Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Carter’

A Bit Too Much Faith?

June 26th, 2011

Much has been made of the two blockbuster trades made on Thursday that saw the Philadelphia Flyers send captain Mike Richards and sniper Jeff Carter to Los Angeles and Columbus, respectively.

The return? Youth and potential.

Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn, a future 2nd round draft pick (from Los Angeles), and the 8th and 68th overall picks in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft (both from Columbus).

That’s a whole lot of unproven potential, although I’ll acknowledge Schenn is about as close to a slam dunk as a 19-year old prospect can be.

The Flyers change of direction, moving towards youth and the future, is an interesting one, but perhaps one that puts too much faith in their organization.

» Read more: A Bit Too Much Faith?

Some hockey action to talk about!

June 20th, 2010

Finally! Some hockey news we can actually get excited about! I thought I’d change things up a bit today and comment on some of the trades and roster changes we’ve seen recently. Here we go…

  • Viewfrommyseats.com said it perfectly when he said described the pressure Carey Price is about to face. “People thought Carey Price had pressure last year. Just wait until next year!” I couldn’t have said it better.
  • Speaking of Montreal, I don’t understand why they traded Jaroslav Halak last week. Most people sighed a collective “that’s it??” when seeing the return for the Habs Playoff hero. I like the trade for Montreal (in building their thin prospects pool), but I would think holding onto Halak until draft day would have maximized his value. Are you seriously telling me Chris Pronger can fetch two 1st Round Picks plus a good prospect (Luca Sbiza) on draft day and Halak can’t even get half of that?
  • I am completely confused by the direction of the New Jersey Devils. In fact I’ll pay someone a lot of money to explain to me why the changes they’ve made over the last six months make sense.
  • While most people have finally caught on to Chicago’s salary cap problems, no one is talking about Brent Seabrook. Seabrook currently earns $3.5 Million and is entering his last year under contract with the Blackhawks. I’m not sure the Hawks have the depth to lose him in addition to some of the other players they’re about to lose. It goes without saying Seabrook is due for a raise and has played a big part in the Hawks success and Duncan Keith’s development.
  • Both Fantana and I are convinced Paul Holmgren’s philosophy when it comes to building the Philadelphia Flyers is similar to how we build fantasy teams in NHL10 (all scoring, no goaltending).  His quote about not being in the Halak discussions – the best goalie even remotely available this summer – is telling as to why the Flyers haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1975, despite having some great rosters.
  • I’ve seen those Spezza to Columbus rumors pop up more and more lately. As someone who follows the Senators pretty closely, I love that deal for Ottawa (to clarify: Spezza for the 4th overall pick and Derick Brassard – plus some other pieces on each side). I know Sens fans would feel like another Ottawa star would be leaving for nothing, but Brassard is a hell of a player and a 4th overall pick means Ottawa could draft stud defenseman Erik Gudbranson. He plus Erik Karlsson and (maybe) Jared Cowen is a strong foundation Ottawa can build around for years to come. Brassard’s cap hit ($3.2 Million for the next three seasons) would give Ottawa far more flexibility than Spezza’s ($7 Million for the next five seasons).
  • I agree with EVERYONE that Dan Hamhuis to the Flyers plus the emergence of Claude Giroux means one of Simon Gagne, Jeff Carter or Scott Hartnell will be traded. My guess is Jeff Carter because of his market value, his $5 Million cap hit and RFA status after next season. Maybe – just maybe – the Flyers will go after a solid NHL goalie. Perhaps a goalie like Chris Mason? Trading for Hamhuis might also mean Braydon Coburn’s time as a Flyer is up. Coburn is an RFA and is due for a raise over his $1.4 Million cap hit from last season.
  • Speaking of the Nashville Predators, something is clearly up. Perhaps they are clearing room for some UFA signings or a big trade? While that isn’t their style, it would be great to see. I don’t really have “sources” and I don’t make a living creating ridiculous rumors but I could see the Predators going after a high end player like Alex Semin this summer.
  • I think we’re seeing a changing of the guard of sorts. It seems like the NHL is shifting from blockbuster trades during the trade deadline to seeing the flurry of activity happening between the Entry Draft and July 1st. This actually forces more accountability onto GM’s. It also means we might see more GM’s fired in the next few years…

Stay classy, NHL trades. Glad to have you back.

Burgundy’s 2nd round NHL playoff predictions

April 29th, 2010

Stayclassy.net's NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

With no real break between rounds, tonight marks the beginning of the Stanley Cup Conference Semi-Finals! The 1st round was a blast and featured the elimination of the top 3 seeded teams in the Eastern Conference. The way the Washington Capitals were eliminated was surprising to many, while the defeats of the Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils was predicted by a number of people. The Western Conference saw some interesting developments – the Phoenix Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings gave the Red Wings and Canucks a few scares but ultimately couldn’t hold on. And oh yeah, the San Jose Sharks are through to the next round, no thanks to Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau.

