Posts Tagged ‘Daniel Sedin’

2011 Stanley Cup Final Predications

June 1st, 2011

As we get ready for the start of game one of the Stanley Cup finals, I thought it’d be wise to drop in my predictions. I know I haven’t done any predictions for the 2011 playoffs like I have for previous years, mostly because it’s been a crapshoot this year, but I’m weighing in now. Here we go.

2011 Stanley Cup Finals logoWhile these two teams are closer than a lot of people are willing to admit, I think there are two key areas (that everyone else hasn’t already mentioned) that separate the Vancouver Canucks from the Boston Bruins.

Top Lines
There’s no doubt that the Bruins have some terrific offensive depth. It’s a large reason why they are in the Stanley Cup finals. However, their top line of Lucic – Krejci – Horton isn’t quite a top line. It’s more of a strong second line and it pales in comparison to the D. Sedin – H. Sedin – Burrows line of Vancouver. It’s not even a debate. When you break down the Bruins second line of Marchand – Bergeron – Recchi, it’s solid, but no better than the Canucks second line of Raymond – Kesler – Higgins. Boston are rocking a 2a and 2b type set up for lines. Sure, it’s good enough to get you through the East, but not the Western Conference champs in Vancouver.

» Read more: 2011 Stanley Cup Final Predications

Saturday Chat Roulette Sessions (May 15 edition)

May 15th, 2010

Since last week’s Chat Roulette debut was an awesome success (kidding… more like nonsense…),  I’ve decided to keep my word and continue with this feature. But before getting to the new Chat images, a huge congratulations to the Philadelphia Flyers who staged a truly amazing come back against the Boston Bruins. For the Bruins, it’s going to be a painful summer… *PING* Sorry, but the Bruins hit so many posts/crossbar’s in game 7. It was ridiculous. I can just see this becoming the newest “History will be made” NHL commercial, “What if Philadelphia didn’t fly?”. I even predicted it last night around 8pm EST.

Anyways, we have Chat Roulette escapades of Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Zdeno Chara, Alex Ovechkin and the Boston Bruins this week. Enjoy.

Stayclassy.net's Chat Roulette feature with the Sedin twins.

Stayclassy.net's Chat Roulette feature with Zdeno Chara and the Bruins bear

Stayclassy.net's Chat Roulette feature with Alex Ovechkin and Lebron James

Stayclassy.net's Chat Roulette feature with the Boston Bruins

Stay classy, NHL Chat Rouletters.

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The Good UFAs

May 4th, 2010

Close to 1 million search results come up when you Google “Worst NHL contracts“. I know – ouch.

Upon clicking through the first few links (Puck Daddy has a good one, as does NHL Snipers… and so does a little site named Stayclassy.net), it’s apparent a fair chunk of these so called “worst contracts, ever” were signed on July 1st. I know – ouch, again.

I’m not all that surprised, and I’m guessing you aren’t either. For all the crappy (and I mean really crappy) contracts July 1st seems to breed, there are some good ones, too (I stress some). Today, I want to look at two UFA signings from last summer that are fair in length and dollars that have made a very big impact on their respective teams.

Mikael Samuelsson - one of the good UFA signings in 2009!

Mikael Samuelsson – Vancouver Canucks
For whatever reason, Mike Gillis seems to have a knack for getting Swedish born players to put on a Canucks jersey (Sedins, Mats Sundin, Samuelsson and others). Gillis has signed some great deals for Vancouver, but perhaps none better than Mikael Samuelsson’s 3-year $7.5 Million contract last summer. That’s a cap hit of $2.5 Million per season for a player who scored 30 goals and registered 53 points in 74 games this year. $2.5 Million for a top 6 forward who brings leadership, a Stanley Cup ring and the ability to score clutch goals is an absolute steal. Money and contract aside, this was a great signing because Samuelsson gives the Canucks different options on line combo’s and is very responsible defensively – a nice trait many Canuck forwards have. He’s a great fit with the team and an excellent UFA signing by the Vancouver Canucks.

