Patrik Laine: Well, how are ya Patrik Laine. Laine had 11 goals in the last week, which the Jets played 4 games, he scored in every game and was known for his 5 goal performance vs St. Louis recently. Laine now has 19 goals on the year and, the greatest thing about this weeks number one fantasy player of the week, Laine had zero assists this week.
Nikita Kucherov: I believe this may have been Kucherov’s first time on the list, sure we have been doing it for three weeks now but Kucherov comes in at #2 due to his 2 goals and 7 assists on the week. In four games Kuch had a point in every game and three of them were multi-assist games. Kucherov now has 9 goals and 23 assists on the year.
Johnny Gaudreau: This may be Jonny Hockey’s first time on the list too but Gaudreau had 2 goals and 5 assists in four games this week for Calgary, helping the Flames to three of four wins this week. Gaudreau had a point in every Flames win this week and the one game they lost he was kept off the score sheet. Gaudreau now has 8 goals and 19 assists on the year.
Jack Eichel: Have to throw on the Sabres star and captain on this list as the Sabres run through the NHL on a 9-game streak and in first in the NHL. Eichel had 1 goal and 5 assists in the Sabres four games last week, the only game he scored in was the Penguins game November 19th which was an overtime winner. Eichel leads the team in points with 5 goals and 23 assists.
Max Pacioretty: About time the former 30-goal scorer gets going. Patches had 5 goals this week in the Vegas four games. The Golden Knights three game streak Patches has four goals, one assist in that span. On the year Pacioretty now has 8 goals and 3 assists on the year. For Vegas to stay hot and make a run it will come from players like this guy producing more.
As we all know there were two BIG trades the other day. One that involved Max Pacioretty and Erik Karlsson. But in that trade their were some other players that moving into their new role with their new team may also provide some fantasy impact.
But as you can tell by the title does this downgrade Erik Karlsson fantasy value? Well what do you think. I mean let’s be serious here. Karlsson thrived because he was the guy in Ottawa there was no one else to steal his fire power and he was able to play his game on his terms. Now obviously Karlsson will not be paired with Brent Burns still allowing him to play his game on either line one or two d-pairing but when it comes to power play time who is going to be the guy? Burns or Karlsson? What happens now? Karlsson usually logs around 20-30 power play points and Burns usually logs around the same. It will not be possible for Burns and Karlsson to have 25+ power play points each playing on the same power play. Which is why I ask, does this degrade Karlsson’s value? Or does it downgrade Burns value? This is obviously great for the Sharks but for us fantasy owners, what do you do?
Here is my take on this and predictions for Burns and Karlsson:
Karlsson plays a full 82 game season, logging d-pair two minutes, playing power play one time I think he comes in at about 70 points, possibly more but not much. He’ll have to rely a lot on 5 on 5 points. Same for Burns, Burns usually has a lot of success on the power play therefore it can be wary for Burns owners this year. Either way Burns can come in hotter out the gate this year and perhaps slow down a little but I think Burns comes in at around 60-65 points, he’ll have a similar year like last year, nothing to crazy. He won’t be having a ton pleasure on the power play with Karlsson but still he will be a solid 60-65 point defenseman.
The value of Pacioretty now…
Max Pacioretty, well the guy has scored 30 goals four-times in his career and all with Montreal. His highest point total of 67 points coming in 2014-15. Pacioretty will be around that same mark, he will be with a veteran center in Paul Statsny an electric young forward in Alex Tuch. Playing around 17+ minutes a game as well on the first power play, probably being the “guy” offsetting William Karlsson. I have to say this will be a great year for Pacioretty and he will benefit greatly from this trade and at 29-years-old he is at the perfect age for a 38 goal, 23 assist year.
Tomas Tartar, Chris Tierney, Dylan DeMelo predictions
I think this is provides major upside for DeMelo and Tartar. For two reasons, one Tartar will be the guy on that second line in Montreal he has proven to be a 20+ goal scorer in the same scenario with Detroit and now he is going to Montreal with the same situation at hand. Not a lot of weapons around him but just him being the main scorer. Tartar could very well benefit from this, I think we can expect 27 goals, 17 assists from Tartar this year. Think about it, he thrived in Detroit when he was in this situation, coming out of Vegas where he did not fit well to be a veteran goal scorer on a young Montreal team it could be beneficial. He’ll play power play two(as of now) and be paired with Phillip Danault and Artturi Lehkonen on line two. A top six forward again, power play time and logging 20 minutes, Tartar may excel.
