Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Time Off

Sorry I haven't updated it in the past two weeks! With exams and the holiday season, it's been extremely busy.

Look for more updates in the coming few days!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Whatever David Amber is on...I want some...

David Amber's column.


He argues the top-ten most cap-strapping deals in the NHL. I say every single one, but ONE is erroneous.

Let's start with No. 10- Todd Bertuzzi:

Amber argues that Bertuzzi isn't worth the $8-million over two years. I say: Wrong. This 6-4, 230-pound winger is worth every penny. He may not have the numbers Ryan Getzlaf or Corey Perry do, but who goes into the corner and beats the bodies?


Who drops the gloves in defense of these guys?


Who is a solid voice in the locker room?


And, finally, don't bring up Steve Moore. That's in the past. Let the last two years define who he is. And he's been an injury-prone, big winger. Nothing more; but, he does beat the bodies. And for me, he's worth more than the $4.25 the Thrashers pay Bobby Holik.

No. 9- Pavel Kubina

It's John Ferguson who signed him to this deal. Let's put it that way. Mats Sundin should have been gone from Leaf country years ago, yet this guy keeps has-beens and players signed to inflated contracts around.


No. 8- Dustin Penner.

Don't blame Pens. Blame Kevin Lowe who tried to rope a "young gun" under the new CBA. He failed with Vanek...might as well try Penner. Well, Brian Burke didn't argue and the Oil were stuck with a four-year, $20-million dollar deal on a rugged winger who hasn't proven himself yet.

Penner is a solid player, but no where near worth the contract he received. Kevin Lowe felt heat from the owners because he didn't land a high-profile free agent forward. Blame Lowe....Not Penner, David Amber.

No. 7- Kimmo Timonen

Holmgren has done a hell of a job as GM for Philly. Don't claim this contract is too much. Going from worst to a solid playoff team in less than eight months...Mad props to the Flyers and Paul Holmgren.

No. 6- Ed Jovanovski

JovoCop is the only thing going for Phoenix besides Gretzky. He'll be moved before the deadline. They signed him to this deal to atleast get a big name playing at Arena. David Amber, while you may not agree with this deal, without a Gold Medal winning defenseman, who
do the 'Yotes have?


Don't mock this contract.

No. 5- Michael Nylander

Should have stayed with Jagr on Broadway.



Went for the money. Enough said.

No. 4- Tomas Vokoun

On paper Florida is a good team, but, unfortunately, paper isn't good enough. In July, I picked the Panthers to win the division. Vokoun replaces Luongo, who the Panthers SHOULD NEVER HAVE TRADED. Anyway...this contract tries to save Panthers management for trading Luongo for virtually nothing.

No. 3- Brad Richards

This inspired me to write this.

Brad Richards is the glue to the Lightning.

Go ask Jay Feaster, David Amber, if he thinks Richards is worth it. $7.8-million is enough to pay the former Conn Smyth winning player and quarterback of the power-play. While a two-man box is defending his laser shot, it creates enough room for Vinny and St. Louis to wreak havoc near the net. He may not be registering on the scoresheet as much as last year, but his awareness, shot and passing are invaluable. Learn the game, Amber. Learn it.

No. 2- Bryan McCabe.

Amber...You are correct. Blame Ferguson...

No.1- Zdeno Chara

David...If you were a forward....would you want Chara behind you or would you rather try to deke past him?


The only reason why this contract looks bad is he has no help besides Savard. Sure, Kessel is coming along...but besides that Boston is terrible. No goaltending, missing five defensmen and two lines....

The 6-9, 260-pound defenseman can only do so much.

Don't blame him and his contract. Blame the GM for not giving him and Savard enough talent to compete every night.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Greatest Generation

Today, possibly the best class ever will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. The class consists of Mark Messier, Ron Francis, Scott Stevens, Al MacInnis, and Jim Gregory (will be placed in the builder category).