Mike Cammalleri - one of the good UFA signings 2009!

Mike Cammalleri – Montreal Canadiens
In my opinion, the biggest reason the Calgary Flames missed the 2010 Playoffs was due to a lack of goal scoring from an underrated forward named Mike Cammalleri. Essentially, the Flames chose Jay Bouwmeester over Cammalleri last summer and are now paying the price. Meanwhile, Cammalleri has been one of the Canadien’s top goal scorers, hitting the back of the net 26 times in a shortened 65 game season. Cammalleri is more than capable of being a consistent 40 goal scorer in the NHL if healthy. People have said a lot about Bob Gainey this year, but this was one the better signings he’s made in years. Cammalleri will be a Montreal Canadien for at least 4 seasons and carries a cap hit of $6 Million (the same cap hit Alex Sem0n carries…). Cammalleri is helping lead the Canadiens on and off the ice in a somewhat surprising Playoff run this year. Cammalleri is a dynamic forward, very versatile and doesn’t give up on plays. It’s also worth noting Cammalleri’s willingness and availability for interviews (good ones – not crusty Scott Gomez interviews) and the way he’s embraced the city of Montreal by tweeting everything in French and English. A solid signing last summer by the Montreal Canadiens.

Aside from Cammalleri and Samuelsson, players like Brian Gionta, Taylor Pyatt, Todd Bertuzzi and Craig Anderson have been key signings from last summer as well. Who are your top UFA signings from 2009?

Stay classy, Mikael Samuelsson and Mike Cammalleri. There are such things as good UFA signings… sometimes.

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If NHL players used social media…

May 2nd, 2010

Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors made headlines on Friday for using Twitter as a means to help figure out his basketball future. As stupid as it sounds, it made me wonder what some of our favorite NHL players would do if they employed Bosh-like attention seeking social media practices.

I have it on pretty good authority that the following bullet points are pretty accurate. But I’ve been wrong before. Anywhooo… If NHL players used social media:

  • Locating Alex Semin in the post-season wouldn’t feel as much like “Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego?”
  • Kyle Wellwood’s YouTube channel would require hourly updates to answer the question “What is Kyle eating now?” And before I forget, #KyleWellwoodIsSoFat.
  • Henrik Zetterberg would tell you via direct message that his doppleganger — Jared Leto — doesn’t have a Stanley Cup ring. Pro Tip: I will fight anyone who says these two don’t look alike.
  • Using a variety of different methods, players of the Chicago Blackhawks could remind Stan Bowman to send their RFA offers on time this summer.
  • David Booth might tweet about the “dangers of concushions” every now and then, but a few words of wisdom: he doesn’t respond well to negative feedback!
  • Miroslav Satan could participate in social media for 1 or 2 months per season, like he does in his NHL career.
  • Matt Cooke would likely use the ‘elbow’ feature on Facebook far more than the popular ‘poke’ feature.
  • Henrik and Daniel Sedin might make a video to help everyone figure out which twin is which and how the hell to tell them apart… only 9 years into their NHL careers.
  • Tim Thomas could use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and any other outlet to remind the hockey world he’s still alive (and won last year’s Vezina trophy!).
  • Ryan Kesler probably wouldn’t hesitate to use the “hate” button on any Canadian’s Facebook Page.
  • Carey Price could blog live from the players bench 5 1/2 out of every 7 Montreal Canadiens games.

Stay classy, NHL players using social media.

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Does Henrik Sedin’s breakout season make Sweden an Olympic gold medal threat?

January 25th, 2010

Watching the transformation of Henrik Sedin this season has been amazing. He’s always had an incredible chemistry with his brother Daniel but I never really saw Henrik as a true number 1 centre in the league. He had incredible talent, but I never really saw him as an incredible player. In fact, I always saw Henrik and Daniel as the best 2nd line in the NHL. Maybe that’s because I don’t watch the Canucks play as much as I should, and maybe it’s because I live in Toronto and there isn’t much Canuck coverage here. Or maybe they just seemed so comfortable in their role on the 2nd line back when the Bertuzzi-Naslund-Morrison line was ripping it up. Am I really getting that old? It’s hard to say.

