What’s so great about Steven Stamkos?

I’m curious…what is so great about Steven Stamkos? Why does every GM want him? Why does every player want to be him? Why is Matt Martin’s wife so hot?

I’ve got a lot of questions. We all know Steven Stamkos generates shots, he scores a metric shit load of goals and his points per game (PPG) is indicative of the star we know he is.

So what’s the point of this then? Well, Steven Stamkos, like a few other NHL superstars, spends about half of his career on the DL. Over his career, Stamkos has missed 118 games, which is nothing compared to Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, Joffrey Lupul or Sidney Crosby. So, how much value is lost when a super star player misses a bunch of games, and for fun, can they reasonably be replaced by another player?

Steven Stamkos

So the first guy to look at is Steven Stamkos.

steven-stamkos-stretcher

Dollars per point (2016-2017) – $4,250,000

This is an insane stat. This past season, Tampa Bay had Stamkos as an $8.5 million dollar cap hit. He had 20 points in 17 games. Now obviously, this is an extreme example of a highly paid player, scoring well, over an extremely short period of time. But this is where the value comes.

Tampa Bay, I bet, would be upset if they paid a guy this much for offensive contribution. Over one year or….

Dollars per point (Career) – $112,843

Now, Steven Stamkos is a point per game player, but like I said, he has missed 118 games. So, this might not be as bad as it sounds.

So, Replace him with…: Brayden Point

Obviously Steven Stamkos is better than Brayden Point, but… in 329 games (including Junior hockey) has 368 points, good for 1.11 points per game, which is .02 PPG higher than Steven Stamkos (including Junior).

Again, the point isn’t that Brayden Point is better than Steven Stamkos, but he manages to mimic the production, and costs $686,667 annually.

If I’m a GM considering going after Steven Stamkos, especially when you can get a better  dollar per point ($/P) value from Brayden Point and the two generate shots at a similar rate.

Kris Letang

Next guy up, Kris Letang. Letang has missed 183 games over the course of his career. This includes his first year in the league that he split with the AHL. So, I admit the first problem – of many – with this blog….I don’t care a lot about facts and will only ever give grand overviews with little specific detail…Anyways.

letanghurt

Dollars per point (2016/2017) – $213,235

Kris Letang made $7,250,000 this past season, playing 40 games and putting up 34 points. A typical pace for his outstanding career, and frankly a decent point total for any defenseman over a full season. Just not when Pittsburgh is expecting a $/P around $111,538. That is Letang scoring 60 points at $7.25 million.

Dollars per point (Career) – $99,106

Letang has 386 career NHL points over 603 career games. That’s .64 PPG, a great statistic for a defenseman, but again…accounting for missed games, that’s 498 points over an uninterrupted 779 game career. Some points I’m sure the Penguins would have rather had.

So, Replace him with…: Matt Dumba

Over the course of his career (including Junior) Matt Dumba has scored at a rate of .51 PPG, perfectly respectable and expected to go up. Keep in mind that Dumba is younger, on a $2.5 million contract and his 5on5 goals per hour is comparable to Kris Letang – who benefits from an all-around better team.

Why not…

Evgeni Malkin

Not one of the 100 best players of all time.

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Pittsburgh Penguins

Dollars per point (2016/2017) – $1,319,444

Malkin is a scary guy. He was at a 1.16 PPG rate in 2016-2017, which would equate to, 95 points over a full season. He was a difference maker this season despite being limited to 62 games. Had he played the full season at 1.16 PPG, Malkins $/P would have been an even $1 million.

Dollars per point (Career) – $100,363

Over a career, this $/P I think speaks more to the poor work of Malkin’s agent and the sad work of the NHL in getting their best players a bunch of money. Totally palatable for the Penguins, though of the games he missed, this number would be a lot lower.

Also, Malkin has never missed games in the same way Stamkos has per season. Malkin’s lowest GP in any season is 43, and after that 57.

So, Replace him with…: Umm…..Pipe Dreams?

The only player even remotely suited for this spot would be Auston Matthews. And honestly, he is going to be paid at least what Malkin makes on his next contract.

Joffrey Lupul

The most hurt guy in the history of anything. And a Maple Leaf…sort of.

lupul.jpg

Dollars per point (2016/2017) – N/A?

I don’t know how to write this part because Joffrey Lupul didn’t play any games and I don’t know how to divide by zero. His cap hit was $5,250,000. It doesn’t really feel like he will return to playing hockey. Sad, but I guess that’s how it goes.

Dollars per point (Career) – $124,453

This number should be WAY lower. Over his career, Joffrey Lupul scored at a .60 PPG. That’s a really respectable number, ESPECIALLY for a guy that never really even got his wheels turning.

Over his career, he missed 246 games. He NEVER once in his career played an entire regular season. His highest total was 81 games, which he played twice. Had he not missed any games, his $/P would have been $91,702. That means the Leafs and Ducks lost approx. $32,751 of something. SOMETHING!

So, Replace him with…: Anders Lee

Anders Lee had a PPG of .64, which allows for regression compared to Lupul’s .60. Lee similarly had those numbers on completely bunghole teams.

Lee is 26 and makes $3.75 million per season. He generates more shots, suppresses more shots and has no known history of being made of glass. But, apparently he is American, which with a name like Anders Lee, must be a lie. Cake Eater.

Anyways…

So, I guess basically, the point of this was…that I don’t know what the correlation between a great player missing a ton of games and a decent player playing a full season, especially when it comes to paying for the points.

I’ve always been skeptical of a guy like Stamkos because I don’t like how his defensive numbers stack up vs the value of his contract and the number of games he misses.

I remain skeptical.

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Ranking GMs Since (and Including) the Expansion Draft

Ok, so now that Vegas has a team (lol) and George McPhee has managed to part ways with some of the Golden Knights most prestigious players, let’s take a look at how some of the league’s best and worst GM’s stack up:

The Best:

3. Bob Murray

The Anaheim Ducks were a team over a barrel. Two top defensemen both left unexposed because Kevin Bieksa has a fat-head and management valued grit and experience over the ability to play the game. It seemed inevitable that Vegas was going to get either Sami Vatanen of Josh Manson.

They did not, however. Instead, Murray packaged Shea Theodore and Clayton Stoner – both decent enough players in their own rights – to keep McPhee’s greasy little hands off of two top 4 D. Wow.

10/10 job done by Murray here in keeping his team relevant for next year. Now just to get rid of Kevin Bieksa and his huge head.

reaves.jpg2. Doug Armstrong

Ok, yes. the Blues lost a quality forward to the Golden Knights in David Perron. But, really, they managed to trade Ryan Reaves for a 1st round pick….AND A PLAYER. Oh my god, that’s ridiculous.

First off, Ryan Reaves is a terrible hockey player, not worth a 7th round pick, he is aging, he can’t score and he is just generally bad at hockey. They managed to get Oskar Sundqvist in the deal and I don’t know who he is, but he’s definitely better than Ryan Reaves.

He isn’t even done there though, he manages to trade Jori Lehtera, a perfectly fine player, maybe even a perennial 15 goal scorer on the right line, for Brayden Schenn. Now listen, Schenn may not be the greatest centre in the game, but in my opinion, he is above-average and can get the puck to important guys.

10/10 for the Blues GM. Nice!

1. John Chayka

This guy is still an enigma. Nobody knows anything about his fancystats background, and frankly up until the expansion draft he looked like a bit of a tool. But he cleaned up.

First move of note is not bringing back Shane Doan. While, I have some mixed feelings on this, at the end of the day any team is a better team without Shane Doan.

DOAN1

Read the above with ‘Mike Smith’ replacing Shane Doan and the point is unchanged.

