Archive for the ‘Dany Heatley’ Category

San Jose joins Chicago in the "Now or Never Club"

September 13, 2009

The bleak salary cap future for San Jose and Chicago … without an anti-semite to save them
Should FTF go from “Fear the Fin” to “Fuck the Future”?
It’s tough to avoid that question with San Jose’s bold trade of Dany Heatley and a 5th rounder for Jonathan Cheechoo, Milan Michalek and a 2nd-rounder. Certainly, it’s a smarter cap-based move than shipping Patrick Marleau to Ottawa because Patty M’s cap hit will dissolve after next season. Yet it begs the question: why exactly do the Sharks feel like the doomsday clock is approaching zero already?
Ever since the San Jose Sharks reached The Next Level after the Joe Thornton trade, the team kept getting older and older. The team seems to keep producing young talent, only to ship them out in favor of guys who – while often superior – are getting a little longer in the tooth.
Steve Bernier, Matt Carle, Michalek and many others have been shuttled out to make room for Rob Blake, Dan Boyle and other expensive veterans. Again, it hasn’t always been the wrong move but old over new is a trend that ultimately caught up with the Colorado Avalanche and might (evenutally? maybe?) catch up with Detroit.
Going forward, the Sharks have three extremely big contracts: Thornton ($7.2 million per year through 2010-11); Heatley ($7.5 million through 2013-14) and Dan Boyle (with his satanic $6.66 million through 2013-14). Now – don’t get me wrong – I’d rather shell out about $21 million for Heatley-Thornton-Boyle instead of wasting almost $13 million on the Cristobal HuetBrian Campbell shit sandwich.

After all, Heatley is absolutely the real deal. Anyone who thinks he will be a “bust” is allowing their (understandably negative) feelings get in the way of the fact that Heatley is absolutely one of the top five goal scorers in the league. He could genuinely flirt with joining Alex Ovechkin in the ultra-rare 60 Goal Club.

But what will become of San Jose’s depth?
Devin Setoguchi could be in line for a really nice raise if he puts up another feisty, 30-plus goal season. Joe Pavelski faces one more season in which he’ll be an underpaid gem, then he could see some really nice green. Even big contract guys like Evgeni Nabokov and Marleau will either need to be re-signed or replaced by comparable talent.
That being said, this trade makes Heatley an absolute top-10 fantasy hockey talent and re-establishes Jumbo Joe as a great guy to snag if you cannot get one of the Big Three.
It also will make San Jose one of the teams I’ll watch the most closely once the season starts. (Ah, the glories of Center Ice)
More than anything else, it’s going to be interesting as hell. Will the Sharks prosper from pushing all their chips to the middle of the table? Or will some bad metaphor gangsters break their knee caps after this Shaky Chemistry Gamble fails profoundly?
I can’t wait to find out.
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Five for Smiting threatens Murray with goat urine, er, shares Senators related free agency fears

July 1, 2009

We first introduced ourselves to Senators Lost Cojones aka the founder of Five for Smiting a week ago with our draft special and are happy to have ’em back for a second contribution in as many weeks. Make sure to follow this funny, insightful Ottawa blog even if Dany Heatley won’t waive his No Trade C(ause he’s a jerk clause).

1. Which player, for the love of God, do you NOT want to see in your team’s sweater in the 09-10 season?

Marian Gaborik. If Alexei Yashin and Drew Rosenhaus ever conceived a bastard love child, that’s what it would look like. I’m sorry to have to be the one to break this to Bryan Murray, but our quota of butter soft, injury prone, over rated Euro trash has been filled, thank you very much. His baffling, nauseating…Nay! Infuriating!!…contract extension to Filip Kuba made sure of that. If Gaborik somehow slithers his way into the Senators line up, I swear by all that is good and right in this world, I will soak my most prized possession (vintage 1993, #13 Jamie Baker jersey) in the urine of a thousand goats and burn it on The Bryan’s desk. GOATS BRYAN!! YA HEARD ME!! Honest to God GOATS!!

