Monday, December 29, 2014

Good Bye Dany Boy

1) Not a surprise, but still kinda is to read about  Dany Heatley being placed on waivers. Heatley, 33, signed a one-year contract worth $1 million over the summer with the Ducks, but has failed to produce any offence this season. The former second overall pick has zero points in six games for Anaheim. (He's also played two games with the Norfolk Admirals of the American Hockey League.)

2) Realistically Heatley's fall occurred years ago. he's been playing on his past accomplishments for far too long in our opinion. His last really productive season was the 09-10 season in San Jose when he scored 39 gaols and had 82 points. In the 4 seasons that have followed he hasn't eclipsed the 30 goal plateau despite being paid like a top 10 talent (8 million salary)!  So don't cry for Dany boy, he's racked in well in excess of 50 million in career earnings

3) Where he goes from here is not certain. He could get picked up by a team desperate to give him (another) chance. A team that needs a PP presence . Despite the fact that he's done virtually nothing to deserve another shot he will probably get one. Just don't expect the Senators to be one of those teams!  LOL

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Week 12 Results

1) Post x-mas break games are completed. Some teams definitely showed rust  after being off a full 3 days. For the night we went a mediocre 7-6 to bring the season totals to 98-50, or a .662 winning %. We did manage to get the Lock correct to bring that stat to 9-3.  We will be back picking games next week when 10 games are on the league docket.

2) Its 'Winter Classic' week that will bring the Hawks into DC to play the suddenly hot Caps on New Years day. Look for our analysis on this event. As always, keep it here for all the latest!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Week 12 Picks!

1) The seemingly endless Christmas break is finally ended. We off the next leg of the NHL season that concludes at the All Star Break. Tonight (all night games this week) there are a big 13 games schedujled. WEe bring our record of 91-44 for a .674 winning %. into the day.

Boston at Columbus: Bruins

 NY Islanders at Buffalo: Sabres 

 Detroit at Ottawa: Red Wings

 Carolina at Tampa Bay: Lightning (Lock of the Week)

New Jersey at NY Rangers: Rangers

 Winnipeg at Minnesota: Wild

 Washington at Pittsburgh: Penguins

 Philadelphia at Nashville: Predators

 Dallas at St. Louis: Blues

 Anaheim at Arizona: Coyotes

 Chicago at Colorado: Avalanche

 Edmonton at Calgary: Oilers

 San Jose at Los Angeles: Kings

Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry Christmas.. Now You're Fired!

1) Nice timing Lou (The Grinch) Lamarello! The Devils  have fired coach Pete DeBoer, the team confirmed today.   General manager/team president Lou Lamoriello will not address the change, however, until he talks with the team's players on Saturday morning before they are scheduled to play the cross town rival, Rangers. The Devils (12-17-7) have lost seven of their past eight games and 13 of 16 since Nov. 22.  They have the third-worst record in the Eastern Conference and are nine points out of a playoff spotDeBoer, 46, went 114-93-41 in 3½ seasons with the Devils. 

2) If it seemed that Lamoriello  has a quick trigger finger when it comes to coaches it would  be a correct feeling. In  fact, over the past 15 seasons played, the Devils have made a league-high 13 coaching changes!! Amazing.  Now it really isn't a shocker that Peter was let go, but the timing Lou? Really?  Canning him the day after x-mas!  WE in our annual "who gets axed first post In that post under DeBoer we wrote: A very underrated head coach who is entering his 4th season in Jersey.  In a tough spot as he coaches the oldest NHL team and is one injury (Schneider) away from getting fired.  If they get off to a slow start Peter could easily find himself getting that dreaded call for Mr. Lou!  

3) So where do the Devils go from here?  Although its not yet been made official our NJ sources tell us Lou does NOT intend to return behind the bench like he did on previous occasions. Instead we are being told that we may see what they are terming "co-coaches". We aren't clear yet who those individuals will be, but we're told not to be surprised to see Adam  Oats be one of them.  As for DeBoer, as we have maintained since he was hired by the Devils, he is an under rated coach who has done the best anyone could have asked  with the rosters he has been given both in Jersey and before that in Florida. As such we wouldn't be shocked to hear that he lands with another team if not before this season concludes, but certainly by next season!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

1) Firstly we here at FAUXRUMORS want to thank each and every one of our many loyal readers. We wouldn't be here without you!