They have 11 Stanley Cups to their records. 12 major awards. Countless All-Star Games.

Let's play the "What If Game" for a minute. What if you were a GM looking for a player to build your team around. Which one of these players would it be?

Mark Messier (1982-2004) - 1,756 GP, 694 G, 1,193 A, 1,887 Pts, +210, 1,910 PIM
Scott Stevens (1982-2004) - 1,635 GP, 196 G, 712 A, 908 Pts, +393, 2,785 PIM
Al MacInnis (1981-2004) - 1,416 GP, 340 G, 934 A, 1,274 Pts, +374, 1,501 PIM
Ron Francis (1981-2004) - 1,731 GP, 549 G, 1,249 A, 1,798 Pts, -10, 979 PIM

For me, I have to take Al MacInnis. He could do everything from penalty kill, lead the power play, and bolster the blue line. The Inverness, N.S. native consistently had over a 100-mph shot. Imagine what he could do with composite instead of wood, today? Yikes.

I had the previlege of watching all of these players play in-person. The most exciting player, I thought, was Scott Stevens. You never know when he was going to catch someone with his head down.

Just ask Paul Kariya or Eric Lindros.

Check out Scott's Top Ten Hits below.

Lindros Ombudsman?

L'Association de Joueurs de Ligue nationale de Hockey a annoncé dimanche que le conseil de direction a nommé Eric Lindros à la position nouvellement créée de médiateur NHLPA.

Comme le médiateur, Lindros servira d'un membre non-votant du conseil de direction, supervisera et coordonnera des activités de représentants de joueur et recevra et résoudra n'importe quelles plaintes par les membres NHLPA.

"J'ai une quantité gigantesque de fierté en cette Association et un grand respect pour les semblables de Ted Lindsay, Carl Brewer et le beaucoup d'autres individus de principe qui ont aidé à créer des opportunités pour les joueurs comme moi," a dit Lindros dans une déclaration.

"Pour être choisi comme le médiateur des joueurs est un honneur vrai et j'attends impatiemment de travailler durement pour l'adhésion comme nous entrons quelles promesses d'être une ère excitante pour le NHLPA."

Lindros a pris sa retraite jeudi dans sa ville natale de Londres, Ont., en mettant fin à une carrière faite dérailler par une série de secousses et d'autres blessures. Le pouvoir 6-pied-4, de 240 livres avait en avant 372 buts, 865 points et 1,398 minutes de peine dans 760 jeux pour Philadelphie, Toronto, les Gendarmes à cheval de New York et Dallas.

Il a gagné le Trophée de Cerf comme la ligue MVP en 1995 et a fait partie de l'équipe Olympique canadienne qui a gagné de l'or en 2002. Il a aussi gagné de l'argent pour le Canada en 1992

Thursday, November 8, 2007

King Kovy

I don't want to sound like a homer, but have you seen the play of Ilya Kovalchuk over the past week?

He is single-handedly winning games for the Thrashers. The twenty-four-year-old sniper had eight points in four games (seven goals, one assist), including back-to-back hat tricks.

Darren Eliot, Thrashers analyst, describes Ilya's tear in his latest article.

Right now, the Russian rocket leads the NHL in goals with 13; however, he had to leave Tuesday night's game with back spasms and is questionable for Friday's game. The Thrashers' success depends on his stick being on the ice, lighting the lamp.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Francophones et plus

Separatist lawyer Guy Bertrand expressed his caustic sentiments toward Saku Koivu for introducing his fellow team mates in English only at their Oct. 13 home opener.

Bertrand stated:

"I have the right to be served in my language," he said. "He has been playing for 12 years (for the Canadiens). He is married to a francophone. It demonstrates contempt for our language. It is not respectful."
Less we forget, Guy, Savu Koivu is from Finland. His french-speaking wife isn't the captain. As far as contempt with your language? At least he can speak English, which is more than some Europeans in the league.

