The Roundup

Nation World HQ
August 26 2016 05:00AM


Leafs scaring off free agents, Ken Holland's worst GM moves, why Giordano still can't make the World Cup team, Jets and Oilers need Captains, grading Chiarelli to date, why fighting is still part of the game, looking at Team North America and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by Violent Gentlemen.

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Taylor Beck should challenge for an NHL job in Edmonton in 2016-17

Jonathan Willis
August 25 2016 07:17PM

Taylor Beck signing on with the Edmonton Oilers got some brief attention when it happened and has mostly been ignored since. Yet he’s not a player who should be entirely counted out of the team’s plans for 2016-17. Not only should he be good enough to challenge for a spot in training camp, but even if he’s sent down that may not be the last of him.

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The Decline of Niklas Kronwall

Nick Seguin
August 25 2016 04:38PM

Times were good back in 2009: the Detroit Red Wings were defending Stanley Cup champions; Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg had established their status as The Eurotwins; Detroit had a legitimate top-6 defense corps headed by team captain Nick Lidstrom; and Niklas Kronwall was at the top of his game.

At 28 years old, Kronwall played an 80 game season and broke the 50-point barrier. He had 94 hits, 106 blocks, and was named an NHL All-Star for the first time. Soaking up the leadership from vets like Chris Chelios and Brian Rafalski, Kronwall was touted as the man who would take the reigns from Lidstrom one day on the blueline.

Unfortunately, the skates were too big to fill. In Kronner’s defense, though, it was Lidstrom. He was irreplaceable.

And Kronwall didn’t do too bad in the years following Lidstrom’s retirement. In the lockout shortened 2012-13 season, he put up 29 points in 48 games and in 2013-14, he recorded 49 points in 79 games. He was named an All-Star both years and ranked top-15 in Norris voting. He was by no means the best defenseman in the league, but he was the best defenseman on the Red Wings.

This is no longer the case as Kronwall has entered a decline that I don’t think he’ll be coming out of.

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Hockey Nation Profile: Brazil's Latest Adventure in Sports

Steven Ellis
August 25 2016 12:25PM


The 2016 Summer Olympic Games from Rio de Janeiro recently finished off with one of the most memorable Olympics in recent years, albeit for many negative reasons. Whether it be political turmoil, financial issues or general problems with the venues themselves, it was a tournament doomed from the start.

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Evaluating A New Goaltending Tandem

Ian Fleming
August 24 2016 03:00PM

With Jhonas Enroth and the Toronto Maple Leafs coming to terms on a one-year, $750,000 contract on Monday, the Leafs seemingly etched their goaltending duo in stone for the 2016-2017 season. Popular opinion would have the new combination of Enroth and Frederik Andersen as an upgrade over last year's initial tandem of James Reimer and Jonathan Bernier, and Leafs supporters generally seem to be breathing a sigh of relief over not having to carry an untested prospect or project goaltender as their #2 into the new season.

That said, we would all be remiss if we didn't at least attempt to take this view from anecdote to evidence-based argument, so let's take a dive into some of the non-traditional metrics that may give us a better idea of what to expect in transitioning from Reimer and Bernier to Andersen and Enroth.

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