2) During this all too long hockey hiatus, we at the FAUXRUMORS group, want to wish all of you and yours the best this holiday season! We will be back, covering the season in earnest tomorrow.  Until then we at FAUXRUMORS want to say MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Week 11 Results

1) Our pre-holiday edition of our weekly picks is in the books.  For the day/night we went a very mediocre 7-6  to bring the season totals to 91-44 for a .674 winning %.  As an aside there were an amazing 5 of the 13 games that went beyond the 60 minute mark to be decided. Of those we went  2-3.  Of course one, the Sharks winning in OT helped us to extend our 'Locks' record to 8-3. WE will be back at this again next Saturday the 27th when the NHL ends its self imposed 3 day X-mas break with 13 big games

2) Many of our readers who have not been with us from the beginning (2006-2007) have been asking us about a certain blog irritant and why he continually pesters the blog disparaging us as well as our readers. Those who have been with us from the beginning know his checkered quasi-psychotic tendencies.  We look at it as comic relief for the blog, as he is now harmless, and unless he starts to write threatening responses we won't edit/restrict/erase his usual inane ramblings

3) As we mentioned the NHL X-mas break starts Wednesday through Friday.  We are probably going to drop at least 1 post before then.  As always keep it here for all the latest!!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Week 11 Picks

1) The pre-holiday edition of our weekly picks. There are 12 games being played today/night in the NHL. We of course risk our amazing record through 10 weeks of 84-38, or  .689 winning %.

Arizona at Los Angeles: Kings

Colorado at Buffalo: Sabres

 Philadelphia at Toronto: Maple Leafs

 Ottawa at Montreal: Habitants

 Tampa Bay at NY Islanders: Lightning

 Florida at Pittsburgh: Penguins

 Washington at New Jersey: Capitals

 NY Rangers at Carolina: Rangers

 Chicago at Columbus: Blue Jackets

 Nashville at Minnesota: Wild

 Calgary at Vancouver: Flames

 St. Louis at San Jose: Sharks (Lock of the Week)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Eakins Fired, But Oilers Still Suck!

1) Apparently GM Craig Mc Tavish either had a change of heart, or as our sources tell us the decision to fire Eakins was made from the top. Owner, drug dealer Daryl Katz gave the directive after watching his team lose yet another game last night o the NY Rangers. To review only 10 days ago when asked about Eakins job security he said:" “Coaching is under scrutiny, but in my mind, at this time, to make a coaching change … we’ve changed assistant coaches. We’ve brought in co-coaches. We’ve brought in former coaches. Four coaching changes … as I said earlier, those coaches were all delivering the same message. We need a higher level of execution.”

2) Evidently that thought process has changed. Insiders tell Fauxrumors that Katz has become incensed when his team not only continued to lose, but appeared to stop competing/caring. This even prompted goalie Viktor Fasth to have a visible emotional out burst after getting pulled a few days ago. Calling out his team mates out in front of  everyone while on the bench.

3) McTavish takes over this train wreck and is amazingly the 6th coach since 2008, and very likely won't stay through the rest of the season so we very well may be looking at # 7 soon. In our opinion the problem hasn't been coaches but poor talent management. Although they have had oodles of 1st overall/lottery picks the past 5 years it takes more than 1st rounders to make a playoff contender, let alone a Cup contending team.  It takes talent along with leadership. A mix of youth and veteren leadership is the usual recipe and management has yet to grasp this.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Week 10 Results

1) We have completed week 10 of the NHL season and on the day we went an excellent 10-3 to bring our season totals up to 84-38, or an awesome .689 winning %. We even manged to break our inexplicable 3 game  'lock' losing streak by winning that game as well to bring that stat to 7-3.

2) Look for week 11's picks upcoming next Saturday when 12 games will be decided. Other interesting stories are also lurking about and we're sure our loyal readers are eagerly awaiting our unique take on them.
As always keep it here for all the latest!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Week 10 Picks

1) Here we are in  week 10 of the NHL season.  There are a 'baker's dozen' (13) games on tap. To review thus far our record is  74-35 for a .679 winning % going into today's slate of games:

Ottawa VS Boston: Bruins

Philadelphia VS Carolina: Flyers

 Buffalo  VS  Florida: Sabres

 Toronto VS Detroit: Maple Leafs

 Washington VS Tampa Bay: Capitals

 NY Islanders VS Chicago: Islanders

 Columbus VS Pittsburgh: Penguins

 Anaheim VS Winnipeg: Ducks  ( Lock of the week)

Minnesota VS Arizona: Wild

Dallas VS New Jersey: Devils

NY Rangers VS Vancouver: Rangers

St. Louis VS Colorado: Blues

San Jose VS Nashville: Sharks

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Signing Marty, Bad Move or Desperation?

1) Martin Brodeur is back in the NHL!. After an amazing run of 21 years in New Jersey, Brodeur signed with the St. Louis Blues last week. He made his first start on Thursday, looking OK in a 4-3 loss to the Predators. Then this past Saturday, he earned his 689th career win, and first in St Louis, in relief against a familiar foe the Islanders.  Don't get us wrong, while it was nice to see a legend return in our opinion it won't help, but hinder the Blues season.

2) The whole Brodeur situation is very odd, because the Blues and Brodeur don’t seem like they should be a fit. Why? The Blues already have two pretty good goaltenders in veteran Brian Elliott and youngster Jake Allen. While Allen has struggled a bit, and right now Elliott has a mild injury. While Elliott is listed as 'week-to-week', there have been conflicting reports as to just how long he’ll be out, however few are saying his season is in jeopardy, which means at some point the Blues are going to have a log jam in net with three guys and only two spots.