If Montreal wants a French speaking captain, then find one. Are you looking for the second coming of Maurice Richard? Jean Beliveau? Who?

Perhaps this is why the Canadiens have such a hard time signing free agents? Just a thought.

Now, for more important updates.

Tonight, Mike Modano looks to take the pole position as the top American-born scorer of all-time.

Tomorrow marks the 48th Anniversary that Jacques Plante dawned his mask.

What's going on with the Devils? Only seven points and a current four-game losing streak? Even the lowly Thrashers passed the Devils in points. Of course, when Ilya Kovalchuk is playing like he's possessed, the Thrashers should do well.

Désolé, Guy. J'ai dû l'écrire dans l'anglais

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Putnam's Musings

I want to know what you think about these issues:

1) Where will Forsberg end up?

2) How bad are the Thrashers?

3) Pittsburgh or Ottawa?

1) I think Forsberg will eventually sign with a Western Conference team. If I had to guess? I'd say Colorado. He is waiting to see what teams have the best chance to win a Cup and who will pay the most.

2) It's not a good situation. A report from former captain, Scott Mellanby, believes Marian Hossa is looking for a way out. Atleast Pat Quinn wants the job.

3) Pittsburgh. I'm ridin' and dyin' with the Pens this year.

Friday, October 19, 2007

50 Years Later...

Il y a cinquante années aujourd'hui, Maurice Richard est devenu le premier marqueur de but de 500 buts du NHL. La colonne de John McGourty peint une illustration vivante "de la Fusée" et son influence sur le jeu.
Dans ma vie, j'ai vu "le Grand" et "Le Magnifique", mais jamais "la Fusée." Je pense comment bon il serait aujourd'hui avec l'équipement, la technologie et le plus long programme. Cela a été sept ans depuis son passage, mais son legs restera pour toujours dans le jeu.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Hartley Fired

After Atlanta lost last night in horrific form, the Thrashers relieved coach Bob Hartley of his duties. Stepping in as interim coach will be GM Don Waddell.

Despite starting out 0-6-0, you would think management would give Hartley atleast ten games before pulling the trigger?

As of now, the Thrashers are in limbo while their division rivals move full steam ahead.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The State of the Southeast Division and More...

Après deux semaines de compétition, il est devenu évident dont le meilleur et le pire dans la ligue.

Comme toujours, je ne peux pas louer Ottawa assez pour leur fort jeu continué. Une perte dans six jeux en marquant 22 buts ? Très impressionnant. Il semble comme si John Paddock sait qu'il fait et il s'améliorera seulement quand l'Émeri revient entre les pipes.

Je ne suis pas au courant de vous, mais j'ai cru que Pittsburgh serait 4-0 après leurs quatre premiers jeux ? Plutôt ils perdent leur ouvre-boîte à Caroline et goutte

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Thoughts from Week One

After six days of hockey, some teams and players appear to have their act together, while others are stumbling out of the gate.

Don't look now, but Ted Nolan is making Garth Snow look like a genius. Who would have thought mixing rugged-veteran Bill Guerin with Mike Comrie, Richard Park and Andy Sutton make for a solid team? Not even a great fiction writer could foreshadow the great start they've put up. The League named Comrie second star of the week as he registered six points in two games. The Isles did lose to the Capitals, but then again who hasn't?

It appears as if George McPhee's team could be the cream of the crop in the Southeast Division this year. Many writers labeled Washington to be a "dark-horse" candidate, but local Caps writers picked this team to make the playoffs. I, for one, wrote this team off long ago. How could you not? It appears as if they didn't improve that much from last year. Through three games, Ovechkin and crew have proved me wrong.

Last Friday I saw Glen Hanlon's team in-person wax the Thrashers, a team who missed the memo that the season has started. During the course of the game, I remember thinking to myself how good Nylander looked as well as rookie Nicklas Backstrom.