2. Conversely, pick a potential move by another team that would just crush your soul/favorite team’s chances.

The Maple Leafs somehow pulling Jay Bouwmeester out of Darryl Sutter’s ass. I’ll let them have the Sedins. After all, that poor, misguided, delusional and obviously drunk diaspora known as Leaf Nation hasn’t had an overpaid forward to hail as the second coming of Darryl Sittler and then spend the next six months bitching about since the Antropov trade. But J-Bo… I’m not at all comfortable with the possibility of Laugh fans finally discovering what Real NHL Talent looks like. They may develop a taste for it.

Then again, once Larry Tanenbaum and his Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment hench-yokels discover how deeply Real NHL Talent will cut into their profit margin, I’m sure they’ll nix any deal Burke can make, lest he anger his pension fund gods. Then he’ll double season ticket prices to appease them…and just because he can.

Scotty Hockey shares NY Rangers draft thoughts

June 24, 2009
What’s a more dangerous combo: Glen Sather and a check book or John Tortorella and a mic?

You know a team is in good hands when you see that the author South Park-ized himself, which is the case with our New York Rangers blogging buddy Scotty Hockey.

As often as Scotty sings the praises of Henrik Lundqvist, he’ll also pump out poetic prose promoting the likes of Petr Prucha. (And like any good Rangers fan, he clearly has a soft spot for Sean Avery)

We’ve ripped the Rangers for having a buffoon of a GM and, subsequently, a team marred by horrific contracts but it would be a lie if we said there was nothing good about the Blueshirts. Scotty Hockey certainly puts a friendly face on the MSG gang, even if he’s kind of mean to Sidney Crosby.

Avery: Dubes, I told you to forward my Vogue subscription to Dallas! Oh well, see you soon …

1. What direction do you expect the Rangers to go in with this year’s draft? What’s your preference?

I think that Gordie Clark and the Rangers will continue to pick the best available talent while keeping an eye on character speedsters who can excel in John Tortorella’s system. Glen Sather didn’t bring Torts in to fill a suit, he is handing him the keys to the castle and will build a team that fits Torts’ style – just as he did with Renney. Unfortunately the signings for Renney backfired and the coach couldn’t adapt, leading to a ticket out of town. Tortorella came in and thought that last season’s team didn’t have the size or conditioning to compete in the playoffs so both will certainly be addressed. There will almost certainly be a goaltender added to the organization by the end of Saturday as ’97 second rounder Antoine Lafleur turned out to be bust.

Personally, I don’t really care who the Rangers get with their top pick, I just hope he has heart, character and is someone who will be capable of playing in the next year or two. It is sick to look at all of the top young talent around the league and remember that last season’s Blueshirts had just one rookie play more than five games (Lauri Korpikoski). That will change next season with Anisimov and a defenseman or two likely to make the opening night roster but it needs to be an annual occurrence – especially for the duration of the albatross contracts of Drury, Gomez and Redden.
2. Looking back, discuss some of the highest and lowest draft moments in Rangers history. What are some of the “steals” and groan-inducing moments that NYR fans will never forget?
The highest moment would be the ninth overall pick in 1986, a American defenseman out of high school named Brian Leetch who is now being inducted into the Hall of Fame. The 1989 draft gave up Steve Rice and Loui DeBrusk, who (along with Bernie Nichols) turned into Mark Messier. The lowest, well, probably that came after draft day but the death of Alexei Cherepanov. Cherry was billed as the next Jagr, who happened to be his favourite hero and then teammate. That kid had superstar potential, RIP. Personally I remember being at the 99 draft party talking to Dan Cloutier when he was pulled away by team personnell as he was traded. But more on that day in a bit.
For steals, well I think anyone that makes it to the NHL after being picked beyond the fourth round counts as a great revelation and the Rangers have had some success, especially in the sixth: Tony Granato, Kjell Samuelsson, Darren Turcotte, Mike York, Marek Zidlicky, Tom Laidlaw and Eddie Johnstone were all sixth rounders. As for the biggest late round grab, it was likely the Sarge, Sergei Nemchinov – picked in the 12th round in 1990 and engraved on the Stanley Cup in 1994.

