Monday, February 27, 2012

Bad Blood?!?

1) This is clearly what is happening in Columbus. To review for folks not up to speed on the issue. Rick Nash the captain, and face of the Columbus Blue Jackets franchise (contrary to Howson's assertion) was approached BY THE TEAM last fall about possibly waiving his No Movement Clause (NMC) in his contract to facilitate a possible trade. As regular readers recall we at Fauxrumors were FIRST to break the story that Nash was being shopped as early as last November Nash consented, but gave a limited list of teams he'd agree to be traded to. Fast forward to the middle of this month when Howson had a deal in principal to obtain LA Kings star defensemen Drew Doughty along with Penner and back up goalie Bernier among others (we wrote about this earlier this month)

2) The problem is that Los Angeles was NOT among the teams that Nash had on his list. When Howson approach Nash's agent he/his client did not give the team permission and this pissed off Howson greatly. Eventually they did manage to iron out a deal with LA (Carter to Kings), but not the one Howson originally wanted. Additionally the franchise, once the news that their star was being shopped was out AND they didn't have a return (yet) on their player, needed to avert a PR nightmare (especially when season ticket renewals just went out!) So Scott Howson made Nash out to be the bad guy to cover his buttocks. Stating that it was Nash who requested to be traded. A bold face lie to be sure. Thus making an already uncomfortable situation into a nearly intolerable one. Nash has the remainder of the season with the Jackets to get through.

3) Undoubtedly he WILL get traded this summer, but by making this into a huge media circus Scott Howson has not only alienated his star attraction (FORCING A TRADE) making an enemy of Nash and in the process probably diminished any trade return he might have otherwise received. Much like the Heatley/Ottawa fiasco of a coupe of years ago when GM Murrray publicly outed Heatley's refusal to go to Edmonton and then was forced to trade the disgruntled winger, Howson has done much the same by making this matter a publicly known spat. No doubt Nash will be calling the shots and deciding where he goes and Howson (assuming he isn't fired for incompetence) will have to take less than he might have recieved. Bad blood indeed!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Week 20 Results

1) Week 20 is in the books. we had a disappointing evening going 5-6 on the day/night. After last weeks great results we came crashing back to earth. For the season we are now 138-103 or a .573 winning %. The only good news is we got our Lock of the week to bring that stat to 17-3.

2) We will be back at this again next Saturday when 9 games will be played. Ofcourse the deadline is approaching but from what we have heard it probably won't be all that active. In fact it might be a down right snoozer of a day disappointing many fans expecting big deals to propel their teams. As many of our sources tell us to many teams are looking so prices are "exorbitant". If anything is close and we hear about it we will pass it along. As always, keep it here for all the latest!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Week 20 Picks

1) Its week 20 in the NHL. The last weekend before Mondays anticipated Trade Deadline. We try to continue last weeks impressive stats and bring our season total of 133-97, or a .578 winning %.

Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh

St. Louis at Winnipeg: Jets

Phoenix at Edmonton:Coyotes

Washington at Toronto: Maple Leafs

Boston at Ottawa: Senators

Buffalo at NY Rangers: Rangers (Lock of the week)

Florida at Carolina: Hurricanes

Colorado at Detroit: Red Wings

Chicago at Los Angeles: Kings

San Jose at Nashville:Preditors

Philadelphia at Calgary: Flames

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Week 19 Results

1) Week 19 is in the books. Firstly we have to mention that we were wrong about yesterday. Saturday was NOT that silly Hockey day in America", that would be today when NBC is portraying the day as a celebration of Hockey in the states. As we wrote its hardly a sport embraced by most of the country. To be clear its MY favourite sport, but its clearly a regional sport. Albeit a strong passionate regional following, but it will never rival any of the other 3 major team sports, so as such calling it Hockey day in America is a clear stretch!

