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OFFICIAL HOCKEY THREAD: NHL, KHL, NCAA, IIHL - Page 2

post #31 of 18396
the alleged bruins' bar bill from foxwoods casino saturday night:

image


sick.gif @ a 100K bottle of something?!?!?
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post #32 of 18396
the alleged bruins' bar bill from foxwoods casino saturday night:

image


sick.gif @ a 100K bottle of something?!?!?
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post #33 of 18396
That is crazy, who fit the bill for that?  

That Ryan Smyth article came as a bit of a surprise, seeing as he's enjoyed playing with L.A. and the guys around him.  At 35, a reunion to Edmonton would seem a little too late no?  
LAKERS || DODGERS || LAKINGS
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post #34 of 18396
That is crazy, who fit the bill for that?  

That Ryan Smyth article came as a bit of a surprise, seeing as he's enjoyed playing with L.A. and the guys around him.  At 35, a reunion to Edmonton would seem a little too late no?  
LAKERS || DODGERS || LAKINGS
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LAKERS || DODGERS || LAKINGS
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post #35 of 18396
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxfury

All I care about is Sid. If he isn't right it doesn't matter who is signed

whats the word on him? symptom free yet?
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post #36 of 18396
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmxfury

All I care about is Sid. If he isn't right it doesn't matter who is signed

whats the word on him? symptom free yet?
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Arsenal FC
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post #37 of 18396
Quote:
Originally Posted by JewSeeJay

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadsetAce

checking in pimp.gif





bruins issues to deal with:

- savard's future

- re-signing marshmont

- do you re-sign kaberle and ryder

- use the cap space on a big time blue liner or forward, or a little on both areas

itsa wrap... hes too soft... hopefully watching what patrice was able to do will motivate him but i jus dont see him ever returning to near elite status

kaberle prob doesnt get resigned although IMO he was a major reason u guys won... blue line depth is huge

what are the other big name defenders floatin around out there? not too many... i mean hell dallas gave us James Neal for Alex Gologoski laugh.gif




kinda rough to call savvy soft... brain injuries arent like a knee or something. hes on like concussion #4 i think. i watched an interview pre parade with him and he looked awful. pale, big circles under his eyes... hes done imo, although i would love nothing more than for him to return to 80% of what he was.

marshmont resigning is a foregone conclussion, just wonder how much hes gonna get. we def. overpaid for bergy at the time but it panned out IMO, kinda jumped the gun on lucic but he produced huge til he hurt his foot.

i would rather ryder for 2.5-3 mil than kaberle. i think kampfer can fill that spot. if we let him go, then use some of the money on a top 4 D-man, and the rest on a piece to slide in the 2nd/3rd center role. i honestly think the team is perfect minus maybe one mid-level goal scorer.

take away kaberle OR ryder, keeping the other, then take away savvy and recchi, assume marchand gets like 3 mil, bruins would have like 13 mil to spend if im doing everything right...

that bar bill eek.gif the 100k was a 30L bottle of ace of spades, the stuff cuban bought for the mavs, but it was twice the size of that one. bruins out doing the billionaire loon. laugh.gif they HAD to be buying for others in the bar, there was only 6 of them. wish i was there. but who bought a heineken light? cmon boys.. laugh.gif
post #38 of 18396
Quote:
Originally Posted by JewSeeJay

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadsetAce

checking in pimp.gif





bruins issues to deal with:

- savard's future

- re-signing marshmont

- do you re-sign kaberle and ryder

- use the cap space on a big time blue liner or forward, or a little on both areas

itsa wrap... hes too soft... hopefully watching what patrice was able to do will motivate him but i jus dont see him ever returning to near elite status

kaberle prob doesnt get resigned although IMO he was a major reason u guys won... blue line depth is huge

what are the other big name defenders floatin around out there? not too many... i mean hell dallas gave us James Neal for Alex Gologoski laugh.gif




kinda rough to call savvy soft... brain injuries arent like a knee or something. hes on like concussion #4 i think. i watched an interview pre parade with him and he looked awful. pale, big circles under his eyes... hes done imo, although i would love nothing more than for him to return to 80% of what he was.

marshmont resigning is a foregone conclussion, just wonder how much hes gonna get. we def. overpaid for bergy at the time but it panned out IMO, kinda jumped the gun on lucic but he produced huge til he hurt his foot.

i would rather ryder for 2.5-3 mil than kaberle. i think kampfer can fill that spot. if we let him go, then use some of the money on a top 4 D-man, and the rest on a piece to slide in the 2nd/3rd center role. i honestly think the team is perfect minus maybe one mid-level goal scorer.

take away kaberle OR ryder, keeping the other, then take away savvy and recchi, assume marchand gets like 3 mil, bruins would have like 13 mil to spend if im doing everything right...

that bar bill eek.gif the 100k was a 30L bottle of ace of spades, the stuff cuban bought for the mavs, but it was twice the size of that one. bruins out doing the billionaire loon. laugh.gif they HAD to be buying for others in the bar, there was only 6 of them. wish i was there. but who bought a heineken light? cmon boys.. laugh.gif
post #39 of 18396
136 Bud Lights ... Love hockey players
post #40 of 18396
136 Bud Lights ... Love hockey players
post #41 of 18396
The Rangers absolutely need to stay away from Brad Richards.... I want no part of giving this guy 7.5m/per for 8 years.... The guy is a damn good center which the Rangers need but he is going to be grossly overpaid.
post #42 of 18396
The Rangers absolutely need to stay away from Brad Richards.... I want no part of giving this guy 7.5m/per for 8 years.... The guy is a damn good center which the Rangers need but he is going to be grossly overpaid.
post #43 of 18396
^drury, volume 2. laugh.gif
post #44 of 18396
^drury, volume 2. laugh.gif
post #45 of 18396
Thread Starter 
add Reddensmiley: laugh

alot of UFA's are gonna get paid tho
post #46 of 18396
Thread Starter 
add Reddensmiley: laugh

alot of UFA's are gonna get paid tho
post #47 of 18396
Thread Starter 

tsn top 30 pospects

1. RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS

2011 NHL Draft
Profile
2010-11 Team: Red Deer Rebels League: WHL
Position: Centre Height: 6-1
2010-11 Stats: 69 GP, 31 G, 106 PTS Weight: 170 lbs.
Scouting Rankings
NHL Central Scouting: 1 NAS, International Scouting Services: No. 1, The Hockey News: No. 1
TSN Scout Grant McCagg:
Had a slow start in terms of goal production, including going goalless in 13 games in October, but ended the 2010-11 season with 17 goals in his final 20 games after being cut from Canada's U-20 team. Strengths - high end skills, including amazing vision and agility. Quick elusive skater with superb edges. Soft hands and creative puck handler. Solid work ethic and character. Weaknesses - Needs to add some muscle to compete with NHL defencemen in tight quarters. More of a playmaker than a goal scorer, although he began showing more finish at season's end. NHL Upside - first-line center who draws comparisons to Pavel Datsyuk in terms of style.

2. ADAM LARSSON

2011 NHL Draft
Profile
2010-11 Team: Skelleftea HC League: SEL
Position: Defence Height: 6-3
2010-11 Stats: 37 GP, 1 G, 9 PTS Weight: 200 lbs.
Scouting Ranking
NHL Central Scouting: 1 ES, International Scouting Services: No. 2, The Hockey News: No. 2
TSN Scout Grant McCagg:
He's already a solid contributor in the Swedish Elite League. Tried to do too much in U-18 competitions last fall and was prone to mistakes, but simplified his game at the WJC and dominated physically and defensively despite playing with a knee injury. Strengths - Thick, physical kid with some jam, poised puck mover, has some power play ability, hard shot, can contribute at both ends of the rink, keen hockey sense, solid positionally. Weaknesses - he's a clunky forward skater. Not most fleet of foot. Loses concentration at times, not fast enough to be a frequent puck carrier. NHL Upside - Has been compared to Victor Hedman, but with more offensive upside. Projects to be a workhorse, a top two defenceman that can do it all.

3. JONATHAN HUBERDEAU

2011 NHL Draft
Profile
2010-11 Team: Saint John Sea Dogs League: QMJHL
Position: Centre Height: 6-1
2010-11 Stats: 67 GP, 43 G, 105 PTS Weight: 168 lbs.
Scouting Ranking
NHL Central Scouting: 3 NAS, International Scouting Services: No. 3, The Hockey News: No. 5
TSN Scout Grant McCagg:
No top-ten prospect improved his draft position more from season's start to season's end. Dominant in the QMJHL playoffs, notching 16 goals and capturing playoff MVP honours. Strengths - Poised puck carrier who sees the whole ice surface, very creative, protects the puck well and uses all of his linemates, dangerous forechecker with excellent anticipation, hard worker who rarely takes a shift off. Just keeps getting better and better, smart player, great hands, hard shot. Weaknesses - Needs to get stronger, particularly in his lower body. Will need to keep working on his quickness. NHL Upside - First or second-line forward with decent size and two-way abilities. One of the draft's safer picks - he'll play a key role on whatever team that drafts him.

4. GABRIEL LANDESKOG

2011 NHL Draft
Profile
2010-11 Team: Kitchener Rangers League: OHL
Position: Left Wing Height: 6-1
2010-11 Stats: 53 GP, 36 G, 66 PTS Weight: 207 lbs.
Scouting Ranking
NHL Central Scouting: 2 NAS, International Scouting Services: No. 5, The Hockey News: No. 3
TSN Scout Grant McCagg:
The first European player to captain a CHL team, he was on his way to a 50-goal campaign before a high ankle sprain suffered in the WJC sidelined him for six weeks. Strengths - tremendous work ethic and leadership skills, strong and tenacious, plays a North-American style of game, possesses hard shot and good vision. A very safe pick, will contribute soon to an NHL team, perhaps next season. Weaknesses - Good skill, but not on the same level talent-wise as Nugent-Hopkins or Huberdeau, gets it done more with hard work than high-end skill. Skating is above average, but not at an elite level. NHL Upside - the safest pick in the draft - he'll be a consummate pro who can play on any line and fulfill any role asked of him. Future NHL captain.

5. SEAN COUTURIER

2011 NHL Draft
Profile
2010-11 Team: Drummondville Voltigeurs League: QMJHL
Position: Centre Height: 6-4
2010-11 Stats: 58 GP, 36 G, 96 PTS Weight: 195 lbs.
Scouting Ranking
NHL Central Scouting: 6 NAS, International Scouting Services: No. 4, The Hockey News: No. 4
TSN Scout Grant McCagg:
Sidelined by mononucleosis in August, Couturier didn't really get rolling offensively until after the WJC's, scoring 20 goals in 21 games and reaffirming his status as a top-end prospect Strengths - Big, imposing two-way center who can play in any situation, strong character on and off the ice, solid work habits, strong hockey sense and playmaking abilities. Ability to protect the puck from opponents is second to none. Weaknesses: Didn't really show improvement this season, especially in his skating. Needs to work on his quickness. Not naturally mean, could play with more of an edge. NHL Upside - First or second-line center with solid two-way abilities. A Jason Allison type with better defensive awareness.

6. DOUGIE HAMILTON

2011 NHL Draft
Profile
2010-11 Team: Niagara IceDogs League: OHL
Position: Defence Height: 6-4
2010-11 Stats: 67 GP, 12 G, 58 PTS Weight: 193 lbs.
Scouting Ranking
NHL Central Scouting: 4 NAS, International Scouting Services: No. 6, The Hockey News: No. 10
TSN Scout Grant McCagg:
Hamilton made steady progress on the Niagara blueline, and averaged more than a point per game in 14 playoff games while leading the Ice Dogs to the third round. Parents were Olympic athletes and older brother Freddie was an NHL draft pick last season. Strengths - Excellent mobility and reach make him difficult to beat one-on-one. Uses his strong, smooth stride to skate his way out of trouble in own zone. deft playmaking abilities on power play. Weaknesses - not overly physical despite imposing size. Prone to mental errors when fatigued, still raw, needs to get stronger. NHL Upside - Size, mobility and offensive could translate into top pairing duties at the NHL level as he fills out.

