Dan Blackburn- How Good Could He Have Been?

On Sunday, former first-round draft pick Dan Blackburn announced his retirement at the tender age of 22. Selected 10th overall by the New York Rangers in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, he was projected as their future starter and the heir apparent to Mike Richter. Then, in October of 2003, Blackburn suffered an injury to his left shoulder which resulted in nerve damage and left him unable to play for…

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Pittsburgh Penguins

(Also posted at The Devils Advocate) What they lost: The stigma of being a losing team. The only players they lost are Kris Beech, Matt Bradley, Michal Roszival, and J.G. Aubin. Hardly the kind of players who would be considered monumental losses. What they gained: Hope… and a ton of it. The most notable addition to this team is Sidney Crosby. While it remains to be seen just how much…

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Nik Antropov – Another chance?

In today’s Toronto Sun regular columnist Steve Simmons wonders what Pat Quinn sees in Nik Antropov and Alex Ponikarovsky and whether they deserve another chance with the Leafs. You see, most of the hockey world looks at Nik Antropov and sees this large, gangly, marginally accomplished hockey player and they have to wonder what happened to that kid with all the promise. But let’s compare Antropov to two other big,…

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Best Lines in NHL

With all the player movement since the NHL last played we can’t be sure if all of these lines will be used by the coaches of the teams but here is my list of the best possible first lines teams could use if desired. Be sure to also vote for your top line in the poll in the menu to the left. (poll should be up for several days) Vancouver…

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Philadelphia Flyers

(Also posted at The Devils Advocate) What they lost: The heart of their offense. Gone are LeClair, Recchi, Amonte, Roenick, and Zhamnov. That’s four future-Hall of Famers gone in one extended offseason. Four of their top five scorers, and five of their top ten are gone. No team in the division was harder hit on offense than the Flyers. What they gained: Peter Forsberg, one of the all-time great talents…

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Chicago Blackhawks Outlook

Significant Subtractions: Bryan Berard, Jocelyn Thibault Significant Additions: Nikolai Khabibulin, Martin Lapointe, Mathieu Barnaby, Jim Dowd, Adrian Aucoin, Jassen Cullimore, Jaroslav Spacek, Todd Simpson. Goaltending: He cost a bundle (4 years, $27 million) but the Blackhawks managed to significantly upgrade their goaltending with cup champion Nikolai Khabibulin. Khabibulin is one of those guys who when he is on his game is one of the best around but who at times…

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Western Conference Goaltender Roundup

Anaheim: J-S Giguere should start again for Anaheim, although he may not be recognizable without his over-sized equipment. Russian prospect Ilya Bryzgalov is a strong possibility for the backup role, however, former Ducks netminder Steve Shields has also been invited to camp and could claim the role. The expectation is that Shields and Adam Wall will play net for Anaheim’s farm team. Calgary: Mikka Kiprusoff headlines Calgary’s attempt to return…

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Edmonton Oilers Season Preview

Off-season activity: The 2003/04 NHL season abundantly displayed the holes in their roster that Edmonton needed to fill: a starting goaltender, a number one centreman, and a mobile, puck-moving defenceman. In the two off-seasons that have followed, they’ve made half-fearted attempts to fill all these roles. The starting goaltender duties in 03-04 were split by a suddenly-ineffective Tommy Salo and an extremely unproven Ty Conklin. Things look better this year…

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New contributor

I’d like to welcome Jonathan Willis to the HockeyAnalyis.com contributors list. Jonathan doesn’t have a blog of his own but will write the occasional article for HockeyAnalysis.com, mostly focusing on the western conference.

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Rookies or cheap veterens?

One thing that we are seeing in the NHL under the new CBA is that some veterens are going to have to accept minimum or close to minimum salary contracts if they want to remain in the NHL. Mariusz Czerkawski who signed with the Leafs for a paltry $500,000 is an example. The best Bryan Marchment could do is accept an invite to a training camp. Defenseman Brad Brown was…

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