The Nashville Predators proved they're a legitimate contender in Rinne's absence

Cam Lewis
February 05 2015 08:15AM

On Wednesday, Pekka Rinne was cleared to rejoin the Nashville Predators, meaning he’ll likely be back in net today against the Anaheim Ducks.

When Rinne got injured three weeks ago, the Nashville Predators owned the best record in the NHL. At the time, he had accounted for all 29 of his team’s wins and had earned some recognition as a potential Hart Trophy candidate. In three weeks without Rinne, the Predators posted a 4-2-2 record, maintaining their spot at the top of the league’s standings, which they share in a tie with the same Ducks they’ll face today.

Without Rinne in net, the Predators were forced to prove to the league that they weren’t pretenders who gained success on the back of exceptionally strong goaltending. 

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Eyes on the Dollar: Los Angeles Kings

Cam Lewis
February 02 2015 10:18PM

Should I give the same introduction again? We all know the Canadian dollar is plummeting, and we all know it’s a nightmare for the NHL. It’s going to really hurt Canadian markets, but since a large chunk of the league’s hockey related revenue is based on Canadian teams, American teams are also going to be hit with some repercussions. In short, the most noticeable effect all teams will face is the salary cap. While many expected the cap to rise to around $75 million before the 2015-16 season, Gary Bettman suggested a couple weeks ago that if the Canadian dollar fell to $0.80, the cap ceiling would be around $71.5 million. The Canadian dollar is now at $0.79, so if this trend continues, the cap could realistically fall even lower than the figure Bettman gave. 

This predicament will certainly throw a wrench in the plans of the Los Angeles Kings. Much like many other teams in the league, the Kings were banking on the prospect of the cap ceiling going up in order to address issues like improving their roster and giving new contracts to impending free agents. Unfortunately for them, the cap won’t be rising as much as they expected, meaning they’ll have to make some tough decisions on some of their key players, especially if they can’t find landing spots for their dead weight. Stashing Mike Richards in the minors isn’t going fix this problem. 

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Eyes on the Dollar: Chicago Blackhawks

Cam Lewis
January 31 2015 05:28PM

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It’s been beaten to death at this point. We all know the Canadian dollar is plummeting, and we all know it’s a nightmare for the NHL. It’s going to really hurt Canadian markets, but since a large chunk of the league’s hockey related revenue is based on Canadian teams, American teams are also going to be hit with some repercussions. In short, the most noticeable effect all teams will face is the salary cap. While many expected the cap to rise to around $75 million before the 2015-16 season, Gary Bettman suggested a couple weeks ago that if the Canadian dollar fell to $0.80, the cap ceiling would be around $71.5 million. The Canadian dollar is now at $0.79, so the cap could realistically fall even lower than the figure Bettman gave. 

With that being said, a lot of teams who were quietly counting on the cap to bump up a little bit are in a really, really rough position moving forward. The Chicago Blackhawks are at the top of that list. With Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane’s colossal extensions set to kick in next season, they’re going to have to do a lot of work to do this summer. 

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Some NHL jersey advertisement concepts

Cam Lewis
January 29 2015 05:24PM

KingsJersey

Apparently, the 2016 World Cup of Hockey going to be a guinea pig for jersey advertising. We all know it’s coming, unfortunately, whether we like it or not. According to TSN, it's believed that putting advertisements on jerseys could result in over $120 million in revenue. I assume we’re going to see advertisements in the form of shoulder patches and helmet stickers first, but eventually logos will dominate the main crest portion of the jersey. It's simply too lucrative for the league to reject, even if it results in negative fan feedback. 

Here are some NHL jersey advertisement concepts that make sense/are inevitable: 

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Finding a new home for Mike Richards

Cam Lewis
January 28 2015 08:30AM

Richards

Has Mike Richards really fallen that much? When you look at his numbers, aside from simple goal and assist totals, it doesn’t really seem like it. 

His statistics suggest that he may be a casualty of his environment and he may be able to resurrect his offensive production on a new team. As we all know, the two-time Stanley Cup champ and former Olympic Gold Medalist was placed on waivers by the Los Angeles Kings on Monday morning, and he made it all the way through the wire unwanted. 

Surely somebody in the NHL could use Mike Richards’ services, but as his passage through waivers suggests, nobody is going to take the risk (five more years at $5.75) without giving the Kings some salary back in return.

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