7. RYAN STROME

2011 NHL Draft
Profile
2010-11 Team: Niagara IceDogs League: OHL
Position: Centre Height: 6-0
2010-11 Stats: 65 GP, 33 G, 106 PTS Weight: 183 lbs.
Scouting Ranking
NHL Central Scouting: 8 NAS, International Scouting Services: No. 9, The Hockey News: No. 6
TSN Scout Grant McCagg:
Enjoyed a CHL-best 79-point improvement in his second season, finishing third in the OHL with 106 points. OHL Player of the Month for January. Strengths - Quick, elusive skater with top-notch agility and playmaking skills. Crafty, adept at finding time and space, soft hands, quick release, skilled in tight quarters. Worked hard in offseason to improve fitness, clutch scorer. Solid anticipation and smarts at both ends of the rink. Weaknesses - Not a physically intimidating player who will punish opponents, still needs to add some strength. Can be a little lackadaisical at times. Work ethic could improve. NHL Upside - Top-line offensive center with point-per game potential.

8. RYAN MURPHY

2011 NHL Draft
Profile
2010-11 Team: Kitchener Rangers League: OHL
Position: Defence Height: 5-11
2010-11 Stats: 63 GP, 26 G, 79 PTS Weight: 176 lbs.
Scouting Ranking
NHL Central Scouting: 9 NAS, International Scouting Services: No. 8, The Hockey News: No. 7
TSN Scout Grant McCagg:
One of the most offensively talented blueliners to enter the draft in the past decade, Murphy led all defencemen and set an all-time Canadian record with 13 points at the U-18 championship, capturing Top Defenceman honours. Strengths - has the rare ability to go end-to-end several times per game, an outstanding skater and puck carrier, superb agility, soft hands, hard, accurate slapshot. Slick passer in all three zones, crafty poke checker. Competitive, despite small stature eager to throw bodychecks. Weaknesses - neither tall nor muscular, must add some weight for NHL rigors. Sacrifices defence for offence at times, must be more patient with his offensive forays. NHL Upside - has drawn comparisons to Ryan Ellis, Paul Coffey and Phil Housley. Not exactly like an of them, but has the skating and puck skills to be an offensive in any league. Will quarterback a power play.

9. MIKA ZIBANEJAD

2011 NHL Draft
Profile
2010-11 Team: Djurgarden League: SEL
Position: Centre Height: 6-2
2010-11 Stats: 26 GP, 5 G, 9 PTS Weight: 191 lbs.
Scouting Ranking
NHL Central Scouting: 2 ES, International Scouting Services: No. 7, The Hockey News: No. 11
TSN Scout Grant McCagg:
Played 26 games in the Swedish Elite League as a 17-year-old and didn't look out of place. Had eight points in six games at the U-18 championships. Strengths - Intelligent two-way center with a heavy shot. Above average sense and anticipation, uses his size and strength for both offensive and defensive purposes, not afraid to play physically and likes to initiate contact. Powerful skater and a non-stop motor, excellent on faceoffs. Weaknesses - Minor concern with his quickness, didn't show natural finish at times, fumbled several scoring opportunities during the U-18's. NHL Upside - Has been compared to Mike Fisher and Nicklas Backstrom. May not have Backstrom's offensive upside, but could develop into a formidable two-way second-line center.

10. JONAS BRODIN

2011 NHL Draft
Profile
2010-11 Team: Farjestad League: SEL
Position: Defence Height: 6-1
2010-11 Stats: 42 GP, 0 G, 4 PTS Weight: 165 lbs.
Scouting Ranking
NHL Central Scouting: 3 ES, International Scouting Services: No. 20, The Hockey News: No. 22
  
http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?id=44969
post #48 of 18396
Thread Starter 

tsn top 30 pospects

1. RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS

2011 NHL Draft
Profile
2010-11 Team: Red Deer Rebels League: WHL
Position: Centre Height: 6-1
2010-11 Stats: 69 GP, 31 G, 106 PTS Weight: 170 lbs.
Scouting Rankings
NHL Central Scouting: 1 NAS, International Scouting Services: No. 1, The Hockey News: No. 1
TSN Scout Grant McCagg:
Had a slow start in terms of goal production, including going goalless in 13 games in October, but ended the 2010-11 season with 17 goals in his final 20 games after being cut from Canada's U-20 team. Strengths - high end skills, including amazing vision and agility. Quick elusive skater with superb edges. Soft hands and creative puck handler. Solid work ethic and character. Weaknesses - Needs to add some muscle to compete with NHL defencemen in tight quarters. More of a playmaker than a goal scorer, although he began showing more finish at season's end. NHL Upside - first-line center who draws comparisons to Pavel Datsyuk in terms of style.

2. ADAM LARSSON

2011 NHL Draft
Profile
2010-11 Team: Skelleftea HC League: SEL
Position: Defence Height: 6-3
2010-11 Stats: 37 GP, 1 G, 9 PTS Weight: 200 lbs.
Scouting Ranking
NHL Central Scouting: 1 ES, International Scouting Services: No. 2, The Hockey News: No. 2
TSN Scout Grant McCagg:
He's already a solid contributor in the Swedish Elite League. Tried to do too much in U-18 competitions last fall and was prone to mistakes, but simplified his game at the WJC and dominated physically and defensively despite playing with a knee injury. Strengths - Thick, physical kid with some jam, poised puck mover, has some power play ability, hard shot, can contribute at both ends of the rink, keen hockey sense, solid positionally. Weaknesses - he's a clunky forward skater. Not most fleet of foot. Loses concentration at times, not fast enough to be a frequent puck carrier. NHL Upside - Has been compared to Victor Hedman, but with more offensive upside. Projects to be a workhorse, a top two defenceman that can do it all.

3. JONATHAN HUBERDEAU

2011 NHL Draft
Profile
2010-11 Team: Saint John Sea Dogs League: QMJHL
Position: Centre Height: 6-1
2010-11 Stats: 67 GP, 43 G, 105 PTS Weight: 168 lbs.
Scouting Ranking
NHL Central Scouting: 3 NAS, International Scouting Services: No. 3, The Hockey News: No. 5
TSN Scout Grant McCagg:
No top-ten prospect improved his draft position more from season's start to season's end. Dominant in the QMJHL playoffs, notching 16 goals and capturing playoff MVP honours. Strengths - Poised puck carrier who sees the whole ice surface, very creative, protects the puck well and uses all of his linemates, dangerous forechecker with excellent anticipation, hard worker who rarely takes a shift off. Just keeps getting better and better, smart player, great hands, hard shot. Weaknesses - Needs to get stronger, particularly in his lower body. Will need to keep working on his quickness. NHL Upside - First or second-line forward with decent size and two-way abilities. One of the draft's safer picks - he'll play a key role on whatever team that drafts him.

4. GABRIEL LANDESKOG

2011 NHL Draft
Profile
2010-11 Team: Kitchener Rangers League: OHL
Position: Left Wing Height: 6-1
2010-11 Stats: 53 GP, 36 G, 66 PTS Weight: 207 lbs.
Scouting Ranking
NHL Central Scouting: 2 NAS, International Scouting Services: No. 5, The Hockey News: No. 3
TSN Scout Grant McCagg:
The first European player to captain a CHL team, he was on his way to a 50-goal campaign before a high ankle sprain suffered in the WJC sidelined him for six weeks. Strengths - tremendous work ethic and leadership skills, strong and tenacious, plays a North-American style of game, possesses hard shot and good vision. A very safe pick, will contribute soon to an NHL team, perhaps next season. Weaknesses - Good skill, but not on the same level talent-wise as Nugent-Hopkins or Huberdeau, gets it done more with hard work than high-end skill. Skating is above average, but not at an elite level. NHL Upside - the safest pick in the draft - he'll be a consummate pro who can play on any line and fulfill any role asked of him. Future NHL captain.

5. SEAN COUTURIER

2011 NHL Draft
Profile
2010-11 Team: Drummondville Voltigeurs League: QMJHL
Position: Centre Height: 6-4
2010-11 Stats: 58 GP, 36 G, 96 PTS Weight: 195 lbs.
Scouting Ranking
NHL Central Scouting: 6 NAS, International Scouting Services: No. 4, The Hockey News: No. 4
TSN Scout Grant McCagg:
Sidelined by mononucleosis in August, Couturier didn't really get rolling offensively until after the WJC's, scoring 20 goals in 21 games and reaffirming his status as a top-end prospect Strengths - Big, imposing two-way center who can play in any situation, strong character on and off the ice, solid work habits, strong hockey sense and playmaking abilities. Ability to protect the puck from opponents is second to none. Weaknesses: Didn't really show improvement this season, especially in his skating. Needs to work on his quickness. Not naturally mean, could play with more of an edge. NHL Upside - First or second-line center with solid two-way abilities. A Jason Allison type with better defensive awareness.

6. DOUGIE HAMILTON

2011 NHL Draft
Profile
2010-11 Team: Niagara IceDogs League: OHL
Position: Defence Height: 6-4
2010-11 Stats: 67 GP, 12 G, 58 PTS Weight: 193 lbs.
Scouting Ranking
NHL Central Scouting: 4 NAS, International Scouting Services: No. 6, The Hockey News: No. 10
TSN Scout Grant McCagg:
Hamilton made steady progress on the Niagara blueline, and averaged more than a point per game in 14 playoff games while leading the Ice Dogs to the third round. Parents were Olympic athletes and older brother Freddie was an NHL draft pick last season. Strengths - Excellent mobility and reach make him difficult to beat one-on-one. Uses his strong, smooth stride to skate his way out of trouble in own zone. deft playmaking abilities on power play. Weaknesses - not overly physical despite imposing size. Prone to mental errors when fatigued, still raw, needs to get stronger. NHL Upside - Size, mobility and offensive could translate into top pairing duties at the NHL level as he fills out.

7. RYAN STROME

2011 NHL Draft
Profile
2010-11 Team: Niagara IceDogs League: OHL
Position: Centre Height: 6-0
2010-11 Stats: 65 GP, 33 G, 106 PTS Weight: 183 lbs.
Scouting Ranking
NHL Central Scouting: 8 NAS, International Scouting Services: No. 9, The Hockey News: No. 6
TSN Scout Grant McCagg:
Enjoyed a CHL-best 79-point improvement in his second season, finishing third in the OHL with 106 points. OHL Player of the Month for January. Strengths - Quick, elusive skater with top-notch agility and playmaking skills. Crafty, adept at finding time and space, soft hands, quick release, skilled in tight quarters. Worked hard in offseason to improve fitness, clutch scorer. Solid anticipation and smarts at both ends of the rink. Weaknesses - Not a physically intimidating player who will punish opponents, still needs to add some strength. Can be a little lackadaisical at times. Work ethic could improve. NHL Upside - Top-line offensive center with point-per game potential.

8. RYAN MURPHY

2011 NHL Draft
Profile
2010-11 Team: Kitchener Rangers League: OHL
Position: Defence Height: 5-11
2010-11 Stats: 63 GP, 26 G, 79 PTS Weight: 176 lbs.
Scouting Ranking
NHL Central Scouting: 9 NAS, International Scouting Services: No. 8, The Hockey News: No. 7
TSN Scout Grant McCagg:
One of the most offensively talented blueliners to enter the draft in the past decade, Murphy led all defencemen and set an all-time Canadian record with 13 points at the U-18 championship, capturing Top Defenceman honours. Strengths - has the rare ability to go end-to-end several times per game, an outstanding skater and puck carrier, superb agility, soft hands, hard, accurate slapshot. Slick passer in all three zones, crafty poke checker. Competitive, despite small stature eager to throw bodychecks. Weaknesses - neither tall nor muscular, must add some weight for NHL rigors. Sacrifices defence for offence at times, must be more patient with his offensive forays. NHL Upside - has drawn comparisons to Ryan Ellis, Paul Coffey and Phil Housley. Not exactly like an of them, but has the skating and puck skills to be an offensive in any league. Will quarterback a power play.