Groan inducing? Where to start? First off, there was the Huge Mistake Hugh Jessiman – the only first rounder of 2003 (one of the best drafts everrrrr) to not make the NHL. Then there is the double disaster of Pavel Brendl and Jamie Lundmark – and they were the only two players we picked in the ’99 draft to even play a single game in the NHL. When they announced the Cloutier trade and those picks, I got up, yelled something obscene and walked out. Not a good day. And they weren’t the worse of the bunch: how about Lee Falardeau, Jeff Brown or Stefan Cherneski? Or go back a ways and see Al Blanchard, the only first rounder in ’72 never to play a NHL game. The Rangers believe they can’t rebuild in New York and they are probably right, what with the way they drafted prior to the lockout.

Soapbox time: take this opportunity to discuss the Rangers and/or NHL in general.

The rumour mill has been churning with Dany Heatley announcing his desire to leave Ottawa and he really would look quite nice in a Ranger uniform, until he got bored or annoyed with the boos and wanted to be traded again. The Rangers need something and rumour has it Sather has something big in the works. It will be an interesting (and likely infuriating) week ahead. After the team didn’t make it out of the first round and then had the nerve to increase season ticket prices, they have to do something to avoid a major fan revolt next season. If they thought my “Please Sens, Take Redden BACK” sign was bad, just wait until a raucous picket line forms outside, ‘Hey, hey, ho, ho, Glen Sather’s Got To Go!’

Cornelius of Hockey Blog Adventure on the Bruins’ upcoming draft

June 21, 2009

Cornelius is another great friend of the blog. He’s contributed to numerous CLS events, including his work for a couple of our playoff mini-blogs. You can check out his Bruins (and more) related blogging at Cornelius Hardenbergh and the Hockey Blog Adventure.

Thanks for everything, Cornelius. Make sure to follow his work as the Bruins go through a pivotal off-season that will determine whether or not the last season was a fluke or “just the beginning.”

The following are his “stream of consciousness” responses to our draft related questions. Keep in mind that the posts regarding teams with lower picks might be more general and historical.

1. With guys like Phil Kessel, Milan Lucic and Blake Wheeler developing rapidly, one must wonder about the condition of the Bruins’ farm system. How do you feel about the Bruins’ remaining minor league talent?

Well, losing Coach Gordon to the Islanders (and then Nate Thompson)isn’t great for the Bruins, but they did lose in the eastern conference finals to the Calder Cup champs, so I’m not THAT worried about it. However, it could all be a bunch of career minor leaguers. However, most of the callups we’ve seen this season have at least impressed me. Matt Hunwick and Byron Bitz especially, and who could forget as-tall-as-Pedroia-at-least-according-to-the-media-guide Martin St. Pierre? Oh and Vladimir Sobotka’s impressed me as well.

That said, we did trade some good prospects at the deadline this past year, including Nokelainen. Tuukka Rask should get called up, but might not due to cap concerns.

2. Do you expect the Bruins to make any draft-day moves? Obviously, there are some Kessel/Bergeron trade rumors going around. How likely could such a move be? Do you think the Bruins should be pondering a Kessel move?

If the Bruins trade Kessel, he will light it up for some other team. He got 36 goals this year and was out with Mono (haha, oh kessel…) to boot. The only guy who got within 10 goals of him was Ryder. I worry that they’re going to make a move like trading Kessel or Bergeron, but both are excellent. Depending on how contract negotiations go with Kessel, I could see him moved.

Then again I was convinced Thomas was going to get big money with another club next year, so what the hell do I know?

