NHLN Notebook: Hitchcock's firing, Greiss' extension, and the Disasterous Avalanche

Cam Lewis
February 02 2017 11:18AM

nhlnbook

The NHLN Notebook is a semi-regular feature of interesting hockey content from the past few days that doesn't quite deserve its own article.

Poor goaltending costs Ken Hitchcock his job, good goaltending gets Thomas Greiss an extension and could singlehandedly save the Islanders' season, and the Avs are a complete disaster. 

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Did the Flames make their best goaltending bet?

Ari Yanover
February 02 2017 10:00AM

So the Flames' goaltending has not been totally ideal this season. It currently sits at a .900 save percentage, tied for 24th in the NHL. (Not last!)

It wasn't ideal last season, either, and that was with a completely different cast. Then, however, it was .892, very much the worst in the league - and the only team below .900.

When's the last time the Flames had what could be considered ideal goaltending? Uh... 2014-15, probably, when every percentage went the Flames' way, and their .911 collective save percentage was tied for 15th in the league.

Except in 2014-15 and 2015-16, the Flames had the same goalies for the most part, give or take a stray Joni Ortio. Jonas Hiller and Karri Ramo held down the fort one year - not masterfully, but well enough to give the rest of their team a chance night in and night out - and then had the fort cave in the very next season.

But both their contracts were up, and with a new cast, it should have been saved. And for some reason, it hasn't been.

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Winners from the first half and a last call for the mid-season NationDraft

baggedmilk
February 02 2017 07:00AM

Last Call

Last week, I told you all about the playoff push NationDraft and today I'm turning the bar lights on to let you know that you're running out of time if you want to sign up. This is your last call to enter this charity draft for a chance to win all kinds of cash (read: visa cards) to spend on pogs, bubblegum, and whatever else you're into collecting.

Play against readers across the Nation Network in the 2016-17 Mid-Season Nation Drafts. Grand Prize is a $1000 Visa Gift Card! Enter your fantasy hockey team at nationdrafts.com for your chance to win and support a good cause! The entry fee is $20, with a portion of all proceeds going to support our charity partner, Earth Group.

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Why a flat salary cap would be extremely beneficial to the Toronto Maple Leafs

Jeff Veillette
February 01 2017 03:26PM

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Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY SPORTS

Nearly every time Elliotte Friedman drops one of his "30 Thoughts" columns, the hockey world stops and scrambles to react to whatever neat nuggets of information he spent days hiding under his sleeve. Today's was a particularly interesting one: the Salary Cap might stay stagnant this upcoming season, making no movement from the $73,000,000 teams are operating under this year.

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Time Has Made Mike Gillis' Draft Record Look Better - But It's Still Bad

Jeremy Davis
February 01 2017 01:33PM

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Photo Credit: Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY SPORTS

The emergence of several players after Mike Gillis was fired, including Bo Horvat, Ben Hutton, and Brendan Gaunce, and even strong AHL showings from Jordan Subban, Alex Grenier, and Joe LaBate have served to dull the pain from a decade of poor results during the Ron Delorme era, the pinnacle of which coincided with Gillis’ reign as GM.

A short time ago, Anton Rodin made his debut with the Vancouver Canucks, and in doing so he was the eighth Mike Gillis-drafted player to make his NHL debut after Gillis was fired. The addition of Rodin and core players like Horvat and Hutton to the Canucks lineup make Gillis’ draft record look vastly better than it was, and some have speculated recently that his drafting might be better than we thought.

Well, that’s not really the case. Vancouver’s draft history over the last fifteen years has been so abysmal that anything looks good. Even with these new young players brightening the ranks, Gillis’ draft record is still not good. And I have evidence.

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