He also managed to acquire Anti Raanta from New York, a guy who is due for a starting role & Derek Stepan, the Coyotes new #1 centre. This all came at the horrendous cost of Laurent Dauphin and some other guy nobody gives a shit about (no offense).

John Chayka won GM’ing.

The Worst

lou.jpg3. Lou Lamoriello

I fucking hate this guy, and I can say that I have felt this way since the Leafs announced bringing him in to the Front Office in Toronto. He is old, he is out of touch and he is basically just a tall, bald version of Gary Bettman. I don’t like him, and since the expansion draft he has only given me more reason.

Toronto lost Brendan Leipsic to the Vegas Golden Knights, and everyone knew, they were going to lose a forward. They have a ton of depth there and a few really great prospects…

So why the fuck did they protect Matt Martin?

Leipsic had 51 points in 49 games. For perspective, the Marlies leading scorer was Kerby Reichel with 52….in 79 games. Of fucking course Vegas was going to take Leipsic, the kid is sick. He is so good.

Matt Martin had 9 points….in 82 games. Now I hear you, grit, leadership, dad-jeans, blah blah. Well fucking points win hockey games and Matt Martin doesn’t score any.

It doesn’t end there though, because the Leafs decided against tendering an offer to Antoine Bibeau. I don’t know what the hell it is about this team, but jesus, this kid saw two games, made 51 stops and posted a .927. I get that those stats don’t mean much because of the sample size, but who the hell is the Leafs backstop? Curtis McElhinney?

0/10 Lou, I fucking hate you.

eberelepuppy2. Pete Chiarelli

For some reason, this guy loves destroying good line-ups, trading franchise players and giving bad contracts.

It all started for this bag back when he dealt Hall, but that’s neither here nor there, what’s done is done, we’ve moved on. We have Adam Larsson. It’s ok. It’s all, very ok.

Chiarelli dealt Jordan Eberle, I don’t know about in Edmonton, but the most beloved Oiler in Canada not named Connor McDavid. After a thin year, Eberle got dealt to the Islanders for Ryan Strome.

I like Ryan Strome, and I don’t even necessarily hate this trade for Edmonton long-term, but they are win-now and this is not a move that helps. And fuck man stop trading your stars just for the sake of it.

Oh….it wasn’t for the sake of it? It was to clear cap space? Oh, that’s a good reason. What’s that? It was to clear cap space for….Kris Russell?

0/10 Hopeless.

1. George McPhee

The Vegan Golden Showers are going to be bad for a decade, and a lot of that is going to fall on the shoulders of McPhee, he let the rest of the league walk all over him.

I understand not wanting to piss off your peers for fear that your next job or your next trade may vanish because of it, but there is a middle-ground that McPhee failed to reach and for that, he was so bad.

0/10 GMGM

Honorable Mention: Pierre Dorion didn’t want to trade Marc Methot, then lost him for nothing to expansion and now is talking about giving up assets to trade for him back. Ugh. The NHL is very dumb.

web1_bettman-112216-bh-002_7437387

My VGK Roster

Here it is:

Emerson Etem – F (ANA)
Peter Holland – F (ARI)
Matt Belesky – F (BOS)
Matt Moulson – F (BUF)
Matt Stajan – F (CGY)
Joakim Nordstrom – F (CAR)
Brendan Ranford – F (COL)
Matt Calvert – F (CBJ)
Cody Eakin – F (DAL)
Alexander Radulov – F (MON)
PA Parenteau – F (NSH)
Devante Smith-Pelly – F (NJ)
Michael Raffl – F (PHI)
Nail Yakupov – F (STL)
Kerby Rychel – F (TOR)
Brendan Gaunce – F (VAN)
Trevor Van Reimsdyk – D (CHI)
Jason Demers – D (FLA)
Brayden McNabb – D (LA)
Marco Scandella – D (MIN)
Calvin de Haan – D (NYI)
Marc Methot – D (OTT)
Dylan DeMelo – D (SJ)
Kevin Shattenkirk – D (WSH)
Tobias Enstrom – D (WPG)
Petr Mrazek – G (DET)
Laurent Brossoit – G (EDM)
Anti Raanta – G (NYR)
Marc-Andre Fleury – G (PIT)
Kristers Gudlevskis – G (T

My Favorite Exposed Players

Hello, this is a list of exposed expansion draft players that I would absolutely not pass up on. I will include the entire expansion list and mark my guys. May also add some comments where I feel they are necessary. Seems easy enough.

You can scroll to the bottom for my final team…

ANAHEIM DUCKS

Available
Spencer Abbott (F)
Jared Boll (F)
Sam Carrick (F)
Patrick Eaves (F)
Emerson Etem (F)
Ryan Garbutt (F)
Max Gortz (F)
Nicolas Kerdiles (F)
Andre Petersson (F)
Logan Shaw (F)
Nick Sorensen (F)
Nate Thompson (F)
Corey Tropp (F)
Chris Wagner (F)
Nate Guenin (D)
Korbinian Holzer (D)
Josh Manson (D)
Jaycob Megna (D)
Jeff Schultz (D)
Clayton Stoner (D)
Sami Vatanen (D)
Jonathan Bernier (G)
Jhonas Enroth (G)
Ryan Faragher (G)
Matt Hackett (G)
Dustin Tokarski (G)

Protected
Andrew Cogliano (F)
Ryan Getzlaf (F)
Ryan Kesler (F)
Corey Perry (F)
Rickard Rakell (F)
Jakob Silfverberg (F)
Antoine Vermette (F)
Kevin Bieksa (D)
Cam Fowler (D)
Hampus Lindholm (D)
John Gibson (G)

**Andrew Cogliano plays a lot of games but really doesn’t contribute offensively in a way that is irreplaceable. I would have likely left him unprotected. As for the rest of the protected players. An awful lot of old-slows there.

ARIZONA COYOTES

Available
Alexander Burmistrov (F)
Shane Doan (F)
Tyler Gaudet (F)
Peter Holland (F)
Josh Jooris (F)
Jamie McGinn (F)
Jeremy Morin (F)
Mitchell Moroz (F)
Chris Mueller (F)
Teemu Pulkkinen (F)
Brad Richardson (F)
Garret Ross (F)
Branden Troock (F)
Radim Vrbata (F)
Joe Whitney (F)
Kevin Connauton (D)
Jamie McBain (D)
Zbynek Michalek (D)
Jarred Tinordi (D)
Louis Domingue (G)

Protected
Nick Cousins (F)
Anthony Duclair (F)
Jordan Martinook (F)
Tobias Rieder (F)
Oliver Ekman-Larsson (D)
Alex Goligoski (D)
Connor Murphy (D)
Luke Schenn (D)
Chad Johnson (G)

BOSTON BRUINS

Available
Matt Beleskey (F)
Brian Ferlin (F)
Jimmy Hayes (F)
Alex Khokhlachev (F)
Dominic Moore (F)
Tyler Randell (F)
Zac Rinaldo (F)
Tim Schaller (F)
Drew Stafford (F)
Linus Arnesson (D)
Chris Casto (D)
Tommy Cross (D)
Alex Grant (D)
John-Michael Liles (D)
Adam McQuaid (D)
Colin Miller (D)
Joe Morrow (D)
Anton Khudobin (G)
Malcolm Subban (G)

Protected
David Backes (F)
Patrice Bergeron (F)
David Krejci (F)
Brad Marchand (F)
Riley Nash (F)
David Pastrnak (F)
Ryan Spooner (F)
Zdeno Chara (D)
Torey Krug (D)
Kevan Miller (D)
Tuukka Rask (G)