Vancouver Canucks star Henrik Sedin leads the NHL in points this season, classy.

Vancouver Canucks star Henrik Sedin leads the NHL in points this season, classy.

Regardless, while I applauded Mike Gillis for resigning the Sedins to reasonable contracts this past summer (cap hit of $6.1M over 5 years, each), the lingering thought in my mind was that they would have to really earn that money now. Those new contracts meant first and foremost, that the Sedins had now absolutely become Vancouver’s top line. And they have definitely stepped up, especially Henrik.

Henrik currently leads the NHL with 74 points in only 51 games, including 23 goals. Assuming he stays healthy, that puts him on pace to score 36 goals and 118 points, both of which would be career highs. In fact, Hank has already achieved a career high in goals this season – as the 22 goals he scored last season was his best previous tally. You can attribute his goal scoring explosion this season, in part, to the fact that he’s simply shot the puck more. He’s taken 105 shots this season compared to 143 in all of last season. I think he’s also played a much stronger defensive game, which has made him a tougher player to shut down and play against. He’s +23 this year, which is a currently a career best as well. Finally, he’s done a lot of this while Vancouver have battled two significant injuries: Roberto Luongo was out for a couple weeks and brother Daniel missed 18 games – at the same time. Henrik’s emergence as one of the top players in the league has come from the simple fact that he’s become the go-to player for the Canucks and that’s kept them in a tight battle with Calgary and Colorado for the division lead. There’s a quiet argument out there that Hank should be a serious contender for the Hart Trophy this year and it’s an argument that’s quickly gaining momentum. At the very least, Henrik Sedin has been one of the best and most consistent players in the NHL this season.

All of this leads me to one question – Does Henrik’s emergence as one of the NHL’s best players make Sweden a real threat to win gold in Vancouver next month? I’ve believed all along that the fight for the gold medal will be a three-horse race between Canada, Russia and a dark horse American team. But like most, I hadn’t really considered Sweden a real threat, despite the fact that they took gold 4 years ago in Turin. To me, the thing that’s always separated the Canadians, Russians and Americans from the rest of the pack was the fact that they all have two, maybe even three lines capable of being their number 1 line. Their depth of high-end talent up front seemed to be too much for the teams from the Czech Republic, Finland and even Sweden.

Yet, when you look down at Sweden’s roster, their top 3 lines look like this:

Daniel Sedin –  Henrik Sedin –  Henrik Zetterberg

Daniel Alfredsson – Nicklas Backstrom – Loui Eriksson

Patric Hornqvist – Peter Forsberg – Tomas Holmstrom

That’s a pretty strong top 9 and I think they’ll be a very good team. I think they’ll be a much stronger and tougher team to play against than most people think. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them earn a position on the medal podium. They’ve got strong goaltending and pretty solid defense, so it could happen. And when you’ve got an emerging world-class player like Henrik Sedin riding a major hot streak, it could definitely happen.

Your Reporter in the Field,

Fantana

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A closer look at the NHL’s leading scorers

January 9th, 2010

When taking a closer look at the NHL’s leading scorers (after all Friday night games), there are a number of things that stick out for various reasons.

First and foremost, who could have predicted Henrik Sedin to be the first player this season to hit the 60 point mark? Or how about Nathan Horton being in the top 20 in league scoring? A lot of the NHL’s top scorer are the regular household names we know and love, but even mainstays like Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby reveal interesting mini-stories. Let’s take a closer look at some of the league’s top scorers.

Vancouver Canucks star Henrik Sedin leads the NHL in points this season, classy.

Vancouver Canucks star Henrik Sedin leads the NHL in points this season, classy.