3. Looking back, what are some of the highest points in the Bruins’ history of drafting? Are there any moments that stand out as absolute “steals” or shrewd moves?

Uh…hmmm. Well, let me see… googling “bruins draft history”…

They got Ken Dryden in the third round, that ended up working out pretty poorly for him though. Versteeg was a 5th rounder and Hunwick was a 7th rounder. Andrew Alberts and Milan Jurcina went in the 6th and 8th. And of course, Stanley Cup Champion Hal Gill was an 8th round pick.

hahahaha, hold the phone. Mark Stuart was drafted before Bergeron? hahahahahaha

P.K. Axelsson (yes, it’s really P.J. for Per-Johan. go with it) got picked in the 7th round, as well. I’d say that worked out pretty well. However, there are a lot of Bruins fans who hate him for some stupid reason. I hope he comes back this year, he’s a UFA and getting old though.

4. Conversely, a team with a lengthy history like the Bruins obviously must have some low moments too. What are some of the biggest bonehead moments? Are there some plaguing “what if” type decisions?

Well, they traded away a lot of good players over time, including Ken Dryden.

My favorite What If is what if bobby orr had known about the 18% ownership stake and stayed with the bruins? I’m envisioning a Mario Lemieux/Penguins sort of thing. For those not stuck in the distant past, though….

Kris Versteeg for Brandon Bochenski was probably one of the worst moves the Bruins have made recently.

Soap box time If you’d like, feel free to share some Bruins/NHL thoughts. Should the B’s go after Dany Heatley?

Hahahaha, no. No thanks, Mr. Heatley. Really, the Bruins should have tried harder to lose the case against Glen Murray so they could get back another 1.3 million in cap space. Sweet merciful deity-of-choice, we could use that space.

Tavares Watch 2: Ottawa

February 2, 2009
Editor’s Note: The timing was excellent to start working on this post since Craig Hartsburg was fired, but it’s actually something that was in the “drafts” section since January 13. Oddly enough, work was being done on this during the morning hours … shortly before the Senators coach would be fired. Anyway, just thought it was worth mentioning how sometimes things fall into place every now and then …

In my “Predictions that Will Make Me Look Stupid” post, Ottawa was my pick to win the Northeast division. The only accurate prediction that came true was me looking stupid. (And let’s be honest, that prediction has at least a coin flip’s chance of being accurate every day)

It’s been a really, really, really bad season for the Senators. People will be fired. Players are crying in their oatmeal. Just all around bad times.

Perhaps such a fall from grace was inevitable. The Senators just kept losing vital supporting cast members. Over the last few off-seasons they’ve watched Martin Havlat, Zdeno Chara, Wade Redden and Ray Bug Eating Emery go to other teams in the NHL and Russia. What’s left behind is a wasteland of bad goaltending, thin defense and one line’s worth of stars.

The Senators have a Chara-sized hole they may never fill.
Looking ahead to the off-season, the Senators have one forward, one D and one goaltending spot that’s not accounted for with a cap number slightly above $44 million.

Having the opportunity to draft John Tavares would open the Senators up to some interesting questions.

Would Tavares give the Senators inexpensive yet quality depth on offense, allowing them to throw big money at the closest thing to a legitimate franchise goaltender and/or defenseman?

-OR-

With Tavares falling in their laps, would the Senators begin a purge by trading Jason Spezza like many an Internet rumors column has suggested?

Do the Senators deserve Tavares?

It’s hard to say. Looking at the lower ranking teams in the NHL, the New York Islanders seem to be one of the most deserving. Their fans have suffered heavily since the glory days of Trottier and Bossy. Plus Tavares would help promote the drive to a new arena.

Considering the blundering mess in Tampa Bay, Ottawa certainly isn’t the least worthy team in the Tavares sweepstakes. Overall, it would be great for the league to have as many competitive Canadian teams as possible.

