Monday, October 31, 2011

Sorry, But Its Dumb and Dumber!!

1) OK have a few things to talk abut with respect to them being "dumb". First thing is the Canadiens firing their "ASSISTANT" coach. That's right, they didn't fire the GM who assembled the team. Nor did they fire the head coach who is responsible for team discipline/readiness/systems, etc. Instead they chose to fire a lowly assistant, Perry Pearn. Pearn was in his third season as a Habs asst. Apparently helping with the PP unit. So because the team was off to a poor start and the PP was struggling they thought the best way to jump start the team was to fire a guy who was minimally responsible for that bad start. I guess suddenly he became stupid and didn't know how to organize the PP unit after 2 pretty good seasons with the extra man? Sorry, but that's DUMB!

2) Next thing on my pet peeve list are bloggers and professional hockey writers making prognostications of whom will win the various NHL trophies. Now, we find it inane to do it prior to the mid way point, but now we're seeing it done before most teams have played 10 games!!! Come on already! How meaningless can one get?!? I find it incredible enough that my bloggers are writing posts postulating who the 'early favourites' are in the various categories, but we read with amusement Scott Burnside's latest article handicapping who will win the Jack Adams award for coach of the year. Add the fact that its one of the more meaningless awards and its still freaking October!! Are we so short of items to discuss that we have to dredge/make up inane items of dubious inportance/interest? Sorry, but its dumb!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Week 4 Results:

1) Week 4 is now in the books. For the day/night we went a solid 9-4 to bring our season total to 31-24 or a .564 winning %. We did lose our first Lock of the week, but it topok a 3 goal 3rd period collapse by the Rangers to do it, but it brings that stat to 3-1 on the season. We will be back at this again next Saturday when 11 contests will be decided.

2) Look for some interesting posts this upcoming week as we head into the second month of the NHL season. FR2 tells me that he is posting an article about some 'dumb' observations. Look for my second installment of "bang for the Bucks-goalies edition" later this week. Finally, I also plan of dropping a post concerning 50 goal scorers. Hopefully late this week or early next week. As always, keep it here for all the latest

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Week 4 Picks

1) Already we're into week 4 of the NHL season. There are 13 games on the docket today/nite. We take a very crappy 22-20 record after 3 weeks, hoping to do better than we have the past 2 weeks.

Ottawa at NY Rangers: Rangers (Lock of The Week)

Florida at Buffalo: Sabres
Pittsburgh at Toronto: Maple Leafs

Boston at Montreal: Habs
San Jose at NY Islanders: Islanders

Carolina at Philadelphia: Flyers

Winnipeg at Tampa Bay: Lightning

Anaheim at Nashville: Ducks

Detroit at Minnesota: Wild

New Jersey at Dallas: Stars

Columbus at Chicago: BlackHawks

Los Angeles at Phoenix: Coyotes

Washington at Vancouver: Canucks

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Reverberations/Effects of NBA Lock out?

1) As the NBA (yawn, ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ) lock out continues many have inquired to us and other bloggers/hockey writers as to the impact on the current NBA stalemate to the NHL.

  • What parallels can be made to the potential NHL CBA soon to be expired?

  • What are the ramifications of the eventual settlement there?

  • Does it benefit the NHL to have NBA arenas dark?

2) I'll answer the last question first. Simply, no, or minimally. Especially right now with the World Series and NFL going full blazes sports stations that usually ignore or give minimal coverage to the NHL(ESPN) haven't changed their policies or increased their coverage/interest to make up for the lack of showing 50 boring layup/dunks nightly. Now, that could change IF the NBA season is either cancelled or the lockout continues after the Super Bowl (both unlikely scenarios)

3) The parallels and ramifications questions I'll take together. There are absolutely parallels here. We contacted a source on the players side who said definitively that they expect the owners to make their share the primary issue. Much like the NBA is trying to reduce the players share of the pie, so will the NHL owners insist that the players slice of the pie be reduced from its current 57% to a "more equal" 50(or less if they can pull it off). The difference lies in the fact that the NBA does NOT have a hard cap. There are numerous/intentional loop holes built into their system. Some of which the NBA owners are trying to eliminate that don't exist in the NHL CBA.

4) The biggest possible ramification will be the outcome. The NHL owners would certainly feel more emboldened to crack the whip if the NBA owners eventually win their standoff; showing the NHL players that if the NBA, which is MUCH stronger economically, needs to make adjustments then certainly the NHL its MUCH weaker sister sports league needs to do the same to stay economically sound/competitive. Our sources tell us to expect the NBA players to start to get antsy for resolution very soon when the first pay cheque is missed(mid November). From there the owners' advantage just gains momentum. "Billionaires can outlast millionaires indefinitely" is how one league source put it. Donald Fehr can bloviate all he wants (so far he's been mute) but in the end Gary Bettman 'has hand', and no doubt is prepared to use it. Another well placed source tells us the NHL "players better be prepared to get spanked" in this next go around. Another 25% across the board reduction will be on the table.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bang For The Bucks?!? Part 1

1) In the salary capped NHL with the increased pressure on teams' to get as much production from as few a dollar spent as possible we at Faux rumors thought we'd do a little retrospective evaluation of players production verses their salaries through the years. Not only of today's players, but also those of the recent past. (Going back to 1989)

2) Keeping in mind several factors making it difficult/impossible to make a decisive proclamation concerning each player. Such differences include eras. The scoring vs the dead puck era. The pre-vs post salary capped eras, etc. However with those provisos in mind he is our abridged list of players, their total points (or wins for goalies), their total salary earned for their careers, and the average $/point (or win). Admittedly it's a MUCH more difficult thing to assess defensemen as it is goalies/forwards where points and wins are clear cut numbers to weigh. We also will NOT be counting the current season and will try to avoid players who have played less than 5 seasons where the rookie cap will affect their numbers

3) At first we were going to do all this in 1 post. However after compiling the data we figured this all would be so much easier to read/digest if we separated the information into 2 different posts. One for skaters and one for goalies. First we'll look at some of today's star non goalies. First number will be total points in their careers, followed by total income earned through 2010-2011, then the average $$/point/million. Then we'll look at some star players from the recent past (post 1985)

  • Ryan Getzlaf: 417 pts 11.8 mil 35.3 pts/mil

  • Evgeny Malkin: 422 pts 12 mil 35.2 pts/mil

  • Patrick Sharp: 321 pts 9.3 mil 34.5 pts/mil

  • Henrik Sedin: 673 points. 21.7 mil. 31 pts/mil.