For DeMelo this is provides major upside because now he will be logging major minutes in Ottawa on the second pair and possibly power play two. I don’t think we see major production from DeMelo but we can expect an uptick in numbers from him. If I had to say numbers wise form DeMelo he tallies 8 goals, 20 assists, not bad numbers but better than his last year.
For Tierney this may be good or bad. He showed some positive signs last year and seemed to be really enjoying his time in San Jose to be ripped out of that and thrown into a dumpster fire like Ottawa it may not be great for the up and coming young forward. Or it can play the other way where Tierney thrives off the move and enjoys his time in Ottawa, which I doubt. Either way I see Tierney producing around 15 goals, 18 assists. This is off the contingency now with Jean Gabriel Pageau out for the first 4-6 weeks, this gives Tierney the opportunity to play on the second line with Brady Tkachuk and Ryan Dzingel the only way Tierney is somewhat relevant next year is if he is in this top six, if not he’ll be a bottom six forward and producing at around 20 points next year.
What has happened over the last few days in the hockey world, Erik Karlsson finally got traded, Max Pacioretty is out of Montreal, Oliver Ekman Larsson and Justin Williams were named captains, Henrik Zetterberg’s career is over. It has been a whirl wind of emotions for hockey fans lately.
Patches lands in Vegas, flying high (literally)
First off the Pacioretty trade. Marc Bergevin has to be up to something to dismantle this Canadiens team. First Subban, now Pacioretty what is he up to? Anyways, the Canadiens receivedTomas Tatar, Nick Suzukiand a 2019 2nd round pick for Max Pacioretty. Pacioretty has now been enjoying his time in Vegas as he should, being that he has left that dumpster fire of a team in Montreal to join the former Western Conference champs and Stanley Cup contenders. The Vegas Golden Knights. The Golden Knights with this trade now have Pacioretty paired with Paul Statsny and Alex Tuch, how can this not work out. How can Pacioretty not be happy? Look, he gets the pressure of the Montreal media off his back, he is not the center of attention in Vegas, the “C” is now more so he does not have that added pressure and he is a second liner… To close the case here take a look at some of the things Max Pacioretty has already been up to in Vegas since the trade…
It seems to me Pacioretty is taking the transition to Vegas quite well..
Let’s just say Pacioretty did not mind the move to Vegas too much it seems. But what does this do for the Golden Knights? Well they add a veteran 30-goal scorer and with this move Pacioretty may be due for 35+ this year, just saying. It adds some more fire power to an already electric Vegas offense, you have Marchessault, Smith, Karlsson on top of Pacioretty that is a solid mix to some scoring and play making forwards. Either way this puts Vegas right where they should be a top contender for the Western Conference again and inch closer to the Stanley Cup…
Karlsson is OUT of OTTAWA!
Goodbye Ottawa and Eugene Melnyk, what a clown that owner is. First off the whole thing that went down over the summer with Hoffman and Karlsson and Melnyk barely said anything and all he did was get ripped off in a trade for Hoffman. Then the whole mid-year controversy between Karlsson and Melnyk where Karlsson did not even feel comfortable being around is own owner. Terrible. Anyways, he is out of another Atlantic dumpster fire and heading to a Pacific division team. What does this do for the Sharks, well. First the Sharks did not have to trade any core guys, they gave up two solid prospects and a few draft picks but to not really downgrade your roster a ton and a receive the best defenseman in the league is a win. The Sharks gave up Chris Tierney, Dylan DeMelo, Rudolfs Balcers, Josh Norris, 2019 2nd round pick, 2020 1st round pick, 2021 2nd round pick(turns into a first if San Jose gets to Stanley Cup this year). So the fact the Senators gave up their best defenseman and received just one defenseman in return is brutal.
Anyways, the impact this has on San Jose is immediate you have guys like Joe Thornton who have been around the game for a decade coming out and saying this is “f***ing incredible” for the Sharks. Now you have, Brent Burns a Norris trophy winner, Erik Karlsson and Marc Edouard Vlasic an unbelievable top three, to add in Brenden Dillon and Justin Braun. This blue line is loaded with all types of weapons, shut down d, offensive power, you name it this blue line has it. It also gives reassurance to Brent Burns and the Sharks forwards as well, Burns has been that puck moving guy on that back end for a while now anytime you get someone else who can do it helps out. Sharks forwards will be receiving break out passes galore with Burns, Vlasic and Karlsson coming their way. Not to mention a power play one consisting of Karlsson-Burns-Kane-Pavelski-Couture, my god… need we say more? It really make San Jose automatic Cup contenders and now battling for that pacific division with the other team on this article, Vegas.