**I have a feeling this is the oldest protected list in the league. That’s bad.

BUFFALO SABRES

Available
William Carrier (F)
Nicolas Deslauriers (F)
Brian Gionta (F)
Derek Grant (F)
Justin Kea (F)
Matt Moulson (F)
Cal O’Reilly (F)
Cole Schneider (F)
Brady Austin (D)
Mathew Bodie (D)
Zach Bogosian (D)
Justin Falk (D)
Taylor Fedun (D)
Cody Franson (D)
Josh Gorges (D)
Dmitry Kulikov (D)
Anders Nilsson (G)
Linus Ullmark (G)

Protected
Tyler Ennis (F)
Marcus Foligno (F)
Zemgus Girgensons (F)
Evander Kane (F)
Johan Larsson (F)
Ryan O’Reilly (F)
Kyle Okposo (F)
Nathan Beaulieu (D)
Jake McCabe (D)
Rasmus Ristolainen (D)
Robin Lehner (G)

CALGARY FLAMES

Available
Brandon Bollig (F)
Lance Bouma (F)
Troy Brouwer (F)
Alex Chiasson (F)
Freddie Hamilton (F)
Emile Poirier (F)
Hunter Shinkaruk (F)
Matt Stajan (F)
Kris Versteeg (F)
Linden Vey (F)
Matt Bartkowski (D)
Ryan Culkin (D)
Deryk Engelland (D)
Michael Kostka (D)
Brett Kulak (D)
Ladislav Smid (D)
Michael Stone (D)
Dennis Wideman (D)
Tyler Wotherspoon (D)
Brian Elliott (G)
Tom McCollum (G)

Protected
Mikael Backlund (F)
Sam Bennett (F)
Micheal Ferland (F)
Michael Frolik (F)
Johnny Gaudreau (F)
Curtis Lazar (F)
Sean Monahan (F)
T.J. Brodie (D)
Mark Giordano (D)
Dougie Hamilton (D)
Mike Smith (G)

**The Calgary Flames are going to lose a good YOUNG player and have Mike Smith under contract. That’s very bad.

CAROLINA HURRICANES

Available
Bryan Bickell (F)
Connor Brickley (F)
Patrick Brown (F)
Erik Karlsson (F)
Danny Kristo (F)
Jay McClement (F)
Andrew Miller (F)
Andrej Nestrasil (F)
Joakim Nordstrom (F)
Lee Stempniak (F)
Brendan Woods (F)
Klas Dahlbeck (D)
Dennis Robertson (D)
Philip Samuelsson (D)
Matt Tennyson (D)
Daniel Altshuller (G)
Eddie Lack (G)
Michael Leighton (G)
Cam Ward (G)

Protected
Phillip Di Giuseppe (F)
Elias Lindholm (F)
Brock McGinn (F)
Victor Rask (F)
Jeff Skinner (F)
Jordan Staal (F)
Teuvo Teravainen (F)
Trevor Carrick (D)
Justin Faulk (D)
Ryan Murphy (D)
Scott Darling (G)

**Pretty obvi what Carolina is doing here. Hopefully clear out a sizable cap hit and get something decent put together

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

Available
Kyle Baun (F)
Andrew Desjardins (F)
Marcus Kruger (F)
Pierre-Cedric Labrie (F)
Michael Latta (F)
Brandon Mashinter (F)
Dennis Rasmussen (F)
Jordin Tootoo (F)
Brian Campbell (D)
Dillon Fournier (D)
Shawn Lalonde (D)
Johnny Oduya (D)
Ville Pokka (D)
Michal Rozsival (D)
Viktor Svedberg (D)
Trevor van Riemsdyk (D)
Mac Carruth (G)
Jeff Glass (G)

Protected
Artem Anisimov (F)
Ryan Hartman (F)
Marian Hossa (F)
Tomas Jurco (F)
Patrick Kane (F)
Richard Panik (F)
Jonathan Toews (F)
Niklas Hjalmarsson (D)
Duncan Keith (D)
Brent Seabrook (D)
Corey Crawford (G)

**I don’t think anyone expected TVR to be exposed. Chicago seemed really high on him. But, that may just be the price of doing business. Tootoo is highlighted because he is a former Wheat King, and that seems to be important to this team. 

COLORADO AVALANCHE

Available
Troy Bourke (F)
Gabriel Bourque (F)
Rene Bourque (F)
Joe Colborne (F)
Turner Elson (F)
Felix Girard (F)
Mikhail Grigorenko (F)
Samuel Henley (F)
John Mitchell (F)
Jim O’Brien (F)
Brendan Ranford (F)
Mike Sislo (F)
Carl Soderberg (F)
Mark Barberio (D)
Mat Clark (D)
Eric Gelinas (D)
Cody Goloubef (D)
Duncan Siemens (D)
Fedor Tyutin (D)
Patrick Wiercioch (D)
Joe Cannata (G)
Calvin Pickard (G)
Jeremy Smith (G)

Protected
Sven Andrighetto (F)
Blake Comeau (F)
Matt Duchene (F)
Rocco Grimaldi (F)
Gabriel Landeskog (F)
Nathan MacKinnon (F)
Matt Nieto (F)
Tyson Barrie (D)
Erik Johnson (D)
Nikita Zadorov (D)
Semyon Varlamov (G)

**Joe Sakic is very bad at his job. 

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS

Available
Josh Anderson (F)
Alex Broadhurst (F)
Matt Calvert (F)
Zac Dalpe (F)
Sam Gagner (F)
Brett Gallant (F)
William Karlsson (F)
Lauri Korpikoski (F)
Lukas Sedlak (F)
T.J. Tynan (F)
Daniel Zaar (F)
Marc-Andre Bergeron (D)
Scott Harrington (D)
Jack Johnson (D)
Kyle Quincey (D)
John Ramage (D)
Jaime Sifers (D)
Ryan Stanton (D)
Oscar Dansk (G)
Anton Forsberg (G)
Joonas Korpisalo (G)

Protected
Cam Atkinson (F)
Brandon Dubinsky (F)
Nick Foligno (F)
Scott Hartnell (F)
Boone Jenner (F)
Brandon Saad (F)
Alexander Wennberg (F)
Seth Jones (D)
Ryan Murray (D)
David Savard (D)
Sergei Bobrovsky (G)

DALLAS STARS

Available
Adam Cracknell (F)
Justin Dowling (F)
Cody Eakin (F)
Ales Hemsky (F)
Jiri Hudler (F)
Curtis McKenzie (F)
Mark McNeill (F)
Travis Morin (F)
Patrick Sharp (F)
Gemel Smith (F)
Matej Stransky (F)
Mattias Backman (D)
Andrew Bodnarchuk (D)
Ludwig Bystrom (D)
Nick Ebert (D)
Justin Hache (D)
Dan Hamhuis (D)
Patrik Nemeth (D)
Jamie Oleksiak (D)
Greg Pateryn (D)
Dustin Stevenson (D)
Henri Kiviaho (G)
Maxime Lagace (G)
Kari Lehtonen (G)
Antti Niemi (G)
Justin Peters (G)

Protected
Jamie Benn (F)
Radek Faksa (F)
Valeri Nichushkin (F)
Brett Ritchie (F)
Antoine Roussel (F)
Tyler Seguin (F)
Jason Spezza (F)
Stephen Johns (D)
John Klingberg (D)
Esa Lindell (D)
Ben Bishop (G)

DETROIT RED WINGS

Available
Louis-Marc Aubry (F)
Mitch Callahan (F)
Colin Campbell (F)
Martin Frk (F)
Luke Glendening (F)
Darren Helm (F)
Drew Miller (F)
Tomas Nosek (F)
Riley Sheahan (F)
Ben Street (F)
Eric Tangradi (F)
Adam Almquist (D)
Jonathan Ericsson (D)
Niklas Kronwall (D)
Brian Lashoff (D)
Dylan McIlrath (D)
Xavier Ouellet (D)
Ryan Sproul (D)
Jared Coreau (G)
Petr Mrazek (G)
Edward Pasquale (G)
Jake Paterson (G)