Then again, they might have looked good against the Thrashers lack of defense. I have to say that the Thrashers are the biggest disappointment so far this season. Bob Hartley's team has posted three goals in two games...Repeat, three goals in two games.

Scoring three goals in two games? Sure, scoring droughts happen, but when a team gives up eight goals in these two games? Nothing good ever comes from this. The fact is, 19-year-old Bryan Little has been the best player for the Thrashers this season. Imagine how little (pun intended) offense Atlanta would be generating if he started the season in the AHL?

It doesn't get any easier for the Thrashers as they host Ottawa and their high-octane offense on Wednesday.

It seems as if Ottawa can score at will. Their top line of Heatley, Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson are in the top three in every scoring category. If they continue this production, I may have to re-visit my earlier predictions.

A week into the season, Atlanta, Florida and Buffalo are the three teams without a win. Yes, Phoenix has one for those who went to check the standings.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Predictions and Snydes


Last night featured three-out-of-four games going to overtime and/or a shootout.

I went 2-2 yesterday with Anaheim and Carolina choking in overtime.

Colorado looked very impressive last night. Anaheim still doesn't look like a team defending the Stanley Cup, and Ottawa looked poised to make another long run in the Spring.

Tonight's match ups (My Picks):

Fla @ NYR - (NYR)
Tor @ Ott - (Ott)
NJ @ TB - (TB)
Col @ Nsh - (Col)
Chi @ Min - (Min)
SJ @ Edm - (SJ)
Stl @ Pho - (Stl)
Phi @ Cal - (Cal)

Now, to a serious note:

Yesterday, Dany Heatley signed a long-term deal with Ottawa. Last night, Heatley scored two goals, including the game-winner, and added an assist in Ottawa's win. Tomorrow, marks the four-year anniversary of Dan Snyder's passing.

Snyder was Heatley's passenger when he lost control of his car on a trecherous Atlanta road ejecting both young men from the vehicle.

Heatley suffered an imploded knee and broken jaw while Snyder was knocked unconscious, never to awake again.

Five days after the Sept. 29, 2003 wreck, Dan passed away due to an infection stemming from surgery.

While Heatley is being lauded for his effort in last night's game, let's not forget # 37, Dan Snyder when we sing #15, Dany Heatley's, praise.


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

2007-08 Season Starts Tonight!

Greetings hockey faithful!

After a long off season, the quest for the Cup begins tonight. Tonight's match-ups include:

Mtl @ Car
Ana @ Det
Ott @ Tor
Dal @ Col

In tonight's tilts, I'm going to take Carolina, Anaheim, Ottawa and Colorado.

I believe Carolina has a stronger team than Montreal on all sides of the puck, plus Cam Ward is looking to reclaim his 2006 Conn Smythe winning form.

Even though Anaheim, looked average in London last weekend, I have to give them an edge, despite the fact it's in Hockey Town. Hopefully after two games, the defending Stanley Cup Champions are ready for an intense game tonight.

I have to pick Ottawa. More talented than Toronto on offense and defense. The only question mark is Gerber in net, but he should do just fine until Emery returns.

I'm picking Colorado simply because it's at the Pepsi Center. These are two evenly matched teams who can put the puck in the net. Both of these teams will be in the playoffs come April.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Eklund's Predictions?

Recently, HockeyBuzz blogger, Eklund, humored us with his predictions for the upcoming season.

Under his strict scrutiny, the Eastern Conference will finish:

EASTERN CONFERENCE 1. Buffalo 2. Pittsburgh 3. Washington 4. Ottawa 5. Philadelphia 6. Toronto 7. NY Rangers 8. Montreal 9. Boston 10. Florida 11. Tampa 12. NY Islanders 13. Carolina 14. New Jersey 15. Atlanta

The first red flag starts with No. 1- Buffalo???

Sure, Lindy Ruff's squad made it to the Eastern Conference Finals last season, but less we forget, they had Chris Drury and Daniel Briere. The Sabres made deadly mistakes in letting both Briere and Drury leave.