A lot of Buffalo Sabres news. As it came out a little while ago, the Sabres have said they will not be offering Robin Lehner a contract, therefore, he will be a UFA come July 1st. Robin Lehner was sent over from Ottawa to Buffalo in 2015. The Sabres acquired Lehner and David Legwand while giving up a 1st round pick that was later used to pick Colin White.
Lehner posted bad numbers last year with a 14-26-9 record with a 3.01 GAA and a .908 SV percentage. The Sabres saw a solid year out of Lehner during the first two years he was here but expecting him to really come into a starting role the 26-year-old goaltender failed to meet the Sabres standards and will now be a free agent in the coming days. Lehner is still relatively young with plenty of years in him and the chance to crack an NHL roster as a starter. Some teams that may use Lehner’s services are the Islanders, Blackhawks, Stars, Red Wings, Montreal, Ottawa, Rangers. Lehner is a sure backup goaltender and a fringe starter, therefore, either of these teams could make sense.
Lehner’s career numbers are 72-97-35 with a 2.82 GAA and .915 SV percentage. Let’s see where the 26-year-old goaltender lands int he coming weeks.
More Buffalo news…
More news out of Buffalo is that they are extremely interested in trading down to the Canadiens number three pick, while also rumoring to give Montreal Ryan O’Reilly. Essentially a deal could like the Sabres receiving Max Pacioretty, the 3rd overall for Ryan O’Reilly and their first overall pick. A lot of chatter has come out about this. And if the Sabres do this and miss on Dahlin it may be the biggest mistake in their franchise history essentially.
Minor news out of Edmonton is that Eric Gryba was placed on waivers with the intention to buy him out. Gryba is 30-years-old on a $900,000 deal which ends at the end of the 2018-19 campaign. Gryba has tallied 14 points in 104 games. Since coming to Edmonton Gryba has yet to play a full season and has really failed to be a solid sixth defenseman for the Oilers. The positive for Gryba is that most defenseman and players who leave Edmonton end up doing fine and he is also 6’4 230 lbs a lot of NHL teams wouldn’t mind that demeanor on the blueline.
The trade rumors continue to fly surrounding Max Pacioretty the 29-year-old heading into the final year of his contract until he becomes an unrestricted free agent has been gaining a lot of interest from some teams. The 5-time 30 plus goal scorer has been the scoring piece in Montreal for the last 7 years now, while he has had his fair share of ups and downs in Montreal. Pacioretty still holds a ton of value. Going from 35 goals and 67 points in 82 games in 2016-17, Pacioretty had a rather disappointing season tallying 17 goals and 37 points in 64 games this season. Around the trade deadline Pacioretty was rumored to be on the move, but like we’ve seen before Montreal set the price a tad too high and were unable to move the left winger. Pacioretty has been said to get some interest from the St. Louis Blues and Buffalo Sabres, very small talk but it is something. The Blues have about 12 mil in cap space at the moment while the Sabres have around 19 mil in cap space. Whatever team does end up receiving Pacioretty will have to look into signing him to a good chunk of money. Coming off a 4.5 AAV contract, scoring 30 plus goals 5 times and 60 plus points 5 times Pacioretty is deserving of around 6 mil the least or 7.5 mil the maximum per year. While some teams have shown interest and the Canadiens are very open and willing to trade Pacioretty they have made it obvious if the deal is not right they are not going to do anything. General Manager Marc Bergevin did say he expects Pacioretty to be with the club for the 2018-19 season.
Per Stu Cowan a Montreal insider, Pacioretty has stated his desire to stay in Montreal and Bergevin has come out and said
“GM Marc Bergevin still has policy of not talking about contract negotiations but says at this point he expects captain Max Pacioretty to be back with the team next season”
Kevin Hayes on the move?
