star power, but were lacking in the department of… well, everything else.
My Cup Frontrunners/Division Winners: Tampa, Boston, Rangers, Vancouver, Nashville, LA
Good write up
Fantastic write-up. Hooray for benefitting from salary dumps!
Oilers Set for A Quick Rebuild, With the 3 Center Model and Offensive Minded Defensemen
The Oilers sent away a former top pick in Sam Gagner to Tampa Bay with their 1st deal of the game. Although Sam really seemed to turn it around this year, we felt that we could acquire a better center to slot below RNH on the depth chart, and we also felt that the 1st round pick in return gave us another valuable asset to work with.
The Oilers made a splash with their 2nd deal of the game, by sending former franchise cornerstone Taylor Hall to Colorado. We felt the return made us a better overall team though, as Ryan O'Reilly is only a bit younger than Hall, but still had 55 points last year, while playing a great overall game. A big factor in acquiring him was also that he was a center. Along with O'Reilly, we also acquired a good prospect in Mark Olver, a young stud puck moving defensemen in Stefan Elliot, and another valuable 1st round pick.
Our next big splash was acquiring a future Norris winner in Oliver Ekman-Larsson. We gave up some good veteran contributors (especially in NHL 12), but we felt that it was well worth it because our goal is to contend next year, and years after, not so much this year. Overall in the trade we also received a great young forward in Mikkel Boedker who will be a fixture as a top 6 forward for years to come, Brandon Gormley who is a top notch defensive prospect, and another 1st round draft pick.
The next big trade we made was shipping off two huge parts to our team in Ales Hemsky and Ryan Whitney, along with a 4th and 6th round draft pick, in exchange for Cody Hodgson, Brayden McNabb, and Jochen Hecht. McNabb really solidified his status as a future impact defensemen in this league in real life, and he is a guy that we were targeting to trade for, as he has great upside. Hodgson, the other main peice in the deal coming back to Edmonton, was another main target of ours. Just like McNabb, we feel he has great upside, and we feel along with RNH and O'Reilly, we have a great 1-2-3 punch for years to come in Edmonton.
Our last deal before the trade deadline was sending off Colton Teubert and Linus Omark to Pittsburgh in exchange for Simon Despres, a 2nd round draft pick, and a 4th round draft pick. Although Colton and Linus certainly have a bright future, we just felt that Despres will have a larger role in the future than either of those two. We also felt he meshed perfectly with our other defensemen.
We feel as a team, we strengthened our core for the future up front with the likes of RNH, Boedker, Eberle, O'Reilly, Paajarvi, and Hodgson. We also feel that we turned a major weakness, defense, into a major strength for the future with a core of Ekman-Larsson, Elliot, McNabb, Despres, Petry, and Gormley. We were also very happy to add three 1st round draft picks and a 2nd, as even if they are not high draft picks in their respective rounds, they are still valuable assets to work with, and you never know what the standings will be like in a sim, so there is a chance that a draft pick you never counted on being below 20th overall could end up top 10.
Overall, Edmonton is very happy with the way the early trading period went as we think the future now looks brighter than ever.
Future Core Forwards:
Future Core Defensemen:
EDM 1st 2012
TB 1st 2012
PHX 1st 2012
COL 1st 2012
EDM 2nd 2012
PIT 2nd 2012
PIT 4th 2012
EDM 5th 2012
EDM 7th 2012
Cap Space (excluding UFA's):
Avs Build Strong Offensive Depth
The Avs made a few big moves to start the season. With 5-6 NHL capable RWers, there was an obvious need for some guys to play on the left side. LW depth is thin all around the league, so the Avs made it a point to be strong on that side.
The first deal saw the Avs moving recently acquired Steve Downie, RW, for Rene Bourque, LW, a 3rd, and a 4th. Bourque has a questionable contract and is the older player, but he can contribute more right now and is viewed as a very nice top 6 LW. The draft picks were gravy. Downie is a great player with a great future and no hard feelings to that guy.
