Best of the Nation – 2.3.13

Jonathan Willis
February 03 2013 10:31AM

Trade talk, draft talk, and the early season's whipping boys! All that and more after the jump!

The 2013 NHL Draft: 1) Looking at the consensus rankings 2) putting together a mock draft based on where each team would pick right now and 3) the Oilers Nation top-10 and 4) the special possibilities available to Columbus this year (since they can probably start gearing up for the draft right now). [NHL Numbers/NHL Numbers/Oilers Nation/NHL Numbers]

When Vancouver traded away Cody Hodgson, they had a list of six young players that they targeted. They ended up with Zack Kassian – but was he the best of the bunch, and which teams didn’t bite? [Canucks Army]

Trade talk: to the Flames have a defenceman to move? [Flames Nation]

Fun question for Flames fans still smarting over their team’s last trade with Toronto, or actually for anyone who just doesn’t like the cut of Dion Phaneuf’s jib: is he a buyout candidate? The Fan 590 in Toronto asks the question. [Leafs Nation]

Are power play opportunities up, or does it just feel that way because Tom Kowal or Tim Peel or - actually, it’s probably best not to name every lousy NHL official individually – has refereed a recent game involving your team? Looking at power play opportunities league-wide. [NHL Numbers]

Strombabble: 1) Looking at potential trade targets for Roberto Luongo 2) explaining why the Canucks don’t care which of their goalies ends up starting the most games and 3) on that season-ending hip surgery to third-stringer Eddie Lack. [Canucks Army/Canucks Army/Canucks Army]

Nation Network founder Wanye Gretz talks Nail Yakupov, Nation Gear, some of our charitable initiatives, and why to fear his 535th-ranked Nation Drafts team in his own inimitable way. [Oilers Nation/Oilers Nation]

The surest sign that hockey is back is the Toronto media excoriating favoured whipping boy Phil Kessel. Where is he shooting from and is he actually struggling? [Leafs Nation/Leafs Nation]

Five early surprises for the Flames. Pay special attention to number five, where Kent Wilson chirps the Oilers – a team eight spots and twice as many standings points ahead of Calgary. [Flames Nation]

It didn’t take very long for a vocal subsection of the Canucks’ fanbase to turn on free agent signing Jason Garrison. 1) Does he miss the net too much (and is missing the net connected to losing games) and 2) should Vancouver fans be suspicious of every ex-Panther Mike Gillis brings to town? [Canucks Army/Canucks Army]

Ever wonder what 1:11 of ice-time looks like? An entire game of Darcy Hordichuk, broken down frame-by-frame. [Oilers Nation]

Mike Komisarek gets injured “doing something he regrets.” [Leafs Nation]

The grand finale of Rex Libris’ 100-part plan to rebuild the Calgary Flames. [Flames Nation]

The So You’re an Expert Podcast, covering everything Canucks and some things Don Cherry this week. [Canucks Army]

Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including the Edmonton Journal, Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.