Thoughts on the New NHL Hawks

With UND’s season ending multiple players have signed NHL deals over the past week and a half. Here are some thoughts about what each player brings to their new squad.

Brock Boeser-Vancouver Canucks

Canucks fans, do you like having a consistent sniper on the wing who can score more than 30 goals a season and out skate the other team? If so Brock Boeser could one day soon be the answer to the eternal, ‘who plays with the Sedins’ ?, conundrum. The Minnesota native had wrist surgery and missed the World Juniors. When he was out, UND’s scoring fell off as its more physical players instantly faced tougher match ups. When Brock is on he can score goals at a blistering pace. He also has the capacity to be a consistent defensively responsible forward depending on how he is used. If you have a tough goal-scoring winger that can back check,well, ask any Capitals fan about how rare it is to have a player like that on your team.

Tucker Poolman-Winnipeg Jets

The East Grand Forks native is recovering from multiple shoulder injuries. When healthy he will be the Jets’ fifth or sixth defenseman next season. Tucker Poolman has a booming point shot and knows how to not get caught trying to do too much. Pairing Poolman with an offensive minded left shot defenseman would give the Jets the best of both worlds. They would get a reliable defender who can score when needed, which would allow another one of their defenseman to take more chances. This could benefit someone like Josh Morrissey who , so far, has not come close to matching his WHL output.

Tyson Jost-Colorado Avalanche

Tyson Jost leaving is the biggest blow to UND. He is a complete player who has broken Connor McDavid’s scoring record in the U-18 World Championship. Tyson is a dominant two-way forward that will be at the core of Colorado’s rebuild. In his brief time at UND, Jost has routinely scored highlight-reel goals and made strong plays defensively. The new Avalanche forward can produce a point per game as well as be a future Selke trophy candidate if he continues to play his strong defensive game. Jost had an integral part getting Canada to the semifinals in the U18 World Championships in April, a key role in getting UND back to the NCAA tournament, and will be asked to do the same thing for the Avalanche as he develops.

A Snarky Sentence-30 Quips on the NHL

With the NHL season starting tonight here is a quick one sentence outlook for each NHL team. It will be snarky, it may not be nice, and its all in good fun. Plus I guarantee I will be wrong on at least half of these sentences by the end of the season.

Eastern Conference -(team order is random… not projecting order of finish)

  1. Atlantic Division
    1. Toronto
      1. Give up hat tricks for Patrick? (Brandon forward  Nolan Patrick who is the projected number one pick as of today).
    2. Boston
      1. Slow and slower…the 2016-2017 Zdeno Chara experience.
    3. Florida
      1. Father time leads the future.
    4. Ottawa
      1. Scoring not named Karlsson..does enough of it exist?
    5. Detroit
      1. Everybody gets another first round playoff exit!
    6. Canadiens
      1. Is Price alright?
    7. Tampa Bay
      1. Win now because not enough not enough money exists to pay for later.
    8. Buffalo
      1. So many free agents, so little depth.
  2. Metropolitan
    1. Carolina
      1. Can they Ward off last place?
    2. Pittsburgh
      1. How many weapons does Crosby need?
    3. Washington
      1. Any year now Ovie.
    4. New York Islanders
      1. Who steps up with Tavares?
    5. New York Rangers
      1. The king needs more scoring to help in defending the Garden.
    6. Columbus
      1. Does Bob still have it?
    7. Flyers
      1. Can Hak do it again?
    8. New Jersey Devils
      1. Help out Schneider, please.
  3. Pacific
    1. Anaheim
      1. What can Randy do that Bruce couldn’t?
    2. Los Angeles
      1. How much grit can one team have?
    3. Edmonton
      1. Larsson may be good, but he’s no Hall.
    4. Calgary
      1. Can Elliot stop the goalie carousel?
    5. Vancouver
      1. So fast, so little secondary scoring.
    6. San Jose
      1. Can Bodker speed a return to the Cup?
    7. Arizona
      1. So fast,so skilled, so unproven.
  4. Central
    1. Chicago
      1. So many rookies, so much leadership,Western Conference Finals?
    2. Minnesota
      1. Slow, overpaid, and no depth.
    3. Colorado
      1. Can the defense help out?
    4. Winnipeg
      1. People should ham up Laine’s skills more.
    5. Dallas
      1. Seguin will be sensational.
    6. St. Louis
      1. The Tarasenkshow continues.
    7. Nashville
      1. P.K. will play well, can Rinne still produce?

Reasons to Love Hockey:Reboot

Sorry Guys, Life happens and I haven’t been able to be post as quickly as I normally would.

Today there are less than 100 days left till the puck drops at the Shark tank against the LA kings. This post is not really a reason more just a review of what has happened in the last two weeks.

