NHL News: Matt Duchene or Mark Stone?

The Ottawa Senators Should DEFINITELY Sign Mark Stone Over Matt Duchene

This a major issue for Ottawa right now. Duchene or Stone? Stone is 26-years-old, an elite scoring winger, perhaps not a franchise level talent but he ranks among the top-20 for players 26-years-old or younger. Duchene is 28-years-old and again an elite forward, can we say franchise talent, sure but he is 28-years-old now so I do not know if I am building a franchise around him right now.

Duchene has played 697 games in the NHL collecting a respectable 525 points (222G, 303A), a 0.75 point per game player in his career. Not too shabby. On the year he has 48 points in 41 games (21G, 27A), has recorded six 50+ point seasons in his career and is a player that skates extremely well, can score goals and play with just about anyone. He is playing Bobby Ryan and Ryan Dzingel and producing quite well.

Stone has played 359 NHL games recording a very respectable 300 career NHL points (117G, 183A), a 0.83 point per game player. On the year Stone has 51 points in 52 games (22G, 29A). Over his career he has recorded over 50 points every year he has been in the NHL despite 2012-13 when he played 4 games and 2013-14 when he played 19 games (in which he had 8 points). Stone is playing with two very young players this year Colin White and Brady Tkachuk and at almost a point per game (0.98).

In my opinion the Senators should move on from Matt Duchene for two reasons, for Duchene to stay they are going to need to over pay him a ton, he is going to ask for 10.5-11 million dollars a year and while Duchene is good he is not worth that money. Reason two, while he seems to be fitting in well with Ottawa right now, when he gets his contract, signs and gets comfortable there, he may not be the same player. Players always play well going into a contract year or on the verge of free agency. He is clearly not a great team/locker room guy with the incident in Ottawa this year in Colorado two years ago. I think Stone fits the Senators way better than Duchene, Stone was drafted in Ottawa has made a name for himself in Ottawa, has a history here, you know what you are going to get from him, his teammates love him and overall Stone just seems like a more secure and suitable option for Ottawa.

As well Stone will probably cost around 7.5-8.5, comparable to a Ryan O’Reilly player who is on a sheet of 7.5 million a year. Stone may cost a little more than O’Reilly per say just because Stone would be their guy and Ottawa is not in a great situation therefore throw him an extra 1-1.5 million a year just because it may not be too great for the first 3-4 years of his contract. Duchene is going to ask for 10+ million for five to six years, money wise, Stone will be cheaper and looking at their career numbers and what they bring to the table it is not like Duchene is head over heels a better player than Stone.

Keep Stone in Ottawa, get a ton of assets for Duchene and move on. With Duchene’s last statement regarding his contract extension talk.

“If I had a gut feeling I’d probably go with it right now but at this point we’re not at that point.” Duchene said after speaking about his contract extension.

This quote alone would make me want to not sign Duchene. What does this even mean? He is just delaying the inevitable of alluding to the fact that he is not going to re-sign in Ottawa. I feel as if Ottawa and Duchene’s agent are way off and it would make no sense to try and work out a deal when you can save the money and get a ton of assets for Duchene.


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.


Fantasy Hockey News: Injuries, Free Agents and more

Fantasy Hockey News; Injury Updates, Trending players and more!

Injury Update: 

John Klingberg was finally activated off the injury reserved (IR) after being out since November 14th. Klingberg entered a tough game where the Stars lost 5-2 to Chicago. Klingberg managed to log 26 shifts, 24:30 minutes time on ice, with 2 shots but a -3 plus/minus.

It was released that Zach Hyman will miss 4-6 weeks with an ankle injury. Hyman has 7 goals and 8 assists on the year, this means that Connor Brown and Andreas Johnsson get a promotion in minutes now.

The Carolina Hurricanes welcomed back Jordan Staal (concussion) and Michael Ferland (concussion) to the line up Thursday night. The Hurricanes ended up losing 3-1 to Detroit. Staal managed 22 shifts, 17:49 time on ice, 2 shots and -2 plus/minus. Where Ferland managed 21 shifts, 15:57 time on ice, 1 shot and -1 plus/minus.

Nick Bjugstad did not play Thursday night but is said to be eyeing a Saturday return. Bjugstad has 4 goals and 6 assists on the year.