Last week, Buffalo was dealt more bad news when defenseman Teppo Numminen underwent heart surgery to replace a faulty valve.

That leaves the team without: Briere, Drury and Numminen.

The Sabres also let late-season acquisition Dainus Zubrus sign with New Jersey.

The Sabres will be a decent team this year, but not the power house of the East.

On a side note, there is no way Buffalo can win the division when they have to play Ottawa eight times.

No. 2- Pittsburgh!!!

I will agree that Eklund hasn't gone completely mad. I'm a huge fan of Sidney and Co. These guys are young, fast and have the potential to score at will. Malkin, Staal, Sykora, Gonchar, Sydor and Fleury? Yeah....Pretty sick.

I would have to put the Pens at No. 1 in the East and possibly the entire NHL.

No. 3- Washington??

Eklund must have a lot of faith in Ovechkin or he doesn't watch enough Southeastern Division hockey.

Rookie Nicklas Backstrom will be the top-line pivot for "Ovie," but he's only one man.

Kolzig is another year older, and the team hasn't really improved much. Glen Hanlon's team is pretty bland, and probably won't make the playoffs this season.

The next red flag is at No. 6- Toronto?

Maybe it's bias, maybe Eklund's magic eight ball told him to pick Toronto?

The Leafs added Vesa Toskala, Mark Bell and Jason Blake. All very solid acquisitions. Toskala will add to the goaltending depth, Bell will provide a huge body in front of the net (especially on the power play) and Jason Blake should contribute 30+ goals.

Here are my qualms with the Leafs:

1) Mats Sundin. It's time for a change. Mats has been a solid player for many years, but for his salary, why not try to lure free agent Dany Heatley next year? Sundin isn't putting up the points his salary demends.

2) Antropov. Steen. Stajan.

While these players are young, they continue to underperform each year. I keep waiting for a breakout year from just one of them, but sadly, each year I find myself disappointed.

3) 1967.

Enough said.

No. 8- Montreal.

I'll agree with Eklund. For the past decade, the Habs have annually shown their consistancy by remaining around the playoff bubble. I'm sure cardiologists do well in Montreal with all the anxiety and high-blood pressure cases around late March.

The only other red flag I see in at No. 15- Atlanta???

In fact, this isn't a red flag, but a Black Flag.

Under what basis can a team go from winning their division to dead last in their conference?

Let's look at the subractions from last year's playoff roster:

Keith Tkachuk- Returned to St. Louis
Scott Mellanby- Retired
Greg de Vries- Signed with Nashville
Andy Sutton- Signed with New York Islanders
Jon Sim- Signed with New York Islanders
Shane Hnidy- Signed with Anaheim
Eric Belanger- Signed with Minnesota
J.P. Vigier- Signed with Swiss Team


Eric Perrin- Free Agent
Todd White- Free Agent
Ken Klee- Free Agent
Chris Thorburn- Trade w/ Pit
Bryan Little- '06 Draft (1st Rd., 12th Overall)
Brett Sterling- '03 (5th Rd., 145th Overall)
Tobias Enstrom- '03 (8th Rd., 239th Overall)
Mark Popovic- In the System

This may not look like the 1976-1977 Montreal Canadiens line up, but the newly revised roster has the potential to be more dangerous than last year's.

The Thrashers increased in speed with Perrin, White, Little, Sterling and Enstrom.

General Manager Don Waddell finally found a center for Russian sniper Ilya Kovalchuk. As of now, White will take on these responsibilities, but if rookie Bryan Little is up to the task, don't be surprised to see #44 on the top line with Kovalchuk.

Last year's AHL Rookie of the Year and top goal scorer, Brett Sterling will add his heavy shot to the Thrashers roster. His presence should make up for the loss of Jon Sim's 17 goals last season. If Sterling can register more than 20 goals, it would be considered a great year for the rookie.