And if the Senators didn’t move one of their expensive star players, just imagine a powerplay of Heatley-Spezza-Tavares with Alf and some incredibly lucky offensive D playing the point. That would just be ridiculous.

Which goalie should they target?

Investing in a goalie should be like getting an HDtv: make sure it’s the one. At least for the next 3-5 years. Let’s see if these goalies would be the right fit in Ottawa:

Nikolai Khabibulin

Absolutely a high-risk, high-reward goaltender. Hopefully, his ridiculous current salary ($6.75 million) will come down a couple million at least. From a highest ceiling standpoint, the one-time Cup winner probably takes the cake. But how much can you trust him when he only seems to reach his potential in contract years?

Niklas Backstrom

With any Wild goalie, it’s a question of nature versus nurture. That being said, previous (and soon to be UFA) Wild goaltenders Manny Fernandez and Dwayne Roloson could never lock down the top job quite as convincingly as Backstrom. Unfortunately for everyone outside of St. Paul, that might mean that the Wild will pay to keep him.

If not he has to be one of the top three targets for any team looking for a starter.

Manny Fernandez

Speaking of Fernandez, it’s likely that Boston will choose to hang on to Tim Thomas but let him go for cap reasons. Just like almost everyone in Boston, Fernandez is putting up some impressive numbers this season. He is 14-3-1 with a 2.07 GAA and a 92.8 save percentage.

The two hounding issues with Fernandez are consistency and health. He’s never really earned an unquestioned no. 1 role. His career high in games started is only 56 games. As a team that’s been burned frequently by inconsistent goaltending, signing Fernandez would most likely allow history to repeat itself.

Martin Biron

Is Martin Biron the answer in net for the Flyers? It’s hard to tell. If he becomes a free agent, he could be a decent option for the Senators. The idea is so bland and uninspiring that it’s crucial to just move on.

Dwayne Roloson

A lot like Biron, but probably a bigger risk/reward. Would not make much sense.

****

So as you can see, there are a few ways the Ottawa Senators could go about improving its team. Could they end up with that Chara-sized Swedish prospect Victor Hedman instead of Tavares? It certainly would be interesting to see the team who lost the big Z end up with the next “big” thing (from a more literal standpoint).


Honestly, things are bad right now but it wouldn’t be shocking if the Senators bounced back next season (or the one after). Even taking into account his turnover-heavy ways, consider me in the Pro-Spezza camp. Dan Heatley might have a dark past, but he’s moved on to become one of the true snipers of the NHL.

The one big name big contract guy they might want to consider moving is Daniel Alfredsson. Alf is a good player despite that ugly Scott Niedermayer incident from the SCF, but he’s old and expensive. He could probably yield a really nice prospect/draft pick package and allow the Senators some fiscal relief.

It might be time for some changes and the rebuilding process might take longer. For that reason, they must at least consider trading their two-way star of a captain.

In these dark times, there’s at least a faint light at the end of the tunnel for the Senators.

All-Decade Team: Wings

January 19, 2009

Jaromir Jagr

(737 points – 301 goals and 436 assists in REG; 62 points – 22 goals, 40 assists in playoffs)Awards: Two Art Ross trophies, two Lester B. Pearson trophies, four time All-Star, three time First-Team All-Star

If you read my treatise on Jagr you already know where I stand. Just to recap: he was a deadly goal scorer with sublime passing skills. Jagr had the strength to shed checkers and the speed to leave the best defensemen in the dust. Simply a Frankenstein monster of offense.

Daniel Alfredsson

(677 points – 265 goals and 412 assists in REG; 61 points – 30 goals, 31 assists in playoffs)

Awards: two-time All-Star

There seems to be two camps regarding “Alf.” On one side, there are the Alfredsson enthusiasts who point to his multi-dimensional and unselfish style of play. Yet on the other side of the fence, there are the people against him who criticize his playoff performances (not to mention the way he acted toward Scott Niedermayer in the SCF).