For those of you wondering, I went 5 for 8 in my 1st round predictions. Here are my 2nd round predictions:

Pittsburgh Penguins (4) vs Montreal Canadiens (8)
The Montreal Canadiens shocked the entire hockey world with their amazing series come-back against the Washington Capitals. I don’t care what the truest of Habs fans say: no one saw them coming back after going down 3-1. Having said that, and as well as Jaroslav Halak has played, there’s no way the Pittsburgh Penguins will fall victim to the Canadiens the way the Capitals did. The Penguins are proven winners and have Russian stars that actually know how to show up in the post-season. Sidney Crosby is on another level in this year’s Playoffs and I don’t think the Hal Gill-Josh Gorges tandem will be able to contain him, despite their tremendous play so far. Pittsburgh will figure out within minutes of the first game how to not shoot directly at the two or three Habs defencemen who are trying to block shots…
Verdict: Pittsburgh in 6 games.

Boston Bruins (6) vs Philadelphia Flyers (7)
I’m not sure how many of us figured we’d see the Boston Bruins playing the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2nd round of the Playoffs, but this should be an interesting series. I really liked how Tuukka Rask played in the 1st round and I felt like the Bruins got stronger as their series with Buffalo went on. Milan Lucic seemed to wake up towards the end of the series and key players like Michael Ryder, Miroslav Satan and Mark Recchi stepped up in the big moments of each game. The highly anticipated return of Marc Savard should provide the Bruins with a nice emotional boost and perhaps a bit of additional scoring. Looking at the Flyers, although they are rested, they will be without the services of three very valuable players: Simon Gagne, Jeff Carter and Ian Laperriere. I’m not convinced Brian Boucher is for real, nor do I believe he can outplay Rask. It’s a shame we can’t see each game of this series played at Fenway Park… or can we? No, nevermind. We can’t.
Verdict: Boston in 6 games.

San Jose Sharks (1) vs Detroit Red Wings (5)
The San Jose Sharks are now at the critical point of their season. Let’s be honest: the 1st round was a formality. While the Colorado Avalanche gave them a quick scare, it was a foregone conclusion the Sharks would/should easily win that round. For the most part, the Avalanche were badly outplayed. Evgeni Nabokov played very well too – something we can’t say has always been the case in the post-season for the Sharks. Devin Setoguchi and Joe Pavelski really elevated their play in the 1st round, and yet again, Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau continue to fight the Playoff pressure. Meanwhile, the Detroit Red Wings enjoyed a scare of their own from the Phoenix Coyotes. Detroit’s leaders got stronger as the series wore on and stepped it up when it mattered most. I really liked Jimmy Howard’s play and attitude (for the most part) against the Coyotes too. My gut feeling lies with the experience of the Wings and I’m still not sold San Jose are the real deal. Still.
Verdict: Detroit in 6 games.

Chicago Blackhawks (2) vs Vancouver Canucks (3)
This is easily the best series of the 2nd round. A rematch from last year’s Conference Semi-Finals, with a slight reversal. Last year, I’d say the Chicago Blackhawks were the stronger team. This year, I’d have to say the Vancouver Canucks are the stronger team. I believe the Canucks may have the most complete forward roster of any team in the Playoffs. All the lines are firing well and appear to be healthy. While the Blackhawks offense is more lethal and battle-tested than the young Los Angeles Kings, I still give the advantage to the Canucks. Both team’s have some injuries on defence, but I think this is a series that will see Roberto Luongo will steal a game or two for Vancouver. And of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how much I’m looking forward to Byfuglien & Luongo’s battle royale rematch. I can’t wait for this series to start!
Verdict: Vancouver in 7 games.

There you have it. These are my 2nd round predictions. What are your predictions?

Stay classy, NHL Conference Semi-Finals.

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Canada’s Olympic team… Finally.

December 30th, 2009

As the title says, Canada announced their men’s hockey Olympic team, finally.

Steve Yzerman and Mike Babcock are classy men.

While a country like Canada will always have more amazing players than available positions, I’m pretty happy with the final roster. Many can and will say ‘he should have taken him over him’, but I feel this is a pretty solid set of players. That can’t be improved that much.

I’m also pretty happy that the television coverage has ended – TSN can make a half hour special on anything, so I’ve come to learn this holiday season. Anyways, here’s the final roster, barring any unforeseen injuries.