The next trade was a blockbuster that will affect both teams for the rest of the game. Taylor Hall was moved to the Avalanche for Ryan O'Reilly, Mark Olver, Stefan Elliott, and a 1st round pick. Former 1st overall pick, Taylor Hall has had the injury bug his first 2 years in the league. However, the 20 year old speed demon still put up great numbers. The Avs are very excited to pick up another franchise cornerstone to go along with Duchene and Landeskog. It is sad to see O'Reilly go, but with young centers Duchene and Stastny already in the mix, a center had to go. The Avs also had 3 blue-chip defensemen prospects in Elliott, Barrie, and Siemens. They felt they could afford to trade one. You have to give to get. Losing the 1st can be tough, but the Avalanche feel this is a playoff team with 14m in capspace and a nice young group.
Minor deals to round out the roster were also made. Bruno Gervais and TJ Hensick were added as depth players at the expense of mid-late round draft picks.
The Avalanche feel like they can make a deep playoff run with 4 lines that can contribute offense and a solid defense. There is a question mark in goal but Varlamov is the future and the Avalanche shall live and die with him.
PLAYERS TO WATCH THIS SEASON
Penciled in as the #1 center, has Stastny already reached his plateau? He is still only 26 years old and can play at the top of the league for another 10 years. Is he ready to take it to the next level? with a revamped lineup on the wings it is expected he will. Look for a PPG season.
Injuries have setback the young American forward. Dangled around the league as trade-bait before the season, nobody wanted to take much of a chance on the post-concussed Mueller. He hopes to prove everyone wrong and is slotted in as the 2nd RWer centered by Matt Duchene with Rene Bourque on the other side. This might be a do or die season for Mueller, who still has loads of potential.
Former 1st overall pick Erik Johnson will be heavily relied on this season. Defensive super-star, Johnson is also capable of putting up respectable defenseman numbers. He hasn't quite gotten hold of that in Colorado so far, but without a doubt he is still considered a franchise player. We don't even need Shattenkirk or Stewart anyway.
The Avalanche live and die with this guy. Loads of potential, a history of injuries, still very young. It will be interesting to see how he handles this season. Some nights it looks like he is carrying the team, sometimes it looks like the team is carrying him. He needs to be consistent if he wants to win a Stanley Cup.
Rangers Continue Trend Upwards
New York, NY Glen Sather may have taken his last puff of his cigar as GM of the New York Rangers, but that doesn't mean the philosophy he instilled his final years won't be noticeable moving forward.
After years of bringing in the big names to play on Broadway, the 2004-2005 NHL lockout might have been the saving face of the franchise. For Sather came out of the lockout a new GM. Gone were the days of selling top prospects for washed up players. Gone are the days of the Rangers pursuing every big ticket free agent available. Sather began developing a great young core of talent through the draft and trades that he knew would grow together into a wonderfully talented, close-knit team.
With new GM NYRKY, the team concept will move forward. The Rangers head into the 2011-2012 season coming off another disappointing loss to Washington in the first round of the NHL playoffs. Again, the Rangers continued to show that they're not afraid to give the young stud prospects time, expecting ample ice time for top prospects Chris Kreider and Tim Erixon. The Rangers surrounded that talent with top free agent center Brad Richards to help lead the team to the promised land. The former Stanley Cup winner and Conn Symthe recipient with the 2004 Tampa Bay Lighting was brought in not only to provide a playmaker for sniper Marian Gaborik, but to provide a veteran leadership to mold the young Rangers into what it takes to be a winner.
The Rangers added to their depth not only with the infusion of Chris Krieder and Tim Erixon, but they went out to add Ryane Clowe to add some grit and scoring to the top 6. The Rangers also added grinder extraordinaire Drew Miller formerly of the Red Wings to provide some offense on the 4th line.
Although the Rangers weren't able to add the other top scorer they seeked this off season, they felt they bolstered their depth and could be deep enough to make a run.
It's tough to predict where the Rangers will finish this year, but one thing is for certain--they are trending upwards and will only get better as the years go on. Can one of the top defensive teams finally add the offense they've desperately seeked? Only time will tell...
