Detroit Red Wings

Where to begin? The defending Cup champs are so well-balanced and talented from top to bottom that the fact they managed to land Marian Hossa means they’re the heavy favourites to repeat again, which hasn’t happened since 1997 and 1998 when, you guessed it, Steve Yzerman and the Wings did it. It almost came as a shock to some that the Wings won the Cup, in part because 1) they had an European captain, and 2) their best centre had been labeled as a playoff “choker” the last couple of years. They were labeled as a team that didn’t scare

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Columbus Blue Jackets

There’s a right time to rebuild and there’s a wrong time to rebuild. For the Jackets, the time just never seems to be right for either or. Blessed with one of the best snipers of his generation in Rick Nash, the Jackets just seem to float around in obscurity, having zero playoff appearances in its short history. The biggest problem for the Jackets was always trying to find the right players, and even when they thought they did, they saddled themselves with undesirable contracts (Sergei Federov) that they had trouble getting rid of. They’ve stayed in purgatory for most of

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Here to Stay

“What I said was it varies from market to market. The one thing that would not be sensible to do is lower your ticket prices to enrich scalpers. That doesn’t make any sense. But the fact of the matter is, more than a majority of our teams would use the opportunity of economic stability to lower their ticket prices.” I guess to Gary Bettman and his “cost certainty,” enriching scalpers is at the top of his worry list. Terry Frei at ESPN argues that despite Bettman’s claims that he’s fighting for the fans and that by linking revenues to player

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Really, We're This Close

A month ago both sides seem to be optimistic about a new deal. Now that training camp is fast approaching and Joe Sakic has re-signed (rejoice, hockey fans), Andrej Meszaros and the Sens seem to be drifting further and further apart. Despite claims from both sides in earlier months that a contract extension was near, it seems as though that may be quite contrary to the truth. The young rearguard, who is coming off a rather disappointing sophomore campaign after a marvelous rookie one, is asking for around $4.5m/year, while the Sens remain adamant that $3.5m/year is a much fairer

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How soon things change…

Only a month ago, Howard Berger and others wrote about how things were pretty much all good int he NHL. And though it’s oddly out of fashion to lay kudos on commissioner Gary Bettman, there is little doubt he has adroitly guided the NHL through its most turbulent epoch. Bettman and deputy Bill Daly administer to an enormous, 30-team circuit that does not have an overbearing crisis at the moment — a triumph fans on both sides of the border should relish. I wonder if Howard Berger wants to take back those words now. In the past few weeks we

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Goaltending. Goaltending. Goaltending.

In Real Estate they say the value of a property is all about location, location and location. In hockey I believe success is all about goaltending, goaltending and goaltending. I recently wrote an article about young franchise players and I ranked Henrik Lundqvist and Roberto Luongo at the top of the list ahead of players like Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza, Dion Phaneuf, etc. In the comments to that post several people argued against me putting two goalies at the top of the list saying that goalies aren’t that valuable. The following is some evidence to show

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View from a Brit…

I was doing some web searching for some other hockey related article that I am considering writing and I somewhat accidentally came across this blog post from a British sports fan talking about hockey and the Ducks-Kings games that were played in London to start the season. What is interesting is to see what a relative outsider thinks of hockey. “…there is a hell of a lot of skill involved besides just trying to knock as many teeth out of an opponents gum as possible, even if that is the biggest crowd puller.” He then goes on to post a

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Will the NHL Self Destruct?

If you listened to Gary Bettman the lockout that cost the NHL the 2004-05 season was to allow the NHL and the NHLPA to become partners and to ensure the viability of NHL hockey in all current NHL markets but only two years after that CBA was signed I am beginning to wonder if disaster on several fronts could be looming in the near future. Based on recent developments it is apparent that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman seems intent on doing whatever he can to preserve hockey in the existing NHL markets and it appears he is going to do

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Salary Cap numbers…

I am in the process of updating the salary cap numbers (see menu on the left) for all the teams. I have done several teams and hope to have most of the rest done in the next few days and hopefully keep up with many of the roster moves. Basically if the first year listed is 2007-08 then it has been updated in the past few days. If the first year listed is 2006-07 it has not yet been updated. As usual, if you find any mistakes (in the recently updated lists) please let me know.

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