July 13 2016 06:27PM
If the Edmonton Oilers can't get a puck-moving defender at the NHL level, perhaps finding—and developing—this player-type is the wise route to take. There are some impressive talents bubbling under in the AHL, and one or more could be available in the next several months. Here is a quick look at the best offensive defensemen in the AHL during 2015-16. (Photo by Mark Williams)
July 13 2016 11:00AM
The Canucks' lack of secondary offence was a hot topic last season, and with good reason. In spite of a vintage offensive performance from Daniel Sedin and Jannik Hansen's emergence as a 20-goal scorer, the club finished with the league's second-worst offence in 2015-16.
Secondary scoring's been elusive for a few seasons now, though. Fans are at a point where they have a difficult time remembering the club's last authentic second line. A reality they confront more often than not with the tongue in cheek description of the Canucks, as a team with "three third lines".
Acquiring Loui Eriksson is bound to alleviate concerns about goal-scoring, but he's also likely to play alongside Daniel and Henrik Sedin. Such a development leaves the future of the Canucks middle-six shrouded in mystery. Satiar Shah explored the possibility of moving Eriksson down the lineup in favour of Jannik Hansen, but that addresses just one of the many questions facing that section of the lineup.
A trade or signing may still be to come, but as of right now the question remains: can the Canucks expect to have a true second line next season?
July 13 2016 08:49AM
Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY SPORTS
Many suspect that barring several quantity-for-quality or pure dumping trades, the Toronto Maple Leafs' training camp is going to be an absolute dogfight for the various available positions. Simply put, while the Leafs might be presently lacking the top-end talent necessary to be a threat in the Eastern Conference, they have more B-Level depth than just about everyone else through a combination of taking on contracts and playing well on the draft podium.
But there's a problem here, and it's that the team might have no choice but to part ways with some players if a couple of the kids impress in September.
July 12 2016 05:30PM
The Edmonton Oilers entered the summer of 2016 with several issues on the defensive side of the depth chart. Adam Larsson was deemed to be the solution to the right side of the team’s top pairing, but there are still questions regarding how the Oilers plan to approach some of the secondary issues with the back end.
July 12 2016 02:00PM
This is a big season for Micheal Ferland.
Ferland's coming off a superficially disappointing year: just four goals and 18 points in 71 games (and an ugly -15 rating on top of it). He has just one more year left on his contract, meaning this might be his last chance to make a lasting impression in the Flames organization.
The 24-year-old LW has all the tools to be a useful NHLer: size, grit, smarts and decently soft hands. The problem is, outside of the first round series against the Canucks a year ago, he hasn't been able to put it all together yet. At least, that's what his counting numbers suggest. If we peer beneath the surface, however, we see a player who might be ready to break out.