2) For the day we had an impressive 7-1 record for the day/evening to elevate our season long record to 133-97, or a .578 winning %. We also continued our 'Lock" mastery to bring that stat to an amazing 16-3. We will be back at it next Saturday when a full 11 games will be played. Also its the final week prior to the Trade Deadline. Contrary to conventional wisdom I think from talking with folks that it will be a busy period indeed. Look for some of our discussion and relate rumours that we hear.
As always, keep it here for all the latest!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Week 19 Picks

1) Its "Hockey Day in America". Well, its Week 19 of the NHL season anyway. We don't buy into the TV-contrived attempt to make it sound like the US is going to be all about ice hockey today. Sorry as much as we like the NHL, etc, Hockey day in America can NOT compete with "Hockey Day in Canada", when the country IS truly all about the game which bleeds from the pores of its citizens. Anyway enough of our soap box and on to the picks. Its a bit of an abbreviated schedule for a saturday with a mere 8 games up for grabs today/night. We bring in a 126-96 record, or a .568 winning percentage into the day:

Pittsburgh at Philadelphia: Penguins

Chicago at Columbus: Black Hawks

Minnesota at St. Louis: Blues

Carolina at NY Islanders: Islanders (Lock of the Week)

Washington at Tampa Bay:Lightning

Toronto at Vancouver: Canucks

Dallas at Phoenix: Coyotes

Calgary at Los Angeles: Kings

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dead line Day to Be Snooze-fest??

1) Many around the NHL are already saying that the usually much anticipated/hyped NHL Trade Deadline may in actuality be a "snooze fest" this season. That seems to be the story where ever we call/talk with NHL execs who would seem to be "in the know". They site the recent trend of teams locking up their impending UFA's before the trade deadline thus reducing the number of easily moveable assets. We saw that in recent moves including: Carolina signing Gleason, Isles signing Neilson, Edmonton signing Sutton and Columbus resigning Vinny Prospal.

2) We saw a similar flurry last season as well as teams locked up their players to prevent them from becoming UFA's and possibly see their prices go up in July. Its good business for all sides as the player also gets stability knowing he is gong to stay put now, and know where he will be next season as well. All that said we do believe we will still see a bevy of important deals made between today and 2/27/12 3:00 pm (Eastern). We believe we could start to see some of those moves begin as early as later today as we're told that the Caps are almost assuredly going to move Mike Knuble to a Western Conference team "very shortly".

3) Some non UFA's could also be finding themselves part of deadline deals. As we have maintained for months, Howson is peddling Rick Nash. We wrote on January 9th when Howson fired Arniel that "Nash would be dealt at the deadline." WE believe a block buster of Nash for LA Kings Drew Doughty is highly possible. We confirmed those talks with a 'person on the inside' that indeed things are heating up. Howson would like to make it a bigger deal offering to swap mason for LA back up Bernier and Vermette for Dustin Penner. It could be a huge deal one scout tells us, but something WILL happen, and its likely to be a complete revamping in Columbus by the end of this month. We will relay other rumors as we receive them folks.

What is certain to us at Fauxrumors this deadline will be ANYTHING but a snooze-fest and could infact turn out to be quite interesting indeed! As always, keep it here for all the latest!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Week 18 Results

1) Firstly happy Birthday to one of the best US presidents, Abe Lincoln.

A blah result for us on " Hockey day In Canada" where we went a lackluster 6-6. For the season that makes us 126-96, or a .568 winning percentage. We did manage to get our Lock of The Week correct to at least bring that stat up to an impressive 15-3 on the season. WE will be back for week 19 next week when its "Hockey Day in the US" when a mere 8 games will be played.

2) Look for a couple of interesting posts upcoming this week as well as the latest rumours concerning the upcoming Trade deadline (2/27) As always, keep it here for the latest!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Week 18 Picks

1) Its week 18 in the NHL. A full slate of 12 games are being played today and tonight. We bring our season total of 120-90 or a .571 winning percentage into the day hoping to improve, but unlikely get to our goal of .600.

Nashville at Boston: Bruins

Florida at New Jersey: Devils

Los Angeles at NY Islanders: Islanders

NY Rangers at Philadelphia: Flyers

Winnipeg at Pittsburgh: Penguins

Edmonton at Ottawa: Senators

Tampa Bay at Buffalo: Lightning

Montreal at Toronto: Maple Leafs

Colorado at St. Louis: Blues (Lock of The Week)

Columbus at Minnesota: Wild

Chicago at Phoenix: Coyotes

Vancouver at Calgary: Canucks

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pretenders or Contenders?

1) Well, its coming into the home stretch when teams will have to decide if they are going to be "buyers" or "sellers" as the 2/27/12 Trade deadline approaches. Traditionally teams that feel they are not legitimate playoff contenders are the sellers, trying to get something to attempt to re-tool for next season and beyond. Meanwhile teams "in it" and gearing up for a playoff push/run into the post season are the "buyers" to bolster their rosters for the grueling 2-3 months ahead. Some teams may self delude themselves OR have to be careful not to alienate their fan base and appear they are throwing in the towel in February. We believe that would be a calculated mistake. (See Florida and Bouwmeester 2 years ago).

