Tag: Mark Stone

Top-15 UFA Players This 2019 NHL Off-Season

This has to be one of the better UFA off-season’s upcoming. There are a ton of solid players along with a handful of superstar UFA’s this off-season. Just for clarification a UFA means unrestricted free-agent. Meaning that any team can offer them a contract where as a RFA is restricted and their current team gets first bid then if they decline their is a period where the player is available to any team.

1. Erik Karlsson: San Jose Sharks have a very difficult choice, let their captain Joe Pavelski go or re-sign Erik Karlsson… Karlsson is 28-years-old coming off a 6.5 million dollar cap hit, probably looking for 9.5-10.5 million.

2. Artemi Panarin: A BIG conversation surrounding this play-making star. Panarin is looking for around 9 million I’d assume and if the Blue Jackets do shed Sergei Bobrovsky, Panarin may return to Columbus.

3. Jeff Skinner: At only 5.75 million a year Skinner is producing like a 8.5+ million type player right now. Skinner has 29 goals and 42 points in 43 games this season. It will be a BIG topic for Buffalo on what to do with Skinner come the deadline/free agency.

4. Matt Duchene: The 27-year-old forward has been unbelievable this season. Due to his speed, goal-scoring, play-making ability, Duchene will be a highly sought after forward. He has 42 points in 37 games this season (18G, 24A).

5. Mark Stone: Another Senator, Stone is probably going to be making the same he is now just a long term deal. It seems likely he will stay with Ottawa though, depending on Duchene.

6. Joe Pavelski: The 33-year-old veteran forward seems like he is not aging with currently 25 goals and 38 points in 46 games. Pavelski will probably cost 7-7.5 million a year.

7. Sergei Bobrovsky: This is based on Panarin really but I think we see Bob walk from Columbus after this season or possibly soon. Either way whoever gets Bob will need to sign him to a 4-5 year deal for 7 million a year.

8. Jordan Eberle: Eberle did produce 59 points (25G, 34A) in 81 games last season and currently has 19 points (9G, 10A) in 38 games this season. Eberle will cost around 6 million per year, also looking for a long term deal.

9. Jacob Trouba: At 24-years-old, a righty defenseman, a proven top-four defenseman the Jets will have to re-address this situation one more time now. Trouba is on a 5.5 million dollar deal and will look for as much as he can get honestly.

10. William Karlsson: At 5.25 million the Vegas tested Karlsson to see if he could do what he did last year one more time and see if he was worth a big contract. Well, Karlsson has 15 goals and 15 assists in 47 games. He will probably end with around 28 goals this season which may reduce his contract amount but he will see a long term deal.

11. Semyon Varlamov: At 30-years-old this seems to be the age that makes or breaks goaltenders. A lot of teams could use a number one and the Avalanche have to sign a lot of players off their entry level contracts and Mikko Rantanen, what will happen with Varlamov is unknown.

12. Tyler Myers: A big right handed, top-four defenseman is very valuable in this league. The Jets have to choose between Myers or Trouba really.

13. Kevin Hayes: Likely a trade target for many teams this deadline and it is said the Rangers are looking to move him before the deadline but Hayes is making his case for 6 million a year at 5-6 years with 33 points in 39 games this season.

14. Gustav Nyquist: The Red Wings will most likely trade or let Nyquist walk this off-season but to a contending team Nyquist is a valuable experienced, play-making forward. He has 37 points in 45 games this season.

15. Brock Nelson & Anders Lee: Most likely both are going to stay with the Islanders but Nelson is a pure-goal scorer, plays a lot like the other person on this list, Anders Lee. Both of them have a knack for the front of the net. Nelson has 29 points in 42 games this season and Lee has 33 points in 42 games. Combined these two will cost the Islanders around 12.5 million a year.

 

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Rangers earn 13th win over Ottawa Senators off goals from Andersson, Staal and Kreider

The New York Rangers people, sure it was a win over the Ottawa Senators but it is extremely satisfying to see this team score goals and have it done by people of all different names. As well as seeing this team play as a unit, everyone chip in and never give up or look out of it. 

The Rangers picked up their 13th win of the year vs the Ottawa Senators at Madison Square Garden winning 4-2. It was a back and forth game until the end. The Rangers and Senators combined for 64 shots on net total, Rangers with 33, Senators with 31, neither team scored a power play goal as the Rangers went 0/4 and Senators 0/2. Despite the numerous turnovers between the two, the Rangers managed to pull ahead in this game and take control of third place in the Metropolitan division. 

