Strauss: Hitchcock Wants Blues To Be Nastier, Quicker : Sports

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NHL training camp: Ten teams with big questions heading into preseason – Yahoo Sports

They had no legs but the shifts got short, the energy got high and they built momentum off the checking. The Blues literally limped into last postseason, won twice, then lost four straight despite playing what Hitchcock believes was higher-level hockey. Hitchcock emphasized offense in last years camp. The Blues scored more but were ultimately undone when a bruised back line got pushed around in the six-game first round. The Blues were adept last season at playing position defense. Hitchcock insisted Thursday its time to get nastier and quicker. When its on the line, theres a difference between checking and defending. And were going to check, Hitch promised. Stastny and Lehtera project as playmakers, not just scorers. There are so many different options Ken has. Thats the exciting part, Armstrong said. source: http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/joe-strauss/86592368-e6ee-51d6-9adf-a89641012110.html

Zawaski: Blackhawks Still Need To Make Move To Get Under Salary Cap « CBS Chicago

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Bowman loves him. Im not sure Quenneville is convinced. I believe hell make the team but stay permanently implanted in theseventh or eighth defenseman role. Battle for the bottom of the roster Theway I see it, there are four forwards vying for two open spots in the lineup and one reserve spot. Those players are Teuvo Teravainen, Peter Regin, Jeremy Morin and Kris Versteeg. Lets take a look at realistic line possibilities. 1st: Sharp Toews Hossa 3rd: Bickell Shaw ??? 4th: ??? Kruger Smith Morin is the favorite to win the right wing job on the third line. Fans were clamoring for more ice time for the young winger, and Bowman may have finally forced Quennevilles hand by trading away slugs like Brandon Bollig and letting Michal Handzus test free agency. Now, Quenneville is forced to choose a young, offensive-minded winger. Morin is the most ready. His time has come. In my opinion, Teravainen is still a bit of a long shot to crack the opening night roster. source: http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/09/16/zawaski-blackhawks-still-need-to-make-move-to-get-under-salary-cap/

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Len Redkoles/Getty Images Back in July, we wrote that trading Nick Leddy for futures was Chicagos easiest way out of its current cap predicament. The removal of his $2.7 million cap hit would go a long way toward getting Chicago back in the black (CapGeeks best guess at the teams roster has them roughly $2.2 million over the league-mandated limit), and with both David Rundblad and Adam Clendening in the system the team has built-in replacement options. 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. source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2206351-the-chicago-blackhawks-blueprint-to-solving-salary-cap-dilemma

Talented crop of rookies has fantasy upside – Yahoo Sports

General manager Peter Chiarelli recently said on WEEI radio in Boston that hes eventually going to have to trade a defenseman. Which one is less clear. The most likely candidate would appear to be Johnny Boychuk , who has one year remaining on his contract at a $3.366 million cap hit. The Bruins obviously dont want to move a player like that, but Chiarelli wont have a choice. Every team knows their backs are against the wall, too, which makes getting a max return a little more difficult. Minnesota Wild : How do they address their fragile goaltending situation? With the latest news that Josh Harding could be sidelined for the start of training camp, the Wild were all too brutally reminded that their goaltending situation is fragile at best. With Niklas Backstrom apparently ready to enter camp healthy, he can be the No. 1, but the team still hasnt signed Darcy Kuemper , who is seeking a one-way deal from the team as a restricted free agent. The Wild have been reluctant to do that because they may need to stash him in the AHL to ensure he gets the reps he needs to continue developing. The other option is to bring in a veteran free agent goalie into camp like Ilya Bryzgalov who was with the team last year. If hes willing to take a tryout offer, the Wild give themselves a safety net. source: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nhl-training-camp-ten-teams-123836638–spt.html

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

Whether he starts the season on a wing with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom , or as a second-line center, Kuznetsov (one of Pete Jensen’s fantasy sleepers ) has a chance to produce and be drafted in all league formats. Teuvo Teravainen , C, Chicago Blackhawks We last saw the NHL’s rookie scoring leader start the season in the AHL in 2008-09, when Bobby Ryan didnt make his season debut with the Anaheim Ducks until November. Despite the late start, Ryan paced all rookies with 57 points in 64 games played. We could see history repeated this season as Teravainen, a talented Finnish center, embarks on his first full season in North America. Teravainen got into three NHL games with the Blackhawks late last season and the 18th pick in the 2012 draft did not look out of place. With the signing of Brad Richards , the 20-year-old is likely to start the season in the AHL, but NHL.com’s fifth-rated prospect will see time in the NHL this season. If Richards shows no chemistry with his talented linemates, expect to see the hashtag #FreeTeuvo pop up from fantasy owners. He should be drafted in dynasty/keeper leagues and stashed on benches in other league formats. Filip Forsberg , C, Nashville Predators Filip Forsberg Griffin Reinhart , D, New York Islanders The Islanders’ top-ranked prospect by NHL.com finished his fourth season with the Edmonton Oil Kings by leading his team to a WHL championship and a Memorial Cup, and he looks like he’s ready to make an impact on Long Island. The fourth player taken in the 2012 NHL Draft, he is the only player in the Top 5 not to play in the NHL; the Islanders have taken a more cautious approach with their prospects. The 20-year-old son of former NHL player Paul Reinhart finished his WHL career with 30 goals, 111 points and 164 penalty minutes in 209 regular-season games. He also had 28 points in 57 playoff games. source: http://sports.yahoo.com/news/talented-crop-rookies-fantasy-upside-140000450–nhl.html

 

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