  • Daniel Sedin: 658 pts. 21.7 mil. 30 pts/million

  • Alex Ovechkin: 617 pts 21.0 mil 29.4 pts/mil

  • Cory Perry: 371 pts. 12.8mil 29.0 pts/mil

  • Alex Semin: 359 pts. 12.7 mil 28.2 pts/mil

  • Henrik Zetterberg: 556 pts 19.8 mil 28.1 pts/mil

  • Jeff Carter: 346 pts. 12.3 mil 28.1 pts/mil

  • Sidney Crosby: 572 pts. 20.5 mil 27.9 pts/mil

  • Alex Tanguay: 691 pts 25.8 mil 26.8 pts/mil

  • Mike Richards: 353 pts. 13.8 mil 25.6 pts/mil

  • Eric Staal: 508 pts. 20 mil. 25.4 pts/mil

  • Marty St. Louis: 782 pts. 30.8 mil 25.4 pts./mil.

  • Patrick Marleau: 768 pts 34.2 mil 22.5 pts/mil

  • Teemu Selanne: 1343 pts 61.6 mil 21.8 pts/mil

  • Pavel Datsyuk: 654 pts. 30.7 mil 21.3 pts/mil

  • Joe Thornton: 1002 pts. 48.2 mil 20.8 pts/mil

  • Daniel Alfredsson: 1027 pts. 49.6 pts. 20.7 pts/mil

  • Dany Heatley: 692 pts. 34.7 mil 19.9 pts/mil

  • Ilya Kovalchuk: 706 pts 35.4 mil 19.9 pts/mil

  • Jarome Iginla: 1007 pts 55 mil 18.3 pts/mil

  • Brad Richards: 720 pts 39.9 mil 18 pts/mil

  • Marion Gabarik: 574 pts 32.4 mil 17.7 pts/mil

  • Vinny Lecavalier: 796 pts. 46.5 mil 17.1 pts/mil

  • Rick Nash: 494 pts 29.4 mil 16.8 pts/mil

  • Danny Briere: 597 pts. 38.2 mil 15.6 pts/mil

  • Thomas Vanek: 394 pts 26.3 mil 15 pts/mil

    4) Next we will look back a bit at some of the best players from the past 25 years and see where they stack up with regard to the same criteria:

    • Today again we will look at the forwards:

    • Wayne Gretzky: 2857 pts. 48 mil 59.5 pts/mil

    • Adam Oats: 1420 pts. 25 mil 56.8 pts/mil

    • Luc Robitaille: 1394 pts 34.8 mil 40 pts/mil

    • Mario Lemieux: 1723 pts. 54 mil 31.9 pts/mil

    • Mark Recchi: 1533 pts 49.9 mil 30.7 pts/mil

    • Mark Messier: 1887 pts. 64 mil 29.5/mil

    • Brett Hull: 1391 pts. 52.5 mil 26.5 pts/mil

    • Pierre Turgeon: 1327 pts 52.3 mil 25.4 pts/mil

    • Jeremy Roenick: 1216 pts. 54 mil 22.5 pts/mil

    • Brendan Shanahan: 1354 pts. 61 mil 22.2 pts/mil

    • Doug Weight: 1033 pts. 58.1 mil 17.8 pts/mil

    • Joe Sakic: 1641 pts 93.2 mil 17.6 pts/mil

    • Mats Sundin: 1349 pts. 79.7 mil. 16.9 pts/mil

    • Jaromir Jagr: 1603 pts 98 mil 16.4 pts/mil

    • Alex Yashin: 781 pts. 53.9 mil 14.5 pts/mil

    • Peter Forsberg: 885 pts 65.4 mil 13.5 pts/mil

    • Keith Tkachuk: 1065 pts 80.5 mil 13.2 pts/mil

    • Pavel Bure: 779 pts 66.4 mil 11.7 pts/mil

    5) So what do we take from this? You can say that players from the early/mid 80's were either vastly under paid or their bretheren a decade later were vastly OVER paid. It seems star players from the early 90's to early 2000's were compensated well beyond the predesessors and probably quite a bit better than today. What would Gretzky have made if his prime was 10 years later? How could a Keith Tkachuk rake in 80+ mil, 30 mil more than TGO who had almost 3 times as many points?

    Look for our post concerning goalies up coming soon.

    Sunday, October 23, 2011

    Week 3 Results

    1) Week three is complete. For the night we went an average/poor 7-7 to bring our season total to a very ordinary 22-20 for a .525 winning %. We did manage to get our Lock of The week to say a perfect 3-0 on the season. We will be back at this again next week when there will be 13 games to be decided.
    Additionally we're working on a couple of interesting posts. One concerning the 50 goal plateau and another concerning what stars are worth the big $$ they're getting. Look for them later this week. As always, keep it here for all the latest

    Saturday, October 22, 2011

    Week 3 Picks

    Nashville at Calgary: Flames

    Minnesota at Vancouver: Canucks

    San Jose at Boston: Bruins

    Toronto at Montreal: Habs

    Columbus at Ottawa: Senators

    St. Louis at Philadelphia: Flyers

    New Jersey at Pittsburgh: Penguins

    Detroit at Washington: Capitals

    Carolina at Winnipeg: Jets

    Buffalo at Tampa Bay: Sabres

    NY Islanders at Florida: Panthers

    Colorado at Chicago: Black Hawks

    NY Rangers at Edmonton: Rangers

    Dallas at Los Angeles: Kings (Lock of The Week)

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011

    Amen, Brooks Laich!!

    1) Last week Washington Capitals veteran forward said what Fauxrumors and I have been advocating/saying; That the pussification of the sport has gone too far. Laich was responding to questions about his team mate Jay Beagle who earlier in the night was knocked to the ice by enforcer Arron Asham, bloodying the 4th line forward. At the time is was suspected that Beagle had suffered a concussion in addition to a nice facial laceration. Beagle actually wanted to get back on the ice. However , he was not allowed.

    2) The league's new rules which were implemented in March as a way to stem the rising rate of concussions in the sport state a player leaving the ice after a possible head injury must be examined by a doctor in the locker room or a "quiet room." A player exhibiting signs of a possible concussion is not allowed to play the rest of the game. Laich's reaction to Beagles plight was "I really don't care about that(concussion) awareness crap, to be honest, I'm sick of hearing all this talk about concussions and the quiet room," He went on," We accept that there's going to be dangers when we play this game and you know that every night you get dressed," he said. "Sometimes it feels like we're being babysat a little too much. We're grown men, we should have a little say in what we want to do."

