February 28 2016 03:04AM
Photo Credit: KHL/Youtube
The "free wallet". Brian Burke popularized the phrase in the hockey world in the midst of his tenure with the Maple Leafs, to signify young, unrestricted free agent prospects added to the team without having to give up any form of compensation. The premise was sensible, even if most of his wallets turned out to have been empty. After all, why wouldn't you want to stock your cupboards up with as many potential NHLers as possible?
The hockey world stretches across many leagues in many countries, and in those leagues, you'll find a ton of players that are free to be picked off by NHL teams. Most aren't worth the aggravation, but every so often, somebody sticks out and catches the eye of the rest of the world.
But what if I told you that the best of these thousands of players isn't getting even the slightest bit of attention and that he's hidden in plain sight? Enter Anatoly Golyshev.
February 27 2016 09:00AM
It was one year ago that the Florida Panthers sent a second round pick in 2015 and a conditional third round pick in 2016 to the New Jersey Devils for a 43-year-old Jaromir Jagr. It certainly seemed random at the time, but now, after 77 games over parts of two seasons in Sunrise, it looks like one of the best things that’s ever happened to the franchise.
“Hopefully [he'll bring] some offence, stability and leadership,” general manager Dale Tallon said after he had pulled the trigger on the Jagr deal. “It's a good opportunity for him to mentor some of our young guys and show them how hard they have to work to get to his level. It brings stability to our young team and gives us an opportunity in the next 20 games to make a good run to make the playoffs.” And that's exactly what he's done.
As we know, they didn’t make the playoffs last season. But this year, the ageless wonder has been instrumental in lifting the Panthers to the top of the Atlantic Division and into consistent relevancy for arguably the first time in their franchise history.
I think it’s fair to say that Jagr has blown just about everybody’s expectations out of the water. We all assume that he’s going to slow down, yet he continues to find new ways to produce and help team win. But how much more does he have left in him? Can we expect him to be back next season with the Panthers and their growing core of young talent?
Nation World HQ
February 26 2016 05:30AM
Canucks wheeling and dealing with Flames, Hawks interested in Hamhuis, Leafs start the fire sale, have considered Bickell, Jets ponder good bye to their Captain, Flames have plenty to sell, McLellan ready for changes in Edmonton, breaking down the "value" of a draft pick, the network launches it's first baseball site and all the trade deadline news you can handle in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by DraftKings.
February 24 2016 07:30AM
According to a tweet from Darren Dreger, the Arizona Coyotes fielded winger Mikkel Boedker a contract extension earlier this season, and have since backed away from the offer. It’s fair to assume that Boedker’s days in Arizona are numbered. Multiple sources have suggested that the Coyotes aren’t going to let the 26-year old winger make his way through the trade deadline unless a new contract is in place. And rightfully so. While the Coyotes have had themselves a pretty nice season, thanks largely to impressive performances from their core of young players, they’re still pretty far away from competing. I mean, yeah, they're technically in a playoff race because they're only six points behind Colorado for the final Wild Card position, but they certainly aren't in win now mode.
With just under a week left to go until the trade deadline and no new contract on the horizon, it’s pretty easy for anybody who’s been paying attention to put the pieces of the puzzle together and realize that the Coyotes will be selling on Mikkel Boedker. What type of return are the Coyotes going to be expecting? And what’s he going to command when he inevitably hits the open market this summer?
February 22 2016 09:28AM
Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports
Does today seem like a good day for new beginnings or what? The Blue Jays have officially opened camp down in Dunedin, Florida, taking the first steps on their path towards defending the American League East title they won last fall, and my coverage of the club has moved into these splashy new digs! Welcome to TheBlueJaysNation.com!