Quick Hit Rumours

– Add a new team into the Mats Sundin sweepstakes: the Ducks. That’s right, the perpetually financially strained team is reportedly making a pitch to Sundin, and with the Ducks so close to the cap they’re going to have to shed salary (again). This time, the casualty may be Chris Kunitz, the former Ducks alternate captain who hasn’t quite lived up to his $3.5m price-tag since signing it. No doubt that the Ducks would prefer to trade Kunitz to an Eastern Conference team, but Brian Burke continues to put himself in situations in which he has absolutely no leverage –

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Quick Hit News

The Thrashers were interested in Mathieu Schneider, but felt that given the veteran’s price tag and current skill set it was just too expensive. Don Waddell claims that Schneider’s age was not a factor in the decision. Nikolai Khabibulin is looking forward to the start of the season, but admits he was surprised when the Hawks signed Cristobal Huet to a multi-year deal. He also admits that even though he hasn’t been at his best, he didn’t have a “championship calibre” team in front of him either. Not exactly the words management wants to hear, but Khabibulin has to make

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Rumour Quick Hits

Rather slow news day, but a couple quick rumours: Andrej Meszaros has yet to sign, and could still be given an offer sheet. Meszaros reportedly has a standing offer from the KHL for $4m/year, but is still willing to negotiate with the Sens, in the hopes of reaching an agreement before camp. It’s a little odd that he hasn’t signed already, considering how “close” both sides said they were. I’m not expecting to see Meszaros in anything but a Sens uniform, however. Vitaly Vishnevksi has been placed on waivers by the Devils to clear some cap room. The Devils have

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THN Rankings – East

1 Montreal Canadiens 2 Pittsburgh Penguins 3 Washington Capitals 4 Philadelphia Flyers 5 Ottawa Senators 6 NY Rangers 7 New Jersey Devils 8 Carolina Hurricanes 9 Tampa Bay Lightning 10 Boston Bruins 11 Buffalo Sabres 12 Florida Panthers 13 Atlanta Thrashers 14 Toronto Maple Leafs 15 NY Islanders Again, I’m going to have to disagree with THN over this. If the Pens had managed to keep Ryan Malone and/or Marian Hossa I’d be inclined to agree that they would finish atop their division, but they won’t. When you potentially have Miroslav Satan as your top scoring winger you’re not going

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Islanders Close to Naming Coach

For Garth Snow and the Islanders, their search for a new head coach to replace Ted Nolan has come down to three candidates: Bob Hartley, Paul Maurice, or the AHL’s Scott Gordon. Hartley’s NHL coaching career started in 1998 in Colorado, whose strong QMJHL and AHL records had caught the eye of then-GM Pierre Lacroix. He enjoyed 4 very successful years in Denver, including a 52-16-10-4 record and a Stanley Cup win in 2001. He was fired the following season in 2002 after a slow start, and joined the Thrashers a month later. Although he had gone from a perennial

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Atlantic Division Preview

New Jersey Devils Strengths: -Martin Brodeur Weaknesses: -No longer have that anchor on defense. Question Marks: -Can the Devils defensive system work without a stud defenseman? -Can Elias and Gionta regain the chemistry of the past couple years without Gomez? -Can Parise improve on last years break out season. Outlook: The Devils success over the past decade has largely been due to having stellar goaltending and a nearly as stellar defense. But over the past 3 or 4 years they have lost Scott Stevens, Scott Niedermayer and Brian Rafalski off their defence and the question is, can they be just

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Eastern Conference Team Ratings

Based on the same forumula as the western conference ratings, here are the eastern conference ratings. As usual, if you disagree feel free to post your thoughts and if you can back up your arguement, who knows, maybe you can get me to change my mind. Forwards Defense Goaltending Total Talent Depth Exp. Talent Depth Exp. #1 goalie Depth Exp. Score Ottawa 10 6 7 8 7 7 8 7 6 53.2 Buffalo 8 8 6 7 8 7 8 7 6 52.8 Pittsburgh 10 8 6 8 7 6 7 6 6 52.5 NY Rangers 9 7 8 6

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Second Round Predictions

Time for the second round predictions. Like the first round, the second round features some intriguing matchups and also like the first round, none of those match ups are divisional rivals. NY Rangers at Buffalo NY Rangers (road) Buffalo (home) Predicted Winner Buffalo (Good) Fair Odds +135 -155 Overall Record 42-30-10 53-22-7 Home/Road Record 21-15-5 28-10-3 Last 10 Games 7-2-1 7-3-0 Past Games 2006/10/14: NY Rangers 4 at Buffalo 7 2006/11/05: Buffalo 4 at NY Rangers 3 (OT) 2006/11/26: Buffalo 3 at NY Rangers 2 (OT) 2006/12/01: NY Rangers 3 at Buffalo 4 (SO) My Opinion: Buffalo has been my

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Eastern Conference first round predictions

When writing up these first round matchups I realized that not one of them features a divisional rivalry. I am too lazy to check but I am not sure that has ever happened before. Anyway, here are my eastern conference predictions. NY Islanders at Buffalo NY Islanders (road) Buffalo (home) Predicted Winner Buffalo (Good) Fair Odds +137 -159 Overall Record 40-30-12 53-22-7 Home/Road Record 18-17-6 28-10-3 Last 10 Games 6-3-1 7-3-0 Past Games 2006/10/26: Buffalo 3 at NY Islanders 0 2007/01/01: NY Islanders 1 at Buffalo 3 2007/01/27: Buffalo 3 at NY Islanders 5 2007/03/30: NY Islanders 4 at Buffalo

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The Mogilny Decision…

As I was driving home tonight I was listening to the Team 1200 sports radio station here in Ottawa and apparently there is some outrage and misunderstanding about the Mogilny decision today. The announcers were talking about how there are probably 29 other teams who are upset at this decision. Let me say that this is probably not the case and the reason is simple. The over age 35 and in the second or later year of a multi-year contract rule where the players salary will count against the cap regardless of where or even if he is playing was

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