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Cody Franson of the Leafs is on the block. Should the Oilers be interested?

Posted by Landon Ewaniuk on July 23, 2014 at 2:05 AM Comments comments (0)


Franson, 26, is 6-feet, 5-inches and 213 pounds. He shoots right and almost always plays the right side, a position where the Oilers already have Jeff Petry, Justin Schultz and Mark Fayne.


Franson should be heading into the peak years of his NHL career.


His coach trusted him with the 4th amount of even strength icetime for d-men on the Leafs, but he got the second most amount of power play time. He had 282 hits, more than any other NHL d-man.


Franson’s numbers on the attack indicate an above average to strong puck mover. He had 29 points in 45 games in the lock-out season, 33 points in 79 games last year.


He was sent out for a high percentage of defensive zone-starts, though that’s not unusual in Toronto, a team that had a lot of defensive zone-starts.


He most commonly played against forwards like Tyler Ennis, Steve Ott, Tomas Plekanec, Ville Leino, Matt Read, Valtteri Filppula, Drew Stafford, Drew Miller, Troy Brouwer, Brian Gionta, Jordan Staal and Brian Flynn and Nathan Gerbe, not exactly the consistently tough forwards he would face if he was traded to the Western conference. And the competition he faced this year was a cut above what he faced in 2012-13, the lock-out year, when he went up against a steady mix of Eastern conference third and fourth liners.


In the lock-out year, Franson looked like he might be an elite NHL offensive d-man on the attack. Last year, not so much, more like a solid second-pairing player on the attack.


But his lock-out year point scoring was remarkable. Franson had the second highest points scoring rate at even strength of any NHL defenceman, behind only Kristopher Letang in 2012-13, Behind the Net reports. In 2013-14, however, Franson slipped to 102nd in that same category, behind such d-men as Justin Schultz of the Oilers. On the power play, Franson ranked 13th two years ago and 44th overall last year.


Based on his career numbers, over 181 games, his point production last season would appear more indicative of his true talent, though d-men do sometimes pick it up considerably on the attack between ages 25 and 30.

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The HockeyFanLand Insight:

For quite some time now, it has appeared The Toronto Maple Leafs have not fully appreciated the skills of Cody Franson. One of my good buddies lives in the Toronto area and I constantly harassing about the availability of this young defenseman.

I believe like the above article states Franson Is just coming into his prime and would be the perfect fit for Edmonton to complement a core group.  You would be exactly what will look up for a big frame I can move the puck out of our own end.  At the same time producing good numbers in the O-zone

Report: Blue Jackets, Johansen make significant progress toward deal

Posted by Landon Ewaniuk on July 21, 2014 at 6:20 PM Comments comments (1)

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Ryan Johansen and the Columbus Blue Jackets made some “significant progress” toward a contract agreement recently, the Columbus Dispatch reports.  This is a real good thing for fans of the organization.  

I can't understand this from the perspective of the organization.  Johansen, hass taken some significant time to develop into a full-time NHLer. So, the team wants him on a 2-3 year contract to keep him motivated to reach his full potential. (I get that)  The player wants money and a longer-term 4-5 years.


Ryan wants to be a Blue Jacket and he wants to be in Columbus," said Overhardt, who declined to discuss the negotiations. "That has never been an issue in any of this. He loves it there.

In my opinion, the Blue Jackets rushed this kid into the league.The fourth pick of the 2010 NHL Draft scored 63 points in 82 games and six points in as many playoff contests last season.  

Truly a breakout season. Hockey fans started to see the framework of the future superstar. So that is why I'm confused a contract has not been signed.  This isn't the time to play hardball. 

Everybody else in The hockey world is interested in adding center with the type of potential and skill- set Johansen possesses.  The timing is a bit weird for the club to object a long-term contract.  

The Columbus Blue Jackets are a young, up-and-coming franchise with a bright future. It is no secret that Johansen Is their brightest young star. 

Frankly, I'm surprised nobody else has used an offer sheet to snag this player??? 

Memorable Moments: Patrick Roy dekes Wayne Gretzky, goes over the red-line (1997-98 NHL Season)

Posted by Talk Hockey on July 20, 2014 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)

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This memorable moment occured during a game between the New York Rangers and Colorado Avalanche on November 17th, 1997.

