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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:40 am 
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Hossa won't be with the Blackhawks this year. He's not retiring, but going on LTIR with a skin allergy caused by his equipment. He played through 8 years of his 12-year contract and has been paid $59.3 million of the $63.3 million. The Blackhawks don't get penalized for a cap-avoiding contract unless he actually retires. So, hypothetically, if he were to go on LTIR for 4 years, the cap hit for his deal would remain at $5.275 mil instead of being retroactively adjusted to $7.4125 mil. But, I'm sure the 38yo entering the $1 mil salary part of his contract really is allergic to his equipment.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:31 am 
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Islanders trade for Eberle. We could have surely beaten this deal, the Isles hardly gave up anything.

https://www.nhl.com/news/oilers-trade-j ... =278542340

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:07 pm 
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glen a richter wrote:
Islanders trade for Eberle. We could have surely beaten this deal, the Isles hardly gave up anything.

https://www.nhl.com/news/oilers-trade-j ... =278542340


I think the Isles got the better of this one. Strome has about hit his ceiling, I don't think he's got any more development left and if anything he's stagnating/ having a hard time staying in the top 6 on an NHL team.

Eberle has about hit his ceiling too but its a higher one IMO. Sounds like it was just a swap of stagnated 2nd/3rd line assets and that's about it.

At least they won't have to trade in their gloves, pants or socks. Hell, they can just swap out the crest on their sweaters and they're good.

As far as the Blues being a better trade partner... I don't know what we have that that's comparable. Perron was but he's gone now. Berglund is a better player than Strome and even arguably Eberle.

Don't worry, I'm sure we'll package our two first rounders and a prospect for the 10-16th overall pick and he'll flop.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:15 pm 
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I had a similar thought about us trading up and it not working out. I heard we are looking to move up in the draft, and I just hope that's the right move if we do so. I'd rather package picks for a Drouin/Johnson type than for a higher pick.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 22, 2017 1:40 pm 
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cardsfan04 wrote:
I had a similar thought about us trading up and it not working out. I heard we are looking to move up in the draft, and I just hope that's the right move if we do so. I'd rather package picks for a Drouin/Johnson type than for a higher pick.


Most drafts have at least 3 tiers in the first round. First tier being your top 2-3 picks (Matthews/Laine), 2nd tier being that 4-8ish range then the bottom falls out into the third tier for the rest of the first round.

Statistically speaking in terms of getting a serviceable NHL player, I feel you get far better odds of landing one if you get two picks at 20 and 27 versus one pick at 10-15 or so.

But that's just me. Unless you're in that top one or two tiers I don't think it matters all that much. Take the picks. Freakish drafts like 2010 notwithstanding.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 10:36 am 
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Blackhawks deal Panarin to Blue Jackets for Saad

also trade Hjalmarsson to 'Yotes for Murphy and Dauphin. Wow :shock:

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:02 am 
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GMS want more slashing calls and less off-sides challenges

The part about slashing - this was an ongoing argument all season on NHL Radio with some guys claiming "the refs do call slashes on the hands" when this was rarely called unless it happened with the slashee on a breakaway. The Blues actually lost a power play in one of the reg season games vs Minnesota when Shattenkirk was whacked three times on the hands, no call. After losing the puck from those slashes, he check sticks the guy who drops his stick - and off Shattenkirk went for slashing. That's the ludicrous things the GMs want to see stop along with injuries like happened to Gaudreau.

Their video review (discussed in the article) found 60-100 slashes per game in playoff games at the NHL, AHL, and College level. Slashes, which by the rules, are penalties. That's a big problem. One team I know will have a hard time competing without slashing guys hands - the Minnesota Wild.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:28 pm 
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Interesting Todd Nelson interview.

He discusses things I don't think Yeo will ever consider attempting.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 1:01 pm 
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I didn't need to get too far in that article to think of one very important point:

This team has drafted a slew of offensively gifted defensemen... Parayko, Walman, Dunn, Schmaltz and of course we already have the veteran leader in Pietrangelo. Edmundson also has some offensive ability as well. These are all two-way defenders and it's completely irresponsible of the coaching staff to not use them as such. They're young enough and skilled enough that they can all lead a rush and then have the energy to turn around and defend when necessary. So how come we're still adhering to a defense first philosophy when we have six blueliners who can all move the puck? I'd rather let the players loose and sacrifice a bit on the other end. Trust in Jake and if his GAA goes up and his save % goes down a bit, who gives a crap if you're scoring more and winning more? Forget playing possession hockey. Time of possession doesn't necessarily equate to scoring more goals, as we've seen plenty in the Hitch/Yeo era.