9. MIKA ZIBANEJAD

2011 NHL Draft
Profile
2010-11 Team: Djurgarden League: SEL
Position: Centre Height: 6-2
2010-11 Stats: 26 GP, 5 G, 9 PTS Weight: 191 lbs.
Scouting Ranking
NHL Central Scouting: 2 ES, International Scouting Services: No. 7, The Hockey News: No. 11
TSN Scout Grant McCagg:
Played 26 games in the Swedish Elite League as a 17-year-old and didn't look out of place. Had eight points in six games at the U-18 championships. Strengths - Intelligent two-way center with a heavy shot. Above average sense and anticipation, uses his size and strength for both offensive and defensive purposes, not afraid to play physically and likes to initiate contact. Powerful skater and a non-stop motor, excellent on faceoffs. Weaknesses - Minor concern with his quickness, didn't show natural finish at times, fumbled several scoring opportunities during the U-18's. NHL Upside - Has been compared to Mike Fisher and Nicklas Backstrom. May not have Backstrom's offensive upside, but could develop into a formidable two-way second-line center.

10. JONAS BRODIN

2011 NHL Draft
Profile
2010-11 Team: Farjestad League: SEL
Position: Defence Height: 6-1
2010-11 Stats: 42 GP, 0 G, 4 PTS Weight: 165 lbs.
Scouting Ranking
NHL Central Scouting: 3 ES, International Scouting Services: No. 20, The Hockey News: No. 22
  
http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?id=44969
post #49 of 18396
What I wanna see for the Flames:
Sign Tanguay
#1 Center, although Backlund looked good near the end with Tanguay-Iginla.
Lose/buy out contracts. Sorry Langkow
Draft Zach Phillips, Sven Bartsci or Nathan Beaulieu in the first round. I prefer Zach Phillips.
Draft Kucherov, a Gibson, Catenacci, Sproul, or Prince in the 2nd.
Somehow stop losing prospects, although Flames prospect pool is pathetic.
and whatever that article posted above said earlier about trading Regehr for Green. Sure do it lol


EDIT:
I would also like Kariya to re-sign cheap for the Ducks and one last run with Selanne. Kariya-Koivu-Selanne smiley: pimp
post #50 of 18396
What I wanna see for the Flames:
Sign Tanguay
#1 Center, although Backlund looked good near the end with Tanguay-Iginla.
Lose/buy out contracts. Sorry Langkow
Draft Zach Phillips, Sven Bartsci or Nathan Beaulieu in the first round. I prefer Zach Phillips.
Draft Kucherov, a Gibson, Catenacci, Sproul, or Prince in the 2nd.
Somehow stop losing prospects, although Flames prospect pool is pathetic.
and whatever that article posted above said earlier about trading Regehr for Green. Sure do it lol


EDIT:
I would also like Kariya to re-sign cheap for the Ducks and one last run with Selanne. Kariya-Koivu-Selanne smiley: pimp
post #51 of 18396
I like the small FIJI waters at the bottom, cause that will prevent the hangover!
TEAM ECONOMICS

From Smith to Friedman, we know what's up


Offical Member of the Steeler Nation
IX X XIII XIV XL XLIII Champions
Reply
TEAM ECONOMICS

From Smith to Friedman, we know what's up


Offical Member of the Steeler Nation
IX X XIII XIV XL XLIII Champions
Reply
post #52 of 18396
I like the small FIJI waters at the bottom, cause that will prevent the hangover!
TEAM ECONOMICS

From Smith to Friedman, we know what's up


Offical Member of the Steeler Nation
IX X XIII XIV XL XLIII Champions
Reply
TEAM ECONOMICS

From Smith to Friedman, we know what's up


Offical Member of the Steeler Nation
IX X XIII XIV XL XLIII Champions
Reply
post #53 of 18396
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadsetAce

checking in pimp.gif


bruins issues to deal with:
- savard's future
- re-signing marshmont
- do you re-sign kaberle and ryder
- use the cap space on a big time blue liner or forward, or a little on both areas


I don't think Savard is ever going to play anymore. At least he got to hoist the cup.

Marchand is going to get signed. No questions asked.

I wouldn't sign either of them. I don't want to see Ryder being lazy and I don't want to see Kaberle. Let the young bucks play. Replace Kaberle with Kampfer and Ryder with Caron. Both are capable of being good players. Give Seggy more responsibility since it's his second year.

Cap space? Re-sign the sherriff so he can mentor the little kids and sit in the press box.
  
Forgot to mention:
Lidstrom is coming back for another year. Extremely talented defenseman smiley: pimp
post #54 of 18396
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadsetAce

checking in pimp.gif


bruins issues to deal with:
- savard's future
- re-signing marshmont
- do you re-sign kaberle and ryder
- use the cap space on a big time blue liner or forward, or a little on both areas


I don't think Savard is ever going to play anymore. At least he got to hoist the cup.

Marchand is going to get signed. No questions asked.

I wouldn't sign either of them. I don't want to see Ryder being lazy and I don't want to see Kaberle. Let the young bucks play. Replace Kaberle with Kampfer and Ryder with Caron. Both are capable of being good players. Give Seggy more responsibility since it's his second year.

Cap space? Re-sign the sherriff so he can mentor the little kids and sit in the press box.
  
Forgot to mention:
Lidstrom is coming back for another year. Extremely talented defenseman smiley: pimp
post #55 of 18396
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naija Nitemare

What kind of moves are the Ducks looking to make?

GM Bob Murray answered some questions at the Ducks select-a-seat last weekend. Here's some of what he said.
-Selanne wants to keep playing, but has to take care of a minor knee issue first.
-Had lunch with Selanne and Kariya, and told Kariya he was welcome back as a player or in the front office. Kariya is supposedly 100% healthy, but still deciding whether or not to play.
-#1 priority is to improve the 3rd line, especially at C.
-Marchant is leaning towards retirement.
-Would like to trade up in the draft to get one of two centers he has his eye on.
-Thinks one of Devante Smith-Pelley or Emerson Etem could make the team out of camp.
-Hiller is feeling a lot better and will start practicing in July. Emery will not be re-signed.

With all of that taken into account, this is what I expect the team to look like next year, unless we unload Sutton/Blake. Then we could potentially go after a second line F and top 4 D (Jokinen/Brewer). We will probably have about 12 mil. in cap space after signing Selanne.

Ryan-Getzlaf-Perry
Kariya-Koivu-Selanne
Mcmillan-Belanger-Blake
Beleskey-Konopka-Parros
Smith-Pelley

Lydman-Visnovsky
Beauchemin-Fowler
Sutton-Sbisa
Brookbank


Hiller
Ellis
post #56 of 18396
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naija Nitemare

What kind of moves are the Ducks looking to make?

GM Bob Murray answered some questions at the Ducks select-a-seat last weekend. Here's some of what he said.
-Selanne wants to keep playing, but has to take care of a minor knee issue first.
-Had lunch with Selanne and Kariya, and told Kariya he was welcome back as a player or in the front office. Kariya is supposedly 100% healthy, but still deciding whether or not to play.
-#1 priority is to improve the 3rd line, especially at C.
-Marchant is leaning towards retirement.
-Would like to trade up in the draft to get one of two centers he has his eye on.
-Thinks one of Devante Smith-Pelley or Emerson Etem could make the team out of camp.
-Hiller is feeling a lot better and will start practicing in July. Emery will not be re-signed.

With all of that taken into account, this is what I expect the team to look like next year, unless we unload Sutton/Blake. Then we could potentially go after a second line F and top 4 D (Jokinen/Brewer). We will probably have about 12 mil. in cap space after signing Selanne.

Ryan-Getzlaf-Perry
Kariya-Koivu-Selanne
Mcmillan-Belanger-Blake
Beleskey-Konopka-Parros
Smith-Pelley

Lydman-Visnovsky
Beauchemin-Fowler
Sutton-Sbisa
Brookbank


Hiller
Ellis
post #57 of 18396
^Good lookin out pimp.gif

If Paul comes back, mark me down for a sweater.
"Nothing is wrong with letting the girls know that you're money, and you wanna party"
Reply
"Nothing is wrong with letting the girls know that you're money, and you wanna party"
Reply
post #58 of 18396
^Good lookin out pimp.gif

If Paul comes back, mark me down for a sweater.
"Nothing is wrong with letting the girls know that you're money, and you wanna party"
Reply
"Nothing is wrong with letting the girls know that you're money, and you wanna party"
Reply
post #59 of 18396
Mock Draft.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler [+]

When scouts and talent evaluators look at this draft, the recurring theme is that of clusters. Scouts are generally of an opinion that there's a cluster of six elite prospects at the top of the draft, headed by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and then a drop to another tier of 6-8 solid prospects. Those appear to be the obvious difference-makers in this year's crop.

Below that grouping, at least 30 prospects -- and maybe as many 50 -- are at least in the conversation for slots in the first round.

"It might look like a team at 13 or 14 might feel cheated, but there are a couple of wild cards," one scouting director said this week.

The biggest curveball would be if a team takes a stab at one of the top three goalie prospects -- John Gibson, Christopher Gibson and Samu Perhonen -- early in the draft. As of now, that's unexpected since this is generally thought to be a weaker crop of netminders than last year, when Jack Campbell cracked the top tier (No. 11). Still, it could happen if a team feels it has a glaring weakness in the crease.

The second twist would be if a team goes way off the board. The scouting director pointed to the Los Angeles Kings' selecting Thomas Hickey No. 4 overall in 2007 as a textbook example. But with the talent at the upper reaches of this draft, that doesn't seem too likely. "It's hard to see that first group breaking up, unless a team feels strongly about a kid who's not already ranked No. 7 to 14 on most lists," the director adds. "What I can tell you is that teams from outside the top 10 are out there trying to figure out a way to trade up ... trying to turn multiple picks into one higher pick."

There's already rumor of Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke trying to package his two picks in the late first round to move up. The Phoenix Coyotes may be trying to do the same. Such moves could change the shape of the first round, but for now, with one week remaining until the 2011 NHL draft, here's how it figures to shake out.



The playmaking center who could service Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle and the rest. Some scouts say he's not physically ready to play at the next level -- though athletic, he's truly scrawny. Then again, so was Patrick Kane. Hockey sense and anticipation will keep him out of harm's way.

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Adam Larsson, D, Skelleftea (Sweden)

A blueliner who could set the table for Matt Duchene and an emerging corps of young forwards. He went into the season with almost unfair expectations and didn't meet them. The next round of unfair expectations begins in the fall. All he'd have to do is help the Avalanche get back into the playoffs.

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Jonathan Huberdeau, C, Saint John (QMJHL)

The versatile forward will become the go-to guy on a first line. Florida has shown a lot of patience with its prospect development, but Huberdeau would test that patience with a good camp. He might be best served with a few games in the NHL this fall, just to get a feel for the game at the next level, and then a return to junior for the balance of the season.

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Ryan Strome, C, Niagara (OHL)

Strome is the prospect who has made the greatest strides over the course of the past year. It would be a surprise if he lands in the NHL next fall, but, then again, last summer it would have been a shock if someone told you that he'd end up in the top five of this draft.