Down by three goals, goaltender Patrick Roy decided to try something new and carry the puck out of his zone and past center ice. Not only that, but in the process, he also deked the greatest player in NHL history: Wayne Gretzky.

There's actually a rule that explicity prohibits this:

28.7 Participating in the Play Over the Center Red Line – If a goalkeeper participates in the play in any manner (intentionally plays the puck or checks an opponent) when he is beyond the center red line, a minor penalty shall be imposed upon him. The position of the puck is the determining factor for the application of this rule. 

As a result of his actions, Roy did get a penalty, but it went down as one of the craziest things NHL fans have ever seen. 

Video retrieved from the TSN Top 10 Hockey Unlikely Moments half hour segment. 

Rangers Face a Busy Summer after Deep Postseason Run

Posted by Landon Ewaniuk on July 19, 2014 at 2:10 AM Comments comments (0)

It has been a busy summer for the New York Rangers. Center Brad Richards has been bought out of a contract that paid him $9 million this past season, while forwards Benoit Pouliot,  Brian Boyle, and defenseman Anton Stralman, all key parts of the Rangers’ remarkable run to the Stanley Cup Finals, have departed the Big Apple through unrestricted free agency.

With the dust settled on July’s free agent frenzy, Rangers’ GM Glen Sather must now focus on upcoming salary arbitration hearings that will settle the contract status of restricted free agent forwards Derick Brassard, Mats Zuccarello and Chris Kreider.

The buyout of Richards has provided the Rangers with some salary cap relief. But, it remains a tight fit for New York, who have just over $13 million cap space available for next season to sign their three young stars up front, as well as restricted free agent defenseman John Moore. This cap will have a great effect on the season and those in the betting market could make some money backing the Rangers rivals. Bettingsports is offering many markets on next seasons NHL, a detailed explanation is available here.

Kreider, who had a breakout campaign in 2013/2014, is coming off an entry-level contract that paid him a mere $1.325 million. It is a good bet that the 21 year-old, who has quickly earned quality minutes on the Rangers’ top line, will come to terms with the club on a short term deal that will avert any contract issues for at least two years.

Zucarello pleasantly surprised in 2013/2014, leading the Rangers in scoring with 59 points in his first full NHL season, while adding 13 points in the playoffs. At $1.15 million, Zucarello was a bargain for the Rangers, who are eager to sign the 26 year-old Norwegian to a long-term deal that will likely pay an annual salary in the $5 million range; comparable to contracts recently signed by free agent forwards like Matt Moulson, Mike Cammalleri and Tyler Ennis.

After earning $3.2 million last season, Brassard should also be in line for a big raise. The 26 year-old recorded 45 points in 2013-2014, adding 12 points in a solid playoff performance.

The recent signing of Matt Lombardi and re-signing of Dominic Moore, along with Kreider’s ability to play pivot, provide the Rangers with depth up the middle. Add to that a sizable pay hike for Moore, and the Rangers could be facing a cap space squeeze.

While Brassard is a great fit centring the second line in New York, he may find himself a victim of the numbers game, and wearing a different jersey come training camp in September.


Blackhawks will 'make it work' with Toews, Kane deals

Posted by Landon Ewaniuk on July 17, 2014 at 9:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane were handsomely paid in their latest extensions, eight-year deals worth $84 million each that will kick in at the 2015-16 season.


They certainly could’ve gotten more. As their agent Pat Brisson said on Wednesday, “they could’ve come in at $13.8 million each.” But for Toews and Kane, it wasn’t about squeezing as much money out of the Blackhawks as possible. It was about getting their share but also making sure the Blackhawks could keep their successful team intact.


Toews and Kane were not going anywhere else; they were always re-signing in Chicago. The two of them, as well as their agent Brisson, reiterated that on Wednesday when the Blackhawks held their official press conference on the identical extensions. But there were obviously some money considerations with all of this. They were due raises, and they got them -- their contracts also include $44 million in signing bonuses, money that cannot be bought out. But they didn’t want to put the Blackhawks in a financial crunch that would have necessitated another roster purge.


“We had to study, financially, to keep the puzzle together, how we could do this but at the same time get the players compensated the way they should be?” Brisson said. “They could’ve come in at 13.8 million each. At the same time, hockey’s a team sport and the reason why they’re so successful is the environment they’re in -- and I give them credit for understanding that – and the role they can play now and in the future.