Protected
Justin Abdelkader (F)
Andreas Athanasiou (F)
Anthony Mantha (F)
Frans Nielsen (F)
Gustav Nyquist (F)
Tomas Tatar (F)
Henrik Zetterberg (F)
Danny DeKeyser (D)
Mike Green (D)
Nick Jensen (D)
Jimmy Howard (G)

**Mrazek is the obvious pick of this roster. 

EDMONTON OILERS

Available
David Desharnais (F)
Justin Fontaine (F)
Matt Hendricks (F)
Roman Horak (F)
Jujhar Khaira (F)
Anton Lander (F)
Iiro Pakarinen (F)
Tyler Pitlick (F)
Zach Pochiro (F)
Benoit Pouliot (F)
Henrik Samuelsson (F)
Bogdan Yakimov (F)
Mark Fayne (D)
Andrew Ference (D)
Mark Fraser (D)
Eric Gryba (D)
David Musil (D)
Jordan Oesterle (D)
Griffin Reinhart (D)
Kris Russell (D)
Dillon Simpson (D)
Laurent Brossoit (G)
Jonas Gustavsson (G)

Protected
Leon Draisaitl (F)
Jordan Eberle (F)
Zack Kassian (F)
Mark Letestu (F)
Milan Lucic (F)
Patrick Maroon (F)
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (F)
Oscar Klefbom (D)
Adam Larsson (D)
Andrej Sekera (D)
Cam Talbot (G)

FLORIDA PANTHERS

Available
Graham Black (F)
Tim Bozon (F)
Jaromir Jagr (F)
Jussi Jokinen (F)
Derek MacKenzie (F)
Jonathan Marchessault (F)
Colton Sceviour (F)
Michael Sgarbossa (F)
Reilly Smith (F)
Brody Sutter (F)
Paul Thompson (F)
Shawn Thornton (F)
Thomas Vanek (F)
Jason Demers (D)
Jakub Kindl (D)
Brent Regner (D)
Reece Scarlett (D)
MacKenzie Weegar (D)
Reto Berra (G)
Sam Brittain (G)
Roberto Luongo (G)

Protected
Aleksander Barkov (F)
Nick Bjugstad (F)
Jonathan Huberdeau (F)
Vincent Trocheck (F)
Aaron Ekblad (D)
Alex Petrovic (D)
Mark Pysyk (D)
Keith Yandle (D)
James Reimer (G)

**I for one, believe in Roberto Luongo. He doesn’t have much time left, but I don’t know that Vegas should care all that much about that. I think Demers is the obvious choice though.

LOS ANGELES KINGS

Available
Andy Andreoff (F)
Justin Auger (F)
Dustin Brown (F)
Kyle Clifford (F)
Andrew Crescenzi (F)
Nic Dowd (F)
Marian Gaborik (F)
Jarome Iginla (F)
Trevor Lewis (F)
Michael Mersch (F)
Jordan Nolan (F)
Teddy Purcell (F)
Devin Setoguchi (F)
Nick Shore (F)
Matt Greene (D)
Vincent Loverde (D)
Brayden McNabb (D)
Cameron Schilling (D)
Rob Scuderi (D)
Zach Trotman (D)
Jack Campbell (G)
Jeff Zatkoff (G)

Protected
Jeff Carter (F)
Anze Kopitar (F)
Tanner Pearson (F)
Tyler Toffoli (F)
Drew Doughty (D)
Derek Forbort (D)
Alec Martinez (D)
Jake Muzzin (D)
Jonathan Quick (G)

MINNESOTA WILD

Available
Brady Brassart (F)
Patrick Cannone (F)
Ryan Carter (F)
Kurtis Gabriel (F)
Martin Hanzal (F)
Erik Haula (F)
Zack Mitchell (F)
Jordan Schroeder (F)
Eric Staal (F)
Chris Stewart (F)
Ryan White (F)
Victor Bartley (D)
Matt Dumba (D)
Christian Folin (D)
Guillaume Gelinas (D)
Alexander Gudbranson (D)
Gustav Olofsson (D)
Nate Prosser (D)
Marco Scandella (D)
Mike Weber (D)
Johan Gustafsson (G)
Darcy Kuemper (G)
Alex Stalock (G)

Protected
Charlie Coyle (F)
Mikael Granlund (F)
Mikko Koivu (F)
Nino Niederreiter (F)
Zach Parise (F)
Jason Pominville (F)
Jason Zucker (F)
Jonas Brodin (D)
Jared Spurgeon (D)
Ryan Suter (D)
Devan Dubnyk (G)

MONTREAL CANADIENS

Available
Daniel Carr (F)
Connor Crisp (F)
Jacob De La Rose (F)
Bobby Farnham (F)
Brian Flynn (F)
Max Friberg (F)
Charles Hudon (F)
Dwight King (F)
Stefan Matteau (F)
Torrey Mitchell (F)
Joonas Nattinen (F)
Steve Ott (F)
Tomas Plekanec (F)
Alexander Radulov (F)
Chris Terry (F)
Brandon Davidson (D)
Alexei Emelin (D)
Keegan Lowe (D)
Andrei Markov (D)
Nikita Nesterov (D)
Zach Redmond (D)
Dalton Thrower (D)
Al Montoya (G)

Protected
Paul Byron (F)
Phillip Danault (F)
Jonathan Drouin (F)
Alex Galchenyuk (F)
Brendan Gallagher (F)
Max Pacioretty (F)
Andrew Shaw (F)
Jordie Benn (D)
Jeff Petry (D)
Shea Weber (D)
Carey Price (G)

NASHVILLE PREDATORS

Available
Pontus Aberg (F)
Cody Bass (F)
Vernon Fiddler (F)
Mike Fisher (F)
Cody McLeod (F)
James Neal (F)
PA Parenteau (F)
Adam Payerl (F)
Mike Ribeiro (F)
Miikka Salomaki (F)
Colton Sissons (F)
Craig Smith (F)
Trevor Smith (F)
Austin Watson (F)
Colin Wilson (F)
Harry Zolnierczyk (F)
Taylor Aronson (D)
Anthony Bitetto (D)
Stefan Elliott (D)
Petter Granberg (D)
Brad Hunt (D)
Matt Irwin (D)
Andrew O’Brien (D)
Adam Pardy (D)
Jaynen Rissling (D)
Scott Valentine (D)
Yannick Weber (D)
Marek Mazanec (G)

Protected
Viktor Arvidsson (F)
Filip Forsberg (F)
Calle Jarnkrok (F)
Ryan Johansen (F)
Mattias Ekholm (D)
Ryan Ellis (D)
Roman Josi (D)
P.K. Subban (D)
Pekka Rinne (G)

**Enough decent yougn players to take from Nashville, but my choice would likely be Parenteau. He makes any team and any line he is on better. 