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Sean Couturier, C, Drummondville (QMJHL)

The Islanders need a big center who might enable John Tavares to move to the wing. Given his late birthday, Couturier has absolutely nothing to prove by going back to junior -- it might end up being counterproductive (as it was with Jason Spezza). Of all the lottery teams, though, the Isles are the most likely to move him quickly and challenge him.

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Gabriel Landeskog, LW, Kitchener (OHL)

This reliable winger/leader can be the needed successor to Daniel Alfredsson. The Sens have a high Tre Kroner quotient throughout the organization -- you could make the case that three-quarters of their strongest assets are Swedes.

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Mika Zibanejad, C, Djurgarden (Sweden-Jr.)

The center who could eventually form a solid top-of-the-roster combination with Alex Burmistrov. If Zibanejad goes here, how his situation is handled would give everyone an indication of the new general manager's modus operandi. Don Waddell and, briefly, Rick Dudley were pretty aggressive in throwing their elite picks into the lineup. Zibanejad is on the cusp of readiness.

A creative forward who projects to be the difference-maker that Nikita Filatov was supposed to be. It seems that the Blue Jackets land offensive players in this range (Derick Brassard, Jakub Voracek, Filatov) who tease with talent but fall short of full delivery. Down the line, Baertschi would get to play with Portland teammate Ryan Johansen, Columbus' shrewd first-rounder last June.

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Boston Bruins (from Toronto)
Nathan Beaulieu, D, Saint John (QMJHL)

A defenseman who makes the dynamic first pass to set the offense in motion, Beaulieu can give the Bruins that quick transition and puck-handling that Tomas Kaberle was supposed to give them. This No. 9 pick is the second first-rounder from the Toronto Maple Leafs from the Phil Kessel trade. Bonus value: Beaulieu shows more nasty in a game than Kaberle has over his entire career.

10.png
Ryan Murphy, D, Kitchener, (OHL)

A rover who could be the catalyst for a struggling attack. There will be naysayers who'll float the idea that he's just too small. Is he any smaller than Brian Rafalski was at the same stage?

11.png
Colorado Avalanche (from. St. Louis)
Tyler Biggs, RW, U.S. National Team Development Program

The name fits him well as he's a big winger to play beside Duchene on the first line, in time. If the Avalanche tap Huberdeau rather than Larsson at No. 2, then a D prospect here like Hamilton or Beaulieu (but not Murphy) is in the mix.

He has the high-end talent to head up a deep corps of blueline prospects. Looks a lot like a couple of the defensemen the Hurricanes drafted in the second-round last year, but he's an upgrade on the skills side.

13.png
Mark Scheifele, C, Barrie Colts (OHL)

In Scheifele, the Flames would get the first-line center the franchise has been in search of since its last trip to the finals. Scouts are high on Scheifele's character, playing hard for a weak team last season. The Flames might be tempted to move him into the lineup fast, but next season would be too fast.

14.png
Jamieson Oleksiak, D, Northeastern (NCAA)

A blueliner who will scare opposing wingers when they come down his side of the ice. Oleksiak says that he's going back to Northeastern, and if he's not flexible on that he might slide down the board somewhat. Stock was buoyed by an impressive combine and good interviews.

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Jonathan Miller, C, U.S. National Team Development Program

The playmaking center who can be Chris Drury now that Chris Drury can't anymore. From the midterm, Miller fell 10 slots to No. 23 on Central Scouting Services' final list, but scouts say that a good performance at the world Under-18s gave his stock a boost. The Rangers have drafted heavily on D over the last few years and now need a reload up front. Miller might be ready for delivery as soon as the fall of 2012 after a single season at North Dakota.

16.png
Mark McNeill,C, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)

A tough center who will work up from the third line and settle into a second-line role. McNeill would work well with bruising 2009 first-rounder Zack Kassian, forming a sort of poor man's Legion of Doom. He'd make the Sabres tougher to play against, which has to be something that Darcy Regier is striving for.

17.png
Jonas Brodin, D, Farjestad (Sweden)

The smooth puck-handler who will be needed if/when Andrei Markov isn't there. Les Habitants showed a lot of patience with P.K. Subban -- a lot of teams would have had Subban in their lineup a year before Montreal gave him a taste. Brodin will likely be back in Sweden next year and then put in a full year in the AHL.

A great skater who'll stretch defenses when he comes down the wing. Teams are projecting significant growth in Jensen's game, based on the belief that he'll fare better after this year's experience playing in North America.

19.png
Edmonton Oilers (from Los Angeles)
Connor Murphy, C, U.S. National Team Development Program

A high-risk, high-reward prospect that only a team with two high picks can afford. Sees his game as "a smart defensive defenseman," which is exactly what his father, Gord, was for a lot of years in the NHL. No offense to Gord, but Connor has more offensive upside and a more dynamic game. Added points for growing up around NHL teams and knowledge of the pro routine. He will be at Miami University next season, but if he stays healthy, he could be in Edmonton in the fall of 2012.

20.png
Joel Armia, RW, Assat (Finland)

A big winger who'll create space for a first-line center. It's a tough call for the drafting team on whether he should be brought over this fall. There doesn't seem to be much sense finding him a slot in major junior -- that would be a step back from what he's playing in Finland. Physically, he's ready to play North American pro, but the NHL is pro-plus.

21.png
Ottawa (from Nashville)
Tomas Jurco, RW, Saint John (QMJHL)

He's a skilled winger who can create and finish chances on his own. If Jurco picks up where he left off at the Memorial Cup, he'll make it hard for the Senators to send him back to Saint John. But really, he'd be best served by another year with a strong junior club (and a great junior coach) rather than fall in with a rebuilding program in Ottawa.

22.png
Ty Rattie, RW, Portland (WHL)

The rink rat who'll bring moxie to the second line after a pro apprenticeship. Rattie will be back in Portland, and it will be interesting to see who's left there with him (Nino Niederreiter, Ryan Johansen and maybe Sven Baertschi will be in the NHL). Physically, he's not ready for prime time. His hockey sense, though, would put him in the 80th percentile of pros, at a minimum.

23.png
Matt Puempel, LW, Peterborough (OHL)

A soft-handed, seeing-eye winger who'll complement a dynamic center. Hip surgery means that any rush into an NHL lineup would be highly risky. He might be best served by being traded out of a struggling program in Peterborough and over to a program making a championship push (like his hometown Windsor Spitfires).

He'll bring back memories of Igor Larionov. The team that drafts Namestnikov can be confident that he'll get the highest quality of development playing for the London Knights, who did a good job with Patrick Kane, John Carlson and Corey Perry. But can they be as confident that Namestnikov will sign?

25.png
Toronto Maple Leafs (from Philadelphia)
Boone Jenner, C, Oshawa (OHL)

A two-way center who can work his way from the third and fourth lines into the top half of the roster. Brian Burke is in for the long haul and Jenner likely wouldn't be rushed. He'll be back in junior for two full years and in the AHL for a season before he gets a serious sniff at the NHL roster. One caveat here: Burke will almost certainly try to trade up with his picks -- does he bundle these two picks for one in the top 12? Maybe. Top six, though, is the destination.

26.png
Phillip Danault, C, Victoriaville (QMJHL)

A willing center who would bring needed hockey sense and reliability to a ridiculously skilled lineup. With an abundance of talent in the pipeline, Washington could wait for Danault to fill out. Although the "show" is Ovie, the real story in Washington is the organization. Picks like Evgeny Kuznetsov, Stanislav Galiev, Dmitri Orlov and John Carlson proved to be golden. Danault is in the mold of another dynamic Caps find, Cody Eakin. You can't have enough of those guys.

27.png
Zach Phillips, C, Saint John (QMJHL)

He's a savvy center whose average skating won't be noticed with swift surrounding talent. Having him play beside Brett Connolly down the line seems like a good idea. Question: Will he skate well enough to take a third-line center role to break into the league? Probably not, which might delay his arrival. If he's willing to move to the wing, that could open the door for him.

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Duncan Siemens, D, Saskatoon (WHL)

A tough defenseman is needed for wars against the Western Conference elite. The Sharks sometimes move quickly with getting prospects into their NHL lineup. Siemens is physically close to ready to make the jump, but arrival in 2012 would be a little hasty.

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Scott Mayfield, D, Youngstown (USHL)

He'd infuse youth into a blue line that will be undergoing generational change. By the time Mayfield lands on the coast (likely 2013), Sami Salo will be gone (maybe long gone). Andrew Alberts, Kevin Bieksa, Dan Hamhuis and Keith Ballard will be 30-somethings on the backside of their careers. Chris Tanev is a find and a keeper, but the Canucks need more young blood on the blue line.

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Toronto (from Boston)
Stuart Percy, D, Mississauga St. Michael's (OHL)

He'll consistently beat the forecheck. When Percy is ready, Luke Schenn will be on the Toronto blueline, and so will 2009 second-rounder Jesse Blacker and Jake Gardiner, a former first-rounder picked up in a trade from Anaheim. Percy would be a good fit in this group. Their games contrast and complement: Schenn and Blacker are tough-to-play-against hard rocks, and Gardiner features high-end skills and skating.



Offseason fixes for the Southeast.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler [+]

Washington Capitals

was.gif

The hole: Offensive grit

The Capitals, once again, struck out in pursuit of playoff success. The team hasn't gotten past the second round since becoming a powerhouse a few years ago. With the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom, one would think the team is stacked up front. That is not entirely true; in fact, the team's biggest need is up front.

The fix: Michal Handzus (5.2 GVT)

Handzus (GVT of 9.2 in 2009-10 and 5.2 in 2010-11) is not the offensive player he once was, but he is very responsible in the faceoff circle, can play in all situations and adds size and strength to a soft group up front. There is a reason coaches like Ken Hitchcock and Terry Murray have leaned on Handzus to play tough minutes. The Capitals are simply too easy to play against -- the antithesis of what Handzus is. He can also chip in some offensively, making him a valuable commodity, especially for a squad in need of all of the qualities he brings to the table.

Tampa Bay Lightning

tam.gif

The hole: Goaltending

Tampa Bay made an improbable run to the Eastern Conference finals, likely even surpassing the expectations of first-year GM Steve Yzerman. The former Red Wings superstar excelled as GM last season, making all the right moves while giving up very little in the way of valuable assets. One of Yzerman's best transactions involved acquiring veteran netminder Dwayne Roloson from the New York Islanders. The former Edmonton Oilers backstop provided the team with improved goaltending and was one of the primary reasons for the team's run in the playoffs. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, Roloson is 41 years old and an unrestricted free agent.

The fix: Tomas Vokoun (19.4 GVT)

The Lightning have a very nice offensive base centering on Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos and Vincent Lecavalier. The team's needs exist on defense and in between the pipes. The defense is bound to improve internally with the emergence of Victor Hedman, but solidifying the team's netminding situation will go a long way in the organization's future success. Just look at this past season: With Dan Ellis and Mike Smith struggling, the team was having trouble making a consistent dent in the standings. Adding a goalie the quality of Vokoun -- one of the more underrated netminders of his generation -- would do wonders to solidify the team at arguably the most important position. Although he dipped a bit last season, Vokoun posted a GVT of 26.8 in 2009-10. Moreover, his even-strength save percentage has not dropped below .918 over the past four seasons, peaking at .937 in 2009-10.

Winnipeg NHL franchise

nhl.gif

The hole: Scoring

The franchise formerly known as the Atlanta Thrashers did have a poor defensive GVT last season (minus-17.0), but much of its money is already locked up on the back end and on a young base including Dustin Byfuglien, Tobias Enstrom and Zach Bogosian -- players who are bound to improve with more ice time and further responsibility. Up front, the team has some nice talent in Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little and Evander Kane. The addition of Blake Wheeler also helps, but this team could use some more reasonably priced, offensively capable forwards.