    3) Geez, finally a player steps up and says what I bet a lot of them are feeling and saying behind the scenes. What gives his statement even more weight is the fact that Laich is the Capitals player representative for the NHLPA. It leads us to ask, will there be push back by the players and their association to curb/reduce the current rules/protocol. Additionally, we feel there will also be some push back against the new hitting enforcement being implemented by Brendan Shanahan. As was (poorly) espoused by Don Cherry, but accurate the new rules changes has resulted in reduced hitting/body contact of all varieties. Is this the game the NHL wants to sell? Hopefully more players, like the respected Brooks Laich will continue to speak up!

    Monday, October 17, 2011

    Realignment Poll

    1) With realignment set to become a reality this December at the Board of Governors meeting we have read many possibilities thrown around by fellow Bloggers and hockey media. We wrote our opinion on this way back in July So here is our readers chance to sound off their opinion below. Feel free to take the poll and/or leave your opinions. We'll post the results in a week along with any pithy retorts/opinions

    Take my poll!

    Sunday, October 16, 2011

    Week 2-Results

    1) Well Week two is done. For the night we went an abysmal 5-9. For the season's first 2 weeks our combined score is 15-13 or a .536 winning %. Barely over the Mendoza line. We did manage to win our Lock to bring that to 2-0 on the young season. Strange night that saw 8 road teams come away with wins with 10 1 goal games, 6 going to extra time/the silly SO. Not an excuse, but does show how highly competitive the league is and how difficult/impossible it is to pick winners even without a 'spread'.

    2) Anyway, we plan to be back at is next Saturday when 14 more tilts will be decided. Look for our first poll in a long time. This time on Realignment. Should be out tomorrow morning
    As always, keep it here for all the latest

    Saturday, October 15, 2011

    Week 2 Picks

    1) Its week 2 in our season long extravaganza. To review last week we went a very solid 9-4 or a .692 winning %, as well as winning the first "Lock of The Week". 14 big games on the line today/night.

    Calgary at Toronto: Flames

    Colorado at Montreal: Canadiens

    NY Rangers at NY Islanders: Rangers

    Los Angeles at Philadelphia: Flyers

    Buffalo at Pittsburgh: Penguins

    Ottawa at Washington: Capitals (Lock of The Week)

    Winnipeg at Phoenix: Coyotes

    Tampa Bay at Florida: Lightning

    New Jersey at Nashville: Preditors

    Detroit at Minnesota: Red Wings

    Columbus at Dallas: Stars

    Boston at Chicago: Black Hawks

    Vancouver at Edmonton: Canucks

    St. Louis at San Jose: Sharks

    Friday, October 14, 2011

    Shocker: Rick DiPietro Injured!

    1) In yet another set back for the NY Isalnder's 'Goalie For Life', Rick DiPietro suffered another significant injury when DiPietro was struck in the mask on a shot by teammate Brian Rolston during practice Wednesday. He underwent tests Thursday where it was confirmed that the Isl;es maligned netminder had indeed suffered yet another concussion. DiPietro has been sidelined by multiple concussions during his career. From our count its at least 4. Twon in 2007, one last season and this latest set back

    2) He didn't play in any of New York's first three regular-season games and has played a total of 39 games the past three seasons. The 30-year-old goalie is in the sixth season of an absurdly long 15-year contract with the Islanders. DiPietro missed the majority of the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons because of a knee injury following having had surgery on both hips. Additionally, last season, DiPietro was sidelined for several weeks because of broken bones in his face caused by a punch from Pittsburgh goalie Brent Johnson DiPietro was knocked cold by a left hook above his right eye, and the broken bones and also swelling in his knee kept him out of action until March 19.

    3) In a related story Pittsburgh Penguins announced that superstar Sidney Crosby has been cleared for contact, the next step in returning to the ice after almost 10 months following multiple concussions last January. Why is this story related? because the Crosby concussion as well as the DiPietro injury did NOT come either fighting or from an 'illegal body check. The things that the media and reflexively the NHL are now trying to reduce. Our point? That in a tough, rough violent sport its inevitable that players will get injured. Unless they want to fundamentally change the game(see Don Cherry's rant) players will get injured.

    Calm Down and Step Away From The Ledge!

    1) OK folks, Calm down!! Its only the first week of the season, and with most team having played 4 or less games its hardly time to go off and do something desperate. I have been reading some of the blogs out there and already its amazing but they are "seeing trends" and using an amazingly short sample size to extrapolate their teams strengths and weaknesses. To that we say, are you nuts!?! Even after a full month one can't make too many for-certain proclamations of trends or feel that a slow or fast start means that your team is going to win the Cup of be a 'Lottery-pick' finisher

    2) We see it each and every season. Some team gets off to a lighting fast start and everyone is proclaiming them the favorite, only to fall back to the pack by the holidays. The reverse is also quite true. A team may get off to a dreadful start only to go on a tear and suddenly be right back in the mix. The only interesting stat we have heard (and is probably as useless as any) is that no team going 0-3 to start a season has ever gone on to win the Stanley Cup. Sorry Columbus. LOL Usually over the long haul the proverbial cream will rise to the top. In the mean time folks of those teams getting off to a slow start, Step back From The Ledge!

    3) Look for Week 2 of our Saturday picks when 14 games will be decided, and look for an upcoming early trade rumour posting. As always, keep it here for all the latest!

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    No Touch Icing Debate

    1) There has been an ongoing/long debate in the hockey world concerning the institution of the so-called no-touch icing. The rule that there is automatic icing without a player having to come back to 'make the touch' thus ostensibly making it safer for players. Even usually conservative voices like Don Cherry have been outspoken about this issue; calling for the rule change. The issue again came to light recently in an exhibition game between Edmonton and Minnesota. An Oilers prospect, defenseman Taylor Fedun suffered a season ending leg injury when he fell awkwardly into the boards, apparently when he was knocked off stride by Wild forward Eric Nystrom as they pursued the puck. Fedun was trying to touch the puck to get the icing call, Nystrom to prevent it.