NEW JERSEY DEVILS

Available
Beau Bennett (F)
Michael Cammalleri (F)
Carter Camper (F)
Luke Gazdic (F)
Shane Harper (F)
Jacob Josefson (F)
Ivan Khomutov (F)
Stefan Noesen (F)
Marc Savard (F)
Devante Smith-Pelly (F)
Petr Straka (F)
Mattias Tedenby (F)
Ben Thomson (F)
David Wohlberg (F)
Seth Helgeson (D)
Viktor Loov (D)
Ben Lovejoy (D)
Andrew MacWilliam (D)
Jon Merrill (D)
Dalton Prout (D)
Karl Stollery (D)
Alexander Urbom (D)
Keith Kinkaid (G)
Scott Wedgewood (G)

Protected
Taylor Hall (F)
Adam Henrique (F)
Kyle Palmieri (F)
Travis Zajac (F)
Andy Greene (D)
John Moore (D)
Mirco Mueller (D)
Damon Severson (D)
Cory Schneider (G)

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

Available
Josh Bailey (F)
Steve Bernier (F)
Eric Boulton (F)
Jason Chimera (F)
Casey Cizikas (F)
Cal Clutterbuck (F)
Stephen Gionta (F)
Ben Holmstrom (F)
Bracken Kearns (F)
Nikolay Kulemin (F)
Brock Nelson (F)
Shane Prince (F)
Alan Quine (F)
Ryan Strome (F)
Johan Sundstrom (F)
Calvin de Haan (D)
Matthew Finn (D)
Jesse Graham (D)
Thomas Hickey (D)
Loic Leduc (D)
Scott Mayfield (D)
Dennis Seidenberg (D)
Jean-Francois Berube (G)
Christopher Gibson (G)
Jaroslav Halak (G)

Protected
Andrew Ladd (F)
Anders Lee (F)
John Tavares (F)
Johnny Boychuk (D)
Travis Hamonic (D)
Nick Leddy (D)
Adam Pelech (D)
Ryan Pulock (D)
Thomas Greiss (G)

**They exposed a lot of mid-level talent, but I’m most keen on Clutterbuck. The guy is built for Vegas. He is all personality on the ice, and he’s one of the top 4th liners in the league. 

NEW YORK RANGERS

Available
Taylor Beck (F)
Chris Brown (F)
Daniel Catenacci (F)
Jesper Fast (F)
Tanner Glass (F)
Michael Grabner (F)
Marek Hrivik (F)
Nicklas Jensen (F)
Carl Klingberg (F)
Oscar Lindberg (F)
Brandon Pirri (F)
Matt Puempel (F)
Adam Clendening (D)
Tommy Hughes (D)
Steven Kampfer (D)
Kevin Klein (D)
Michael Paliotta (D)
Brendan Smith (D)
Chris Summers (D)
Magnus Hellberg (G)
Antti Raanta (G)
Mackenzie Skapski (G)

Protected
Kevin Hayes (F)
Chris Kreider (F)
J.T. Miller (F)
Rick Nash (F)
Derek Stepan (F)
Mika Zibanejad (F)
Mats Zuccarello (F)
Nick Holden (D)
Ryan McDonagh (D)
Marc Staal (D)
Henrik Lundqvist (G)

**This is where the Golden Showers get their back-up goalie. Raanta.

OTTAWA SENATORS

Available
Casey Bailey (F)
Mike Blunden (F)
Alexandre Burrows (F)
Stephane Da Costa (F)
Christopher DiDomenico (F)
Nikita Filatov (F)
Chris Kelly (F)
Clarke MacArthur (F)
Max McCormick (F)
Chris Neil (F)
Tom Pyatt (F)
Ryan Rupert (F)
Bobby Ryan (F)
Viktor Stalberg (F)
Phil Varone (F)
Tommy Wingels (F)
Mark Borowiecki (D)
Fredrik Claesson (D)
Brandon Gormley (D)
Jyrki Jokipakka (D)
Marc Methot (D)
Patrick Sieloff (D)
Chris Wideman (D)
Mikael Wikstrand (D)
Mike Condon (G)
Chris Driedger (G)
Andrew Hammond (G)

Protected
Derick Brassard (F)
Ryan Dzingel (F)
Mike Hoffman (F)
Jean-Gabriel Pageau (F)
Zack Smith (F)
Mark Stone (F)
Kyle Turris (F)
Cody Ceci (D)
Erik Karlsson (D)
Dion Phaneuf (D)
Craig Anderson (G)

**Methot and Ryan – while not world-beaters – have a place in the NHL and I can’t imagine VGK passing on one of the two. Thanks Dion.

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS

Available
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare (F)
Greg Carey (F)
Chris Conner (F)
Boyd Gordon (F)
Taylor Leier (F)
Colin McDonald (F)
Andy Miele (F)
Michael Raffl (F)
Matt Read (F)
Chris VandeVelde (F)
Jordan Weal (F)
Dale Weise (F)
Eric Wellwood (F)
Mark Alt (D)
TJ Brennan (D)
Michael Del Zotto (D)
Andrew MacDonald (D)
Will O’Neill (D)
Jesper Pettersson (D)
Nick Schultz (D)
Steve Mason (G)
Michal Neuvirth (G)

Protected
Sean Couturier (F)
Valtteri Filppula (F)
Claude Giroux (F)
Scott Laughton (F)
Brayden Schenn (F)
Wayne Simmonds (F)
Jakub Voracek (F)
Shayne Gostisbehere (D)
Radko Gudas (D)
Brandon Manning (D)
Anthony Stolarz (G)

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

Available
Josh Archibald (F)
Nick Bonino (F)
Matt Cullen (F)
Jean-Sebastien Dea (F)
Carl Hagelin (F)
Tom Kuhnhackl (F)
Chris Kunitz (F)
Kevin Porter (F)
Bryan Rust (F)
Tom Sestito (F)
Oskar Sundqvist (F)
Dominik Uher (F)
Garrett Wilson (F)
Scott Wilson (F)
Ian Cole (D)
Frank Corrado (D)
Trevor Daley (D)
Tim Erixon (D)
Cameron Gaunce (D)
Ron Hainsey (D)
Stuart Percy (D)
Derrick Pouliot (D)
Chad Ruhwedel (D)
Mark Streit (D)
David Warsofsky (D)
Marc-Andre Fleury (G)

Protected
Sidney Crosby (F)
Patric Hornqvist (F)
Phil Kessel (F)
Evgeni Malkin (F)
Brian Dumoulin (D)
Kris Letang (D)
Olli Maatta (D)
Justin Schultz (D)
Matt Murray (G)

**Bye, Flower

SAN JOSE SHARKS

Available
Mikkel Boedker (F)
Barclay Goodrow (F)
Micheal Haley (F)
Patrick Marleau (F)
Buddy Robinson (F)
Zack Stortini (F)
Joe Thornton (F)
Joel Ward (F)
Dylan DeMelo (D)
Brenden Dillon (D)
Dan Kelly (D)
Paul Martin (D)
David Schlemko (D)
Aaron Dell (G)
Troy Grosenick (G)
Harri Sateri (G)

Protected
Ryan Carpenter (F)
Logan Couture (F)
Jannik Hansen (F)
Tomas Hertl (F)
Melker Karlsson (F)
Joe Pavelski (F)
Chris Tierney (F)
Justin Braun (D)
Brent Burns (D)
Marc-Edouard Vlasic (D)
Martin Jones (G)

ST. LOUIS BLUES

Available
Kenny Agostino (F)
Andrew Agozzino (F)
Kyle Brodziak (F)
Jordan Caron (F)
Jacob Doty (F)
Landon Ferraro (F)
Alex Friesen (F)
Evgeny Grachev (F)
Dmitrij Jaskin (F)
Jori Lehtera (F)
Brad Malone (F)
Magnus Paajarvi (F)
David Perron (F)
Ty Rattie (F)
Scottie Upshall (F)
Nail Yakupov (F)
Robert Bortuzzo (D)
Chris Butler (D)
Morgan Ellis (D)
Carl Gunnarsson (D)
Jani Hakanpaa (D)
Petteri Lindbohm (D)
Reid McNeill (D)
Jordan Binnington (G)
Carter Hutton (G)

