NHL First Round Playoff Preview: Edmonton Oilers vs. San Jose Sharks

Cam Lewis
April 11 2017 03:00PM

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© Walter Tychnowicz-USA TODAY Sports

This is part of a playoff preview series based at NHLNumbers.com

Here it is. The Edmonton Oilers are in the playoffs. Connor McDavid will get his first opportunity to show the hockey world that he is, in fact, the best player around. The first test will be the San Jose Sharks, who are on the opposite side of the spectrum. The Sharks are old and tired, and this is probably their final shot at the Cup with this group, while Edmonton is just on the cusp of something great. It's a passing of the torch in the Pacific Division. But is San Jose ready to give it up? Or will Edmonton have to wait another year? 

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Future Free Agents: Nick Bonino

Cam Lewis
April 07 2017 07:00AM

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© Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

Before the Penguins 2016 Stanley Cup run, Nick Bonino was largely known as a guy who seems to be thrown into big trades. In 2014, the Canucks acquired him from the Ducks in a deal for Ryan Kesler. A year later, he was moved by the Canucks to the Penguins for Brandon Sutter. 

But after playing a major role on last season’s Stanley Cup winning team, posting four goals and 18 points in 24 games on the HBK line with Carl Hagelin and Phil Kessel, Bonino has put himself on the map. This summer, he’ll head into free agency for the first time in his career, hoping to ride that playoff performance to a major payday. 

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Future Free Agents: Michael Del Zotto

Cam Lewis
March 21 2017 07:00AM

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© Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Del Zotto? In New York, he was known as DelZaster. After last season, his second year in Philadelphia, it seemed he had resurrected his career and was going to be a key piece of the Flyers blue line moving forward. 

But thanks to a poor season that began with a long term injured reserve stint, the DelZaster label is back. And the timing couldn’t be less fortunate, as Del Zotto is set to his the open market this summer. 

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Future Free Agents: T.J. Oshie

Cam Lewis
March 14 2017 08:00AM

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© Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a reason the Washington Capitals went all in at the trade deadline earlier this month. With the acquisition of Kevin Shattenkirk, likely this year’s biggest rental prize available, the Caps immediately became Stanley Cup favourites — if they weren't already. 

Why the urgency? This summer, their window to win with the current group they’ve assembled is going to close. They won’t suddenly be a non-contender, or anything, but the Caps have a handful of key players on expiring contracts, and many of them simply aren't going to be able to stick around thanks to the salary cap. 

T.J. Oshie is front and centre in that discussion. On one hand, he’s probably the best winger the Caps have found to play opposite Alexander Ovechkin since the Great Eight entered the league in 2005. On the other, he just turned 30 years old and cap room is tight. 

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The Nation Notebook: NHL Drops Expansion Draft Ball, Salary Cap To Rise, 'Bye-Week' Questioned

Cam Lewis
March 10 2017 07:00AM

NNNotebook

The Nation Network Notebook is a regular feature that rounds up interesting news, stories, and rumours from around the NHL that don’t quite deserve their own article.

Wednesday morning's NHL general manager meetings provided us with a wealth of interesting news about the landscape of the league moving forward. The league doesn't have plans to make a spectacle of the Vegas expansion draft, the salary cap could rise next season, and the bye-week is being reconsidered, but without an Olympic break in mind. 

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