The style the Blues have been coached to play wears them down come playoff time. How about a high paced game that keeps the other teams on their toes for 60 minutes and makes them wear down instead? In a seven game series, let the other team be the one that's totally gassed every night.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 3:43 pm 
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glen a richter wrote:
I didn't need to get too far in that article to think of one very important point:

This team has drafted a slew of offensively gifted defensemen... Parayko, Walman, Dunn, Schmaltz and of course we already have the veteran leader in Pietrangelo. Edmundson also has some offensive ability as well. These are all two-way defenders and it's completely irresponsible of the coaching staff to not use them as such. They're young enough and skilled enough that they can all lead a rush and then have the energy to turn around and defend when necessary. So how come we're still adhering to a defense first philosophy when we have six blueliners who can all move the puck? I'd rather let the players loose and sacrifice a bit on the other end. Trust in Jake and if his GAA goes up and his save % goes down a bit, who gives a crap if you're scoring more and winning more? Forget playing possession hockey. Time of possession doesn't necessarily equate to scoring more goals, as we've seen plenty in the Hitch/Yeo era.

The style the Blues have been coached to play wears them down come playoff time. How about a high paced game that keeps the other teams on their toes for 60 minutes and makes them wear down instead? In a seven game series, let the other team be the one that's totally gassed every night.

++++++++++ Can't put enough pluses on this.

Instead, we will see 1-3-1 or 1-2-2 with no significant forecheck, waiting for turnovers, and looking for the occasional stretch pass. That's Yeo. On top of that, having offensively skilled defenseman means you can use them on the power play without relying on a forward to be the other point. But we will see the 1D-4F power play because it's "safe" and what everyone else does. All of this is passive and letting the other team attack you. It wears on players not being free to do what the opponent is doing to you. Reacting, instead of acting, weighs on the mind when it's done so much. There is no creativity in reacting and it doesn't pressure the opponent as effectively.

Very interesting that Nelson won the Calder Cup with his heavy attack philosophy. Mike McKenna was one of the netminders for Syracuse who lost in the Finals.

There were 2 other comments in that article that stood out.

When Nelson took over the Oilers, teammates wouldn't eat together as a team. They would all be in separate groups of around 4 players. When he left, the team was eating together at tables of 16 players. He knows how turn a team not having a team mindset into a team with that team mindset, on an off the ice.

The other is the importance of buy-in. Oshie was traded, because he stopped buying in to Hitchcock's system and was vocal about it. I don't know what happened before Hithcock was fired, but it looked like a team not buying in to a system on many nights. Yeo took over, the players clearly bought in, but the system is weak offensively. Buy-in is pointless if the system doesn't score enough goals to win in the playoffs. As long as Yeo is the coach, this team is not moving forward in this freeing the offense more rules era.

Looking forward to seeing the 2017-18 schedule and predicting how the Blues do based on when they face playoff teams vs non-playoff teams. .500 hockey vs playoff teams and .800 vs non-playoff teams. That's pretty much what they did last season and I highly doubt it changes. Unless - younger talent is inserted in this roster, they are allowed to play significant ice time to improve the offense, and Yeo doesn't ruin them by forcing his defense first mindset. I'm curious as to the impact Berube will have on how this team performs offensively.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:32 pm 
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While we all complain about the Stastny and Bouwmeester contracts, those are basically the only two over-paid players on the team. Steen will likely fall into this category if he doesn't produce more in the next 2 years.

Consider Radulov just got a 6M+ per year contract based on 18 goals and 36 assists

Jaden Schwartz - 19 goals, 36 assists - is locked up for the next 4 years for less at just over 5M per season.

Armstrong does get some things right. Still shocked the Blues got Schenn and his less than 5M per year for the next 3 and his total points are basically the same as Radulov with more goals and less assists.

Dallas over-paid, IMO. Bergevin not just wouldn't, but couldn't thanks to the Price contract.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:42 pm 
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If Lindy Ruff was still coaching Dallas, Radulov would far exceed his point total from last season. With Hitch, he'll be neutered offensively, which is precisely why it was an overpay. Too much money for the right player + the wrong coach.

With Hitch/Yeo, the same thing with Schwartz, Stastny and Steen. All three would be light years better with an appropriate coach. Again, the hope is that Berube is able to twist the ear of Yeo and get complete control of the offense.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:05 pm 
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glen a richter wrote:
If Lindy Ruff was still coaching Dallas, Radulov would far exceed his point total from last season. With Hitch, he'll be neutered offensively, which is precisely why it was an overpay. Too much money for the right player + the wrong coach.

With Hitch/Yeo, the same thing with Schwartz, Stastny and Steen. All three would be light years better with an appropriate coach. Again, the hope is that Berube is able to twist the ear of Yeo and get complete control of the offense.

With these coaches, it seems like it's a catch-22. Ruff is a high risk, offensive coach, but injuries and thin D/goaltending doomed him in Dallas. He wouldn't change for what he had, hence Hitch's hire. Hitch hockey supports the defense and goaltending, but the forwards will work their asses off for little reward. This will wear on them over time, as it has everywhere Hitch has coached. Moral of the story: neither of these stubborn old fogies will change, so pick your poison.