First period scoring

Tonight’s scoring led off with Marc Staal (1). The play originally starts with a Staal shot that got blocked into the corner, Staal followed his shot kicked it to Mika Zibanejad behind the net, as Zib walked the front, Staal was back door waiting for a one-timer, where he netted the first goal of the game and of the year for him. The second goal of the game and the Senators first to tie it at one a piece was off the only Senator goal scorer of the night. Mark Stone, who led the rush in the zone and made a beautiful saucer pass to Brady Tkachuk coming in late to the zone, Tkachuk just threw it to the net as Stone cleaned up garbage for his 10th of the year. There was nothing in the second period just an even period where both teams registered 9 shots on net. 

Third period scoring

The third opened with nothing in the first 3.5 minutes until the Rangers struck first to make it 2-1 off a Lias Andersson goal and Ryan Strome assist. Music to Rangers fan ears. Andersson scored his first of the year off Strome’s second assist with the Rangers. This was an odd goal as it came off a shot from and just happened to bank off Andersson’s back and just like that the Rangers went up 2-1. Not a pretty way to score your first of the year but a goal is a goal for the young Rangers forward. The next goal was the Rangers to make it 3-1, off a two on one, Filip Chytil with Chris Kreider a simple, saucer pass over the defenseman right on Kreider’s stick made it 3-1 and Kreider’s 13th of the year, as well as the game winning goal. Senators scored late but it would not be enough. Mark Stone scored his second of the night but the Rangers would eventually score an empty netter to seal the deal and make it 4-2. 

Rangers can thank Henrik Lundqvist for his 29 save performance helping the Rangers get their 13th win and Hank’s 9th win of the year. Lundqvist improves to 9-7-2 on the year and a .927 save percentage. The Rangers hit the road to play in Ottawa on Thursday and Montreal on Saturday before returning home to face the Jets on Sunday. 

All around a gritty win for the Rangers getting insurance from Andersson, Staal and having their top performers show up when they need it most is exactly what has made the Rangers successful. The Rangers top players are there when they need them, Lundqvist is playing great and their role players are chipping in when it is needed. Another win, and another Ranger prospect making a mark on the game.

NHL; Most underrated players this season

Elias Lindholm: This guy does not get enough credit for his consistency. He finally gets a chance to play with two of the top forwards in the league and he is not letting any second go to waste. Lindholm is accompanied by Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan this season. When playing with those two it seems like Lindholm’s 11 goals and 12 assists this season is not a great feat, but Lindholm has been a consistent 40 point guy that gets no love in the NHL. 

Mark Stone: Probably not a typically underrated spoken name but Stone does not get the recognition he should. He plays on a young, struggling and questionable team right now. Ottawa and Canada in general is not an easy place to play and thrive in, yet Stone finds a way to make it happen every year. This season he has 9 goals and 15 assists in 22 games this season. A former 5th rounder, performing like a 1st rounder his whole career in Ottawa is something that should be recognized more. 

Bo Horvat: Playing in Vancouver with two young studs in Elias Pettersson and Brock Boeser, Horvat is often out of the lime light and forgotten about. The 23-year-old forward has been in the league for five years now and been around the 45-50 point mark every year. On the year Horvat has 21 points in 24 games, 11 goals and 10 assists. Extremely good skater, can play both ends of the puck and certainly not afraid to shoot the puck.

Tyson Barrie: He is usually bouncing around on the IR but when Barrie is healthy he is their clear number one and it is obvious. With the addition of some young defenseman in Colorado some of the light has been taken off Barrie but a lot of the Avalanche success this season comes from a guy like Barrie on the back end, who is extremely efficient 5 on 5 and on the power play. Barrie has 2 goals and 17 assists on the year. 

Ryan McDonagh: The Lightning have a slew of defenseman and unbelievable offense, therefore it is extremely easy to get lost on this roster. But McDonagh has finally brought what the Lightning were expecting, solid defense and an offensive style game too. McDonagh really stepped in when Victor Hedman went down but continues to be an impactful player on one of the best teams in the NHL. McDonagh 2 goals and 14 assists and two power play points. 

Carter Hutton: Coming to a new team, from a back up role to a starter role that. Hutton had a lot of pressure put on him right when he came to Buffalo. Hutton has done nothing but great things in Buffalo and a big reason they are a top team in the NHL right now. Hutton has 10 wins in 16 games started, a 10-6-1 record 2.57 goals against (GAA) and .917 save percentage (SV%). He’s made the 7th most saves among all NHL goalies this season as well. 

Henrik Lundqvist: Everyone said Lundqvist was done, he was aging out, his time was done and he could not be on the same level he once was. But Lundqvist is a major reason the Rangers have come out of the gates hot and a complete shock to everyone right now. Lundqvist has the 5th most saves in the NHL right now, a 2.61 GAA and .919 SV % with a 8-6-2 record in 17 starts this season. At 36-years-old the “king” has been off to a surprising start. 

