The Roundup

Nation World HQ
March 18 2016 05:00AM

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How you fix the Draft Lottery, making sense of the Expansion Draft, expected Salary Cap for next year, Dan Hamhuis enjoys mentor role, Anthony Mantha getting his shot, Flames cap future is scary, Oilers speak the harsh truth, McGrattan fights Maggio again and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by DraftKings

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This is how you fix the NHL Draft Lottery

Justin Fisher
March 16 2016 08:03AM

The NHL Draft lottery is broken, and it's the Edmonton Oilers' fault. General managers all around the league seem to agree with this notion and have already begun discussing ways in which the lottery could be updated or amended so that winners can't keep winning over and over (and over) again. 

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NHLN Awards Race: Hart Trophy

Cam Lewis
March 13 2016 09:27AM

Hart

The Hart Trophy, or the NHL's Most Valuable Player, is awarded to the player who is judged most valuable to his team. Now, this wording creates a bit of a misunderstanding. Does this mean that it should go to whatever player would have the most significant impact if they were removed from their team and swapped with a replacement-level player? Or is it simply the best player in the league in any given year? Well, it can't just be that, because it's against the rules to award it to a player on a team that doesn't make the playoffs. So is it looking at who's the best player on the best team in the league? 

To me, it's the first one. Which player is irreplaceable? Who would have the most detrimental negative impact if they were removed from a team, and in contrast, who could have the biggest positive impact on a bad team if they were added to the roster? Of course, the people who vote in these things don't tend to see it that way, and the Hart is usually just awarded to the best player in the league that year. 

Anyways, based on what's happened through the first three-quarters of the season, here are my picks for the NHL's Most Valuable Player. 

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Top to Bottom: Checking in with each team after the Trade Deadline

Cam Lewis
March 09 2016 09:00AM

With the trade deadline passing, we're officially into the final stretch of the season. By now, we can pretty much tell how the playoff picture is going to shape out, save for some shuffling among seeds, and a couple of battles for final Wild Card spots. Even though a good chunk of the teams in the NHL have no hope left for the 2015-16 season, there's still something to look forward to. In this month's check-in, I'm going to look at what each team did over deadline week and whether or not if fulfilled their individual goal of buying to actively improve their chances at winning right now or selling to improve their position in the future. 

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What does Toronto look like without Matt Hunwick?

Adam Laskaris
March 08 2016 02:15PM

Matt Hunwick is kind of like the NHL-level equivalent of a rent-a-player. He plays a lot, but mostly because he's willing to and physically can, not because he's exceptionally talented. Today, it was announced Hunwick was shut down for the rest of the season with a sports hernia injury. Frankly, Toronto might be better off without him.

There's a lot of things to like about Hunwick- he's an assistant captain, praised as a good leader by his teammates, and brings a veteran presence to a young team. But Hunwick might be the worst regular player on the team, and with the Leafs currently being at the bottom of the NHL standings, he's probably in consideration for the bottom few percentage points of NHL talent in the league. And yet, he's not just a regular - he's picked up the second most ice time on the team at 5v5 this year, less than only Morgan Rielly, his most common defensive partner. 

With Hunwick out of the lineup, the Leafs lose a TOI monster. But looking at how the team performs without Hunwick, that might not be the worst thing for a team on a five-game slide. Of course, wins at this point don't matter much as the Leafs are draft lottery-bound, but from a purely statistical standpoint, Hunwick's absence makes the Leafs a far better hockey team.

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