The fix: Scottie Upshall (5.3 GVT)

Upshall was acquired by the Blue Jackets from Phoenix near the end of the season and didn't perform as well in Columbus as expected. The new Winnipeg brass has a relationship with Columbus coach Scott Arniel, so that could work for or against Upshall signing in Winnipeg. That said, the winger provides a rugged edge, goes to the net and will provide offensive help at a reasonable price. His GVT was 6.4 in 2009-10 and 6.2 in 2010-11, so the new Winnipeg franchise would do well to add a player of his skill set.

Carolina Hurricanes

car.gif

The hole: Defense

The Hurricanes have quite an offensive duo in Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner. Toss in Brandon Sutter and a young netminder in Cam Ward, and with all those pieces in place, it is evident the team's need is on the blue line. Of the team's defensive core, only Jamie McBain is signed past next season, so GM Jim Rutherford is probably looking for a commitment from a minutes-eating defenseman, if not two.

The fix: Tomas Kaberle (9.3 GVT)

Carolina has experience with a Kaberle, just not Tomas. Rutherford had Tomas' brother Frantisek with the Hurricanes a number of years back and may use that relationship to woo the struggling defenseman from Boston. Kaberle has fallen out of favor in Boston -- that is, if he ever was in favor in the first place. The puck-moving defenseman's stock has dropped considerably over the past two years but he still brings one skill that you cannot teach -- passing ability. Carolina has speed up front, so adding a defenseman of Kaberle's skill (GVT of 9.3 in 2009-10 and 9.3 in 2010-11) would do wonders for the team's transition game. It seems like Rutherford may be able to sign him for below market value, too.

Florida Panthers

fla.gif

The hole: Offensive talent

The needs in Florida are aplenty, but with a strong draft class in 2010, the team needs to bridge the gap until some of that offensive talent, such as John McFarland and Quinton Howden, can bloom in the NHL. After David Booth and Stephen Weiss, the Panthers are starved for pure offensive talent.

The fix: Tim Connolly (5.0 GVT)

Connolly (GVT of 11.5 in 2009-10 and 5.0 in 2010-11) has arguably as much pure offensive skill as any other top NHL talent. He can stickhandle in a phone booth and make deft passing plays and has exceptional vision. His drawback, of course, is his inability to avoid injuries. For that reason, Connolly will probably be hard-pressed to secure anything longer than a two-year contract on the open market. It is that approximate timeline that works quite well with Dale Tallon and the Panthers' long-term plan. Adding offense in the interim eases the pressure on the team's young players, all the while allowing Connolly increased ice time and responsibility. If he stays healthy, he could end up being a big bargain and consequently a trade chip for the Panthers' GM. This is an arrangement that could work well for both sides.



Offseason fixes for the Northeast.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler [+]

Toronto Maple Leafs

tor.gif

The hole: a playmaker

Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke's rebuild of his team is continuing on schedule. The Leafs have successfully managed to get much younger over the past two years, and one of their recent weaknesses -- goaltending -- has been addressed for now with the signing of James Reimer. Scoring depth, however, remains an issue. Toronto finished 23rd in the league in goals scored and will need to improve in that area to move up the standings. In Phil Kessel, Clarke MacArthur, Nikolai Kulemin and Joffrey Lupul, the Leafs have a decent set of wingers, but another playmaking center is required. Kessel spent most of his time with Tyler Bozak this past season, and the Leafs need a more dangerous weapon to get the most out of their top scorer, at least until Nazem Kadri is ready to center one of the top two lines.

The fix: Tomas Fleischmann (6.3 GVT in 45 games)

Fleischmann had his season interrupted midway after discovering a blood clot in his lung but was enjoying a great run after being traded to the Avalanche, with 21 points in 22 games. Although Fleischmann will never be mistaken for a No. 1 center, he's a quietly effective player who can play 18 minutes a night on the second line. If the Leafs don't manage to sign Brad Richards, Fleischmann would be a solid alternative, and his lower price would allow them some budget flexibility to go after other players as well.

Buffalo Sabres

buf.gif

The hole: top-four defenseman

The Sabres' season seemed run-of-the-mill on the surface, as they finished seventh in the Eastern Conference and lost in the first round to the Philadelphia Flyers, but underneath this they had a quietly excellent team. Excluding shootouts and empty-net goals, the Sabres had the eighth-best goal differential in the league at plus-20, and they had only four points fewer than the previous season, when Ryan Miller won the Vezina and they led the Northeast with 100 points. For the past several years the Sabres have scored by committee, a strategy that continued to work last season. The real problem was on defense: After losing Toni Lydman and Henrik Tallinder to free agency, their defensive depth was damaged. Tyler Myers is both the present and future of their blue line and Jordan Leopold was superb last season, but after those two and Andrej Sekera, there is a drop-off and the Sabres are vulnerable if any of their top defensemen is injured.

The fix: Sami Salo (0.8 GVT in 25 games)

Injuries limited Salo to only 27 games last season after he tore an Achilles tendon in the offseason, but when he returned to the lineup he was very effective, playing more than 20 minutes a night and ranking second on the Canucks with 2:51 of short-handed ice time per game. Salo also has a wicked point shot to go with his defensive skills, which makes him useful on the power play as well. Salo will be 37 years old in September, so a short deal, maybe two years, would work well for both parties. If the Sabres can re-sign Steve Montador and add Salo, they would have five defensemen who could play in their top four if necessary.

Montreal Canadiens

mon.gif

The hole: even-strength scorer

For the past few seasons, the Canadiens have gotten excellent goaltending and have typically been a difficult team to play against, making the playoffs each of the past four years. They continue to struggle to score, however, with their 213 goals putting them 23rd in the league (tied with Toronto and Nashville). This is only an even-strength problem: The Canadiens' power play was seventh in the NHL even though they lost their primary quarterback, Andrei Markov, for the entire season. Montreal needs a sharpshooter who can score goals at 5-on-5 and not just rely on the power play to pad his stats. Mike Cammalleri, Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta provide skill, but having another guy who can bring a scoring touch would be great.

The fix: Ville Leino (10.9 GVT)

Although the Canadiens probably could use more of a pure goal scorer, Leino is a multitalented threat capable of both scoring goals and setting them up, as evidenced by his 19 goals and 34 assists last season. After being traded from Detroit to Philadelphia, Leino blossomed, especially in the 2010 playoffs, when some compared him to a poor man's Henrik Zetterberg. Leino will never be an elite defensive player like Zetterberg or Plekanec, but he is a serious offensive threat, stays out of the penalty box and, at age 27, is in his prime. Leino won't come cheap, as many NHL teams know what he is capable of, but he is a cornerstone the Canadiens can build their top two lines around for several years.

Ottawa Senators

ott.gif

The hole: everything

Although it would be an exaggeration to say the Senators are hopeless, this team may get worse before it will get better. The Senators had the third-worst goal differential in the NHL this past season, but worse is the makeup of their team: Unlike the Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers and Colorado Avalanche, other cellar-dwelling teams, the Senators are not made up of young, up-and-coming talents who need only a few years to become fearsome threats. Ottawa's top players -- Daniel Alfredsson and Sergei Gonchar -- are old and getting older. Craig Anderson and Jason Spezza will be the foundation going forward, but they are 30 and 28, respectively. The Senators do have young talent: Nick Foligno has potential, Peter Regin has the tools to be a 20-goal scorer and Erik Karlsson is already an offensive leader on the blue line. But there's not enough for the team to return to contention any time soon.

The fix: Stockpile draft picks

The Senators have been irresponsible with their draft picks: They had no picks in the first two rounds of the 2010 draft and didn't get to pick before No. 76 -- although their first-round pick was traded for David Rundblad, a solid prospect. Their prospect depth is ranked only 16th among NHL teams, according to hockeysfuture.com, which is not impressive for a team that has missed the playoffs in two of the past three seasons. They will pick sixth in the 2011 draft and should make sure not to trade away any picks or prospects for veteran players in the coming year. At least there won't be the pressure of a playoff race to tempt the Senators in that direction.

Boston Bruins

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The hole: top-four defenseman

What a difference a year makes. In 2009-10 the Bruins finished dead last in scoring in the NHL with 196 goals. The silver lining, however, was that they were seventh in shots on goal, with 2,599, and had suffered only because of to an unsustainably low 7.5 percent scoring percentage. Indeed, the Bruins bounced back last season, finishing fifth in the league with 244 goals despite only switching Marco Sturm for Nathan Horton in their forward lineup.

Combined with the stellar goaltending of Tim Thomas, this was enough to make the Bruins the third-best team in the Eastern Conference during the regular season and the Stanley Cup champion. But Thomas' brilliance masked a subtle weakness: The Bruins allowed too many shots on goal, ranking 29th in the league behind only Carolina. While the Bruins will continue to have two excellent goaltenders for the foreseeable future, they need to work on tightening up their team defense if they want to repeat.

The fix: Jan Hejda (6.0 GVT)

The Bruins spent to the cap this season and likely will do so again next season, but they should find room for the Blue Jackets UFA-to-be Hejda. One of the most reliable shutdown defensemen in the league, Hejda remains relatively unknown because he plays in the obscurity of Columbus. But he has been a rock on the blue line, second in team ice time with 21:07, first in 5-on-5 ice time and playing nearly three minutes per game short-handed. His job is even tougher because he plays in the Central Division, meaning he has played six times a season against Chicago, Detroit and Nashville in each of his past four seasons. Hejda will be 33 years old on June 18 and may be willing to reduce his ice time to that of a third or fourth defenseman, a role he could play to perfection in Boston.



Offseason fixes for the Atlantic.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler [+]

Pittsburgh Penguins

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The hole: Top-line winger

No team heads into 2011-12 with a bigger question mark than the Pittsburgh Penguins, who are one healthy Sidney Crosby away from vaulting themselves back to championship contention. But whether the concussion-plagued Crosby is ready for the beginning of the season or not, Pittsburgh's hole remains the same: a true top-line winger to complement its captain or pick up the slack until he's able to return. Ideally, we're talking about a veteran right winger who can improve the Pens' perennially struggling power play.

The fix: Sign RW Jaromir Jagr, UFA (12.8 GVT in 2007-08)

He's 39 years old, three seasons removed from his last NHL campaign, and has donned the colors of the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers more recently than the black-and-gold of the Pens. That said, Jaromir Jagr is a slam-dunk future Hall of Famer, former Pittsburgh captain and two-time Stanley Cup winner. Further, he posted a respectable 71 points in his final NHL campaign and in the 2010 Olympics proved that he could still hold his own against the world's elite. Based on his 42 points in 51 games in the second-best league in the world (Russia's KHL), a 60-point season would be well within reach for the Pittsburgh legend. And if Jagr could duplicate his 4.65 PPP/60 from 2008-09, he'd instantly make himself the Penguins' best option on the man advantage.

New York Rangers

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The hole: First-line center

Marian Gaborik's production took a major hit in his second year as a Ranger, dropping to an anemic 0.77 points per game after having consistently stayed above a point per game since the lockout. Blame increasing age, blame the usual injuries, blame a particularly unlucky shooting percentage -- 11.5 percent versus no less than 15.1 percent in the previous five seasons -- but still, things would have turned out better if the Blueshirts had just acquired a legit playmaker to pair up with Gaborik ... as we suggested last offseason. This summer, Glen Sather is clearing cap space for a premium complement to the enigmatic winger, and rightly so.

The fix: Sign C Brad Richards, UFA (17.5 GVT)

A Stanley Cup champion with Tampa Bay in 2003-04, Brad Richards is easily the top unrestricted free agent in what is a pretty thin free-agent class. Therefore, with a modest bump expected in the league's salary cap, look for a cap-max team to pick up Richards unless Tampa GM Steve Yzerman can persuade the 31-year-old veteran to re-sign with the surprising Bolts. Yet the Conn Smythe Trophy winner would patch more deficiencies for the Rangers than his other potential suitors.

