May 28 2015 08:00AM
To put it simply, it’s really important to have good goaltending. This certainly isn’t anything groundbreaking, but in order to be successful in the NHL, you have to keep the puck out of your net. It’s pretty uncommon that teams find their true ace goaltender on the free agent market, but this year boasts a class of pretty decent goalies for teams looking to upgrade in net. Aside from those guys, a couple of goaltenders on contending teams may become casualties of their team’s cap crunch this summer. Whether it’s through free agency or trade, there are a lot of goalies that could be changing teams next season.
After the jump, I’ll break down the crop of free agent goalies, some guys who could be trade bait, and the teams who should really consider making an upgrade in net.
May 26 2015 11:00AM
Prospects and amateur scouting are a new frontier within hockey analytics. Numbers can highlight some large market inefficiencies exploitable by teams if and when they start to advance their knowledge in this niche. The numbers on prospects, especially when combined with knowledge of scouts, can tell you a lot more than the some of the largest mainstream scouting outlets.
In Money Puck's recent series of posts, he has touched on a proposed "re-tooling on the fly" method to help the Canucks sell off veterans for picks, pick up free agents to replace them, and then use those picks on prospects who could in turn help the Canucks in the future.
You might have noticed him talking about PCS, or "Prospect Cohort Success." In this post, we will look more into what this technique is for analyzing prospects.
May 25 2015 08:00AM
According to Gary Bettman, the NHL’s Salary Cap is likely going to settle at around $71 million for the 2015-16 season, as many have expected for the last few months. This puts a lot of teams in an ugly position. Thanks to the fall of the Canadian dollar over the past year, the cap ceiling didn’t rise as much as many around the league expected it would. Next year will mark the 10 year anniversary of the cap being implemented. Since the 2005-06 season the cap has almost doubled from its modest $39 million figure. After the NHL signed its TV deal with Rogers, projections were floating around that had the cap rising to $80 million by 2017, and $100 million by 2021. Whether that ends up being the case or not, teams like Chicago, Los Angeles, and many others have been strangled by the slow growth of the cap ceiling, meaning tough decisions and an interesting offseason is on the horizon.
For every team in a cap bind, you have another opportunistic team with a boat load of cap space looking to take advantage of players who get squeezed out of their current team’s cap picture. After the jump, I’ll look at some of the players who could come available thanks to the $71 million cap crunch.
May 22 2015 08:30AM
Every year there’s one of those teams who really exceeds expectations and rides a seemingly endless, unsustainable hot streak into the playoffs. Sometimes these teams stick, other times, they fall back into oblivion. This year we had the Flames, Predators, and Islanders all break out and massively exceed their preseason expectations. None of them were expected to be any good this season, especially the Flames, who were supposed to be knee deep in the McDavid sweepstakes, but they vastly exceeded their expectations and put together really good seasons.
Last year, we had Colorado and Tampa Bay. Both of them were lottery watching in the shortened 2013 season, but managed to exceed expectations and finish as two of the best teams in the league in 2014. As we all know, one of them fell off a cliff, and the other one looks like they might win the Stanley Cup this year.
So what’s going to happen with Calgary, Nashville, and Long Island? How can we tell when these teams are legitimate, rather than just luck driven overachievers?
Nation World HQ
May 22 2015 06:45AM
Oilers and Leafs land the coaches they want, the Canucks ongoing rebuild and Jordan Subban, Flames draft plans and cap situation, Zack Kassian, Ladi Smid, the NHL draft, free agency and more in this week's Roundup brought to you by DraftKings.