Protected
Patrik Berglund (F)
Ryan Reaves (F)
Jaden Schwartz (F)
Vladimir Sobotka (F)
Paul Stastny (F)
Alexander Steen (F)
Vladimir Tarasenko (F)
Jay Bouwmeester (D)
Joel Edmundson (D)
Alex Pietrangelo (D)
Jake Allen (G)

**Yakupov is a serious high-end talent. Don’t understand the hate at all. 

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

Available
Carter Ashton (F)
Michael Bournival (F)
J.T. Brown (F)
Cory Conacher (F)
Erik Condra (F)
Gabriel Dumont (F)
Stefan Fournier (F)
Byron Froese (F)
Yanni Gourde (F)
Mike Halmo (F)
Henri Ikonen (F)
Pierre-Luc Letourneau-Leblond (F)
Tye McGinn (F)
Greg McKegg (F)
Cedric Paquette (F)
Tanner Richard (F)
Joel Vermin (F)
Dylan Blujus (D)
Jake Dotchin (D)
Jason Garrison (D)
Slater Koekkoek (D)
Jonathan Racine (D)
Andrej Sustr (D)
Matt Taormina (D)
Luke Witkowski (D)
Peter Budaj (G)
Kristers Gudlevskis (G)
Jaroslav Janus (G)
Mike McKenna (G)

Protected
Ryan Callahan (F)
Tyler Johnson (F)
Alex Killorn (F)
Nikita Kucherov (F)
Vladislav Namestnikov (F)
Ondrej Palat (F)
Steven Stamkos (F)
Braydon Coburn (D)
Victor Hedman (D)
Anton Stralman (D)
Andrei Vasilevskiy (G)

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

Available
Brian Boyle (F)
Eric Fehr (F)
Colin Greening (F)
Seth Griffith (F)
Teemu Hartikainen (F)
Brooks Laich (F)
Brendan Leipsic (F)
Joffrey Lupul (F)
Milan Michalek (F)
Kerby Rychel (F)
Ben Smith (F)
Andrew Campbell (D)
Matt Hunwick (D)
Alexey Marchenko (D)
Martin Marincin (D)
Steve Oleksy (D)
Roman Polak (D)
Antoine Bibeau (G)
Curtis McElhinney (G)
Garret Sparks (G)

Protected
Tyler Bozak (F)
Connor Brown (F)
Nazem Kadri (F)
Leo Komarov (F)
Josh Leivo (F)
Matt Martin (F)
James van Riemsdyk (F)
Connor Carrick (D)
Jake Gardiner (D)
Morgan Rielly (D)
Frederik Andersen (G)

**Leafs shouldn’t lose anything too valuable to them, but I do think it’s a mistake protecting Martin instead of Rychel or Leipsic. Thinking is one of those 2 likely to go. 

VANCOUVER CANUCKS

Available
Reid Boucher (F)
Michael Chaput (F)
Joseph Cramarossa (F)
Derek Dorsett (F)
Brendan Gaunce (F)
Alexandre Grenier (F)
Jayson Megna (F)
Borna Rendulic (F)
Anton Rodin (F)
Drew Shore (F)
Jack Skille (F)
Michael Zalewski (F)
Alex Biega (D)
Philip Larsen (D)
Tom Nilsson (D)
Andrey Pedan (D)
Luca Sbisa (D)
Richard Bachman (G)
Ryan Miller (G)

Protected
Sven Baertschi (F)
Loui Eriksson (F)
Markus Granlund (F)
Bo Horvat (F)
Daniel Sedin (F)
Henrik Sedin (F)
Brandon Sutter (F)
Alexander Edler (D)
Erik Gudbranson (D)
Christopher Tanev (D)
Jacob Markstrom (G)

**If Ryan Miller had trade value, I would see him going, but those days are long over. 

WASHINGTON CAPITALS

Available
Jay Beagle (F)
Chris Bourque (F)
Paul Carey (F)
Brett Connolly (F)
Stanislav Galiev (F)
Tyler Graovac (F)
Garrett Mitchell (F)
Liam O’Brien (F)
T.J. Oshie (F)
Zach Sill (F)
Chandler Stephenson (F)
Christian Thomas (F)
Nathan Walker (F)
Justin Williams (F)
Daniel Winnik (F)
Karl Alzner (D)
Taylor Chorney (D)
Cody Corbett (D)
Darren Dietz (D)
Christian Djoos (D)
Tom Gilbert (D)
Aaron Ness (D)
Brooks Orpik (D)
Nate Schmidt (D)
Kevin Shattenkirk (D)
Pheonix Copley (G)
Philipp Grubauer (G)

Protected
Nicklas Backstrom (F)
Andre Burakovsky (F)
Lars Eller (F)
Marcus Johansson (F)
Evgeny Kuznetsov (F)
Alex Ovechkin (F)
Tom Wilson (F)
John Carlson (D)
Matt Niskanen (D)
Dmitry Orlov (D)
Braden Holtby (G)

WINNIPEG JETS

Available
Marko Dano (F)
Quinton Howden (F)
Scott Kosmachuk (F)
Tomas Kubalik (F)
JC Lipon (F)
Shawn Matthias (F)
Ryan Olsen (F)
Anthony Peluso (F)
Chris Thorburn (F)
Ben Chiarot (D)
Toby Enstrom (D)
Brenden Kichton (D)
Julian Melchiori (D)
Paul Postma (D)
Brian Strait (D)
Mark Stuart (D)
Michael Hutchinson (G)
Ondrej Pavelec (G)

Protected
Joel Armia (F)
Andrew Copp (F)
Bryan Little (F)
Adam Lowry (F)
Mathieu Perreault (F)
Mark Scheifele (F)
Blake Wheeler (F)
Dustin Byfuglien (D)
Tyler Myers (D)
Jacob Trouba (D)
Connor Hellebuyck (G)

**I still think Hutch has potential to be a marginal player in the NHL and frankly, that’s mostly what Vegas will be drafting. 

My VGK Roster:

Emerson Etem – F (ANA)
Peter Holland – F (ARI)
Matt Belesky – F (BOS)
Matt Moulson – F (BUF)
Matt Stajan – F (CGY)
Joakim Nordstrom – F (CAR)
Brendan Ranford – F (COL)
Matt Calvert – F (CBJ)
Cody Eakin – F (DAL)
Alexander Radulov – F (MON)
PA Parenteau – F (NSH)
Devante Smith-Pelly – F (NJ)
Michael Raffl – F (PHI)
Nail Yakupov – F (STL)
Kerby Rychel – F (TOR)
Brendan Gaunce – F (VAN)
Trevor Van Reimsdyk – D (CHI)
Jason Demers – D (FLA)
Brayden McNabb – D (LA)
Marco Scandella – D (MIN)
Calvin de Haan – D (NYI)
Marc Methot – D (OTT)
Dylan DeMelo – D (SJ)
Kevin Shattenkirk – D (WSH)
Tobias Enstrom – D (WPG)
Petr Mrazek – G (DET)
Laurent Brossoit – G (EDM)
Anti Raanta – G (NYR)
Marc-Andre Fleury – G (PIT)
Kristers Gudlevskis – G (TB)

Obviously they will be flipping a lot of their picks – hopefully most for their sake. But I don’t think that’s an unreasonable selection list.

The NHL Has Some Bad Contracts: A List

The NHL is a league known for being old as shit and thinking old as shit. Grit, heart, Mark Messier and going ‘hard in the corner’ matter most. There has only recent been a league-wide shift towards favoring athletes who know how to play hockey and away from guys that know how to tough. That shift has seen the league – or at least people that follow the league – to identify a younger ‘prime’ for players than previously thought.

