November 30 2015 08:00AM
This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the New Jersey Devils. It was expected the Devils, who were going into their first season without Lou Lamoriello as their General Manager since 1987, were going to be among the worst teams in the league as they searched for a new identity and built a new core through the draft. A couple months in, they’re one of the most surprising teams in the NHL, sitting just one point behind Boston for the second Wild Card position in the Eastern Conference.
Obviously this is hot start is simply smoke, mirrors, and Cory Schneider, so the Devils should stick to the rebuilding path and look to sell high on some of their veteran depth players when the trade deadline rolls around. A playoff run is exciting and all, but the Devils aren’t there yet, and the best thing they can do right now is load up on draft picks and prospects as they continue to rebuild their core.
November 25 2015 08:00AM
The Los Angeles Kings are set for another interesting offseason. Last summer, they had to flesh out a roster after terminating the contract of Mike Richards and losing Slava Voynov due to legal issues, and this summer, they’re going to have to figure out a new contracts for arguably their most important player, as Anze Kopitar is set to his free agency come July 1. Along with Kopitar, newly acquired Milan Lucic’s contract will also come to an end at the end of the season, making matters for the Kings even more convoluted.
November 24 2015 10:48AM
I'm a "stats nerd" — or at least I'd be considered that based on my stance in the famous Corsi Battle of 2014. But what I really am is a hockey fan. I love the game. I love to watch it, play it, and learn about it. I'll use any available tool that I can have to further my understanding of this game and how it continues to evolve.
The public emergence of Corsi was a lot of fun and really quite revolutionary for me. I imagine I'm not alone in that. I've never been a numbers guy — other than having an encyclopedic knowledge of player goal and point totals and being able to remember the jersey numbers of ~95% of all NHLers, so being so into Corsi is still kind of surprising to me.
November 22 2015 12:49PM
I wrote the other day that the St. Louis Blues are in an ugly spot with soon-to-be free agent and captain David Backes as they weigh the option of either hindering their Cup run in the spring or losing him for nothing come summer, but the Winnipeg Jets’ situation makes the Backes dilemma look admirable. Like the Blues, the Jets are playoff contenders and their captain, Andrew Ladd, is set to become a free agent at the end of the season. Along with Ladd, though, one of Winnipeg’s best defencemen, Dustin Byfuglien, is also set to hit free agency in a few months, while Jacob Trouba and Mark Scheifele both near the end of the entry-level contracts.
So the Jets have to deal with that conundrum. They can shop Ladd and Byfuglien and risk ruining what appears to be a contending team right now in order to ensure they don’t end up with nothing come July, or they can make a run for it and hope that they can find a way to fit all four players into their internal budget when the time comes.
November 20 2015 11:28AM
The St. Louis Blues have a conundrum when it comes to captain and top centre David Backes. They’re in win now mode and they’re a legitimate Stanley Cup contender, but judging by their current cap situation, they may not have the money to re-sign him as he’s set to hit unrestricted free agency this summer. So the Blues are going to have to wrestle with the idea of either keeping one of their core forwards for a playoff run and risk losing him for nothing come July, or trading him mid-way through the season to get something of value for him.