Matt Duchene is said to be returning to the Senators line up Friday. Duchene has missed six games recovering from a lower-body injury. Duchene has been the Senators top forward this season with 12 goals and 22 assists in 29 games.

Max Pacioretty cannot seem to find his way healthy this season. Monday night it was said that Pacioretty was banged up causing him to leave the game and the Golden Knights have placed Pacioretty on the IR for an undisclosed injury. The Knights called up Brandon Pirri from the AHL and Pacioretty’s return is unknown right now.

Ilya Kovalchuk will return to the Kings line up Saturday. Kovalchuk has missed almost three weeks he is returning sooner than expected (4 weeks) after under going a procedure to his ankle. Kovalchuk has 5 goals and 9 assists in 25 games this season.

Trending free agents: 

Bryan Rust: The Penguins new Patric Hornqvist esq player seems to filling that role quite well. Rust has 5 goals, 1 assist, 2 game-winning goals and 17 shots on net over the last week of play.

Eric Gustafsson: The Blackhawks power play leading defenseman seems to be finding his role on the Blackhawks blue line. Gustafsson has 3 goals, 2 assists and 2 power play points in his last week of play. He now has 8 goals and 10 assists on the year.

Kevin Hayes: The Rangers most consistent forward this season, Hayes seems to be playing with a chip on his shoulder or looking to impress NYR management to stay in New York. Hayes has 2 goals, 4 assists and 3 power play points in the last week of play. He now has 9 goals and 18 assists on the year.

Alexander Edler: The Canucks veteran defenseman is finding his way onto the scoresheet at a consistent rate now. Edler has tallied 5 assists and one goal in the last six games. Edler has 3 goals and 11 assists on the year.

Josh Bailey: The Islanders top forward is not on the same tear he was on last year but he is a consistent force in this line up. Bailey has tallied an assist in 7 of the Islanders last 10 games. Bailey now has 7 goals and 21 assists on the year.



Ottawa Senators Uber video

Ottawa Senators; Trouble in Paradise as Uber driver releases video of players bashing team


Here is the unofficial video that was released late Monday night. The players in the car are Thomas Cabot, Dylan DeMelo, Matt Duchene, Alex Formenton, Chris Tierney, Chris Wideman and Colin White. The video goes on for about two minutes and ranges from the players ripping on their teams powerplay, penalty kill, forecheck, systems and a whole lot more I am sure.

Anyways, to start this Uber driver is an absolute scumbag for recording these guys without them even knowing they were being recorded. At least be like “hey guys by the way I record all my rides so just a heads up you are on video right now.” Now it would have been one thing if he said that and they still did it but I am sure they would not have said anything and saved it for after the ride.

Second, I understand there is definitely concern for the things said in this video and it shows the commitment of the players, but I also do think friendly banter and joking around is not a big deal. There is no chance these guys are just going into every game saying “oh f*ck it. Who cares” sure they are not a great team and they know it but they are competitors who still compete every game. Also, this video was in Arizona right after they got shelled 7-1 in Arizona so instead of making the loss a big deal they decided to poke some fun at it. I mean they are going to have to get used to this or else it is going to be a stressful year for the team. While yes, this is not the best way to deal with a loss but keeping things loose and fun instead of having Mr. serious and stick up your ass type of guys around the room all day, everyday this is how they decided to deal with the loss.

Third, the concern is obviously is high for the Senators front office since guys like Chabot, Tierney, DeMelo, Duchene, White, Formenton are all relatively new or entirely new to the team therefore it shows that their commitment is not so high and when you have young players and new players like this making jokes and not taking their jobs serious is not great. Tensions will start to fly in the front office now and it will be pretty uneasy to be in that locker room. I see both sides of this the young guys are trying to make the most of the situation they have and poke some fun, the new players are doing the same, they do not want their life to be hell just because they are on a team that is rebuilding and going to be struggling for a couple years.

Lastly, they have come out and apologized as they collectively said:

“We want to apologize publicly to Marty Raymond, our teammates and coaches for our comments in Phoenix Arizona on October 29th. Our private conversation was recorded without our knowledge or consent. We’re passionate about our team and focusing on growing. We are grateful for the support of our fans and organization. This is an important learning experience and we will do better.”