    2) One of the best hockey bloggers, and whom we at Fauxrumors respect, Lyle Richardson(Spector) recently did his 'Soap Box" on this very issue. His point was that the race for an iced puck is needless and potentially hazardous to players. He goes on to list not only the aforementioned example in Edmonton, but also several from the past. He goes on to cite that almost all European leagues and college leagues have already instituted the rule. Sorry Lyle we respectfully disagree. Its too easy to have a knee-jerk response to the unfortunate injury Mr Fedun suffered.

    3) We don't believe the facts support a whole sale change in the current rules. Its not like we’re having guys go down with injuries every other week on this. The vast majority of the cases he cited occurred proior to the change, and the current limited contact rule now in effect. I think the current system that dissuades body contact on an icing but preserves the ability of teams to hustle and avoid the call is proper. Since the current rule was enacted how many serious injuries have resulted? Please don’t give me the pat answer of “one is too many”. I hate automatic icing. Its boring and needless. Hockey is a fast paced, dangerous game. If you want to prevent injuries why not eliminate all body contact totally? You’ll sure to see a precipitous decline in injuries (along with TV ratings).

    Monday, October 10, 2011

    Who gets The Axe First? 2011 Edition

    1) A popular annual post we do here at Fauxrumors is our annual 'Who will Get the Axe First. With the season underway the inevitable discussions will commence as to what coaches are on the proverbial 'hot seat'. With that in mind we'll go through the 30 current coaches and discuss who is pretty secure (as NHL coaches go), who is teetering on the brink, and the rest in between.
    2) If this season is anything typical, about 25-30% of the current head coaches will no longer have their jobs by this time next season. Like in previous years, we'll simply go alphabetically in the East then in the West: To simplify/quantify this we will use a scale 0-10. Zero-being very safe, and 10-being close to out the door. At this stage there are no 10's (yet)


    Claude Julien (Boston Bruins)- (1) The reigning Stanley Cup winning coach, Claude is as safe as he has been in any season since he started coaching in the NHL. Barring an incredible collapse he should have little trouble finishing out the season as the B's bench boss

    Lindy Ruff (Buffalo Sabres) (2) Entering his 14th season behind the Sabres bench, the longest tenured NHL coach is pretty safe as he has the full backing of the new owner and his long time GM partner Darcy Regier.

    Paul Maurice (Carolina Hurricanes) (5) Entering his 11th NHL season, the leagues most over rated coach is guiding a team that could go either way. If its south, then Paul might not make it through the season before Rutherford cans him. If they stay in contention for the playoffs Maurice should stay safe

    Kevin Dineen (Florida Panthers) (2) The highly successful AHL coach enters his inaugural season the NHL. Few expect the Cats to make the playoffs(outside their most rabid fans) so as long as the team doesn't completely fall apart Kevin should complete his first season

    Jacques Martin (Montreal Canadians) (4) Seldomly are Habs' coaches less than a 4 as they play in the hockey pressure cooker known as Quebec. They always expect to make the playoffs, but few are expecting a Presidents trophy so as long as they hang around the top 8 or so, Jack should be safe

    Peter DeBoer (NJ Devils) (6) Usually a rookie coach gets a bit of slack, but these are the Lamarelo Devils where no coach is safe no matter the record it seems. DeBoer is a good coach who may be entering his 2nd stint where he will ultimately get screwed. If the Devils don't stay in the top 8 and appear destined for a bottom finish Peter won't see April

    Jack Capuano (NY Islanders) (3) There are some expectations now, but realistically as long as the team competes hard and doesn't embarrass themselves early on with a long losing streak, Jack should be OK.

    John Tortorella (NY Rangers) (3) Usually Ranger coaches had been always in jeopardy of losing their jobs, but Torts is highly regarded both within the organization but also throughout the league. AS long as the BlueShirts stay in the top 8 John should be safe

    Paul MacLean (Ottawa Senators) (5) Another rookie head coach who theoretically should have few expectations, but with a desperate GM(Murray) playing in Canada's capital city someone may have to be the scape goat if (as we expect) the team sucks

    Peter Laviolette (Philadelphia Flyers) (2) Yes, high expectations but the team players and management alike respect Peter. Unless he loses the team (pisses off Jagr/Bryzgalov) or for some reason the team goes below .500 by the holidays, Laviolette's job is secure

    Dan Bylsma (Pittsburgh Penguins) (0) Probably one of the safest coaches in the East. The current Jack Adams winner runs a tight, loyal and successful team. Liked equally by the stars and grunts. Not an easy task! We can see no scenario where Dan loses his job before season's end.

    Guy Boucher (TB Lightning) (2) The only situation we can see that would make Guy vulnerable is if the Bolts ascendancy suddenly collapses. Unlikely even if we believe they will not be quite as good as last season. 'Scar' should make it through the season unscathed.

    Ron Wilson (Toronto Maple Leafs) (5) Even his pal and superior Brian Burke can't save his job if the wheels fall off early in TO. Ron's job will be as safe as his goaltending will allow. Simple as that.

    Bruce Boudreau (Washington Capitals) (5) Even in town-mediocrity, they expect a winning season every now and then. If the team has a similar issue as last fall when the team suffered through a very rough patch, it could cost Gabby his job. Else, his job will be safe for the regular season anyway

    Claude Noel (Winnipeg Jets) (2) The rookie head coach in the city's first season back with hockey should be safe unless the team slides deeply out of contention and doesn't compete hard nightly. Else expectations should be relatively low


    Randy Carlyle (Anaheim Duck) (2) The team apparently believes in The former Norris Trophy winner as they gave him a 3 year extension this summer. We can't see the team letting him go unless they struggle mightily early on

    Brent Sutter (Calgary Flame) (7) With his brother already gone Brent's job is now clearly on the line this season. If the team struggles early the Flames may be forced to dismiss their home town guy.

    Joel Quenneville (Chicago Blackhawk) (1) The former Cup champ coach entering his 15th season in the league has one of the safer positions. With his league wide respect and recent success it would take tons to see him gone

    Joe Sacco (Colorado Avalanche) (5) Teams that are rebuilding only stay patient for so long. In Denver they may not expect to be Cup contending, but certainly playoff contending this season. If they appear destined for another bottom finish Joe's job could be on the line

    Scott Arniel (Columbus Blue Jackets) (5) Scott in a tough situation. The team tried to make a splash with off season moves AND they have a GM(Scottt Howson) who himself is under the gun. Coupled that with not having the horses to win a playoff spot, we wouldn't be shocked to see Scott be on the chopping block before season's end

    Glen Gulutzan (Dallas Star) (2) Anther of the incoming coaching freshmen. Unlike the other rookie coaches Glen hasn't either played or coached in the NHL at any level. Few expect the team to win this year, and with ownership in flux its unlikely he will feel the heat if things don't go too well

    Mike Babcock (Detroit Red Wing) (1) Entering his 7th season guiding the Motor city sextet, Mike is one of the best in the business. Almost no doubt he will guide his veteran team without chance of being 2nd guessed/replaced

    Tom Renney (Edmonton Oiler) (4) His 'good teacher' persona will be tested big time this season as Edmonton will have one of the most inexperienced rosters in the NHL. It may be exciting to the fans but management wants to see the team show signs of improvement. A bottom overall finish won't sit well.