About 16 hours ago, rumors about Kevin Hayes being traded came out. The New York Rangers forward who recorded one of his best goal totals(25) in his four years has been said to be receiving significant interest over the last few hours. A few teams interested are the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames. Hayes has been with the Rangers since 2014, being drafted in 2010 by the Blackhawks and coming over to the Rangers four years later. Hayes has quickly worked his way into the Rangers top six and has become one of the better forwards on this Rangers young roster now. Hayes has received his fair share of criticism during the Rangers playoff runs, two seasons ago Hayes was scratched for a few playoff games due to his poor performance and lack of production. Despite Hayes’s 10 points in 34 playoff games, he has consistently tallied around 40-45 points each season, his highest point total coming in 2016-17 where he notched 32 assists and 49 points. Last year Hayes picked it up tremendously towards the end of the year when the Rangers threw in the white flag and crumbled, Hayes scored 15 points in his last 20 games and was showing waves of confidence in his game. Now, with the Rangers still looking to move some pieces and rebuild a bit here the 26-year-old, four-year player has been said to have some teams interested in him.
What would the Rangers look for in Hayes? Probably an NHL ready prospect or player, being that Hayes is likely their number two center and certainly in their top six and also will be seeing powerplay minutes as well. An NHL-ready prospect and a second or third round pick is fair. Hayes was drafted in the first round 24th overall. Hayes is an RFA this season so whatever team does end up getting him if they do will have to sign him to at least a 2-3 year deal anywhere near 3 mil per year since he is coming off a 2.6 AAV contract. Despite the rumors, I would be a tad shocked to see Hayes walk after the season he just had and how much he loves playing in New York and how comfortable he is now due to the fact he will be a centerpiece for this Rangers team moving forward.
Ilya Kovalchuk Watch
Ilya Kovalchuk watch continues, the 35-year-old winger who has spent the last 5 years in the KHL is and wants to make his return to the NHL. Since showing interest in playing at the NHL level again, some teams have shown interest in him. When it first came out during the deadline, there was a lot of talk about how the Devils did not want to waive his rights. Eventually, they did and now teams have free range to the once Maurice Rocket Richard trophy winner. Kovalchuk has tallied 417 goals, and 816 points in 816 NHL games. At 35 he may not be able to do the things he used to do in his twenties but without a doubt, he will bring a solid contribution to any NHL team.
During his last five years in the KHL Kovalchuk scored 285 points in 262 games with 120 goals, now clearly the KHL is no NHL style hockey but Kovalchuk can definitely be of service to many NHL teams. And those teams looking at the hefty right winger, are the Blues, Bruins, Kings, Sharks, and Rangers. Kovalchuk visited with the Kings and Sharks one weekend, then was rumored to be talking with Boston to replace Rick Nash on the second line, the Blues just got into the mix and the Rangers have been there but have slowly fallen off with Kovalchuk. Right now there is no definite one team, there are many teams looking at Kovalchuk but one thing that is definite is that Kovalchuk wants around 5.5 to 6 mil per year and some teams definitely cannot afford that. For now, we continue to wait and watch!
The Hurricanes go from terrible to decent and now want to go back to terrible it seems as they have set the price for 28-year-old veteran left winger Jeff Skinner and Justin Faulk. Skinner is rumored to be a first-round and prospect, while Faulk is rumored to be around the same price. The Jeff Skinner aspect is more of a draw right now due to the fact he is a 20+ goal scorer for three years in a row and Skinner is nearing the end of his contract at 5.75 AAV right now. Ending at the end of 2019 season. Faulk is up in two years at a 4.83 AAV. The two places these two have been rumored to though is the Chicago Blackhawks. Aside from these two, Noah Hanafin and Scott Darling have also been put on the trading block, essentially everyone on the Hurricanes on the block beside Sebestain Aho, it seems Rob Brind’Amour is really trying to change the culture. Not much has been said since a week ago when this rumor came out but the Blackhawks and Hurricanes are in trade talks, so keep your eyes peeled!
Pacioretty trade talk
Max Pacioretty we saw hit the trade block at the deadline this year in the 2017-18 season but nothing happened from that trade talk. Pacioretty is at 4.5 AAV and his contract ends at the end of this season, which is the main reason the Canadiens want to move him due to the fact Pax is a 5-time 30 plus goal scorer and will be earning around 6.5 plus mil per year, and the Canadiens clearly do not want to move forward with a long-term deal. Nothing has come up about where Pax is rumored to be going but we can expect Pax to find a new home this offseason.
Islanders and Hurricanes interest in Grubauer
More trade news, the Islanders, and Hurricanes have been rumored to reach out to the Capitals about Phillip Grubauer. The Islanders clearly need help in the goaltending department after how poorly Jaroslav Halak and Tomas Greiss completely fell through and did not live up to expectations. The Islanders hold the 11 and 12 picks in this year’s draft but if they do give up a first rounder for Grubauer, they are truly desperate. The Hurricanes are only interested in Grubauer because they have also been rumored to be trading Scott Darling. Not much has moved on this talk since it came up but let’s see where this goes.
