January 18 2016 10:02AM
Coming into the season, the Detroit Red Wings were one of just a handful of teams in the league not to have a clear-cut number one starter locked in for the lion's share of the workload in net. That's not to say that it was necessarily a bad plan by any means, given what we know about how much more efficient rested goaltenders are than their tired counterparts.
If anything I suspect there's too much stock put into the importance of maintaining the conventional dynamic of having a workhorse starter and his prototypical backup that's only around to spell him on occasion. With how much the position has evolved and the talent pool deepened, there's no excuse for a team not to have two equally reliable options it can alternate to ensure peak performance during the marathon that is an 82-game season. The benefits of having that depth and versatility far exceeds any awkwardness that may arise from the uncertainty of not knowing whose turn it is. It's a good problem to have.
Which made the Red Wings preseason plan perfectly reasonable, considering they happened to be blessed with two very functional candidates to start on any given night. Even though the writing may have ultimately been on the wall all along given the organization's decision to roll with Mrazek in the playoffs last spring, they still seemed determined to at least give the timeshare experiment a chance by having Mrazek and Howard each start 6 of the team's first 12 games.
The idea was commendable in principle, though it didn't wind up lasting very long in practice.
January 16 2016 01:05PM
The Los Angeles Kings have answered one of their most pressing questions by signing star forward Anze Kopitar to an eight-year extension worth $80 million. Well, I guess that answers one question, which was how they were going to fit Kopitar and his inevitably massive free agent salary into the team’s cap structure, but we’re still left wondering how the Kings are going to make everything work financially moving forward. I mean, having Kopitar locked up is great and all, but there still needs to be a roster around him, something the Kings don’t have much cap space to put together.
January 16 2016 02:03AM
The Anaheim Ducks and Pittsburgh Penguins decided to wait well into the night to strike a deal, but at 3:00 A.M. Eastern Time, Bob Mackenzie reported that Carl Hagelin was being swapped for David Perron and Adam Clendening. Both Clendening (RFA) and Perron (UFA) are free agents this summer while Hagelin was signed to a four-year, $16 million deal by the Ducks prior to the beginning of the season, so this deal offers the Ducks some long-term salary relief while giving Pittsburgh an intriguing player to help with their offensive woes.
Nation World HQ
January 15 2016 06:00AM
Could oil prices turn the Flames into a budget team, Canucks trade for Etem, clear benches with the Panthers, Jets great goaltending prospect, Connor McDavid's birthday, Lou Lamoriello trade history, Kevin Shattenkirk rumored availability, WingsNation launches, fantasy hockey and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by DraftKings.
January 13 2016 03:00PM
When we first launched OilersNation.com back in 2007 we intended on watching the Oilers return to the Cup Finals for the 2nd time in 3 years and become a perennial powerhouse of hockey. A model of consistency. A team studied by Coaches for a generation to come for “how to build a winning franchise.”
So when it became clear THAT wasn’t happening we started launching other team sites in 2009 starting with FlamesNation.ca. When that didn’t collapse or have a denial of service attack we started putting more and more sites out there creating 5 sites, partnering on 1 and buying 3 sites outright bringing the total to 9.
And today marks the 10th site in the Nation Network launching – WingsNation.com.