Future Free Agent Profiles: Anze Kopitar and Steven Stamkos

Cam Lewis
November 18 2015 08:00AM

Many of the biggest names from the potential 2016 Free Agent market have already signed extensions with their respective teams. Erik Johnson, Jakub Voracek, Mark Giordano, and Brent Seabrook came to terms on new deals before the season began, but Steven Stamkos and Anze Kopitar, arguably the two most coveted potential free agents, are still without contracts. 

If Kopitar and Stamkos do manage to slide between the cracks and July 1 rolls around before they’ve signed new contracts, you have to expect just about every team in the league will be lining up with a truck full of money to throw at them. That said, how likely is it they make it that far? 

Read Article

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.  

Read Article

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. 

Read Article

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? 

Read Article

The Renaissance of the Washington Capitals

Dimitri Filipovic
November 10 2015 11:47AM

For a while there, the Washington Capitals were the NHL’s preeminent cautionary tale for how quickly the outlook and fortunes of a team can change. They were the living embodiment of the dangers of succumbing to the human impulse for overreacting to the variance rooted in small sample sizes.

As quickly as they had built up the offensive juggernaut that was tearing through the league during the regular season from 2008 to 2011, they tore it all down following one too many premature playoff exits. In a misguided effort to bolster their chances come the postseason they turned their back on their greatest attributes - a high-octane group oozing with skill - and opted for a more conservative, defensive-minded approach.

While the initial returns were seemingly promising given that they came within just one game of their first Conference Final appearance since ‘98 under Dale Hunter, they eventually fell flat on their collective faces once the underlying issues that had been accumulating manifested themselves.

Read Article