Ilya Kovalchuk watch
Ilya Kovalchuk watch has begun, as he was seen in L.A. visiting the Kings and then heading to the San Jose Sharks to visit them. Kovalchuk wants to win and make anywhere from 5.5 to 6 million a year, therefore, a lot of teams are off the radar for Kovalchuk. The Kings have some Russians and have harbored some Russians before in the past so that could work out. The Sharks is a bit out of left field but with the news of buying out Paul Martin, they will have the money and to see what they did this offseason Kovalchuck is clearly inclined to go to a winning team like San Jose.
The Canadiens certainly were one of the most surprising disappoints this season after making the playoffs in 2106-17 but losing in six games in the first round, sights were set on a different horizon then what came to be for Montreal this season.
Montreal finished 28th in the NHL with a 29-40-13 record, 70 points and a 5th place division finish. They ranked 29th in goals for(207) 7th in goals against(258), 12th among power play percentage(21.2), 30th in penalty kill percentage(74.1). It is fair to say the Canadiens had a complete 180 season and have a lot of questions to answer for the long-time and historic Montreal fans.
What went wrong for the Canadiens, well there is a few things, the obvious ones. Lack of goal scoring, inconsistent goal tending, injuries, head coach and no depth on either side of the puck.
What went wrong…
(1) Lack of goal scoring/depth. The most obvious and well-known one. To start Max Pacioretty tallied 17 goals this season in 64 games. Their leading scorer was Brendan Gallagher with 54 points in 82 games, a career high. They had 2 forwards with 20 plus goals and 2 players with 50 plus points. They had 20 players produce 42 or fewer points, and after Gallagher, Paul Bryon, Jonathan Drouin, Alex Galchenyuk and Max Pacioretty there was no one to supplement their top six. They lacked depth scoring substantially and it was easily one of their biggest reason(s) for their poor season.
(2) Inconsistent/hurt goal tending. Carey Price missed some significant time due to fatigue related problems, only playing in 48 games posting a 3.11 goals against and a 16-26-7 record, one of the worst of his careers. Without a healthy Price this team cannot due much and it showed this season.
(3) Injuries, this is usually a poor excuse but the Canadiens dealt with injuries to Pacioretty, Shea Weber and Price. When your three best players are out it is tough to play to your full capability. Weber missed entirely the whole season only playing in 26 games, Pax missed 18 games and Price missed out on 34 games. These three missed a majority of the season and with that came failure as we saw. Anytime a key player goes missing and or under performs it is quite obvious why the team did poorly.
(4) Head coach Claude Julien, has been a storied NHL head coach bringing Boston to the Stanley Cup twice and winning once, as well as going to the playoffs in 9/13 seasons he has been a head coach. He brought Montreal to the playoffs last year with a first place finish in the Atlantic, but he has been on the edge this whole season. Due to his controversial line up moves, the development of younger players and his style of play. In Boston Julien coached a simple, psychical and under your skin style of game, as he tried to do that with Montreal expect Montreal did not have those type of players. Therefore it has been a bit of a rocky start for Julien despite his first year in Montreal.
Will things get better?
I would hope. The Canadiens will get back Weber and Price healthy. Hopefully resign Pacioretty, they also have the #3 pick in the NHL draft this season along with 4 in the 2nd round and three in the 3rd round. The problem the Canadiens have 13 restricted/unrestricted free agent contracts to ponder over the next year and a half. The big names coming up that will need to be resigned are Pacioretty, Paul Bryon, Philip Danult, Jacob De La Rose, Jordie Benn and Mike Reilly. The problem is Pacioretty though as he finishing up his 4.5 mil contract he is expecting and or deserving of anywhere from 6.5 to 8 mil a year, especially after that Evander Kane signing of 7 years 7 mil. The Canadiens have a few questions to answer but overall, with the a solid draft coming up things are on the way up. Next year will be another develop and a re-tool year would not expect this team to finish in a playoff spot but definitely around 18-20 in the league next season. The positive the Canadiens have about 12.3 million left in cap space right now with 35/50 contracts signed, also with a projected cap raise for the 2018-19 season. They will have some money to work with which can benefit them greatly.