The offensively challenged Blueshirts have needed better top-six scoring punch for years, so adding a gifted pivot to distribute the puck to Gaborik would effectively boost production at two first-line positions. Richards has the right mix of skills to fit that bill, scoring at more than a point per game but with twice as many assists as goals. And with an above-average faceoff percentage and strong 5-on-4 scoring rate, Richards slots in as the center on the first power-play unit, instantly providing a boost to New York's ho-hum production on the man advantage.

Philadelphia Flyers

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The hole: Proven veteran goaltender

All indications are that the Philadelphia Flyers have finally come to the conclusion that most of the rest of us came to between one to two seasons ago: that the lack of a proven, above-average goaltender is holding back the aspirations of one of the best collections of talent in the NHL. But although GM Paul Holmgren and the Flyers traded with Phoenix for the negotiating rights to Ilya Bryzgalov, it's not a done deal that the Coyotes netminder will backstop the orange-and-black next season. Don't forget that Philadelphia never signed Dan Hamhuis last offseason after similarly gaining his rights.

The fix: Trade for G Evgeni Nabokov, New York Islanders (29.8 GVT in 2009-10)

Although Bryzgalov is no doubt a solid netminder, he's by no means a sure thing -- consider that three seasons ago he posted an underwhelming .906 save percentage. In addition, he'll command more salary than the cap-strapped Flyers can take on without trading key contributors from among their skaters -- Jeff Carter's name keeps getting mentioned. Other top free-agent goalies such as Tomas Vokoun likely would carry the same problem.

So why not trade with Atlantic Division rival New York Islanders for Evgeni Nabokov (a career-high .922 save percentage in 2009-10 before leaving for the KHL last season), one of several surplus goaltenders whom Isles boss Garth Snow controls? The former Shark's cap hit is obviously very palatable, and a team like the Islanders at or below the cap floor might actually be able to take on a small amount of salary in the right trade.

New Jersey Devils

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The hole: Top-pairing defenseman with scoring punch

It's a familiar refrain, but Lou Lamoriello's Devils still need that puck-moving defenseman who's been missing from their fold since Scott Niedermeyer left to win a Cup with Anaheim. Each successive version of the club has lacked more and more in this regard, first with Paul Martin and then with Andy Greene being the best remaining option. In 2010-11, New Jersey's woeful lack of offense stemmed from many factors, including inexperienced coaching, a critical injury and yes, the utter lack of blue-line scoring. We hate to say we told you so but, well, here's what we said in this same feature last offseason: "A couple of duds on the blue line can deflate what should otherwise be a superior offense."

The fix: Trade for D Brent Burns, Minnesota Wild (12.3 GVT)

New Jersey needs a blue-line quarterback to serve as a catalyst for its offense both at even strength and on the power play. Without unattainable free-agent fixes like Nicklas Lidstrom and Shea Weber, a trade may allow New Jersey to stay within the salary cap while acquiring a top option. Brent Burns, 26, is a legitimate top-pairing defenseman who played more than 25 minutes per night for Minnesota in 2010-11 and contributed in all phases of the game. A converted forward, Burns is gifted with scoring skills and offensive instincts that very few defensemen possess. Lamoriello no doubt would need to give up young talent at forward to land Burns, but the Devils' back end is in desperate need of a fix like this.

New York Islanders

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The hole: Versatile center

With the Islanders unlikely to be in a position to consider big-ticket free agents soon, the clearest path for them to become a playoff team is through marginal improvements up and down their lineup, in particular with select upgrades to their forward corps. In better shape than you might realize on defense (particularly with their top three of Mark Streit, Andrew MacDonald and Travis Hamonic) and with viable options in goal past the injury-prone Rick DiPietro (like Kevin Poulin and Al Montoya), the Isles would do well to push useful wingers like P.A. Parenteau and Matt Martin down to skill-appropriate lines while upgrading over popular but limited forwards like Zenon Konopka.

The fix: Sign C Eric Belanger, UFA (5.6 GVT)

Konopka's on-the-ice skill set consists of elite faceoff ability (57.7 percent), decent defensive skills, a willingness to drop the gloves ... and not much else. With tough guys like Trevor Gillies and Micheal Haley likely returning to the island, a significantly better checking line center man is a logical target for New York. Enter Eric Belanger, who was an absolute steal for the Coyotes last season: their best penalty-killing forward who, for a depth player, scored at a fringe top-six level at even strength. The 33-year-old's faceoff skill (55.6 percent) nearly matches Konopka's, and he can actually help win the puck-possession game after the puck drops, something that's beyond the abilities of the incumbent.

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post #60 of 18396
Mock Draft.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler [+]

When scouts and talent evaluators look at this draft, the recurring theme is that of clusters. Scouts are generally of an opinion that there's a cluster of six elite prospects at the top of the draft, headed by Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and then a drop to another tier of 6-8 solid prospects. Those appear to be the obvious difference-makers in this year's crop.

Below that grouping, at least 30 prospects -- and maybe as many 50 -- are at least in the conversation for slots in the first round.

"It might look like a team at 13 or 14 might feel cheated, but there are a couple of wild cards," one scouting director said this week.

The biggest curveball would be if a team takes a stab at one of the top three goalie prospects -- John Gibson, Christopher Gibson and Samu Perhonen -- early in the draft. As of now, that's unexpected since this is generally thought to be a weaker crop of netminders than last year, when Jack Campbell cracked the top tier (No. 11). Still, it could happen if a team feels it has a glaring weakness in the crease.

The second twist would be if a team goes way off the board. The scouting director pointed to the Los Angeles Kings' selecting Thomas Hickey No. 4 overall in 2007 as a textbook example. But with the talent at the upper reaches of this draft, that doesn't seem too likely. "It's hard to see that first group breaking up, unless a team feels strongly about a kid who's not already ranked No. 7 to 14 on most lists," the director adds. "What I can tell you is that teams from outside the top 10 are out there trying to figure out a way to trade up ... trying to turn multiple picks into one higher pick."

There's already rumor of Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke trying to package his two picks in the late first round to move up. The Phoenix Coyotes may be trying to do the same. Such moves could change the shape of the first round, but for now, with one week remaining until the 2011 NHL draft, here's how it figures to shake out.



The playmaking center who could service Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle and the rest. Some scouts say he's not physically ready to play at the next level -- though athletic, he's truly scrawny. Then again, so was Patrick Kane. Hockey sense and anticipation will keep him out of harm's way.

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Adam Larsson, D, Skelleftea (Sweden)

A blueliner who could set the table for Matt Duchene and an emerging corps of young forwards. He went into the season with almost unfair expectations and didn't meet them. The next round of unfair expectations begins in the fall. All he'd have to do is help the Avalanche get back into the playoffs.

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Jonathan Huberdeau, C, Saint John (QMJHL)

The versatile forward will become the go-to guy on a first line. Florida has shown a lot of patience with its prospect development, but Huberdeau would test that patience with a good camp. He might be best served with a few games in the NHL this fall, just to get a feel for the game at the next level, and then a return to junior for the balance of the season.

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Ryan Strome, C, Niagara (OHL)

Strome is the prospect who has made the greatest strides over the course of the past year. It would be a surprise if he lands in the NHL next fall, but, then again, last summer it would have been a shock if someone told you that he'd end up in the top five of this draft.

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Sean Couturier, C, Drummondville (QMJHL)

The Islanders need a big center who might enable John Tavares to move to the wing. Given his late birthday, Couturier has absolutely nothing to prove by going back to junior -- it might end up being counterproductive (as it was with Jason Spezza). Of all the lottery teams, though, the Isles are the most likely to move him quickly and challenge him.

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Gabriel Landeskog, LW, Kitchener (OHL)

This reliable winger/leader can be the needed successor to Daniel Alfredsson. The Sens have a high Tre Kroner quotient throughout the organization -- you could make the case that three-quarters of their strongest assets are Swedes.

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Mika Zibanejad, C, Djurgarden (Sweden-Jr.)

The center who could eventually form a solid top-of-the-roster combination with Alex Burmistrov. If Zibanejad goes here, how his situation is handled would give everyone an indication of the new general manager's modus operandi. Don Waddell and, briefly, Rick Dudley were pretty aggressive in throwing their elite picks into the lineup. Zibanejad is on the cusp of readiness.

A creative forward who projects to be the difference-maker that Nikita Filatov was supposed to be. It seems that the Blue Jackets land offensive players in this range (Derick Brassard, Jakub Voracek, Filatov) who tease with talent but fall short of full delivery. Down the line, Baertschi would get to play with Portland teammate Ryan Johansen, Columbus' shrewd first-rounder last June.

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Boston Bruins (from Toronto)
Nathan Beaulieu, D, Saint John (QMJHL)

A defenseman who makes the dynamic first pass to set the offense in motion, Beaulieu can give the Bruins that quick transition and puck-handling that Tomas Kaberle was supposed to give them. This No. 9 pick is the second first-rounder from the Toronto Maple Leafs from the Phil Kessel trade. Bonus value: Beaulieu shows more nasty in a game than Kaberle has over his entire career.

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Ryan Murphy, D, Kitchener, (OHL)

A rover who could be the catalyst for a struggling attack. There will be naysayers who'll float the idea that he's just too small. Is he any smaller than Brian Rafalski was at the same stage?

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Colorado Avalanche (from. St. Louis)
Tyler Biggs, RW, U.S. National Team Development Program

The name fits him well as he's a big winger to play beside Duchene on the first line, in time. If the Avalanche tap Huberdeau rather than Larsson at No. 2, then a D prospect here like Hamilton or Beaulieu (but not Murphy) is in the mix.

He has the high-end talent to head up a deep corps of blueline prospects. Looks a lot like a couple of the defensemen the Hurricanes drafted in the second-round last year, but he's an upgrade on the skills side.

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Mark Scheifele, C, Barrie Colts (OHL)

In Scheifele, the Flames would get the first-line center the franchise has been in search of since its last trip to the finals. Scouts are high on Scheifele's character, playing hard for a weak team last season. The Flames might be tempted to move him into the lineup fast, but next season would be too fast.

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Jamieson Oleksiak, D, Northeastern (NCAA)

A blueliner who will scare opposing wingers when they come down his side of the ice. Oleksiak says that he's going back to Northeastern, and if he's not flexible on that he might slide down the board somewhat. Stock was buoyed by an impressive combine and good interviews.

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Jonathan Miller, C, U.S. National Team Development Program

The playmaking center who can be Chris Drury now that Chris Drury can't anymore. From the midterm, Miller fell 10 slots to No. 23 on Central Scouting Services' final list, but scouts say that a good performance at the world Under-18s gave his stock a boost. The Rangers have drafted heavily on D over the last few years and now need a reload up front. Miller might be ready for delivery as soon as the fall of 2012 after a single season at North Dakota.

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Mark McNeill,C, Prince Albert Raiders (WHL)

A tough center who will work up from the third line and settle into a second-line role. McNeill would work well with bruising 2009 first-rounder Zack Kassian, forming a sort of poor man's Legion of Doom. He'd make the Sabres tougher to play against, which has to be something that Darcy Regier is striving for.

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Jonas Brodin, D, Farjestad (Sweden)

The smooth puck-handler who will be needed if/when Andrei Markov isn't there. Les Habitants showed a lot of patience with P.K. Subban -- a lot of teams would have had Subban in their lineup a year before Montreal gave him a taste. Brodin will likely be back in Sweden next year and then put in a full year in the AHL.

A great skater who'll stretch defenses when he comes down the wing. Teams are projecting significant growth in Jensen's game, based on the belief that he'll fare better after this year's experience playing in North America.