We had some crazy trades and an amazing first day of free agency.   The San Jose Sharks have signed four players so far and on the first day. David Schlemko is one of the two high profile players that SJ picked up. I would have to say the Schlemko is going to be a good addition to the team. I am interested to see how this plays out. He has a tendancy to either be really good or really bad, either way, he will be a good replacement for Roman Polak. Which I personally feel was a major liability for the Sharks on defense this past season. Mikkel Boedker, I am not so sure how I feel about him, it honestly will depend on what line they end up placing him on. I think he might play well with a player like Donskoi and Hertl, but only time will tell. The two re-signs are Aaron Dell(G) and Micheal Haley (C). I am looking forward to see what Haley does this season. I think it was smart to bring him back.

Now Dell, I have been watching this player for six years and I have a good feeling about this upcoming season from him. I am was ecstatic when I saw that SJ resigned him, like literally jumped up and down (sorry downstairs neighbors), I think he will be a great backup option to Jones. They have very similar playing styles and I believe Dell has earned his shot to play on NHL ice. I know a lot of you are thinking about how untested he is on a professional rink, but you will never know how well any player can handle the pressure of the “big” time, with over 6,500 minutes of playing time between the ECHL,CHL and AHL, It is in my honest thoughts that he can handle it and I am really looking forward to seeing were it all heads for him.

Three Random Thoughts Before Free Agency

With three full days remaining until free agency, here are a few thoughts about some recent moves and the draft. Free agency itself will be an exciting time trying to figure out where star players like Steven Stamkos and Kyle Okposo will sign.

  1. Andrew Shaw should not carry a cap hit higher than Brendan Gallagher. While Shaw plays a great two way game, he does not produce offensively like Gallagher does. Shaw has never broken 40 points in any of his NHL seasons. Gallagher has scored 40 or more points the past three years. Last year, Brendan had 40 points in 53 games played. I understand that Shaw is worth a fair amount of money. He does an excellent job screening goalies,winning puck battles and killing penalties. Gallagher plays tougher minutes not paired with a linemate like Johnathan Toews than Shaw does and is worth more points per game than Shaw is. The Habs have the cap room however, this is a contract that will directly impact their future.How much remains to be seen. If this was a one or two year deal,it would make more sense to me.Six is too many years for Shaw.
  2. Well done Arizona Coyotes.The team was able to sign backup extraordinaire Louis Domingue to a two year pact.For just over one million dollars for two years the Coyotes have a strong goalie that can start for periods of time. Domingue won 15 games last year. Although he did not finish with a winning record (15-18-4), he saved over 91 percent of shots faced and kept the Coyotes in a lot of games they should not have been in at all. Domingue set himself up to be the starter next season if Mike Smith is selected in the Las Vegas Expansion Draft.
  3. My Stamkos prediction? Well, although Detroit traded the contract of Pavel Datsyuk for more cap room, and other teams want to talk to him, Stamkos will end up back with the Lightning. Tampa Bay does not have to offer him as much as the other teams courting him. Florida has no personal income tax. Beyond that, the Lightning are at the beginning of a potential dynasty. This team was two games away from another Stanley Cup in 2015. If the team can find a way to keep Victor Hedman it has the potential to make the Stanley Cup Finals every season over the next four to five years. Is that true of Buffalo? No, that squad is good but not there quite yet. Is that true of Detroit? Maybe, but what happens if Mrazek does not have another stellar year and Zetterberg is injured again? Is that true of Toronto? No, that squad will be at that level if everything goes right in four to five years. The Lighting made it to the Eastern Conference Final without a lot of help from Stamkos. He was injured. This squad has the depth to win now. None of his rumored suitors have what they do.

 

Links:http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=116081

http://www.generalfanager.com/players/144

http://www.generalfanager.com/players/531

http://www.generalfanager.com/teams/arizona-coyotes

 

 

 

110 Reasons to Love Hockey: 107-The Players

Reason #107:

Today’s reason to love hockey is favorite players. During the course of the short time, we have been running this blog, I have had the honor to interview my favorite past University of North Dakota player, Aaron Dell. He played for UND when I was going to school at the university the first time in 2010. The reason he is one of my favorite players is because of how much work he has put in since college.Dell has succeeded and earned a contract in the NHL based on his hard work and outstanding play in the AHL. I am looking forward to seeing what is going to happens when free agency opens up on the first of July.

One of my current UND players, I would have to say is Austin Poganski. I remember my first game last season back at the Ralph Englestad Arena. It was such an exciting game that ended with a penalty shot. Everything was electric, it was one of the best experiences of my life.

We want to hear who your favorite players and why. Let us know in the comments!