Read more from CSN Chicago

The HockeyFanLand Insight:  

I have been reading a lot of comments and hearing a lot of opinions from around the hockey world about this deal.  I want to go on record and say, the Chicago Blackhawks did an outstanding job in getting this deal complete.  I don't know two other individuals in hockey that have changed the course of their franchise more than Towes and Kane.  Any other team in hockey would have completed the exact same contracts and felt lucky, as Chicago does today.  Two Stanley cups in four years, along with countless other achievements...

These are the type of hockey players you dream of drafting on your team.  And you do whatever to retain their services... As the above article suggests I also think the Chicago Blackhawks got away cheap.  They have two  franchise players and likely future Hall of Famers under contract for the rest of their careers... 

@hockeyfanland on Twitter

Leafs CEO wants Toronto to host all major NHL events in 2017

Posted by Landon Ewaniuk on July 15, 2014 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (0)

The Toronto Maple Leafs want everything for their birthday.


And they’re telling the National Hockey League that they owe it to their fans to give it to them.


The team with the longest Stanley Cup drought is looking to host every other major NHL event—the All-Star Game, the NHL Draft and the Winter Classic, not to mention the anticipated 2016 World Cup of Hockey—leading up to or during the club’s 100th anniversary, to be celebrated throughout 2017.


Tim Leiweke, CEO of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, recently told Sportsnet that the organization is in the process of bidding for all four events.


“It’s not a splash. I just think Toronto—it’s our 100th anniversary, and this is the greatest hockey city on Earth. I think we owe it to our fans. And we’re telling the league that they owe it to our fans,” Leiweke said. “They don’t disagree, but we’ve got to go through a process to win it. I think we’ll win it. I think we’ll get there. But we got to go bid on it.”


An NHL spokesman told Sportsnet Monday that the league is not yet ready to announce its event calendar, nor the World Cup, which was last held in 2004. (Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston first reported Toronto as the strongest candidate to host the tournament.)


“There’s not some magical formula that you pop in. Some of it has to do with timing and what makes the most sense,” commissioner Gary Bettman told Sportsnet back in February. “It’s based on a whole host of factors: the market, where the team is in terms of its competitiveness, the venue, where we’ve been and where we haven’t been.”


Toronto made its Winter Classic debut as a visiting team on Jan. 1, playing Detroit at the Big House in Michigan. Leiweke added that Toronto hosting the 2017 Winter Classic is still dependent on the expansion of BMO Field, home of MLSE’s soccer club, Toronto FC. In April, Toronto city council voted overwhelmingly in favour of earmarking $10 million for MLSE’s proposed expansion of the pitch. 

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Nashville Predators sign Mike Ribeiro and Derek Roy to one-year contracts

Posted by Landon Ewaniuk on July 15, 2014 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (1)

Just about everybody in the Western Conference has been on a mission this off-season to beef up the middle of the ice, this all comes as a result of how the Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup this past season.

Today, the Nashville Predators played their part, signing veteran centers Mike Ribeiro and Derek Roy. Both players are looking to get their careers back on track, but also about something left in the tank. These contracts are both low risk and could have extremely high rewards. Derek Roy will be making $1 million while Ribeiro is slated to make $1.05 million.

“Mike is a talented veteran center who has produced offensively everywhere he has played,” Poile said. “We have done our due diligence and believe Mike has a lot to offer to our team, improves us at our center ice position and will fit in with our group and contribute.” Ribeiro, 34 has amassed 656 points (202g-454a) in 865 career NHL games.

“Derek brings us added depth, playmaking ability and experience at center, helping complement our young, developing wingers,” Poile said. “He has played in a number of roles, averaging about 19 minutes of ice time throughout his career, and is effective on the power play. He provides our coaching staff with some added skill and maturity down the middle when putting together our lineup for the coming season.” Roy, 31 has recorded 492 points (177g-315a) in 666 career NHL regular-season games with Buffalo, Dallas, Vancouver and St. Louis since 2003-04. The Ottawa native is a four-time 60-point, 20-goal scorer.


After missing the postseason by just three points last campaign the Nashville Predators have made the type of quality additions it takes to be a playoff team again. The Preds have shown an outstanding ability to make the playoffs throughout team history; for a franchise that does not get much national attention because they are in a so-called non-traditional hockey market. They are team built on great defense and with the new additions on offense. It should be no surprise if they are competitive again in the upcoming year.



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