Sure the apology has to come out and sound like that but I do believe the guys still care abut the team and how they perform like I said, bad loss and wanted to make light of the situation instead of being a bunch of sticklers about how they played. Weird way to deal with it probably and we all may not agree but that’s how young guys deal with loses and stuff in this league nowadays.

Guy Boucher came out after their apology and said:

“Nothing is more important to us during this rebuild than making sure our players and coaches are fully committed to our plan, our values and our system of play. We have every confidence in Marty Raymond’s coaching in the effort and determination of our team; and in the sincerity of our players apology. We are now treating this as a team matter and will be making no further comment to the media.”

Not a good look for Ottawa but the team is 5-6-3 on the year with five more road games left in the month. Probably no more Uber rides for these guys on the road. Be interesting to see if the players try and get in touch with the Uber driver.

NHL: Ottawa Senators 2018-19 overview

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.


NHL Colorado Avalanche

NHL: Avalanche impact of Kerfoot, Yakupov, Duchene Trade Tensions

Alright going out on a limb here, but bear with me, did you expect Colorado to be 3-1-0, with fifteen goals for and nine goals against, third in the Central division, NOPE. Well, okay it is four games into the year and it’s early but while we are on the topic, why has Colorado been so successful this early?

Reason #1 Impact of Alex Kerfoot

NHL Colorado AvalancheMany of us forget something about this kid, he was drafted in the 5th round by the New Jersey Devils in 2012, did not end up resigning with them and chose the Colorado Avalanche this offseason. After spending four years at Harvard, Kerfoot was a Hobey Baker nominee and captain his last season, Kerfoot was not a major player of discussion this offseason. Let’s not forget though Kerfoot tallied 113 points in four seasons at Harvard and only played 25 games his first year. The most surprising of them all, a fifth-round draft pick, undervalued center chose the Avalanche and is making an immediate impact. Perhaps the reason of not having a lot of pressure on him is Kerfoots reason for choosing Colorado. Kerfoot has been clicking with Duchenne and Yakupov early in the season and if he can keep this up, the Avalanche may not be as bad as we all thought.

Reason #2 Duchene trade chatter quiets

Now we all know the whole Duchene situation, he wants out of Colorado and he made it quite evident towards the end of last year and all summer. Remember that media day picture, of him looking like he wanted to jump off a cliff? Yeah well, everyone in Colorado felt that tension with the whole Duchene situation from the All-Star break all the way to the end of the summer. But Duchene came into camp and said he does not want to discuss trade talks and he is here out of the respect for his teammates. Well, it seems a lot of chatter has seemed to boil down between Joe Sakic and Matt Duchene also, please don’t bring up the Peter Forsberg comment, 100% of what we heard is not correct and it got lost in translation nor will it even make a difference on the outcome of Duchene’s future in Colorado. Anyhow, Duchene and his line have been a top line in the NHL right now and it seems Duchene is putting the past behind him, in five games Duchene has two goals, three assists, and nine shots on goal. If all is well, Duchene and the Av’s can put this trade talk to the side and let Duchene play the Av’s may be better than we all thought.

Reason #3 Resurged Nail Yakupov

NHL Colorado AvalancheYakupov came flying out of the gates this season and has been a big headline in Colorado and the NHL early this season. After failing miserably in St. Louis, he signed a one-year $875k contract(granted money from St. Louis still) and since coming to Colorado, Yakupov seems to really be enjoying his new linemates. Yakupov has five points in four games, tying his goal total from last year already just four games in. He is also four points away from tying his point total from last season. Why the resurgence from Yakupov though? Well, the same reason for Kerfoot, low market area, not a lot of pressure, the ability to play his game without any crazy expectations could be a reason. We have to remember Yakupov was a 2012 first overall draft pick and has not amounted to much at all, in his five seasons, Yakupov totaled 120 games in 292 NHL games, his best year came in 2014-15 where totaled 33 points in 81 games. For a 1st overall pick in a city like Edmonton that was longing for the next best player, Yakupov failed miserably and the fans of Edmonton let him hear it. Shipping out of Edmonton to St. Louis the same thing happened, so fans around the league have started to expect less and less each year from Yakupov, and while the pressure is off, Yakupov has been phenomenal. If Kerfoot and Yakupov keep it up and Duchene ends up staying in Colorado, settling the tension between Sakic and him, the Av’s may not be that terrible, people.