October 07 2015 08:30AM
The NHL season starts today! That means that we can finally stop scrolling through thousands of words of intense speculation per day about what might happen, and we can start watching things actually happen. That being said, I’m going to take this one final opportunity to present my hot takes and predictions in regards to what’s going to transpire over the course of the 2015-16 NHL season — mainly because I want to come back six months from now and laugh at how wrong I was on them.
October 05 2015 02:03PM
Looking back at the first edition of the All-Hipster Team, which ran all the way back in the middle of the 2013-14 season, I’d say that it was objectively a success. Sure, there are a couple of players that haven’t necessarily progressed into the mainstream like I thought they would by now, but that’ll happen when you take a leap of faith on a medley of players that haven’t quite yet distinguished themselves as notable assets across the league. For the most part, players that have made their way onto this list in the past have not only gone on to do big things but have also cashed in rather handsomely with their following contracts.
With a new season looming, it’s time to update the list. When putting it together, I made a concerted effort to single out players that I thought generally haven’t been receiving the sort of widespread love that I think their play warrants (or in some cases, will in the very near future once they truly blow up). That can be an awfully tricky task, though, because for the most part fans these days are far more knowledgeable and attentive than they’ve ever been. Given the coverage of hockey online on a day-to-day basis - particularly thanks to Vines and GIFs being passed around on Twitter on a nightly basis - it’s pretty rare that a dynamic player will truly slip through the cracks.
Which is why I recognize that even some of the guys discussed below will already have their diehard contingent of fans. Still, I hope that this list will contain some illuminating names, and draw attention to players that, prior to reading may not have been at the forefront of your mind. This isn't necessarily a list of "breakout candidates", as much as it a collection of guys that I think I’m generally higher on than most. Here they are in no particular order:
October 03 2015 02:16PM
There are a bunch of factors that could be blamed for the Los Angeles Kings' tremendously disappointing 2014-15 season. The sudden decline of Dustin Brown, the even steeper decline of Mike Richards, poor cap management by Dean Lombardi, the shootout being a poor way to determine points in the standings, the Calgary Flames being really lucky, and three consecutive years of deep playoff runs resulting in the team being completely burnt out. Whatever it was, the Kings certainly weren’t as bad their record showed, and despite having a really ugly short-term cap situation, should find themselves back in contention this year. That being said, the Kings are going to have a lot of work to do this summer in order to maintain a quality roster moving forward, and they don't want to make the same mistakes they have in the past with handing out mega-contracts like Halloween candy.
Nation World HQ
October 02 2015 06:45AM
Trade rumors of Zajac to Toronto swirl, Brandon Sutter's big expectations in Vancouver, Flames predicted to make playoffs, young core better positioned than Oilers, Maurice and Yeo clash in Winnipeg, Eberle out for a while in Edmonton, young kids making rosters, training camp cuts, fantasy hockey and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by DraftKings
October 01 2015 09:00AM
This is a 30 part series analyzing the short and long term cap situations of each team in the NHL as we head into the 2015-16 season. The stats and information that I use in these articles is courtesy of Hockey Reference, War on Ice, and NHLNumbers.
After years in the league’s basement, it looks the Florida Panthers are finally headed in the right direction. They didn’t do much this offseason outside of minor housekeeping, but a promising young core of players makes them an interesting team to watch for in the Eastern Conference this season. Moving forward, such as it is with any team loaded with young players, the Panthers have a tremendous amount of cap flexibility, which could make them a good bet to be active at the trade deadline if the they appear to be in contention. That being said, management needs to be careful that the team has enough money to go around when their important players need new contracts.