Well done :clap:
There is some neat writing in there guys...good work
The Habs and Hab-nots
Montreal, QC-The new General manager of the Montreal Canadiens, Killem Dafoe, has only been at the helm of the team for about a week and already it's clear who he thought should be on this team and who should not.
He almost immediately traded veteran defenseman, Andrei Markov for picks and one of San Jose's top d-man prospects, Taylor Doherty. What felt like minutes later, he dealt Tomas Plakanec and prospect Patrick Holland to the Nashville Predators. In return, they received Alexander Radulov and Colin Wilson. Rene Bourque was Colorado bound before you could say "overpaid haberdasher" and Steve Downie was lacing up to join line mates Travis Moen and, for the time being, David Desharnais, who was later dealt to the Preds for Anders Lindback, Paul Gaustad, and a couple of picks.
Clearly the statement Dafoe was trying to send the team was; "no matter how good you think you are, this team is terrible so you have to go." It was later reported that David Desharnais kicked Dafoe's Jack Russell Terrier in the face and threatened to change the light bulbs in Dafoe's Escalade from Halogen to LED which Dafoe decided to leave in, saying that they weren't as hot to the touch. We agree.
One could say just about anything regarding the Montreal Canadiens and their movement forward under the overpaid wings of Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez. But one thing is for sure; they aim to get younger and more skilled. This has been evident with the recent influx of prospects and young talent into the organization and also by the statements made by Mr. Dafoe, himself, at a recent press conference:
“You got all sorts of guys here. Big guys and small guys. You have good hockey players and you have Scott Gomez. You have to wonder to yourself if maybe something will click someday, and these boys start winning some hockey games. Probably not, and that’s why I’ve decided to make some moves for the future. Right now, as it stands, I think we have an alright club, but moving forward I hope for some of our youngsters to step up and take control and not be gutless. I want a team full of players here who are filled with guts and that's what I'm starting to see here. I got us more guts and Radulov.”
Not everyone is as optimistic as Dafoe. Recently acquired Sven Baertschi tweeted; “Flames…Habs…ok whatever.” Which only led to speculation that he wanted out before he even got in. Later on he released a statement in which clarified that the tweet was actually meant for his mother and he didn’t mean anything negative towards the Montreal Canadiens or their General Manager. Colin Wilson, on the other hand, was quoted saying; “I like the Canadiens organization, and the team. The players are what really drew me to Montreal. That, and I seriously ****ing hate country music.”
The players are well rested and anxious to start the season. As the first game looms nearby, Brian Gionta and Paul Gaustad were spotted shopping together at Complexe Desjardins, while Carey Price and Anders Lindback bonded over a bowl of spaghetti noodles at “Price’s Pasta Party”, which occurs every Saturday night at Carey’s house. The feeling of comradery is palatable within the walls of the Bell Centre and you can’t help but get excited to see what this club is capable of as the season progresses and in the very near future as well. Even Alexander Radulov was spotted in the locker room last night, which brought a collective sigh among Habs fans everywhere as it looks like he will be penciled in for the first game instead of possibly suspended for storming out of a team meeting Saturday night. The Canadiens star center, Scott Gomez, will sit the first game and doesn’t seem to mind very much as he told us this morning;
“You can’t blame anyone for sitting me. I can’t blame anyone but myself, which is ok, because now I can focus on my true calling, which is baking.” When asked to elaborate, he said; “Cupcakes.” Delicious.
With the start of the season just hours away, one thing is certain. No matter who you are rooting for, be it the Canadiens, the Rangers, the Sharks, or even the Islanders (probably not the Islanders) you can expect a great season and a lot of cheers from all fan bases alike. (Again, probably not the Islanders)
Killem's is the best one so far, IMO.
Senators Acquire Youth, Depth; Trade Away Youth, Depth
Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, pictured, exhibits his thoughts about the moves made by general manager hockeyalltheway to prepare the Senators for the upcoming NHL season. He explained that he was "excited, but at the same time, not?" Deep words by the captain. (AP Photo/Google Images)
OTTAWA - In a trade deadline where most general managers made it their business to wheel and deal, swapping big names for prospects and draft picks, newly-appointed Ottawa general manager hockeyalltheway decided to take a novel approach to the flurry of action.