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Edmonton Oilers (from Los Angeles)
Connor Murphy, C, U.S. National Team Development Program

A high-risk, high-reward prospect that only a team with two high picks can afford. Sees his game as "a smart defensive defenseman," which is exactly what his father, Gord, was for a lot of years in the NHL. No offense to Gord, but Connor has more offensive upside and a more dynamic game. Added points for growing up around NHL teams and knowledge of the pro routine. He will be at Miami University next season, but if he stays healthy, he could be in Edmonton in the fall of 2012.

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Joel Armia, RW, Assat (Finland)

A big winger who'll create space for a first-line center. It's a tough call for the drafting team on whether he should be brought over this fall. There doesn't seem to be much sense finding him a slot in major junior -- that would be a step back from what he's playing in Finland. Physically, he's ready to play North American pro, but the NHL is pro-plus.

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Ottawa (from Nashville)
Tomas Jurco, RW, Saint John (QMJHL)

He's a skilled winger who can create and finish chances on his own. If Jurco picks up where he left off at the Memorial Cup, he'll make it hard for the Senators to send him back to Saint John. But really, he'd be best served by another year with a strong junior club (and a great junior coach) rather than fall in with a rebuilding program in Ottawa.

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Ty Rattie, RW, Portland (WHL)

The rink rat who'll bring moxie to the second line after a pro apprenticeship. Rattie will be back in Portland, and it will be interesting to see who's left there with him (Nino Niederreiter, Ryan Johansen and maybe Sven Baertschi will be in the NHL). Physically, he's not ready for prime time. His hockey sense, though, would put him in the 80th percentile of pros, at a minimum.

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Matt Puempel, LW, Peterborough (OHL)

A soft-handed, seeing-eye winger who'll complement a dynamic center. Hip surgery means that any rush into an NHL lineup would be highly risky. He might be best served by being traded out of a struggling program in Peterborough and over to a program making a championship push (like his hometown Windsor Spitfires).

He'll bring back memories of Igor Larionov. The team that drafts Namestnikov can be confident that he'll get the highest quality of development playing for the London Knights, who did a good job with Patrick Kane, John Carlson and Corey Perry. But can they be as confident that Namestnikov will sign?

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Toronto Maple Leafs (from Philadelphia)
Boone Jenner, C, Oshawa (OHL)

A two-way center who can work his way from the third and fourth lines into the top half of the roster. Brian Burke is in for the long haul and Jenner likely wouldn't be rushed. He'll be back in junior for two full years and in the AHL for a season before he gets a serious sniff at the NHL roster. One caveat here: Burke will almost certainly try to trade up with his picks -- does he bundle these two picks for one in the top 12? Maybe. Top six, though, is the destination.

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Phillip Danault, C, Victoriaville (QMJHL)

A willing center who would bring needed hockey sense and reliability to a ridiculously skilled lineup. With an abundance of talent in the pipeline, Washington could wait for Danault to fill out. Although the "show" is Ovie, the real story in Washington is the organization. Picks like Evgeny Kuznetsov, Stanislav Galiev, Dmitri Orlov and John Carlson proved to be golden. Danault is in the mold of another dynamic Caps find, Cody Eakin. You can't have enough of those guys.

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Zach Phillips, C, Saint John (QMJHL)

He's a savvy center whose average skating won't be noticed with swift surrounding talent. Having him play beside Brett Connolly down the line seems like a good idea. Question: Will he skate well enough to take a third-line center role to break into the league? Probably not, which might delay his arrival. If he's willing to move to the wing, that could open the door for him.

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Duncan Siemens, D, Saskatoon (WHL)

A tough defenseman is needed for wars against the Western Conference elite. The Sharks sometimes move quickly with getting prospects into their NHL lineup. Siemens is physically close to ready to make the jump, but arrival in 2012 would be a little hasty.

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Scott Mayfield, D, Youngstown (USHL)

He'd infuse youth into a blue line that will be undergoing generational change. By the time Mayfield lands on the coast (likely 2013), Sami Salo will be gone (maybe long gone). Andrew Alberts, Kevin Bieksa, Dan Hamhuis and Keith Ballard will be 30-somethings on the backside of their careers. Chris Tanev is a find and a keeper, but the Canucks need more young blood on the blue line.

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Toronto (from Boston)
Stuart Percy, D, Mississauga St. Michael's (OHL)

He'll consistently beat the forecheck. When Percy is ready, Luke Schenn will be on the Toronto blueline, and so will 2009 second-rounder Jesse Blacker and Jake Gardiner, a former first-rounder picked up in a trade from Anaheim. Percy would be a good fit in this group. Their games contrast and complement: Schenn and Blacker are tough-to-play-against hard rocks, and Gardiner features high-end skills and skating.



Offseason fixes for the Southeast.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler [+]

Washington Capitals

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The hole: Offensive grit

The Capitals, once again, struck out in pursuit of playoff success. The team hasn't gotten past the second round since becoming a powerhouse a few years ago. With the likes of Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom, one would think the team is stacked up front. That is not entirely true; in fact, the team's biggest need is up front.

The fix: Michal Handzus (5.2 GVT)

Handzus (GVT of 9.2 in 2009-10 and 5.2 in 2010-11) is not the offensive player he once was, but he is very responsible in the faceoff circle, can play in all situations and adds size and strength to a soft group up front. There is a reason coaches like Ken Hitchcock and Terry Murray have leaned on Handzus to play tough minutes. The Capitals are simply too easy to play against -- the antithesis of what Handzus is. He can also chip in some offensively, making him a valuable commodity, especially for a squad in need of all of the qualities he brings to the table.

Tampa Bay Lightning

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The hole: Goaltending

Tampa Bay made an improbable run to the Eastern Conference finals, likely even surpassing the expectations of first-year GM Steve Yzerman. The former Red Wings superstar excelled as GM last season, making all the right moves while giving up very little in the way of valuable assets. One of Yzerman's best transactions involved acquiring veteran netminder Dwayne Roloson from the New York Islanders. The former Edmonton Oilers backstop provided the team with improved goaltending and was one of the primary reasons for the team's run in the playoffs. Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, Roloson is 41 years old and an unrestricted free agent.

The fix: Tomas Vokoun (19.4 GVT)

The Lightning have a very nice offensive base centering on Martin St. Louis, Steven Stamkos and Vincent Lecavalier. The team's needs exist on defense and in between the pipes. The defense is bound to improve internally with the emergence of Victor Hedman, but solidifying the team's netminding situation will go a long way in the organization's future success. Just look at this past season: With Dan Ellis and Mike Smith struggling, the team was having trouble making a consistent dent in the standings. Adding a goalie the quality of Vokoun -- one of the more underrated netminders of his generation -- would do wonders to solidify the team at arguably the most important position. Although he dipped a bit last season, Vokoun posted a GVT of 26.8 in 2009-10. Moreover, his even-strength save percentage has not dropped below .918 over the past four seasons, peaking at .937 in 2009-10.

Winnipeg NHL franchise

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The hole: Scoring

The franchise formerly known as the Atlanta Thrashers did have a poor defensive GVT last season (minus-17.0), but much of its money is already locked up on the back end and on a young base including Dustin Byfuglien, Tobias Enstrom and Zach Bogosian -- players who are bound to improve with more ice time and further responsibility. Up front, the team has some nice talent in Andrew Ladd, Bryan Little and Evander Kane. The addition of Blake Wheeler also helps, but this team could use some more reasonably priced, offensively capable forwards.

The fix: Scottie Upshall (5.3 GVT)

Upshall was acquired by the Blue Jackets from Phoenix near the end of the season and didn't perform as well in Columbus as expected. The new Winnipeg brass has a relationship with Columbus coach Scott Arniel, so that could work for or against Upshall signing in Winnipeg. That said, the winger provides a rugged edge, goes to the net and will provide offensive help at a reasonable price. His GVT was 6.4 in 2009-10 and 6.2 in 2010-11, so the new Winnipeg franchise would do well to add a player of his skill set.

Carolina Hurricanes

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The hole: Defense

The Hurricanes have quite an offensive duo in Eric Staal and Jeff Skinner. Toss in Brandon Sutter and a young netminder in Cam Ward, and with all those pieces in place, it is evident the team's need is on the blue line. Of the team's defensive core, only Jamie McBain is signed past next season, so GM Jim Rutherford is probably looking for a commitment from a minutes-eating defenseman, if not two.

The fix: Tomas Kaberle (9.3 GVT)

Carolina has experience with a Kaberle, just not Tomas. Rutherford had Tomas' brother Frantisek with the Hurricanes a number of years back and may use that relationship to woo the struggling defenseman from Boston. Kaberle has fallen out of favor in Boston -- that is, if he ever was in favor in the first place. The puck-moving defenseman's stock has dropped considerably over the past two years but he still brings one skill that you cannot teach -- passing ability. Carolina has speed up front, so adding a defenseman of Kaberle's skill (GVT of 9.3 in 2009-10 and 9.3 in 2010-11) would do wonders for the team's transition game. It seems like Rutherford may be able to sign him for below market value, too.

Florida Panthers

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The hole: Offensive talent

The needs in Florida are aplenty, but with a strong draft class in 2010, the team needs to bridge the gap until some of that offensive talent, such as John McFarland and Quinton Howden, can bloom in the NHL. After David Booth and Stephen Weiss, the Panthers are starved for pure offensive talent.

The fix: Tim Connolly (5.0 GVT)

Connolly (GVT of 11.5 in 2009-10 and 5.0 in 2010-11) has arguably as much pure offensive skill as any other top NHL talent. He can stickhandle in a phone booth and make deft passing plays and has exceptional vision. His drawback, of course, is his inability to avoid injuries. For that reason, Connolly will probably be hard-pressed to secure anything longer than a two-year contract on the open market. It is that approximate timeline that works quite well with Dale Tallon and the Panthers' long-term plan. Adding offense in the interim eases the pressure on the team's young players, all the while allowing Connolly increased ice time and responsibility. If he stays healthy, he could end up being a big bargain and consequently a trade chip for the Panthers' GM. This is an arrangement that could work well for both sides.



Offseason fixes for the Northeast.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler [+]

Toronto Maple Leafs

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The hole: a playmaker

Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke's rebuild of his team is continuing on schedule. The Leafs have successfully managed to get much younger over the past two years, and one of their recent weaknesses -- goaltending -- has been addressed for now with the signing of James Reimer. Scoring depth, however, remains an issue. Toronto finished 23rd in the league in goals scored and will need to improve in that area to move up the standings. In Phil Kessel, Clarke MacArthur, Nikolai Kulemin and Joffrey Lupul, the Leafs have a decent set of wingers, but another playmaking center is required. Kessel spent most of his time with Tyler Bozak this past season, and the Leafs need a more dangerous weapon to get the most out of their top scorer, at least until Nazem Kadri is ready to center one of the top two lines.

The fix: Tomas Fleischmann (6.3 GVT in 45 games)

Fleischmann had his season interrupted midway after discovering a blood clot in his lung but was enjoying a great run after being traded to the Avalanche, with 21 points in 22 games. Although Fleischmann will never be mistaken for a No. 1 center, he's a quietly effective player who can play 18 minutes a night on the second line. If the Leafs don't manage to sign Brad Richards, Fleischmann would be a solid alternative, and his lower price would allow them some budget flexibility to go after other players as well.

Buffalo Sabres

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The hole: top-four defenseman

The Sabres' season seemed run-of-the-mill on the surface, as they finished seventh in the Eastern Conference and lost in the first round to the Philadelphia Flyers, but underneath this they had a quietly excellent team. Excluding shootouts and empty-net goals, the Sabres had the eighth-best goal differential in the league at plus-20, and they had only four points fewer than the previous season, when Ryan Miller won the Vezina and they led the Northeast with 100 points. For the past several years the Sabres have scored by committee, a strategy that continued to work last season. The real problem was on defense: After losing Toni Lydman and Henrik Tallinder to free agency, their defensive depth was damaged. Tyler Myers is both the present and future of their blue line and Jordan Leopold was superb last season, but after those two and Andrej Sekera, there is a drop-off and the Sabres are vulnerable if any of their top defensemen is injured.