The Yeo critics here are right: he's a defensive minded coach. While in Minnesota, he acknowledged they could play with more risk if he had the offensive players. Minnesota's 16-17 regular season proved he misjudged a few of his players, namely Granlund.

The Blues roster last year, IMO, warranted a boring style of hockey. Now, with Schenn and Fabbri in the top 6, I confess he has to loosen the reins. Yeo is a young coach who is more apt to change than an old guy stuck in his ways. At least that's what I choose to believe. Having a strong figure like Berube should help.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:17 am 
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With this top 6, the reins have to be loosened. Stastny is a better offensive player than he's shown, largely due to systemic reasons from the coaches.

Tarasenko
Fabbri
Schenn
Schwartz
Stastny
and likely Steen to start the season.

Those top 5 are all skill players - not grinders and Steen can play a skill game.

The next 6 though... that's going to be the problem with what philosophy the team likely plays.

If they stick with Berglund, Brodziak, Bennett, Thorburn, Jaskin and Paajarvi as the bottom 6, then the top 2 lines and bottom 2 lines would need to have split identities system wise and the coach will likely implement an overall defense first scheme due to those bottom 6 players - and we know Brodziak and Berglund aren't going anywhere. My concern for this is Yeo prefers veterans over 1st and 2nd year players, just like Hitchcock did.

If Sanford, Barbashev, and any prospect make the team (like Thompson who they need on the power play) and get to start, then the team's philosophy had better change to a more offensive mindset having 3 skill lines and only the one grinder line. If prospects develop as they should over the next 2 seasons, all 4 lines will be skill lines. Drop Bennett, Brodziak, and Thorburn while inserting Kostin, Torpochenko, and Kyrou. This doesn't even include the current group of forwards playing for Chicago or others in Juniors or Europe. Jaskin and Paajarvi become the healthy scratch guys who fill-in when required, unless Jaskin finds the game he had his rookie season. Heck, maybe Jaskin would work with Sanford and Barbashev, but that still leaves the hole with no right-handed shot on the power play.

I'm probably missing someone, but no one's perfect.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:24 am 
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You missed Sobotka, so with Berglund out they have 4 spots to fill. That's if we assume Brodziak has one occupied, which he likely will. I will also assume Upshall is long gone and they're not just waiting on the Parayko extension to bring him back. So, 4 spots for:

Jaskin, Paajarvi, Thorburn, Bennett, Sanford, Barbashev, Sundqvist, and the young guy we're hoping for.

Thorburn hasn't spent any time in the AHL for awhile. He will likely be up with the team whether we like it or not. That leaves 3 spots. I doubt Bennett expects to be down there either, but he can't stay healthy. Paajarvi played well enough last year to deserve a chance. Sundqvist, no clue.

Two of Sanford, Sundqvist, or Barbashev will be an odd man out. Jaskin--meh. We'll see if Tage can have a Fabbri-esque September and force their hand, but my guess is:

Sobotka-Barbashev-Bennett
Paajarvi-Brodziak-Thorburn

Bennett may be pleasant surprise if he can stay out there. That Thorburn signing may have put a wrench in our dreams of getting Thompson or another skilled kid to St. Louis.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:34 am 
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That is why I absolutely detested both signings. They were completely unnecessary for a team supposedly committed to moving forward with a younger, faster, more skilled core.

Not buying Bennett being able to surprise us with anything. Extrapolating his career numbers using points/game, goals/game, assists/game - he's Scottie Upshall, Kyle Brodziak, and marginally better than Ryan Reaves. Pointless signing for a management claiming they want to be more skilled. But the exact signing a defense-first coach wants, and the exact kind of signing management makes to keep the "hard work, grinding" mentality Armstrong clearly prefers.

If those two signings were to be replacements for injured younger players during the season, fine, (as in these two are healthy scratches until someone gets hurt) but I don't see it playing out that way given what management seems to clearly want as a style and the clear mentality of the current head coach.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:39 am 
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Bennett was the Devils' best possession player last year, with a CF% of 53.4. You're right that he hasn't lit up the stat sheet, but he's going to pass your eye test. To top it off, he played 13.5 minutes a game last year. That's a nice chunk more than the guys we're used to seeing on the 4th line. The more I learn about him, the more he grows on me.

Thorburn is the problem because I'd be just fine with Bennett as the 4th line RW. I fear that if Thorburn's around, they'll give him that spot for the reasons you suggest. The obsession with vets/enforcers is a league epidemic, by the way, not just here. Doesn't make it right, just the way it is.

Let's cross our fingers that Thorburn sits in the press box most of the time. I'm going with the "Angels in the Outfield" tag line: "It Could Happen."

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:23 pm 
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What ticks me off about the "enforcer" thing... it doesn't have to be a forward and the Blues already have one in Joel Edmundson. No one screws with him and he has stepped up multiple times when someone took liberties with his teammates. Waste of money, waste of one of the 50 contracts, and waste of a roster space.

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