3)  It’s possible that the plan here is to just use Brodeur as a stop-gap until Elliott is back and then go forward with the Elliott-Allen pairing. But the rumor mill now says that the Blues could be looking to move Elliott, which would leave them with Allen and Brodeur to carry their Cup hopes.  That would seem to be an insane strategy, especially since Brodeur hasn’t been all that good for going on 2 years now. From a purely Blues’ perspective, it makes little sense. They’re one of the league’s better teams, in a  position to make a run at the team’s first Cup. 

4) They tried to upgrade the position late last season  when they made a blockbuster trade to get Ryan Miller. Most liked that deal at the time, but it didn’t work out, and the Blues ended up spending a few top assets for a few weeks of mediocre goaltending.  True, here they’re not spending any assets on Brodeur, so the risk factor is lower. But the odds of success are lower too! The other non discussed is the negative possible impact on the acting #1 goalie Jake Allen.  Brodeur has never been a 'mentor' to any of his former backups, and having a guy who is used to being 'the guy' around could fracture the locker room

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Week 9 Results

1) Week 9 is complete. For the day/night we had another rather solid outing, going 8-4 on the day to elevate our season total to 74-35 for a .679 winning %.  Another, in this case bad trend, is the ability to win better than 75% of my picks yet missing another 'Lock' like we have done 3 weeks in a row now. That stat is now a very mediocre 6-3 on the season!

2) We of course will be back here next Saturday when another slew of NHL games are on tap. We also are writing/planning a few other posts in the upcoming week. Don't forget the christmas (holiday if you're an atheist) trade freeze is i n effect in 2 weeks so rumours are sure to pop up, and look for our perspective on the Marty Brodeur signing!
As always, keep it here for all the latest!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Week 9 Picks

1) We enter the second quarter of the NHL season.  Thus far our week end picks have yeilded a record of 66-31 or a .680 winning % Like the last few weeks there are a dozen games on tap today/night in the NHL

Ottawa at Pittsburgh: Penguins

St. Louis at NY Islanders: Islanders

 Philadelphia at Los Angeles: Kings

 Buffalo at Florida: Panthers

 Vancouver at Toronto: Maple Leafs

 Montreal at Dallas: Stars

 NY Rangers at Detroit: Red Wings

 Columbus at Tampa Bay: Lightning (Lock of the Week)

 Washington at New Jersey: Devils

 Chicago at Nashville: Black Hawks

 Boston at Arizona: Bruins

 San Jose at Calgary: Sharks

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Into oblivion?

1) As we get into week 9 of the NHL season a few teams are quickly becoming 'after thoughts' as they sink deeper and deeper out of playoff contention. While it still relatively early (most teams have 55+ games left the writing is on the wall for several teams. With teams playing each other combined with the 'loser point' it become very difficult if not impossible to overcome double digit deficits.  So with 3/4 of the season to go there are already in our opinion 4-7 teams that could fit that description. 4 are not a shock, and two are.

2) As of this post we believe that the following teams are clearly becoming irrelevant with respect to the playoff race, and although fans are still amazingly still going to Oilers games the other 4 teams might have completely empty buildings before the All Star Game!
  • Buffalo
  • Columbus
  • Carolina
  • Edmonton
  • Arizona

3) In addition to those 5 it could be argued that the Flyers and Avalanche are fast also getting to that point as well. Our hesitancy to place them into the above 5 is their rosters should be far better and more likely to have a bit of a turn around in the remainder of the season, but they better get moving soon. We may very well see some coaching turnover with one of these  7 teams in the next few weeks. How in the hell does Dallas Eakins still have a job!?!   

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Week 8 Results

1) Week 8 is complete. On the day/night we went a solid 9-3 to elevate the season total to 66-31 or a .680 winning %. Like last week, we had a great week BUT lost our 'Lock'  to bring that stat down to 6-2. We will be back at this ofcourse next saturday when another 12 games are scheduled.  Also look for a post concerning teams already becoming irrelevant with only 1/4 of the season complete.
As always, keep it here for all the latest!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Week 8 Picks!