While Atlanta does have several question marks surrounding their line up, they should still be ranked in the top eight. I would put them slightly ahead of Montreal as of now with the potential to repeat as Southeast Division Champions.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

For those who didn't watch Tuesday night's tilt between Ottawa and Philadelphia, missed the thunderous hit Steve Downie laid out Dean McAmmond.

Downie received a match penalty for his hit while McAmmond regained consciousness with a concussion.

I'm going to raise several questions about this:

1- Did the hit deserve a match penalty?

2- Does Dean McAmmond always skated with his head down?

First off, this play did not deserve a match penalty. Sure, McAmmond was unconscious, but was there an intent to injure? No. Downie recalls the play, stating:

"My game's to hit and to finish the check. I'm just trying to earn a spot on the roster. It's part of my game and I apologize for him getting hurt. I thought I got him clean."
The play should have been either a two or five minute charging penalty. Under the NHL rules, charging is stated as "Skating, jumping or charging violently into an opposing player." As the video results indicated, yes, Downie skated and jumped violently into McAmmond.
Despite the lack of evidence as to this play warranting a match, I will stipulate as to why the officials decided on their ruling. If Downie is given a two or five minute penalty, he is eligible to return to the ice when his sentence is over. This would cause the Senators to take liberties with Downie until the end of the game.
Senators forward, Chris McGratton said "[Downie] will get what's coming to him next time we play him, that's for sure" in his post-game interview.
The refs were obligated to call a match to save Downie from a melee.
While Downie is taking heat from the media for being a cheap shot artist, I'm going to praise his physical game. How often do you see hits this vicious (especially since Scott Stevens retired)?
They are few and far between. The fact is a 20-year-old prospect is playing as hard as he can to make the Flyers' roster and a veteran is skating behind the net with his head down. What do you think is going to happen?
Also, this isn't McAmmond's first time getting caught with his head down. In the Stanley Cup Finals last season, he had a close encounter with Chris Pronger's left elbow after taking a shot with his head down.
I'm not condoning Pronger's elbow, but if McAmmond's head is up, the hit would never have occured.
Either way, hopefully McAmmond saw the liscense plate of the truck that ran him over. Well, in case you didn't, Dean, it was number 27, Steve Downie.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

NHL.Com Predictions

If you get a chance, check out Brian Compton's article on Eastern Conference predictions and players to watch. However, I disagree with the players he thought would be more important to watch for Boston and Pittsburgh.

Compton highlighted Phil Kessel and Jordan Staal, respectively. While I'll stipulate that their sophomore seasons will probably feature more production than their rookie campaign, these aren't the players who I would focus on.

For Boston, the spotlight shines on defenseman Zdeno Chara. Practically, the only shut-down defenseman in the Eastern Conference, the 6-9, 250-pound goliath is practically a brick wall on the blue line. Chara had a dismal 2006-07 season with a career low, minus-21 rating. While Boston's offense is lacking, their defensive corp needs to keep a few more pucks out of the net to give the 219 goals scored last year a chance to win a few more games.

While Jordan Staal lead the league in short-handed goals in his rookie season, the attention should be focused on Evgeni Malkin. Sure, Jordan Staal will always be a nice attention to the power play and penalty kill, but if Malkin can register more points than his 85 (33,52), it will make an incredibly lethal Penguins offense. This would force the opposition to choose who to defend against. Sidney? or Evgeni?

Either way, stopping these two dymanic players will be a challenge (even for Anaheim's defense).

Monday, September 24, 2007

Blueland Blog

Please check out my friend, Ben Wright's, blog. He knows his Thrashers hockey.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Predictions...Part One

As the season opens in 12 days, let's take this time to analyze the NHL Awards and who has the best chance to claim them in June.