Of course it isn’t true of everyone, but generally speaking a player will peak between the ages 22-25, because of course. Who wasn’t at their best in their early twenties? After that it’s all tv dinners and family reunions, fuck. So, I want to look at some of the worst active player contracts in the league. Counting down to #1, the shitty award…I guess.Here goes:

Jonathan Toews (also Anze Kopitar, but whatever)

8 years, $84 million (ends 2022-23)

I am not going to pretend that Jonathan Toews is not an elite player. He is, he has all of the accolades to support that. He will also probably be that player for a long time. He is smart with and without the puck and doesn’t put himself in dangerous positions. So, then what is the problem?
Jonathan Toews has the highest cap-hit in the NHL (shared with the rapist Patrick Kane) and he has only one 70 point season and was a point-per-game player only once…..over a lockout shortened 48 game season.
He is good, he is great even. Where would the Blackcocks Blackhawks be without him? Who knows. But, there is no excuse for his cap-hit/point production ratio. I like Toews, but at best he is $7 million dollar player.
Replace ‘Toews’ with ‘Kopitar’ and you can remain a happy Blackhawks fan.

Corey Perry

8 years, $69 (nice) million (ends 2020-21)

Corey Perry is old. He has an 8 year, $69 (nice) million dollar contract and his point totals have been falling for a number of years now. It shouldn’t come as a surprise either. He’s 32 years old, and 32 year olds suck at stuff.
The biggest problem is that this guy has 4 more years of sub-standard play before his contract is over, and by that time Anaheim (let’s not kid ourselves, only an asshole would trade for this guy) will owe him $7 million bucks.
His last contract was worth about $5.5 million AAV and that was enough.

Bobby Ryan

7 years, $50.75 million (ends 2021-22)

Bobby Ryan’s best days are behind him. He hasn’t touched 60 points in 7 years. For a scoring forward, that’s bad. For a scoring forward that makes $7 million per year, that’s unforgivable. It isn’t the player’s fault, if some idiot wants to give you a bunch more money than you’re worth, why wouldn’t you take it?
But, honestly, this is just bad and not going to get better.
The problem is in 2010 when he signed his first big money contract is exactly the last time he touched 70 points. After that’s it’s been big money and decreasing goal totals.
It’s either a perfect example of a player being in his prime for a rookie contract, or a guy that stopped playing when the superstar contract was signed.

Dustin Brown (Also, David Clarkson, Dave Bolland, David Backes….stop letting Dave’s play hockey)

8 years, $47 million (ends 2021-22)

This one was bound to be on the list. People talk about it like they talk about gonorrhea, EVERYBODY fears it, nobody wants it, and yet somehow, it manages to exist.
Truth be told, Dustin Brown has never been anything more than a good 3rd line producer. But, he plays with grit and he’s tough and…hearty? So, apparently he is a leader that leads and deserves some big money. God forbid, he put up big leadership points on another team.
Brown scored 60 points once in his career, in 2007-08 and hasn’t touched 40 since 2011-12. The hope is that Vegas takes him in the expansion draft to reach the cap floor, but that won’t excuse this massive dumpster fire of a contract. Which, by the way, he signed in 2014-15, coming off of a 27 (TWENTY SEVEN) point season.
It also goes on for another 4 seasons.

Shea Weber

14 years, $110 million (ends 2025-26)….(wtf)

Shea Weber shoots hard and leads. A pretty common trait for these bad contracts. But, this one is more because Shea Weber is old balls. He makes SO much money.
$12 million dollars salary, for a guy that is 31, regressing and barely good for 40 points.
Ok, so point production does not define a defenseman. But sweet fuck, for $12 million dollars, he better do roof repairs on the Centre de Bell.
It’s true, this contract is being highlighted because of the terrible Subban trade. But good, he couldn’t hide forever in Nashville. This was an offer-sheet from Philadelphia and between Ron Hextall and David Poile, someone needs their head smacked…..
Ron Hextall terrifies me, so Poile it is.
Guys that got a free pass on this include: Claude Giroux, Patrick Marleau, Jordan Eberle, Loui Eriksson, Ben Bishop and Rick Nash

Gary Bettman is an Evil Little Jerk: Part 1

gary-bettmanOk, new feature. Gary Bettman is a hopeless, evil, little weasel and we should all hate him (and the owners he represents).

Gary Bettman denies that there is a link between CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) and concussions. Now, granted, part of this is because the league is having their tits sued off by former players in a concussion lawsuit that could surpass the one the NFL just got hosed in, but the bigger part of this is basic human decency.

When money is at play, especially a billion real dollars (potentially) it’s easy to see how someone could be persuaded to tell some lies to make everything look ok. But it’s not, and concussions aren’t the laughing matter they once were made out to be. People get them, people suffer from them, people get very sick from them and occasionally people shoot themselves in the chest so their brain can be studied from them.

Clarke MacArthur just came back to the Ottawa Senators after an 18 month leave due to concussion symptoms. That’s terrifying. There is a doctor out there, or a trainer, or god knows what that decided after having his egg scrambled so hard he couldn’t play hockey for OVER A YEAR AND A HALF, Clarke MacArthur – a guy with a history of bad knocks to the noodle – could come back and play hockey is fucking ridiculous. Basically, this is the closest we’ve come to a guy that needs to retire, or face potentially dire straits, not only as a player, but as a person. Watching it live. Awful.

The NFL took a hardline stance opposing the relation between concussions and CTE and paid very dearly for it. Now, they acknowledge the connection, along with just about everyone else on the planet. But not that little puke Gary. Oh no, Gary can’t now.

The NHL being sued has made it improbable that the league would all of a sudden admit they are corrupt pieces of garbage and recognize, publicly, the connection between two grown men beating the piss out of each other, slamming each other in to the boards and brain injuries. They don’t deny a slash on the wrist can cause a wrist injury, but according to the league, Marty McSorley whacking Don Brashear in the head like he’s trying to go deep on a Marco Estrada fastball wouldn’t necessarily hurt big Don’s brain.

Fuck you, man.

People in your league are actually dying because of this. That means moms and dads are losing their kids, kids are losing their dads. And you just stand by with your head in the stand. If you’ve been researching this since 1997 like you say you have been, and this is the conclusion you’ve come to, your scientist needs to be shot in the heart. Is that a traumatic injury? Ask yourself.

USA Women’s Hockey Isn’t Stupid… but it’s also Really Stupid

USA Hockey has been treating their Women’s team with very little respect. Now, with a boycott on the line, the Women’s team has made their grievances known. And you know what…they’ve hit it on the nose.

For the purpose of this article, there are two complaints being voiced from the Women’s hockey team. They are both valid, one more than the other, but nonetheless valid. Let’s look at them.

Women’s Olympic hockey hasn’t been around forever. The first time it took place was 1998 in Nagano, Japan. That was the first time the ladies got their chance. Now it’s a foregone conclusion that Canada is better than ‘the States’ at hockey and always will be, but that is a distinction that is so much more discernible on the Men’s side than the Women’s. USA Women’s hockey are fuckin’ good.

In the 5 Olympic games that they have attended, they have won…5 medals. Yeah, in every Olympics the Women have attended, they have been top 3. Really, top 2. With only 1 bronze medal, it has been them and Canada every 4 years. In 1998, at the first Women’s Olympic hockey tournament, they WON THE WHOLE DAMN THING. Gold Medal.

Now I wonder how the much-loved Men’s team has done…

You can count their 5 most recent medals too, but you have to go back to 19-fucking-60 to count them all. USA Men’s hockey is bad. They’ve been bad for a long time and a lot of that has to do with the idiotic management and team building group. Holy shit.