1) Its week 8 of the NHL season. Time for our weekly picks.  Am even dozen games are slated for today/night. Our record through the first 7 weeks is a gaudy 57-28 for a .671 winning %

Philadelphia at NY Rangers: Rangers

Buffalo at Montreal: Habitants ( Lock of the Week)

Washington at Toronto: Maple Leafs

 Ottawa at Tampa Bay: Lightning

 New Jersey at NY Islanders: Devils

 Pittsburgh at Carolina: Penguins

 Columbus at Nashville: Predators

 St. Louis at Minnesota: Blues

 Dallas at Colorado: Avalanche

 Chicago at Los Angeles: Kings

 Calgary at Arizona: Flame

 Anaheim at San Jose: Sharks

Monday, November 24, 2014

At The Quarter Poll-2014 Edition

1) With nearly all teams having now played 20% of their schedules  we decided as we usually do when there is a full NHL season to project (NOT predict) the finals standings. Obviously there is plenty of time for teams outside of the playoffs to get back in, but some trends are clearly becoming evident. This is NOT a Prediction!! We merely are projecting an 82 game season point total based upon each teams current point total/games played. Although we delineated the top 8, with the new playoff structure, its not a done deal that he 8th seeded team would qualify if the season ended today

2) First in the East:

  • Pittsburgh- 118
  • Montreal- 115
  • NY Islanders- 112
  • Tampa Bay- 109
  • Detroit- 100
  • Boston- 95
  • Ottawa- 93
  • Toronto- 91
  • Florida- 89
  • NY Rangers -88
  • Washington- 84
  • New Jersey- 80
  • Philadelphia- 76
  • Carolina- 60
  • Columbus- 56
  • Buffalo- 53
3) Next The West:
  • Anaheim- 113
  • Nashville- 112
  • St. Louis- 110
  • Vancouver- 110
  • Calgary- 102
  • LA-  99
  • Chicago- 95
  • Minnesota- 93
  • Winnipeg- 84
  • San Jose- 83
  • Dallas- 76
  • Arizona- 73
  • Colorado- 72
  • Edmonton- 53
4) Synopsis East:  Positives: A nice surprise to see the Islanders become relevant in the NY metro area. Hopefully they can keep it up. Detroit playing a top tier team proves they have one of the best coaches in the business! Fla stying in the race, also nice to see. Negatively the demise of Columbus is the most shocking.  Yes, they have had injuries, but to fall out of the playoff race this early?   Changes are coming there for sure. Also Flyers playing mediocre hockey won't be tolerated long. In Buffalo they were supposed to suck, but this bad?  Sorry Ted, we've been big supporters through the years, but unless you can get more out of this collection, your days as a head coach are done! 

5) Synopsis West:  Good surprises: Nashville and Vancouver!  New coaches definitely making a difference. Laviolette typically does well his first season with teams, then his players start to figure out he's just a New England douche and they tune him out. WE can understand why Willie Dejardens was so sought after this past summer. The 'Nucks are playing very well. Additionally who thought Calgary would be here?  We certainly didn't. On the flip side, Colorado has to be the biggest disappointment thus far.  Many (including us) figured they'd  push the big boys for conference supremacy. Now the playoffs are looking quite unlikely! Edmonton, like Buffalo wasn't supposed to win, but come on'. enough already Oil!  How does Dallas Eakins still have a job!?!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Week 7 Results

1) Week 7 is complete. We thought we were in for a nasty day when we lost the 1st 3 games, but we managed to almost sweep the remaining 10, and went a very solid 9-4 on the day/night to bring the season totals to 57-28 for a .671 winning %!  Alas not all good news as we lost our first 'Lock' as the Washington Capitals decided to do a no show against the pathetic Buffalo Sabres at home. The stat for Locks is now at 6-1

2) Look for our popular 'Quarter pole' posting to drop tomorrow morning based upon the standings after today's 4 games.  Trade talks are also heating up as are teams seeing the reality that their season's are already toast.
As always, keep it here for all the latest!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Week 7 Picks

1) We are at the quarter poll of the NHL season. hard to imagine how fast things seem to be flying by here.  We will have our annual season's projection posting early next week of course, but today its all about the picks. A busy day/evening in the NHL as 13 games are scheduled. No word if the sabres were able to dig out of Buffalo to get to DC for tonight's game/ Regardless, we will pick it here any way. Our record coming into tonight's action through 6 weeks is  48-24 for a .667 winning %

St. Louis at Ottawa:  Senators

Montreal at Boston: Bruins

 Buffalo at Washington: Capitals (Lock of The Week)

 Detroit at Toronto:Maple Leafs

 Minnesota at Tampa Bay: Lightning

 Pittsburgh at NY Islanders: Islanders

 Columbus at Philadelphia: Flyers

 Florida at Nashville: Predators

 Los Angeles at Dallas:Stars

 Carolina at Colorado: Avalanche

 New Jersey at Calgary: Flames

 Chicago at Edmonton: Black hawks

 Arizona at San Jose: Sharks

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

"Loonie" Will Determine Cap?

1) The dirty little secret that few, if any were talking about until recently is the direct and significant tie the NHL revenue windfall had to do with the elevation of the Canadian dollar.  We at Fauxrumrs have been WAY out in front of this for years! Here is a post SIX YEARS ago on this very subject:

2) Although that 'shrinkage was only minimal and temporary, and largely mitigated by other "revenue  enhancements" like 50 out door games a season. The current downward tregectary of the 'Loonie' appears to be a more permanent situation, and as a recent article sited here suggests:--->
it could go back to where it traditionally has been, in the 80% range. FAR from its al time high of $1.10 from 7 years ago.  It could even plummet to .70 or lower!!