    Terry Murray (Los Angeles King) (5) The other Murray brother will be entering his 15th season behind an NHL bench. The Kings have lofty expectations this year so anything short of divisional/Cup contention and it might be Murray's last

    Mike Yeo (Minnesota Wild) (2) Much like Gulutzan in Dallas there should be a honeymoon period in Minny. However it won't be quite as long or forgiving as in Big D, as the Wild added some talent and the fans up north are as rabid as the come south of the border

    Barry Trotz (Nashville Predator) (3) The only coach the franchise has ever known. Despite low playoff success he still manages to get his team to the post season despite a cap flor payroll and an anemic offense. The organization will probably only consider a change if they appear to be taking a huge step back.

    Dave Tippett (Phoenix Coyote) (2) Despite the team likely taking a step(or 2) back from the past few, we believe the combination of that recent success coupled with the continued franchise ownership turmoil will make Dave';s job safe through the season

    Davis Payne (St. Louis Blues) (4) Unlike the past 2 years the pressure will be elevated this season. Fans are getting restless for the interminable 'rebuild' to end. Injuries have hurt but management will only let that excuse work for so long. If the Blues fail to compete, Davis will be gonzo

    Todd McClellan (San Jose Shark) (2) Highly unlikely that Todd is replaced as coach. They struggled out of the gate last season, but still won their division. WE can't see the team losing patience but if they lose in the first round, that patience will be highly tested

    Alain Vigneault (Vancouver Canuck) (1) The Cup/Adams runner up will probably survive almost any calamity that is thrust upon him this season. Unless The Twins' ask him to be fired(not gonna happen) his job is safe for the season!

    Sunday, October 9, 2011

    Week 1- Results

    1) Well week 1 is in the books. For the afternoon/night we went a solid 9-4 or a .692 winning %. We also won our Lock of the week. Not a bad start for sure. Of course there's always next week where we hope to continue when we will pick the winners of the 14 scheduled games for October 15th. Also FR2 tells us that he will be posting his No touch icing opinion this week. Also look for our annual "who gets the axe first" posting and read who we believe could be the first coach to get the boot. As always, keep it here for all the latest

    Saturday, October 8, 2011

    Week 1 Picks!

    1) As promised we are back with our weekly picks for the new 2011-2012 NHL season. Like last time we will simply pick a winner for each scheduled game. With a "Lock Of The Week also listed. The NHL cooperated with our endeavour by having 26 teams in action today/night, including the first 2 listed, in Europe.

    Rangers-vs Ducks: Anaheim

    : Los Angeles

    Lightning-vs-Bruins: Boston

    : Toronto

    : Philadelphia

    Hurricanes-vs-Capitals: Washington

    : NY

    : St. Louis

    Blue Jackets-vs Wild: Minnisota

    Stars-vs-Black Hawks: Chicago

    : Colorado

    Penguins-vs-Flames: Pittsburgh

    Coyotes-vs- Sharks: Sharks (Lock of The Week)

    Friday, October 7, 2011

    Preseason 2012 Playoff and Cup Predictions

    1) Next in the prediction process is to use our published projected/predicted order of finish and use these as a basis for the playoff matchups. We will briefly predict these anticipated playoff matchups and determine this far out who will win each series culminating with who we believe is going t be the 2012 Stanley Cup winner. A few years ago when we did this we were very close to getting many of the matchup/winners dead on. Last time not as well Anyway, as we note in our season projections much of this is a dart throw. This is REALLY a dart throw in the dark! But hey, everyone else is making/publishing their Cup choice so why not make it interesting. Enjoy and feel free to tell us where we're off our rockers. LOL

    2) First The East: Round 1

    • Philadelphia- vs-Montreal: Montreal had to fight just to make the playoffs and it shows in this lop-sided first round easily won by Philadelphia. Flyers in 4

    • Washington-vs-Tampa Bay: A rematch from the second round last season. Last time it was a sweep by the Bolts. Not this time. The caps with fear in their eyes, go out and make the 42 year old Roloson look every bit his age. Caps in 5

    • Boston-vs-N.Y. Rangers: The defending champs defend their crown against the Rangers who had a decent season but with few expectations. The Blueshirts stun the hockey world as Lundqvist stymies the B's attack and propels NY to round 2. Rangers in 6

    • Pittsburgh-vs-Buffalo: The marquis 1st round series. Both teams come evenly matched with Pitts star power up front vs Buffalo stars on defense and in goal. Just a bit too much offense for the sabres to handle and in the end they succumb. Penguins in 6

    3) Round 2- East

    • Philadelphia-vs-NY Rangers: The upstart Rangers coming off their upset of the champs are riding high and not intimidated by the conference champs. Former Ranger Jaromir Jagr though come through in a big way, leading the Flyers into the Final 4. Flyers in 5

    • Washington-vs- Pittsburgh: Grudge matchup for sure. The Caps trying to erase their recent/long term tendency to lose to lower seeds in the first 2 rounds/lose to the penguins in the playoffs fail to advance once again prompting the team to finally realize that their coach and core players are the problem not their role players. Penguins in 6

    4) Conference Finals: Philadelphia-vs- Pittsburgh: Not surprising to most that the road to The Cup had to travel through Pennsylvania. The battle of the Keystone state proves to be bitter and long. So many story lines prove to make it an epic battle. Jagr is smothered well and not a factor, while Crosby pots multiple OT game winners to get the penguins back to the Finals for the 3rd time in 4 years. Penguins in 7

    5) Next the West: Round 1

    • San Jose-vs-Calgary: No David and Goliath this time. Goliath easily sleighs 'David' this time as the Sharks eat up/douse the Flames. Sharks in 4

