Few Openings When It Comes To Blackhawks Roster | Boston Herald

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Avalanche looks to new season with hope of improved results – The Denver Post

Forward Gabe Landeskog scored a career-best 26 goals last season, his third with the Avs.

So it just makes you feel better about choosing to come here.” It was the Blackhawks’ first public appearance at their longtime home since they were eliminated by the Kings on Alec Martinez’s overtime goal in Game 7. Martinez’s shot went off Chicago defenseman Nick Leddy and fluttered over goaltender Corey Crawford, a nightmare for the Blackhawks that ended their bid for a repeat title and lingered into the summer for many of the players. “You don’t want to say it’s one situation. We got beat by a good team,” Quenneville said. “But I liked how we played that game. There were a lot of positives which made it tougher than saying we threw it away.” Chicago plays its first exhibition game Tuesday night against Detroit, and the preseason schedule could go a long way to answering the biggest question about the team. The Blackhawks are about $2.2 million above the salary cap and will have to make a move before the regular-season opener Oct. 9 at Dallas. General manager Stan Bowman has said the preseason will give the team a chance to take a look at which position it feels can afford to lose a veteran player. It also could create demand for Chicago’s players if there is an injury on another club. source: http://bostonherald.com/sports/bruins_nhl/nhl_coverage/2014/09/few_openings_when_it_comes_to_blackhawks_roster

Sharks’ starting goalie job up for grabs – ContraCostaTimes.com

The reasons for optimism include: a bigger lineup, a more veteran lineup and another year of maturity for some of the league’s best young forwards in Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon, Gabe Landeskog and Ryan O’Reilly. “At the same time, I think it’s important to realize that we might not get 112 points this year and we might not win the division. But at the end of the day, we’re still going to be a better team.” Roy, entering his second season after he won NHL coach of the year honors in his rookie year, said he expects the same partnership with players he had but also expects his top young players to take the next steps in their development. “The first thing I thought about after the season was, what can we do to get to the next level? And I think it’s very simple: We need to continue to grow; we need to continue to learn. That’s what’s going to help our team,” Roy said. Roy already laid out how his top two lines will be assembled. He will move Calder Trophy winner Nathan MacKinnon to center full time on a line with Gabe Landeskog and Alex Tanguay. Newly signed free-agent right wing Jarome Iginla will play with center Matt Duchene and left wing Ryan O’Reilly. MacKinnon and Duchene figure to give the Avs a deadly 1-2 punch at center, even though Paul Stastny departed for the St. Louis Blues as a free agent. source: http://www.denverpost.com/avalanche/ci_26563108/hockey-is-back?source=rss

Such a trade would also remove an impediment next summer, when Leddy becomes a restricted free agent. Its a far better idea than trading Johnny Oduya, who is much less replaceable in his key role on the Blackhawks shutdown pairing. But even with Leddy gone, the Blackhawks are going to be close to the ceiling. That gives them limited ability later in the year to take on salary to address any weaknesses that have developed or simply to load up with rentals for the playoffs. It means that theyll need to watch every penny, perhaps going with a 22-man roster rather than a full 23-man list at points in the year. It might mean promoting Michael Leighton to the backup role at times and sending waiver-exempt Antti Raanta to the minors (there is a $200,000 difference in the cap hits of the two, and while Raanta is on a one-way deal its cheap enough to bury if needed). The solution is to jettison luxuries. Oduya doesnt qualify; he plays a critical role for the team. Better candidates can be found up front. USA TODAY Sports Kris Versteeg is often mentioned, largely because he fell sharply out of favour in the 2014 postseason. Chicago got him from Florida with the idea that hed be a cheap scorer; the Panthers retained half of his salary to make him go away. source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2206351-the-chicago-blackhawks-blueprint-to-solving-salary-cap-dilemma

The Chicago Blackhawks’ Blueprint to Solving Salary Cap Dilemma | Bleacher Report

“In the past we’ve probably been slower to transfer responsibility from one to the other over a given period. That may happen quicker this year,” McLellan said, indicating his goalie won’t get as much time as before to play through a rough patch. Stalock, too, played down anything unusual about the setup, noting it’s something Niemi has gone through twice already — his rookie season with the Chicago Blackhawks, when he took the job from Cristobal Huet, as well as his first year in San Jose, when he won out over Antero Niittymaki. “He’s a guy who’s earned his time in the net,” Stalock said. That time now totals 277 regular-season games for Niemi — 10 times as many has Stalock has played — and 62 more in the playoffs, where he won the Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2010. Still this is a season where the Sharks say everyone starts out with a clean slate and no equity. Stalock outperformed Niemi statistically last season. In 24 games, the backup was 12-5-2 with a 1.87 goals against average and a .932 save percentage. A Vezina Trophy finalist in 2012-13, Niemi saw his goals against average rise to 2.39 and his save percentage drop to .913, though he still finished with 39 wins — tied for second most in the NHL. In the playoffs, Stalock, also had the better numbers, but he came up short in Game 6, his lone start, after a disputed Kings goal sparked Los Angeles to a 4-1 victory. source: http://www.contracostatimes.com/breaking-news/ci_26585717/sharks-starting-goalie-job-up-grabs?source=rss

John Scott is not a nuclear deterrent and neither is any other enforcer – Yahoo Sports

The problem is that the entire notion fighters deter violence or bring “an element of security,” as Todd McLellan phrased it yesterday, is completely, demonstrably untrue. Despite the constant assertion that an enforcer’s presence deters opposing teams from taking liberties, teams with an enforcer in the lineup areactually slightly more likely to have one of their players injured on a play that earns its perpetrator supplemental discipline from the NHL than teams without an enforcer in the lineup. Similarly, there is aslight positive correlation between a team’s number of fighting majors accrued and its man games lost to injury. And as for the notion that enforcers at the very least keep players honest and mitigate nasty stick and skate fouls, there exists zero correlationbetween the number of fighting majors a team is assessed and the number of non-obstruction penalties (boarding, kneeing, slashing, spearing, etc.) they draw. None of the commonly accepted strategic purposes of fighting are substantiated by evidence. So dressing multiple players who have no value outside of their facepunching ability, particularly in a salary cap league where successful teams are getting the most out of their depth, seems counterproductive at best and a terrible allocation of resources at worst. While Scott suggested yesterday that he wouldn’t be in the league if he couldn’t play, there simply isn’t any evidence that he can do so effectively at the NHL level. Scott has scored two goals in 236 career games, a pitiful outputeven after accounting for his lack of ice time. His teams have consistently beenheavily outshot andoutscored with him on the ice. It would be bad enough if Scott was the only such player on the Sharks roster but the team also employs Mike Brown and Adam Burish , two others who bring nothing to the table outside of fisticuffs and ambiguously-defined “grit.” Brown in particular has actually been even worse than Scott in terms of on-ice shot and goal differential over his career while Burish has one goal and three points in 67 games with San Jose. Yet all three of these guys are virtually guaranteed roster spots while the likes of Tarasov, Freddie Hamilton , Chris Tierney and Tye McGinn are forced to duke it out for a place on the club. The sixteen teams that made the playoffs last season used their fourth lines (defined as the forwards who ranked 10th through 12th in average ice time) for an average of 10:47 a night. source: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/john-scott-not-nuclear-deterrent-163002545.html

 

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