3) So I'm sure more than one of you are asking, "why should we care about Canada's currency value"?  Simple.  If teams north of the border are getting revenues locally with a depressed currency, BUT have to pay players in US dollars they are at a 10-20% disadvantage over their US counterparts and that translates into LESS revenue. Less revenue= smaller salary cap/payroll!  For the past 18 months we were hearing that the new TV deals along with out door games, etc would help to sky rocket the cap ceiling to as high as 80 or even 90 million in 3-4 seasons or less  The current cap is 69 mil. Which is already less than most thought it was going to be only 6 months prior! 

4) Our sources within the league and elsewhere tell us its very likely that due to the CN dollar plunge that the cap will remain  essentially stagnant for the next season or two.  A FAR cry from what we were hearing only a short 12 months ago. GM's across the league felt that the belt tightening they had to endure post Bettman lockout #3 would ease and they could start to spend more easily. I'm sure big spending teams like Chicago, NY and Philly are none too happy. With the Towes/Kane insane deals (10.5 mil each) set to commence next year its possible the Hawks will again have to shed payroll, ala the Leddy trade earlier this fall.  They aren't alone there!

5) The other potential fallout is expansion. We wrote recently that Quebec would be a no brainer to expand to. They have a ready made arena soon to be ready and a rabid fan base eager for a return of NHL hockey. BUT, a plunging loonie would make that less profitable, and less attractive to the league in general. Would the expansion fee be in CN or US dollars?  You can bet it would be in green backs, so the potential owners would be defacto penalized 10-20% on a franchise fee, as opposed to a Vegas or Seattle franchise.  Also existing smaller market teams, already struggling, like the Oilers, Jets, and Flames would have their bottom lines cut by the continued exchange rate disrepency. Might we see a return of The NHL's small market assistance plan, known as the
Canadian Assistance Plan [CAP]? If that happens, one insider told us, you can bet things are getting very bad and contraction, NOT expansion might be necessary. We are NOT anywhere near that....yet!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Week 6 Results

1) Week 6 is complete. We had an outstanding day/night, going an impressive 10-2!  That brings our season-long total to 48-24 for a .667 winning %!  We doubt we'll be able to maintain that pace all season, but we'll give it a shot!   Also we kept our 'lock' pick record unblemished. Now at 6-0!  We of course will be right back here next Saturday for week 7 when a whopping 13 games will be on the NHL docket!
We are planning a post this week concerning next year's salary cap and the Canadian dollar situation/implications!
As always, keep it here for all the latest!!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Week 6 Picks

1) As we roll towards the NHL quarter poll we enter week 6 of the NHL season.  As we had last week, 12 games are to be decided today/night.  We bring our 38-22 for a .633 winning % record into the day and try to improve on it with the following picks.

Carolina at Boston: Bruins  (Lock of the Week)

Minnesota at Dallas:Stars

Anaheim at Los Angeles: Kings

Toronto at Buffalo: Maple Leafs

Philadelphia at Montreal: Habitants

NY Islanders at Tampa Bay: Lightning

Colorado at New Jersey: Avalanche

Rangers at Pittsburgh: Penguins

San Jose at Columbus: Blue Jackets

Winnipeg at Nashville: Predators

Washington at St. Louis: Blues

Ottawa at Calgary: Flames

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Holy Hossa! Six More Years!?!

1) That's the response we got when we reminded Chicago Black hawk fans that their (once-?) super star under achieving Slovak forward has an additional 6 seasons AFTER this one with his 5.25 cap hit. Thus far he has a whopping 2 goals and 7 points in 15 games. Now to be fair few Hawks are tearing up the score sheet, and Hossa has probably paid for his deal with his post season heroics, helping Chicago greatly to win 2 Cups in his 5+ seasons. However, we live in a 'what have you done for me lately?, world and no team can thrive having one of its offensive leaders score (protracted over 82 games)7 goals/25 points!

2) It is always difficult to tell what is a slump and what might be age-related decline. In this case its way too early to tell, but at 36, with lots of miles on him, it wouldn't be premature to make that part of the discussion. Especially if this 'slump' continues. Thankfully  for the Hawks he is one of the few who doesn't have a no movement clause and with the front loaded deal paying him 7.9 mil this year but only 1 mil the last 4 years of his 12 year contract he might be movable for a team looking to add salary cap without salary!

3)  It will be interesting to see how the next few months play out here. One Eastern scout says that his team would be very interested in adding Hossa despite the current slump as long as the asking price wasn't too ridiculous. It would be unusual for a Cup contending team to off load salary before the playoffs, but it may be a wise choice with the Towes/Kane contracts coming on line next season for the Hawks to make some space available to fill the roster and maybe get something decent in return for Marion.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Free to Blog? Thank A Vet!!