Whatever way you lean, it’s hard to deny Alfredsson’s impressive body of work. He might not sport the emotional leadership of Iginla or the offensive flashiness of Jagr, but Alfie is one of the best of his era.

Dany Heatley

(512 points – 240 goals and 272 assists in REG; 35 points – 10 goals, 25 assists in playoffs)

Awards: Calder trophy, First-team All-Star once, two time All-Star

Heatley went from tragedy in Atlanta to an impressive run to the Stanley Cup Finals in a short period of time. Over the last few seasons, he’s established himself as one of the game’s most devastating snipers alongside Alexander Ovechkin and Ilya Kovalchuk.

Jarome Iginla

(680 points – 330 goals and 350 assists in REG; 43 points – 24 goals, 19 assists in playoffs)

Awards: Four time All-Star, First team All-Star, two Rocket Richard trophies (one in a three-way tie with Rick Nash and Ilya Kovalchuk, one won outright) Lester B. Pearson trophy

There were a few years in which I advanced this argument: if J.S. Giguere gets a Conn Smythe in a losing effort, then why not Jarome Iginla a year later? Yes, Brad Richards had an amazing playoff run. But Richards was one of three stars in Tampa would could come up with big plays – Iginla carried the Flames offense by himself. All the way to game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Still, that Smythe trophy voting was acceptable … but the way he was robbed of a Hart trophy was atrocious. Despite the fact that Iginla lead the league in scoring with 96 points on an awful Flames team, one voter left him off the ballot altogether. This move allowed one year wonder in Jose Theodore to win the MVP and raised legitimate questions of racism.

Beyond all that, Iginla’s had a borderline HOF decade. Only Jaromir Jagr beats him in points among wingers. Plus, “Jarmoe” brought more to the table than a wicked wrister. He’s been the ultimate leader: combining clutch scoring, toughness and a willingness to drop the gloves if need be.

Naturally, dropping the gloves forced him to miss some games and might hurt his standing with some voters.

Martin St. Louis

(547 points – 224 goals and 323 assists in REG; 48 points – 23 goals, 25 assists in playoffs)

Awards: four-time All-Star, first team All-Star once, one Art Ross, Pearson and Hart trophy

It doesn’t get much more Disney than the story of Martin St. Louis. He went from being an unwanted, undrafted free agent to becoming the league’s MVP and a Stanley Cup champion. If ESPN’s bitter hatred had not been at an all-time high at that point, his would have been one of the sport stories of the year.

Marian Hossa

(662 points – 306 goals and 356 assists in REG; 59 points – 25 goals, 34 assists in playoffs)

Awards: four-time All-Star

Though they were unable to keep him in Atlanta, getting Hossa for Heatley might qualify as the only time “Thrashers GM Don Waddell” and “impressive job” could be mentioned in the same sentence without words like “completely un-” because Hossa might be Heater’s equal. His defensive skills make up for a slight loss in pizazz.

Nearly half of Hossa’s playoff output came last year during the Penguins run to the SCF. That performance showed what Hossa is capable of with a top-end center.

Markus Naslund

(640 points – 286 goals and 354 assists in REG; 30 points – 12 goals, 18 assists in playoffs)

Awards: four All-Star games, Pearson award, three time First-Team All-Star

Recent years haven’t been too kind to the Swedish sniper, but Naslund was one of the true elite forwards in the NHL during his peak years in the early part of the decade.

Brendan Shanahan

(539 points – 256 goals and 283 assists in REG; 50 points – 22 goals, 28 assists in playoffs)

Awards: three All-Star games, one time First-Team All-Star

Most of Shanahan’s best years came before the decade started, but he still put up some very nice power forward numbers. Being on three Stanley Cup winners with Detroit cannot hurt either (although two of those Cups came before the time period in question)

Not enough yet: Alex Ovechkin (if the lockout didn’t happen he might be close enough), Ilya Kovalchuk and Rick Nash