Art Ross Trophy: (Awarded to the player who registers the most points)

Last year Sidney Crosby took home the award in his sophomore campaign, notching 120 points (36 goals, 84 assists). The Cole Harbour native should only improve during the third season of the "Crosby Show." As the Penguins reloaded with veterans, Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal comprise the sophomores on the team looking to add onto their impressive rookie seasons. With veteran presence and Crosby's line mates a year older, look for him to post 125 points (34 goals, 91 assists).

Two years removed from hoisting the Art Ross and after last year's disappointment in the playoffs, look for Joe Thornton to post monster numbers. He will have Rocket Richard winner, Jonathan Cheechoo, on his right flank, but the big question mark is, who will be on his left side? Can sophomore Ryane Clowe contribute to an already stacked line? Depending on who Head Coach Ron Wilson places on Big Joe's left side, his point total might varying between 105-130 points. I'm gonna say the 6-4, 235-pound center notches 122 points (22 goals, 100 assists).

Just north of Sidney Crosby, is a place where women flow like the salmon of Capistraino...Ok, bad example...but Jaromir Jagr and company look to win more than a Tony Award for their performance on Broadway this year. The New York Rangers added incredible fire power during the off season by landing free agents Chris Drury and Scott Gomez. As of now, Glen Sather will probably pair Gomez, who is a pass-first type player, with scoring leviathan, Jagr. It will be an adjustment for Jagr who has been center by Swedish-native Michael Nylander who plays a slower game compared to Gomez. I don't see Jagr being affected with his new partner anytime soon. The power play the Rangers will field this year will look like Montreal's power play of 1976-77. Yeah...sick. Thus, I predict Jagr will record 132 points (54 goals, 78 assists).

Winner: Jaromir Jagr, New York Rangers

Hart Trophy: (League Most Valuable Player)

Again, Sidney Crosby. If you need reasons, see above.

Jaromir Jagr, see above.

Dany Heatley. Yes, I said it. While I believe "Heater" is a dark-horse candidate for this award, he is entering the final year of his contract, and after going Casper in the Stanley Cup Finals, look for the 6-3, 215-pound forward to lash back at his media critics by scoring 115 points (60 goals, 55 assists). Heatley is the only player to post back-to-back 50 goal seasons. He'll be paired with Spezza again as well as Mike Fisher on the left side. This line has grit, speed, and size to tear it up, especially in a conference where exceptional defensemen are rare. If Heatley doesn't win the Hart, look for him to take home the Rocket Richard Trophy instead. Either way, he'll finish top-five in points and top-three in goals scored.

Winner: Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins

Calder Memorial Trophy: (Rookie of the Year)

Too many to pick just one right now, plus I don't want to sound like Lee Corso when he proclaims how important the Heisman is.

In my mind, two names stick out: Jack Johnson (No, not the banana pancakes singing "musician") and Erik Johnson. Basically, this add is brought to you by "Johnson & Johnson."

However, history has proven rookie defensemen usually don't win this award. Only nine blueliners have captured the award in the 73 years it has been given out. Typically, there is a huge learning curve when it comes to defensemen.

Denis Potvin, a defenseman who won the Calder in 1974, recently said, "In Florida, Jay Bouwmeester has been [there] almost five years and we're just now starting to say, 'He's almost there.' "

Despite the fact the odds are against these two incredibly talented defensemen, I'm putting all my stock on these two.

Winner: "Johnson or Johnson"

I'll continue my predictions when I return from Tuscaloosa.

Here are the pre-season games on-tap for the weekend:


Cls @ Buf
Nsh @ Car
Pit @ Det
NYI @ Mon
Min @ Chi
Ana @ SJ


Stl @ Atl
Tor @ Bos
Phi @ NYR
Ott @ Mon
Det @ Pit
Wsh @ TB
Car @ Nsh
Edm @ Cal
Col @ LA
Dal @ Phx
Van @ SJ

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

First Post

In the coming weeks, I will be updating this site on news, events, rumors and more from the NHL! Check back soon!