Henrik Sedin: To all the geniuses who predicted Henrik Sedin would lead the NHL in points this season, did you think it could be done without Daniel Sedin? (Daniel missed 18 games after suffering a fractured foot back in October). What’s even more remarkable about Henrik Sedin’s 61 points is 45 of his points come from even-strength play. That’s approximately 10-15 more even-strength points than the majority of the other league leaders (many top scorers generate far more powerplay points than Henrik Sedin does).

Sidney Crosby: Love him or hate him, most hockey fans expect to see Sidney Crosby’s name at the top of league scoring every year. What’s interesting this season is the number of goals Crosby has (26). He’s known as a playmaker, but is shooting the puck far more regularly this year. In fact, Crosby is only two goals shy of the league lead (Marian Gaborik and Patrick Marleau have 28 goals each) and is on pace to crush his previous best of 39 goals from his rookie year.

Patrick Kane having a terrific NHL season... very classy.

Patrick Kane is having a terrific NHL season... very classy.

Patrick Kane: I’ve always liked the way Patrick Kane plays and although I’ve thought of him as a great player, I’ve never considered him a world class star. Until now. At this point in the season, Kane leads the Chicago Blackhawks in most offensive categories (goals, points, game winning goals, etc…) and is seventh in league scoring. The scary part about Kane is his age. Kane, who’s still developing/maturing, just turned 21 in November and is easily the youngest player in the league’s top 20 point scorers.

Tomas Plekanec: Here’s another player who’s producing at a rate far higher than any of his biggest fans could have imagined. Coming off an off year last season, Tomas Plekanec has returned on fire with 46 points already this season. He’s already surpassed last year’s total and is quickly approaching his career high from the 2007/2008 season. The most impressive part of Plekanec’s scoring this year is the fact he’s done so without Andrei Markov and Brian Gionta (both lost significant time due to injuries). Add in the inconsistent play of Scott Gomez and you have to admire Plekanec’s point-per-game scoring rate.

Nathan Horton: Along with Plekanec and Henrik Sedin, here’s another pleasant surprise. Nathan Horton is enjoying his best start to a season ever. He’s tied for 17th in league scoring and is only three points shy of his total from last season. What’s interesting about Horton’s point tally is the fact that the Florida Panthers only have one other player who’s scored more than 30 points (Stephen Weiss). The majority of Horton’s points are assists, yet no Panther has scored more than 18 goals and only four Panthers (including Horton) have 10 or more goals this season.

Alex Ovechkin: No list or write up of NHL scoring leaders can be considered complete without mentioning Alex Ovechkin in some shape or form. To the surprise of absolutely no one, Alex Ovechkin is right up there in total points and goals (of course). What’s interesting is Ovechkin’s production is coming at a rate far higher than any other elite point scorer. In some cases, Ovechkin has played as many as nine games less than other top scorers (due to injury and suspension), yet remains one goal back of the league lead in goals scored with Patrick Marleau and Marian Gaborik.  Ovechkin averages 1.51 points per game – an NHL best – when most of the top point scorers average approximately 1.10-1.20 points per game. Yes, Ovechkin plays on one of the league’s best teams, but it’s still pretty impressive.

Honourable mentions to Dustin Penner, Brad Richards, Maxim Afinogenov, Ryan Kesler, Duncan Keith, and Paul Statsny for breakout or comeback seasons to remember.

Stay classy, NHL point leaders.

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The stupidity of these so called Tampering charges

October 7th, 2009

Recently, Mike Gillis and the Vancouver Canucks filed tampering charges against Brian Burke and the Toronto Maple Leafs. Before I get into the stupidity of tampering charges, I’d like to remind everyone that Gary Bettman and the NHL rarely do anything without 3-4 months of courtroom drama which ultimately leads to no decisions and takes far too long doing so. End result: no one really cares anyways. Good luck with the filings, Mike Gillis.

I don’t get Tampering.

It seems pretty silly to me.