Ottawa Senators: What is the plan for Stone, Karlsson and Duchene heading into the 2018-19 season

By now we all know Ottawa is a dumpster fire. After the whole Mike Hoffman and Erik Karlsson tirade, the Mark Stone signing and signing of Cody Ceci to 4.3 mil a year for one-year, just shows everything is out of sorts over there.

The bigger question though, it seems Karlsson is not going anywhere as of yet? It’s been nearly two months since we heard Karlsson rumors so it is fair to say with training camp approaching soon Karlsson will be on the Senators to start the season. Second, what is this Mark Stone deal? Stone is now the 35th highest paid player in the NHL with his contract comparing to players whose numbers reach in the upwards of 80 points year in and year out. Duchene, they have for 6 mil until next year.

Ok, we have not even mentioned the fact Ottawa has Bobby Ryan locked up until 2021-22 for 7.25 mil a year, Marian Gabriok for another three years at 4.875 mil a year, and Clarke MacArthur for 4.6 mil for two years. These are just some of the awful contracts in Ottawa. There is a zero percent chance they can afford Duchene, Stone, Karlsson at the end of 2019.

Here is my take on this and what I think will happen…

What I think Ottawa will do is trade Stone mid way through the year to a desperate playoff contending team, have them swallow some if not all of his contract, receive a mid-level prospect and high draft pick. Probably do the same with Duchene come trade deadline time and receive a first and some third or later round picks and some NHL ready players for Duchene. As well as Karlsson who will be dealt for a first, high level prospect and more. Therefore Ottawa will just walk into the 2019 NHL draft with a ton of first-round picks, a boat load of cap space and a totally different outlet on their team. Pushing youth development and trusting the process. Why? Well Stone, Duchene and Karlsson are all UFA(unrestricted free agents) therefore if Ottawa were to just let these guys walk for nothing that would potentially be the worst decision in Ottawa history since signing Bobby Ryan for 7.25 mil a year.

 

What went wrong: Ottawa Senators 2017-2018

Imagine this making the Conference finals in 2016-17 season being a few wins away from a Stanley Cup appearance to then in one season being the laughing stock of the league and a team that has some major concerns heading into next season now.

What could have possibly went wrong for Ottawa, well to start…

erik-karlsson-injured(1) Erik Karlsson was out to start the season. Anytime a Norris defenseman and all-star caliber player is not there day one it can cause some in balance in things and a team to get off to a rocky start.

(2) Scoring was a major issue, the Senators ranked 25th for goals for with 219 and 2nd for goals against with 284. They did not have enough scoring on the front end to supplement for their awful goals against number. They certainly lacked goal scoring as they had 4 players with 20+ goals and 5 players with 40+ points or more. Their number one player Mark Stone lead the team in points with 62 and only played 58 games. Which leads to point number three…

(3) Bobby Ryan Mark Stone Matt Duchene only played a little more than half the season, health was definitely an issue with this team and it hurt them that Stone only had 58 games played, perhaps a full season with Stone scoring 100 points could have helped.

(4) Craig Anderson was extremely(emphasis) sub par this season, the lack of goal tending showed on the Senators record as Anderson posted a 23-25-6 record with a 3.32 GAA and .898 SV %. The goaltender was inconsistent and struggled a ton this year plus Mike Condon was not a viable back up option posting a 3.25 GAA and 5-17-5 record.

NHL Ottawa Senators(5) Head coach, Eugene Melynk and players were not on the same page. There was one point when Ottawa funded Melnyk must go when he wanted to trade star defenseman Erik Karlsson, and when your superstar player/captain and owner are not on the same page nor can’t even sit in a room together problems will occur.

Will everything be better next year? 

Probably not. Although they will probably have a better season, Anderson is one of those goalies who goes on and off years, so he’s probably destined for a better season. Anything is better honestly. They do have a top 5 pick this years draft, which could land them a very solid forward in which they need. Whomever they get will help them.

But the Senators still have not said anything about what they are doing with Karlsson or nothing is definite, yet… They have to sign Mark Stone this off season and at the same time think about whatever they do with him will affect Karlsson’s contract, Duchene’s and Dzingel’s also. With also needing to sign Chris Weidman, Cody Ceci and Fredrik Cleasson this off season as well. The Senators have a ton of contracts to ponder so it’s inevitable at least one or two key pieces won’t be returning either next season or the following year in 2019-20.

My prediction for Ottawa is another basement finish probably around 20th in the league, no playoff spot, around a few games under .500 they will have a better year but nothing like they did in 2016-17 though.