1) As we like to remind readers: "Besides:

  • Ending Communism

  • Ending Slavery

  • Saving the world from Totalitarianism Fascism and Terrorism

War never solved a thing?!?"

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Week 5 Results

1) Week 5 is complete.  For the day/night we went a solid 8-4 to bring the 5 week totals to 38-22 for a .633 winning %. Additionally we got our 'Lock' correct to bring that stat to 5-0.   We of course will be back at it again next Saturday when another 12 games are scheduled.  Additionally look for a possible post about some serious trade discussions going on.
As always, keep it here for all the latest!!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Week 5 Picks

1) The 5th Saturday of the NHL season is set for today where a full dozen games are scheduled. Thus far through the first 4 weeks of picks we are 30-18 for a .625 winning % 

Calgary VS  Florida: Flames

 Pittsburgh VS Buffalo: Penguins  (Lock of The Week)

 Toronto VS NY Rangers: Maple Leafs

  Montreal VS Minnesota: Habitants

 Winnipeg VS Ottawa: Senators

Tampa Bay VS Columbus: Lightning

 Philadelphia VS Colorado: Avalanche

 NY Islanders VS Arizona: Coyotes

Washington VS Carolina: Capitals

Nashville VS St. Louis: Blues

 San Jose VS Dallas: Sharks

 Los Angeles VS Vancouver: Kings

Thursday, November 6, 2014

On Very Thin Ice?

1) That's the word on the street concerning Columbus Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards Of course its not surprising seeing that Ohio's team is quickly falling out of the playoff race and its only early November!  Originally when we rated the coaches in the most jeopardy Richards wasn't in bad shape to start the season. (a 3 out of 10)  However we wrote last month that "there are now expectations so if they falter Todd could be the scape goat"   

2) Our sources in Columbus tell us that team president John Davidson is getting antsy seeing what he (and most) believed to be an up and coming team that was sure to be in the top 8 in the East quickly becoming irrelevant and losing with regularity. Yes, they have suffered several significant injury issues, but many teams have as well and they aren't fading like the Jackets. 

3) An already fragile fan base will erode further and be difficult to recoup if the team falls into a season long abyss. Therefore if the team doesn't make an abrupt turn around in the next week or two, Richards will be replaced.  Which begs the next question, who would be his successor? Ron Wilson is the name we keep hearing

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Week 4 Results

1) Week number four is complete. For the day we went a decent but ordinary 7-5 to bring the season totals to 30-18 for a .625 winning %. We also maintained our perfect 'Lock' record, at 4-0 on the young season. Look for the next installment of our picks next Saturday when another 12 games are on the NHL docket.
As always keep it here for all the latest!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Week 4 Picks

1) The 4th Saturday of the NHL season is set for today where a full dozen games are scheduled. Thus far through the first 3 weeks of picks we are 23-13 for a .639 winning %

Boston VS Ottawa: Bruins

 Pittsburgh VS Buffalo: Penguins (Lock of the Week)

 Toronto VS Chicago: Black Hawks

 Tampa Bay VS Washington: Lightning 

 Florida VS Philadelphia: Flyers

New Jersey VS Columbus: Devils

 Winnipeg VS NY Rangers: Rangers

 Carolina VS Arizona; Coyotes

St. Louis VS Colorado: Blues

Minnesota VS Dallas: Stars

 Vancouver VS Edmonton: Canucks

 San Jose VS NY Islanders; Sharks

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Expansion Imminent?

1) There has been tonnes of speculation regarding possible NHL expansion over the past couple of years.  It has intensified in recent months as several cities (Quebec and Las Vegas) are about to complete new hockey friendly buildings and are in need of tenants. There has been many false (according to our top sources) stories out there as well. We have been told in no certain terms that the NHL will NOT expand before the 2017-18 season.  With that background in mind we figured we go through each of the possible expansion locations and give our opinion mixed with what our sources have been telling us

2) Keep in mind, the NHL is denying all of the rumours, and states it has no plans in place.  Ofcourse  the potential locations 'leaked' make sense for one aspect or another.  What doesn't make sense is a 34 team league?  Additionally it should be noted that teams like the Panthers and Coyotes are very likely 'relocation' candidates. With that in mind here are our thoughts with regard to specific locations:

  • Seattle
Seattle appears at first blush to be an obvious choice.  Seattle has an NFL franchise, an MLB franchise and an MLS team, however they did lose their NBA team 6 years ago when the Supersonics moved to Oklahoma City.  The city is building a new arena in an attempt to bring back the Sonics and an NHL franchise.  The Seattle area has for years supported a junior (WHL) franchise.  Seattle is a location that has been discussed as a possible relocation site for years, and with its fairly good and stable economy they likely could support another major league franchise.  When the new building is complete you can bet that it won't be vacant long. We are told it would be one of the first locations given either a new franchise or as possible the new home for the Coyotes

