Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Flames Use Draft To Stockpile The Blueline

Ben is a hockey nut and a recent university graduate. Like most post-uni grads he's unemployed and wants to make himself feel better by writing about something he loves. 
As always, feel free to comment on his work or chirp him @BennyGallant
The Calgary Flames young, forward group with notable names like Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau, and Sam Bennett helped bring the Flames to the second round of the playoffs before losing in five to the Anaheim Ducks. The Flames defence wasn’t bad either featuring Mark Giordano (the mid-season Norris winner), as well as T.J. Brodie, the shot block-machine Kris Russell, and Dennis Wideman.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Jets Land Great Haul At Draft

Ben is a hockey nut and a recent university graduate. Like most post-uni grads he's unemployed and wants to make himself feel better by writing about something he loves. As always feel free to comment on his work or chirp him @BennyGallant
The Winnipeg Jets were able to make it to the playoffs after an incredible season for the first time since landing north of the border back in 2011. On top of their postseason berth, the Jets added to a great year with one of the best drafts in the NHL in 2015 by drafting some of the top talent that was sliding down the draft board. The Jets have really garnered a good prospect pool since coming back to Winnipeg which is shocking considering when leaving Atlanta Carl Klingberg and Arturs Kulda were some of the franchise's top prospects in the system.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Room To Grow For The Sens

Ben is a hockey nut and a recent university graduate. Like most post-uni grads he's unemployed and wants to make himself feel better by writing about something he loves. As always feel free to comment on his work or chirp him @BennyGallant
In what very well could have been Bryan Murray’s last draft as general manager of the Ottawa Senators it seemed like the change of guard was starting. The Senators media presence was primarily done by assistant general manager Pierre Dorion who did interviews and was seen doing trade talk on the floor. The Senators made a three trades over the weekend to go along with eight selections including doubling up selections in rounds one, two and four while making no selections in round three or six.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Skill Is The New Truculence

Ben is a hockey nut and a recent university graduate. Like most post-uni grads he's unemployed and wants to make himself feel better by writing about something he loves. As always feel free to comment on his work if you agree or disagree - just be nice.
Over the past two days we saw the new era of Toronto Maple Leafs management as Kyle Dubas fielded all trade discussions and Mark Hunter led the charge up to the podium with Leafs sweaters and caps in hand. The Leafs made nine selections during the draft and completed three trades with OHL-grads Hunter and Dubas at the helm and many are praising their work over the weekend in stocking the Leafs prospect cupboard for the future.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

2015 Mock Draft 15-20

Ben is a hockey nut and a recent university graduate. Like most post-uni grads he's unemployed and wants to make himself feel better by writing about something he loves. As always feel free to comment on his work if you agree or disagree - just be nice.
15. Calgary Flames – Nick Merkley (Kelowna Rockets – WHL)
After an unexpected run that took the Flames to the second round before losing to one of the best team's this year, the Flames will be rewarded with a Top 15 pick. Merkley’s year has been full of ups and downs while he’s been on one of the best WHL teams that featured Leon Draisaitl and the winger finished the season with 20 goals and 70 apples for 90 points. Merkley had a solid playoff run finishing 3rd in playoff scoring with 27 points as his Kelowna Rockets won the WHL Championship and made it all the way to the Memorial Cup Final before losing to the Oshawa Generals.

Projection: Merkley projects out as a playmaking 2nd line C option that could allow Sam Bennett to adjust to the wing in the Flames system. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Is There Room In Tampa For Jonathan Drouin?

After an outstanding junior career, Jonathan Drouin, entered this season as the favourite to win the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. Many were banking on the skilled winger to be paired up with sniper Steven Stamkos to dish saucer passes to all season long, but things didn't work out that way. Too good for junior, unable to play in the AHL due to age restrictions, and not experienced enough for the NHL playoffs, Drouin has now found himself a healthy scratch for 12 of Tampa Bay's 15 playoff games thus far.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

2015 Mock Draft: The Top 14

Ben is a hockey nut and a recent university graduate. Like most post-uni grads he's unemployed and wants to make himself feel better by writing about something he loves. As always feel free to comment on his work if you agree or disagree, just be nice.
1. Edmonton Oilers – Connor McDavid (Erie Otters – OHL)
The Oilers get their fourth 1st overall pick in the last six years however McDavid unlike Hall, RNH and Yakupov is a guy that would go number one in other years drafts. While the Oilers development of previous draft picks has been poor, Connor McDavid is on another level and ruining him would require Mike Milbury stupidity.