So, basically this is important because the Men’s team has been made to be the face of USA hockey. Somehow, with a suck-ass legacy and not winning anything meaningful since the 1980 ‘Miracle’ they are the heroes of USA hockey. That ain’t right.

When it came time to announce the new Team USA jerseys, not only did they ‘forget’ to appropriately display the Women’s team accomplishments, but they didn’t even invite the women to stand alongside the men for the unveiling. Yahoo Puck Daddy Blog’s Greg Wyshinski called this “…literally the definition of equal footing”. He’s right. How can you even fake support a team, especially one where there is a sensitive gender difference and not even make them a part of Team USA public announcements. Relegate them to $400 per month salaries….that’ll work. Oh, we aren’t there yet….

So you would think that just treating the Women like an honored national institution and not an after-thought is something easy that USA Hockey can fix. You’d be right. And that’s what brings us to the second point. …Now we’re there

Equal Pay.

Now this is another point I side with the players on. Being a national athlete should pay your bills, cover your insurance and provide you with everything you need to devote yourself fully to your career in the sport. Especially if your nation prides itself on their Olympic success.

USA Hockey’s argument would be that nobody attends Women’s hockey game. And that’s true to a point, however, the wealthiest nation in the world should be able to pony up enough money to keep their athletes’ lights on.

Money ruins everything. It’s why Women’s hockey, and junior hockey (to a point) are so exciting. You are watching elite athletes compete, because competition is what they do. I maintain that as soon as you inject a $5 million dollar contract, it fucks everything up. It changes what the players play for and it changes how they play for it.

That said, pay the fucking players USA Hockey and quit being a bunch of cranky old fucks.

5 Reasons The NHL Shouldn’t Go to the Olympics

Miracle on Ice, February 22, 1980, Lake Placid, NY.
A miracle

For months now, the NHL and NHLPA have been using Olympic participation as a bargaining chip for the new CBA. Whether or not the players can go play on the World’s grandest stage, whether or not the players will take a lousy deal, whether or not the league blah blah blah.

Since 1998 the NHL has been a major part of the Olympic games, and the best-on-best tournament has given Canada a major audience, and allowed the United States to look bad. Man, I like that.

So it’s stupid for the NHL to go to the Olympics, and it’s stupid for you to care, here are 5 reasons why:

1. There’s already too much hockey


Ok, so I’ve outed myself as ‘not a real fan,’ that’s cool bitch, I don’t care. There is so much damn hockey, especially if you’re a Canadian, already on TV that one more tournament is really not that exciting. It’s the same complaint I have with the NHL’s reincarnation of the World Cup. There is enough hockey.

I don’t need to see Canada beat up on the USA every 6 months. Though again, that’s nice.

You already have a World Junior Championship, Ivan Hlinka, a stupid All-Star game, CHL, NCAA, AHL, ECHL, IIHF World Championship and…

2. an 82 game season and Stanley Cup playoffs is enough of the same players


If the NHL doesn’t go to the Olympics, let’s not forget that the Olympics will still happen. The only difference is that we will be introduced to a whole new swath of talented players. I watch Sidney Crosby play 82 games (ok, maybe 60) every year, plus another 20 or so in the playoffs. I don’t need to see him wheel snipe and celly for another 3 weeks. It’s enough, I get it, he’s great.

Think about it, we wouldn’t have a Miracle on Ice, or know the name Mike Eruzione if the NHL had attended the Olympics before 1998. We might not have the fondness for Herb Brooks, or more importantly, Kurt Russell PLAYING Herb Brooks in a movie. This is a memory for USA hockey fans that is directly in spite of the NHL attending the Olympics.

The Olympics is not meant to be a best-on-best tournament specifically, it is meant to be a celebration of amateur sports, besides…

3. The NHL is already a best-on-best league

Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Jaromir Jagr, Marian Hossa, Patrick Kane, they all have

mcdavidmatthews.jpg
The best

3 things in common. They are the best players in the world, they all play in the NHL and…
Anyone thinking that the NHL thinks of itself as anything less than the premiere hockey league in the world is a silly bitch. And guess what, it IS. Save for a few players that have defected, the NHL is home to the best players in the world. Even guys plugging away on the fourth line, or guys that are stuck in the AHL get big roles when they go overseas.

 

4. The best players in the world play on different teams already!


Except for a few scenarios, every night in the NHL could be looked at as a best-on-best situation. Chicago playing the Pens, well that’s Crosby, Malkin, Letang vs Kane, Toews, Keith, Hossa. LA Kings vs San Jose, well there you have Kopitar, Quick, Carter and Doughty vs Thornton, Marleau, Burns, etc. Shit, even the worst teams in the league have it going on.

Take the Leafs vs Colorado, or NO, better yet, the old Winnipeg Jets vs Colorado, oh yeah, what a shit show that is…

Wait a minute, the ‘Yotes have Ekman-Larsson, Mike Smith and the Avs have Duchene, Landeskog, MacKinnon, even Erik Johnson gets his name thrown around for Team USA. Man, USA hockey sucks.

It’s just stupid, for 82 games times however many fuckin’ teams are in the NHL now, we get the best players in the world playing the other best players in the world. It’s enough already, you know the saying…

5. A change is as good as a rest


What would be so terrible about seeing players that aren’t in the NHL, playing in an international tournament in front of the whole world? Would it be so wrong to showcase the talents that each country produces that DON’T play under Gary fuckin’ Bettman.

Is it possible that fans of the NHL are reasonable enough that they could go 3 weeks without seeing Sidney Crosby or Ryan Suter playing hockey?

Oh…they aren’t?

Hockey is so stupid.

I Hate Toronto Maple Leafs Fans… So Much

I hate everything about the Toronto Maple Leafs, I hate their stupid always hurt players, I hate their idiotic media and I hate, I mean really really hate their dumb dumb dumb fans. Oh my god, do I ever hate their fans.

For the record: I love Leo Komarov

A little over 2 years ago, the Leafs fired their idiot ‘winner’ coach Randy Carlyle and let Pete Horachek warm the bench for Mike Babcock, and every stupid Leafs fan in Canada let out a collective ‘sigh of relief.’ That sigh was for mediocrity, or hopefully, something even worse. The Leafs brass promised the team would be dog shit for the next 3-5 years, so they could build a sustainable and prosperous future. God. Damn. It.

You see, I’m a Leafs fan. A patient, realistic Leafs fan. One of many….I thought.

There’s a big middle part of this story where the Leafs were unreasonably bad, drafted Mitch ‘good Canadian boy’ Marner and Auston ‘the next, next, next one’ Matthews, but you kind of know what happens there so I’ll spare my fingers the work.

So, here we are, 3 weeks from the playoffs and the Leafs are just outside a wild card spot in a piss poor division. The Maple Leafs are bad. Yes, the Maple Leafs could very well make the playoffs. And that is so fucking stupid.

Yeah, yeah, get the kids experience, leadership, hard work, yada yada. And oh hey got that important 2 points against the Bruins. Oh lord. The entirety of Leafs Nation – copyright, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment – has decided this is the year. Plan the parade. Just like we did every other year the Leafs were ok.

There are no important games this season, or next season. The next important thing the Leafs will do, will be what they do to extend contracts in the 2017-2018 off-season. News-flash, the Toronto Maple Leafs have NOTHING important to do until then. There are no must-win games, there are no important 2 point games and there are no playoff pushes. You should not care what the end result is of a Leafs season for at least 2 years.

So shut the hell up! Anybody thinking that Nikita Zaitsev and Morgan Reilly are going to make sloppy outlet passes and -43 their way out of the first round is a dope. A dope!

God Toronto fans are the worst, I am so sorry.