  • Las Vegas
Vegas is the "done deal" spot that's being reported.  They are saying that the NHL wants in, and this is a location they'll land at in 2017.  However, it's one of the most interesting, and  problematic potential locations.   If you've been to Vegas you know there's no other city like it in North America.  The streets are busier at night than at day.  It's legal to gamble and to drink in the streets.  There are way more many distractions and potential issues in the city than in any other in the NHL by far!   How many teams would love to have their guys show up the night before a game and let their guys go and party in Vegas?  I'm assuming most teams would rather fly in on the day of the game and stay quarantined at the arena until after the game, then let the guys go off and blow off some steam.  Another issue is seasons tickets. Teams need stable group of folks to go to most/all their home games (the base)  How much of 'sin city's population is transitory?  How many just come in for a show or two, then leave?  An interesting way of viewing it is that an NHL franchise is another attraction in the city, and it's smart to put it there if only because the tickets to an NHL game will probably be cheaper than to go see Celine Dion or another attraction the city has to offer.  It might add to the novelty of going to Vegas, and you may attract more hockey fans that way.  It has the possibility to grow the sport from a stand point that some people might want to go watch a professional sport in Vegas to see what it's about.  It'll attract a lot of visiting fans.  I'd go to Vegas and catch an NHL game or two.  Why not?  It's a great vacation spot for young people. Overall while adding Vegas might seem a done deal to some, the league would rather not expand here unless there are no other options

  • Quebec City
This is the no brainer, of all no-brainers.  There is NO DOUBT that  the Nordiques will return.  Quebec City is certainly light years different  from Vegas.  Quebec City is one of the oldest cities in Canada, and the people there are aching for the return of the NHL.  The Nordiques left for Colorado in 1995 and won a Stanley Cup in their first season.  They currently have a QMJHL franchise in town  which draws amazingly well for a junior franchise.  The 'Remparts'  averaged 9974/game.  And that was down from the years before Corporate sponsorship on the other hand, will be another problem.  Opposite from Vegas the team will have no problem selling individual tickets and seasons tickets to the common hockey fan, however you have to think selling boxes and bringing in corporate money will be another issue. Much the same issue that had them leave 20 years ago. That said, it is an interesting place to see hockey again.  Their natural hatred for the Canadiens will be fun to see once again.  It is the most likely place for expansion East of the Mississippi!

  • Kansas City
There is defiantly interest on both sides with expanding into the nation's heartland. The most obvious plus for KC is the ready for a tenant arena that has already been approved by the league as NHL friendly (size and luxury boxes etc). The negatives are obvious;  it already had a failed attempt at a franchise. The Scouts came into the league in 1974 (with Washington) and within 3 seasons were moved to Colorado, (later and now the NJ Devils). It is the nations 31 largest TV market which actually places it ahead of Columbus, Vegas and Buffalo. However those other markets have enough outlying population to pull from that it mitigates their market size. Where as KC has little nearby to pull from.  The chances of an expansion team being given to KC at this point are relatively small, but it would be a top relocation destination if/when a team moves (think Florida!)

  • Toronto
Yeah, you read that one correctly.  The NHL is considering putting a second NHL franchise in the Greater Toronto Area.  Toronto has always been,and always will be a Leafs town.  Ever been to a Marlies game?  They don't draw badly but you can commonly buy tickets on the day of the game, and there's always empty seats.  People pass on the Marlies all the time.  Will the next team in the city be the same?  I don't think seasons ticket sales or box sales will be an issue.  Many  wonder how popular the team will be.  Regardless of a 2nd team in town the Leafs will draw a sell out, but the real question is if the second team can sell out on their own.  That's the real test.  In our opinion just look at Buffalo. Without southern Ontario support they would have long ago been relocated, and therefore they, NOT the Leafs would be the most negatively impacted by a 2nd team in TO. That said, I think there are enough NHL starved (Priced out) hockey fans in that regeon to be able to support a 2nd franchise even if they aren't all that good.  Its another no brainer and a HUGE  potential money printer for the NHL. No doubt  a new franchise fee could be near 750 mil to even a billion if you believe some pundents. That won't be a hindrance, now all that needs to be done is find potential buyer(s). Our sources tell us the sure sign its on the NHL radar is if Bettman is fed a question about it in the next year and he doesn't flatly deny it  

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Week 3 -Results

1) Third NHL Saturday is complete. For the day/night we went a pedestrian 6-5 to bring our 3 week totals to 23-13 for a .639 winning %. We did manage to get our 'Lock' correct to bring keep that stat perfect at 3-0.
We will ofcourse be right back here next Saturday when there are an even dozen games scheduled. Also look for an upcoming post on what we are hearing visa vie possible expansion plans!
As always, keep it here for all the latest!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Weekly Picks- 3

1) Its already week 3 in the fledgling NHL season. Tonight we have 11 big games to be played. Thus far on the season we have a  17-8, record for a .680 winning %

Buffalo VS San Jose: Sharks

 Boston VS Toronto: Bruins

 Montreal VS NY Rangers: Habitants

 New Jersey VS Ottawa: Senators

 Philadelphia VS Detroit: Flyers

 NY Islanders VS Dallas: Stars

Minnesota VS Tampa Bay: Lightning

Pittsburgh VS Nashville: Penguins

St. Louis VS Chicago: Blues

 Arizona VS Florida: Coyotes  ( Lock of the Week)

Washington VS Calgary: Flames

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pronger=Player Safety???