I guess it started earlier this summer. The Toronto Maple Leafs pissed off the Gills and the Vancouver Canucks when coach Ron Wilson suggested Burke had interest in Daniel and Henrik Sedin (who at the time were scheduled to be unrestricted free agents on July 1st). I don’t really see what’s wrong with that. Aside from Burke’s obvious history with the Sedins (he did move mountains to draft both Sedins second and third overall at the 1999 NHL Entry Draft), the Leafs needed (and still need!!) high end offensive players and the Sedins are pretty damn good. Makes sense so far, right?

Instead of getting mad about Wilson’s comments or Burke’s intents, Mike Gills should of said, “Yeah, duhh” and moved on. Every GM probably wanted the Swedish twins. I don’t see a problem publicly stating that.

Then more recently (and ironically!!), Toronto’s official Leafs TV revealed Burke ousting a potential Vancouver Canucks-Tampa Bay Lightning trade at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. The rumored deal included Vancouver’s Kevin Bieksa, Alex Burrows and their 2009 22nd overall pick (Jordan Schroeder) for Tampa’s 2nd overall pick (Victor Hedman). Side note: Probably a good thing Tampa didn’t take the trade. Vancouver’s Team1040 has the actual clip, here.

Now, I really like Mike Gillis (read why here). But is this whole tampering thing a not-so-clever way to divert attention from the 0-3 Canucks and their poor start to the 2009-2010 NHL season?

Gills has reason to be upset about Burke outing players names in the trade mentioned above. Brian Burke is guilty of bad judgement – kind of a GM no-no. But it also shows others were in the know and told Burke.

I don’t see this as tampering. Perhaps poor judgement and brutal honesty are more reasonable accusations.

Before I end, I wanted to point out several points of stupidity in this mess:

  • Why would Leafs TV release potentially damaging audio of their Presdient/CEO? Definite Career-Limiting-Move.
  • Why would the Lightning/Canucks organizations not keep a tighter lid on this his profile trade? What does this say about their organizations?
  • Would Mike Gillis have known about Burke’s ‘tampering act’ had it not been for Leafs TV?
  • Every GM/Agent talk to each other prior to July 1st. How else do you think big dollar/long term deals are announced 1 minute into free agency?
  • Aren’t the Canucks still under investigation by the NHL for the Roberto Luongo deal?

What a disaster. Glad I can still make fun of it.

Stay classy, NHL tamperers.

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The Vancouver Canucks future looks promising

September 8th, 2009

Over the last few years, I haven’t felt the Vancouver Canucks were true Stanley Cup contenders. In fact, the last time I felt the Canucks could seriously challenge for Lord Stanley, the city of Vancouver still liked Pavel Bure and Kirk Mclean’s blocker didn’t look that retro.

In years more recent, I always felt the Canucks offense lacked a dynamic second punch. Of course Henrik and Daniel Sedin providing the only punch. And even with Roberto Luongo standing on his head (regardless of missing 5 minutes of overtime for an unexpected bathroom break), I still thought the Canucks were beatable.

Until now, sort of. I’m not saying the Vancouver Canucks are Stanley Cup shoe-ins — not at all — but, the ‘Nucks future hasn’t looked this bright in some time. With training camp set to start on Saturday and young prospects like Cody Hodgson and Jordan Schroeder waiting in the wings, I like where the Canucks are heading. Feel free to add Michael Grabner to further support my statement.

Couple these two blue-chip prospects with a solid core group that includes Luongo, the Sedins, Mikeal Samuelsson, Alex Burrows, Ryan Kesler (I have no doubt Mike Gillis will lock him up long term) and you have yourself a pretty decent future.

Vancouver’s defence isn’t terrible but could be improved. No Canuck defenceman has a contract that goes beyond the 2010-2011 season, except Alex Edler.  Kevin Bieksa — who has been the subject of trade rumors for some time — Willie Mitchell and Sami Salo are due for raises when their contracts end after the 2010-2011 season. That could become a problem when the core group mentioned above take a significant cut out of the Canucks salary cap. Perhaps that’s why Mike Gillis drafted two 6 foot offensive defenceman earlier this summer (Kevin Connaughton and Jeremy Price). Nice work, Gillis.