2) History is a great teacher of realistic expectations. Therefore any team without a chance to attain 92+ points should cut bait and sell what assets they can/should. For instance Tampa Bay. They are 8 points from 1st place Florida. With several face to face matchups left its conceivable they could overtake them, BUT in reality its a 100:1 shot. The loser point as well as having to climb over Fla AND DC make a playoff appearance for the Bolts unrealistic. They should be sellers. So we will now attempt to make our list of teams that should clearly be sellers, buyers and the couple who actually have a realistic shot: With each listed team we will write whom they should look to deal, etc.

3) First the teams we fell are NOT going to make the post season under any circumstance:

  • Carolina: Tuoma Rutuu, Jaroslav Spacek. Not gonna get much more than a 4th rounder at most for Spacek, but Rutuu is another story. Rutherford could parlay that into a 2nd rounder and or a prospect.

  • Montreal: Chris Campoli and Hal Gil if healthy could get back something decent. Travis Moen will also be in demand with his size and playoff experience. Hey Gauthier, dangle Gomez for free! ;)

  • Buffalo: Paul Gaustad will be the player most asked about. Also Brad Boyes, Jochen Hecht, might also be dealt

  • NY Islanders: Evgeny Nabokov is the player everyone will be expecting to be dealt. He's having a good season so Snow should be able to get back a decent pick. Additionally PA Parenteau as an impending UFA having a point/game season could get the Isles a decent return if they feel they won't be able to resign him. Frans Neilson would also get a teams interest as a good penalty killer/defensive forward. Additionally Steve Staos and Mark Eaton would get back a modest return for a team looking for defensive depth

  • Tampa Bay: Have a bevy of depth/character players available, including Dominic Moore, Ryan Shannon, Adam Hall. Pavel Kubina might also interest a team looking to add a defenseman. Maybe Stevie Y could convince a fellow GM to take on Vinny L's contract? Hey Gomez for Lecalvier? Probably not ;)

  • Columbus: They should be very busy. In addition to maintaining our Nash trade scenario, we look toward Howson dealing Huselius, Pahlsson and Prospal for mid round picks/lower prospects. He might even get back something decent for Radek Martinek if he can stay healthy. Goalie Steve Mason is also on the block Fedor Tyuton could also be leaving Ohio?

  • Edmonton: While all eyes are on Sam Gagne, and his recent offensive surge will elevate his value, we also expect teams to ask about Ryan Smyth and Ales Hemsky. The former though has a NTC and its unknown if he wants to move once again? Certainly Andy Sutton will get back a nice return

  • Anaheim: While the rumors will persist we doubt the Ducks will blow up the ir roster and instead deal impending UFA s like Jason Blake, and Niclas Hagman. While Finn vets Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu have NTC's it will be interesting to see if they waive them to try to win a Cup?

4) Next the teams that should look towards 2012-13 even though they have a mathematical shot at the playoffs:

  • Winnipeg: Not a huge number of tradable assets to unload. Johnny Oduya, Kyle Wellwood and Jim Slater might get interest they won't bring back anything more than a mid round pick. Nic Antropov could get a tad more from a team looking to add a top 4 forward.

  • Colorado: No shortage of possible UFA's to deal with Jones, McClement, Winnick, Hunwick available but unlikely to fetch all that much. Shane O'Brian on the other hand could garner enough interest to get back a decent return to warrant dealing the defenseman. If someone came sniffing for Giguere or Paul Stastny Greg Sherman would be wise to listen

  • Calgary: Jay Feaster should totally retool his roster and not think they have a chance. As such ALL players over 28 should be available. Including Jokinen (no trade clause), Stepniak, Sarich, Hannon, However players like Jarome Iginla, and Mike Cammellari should be approached to drop their NTC. You would think they would want a shot at a Cup? It aint gonna happen in Cow Town any time soon!

5) That's 11 teams who we feel should be clear cut sellers. Only leaves 3 teams that are truly "bubble teams":

  • Phoenix: The teams future in the desert still in doubt, as is their playoff hopes. They could still pull it out, but realistically would/could they do much once there? Maloney should attempt to deal but all his tradeable commodities have NTC's. Doan, Rozival, Whitney, Langkow, and Aucoin all have no movement clauses.