1) Our initial reaction to the rumour that the NHL was going to hire (former-?) Flyer Chris Pronger to be part of the department of Player safety was comeon', that's gotta be a made up story. No way would the NHL hire a current NHL player, but one who has one of the most tarnished records in recent memory visa vie playing dirty.  When we finally heard it was indeed accurate we went ballistic. What the F$%k is the NHL thinking here?  Are the stories going around that Flyers owner Ed Snyder was influential in getting this done?
2) So lets look at Prongers past:

  •  1995: The league suspended Pronger, then with the Blues , for four games after he hit Capitals forward Pat Peake in the throat with a stick during a Oct. 29 game.Peake suffered a fractured thyroid cartilage and was expected to miss four weeks at the time of the hit.
  • 1998: Pronger, still with the Blues, was suspended for four games for slashing Phoenix's Jeremy Roenick on Dec. 17. Pronger drew a match penalty when he took a swing at Roenick's helmet. Colin Campbell, the NHL senior vice president and director of hockey operations, ruled that Pronger was attempting to injure Roenick in an "extremely reckless and dangerous manner."
  •  2001: Pronger was suspended for one game after leaving the bench and instigating a fight with the Kings' Kelly Buchberger during an Oct. 11, 2000 game. 
  • 2002: Pronger received a two-game suspension for cross-checking Stars forward Brendan Morrow in an April 3 game. The cross-check left Morrow bleeding near one of his eyes. 
  • 2004: Pronger, still with St. Louis, was suspended one game  for kicking Calgary's Ville Nieminen during a March 14 game.
  • 2007: Pronger, in his first postseason with the Ducks, was suspended one game for his hit on Detroit's Tomas Holmstrom on May 15.  The hit knocked off Holmstrom's helmet and left him on the ice with a cut to his forehead. Holmstrom did return to the game.  Replays apparently showed Pronger hitting Holmstrom in the head with his elbows, leading the NHL to review the incident.
  • 2007: Pronger was suspended one game for his blow to the head of Ottawa's Dean McAmmond in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals. McAmmond was struck as he skated with the puck toward the Ducks net. He did a spin, fell backward, struck his head on the ice, and slid into the corner in the Anaheim zone at 2:01 of the third period. McAmmond was briefly knocked out and left the ice looking woozy after several minutes of on-ice attention. (Only two other players in NHL history have been suspended twice in the same playoff season.)
  • 2008: In the first minute of the second period of the Ducks' game March 12 against the Canucks, Pronger and Canucks forward Ryan Kesler got tangled up in the corner behind the Anaheim goal. Kesler,  hit Pronger but ended up on his back, with Pronger's right foot between his legs. Pronger got his foot free, but video shows he took his foot and stepped hard on Kesler's left leg. Kesler was not injured, but he was adamant after the game that Pronger intentionally stepped on his calf. The NHL reviewed it, and no punishment was initially administered. The league got better, clearer video the next day, and on March 15, handed down the eight-game suspension, the longest of Pronger's career.

3) Now those are the times when Pronger was either caught or disciplined beyond a penalty in a game. In our opinion he got away with WAY more than this!  So he's the guy we want to manage/assist this important duty? Additionally, as he is STILL being paid by Philadelphia, isn't that an automatic conflict of interest?  No, FORMER player, not currently under contract, who hasn't been on the wrong side of the law a gazillion times were available?  Asinine! 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Week 2 -Results

1) The second week is complete. For the night we went a solid 8-3 to bring the young season totals to 17-8, or a .680 winning %.  We additionally got our 'Lock' correct to get that stat to 2-0.

2) Look for us to be back at it once again next Saturday when 11 games will be available to pick. We will also have one or two posts this upcoming week. Our take on the Pronger hiring as well as some interesting trade rumours beginning to pop up already!
As always, keep it here for all the latest

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Weekly Picks Week 2

1) We enter the NHL's second full week.  Although its not quite as busy as last week, we still have a full slate of 11 games to pick.  To review we went 9-5 the first week. No easy games to pick from today!

Boston at Buffalo: Bruins

Toronto at Detroit: Red Wings

Colorado at Montreal: Habitants

Columbus at Ottawa: Blue Jackets

Florida at Washington: Capitals

San Jose at New Jersey: Sharks

NY Islanders at Pittsburgh: Penguins

Philadelphia at Dallas: Stars

Nashville at Chicago: Predators

St. Louis at Arizona: Blues    (Lock of the week)

Tampa Bay at Vancouver: Lightning
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