    • Chicago-vs-Nashville: Another mismatch as the Predators try to play a defensive style while the hawks try to keep it up tempo. The Hawks style is too much for Trotz's gang and the Preds fall relatively easily. Black Hawks in 5

    • Vancouver-vs-Anaheim: The Canucks attempt to get back into the Finals and they have little trouble getting past the opening round as the Ducks' top line is shut down by the swarming Canuck defense. Canucks in 4

    • LA-vs-Detroit: The only competitive opening round match up. The Kings looking to finally assert themselves do themselves proud as their superior forward depth is too much for the Detroit sextet, but not before a long tough battle. Kings in 7

    6) West: Round 2

    • San Jose- vs- LA: The 'Battle of California'. The next chapter of this now seemingly annual fight for the biggest state's bragging rights goes the distance. This time the Kings are able to stave off a let down from their first round win and hold the Shark attack at bay. Kings in 5

    • Chicago- vs- Vancouver Another right of spring, a Chicago Vancouver series. The last 2 years we have seen great series between these 2 powerful deep squads. This time the result is similar to 2 years ago when the Hawks were able to squeak by the 'Nucks. Black Hawks in 7

    7) Conference Finals: LA-vs- Chicago: The Kings first visit to The Final 4 since Gretzky led them to the Finals in 93. They purport themselves well under the intense pressure against a far more playoff hardened opponent. In the end though it appears that Chicago's experience is enough to help get them back to the Finals. Black Hawks in 6

    8) The Finals: Chicago-vs- Pittsburgh: Gary Bettman has to be pleased with this marquis match up. he has two of the last 3 champions back. Two US based teams with super-stars on both teams giving it the intrigue TV craves. It doesn't disappoint either. Its a series won by the home team with at least 2 games going into OT. The Hawks by virtue of having had 1 extra win in the regular season have home ice advantage and the Chicago faithful are feted to their second Cup in 3 seasons. Black Hawks in 7 to win their 5th Stanley Cup and 2nd in 3 years!

    Thursday, October 6, 2011

    NHL 2K11: Game on!

    1) The day we NHL die-hard fans have been waiting for since we saw Z-Chara accept the Cup from Gary Bettman 3 1/2 months ago. The seemingly never ending off season is now over and real hockey is back. Their is a relatively small slate of games starting tonight with couple of of marquis match ups. One that could be a Finals preview and another that easily could end up being previews of The Conference Finals. In the East power houses Boston and Philadelphia will face off in TD Garden while out West we will see The Crosby-less Penguins play the Cup runner-ups/President's Trophy champ, Canucks at GM Place. We will also see an Original 6, and one of the NHL's longest/biggest rivalries in the Leafs-vs the Habs at the ACC.

    2) Also due to popular demand we will again do our weekly Saturday picks. For new readers, last season each Saturday (usually the NHL's busiest day) we would pick the winners of every game and do One Lock of The week. Some might think its easy to simply pick a winner of a game. We challenge anyone out there to do what we did and do it better. Our goal is to stay above .500. Last time we finished the year with a 176-127 record for a solid .580 winning %, or 49 games above .500! On those 'Locks' each week we had an impressive 20-6, record or winning 78% of those weekly picks. We'll be hard pressed to match those figures in both categories, but we'll give it a shot. Look for it this Saturday when 26 teams will be in action. Yes, 13 games in all including games in Europe (Rangers-Ducks) and (Buffalo-LA)).

    Game On Baby!

    3) Post script: Look for the final preseason preview post tomorrow as we extrapolate the playoffs next spring based upon our preseason predictions posted earlier this week. Always an interesting posting. Additionally FR2 tells me he has a post concerning no-touch icing due out next week. A very exciting time for us at Fauxrumors, as it is with all NHL hockey fans.

    As always, keep it here for all the latest!

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    2011-2012 Season Predictions- West

    1) Like the East. As we mentioned last time we understand its no more than a blind folded dart throw, but its the preseason and almost everyone else does it, so why not? As has been in evidence the last few seasons, regardless of whom won the Cup the West is the stronger of the two conferences. It has traditionally been the easier conference for us to predict in past years. However we see this season as being much tougher with a changing of the guard taking place. Previous bottom feeders are now contending, and some traditional powers are falling back. Here is the list in the order of playoff seeding (divisional winners in the top 3) With our Difference maker, or Wild card listed for each team.

    1. San Jose: (110)- Folks have to remember that even with an awful start last year San Jose still won the Pacific and finished second overall in the West. After back-to-back Western final appearances, the Sharks are still short of their goal to win their first Cup prompting Wilson to make significant changes. Traded were Heatley and Setoguchi for Martin Havlat and Brent Burns. Michal Handzus will also bring a sizable defensive presence and depth to the lines. We feel the Sharks are as dangerous as ever but, it’s just a matter of how well and quickly the new players gel. If they do winning the conference and a President's Trophy can't be ruled out. Difference Maker:Brent Burns

    2. Chicago:(105)- The Hawks come into 11-12 without having had the huge roster turnover they were forced to endure the year before. Instead Stan Bowman simply tweaked and improved his already solid roster. Offensively they should score they share of goals with Kane, Towes, Hossa and Sharp. On defense they still have one of the best pairings in Keith and Seabrook. Crawford is being looked upon to carry the big load in goal after supplanting an aging Turco as a rookie last season. Will he be up to the task? We see them winning the division and returning to Cup contention. Difference Maker: Bryan Bickell

    3. Vancouver: (103) Just too much talent not to expect the Canucks to win the relatively weak NW division. However, we don't see them being quite as dominating as last season when they won the President's Trophy and were Cup runner-ups. The lineup remains solid from top to bottom, and despite losing Christian Ehroff the defense remains one of the best in the West and despite his Finals' suck job, Luongo remains a perennial Vezina candidate. The Twins and Kesler provide a solid 1-2 offensive punch. Difference Maker: Marco Sturm

    4. LA: (100)- With the combination of Mike Richards and Anze Kopitar it gives the Kings one of the most lethal center combinations in the league. On defense, with Drew Doughty contract settled he will continue to play a vital role from the blueline. Fellow youngster, Jack Johnson complements him nicely, but adding on Willie Mitchell and Rob Scuderi to the backline give the Kings a very solid defense corps. Jonathan Quick was one of the top netminders last year. The Kings long re-build is finally paying off? If so its time they make a run for the division and show it where it counts most, in spring. Difference Maker: Dustin Penner