  • Dallas: Micheal, Ryder, and Sheldon Souray would get back the best return but being so close to the 8th seed and in need of playoff revenue its unlikely the Stars will be big sellers

  • Washington: Jeff Schultz and Alex Semin most available Caps, but with their recent injury woes will they part with them? Mike Knuble could also be had, but wouldn't fetch much.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Political Correctness Run Amuck!?!

1) Clearly one has to conclude its nutty political correctness gone batty when you read about what the University of North Dakota did visa vie its mascot/name of its teams. The soon to be former "Fighting Sioux" name is going to be expunged from the university all together. Now, its NOT the University that is at fault here, but the NCAA. For those who aren't up on this issue. UND is the only school deemed by the NCAA to have a “hostile or abusive” logo or nickname not to have changed the name or been granted a waiver to keep it. Unless the school got the permission of the state’s two Sioux tribes to keep the nickname, (One said yes, the other no.- more on that shortly) , it must change the name or its teams wouldn’t be allowed to compete in postseason tournaments starting next year.

2) In reality we're told one man Clyde Bellecourt is the one who is pushing the issue. He is an American Indian Movement activist who says “They think they honor our people by turning us into nothing but mascots for their fun and games,”. Oddly however Clyde refuses to allow the Standing Rock Sioux tribe members to vote on the issue, like the other tribe, Spirit Lake Sioux did when they OK'd the continuation of the use of the name. Could a pay off from the school (or lack there of) have been the reason for the lack of permission? One insider tells us that members of the Tribal council quietly asked for the school to fund several projects in their reservation and the school turned them down fearing an avalanche of such requests thus cementing their refusal to allow a vote and to nix the schools long standing logo.

3) The NCAA, ever trying to please everyone and thus displeasing everyone has been on the war path-sort of speak- to try to eliminate all school nick names that even one person might find offensive and replace them with Lilly-white, fluffy, happy, usually inane nick names that have zero connection to the institution. The kicker to this story is that ND does NOT have a replacement name yet approved and thus their teams going into the 12-13 college season will be nameless. How sad as well as dumb will it be for one of the premier hockey programs in the US to be stripped of their iconic name? A school that has churned out the likes of Doug Smail, Jason Blake, Troy Murray, Zac Parise, Dennis Hextall, Drew Stafford, Craig Ludwig, Jonathan Towes, James Patrick, Dave Tippett, Travis Zajac, Dave Christian, and Ed Belfour. Its too bad the school and the hold out tribe couldn't bury the hatchet, smoke a peace pipe and continue to keep things as they are. For if we can live in a country where there is no real out cry over a team called "The Red Skins" (an actual racist-inflammatory name) there shouldn't be one over a team that gives respect, and praise to the older North Dakota Immigrants,(they are no more native than any of us!) the Sioux.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Week 17 Results

1) Week 17 is completed. It started out as a disaster in the making as we lost the first 4 games played, but we rebounded somewhat and made the best of what could have been a record setting-bad performance. For the day/night we went a decent 7-5 to bring the season long total to 120-90 or a .571 winning percentage. We also continued our strong record in "Locks" as we won another to bring that stat to an impressive 14-3.

2) We will be back for week 18 next Saturday when a dozen games are on the schedule, half of which are afternoon contests. We also will continue to monitor the latest trade rumour news as the deadline is fast approaching(2/27)
As always, keep it here for all the latest

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Week 17 Picks

1)After a week hiatus for the Alltar snnoze-fest in Ottawa we are back at it with our weekly picks. This week there are a dozen games to be decided. We bring our season total of 113-85, or a .571 winning percentage into the day, hoping to improve our record wit the following picks:

Pittsburgh at Boston: Bruins

New Jersey at Philadelphia: Flyers

Washington at Montreal: Habitants

Vancouver at Colorado: Avalanche

Toronto at Ottawa: Maple Leafs

Buffalo at NY Islanders: Sabres

Los Angeles at Carolina: Hurricanes (Lock of The Week)

Florida at Tampa Bay: Lightning

St. Louis at Nashville: Preditors

Minnesota at Dallas: Stars

San Jose at Phoenix: Coyotes

Detroit at Edmonton: Red Wings
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