"I went into the frenzy with only one goal in mind," said hockeyalltheway. "That goal was to make sure my roster was better than freaking Toronto's." Upon seeing the perplexed looks of the media surrounding him, he added, "You weren't expecting one of those canned answers like 'I just want to improve my team,' were you? No, to hell with that. Screw Toronto."
Following the moves that were made, it could be argued that GM hockeyalltheway was successful. As with most other GMs, though, the best trades were the ones he DIDN'T make.
"My first call was to Toronto," he said. At this point, the media really felt as though we were being Punk'd. "No, seriously. I also called several other teams," he added, "but the one constant, in my eyes is that Kyle Turris is being drastically underrated by everyone attempting to acquire him." He explained that of three offers received for him, none were even close to market value.
But does he regret any of the moves he made?
"Not even slightly," he said with a crooked grin that made our photographer cringe.
The Senators weren't nearly as active as other teams, but they did make a couple of significant splashes in the trade market. Their first deal, which will impact the team for many years down the road, saw them accelerate the rebuild by acquiring very solid, established players. Ryane Clowe, Joe Pavelski and Brent Burns all became Ottawa Senators. In exchange, the team gave Colin Greening, Nick Foligno and Jared Cowen, all young players with very high upsides. In particular, losing Cowen was regrettable for the Senators, but they felt it was in the team's best interests to accept and not look back.
"Obviously, a deal like that is a pretty easy one to make, from my perspective," said hockeyalltheway. "The players I gave up are young, but it's not like the ones I got back were old, decrepit sacks of trash. Well, except for Ryane."
"Hey, screw him. I was a loyal, heart & soul player for that team," said Clowe, whose name was called "absolutely ridiculous" and "the reason dictionaries were invented" by hockeyalltheway.
Maybe it was this conflict of personality that caused Clowe to be shuffled more than a deck of cards in a Vegas casino. Mere hours after being acquired, Ottawa sent the decrepit sack of trash to the New York Rangers.
"I resent you guys calling me that too, you know," Clowe snarled at local media. Well, tough, Ryane. You don't pay our bills.
Clowe was sent packing in exchange for two young up-and-coming players, forward Artem Anisimov and defenceman Michael Sauer.
"I snipe real good now, yes?" asked Anisimov. "I make decision go myself. I try play, forget to adjust play, check hard. I feel free. Is so important."
"What?" asked hockeyalltheway.
"Is so important I shoot I score."
The Senators will begin the season with a relatively deep roster for the first time in years, although Daniel Alfredsson's age will be a mitigating factor in personnel decisions in the off-season. For now, though, the Senators boast a solid offensive corps, a defensive unit led by offensive stalwarts Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns, and a goaltending tandem that doesn't even have room for veteran journeyman Alex Auld. When asked about this roster decision, GM hockeyalltheway sketched this drawing quickly:
So, this makes GM hockeyalltheway's goals for this season fairly clear: make it to the playoffs. This is a bold move considering how much better the teams around the Senators got, but it will be interest--
"Hey, I can see what you're writing," said hockeyalltheway. "Didn't I JUST tell you my goal is to beat the freaking Leafs? Stupid hack reporters."
I loved the write ups but I resent calling Clowe a decrepit piece of trash. It's not his fault he traded up ;).
The Tampa Bay Lightning are currently having media day. Multiple media outlets are attending to talk with players, coaches, and the GM. Later in the evening, players are heading to different bars and restaurants around the league to meet fans.
