2015 Stanley Cup Finals Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs Chicago Blackhawks

Cam Lewis
June 01 2015 08:30AM

The Stanley Cup Finals are on the horizon! If the Finals are anything like the Conference Finals were, we’re all in store for something great. I mean, even if its half as good as those last two series were, it’ll be the best Cup Final we’ve had in quite some time. It’s been noted a few teams, but in case you didn’t know, 2015 was the first time since 2000 that each Conference Final series went to a seventh game. We haven’t seen a Final go to a seventh game since the Bruins beat the Canucks in 2011, and we haven’t seen a suspenseful Stanley Cup Game 7 since 2009 when Pittsburgh edged out Detroit 4-3. 

If the Hawks win this one, it’ll be safe to call them a dynasty. Well, they’re a salary cap era dynasty at the least. A win here will give them three Cups in the past six seasons, which would be the most we’ve seen in such a short span since Detroit won three times between 1997 and 2002. This may be the last time we see the Hawks here in a while, though, as their cap difficulties are going to make it difficult for them to keep this group together, but hey, we said that in 2010 and they managed to come back twice with a completely different supporting cast. The Lightning come into the series as the ones looking to prove themselves as the newest member of the NHL’s elite. It’s their first trip back since they won it in 2004, and they’re hoping this can be the beginning of many Cup runs. 

Who has the edge in this series? Can we expect something as good as we were treated to in the Conference Finals? 

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Grocery Shopping: Free Agent Defencemen

Cam Lewis
May 30 2015 09:30AM

The 2015 Unrestricted Free Agent class boasts a handful of good defencemen looking for new contracts. There are a lot of options out there for teams who are starving for good blue liners, especially ones who can produce offensively. I’m going to break down some of the most attractive free agents available into a couple of categories based on the types of contracts they’ll be looking for due to a combination of their age and value. There are young, top pairing guys looking for fat, long term contracts, then veteran guys who can still produce at a high level but won’t warrant as much term. After that, I’ll look at some of the teams who desperately need defencemen and who has the money to sign these guys. 

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The Roundup

Nation World HQ
May 29 2015 06:45AM


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David Booth's interesting stretch routine, Mike Babcock's assistants, Canucks wanting to fix blueline, David Clarkson versus Matt Beleskey, Flames trade targets, teams in Cap trouble, Leon Draisaitl, Peter Chiarelli, free agency, the NHL draft and more in this week's Roundup brought to you by Draftkings.

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Grocery Shopping: Goalies on the Free Agent and Trade Markets

Cam Lewis
May 28 2015 08:00AM

To put it simply, it’s really important to have good goaltending. This certainly isn’t anything groundbreaking, but in order to be successful in the NHL, you have to keep the puck out of your net. It’s pretty uncommon that teams find their true ace goaltender on the free agent market, but this year boasts a class of pretty decent goalies for teams looking to upgrade in net. Aside from those guys, a couple of goaltenders on contending teams may become casualties of their team’s cap crunch this summer. Whether it’s through free agency or trade, there are a lot of goalies that could be changing teams next season.

After the jump, I’ll break down the crop of free agent goalies, some guys who could be trade bait, and the teams who should really consider making an upgrade in net. 

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Draft Analytics: Unveiling the Prospect Cohort Success Model

Josh W
May 26 2015 11:00AM

Prospects and amateur scouting are a new frontier within hockey analytics. Numbers can highlight some large market inefficiencies exploitable by teams if and when they start to advance their knowledge in this niche.  The numbers on prospects, especially when combined with knowledge of scouts, can tell you a lot more than the some of the largest mainstream scouting outlets.

In Money Puck's recent series of posts, he has touched on a proposed "re-tooling on the fly" method to help the Canucks sell off veterans for picks, pick up free agents to replace them, and then use those picks on prospects who could in turn help the Canucks in the future.  

You might have noticed him talking about PCS, or "Prospect Cohort Success." In this post, we will look more into what this technique is for analyzing prospects.

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