Future Free Agent Profiles: Eric Staal

Cam Lewis
November 15 2015 08:00AM

The 2016 NHL free agent crop is stacked. Even with big names like Brent Seabrook, Jakub Voracek, and Erik Johnson already locked up to extensions, next summer’s class of free agents is loaded with players who have the ability to be major difference makers on teams who need something to push them over the hill. One of the most interesting names on that list is Eric Staal, who appears to be on his way out of Carolina. 

Elliotte Friedman said recently that Eric Staal and the Carolina Hurricanes are far apart on what they believe would be a reasonable contract extension. Friedman also mentioned that he thought Staal could seriously use a change of scenery, even if it means leaving the Canes as a rental, and then coming back as a free agent in the summer.  

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Eyes on the Dollar: Montreal Canadiens

Cam Lewis
November 13 2015 08:00AM

Coming into the season, the Habs weren't one of the names that usually popped up when discussing legitimate Stanley Cup contenders. Even though they had a 50 win season and finished first in the Atlantic Division, they were viewed more as a team who relied primarily on amazing goaltending to be successful rather than being a strong all-around team. Now, a month into the season, the Habs are one of the top teams in the league not only because they boast fantastic goaltending, but because they're scoring at an elite pace. 

In the short-term, the Habs look like a legitimate Stanley Cup contender, and thanks to the way they've managed their contracts, they're also set up nicely for the long-term. 

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The Roundup

Nation World HQ
November 13 2015 06:45AM

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Sedins beating father time, Tootoo says Burrows crossed the line, Stamkos agent gives contract update, Andrew Ladd negotiations, cap and waiver concerns for Flames, Oilers defense rebuilt, Taylor Hall, Alex Ovechkin, fantasy hockey and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by DraftKings

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Justin Abdelkader's Gratuitous Extension

Dimitri Filipovic
November 12 2015 08:30AM

Twitter went ablaze on Wednesday evening when The Hockey Godfather let it be known that the Detroit Red Wings were close to locking UFA-to-be Justin Abdelkader up to a long-term deal. This wasn't necessary a new revelation given that we've been hearing inklings about a potential extension for a while now, but the details themselves are so grotesque that the news produced a double take anyways.

Any way you slice it, there doesn't really appear to be an uplifting angle for the Red Wings and their fans here, especially with it coming off of the heels of a summer in which teams generally seemed to have smartened up with regards to these sorts of transactions. I'm not sure if it was pride or admiration, but whatever it is, I felt it after nary a team backed up the Brinks truck for one-year wonder Matt Beleskey to the degree I suspected they might.

I don't think that the Red Wings should get off scot-free here just because of the mystique they've generated as an organization with their sustained success in the past. This won't end well for them.

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Alex Ovechkin and becoming the greatest goal scorer in NHL history

Cam Lewis
November 11 2015 08:00AM

Alex Ovechkin, who just turned 30 in September, is already in the top 50 goal scorers in NHL history. 

He’s been playing in the league since the 2005-06 season and only three active players, Jaromir Jagr, Jarome Iginla, and Marian Hossa, have scored more goals in their career than he has. He’s sitting at 483 career goals in 774 career games and his last goal tied him with 2015 Hockey Hall of Fame inductee Sergei Fedorov for most goals scored in the NHL by a Russian. The incredible thing, though, is the fact that Fedorov scored 483 goals in 1,248 games, meaning Ovechkin accomplished the feat in 476 fewer games.

There’s really no doubt at all that Ovechkin is one of the greatest goal scorers of all time. But just how good is he? Can we actually put him in that category with the likes of Gretzky, Lemieux, Bossy, Howe, and Hull? Might he be the best of the bunch when it’s all said and done? Is there any chance he can finish his career as the NHL’s all time goal scoring champion? 

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