Sharks to face early test in 2 games against Ducks
Near equal divisional rivals clash twice in first two weeks
(VI) The first five games of the season is much anticipated in San Jose due to a home and away series with divisional rival Ducks as well as Coyotes and a tilt with a strengthened Blues squad. Anaheim traded away Perry, but still has super performing Ryan, Getzlaf and Visnovsky and occasional game stars Selanne and newly acquired Ryan Miller, a key obstacle for any opponent. Several players are solid if not stars, the SoCal team adding Oshie, Steen and Shattenkirk. San Jose has more top performing talent in Nash, Thornton, Marleau, Havlat and the veteran blueline duo of Boyle and Markov. Niemi can steal a few games too. Another SJ advantage is depth, as there are no real weak links on the squad whereas Anaheim notoriously has lesser bottom lines, though the Perry trade shores that up enough to be interesting. The first two of six meetings between these Californian teams is expected to be a close affair, even a split or shootout decisions not out of the question. Look for Nash versus Miller in their western conference debuts to be a storyline.
(Sim Period 1: October 04, 2011 - October 18, 2011)
Please posts responses in the main thread.
With the first 5 games over the defending Western Conference Champions have started the season with there normal "October Blues" Vancouver new GM Bruno Mars was asked in an interview late last night if he's worried about his teams start, this is what Bruno had to say "Not worried at all, this team had a long journey to the cup finals last year, and had a short off-season, add in the fact many new players have been added to the team, and this was the first time they ever played together as a team. We believe we will only get better from here"
Here's a look at what you can expect in the next 77 games for the new Canucks.
This mean 6'3 defenceman is the complete package, "He's a beast at both ends of the rink, he can change the game with a big goal, a big hit or a big fight, he's a gamebreaker for sure" The words of Canucks captain Henrik Sedin. Weber seems to also be a big hit in the Canucks room, players like Kevin Bieksa and Alex Burrows seem to not miss old friend Ryan Kesler at all judging by how they act with Weber on camera. Canucks coach Alain Vigeneault called Weber "The best defenceman he's ever coached" Prediction:Weber will not only score 15+ goals this year he will be a candidate for the Norris.
The former Canucks 1 st round pick Umberger, finally has played a game for the Canucks all be it 10 years after being drafted as a Canuck. Umberger was brought in to replace his arch nemesis Ryan Kesler, both Kesler and Umberger play similar games, although Umberger probably won't produce at the same PPG rate as Kesler he will play tough minutes for the team and will be a key to shutting down teams top players. Prediction Umberger scored 25 + goals and 50 + points.
Abdelkader was one of Canucks GM's Bruno Mars main targets to fill a bottom 6 void for the team, and when Detroit offered him to the team there was no way he could say no. Abdelkader is one of only two players to have cup ring on the team. Abdelkader-Pahlsson-Hansen is the dream 4 th line said Canucks coach Alain Vigneult
Good read BM :)
A WIN-nipeg Start
"It was an amazing feeling being out there with this crowd", words from the young star Evander Kane whose presence helped push the return of the Winnipeg Jets to a winning start against an old foe, the Montreal Canadiens. The franchise which left more then a 15 years ago has brought tears to the dedicated fans of the old Jets.
This group however is very young, "It's only 1 win...we will have our growing pains, but we will have to bring the effort every night especially with this crowd and make it an advantage when teams come here", said the captain Andrew Ladd. One thing is for sure, the Jets are flying again.
Lightning Not Stunned by Slow Start
The Tampa Bay Lightning, who were widely considered Cup contenders going into the 11/12 season have started their season on a rather weak note. While surely disappointing for the team and its fans, the sluggish 1-3-2 start was to be expected and is completely natural. With the departure of Eric Brewer, the defensive pairs were shuffled. The addition of a new first line winger and re-tooling of the 3rd line also mixed things up. In fact, the scoring hasn't been a problem. It's been being scored on. 25 goals against in 7 games is over 3.5 per game. The positive so far has been the duo of Stamkos and St.Louis showing that they are the best pair of players in the league.
The team theoretically sits at last in the East, but standings after 20 or so games are often the complete opposite of how they will end up. Stamkos and St.Louis have 8 points each, through six games, which would average out to 109 points through the 82 game season. Stamkos is on a pace for 55 goals, but will be hoping to hit 60, and carry his team to the playoffs, and further. If the Lightning can't tighten up their defense, they will need to control the puck more, essential stopping their opponents from attacking. Either way, neither fans or players should be worried about the slow start. I leave you with this beauty. SUCK IT KILLEM!!!!
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