Reasons to Love Hockey:108-The Fans

Today, with the NHL Draft now finished, it is a good time to talk about another reason why I love hockey. The fans. Hockey fans are some of the most intelligent, and passionate people I know. We are always looking for more knowledge. No matter your team you always want to learn more. When I first really started following hockey around the time I had decided to go to North Dakota, I saw the Stanley Cup between New Jersey and Los Angeles. It was awesome. Ever since then, I  have wanted to learn more about different teams,players,strategies,and so many other things from all around the world. I was incredibly lucky to go to college at UND. Seeing Derek Forbort’s point shot to tie the game against Alaska Anchorage with under one minute to play in the third period was my first great in person hockey moment. The Ralph Englestad Arena shook even louder than it did when Austin Poganski sent 12,000 fans home happy against Duluth with his game winning penalty shot in overtime.

Fans,today’s question is what was  your first hockey moment? It can be in person viewing, or watching on tv. Let us know in the comments.

NHL Draft-First Round Thoughts

Here are some brief thoughts after day one of the draft. Day two begins today at noon eastern.

1.Where were all those magical trades we were hearing about beforehand? Seems to me like the rumors were oversold as most are yearly.

2. I am surprised the Avalanche chose Tyson Jost over Logan Brown. Both are good players,however Brown seems ready to jump to the NHL now. Jost will play at least one year at North Dakota.

3.Why on earth did the Blue Jackets not take Jesse Puljujarvi? They selected a great player in Pierre-Luc Dubois, however Jesse could have helped them win sooner than Dubois. Jesse has proven himself in a professional league against players older than him. In addition, the Finnish forward showed he did not need Sebastian Aho to play well at the U18 Worlds in Grand Forks.

4. Edmonton still wins something at the draft. It’s Edmonton of course. They pick up an outstanding two-way forward with a rocket shot and precision passing. Imagine trying to stop a line with Puljujarvi, Connor McDavid,and Taylor Hall or Jordan Eberle. Good luck. Edmonton should look to bolster their defensive prospect pool on day two.

5. St. Louis got fleeced. I understand Elliot has one year left on his deal. He seemed to have a lot of cold streaks during the season. On the other hand, this guy lead the team to the playoffs multiple times and often was playing against teams like the Sharks that used physical play to wear down the Blues defense. Calgary has plenty of A- to B+ prospects the Blues should have asked for in addition to these two (3rd in 2018 is conditional) picks.

6. Props to the Washington Capitals. The team was able to pick up a draft pick from the Blues in the third round for losing a mere two spots. This trade evens out with the horrendous Mike Weber deal completed around the trade deadline. The Capitals used their pick to get a strong offensive defenseman from the WHL in Lucas Johansen.

7.The Johansen pick gives the Capitals a strong offensive defenseman that has some speed. Hopefully Caps fans see him in the AHL soon. Johansen could make the NHL in a few years if he finishes strong in the WHL and impresses at Hershey. The Capitals have a history with picking strong WHL defenders and they know what they are getting out of that league.

8.Dear Jets fans, I know Logan Stanley was not your first choice with your second first rounder. The tweets last night and today have made that quite clear. What if and stay with me, he becomes a top four defenseman? Would that justify the pick? Top two? What makes you happy here? In my mind the Jets drafted someone with the potential to provide a physical stay at home presence when paired with a guy like Jacob Trouba. Best case, in two years Stanley is pushing for NHL time and playing the stay at home yin to an offensive defenseman’s yang. There is a huge value to that. Worst case, career AHL player with a Joe Finley career path. Give Stanley time. I have no problem with the risk for the Jets because of the reward. Scoring wise it may not show, but the Jets will benefit if Stanley can improve his skating and movement. If he can’t  then all it means is you took a risk for a player and it did not turn out the way you wanted.That happens to teams every single year. The draft,regardless of sport, is an imperfect art. When drafting 18 and 19 year olds who will (minus the usual few) take at least a year and sometimes three to four to develop, this selection process becomes even more imperfect. If in four years Stanley does not play at least 20 games in the NHL feel free to let the bust label fly. Until then, enjoy watching him develop and seeing where his career goes.

110 Reasons to Love Hockey:110

Reason 110:

It’s unlike any other sport! Hockey is all about teamwork and knowing the other players on your team. To me, hockey is a beautiful ballet on ice that happens to get physical. Nothing in any other sport can match that sound when players are checked hard into the boards. The nice clean hits at center ice are poetry in motion! Nothing gets the heart racing than seeing your favorite player take the ice and score a goal or make incomprehensible save.

Seamore Sports on David Snape Show

Recently, I had a chance to go on the David Snape Show. David is a British blogger and radio host that discusses a wide variety of topics on his blog and weekly radio show. The interview with me starts at about the 45 minute mark. The whole show is an outstanding medley of sports,politics,and music that deserves a listen. Thanks to David for having me on the show to talk about NHL hockey.

David Snape Show 20/6/16 – Listen right now