The fix: Sami Salo (0.8 GVT in 25 games)

Injuries limited Salo to only 27 games last season after he tore an Achilles tendon in the offseason, but when he returned to the lineup he was very effective, playing more than 20 minutes a night and ranking second on the Canucks with 2:51 of short-handed ice time per game. Salo also has a wicked point shot to go with his defensive skills, which makes him useful on the power play as well. Salo will be 37 years old in September, so a short deal, maybe two years, would work well for both parties. If the Sabres can re-sign Steve Montador and add Salo, they would have five defensemen who could play in their top four if necessary.

Montreal Canadiens

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The hole: even-strength scorer

For the past few seasons, the Canadiens have gotten excellent goaltending and have typically been a difficult team to play against, making the playoffs each of the past four years. They continue to struggle to score, however, with their 213 goals putting them 23rd in the league (tied with Toronto and Nashville). This is only an even-strength problem: The Canadiens' power play was seventh in the NHL even though they lost their primary quarterback, Andrei Markov, for the entire season. Montreal needs a sharpshooter who can score goals at 5-on-5 and not just rely on the power play to pad his stats. Mike Cammalleri, Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta provide skill, but having another guy who can bring a scoring touch would be great.

The fix: Ville Leino (10.9 GVT)

Although the Canadiens probably could use more of a pure goal scorer, Leino is a multitalented threat capable of both scoring goals and setting them up, as evidenced by his 19 goals and 34 assists last season. After being traded from Detroit to Philadelphia, Leino blossomed, especially in the 2010 playoffs, when some compared him to a poor man's Henrik Zetterberg. Leino will never be an elite defensive player like Zetterberg or Plekanec, but he is a serious offensive threat, stays out of the penalty box and, at age 27, is in his prime. Leino won't come cheap, as many NHL teams know what he is capable of, but he is a cornerstone the Canadiens can build their top two lines around for several years.

Ottawa Senators

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The hole: everything

Although it would be an exaggeration to say the Senators are hopeless, this team may get worse before it will get better. The Senators had the third-worst goal differential in the NHL this past season, but worse is the makeup of their team: Unlike the Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers and Colorado Avalanche, other cellar-dwelling teams, the Senators are not made up of young, up-and-coming talents who need only a few years to become fearsome threats. Ottawa's top players -- Daniel Alfredsson and Sergei Gonchar -- are old and getting older. Craig Anderson and Jason Spezza will be the foundation going forward, but they are 30 and 28, respectively. The Senators do have young talent: Nick Foligno has potential, Peter Regin has the tools to be a 20-goal scorer and Erik Karlsson is already an offensive leader on the blue line. But there's not enough for the team to return to contention any time soon.

The fix: Stockpile draft picks

The Senators have been irresponsible with their draft picks: They had no picks in the first two rounds of the 2010 draft and didn't get to pick before No. 76 -- although their first-round pick was traded for David Rundblad, a solid prospect. Their prospect depth is ranked only 16th among NHL teams, according to hockeysfuture.com, which is not impressive for a team that has missed the playoffs in two of the past three seasons. They will pick sixth in the 2011 draft and should make sure not to trade away any picks or prospects for veteran players in the coming year. At least there won't be the pressure of a playoff race to tempt the Senators in that direction.

Boston Bruins

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The hole: top-four defenseman

What a difference a year makes. In 2009-10 the Bruins finished dead last in scoring in the NHL with 196 goals. The silver lining, however, was that they were seventh in shots on goal, with 2,599, and had suffered only because of to an unsustainably low 7.5 percent scoring percentage. Indeed, the Bruins bounced back last season, finishing fifth in the league with 244 goals despite only switching Marco Sturm for Nathan Horton in their forward lineup.

Combined with the stellar goaltending of Tim Thomas, this was enough to make the Bruins the third-best team in the Eastern Conference during the regular season and the Stanley Cup champion. But Thomas' brilliance masked a subtle weakness: The Bruins allowed too many shots on goal, ranking 29th in the league behind only Carolina. While the Bruins will continue to have two excellent goaltenders for the foreseeable future, they need to work on tightening up their team defense if they want to repeat.

The fix: Jan Hejda (6.0 GVT)

The Bruins spent to the cap this season and likely will do so again next season, but they should find room for the Blue Jackets UFA-to-be Hejda. One of the most reliable shutdown defensemen in the league, Hejda remains relatively unknown because he plays in the obscurity of Columbus. But he has been a rock on the blue line, second in team ice time with 21:07, first in 5-on-5 ice time and playing nearly three minutes per game short-handed. His job is even tougher because he plays in the Central Division, meaning he has played six times a season against Chicago, Detroit and Nashville in each of his past four seasons. Hejda will be 33 years old on June 18 and may be willing to reduce his ice time to that of a third or fourth defenseman, a role he could play to perfection in Boston.



Offseason fixes for the Atlantic.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler [+]

Pittsburgh Penguins

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The hole: Top-line winger

No team heads into 2011-12 with a bigger question mark than the Pittsburgh Penguins, who are one healthy Sidney Crosby away from vaulting themselves back to championship contention. But whether the concussion-plagued Crosby is ready for the beginning of the season or not, Pittsburgh's hole remains the same: a true top-line winger to complement its captain or pick up the slack until he's able to return. Ideally, we're talking about a veteran right winger who can improve the Pens' perennially struggling power play.

The fix: Sign RW Jaromir Jagr, UFA (12.8 GVT in 2007-08)

He's 39 years old, three seasons removed from his last NHL campaign, and has donned the colors of the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers more recently than the black-and-gold of the Pens. That said, Jaromir Jagr is a slam-dunk future Hall of Famer, former Pittsburgh captain and two-time Stanley Cup winner. Further, he posted a respectable 71 points in his final NHL campaign and in the 2010 Olympics proved that he could still hold his own against the world's elite. Based on his 42 points in 51 games in the second-best league in the world (Russia's KHL), a 60-point season would be well within reach for the Pittsburgh legend. And if Jagr could duplicate his 4.65 PPP/60 from 2008-09, he'd instantly make himself the Penguins' best option on the man advantage.

New York Rangers

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The hole: First-line center

Marian Gaborik's production took a major hit in his second year as a Ranger, dropping to an anemic 0.77 points per game after having consistently stayed above a point per game since the lockout. Blame increasing age, blame the usual injuries, blame a particularly unlucky shooting percentage -- 11.5 percent versus no less than 15.1 percent in the previous five seasons -- but still, things would have turned out better if the Blueshirts had just acquired a legit playmaker to pair up with Gaborik ... as we suggested last offseason. This summer, Glen Sather is clearing cap space for a premium complement to the enigmatic winger, and rightly so.

The fix: Sign C Brad Richards, UFA (17.5 GVT)

A Stanley Cup champion with Tampa Bay in 2003-04, Brad Richards is easily the top unrestricted free agent in what is a pretty thin free-agent class. Therefore, with a modest bump expected in the league's salary cap, look for a cap-max team to pick up Richards unless Tampa GM Steve Yzerman can persuade the 31-year-old veteran to re-sign with the surprising Bolts. Yet the Conn Smythe Trophy winner would patch more deficiencies for the Rangers than his other potential suitors.

The offensively challenged Blueshirts have needed better top-six scoring punch for years, so adding a gifted pivot to distribute the puck to Gaborik would effectively boost production at two first-line positions. Richards has the right mix of skills to fit that bill, scoring at more than a point per game but with twice as many assists as goals. And with an above-average faceoff percentage and strong 5-on-4 scoring rate, Richards slots in as the center on the first power-play unit, instantly providing a boost to New York's ho-hum production on the man advantage.

Philadelphia Flyers

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The hole: Proven veteran goaltender

All indications are that the Philadelphia Flyers have finally come to the conclusion that most of the rest of us came to between one to two seasons ago: that the lack of a proven, above-average goaltender is holding back the aspirations of one of the best collections of talent in the NHL. But although GM Paul Holmgren and the Flyers traded with Phoenix for the negotiating rights to Ilya Bryzgalov, it's not a done deal that the Coyotes netminder will backstop the orange-and-black next season. Don't forget that Philadelphia never signed Dan Hamhuis last offseason after similarly gaining his rights.

The fix: Trade for G Evgeni Nabokov, New York Islanders (29.8 GVT in 2009-10)

Although Bryzgalov is no doubt a solid netminder, he's by no means a sure thing -- consider that three seasons ago he posted an underwhelming .906 save percentage. In addition, he'll command more salary than the cap-strapped Flyers can take on without trading key contributors from among their skaters -- Jeff Carter's name keeps getting mentioned. Other top free-agent goalies such as Tomas Vokoun likely would carry the same problem.

So why not trade with Atlantic Division rival New York Islanders for Evgeni Nabokov (a career-high .922 save percentage in 2009-10 before leaving for the KHL last season), one of several surplus goaltenders whom Isles boss Garth Snow controls? The former Shark's cap hit is obviously very palatable, and a team like the Islanders at or below the cap floor might actually be able to take on a small amount of salary in the right trade.

New Jersey Devils

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The hole: Top-pairing defenseman with scoring punch

It's a familiar refrain, but Lou Lamoriello's Devils still need that puck-moving defenseman who's been missing from their fold since Scott Niedermeyer left to win a Cup with Anaheim. Each successive version of the club has lacked more and more in this regard, first with Paul Martin and then with Andy Greene being the best remaining option. In 2010-11, New Jersey's woeful lack of offense stemmed from many factors, including inexperienced coaching, a critical injury and yes, the utter lack of blue-line scoring. We hate to say we told you so but, well, here's what we said in this same feature last offseason: "A couple of duds on the blue line can deflate what should otherwise be a superior offense."

The fix: Trade for D Brent Burns, Minnesota Wild (12.3 GVT)

New Jersey needs a blue-line quarterback to serve as a catalyst for its offense both at even strength and on the power play. Without unattainable free-agent fixes like Nicklas Lidstrom and Shea Weber, a trade may allow New Jersey to stay within the salary cap while acquiring a top option. Brent Burns, 26, is a legitimate top-pairing defenseman who played more than 25 minutes per night for Minnesota in 2010-11 and contributed in all phases of the game. A converted forward, Burns is gifted with scoring skills and offensive instincts that very few defensemen possess. Lamoriello no doubt would need to give up young talent at forward to land Burns, but the Devils' back end is in desperate need of a fix like this.

New York Islanders

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The hole: Versatile center

With the Islanders unlikely to be in a position to consider big-ticket free agents soon, the clearest path for them to become a playoff team is through marginal improvements up and down their lineup, in particular with select upgrades to their forward corps. In better shape than you might realize on defense (particularly with their top three of Mark Streit, Andrew MacDonald and Travis Hamonic) and with viable options in goal past the injury-prone Rick DiPietro (like Kevin Poulin and Al Montoya), the Isles would do well to push useful wingers like P.A. Parenteau and Matt Martin down to skill-appropriate lines while upgrading over popular but limited forwards like Zenon Konopka.

The fix: Sign C Eric Belanger, UFA (5.6 GVT)

Konopka's on-the-ice skill set consists of elite faceoff ability (57.7 percent), decent defensive skills, a willingness to drop the gloves ... and not much else. With tough guys like Trevor Gillies and Micheal Haley likely returning to the island, a significantly better checking line center man is a logical target for New York. Enter Eric Belanger, who was an absolute steal for the Coyotes last season: their best penalty-killing forward who, for a depth player, scored at a fringe top-six level at even strength. The 33-year-old's faceoff skill (55.6 percent) nearly matches Konopka's, and he can actually help win the puck-possession game after the puck drops, something that's beyond the abilities of the incumbent.

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