The Vancouver Canucks future looks promising with nice up-and-comers and a good core group. And Roberto Luongo is signed long term. Let’s be honest, as good as these kids may be, he’s the cornerstone piece.

Stay classy, Vancouver Canucks.

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2009's top unrestricted free agents in the NHL

June 22nd, 2009

Daniel & Henrik Sedin – The Sedin twins will be a hot commodity this summer and they present NHL teams with an interesting dilemma. Most teams are too cash-strapped to enter the bidding war for one top-line player in the $7M per year range. The Sedins are a package deal and will likely cost $13-15M per year. I can’t think of too many teams that have the available cap space for both of them. Since replacing these guys will prove to be just as difficult, look for Vancouver to resign them to long-term deals, likely before July 1st. On second thought, wouldn’t it be hilarious if Vancouver only retained one of the Sedin twins?

Marian Gaborik – Marian Gaborik is by far the flashiest UFA available this summer. The big question with him is will be his injury history, notably with his groin. I’m still very interested to see what Gaborik could do in a healthy season on an offensive-minded team – that could be scary! While I’ve heard the L.A. Kings are interested, my sense is the Wild might keep him on a short-term deal (one or two years). After all, Minnesota overhauled their front office and firing their GM and head coach… if this wasn’t to show Gaborik they’re serious about keeping him, why else would they make all these changes?

Marian Hossa – In a cruel twist of fate, Hossa picked the wrong team and lost in the Stanely Cup Finals for the second straight year… tough break! Hossa is also a UFA for the second straight year. Up until a week ago, I figured he’d resign a long-term deal with Detroit and the Wings would cut Samuelsson and Hudler loose. Now, according to the somewhat trashy New York Post, Hossa is the one that Detroit wants to cut loose… go figure! I still think Hossa will take a discount and stay in Detroit.

Jay Bouwmeester – Meet this year’s Brian Campbell! I’m expecting Bouwmeester to sign a contract similar to Campbell’s 8 year, $57M+ deal. I’m not convinced Bouwmeester’s worth all that money, but I’m sure there’s an NHL GM out there who is. I keep hearing Philadelphia as the team that’s most interested, but I won’t believe it until they free up some cap space. Look for Joffrey Lupul or Scott Hartnell to get traded first, not Daniel Briere. And I think Florida will probably trade Bouwmeester’s rights at some point during the Entry Draft.

Mattias Ohlund – I’m not sure where Ohlund will end up next season but it’s safe to say it won’t be in Vancouver. Maybe Florida will make a pitch for him when they lose Jay-Bo!

Mike Cammalleri – Mike Cammalleri had a career year with Calgary last season, scoring 39 goals and 82 points. If the rumours are true, he’s seeking $6.5 per season on a new contract. While that seems to be a little high, look for the Richmond Hill-native to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Saku Koivu – Saku, if you’re reading this, please don’t resign with Montreal! The team doesn’t deserve you and neither does the city. The media in Montreal seem to consistently find a way to say more stupid things in a day than Megan Fox has recently. Go play in a city that appreciates your skill… ahem… Chuck Fletcher, go get a second Koivu jersey for Minnesota.

Alex Kovalev – I’d be shocked if Montreal let Koivu and Kovalev depart via UFA this summer. Besides, Kovalev is 36 years old, I doubt he’ll want to play for another team at this point in his career. I say he sticks with Montreal, becomes the team’s new captain and gets all the free Molson beer he wants. Let the love/hate relationship continue in Montreal!

Other Notable UFA’s:

Martin Havlat, Brian Gionta, Nikolai Khabibulin, Dwayne Roloson, Francois Beauchemin, Mike Komisarek, Steve Sullivan, Alex Tanguay, Rob Scuderi.

Notable UFA’s Who May/May Not Play Next Year:

Mats Sundin, Scott Neidermayer, Joe Sakic, Sergei Fedorov, Sergei Zubov and Rob Blake.

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