Projection: Superstar #1 C playing in a similar style to Crosby, not Tyler Bozak.


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Can Connor McDavid Complete The Comeback?

When Connor McDavid broke his hand in early November he was on a tear of the OHL registering 16 goals and 35 assists in just 18 games. He was far ahead of the current OHL leading scorcer, Mitchell Marner, who had 32 points in 19 games played for the London Knights when McDavid got injured. McDavid would miss 20 games for the Erie Otters - 12 due to the injury and 8 due to his selection for Team Canada at the World Junior Hockey Championships - before returning in early January to start an improbable comeback for the OHL scoring lead.

It's shades of Mario Lemieux in 1992-93 coming back after missing two months to win the NHL scoring title by 12 points over Pat LaFontaine (but not actually because Mario had cancer and what he did was simply unbelievable). When McDavid returned in January he trailed Marner by 27 points who had heated up after a slow start and put together 70 points in 27 games from late September to when McDavid returned. Since January 8th when McDavid rejoined Erie the two have battled it out with McDavid cutting the distance between the two down to 12 points thanks to a streak that's seen him tally 23 goals and 56 points in 22 games since his return. That's 2.55 points/game and he's stepping it up even more with 9 goals and 20 points in his last 5 games played.

As the OHL enters the final stretch of the season this is going to be an exciting race to keep an eye on especially with junior hockey being such a gongshow. Marner's Knights have 6 games left while McDavid's Otters have 8 remaining. Also in the mix is McDavid's Otters teammate, Dylan Strome, who sits 2nd in OHL scoring with 112 points and will have to be leapfrogged by McDavid if this scoring comeback is to happen. The Otters' will have 2 games in hand over Marner and hopefully the last weekend of the season is one to follow as Erie has 3 games to London's 1 including two games after Marner's regular season has ended. It should be down to the wire between these top prospects who are all expected to be top picks in June and if McDavid keeps having night's like these than he should find himself on top of the OHL scoring race:


Monday, March 2, 2015

Trade Deadline Offers Fresh Starts

There were a few trades today that may not have looked big on paper, but garnered a lot of chatter of what could be. They involved young players looking for fresh starts with a new organization who could potentially rejuvenate their careers with a clean slate. Whether they couldn't climb the depth chart or just never fit in, these young guys couldn't capitalize on their chances in the NHL and will be getting another look to prove they belong at the NHL-level. We are reminded of Brandon Pirri's situation in which he led the AHL in scoring at age 21, but couldn't jump into the Chicago Blackhawks lineup due to their depth down the middle. He got a change of scenery in a trade to Florida last season and has 18 goals and 27 points through 51 games played with them since the trade. It's paid off for Pirri, and it could for these young players.

What's The Deal With Daily Fantasy Hockey?

Tyler Seguin's knee injury might have derailed your fantasy season, but not if you're into daily fantasy hockey!
Unless you've been living under a rock this NHL season, you've probably heard of the new fantasy fad sweeping the hockey world - daily fantasy hockey leagues. From sponsoring leagues to in-rink advertising, daily fantasy hockey is growing and offers those fantasy hockey junkies a chance to make some coin throughout the season. Different than your standard season-long leagues where friends toss in $20 each for the year, daily fantasy hockey allows you to draft a new roster every night and stay in the game the entire year.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

2015 NHL Trade Deadline Drinking Game!

There's only one thing that can make watching hockey analysts and ex-NHL scrubs talk about potential trades for 8+ hours and that thing is alcohol. With a flurry of trade action occurring in the past two weeks there's no real expectation for Trade Deadline Day to be that exciting, but there is still a lot of work to be done by NHL GMs. Players are still likely to be moved and with David Clarkson's unmovable contract being dealt a few days ago literally anything is possible. So enjoy your day at home on the couch with some beers, fire up NHL 94, and order some Za to get you through the day. 


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Strange, But Brilliant Salary Cap Trades

The introduction of the hard salary cap in the 2005 NHL and NHLPA Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a big change to the league with guaranteed player contracts testing the shrewdness of NHL general managers. Team's could no longer just buyout player's contracts they did not like anymore without paying for their mistakes. Teams would be on the books for a a portion of a bought out player's salary and that money would count against their salary cap for twice the length remaining on the contract. This was a good thing for league parity as rich teams could no longer just dump their poor decisions simply because they had the money to do so.

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