    5. Detroit: (99)- No denying that the long dynastic run may soon be coming to an end, but not quite yet. They lost Rafalski, but added Ian White and Mike Commodore. Perhaps they won't be as dynamic but they should help bolster the defense. They are still led by the veterans who brought their last Cup four seasons ago: Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Johan Franzen and Nicklas Lidstrom, etc. We have never been big Jimmy Howard fans, but he had a solid season. With Mike Babcock at the helm we have no doubt the Wings will continue to be at or near the top 4 in the conference. Difference Maker: Justin Abdelkater

    6. Anaheim: (97)- The Ducks boast one of the best forward lines in the game with Getzlaf, Ryan, and reigning HART and Richard winner Perry. However after that its not quite as impressive. Can aging stars Sellane, Koivu and Blake add enough? The defense is still mediocre at best. The biggest question will be Hiller. Are his vertigo issues resolved? With a healthy Hiller they are easily a playoff team. If he misses significant time, it'll be a crap shoot. Difference Maker: Jonas Hiller

    7. Nashville: (95)- Year in and year out Barry Trotz is able to squeeze just enough offense out of his team's defense- first approach to get to the playoffs. It doesn't hurt that they have a formidable top pairing in Weber-Suter along with monster Finn, Pekka Rinne between the pipes to keep opponents scoring limited for a chance to win each night. If their young promising forwards from the post season last year (Nick Spaling and Matt Halischuk) continue to emerge along with their continued excellent defense they should be able to get back to the post season. Difference Maker: Niclas Bergfors

    8. Calgary: (94)- While some are anticipating Calgary to replace Edmonton as the West's door matts we say, not so fast. Yes, they no longer are an elite team, knocking on the proverbial Cup door, but they still posses enough talent up and down the lineup to attain the 8th seed. Providing their aging lineup stays away from the injury bug. This is Brent Sutter's 'water shed' season. If he fails to get this team into the post season he may have to go back north and concentrate on his junior squad once again. Difference Maker: Daymond Langkow

    9. St. Louis: (92)- It seems that the Blues are a popular choice to propel themselves up the standing this season. We are not among them. Yes they brought in Jamie Langenbrunner and Jason Arnott in for their veteran experience along with Alexander Steen to augment a decent young forward unit led by Pietrangelo and Backes. Halak was good at times and ordinary at times as well last season. Overall the Blues should be better, but not quite ready to make the post season unless a team above crumbles or if everthing falls their way. Difference Maker: Chris Stewart

    10. Colorado: (90)- We see a big leap for the Denver denizens. They totally revamped their goaltending, their biggest weakness last season. Adding future super star Semyon Varlamov and past super star J.S. Giguere as their tandem. A significant improvement. That along with the maturation especially of Matt Duchene and Ryan O'Reilly up front and Jack Johnson anchoring the blueline we can see things looking up for the Av's. Not quite into the post season, but definitely no longer a bottom feeder. Difference Maker: Peter Mueller

    11. Columbus: (87)- With the pressure on GM Scott Howson made some bold moves this off season. Acquiring center Jeff Carter and signing UFA defender James Wisniewki were certainly headliners. Are they enough to get the Jackets back into the playoffs? We think not. 'Wiz' for all the flash and $$ spent on him isn't exactly Ray Bourque. The rest of the defense is suspect and Steve Mason has looked anything but Vezina-like the past 2 years. Since they have no on else to play goal he best regain that form else it'll be another long season with more empty seats in nationwide Arena. Difference Maker: Steve Mason

    12. Phoenix: (85)- This is almost surely the last season in Phoenix, and from the looks of things it won't be a memorable one. From up and coming team back to 'pretender' status is likely. With the departure of Bryzgalov and to a lesser extent Scottie Upshall (no, the loss of Jovanovski isn't a negative) the Yotes are a significantly weaker team. Mike Smith is NOT a top flight starting goalie and with a less than stellar team in front of him it will become apparent quickly how inportant Bryzgalov was. That said they are well coached and have enough talent that we don't foresee a bottom finish. Difference Maker: Martin Hanzal

    13. Minnisota: (81)- Like in Philly, we have to give credit to management for making changes to a team that was boring to watch and stagnating. It will be interesting to see how it all comes together. Brent Burns and Martin Havlat were the two best players moved, replaced by Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi, to upgrade their anemic offense. With new coach Mike Yeo in charge, perhaps the Wild really will shift from a defense-first mindset to an all-in offense for the first time? They still have one of the better goalies in the league in Niklas Backstrom, but their defense isn't impressive, so while it may be more exciting for their fans, the results will be the same as last season. Difference Maker: Devin Setoguchi

    14. Edmonton:(76) the Oilers still have a couple years of bumps and bruises ahead of them. Their off-season additions were mostly muscle (Andy Sutton, Ben Eager and Darcy Hordichuk) and that doesn’t bode well for the possibility of getting anywhere close to a playoff spot this year. However with multiple lottery selections in recent years they do possess quite a few of possible young future (super) stars in the making, but the roster will need significant time to mature before a leap up the standing should be expected. Difference Maker: Ryan Nungent-Hopkins

    15. Dallas: (71)- To put it simply,This isn't going to be a fun season for the Dallas Stars. Even before the loss of Richards the signs weren't good. Now that he's gone the offense will be tough to find and even worse their defense is going to be worse. So desperate are they, Sheldon Souray who hasn't played an NHL game in2 years was signed. We like Goligoski, but he can't do it alone. Lehtonen stayed healthy(finally) last season, but his stats were mediocre at best. He'll have to stand on his head to get this bunch to .500 let alone the post season. Difference Maker: Sheldon Souray

    Monday, October 3, 2011

    2011-2012 Season Predictions-East

    1) Yes, its that time of year. While others amazingly(stupidly) posted/wrote their predictions in late July/early August, the we at FAUXRUMORS always have thought that we would be better served/more accurate to wait until after the start of training camp when complete rosters could be analyzed, and early trends (as limited as that is for these purposes) could be evaluated. So without further nonsense we will get right to it. We will project each team's order of finish. Number of points, and name one player we believe might be the 'difference maker'. A player we believe might be the team's wild card.

    2) First The East where despite the turnover from last season we don't think the balance of power has changed all that much and we don't see any of last year's non-playoff teams nosing out a team that was in the top 8 a year ago.

    1. Philadelphia: (110) Probably the wild card team in the East. Holgren unsatisfied where the team was headed did a major make over in the off season resulting in a new look Flyers. The biggest addition is goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. Finally it appears the Flyers addressed their biggest weakness, net. They still have a very solid top 6 defense and up front despite the loss of Carter and Richards the Flyers can still ice 2 very dangerous scoring lines. If they can gel as a team we can see the Flyers as the team to beat in the East. Difference Maker: Jaromir Jagr

    2. Washington:(107): Like Holmgren GM George McPhee didn't take losing lightly and revamped a good bit of their roster, while retaining its talented core. They appear to be the consensus pick to win the East, (not us) and Stanley Cup. On paper anyway we'd agree, as with the additions of Brouwer,Ward, Halpern. Hamrlik, and Voloun they now have a very solid lineup. We expect in the long haul of the regular season they should prevail the majority of games and win another SE title/top 3 seed. However without a change in coach we are less sure of next springs results than many of my fellow bloggers. Difference Maker: Troy Brouwer

    3. Boston: (100)-Bruins are essentially the same team they were when they won it all last June. The lone newcomers are former Montreal Canadiens forward BenoƮt Pouliot and offence-first defenceman Joe Corvo who, along with more contributions from the youngsters, should help keep Boston among the contenders. With the NE division appearing weaker than in past seasons they should have little problem winning a top 3 seed. Difference Maker: Nathan Horton

    4. Pittsburgh:(105) Very few new faces from last season, and why not? All they did was compile one of their best regular season records despite not having their 2 best players for a majority of the season. Malkin appears healthy and ready to reassert himself in a big way. When Sid returns it will give the Pens the best center depth in the East. If they are to make a run James Neil, Kunitz and newcomer Steve Sullivan will have to contribute. They will battle Philly all year for the Atlantic crown. Difference Maker: James Neal

    5. Buffalo: (97)-Buoyed by new ownership, Sabres general manager Darcy Regier became a significant spender in the summer, adding Christian Ehrhoff and Ville Leino on bloated, multiyear deals, and Robyn Regehr via trade. We are not alone in 'liking' the Sabres chances of becoming an NHL power once again. With Ryan Miller they have a chance to win every night. If their offense can score enough they should keep up with the Bruins and give them a run for their division winning money. Difference maker: Brad Boyes

    6. NY Rangers (95)- Hauled in the biggest free agent fish in Brad Richards giving the Broadway Blue shirts a legit #1 center. If Gaborik can stay healthy he and Richards could combine for a lethal combination. The top 2 defense and goalie Henrik Lundqvist provide the Rangers with an opportunity to stay in most games. It remains to be seen if the remaining roster can also chip in. That said we see enough talent to keep NY in their playoffs. Difference Maker: Woljtek Wolski

    7. Tampa Bay (94)- Many were surprised to see the Bolts surge last season. We were not. However, while many are projecting them to continue to improve, we see a bit of slippage on the horizon. They will still be a playoff team, but unlike last season they won't challenge the Caps for the SE and will struggle to keep playoff position. Can 42 yr old Roloson hold up to play 50-60 games? Difference Maker: Teddy Purcell

    8. Montreal: (92)-Montreal fans are hoping to finally see a healthy Andrei Markov, Josh Gorges to go along with recently signed free agent Chris Campoli. Up front, newcomer Erik Cole adds some size, muscle and the ability to add 25 goals, but the rest of the improvement will have to come from within as Pierre Gauthier decided to basically stand pat this summer. They will go as far as Carey price can carry them. Most likely will hold onto a playoff spot but an injury to price and that will be tough. Difference Maker: Andrei Markov

    9. New Jersey: (89)- While we don't think the Devils will get off to as bad a start as last season, we also don't think they are as good as they played in the second half. What that means is they will be a near-miss playoff wise. From what we've heard youngster Larsson on defense is going to be the real deal, but is it too early to expect an impact season? . Marty Brodeur will have another solid season, and it will be good to have Zac Parise back but we don't think that will be enough to get back to the post season. Difference Maker: Adam Larsson

    10. Carolina:(88)-The Canes did some roster shake up this summer in an effort to get back to the post season after missing 4 times in the past 5 attempts. Can Cam Ward again play 70+ games? He may have to. We like the additions of Ponikarovski and Kaberle, but unfortunately for their fans we don't see this assemblage as quite up to the task once again. They will be right in it to the end and a couple of favourable bonces could get them in, but in the end I believe they come up a tad short. Difference Maker: Alex Ponikarovski

    11. Toronto: (85)-GM Burke certainly was busy in the off-season. He added center Tim Connolly, along with John-Michael Liles, Cody Franson and Matt Lombardi. This in an attempt to finally get the Leafs into the postseason, amazingly for the first time since 2004! Forward depth is surely improved, but will they get the goaltending all season long from young Reimer and Gus? The defense is expensive but questionable. All things together they are better, but the Leafs are not yet a playoff calibre team. Difference Maker: James Reimer

    12. NY Islanders (83)- The popular pick among prognosticators to be their "sleeper team". Sorry Isles supporters, we don't see it. Players like Grabner and Moulson are set for a bit of a decline in my opinion. Yes, they should be better and if they avoid a long losing streak they will hang around and be in the 8th spot hunt till March. That said they don't have the depth on defense especially to make a legit run and secure that spot. Is 'Johnny T' ready to lead the team? Difference Maker: Rick DiPietro

    13. Winnipeg: (82) The franchise may be in a different locale, but it probably won't (in the short run) change their fortunes. With the front office turnover, few significant roster changes were made so to see improvement their existing roster (already paper thin in depth) will have to improve. They will have MANY more fans, but probably not many more points in the standings as last year. Difference Maker: Evander Kane

    14. Ottawa: (78)-Their continued youth movement is going to make for some very painful nights for Sens' fans this season. The only significant off-season signings of note were tough guy Zenon Konopka, Nikita Filitov and backup goalie Alex Auld. There’s a gaping hole down the middle that will probably be filled with an untested rookie. The Spezza trade rumours will persist all season and Murray might be looking at his last season as GM. ( That would be the best result of the season in my opinion!) Difference Maker: Nikita Filitov

    15. Florida: (75) Despite the enormous turnover (fueled in large part by the salary floor) by GM Dale Tallon we don't see the Cats as any better off than they were with the previous roster. They will probably score more, but we also foresee them giving up way more goals than last year with a weakening of their goaltending. If they suffer a series of injuries, it could get ugly in South Florida (again) and another late February sell-off will be in store. Difference Maker: Brian Campbell
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