Goalies
Martin Brodeur, Roberto Luongo, Marc-Andre Fleury

Defencemen
Dan Boyle, Chris Pronger (assistant captain),
Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook
Scott Niedermayer (captain), Drew Doughty
Shea Weber

Forwards
Rick Nash, Sidney Crosby (assistant captain), Jarome Iginla,
Brenden Morrow, Mike Richards, Patrice Bergeron
Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Eric Staal
Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley
Jonathan Toews

Of course, there will be debate as to who should of made the team and didn’t. Below is a list of notable omissions

Mike Green, Mike Fisher, Shane Doan, Marc Savard, Jeff Carter, Jay Bouwmeester, Stephane Robidas, Vincent Lecavalier, Dion Phaneuf, Patrick Sharp.

Anyone else I’m missing? What are your thoughts on Team Canada? Can Canada capture gold with this squad?

Stay classy, Steve Yzerman and Team Canada.

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What’s the real value of Jaroslav Halak?

December 28th, 2009

On a day the Montreal Canadiens play the Ottawa Senators, I figured it’d be topical to discuss Jaroslav Halak’s trade value. Of course, this is all speculation on my part. I’m merely putting two and two together.

Jaroslav Halak makes a save on Jeff Carter... classy

Jaroslav Halak makes a save on Jeff Carter... classy

It’s clear something has to give with the Montreal Canadiens having two NHL caliber starting goalies in Halak and Carey Price. Things thicken quickly as neither goalie has a contract beyond this season. Both are set to become RFAs on July 1, 2010 thanks in large part to Habs GM Bob Gainey and his no mid-season negotiations policy (nice one, Bob).

We all know the story with Halak. But here’s a quick timeline in case you forgot:

  • November: Halak’s agent – Alan Walsh – blasted Price on Twitter, suggesting Halak deserved more starts than the struggling Price. It should be noted there were some rumours suggesting Walsh was pushing Gainey to resign or trade Halak. Nice to see Walsh playing the subtle card…
  • December: Gainey confirms he’s looked into trading Halak to the Flyers. Gainey indicated he’s looking for a top 6 forward in return for Halak, but might not be able to get it. Gainey later commented that the Huet trade to Washington a few years ago got him a 2nd round draft pick and is comparable to the Halak situation.
  • Mid December: In an interview, Halak says he’s a team player, likes Montreal, but wants to be a starting goalie – in Montreal or elsewhere.
  • Late December: Halak goes from playing well to flat out nuts. In his last 4 starts, Halak is 4-0 with a goals against average of 1.50 and an incredible save percentage of .970.

Halak’s Real Value

So what’s Halak’s real value? It’s not the 2nd round pick mentioned back in October and it’s probably not a top flight star the stats above might get you at this very moment. Let’s be real, no goalie finishes a season with a save percentage of .970. Having said that, Halak’s stats do merit top 6 forward consideration. Add in the pressure of playing for Canada’s hockey team (had to throw that in there, Leafs fans) and Halak’s future potential (the kid is 24 years old). Halak could easily be one of the more sought after commodities this winter. Simply put, he’s a rising star and probably the best available goalie in the NHL right now.

While it seems no NHL team is willing to let go of a top 6 forward (now or at any point in the season), the oft mentioned Flyers have the depth to do it. Again, me speculating here, but a Jeff Carter for Jaroslav Halak trade seems pretty reasonable. I think that’s the level of Halak’s real value. Now before Flyers or Habs fans jump all over me, hear me out.

Flyers fans: Halak is a solid starting NHL goalie. He’s a better goalie than anyone the Flyers have had in the last 5+ years (that includes Ray Emery, despite pretty good play prior to injury). The Flyers have talented young forwards like Claude Giroux and James vanRiemsdyk that could absorb the loss of Carter. The trade would also free up significant cap space as Carter makes $5 Million this year and $5.5 Million next year. I’m guessing Halak could be signed to a 3-5 year deal with a cap hit of $3-$4 Million per season. (Purely speculation from me, but I think it’s reasonable).

Habs fans: I don’t expect much arguing from Habs fans; this would be a huge acquisition for the Canadiens. A 6’3 Center with proven goalscoring abilities… actually, I’d like to hear any arguments from Habs fans on this.

As I said at the top of this article, this is all my speculation. Maybe they keep Halak and trade Price, but I doubt that. The Habs certainly have a high quality asset to move between now and the March 3rd trade deadline (or between the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and July 1st) and it’s probably going to cost a top 6 forward (or a seriously high draft pick/top prospect). Whether or not this includes Jeff Carter, my sense is Gainey will get his asking price. The question is when.

Stay classy, Jaroslav Halak.

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Taking a stand!

October 20th, 2009

In the world of sports today, often times the concept of team is overshadowed by individuals.  Everyone knows who Terrell Owens, Manny Ramirez, and Shaq are.  These players have a bloated sense of self-importance.  When their play doesn’t grab headlines, the act out like an impetuous child to get attention.  Throwing fellow teammates under the bus, airing team laundry in public, and demanding trades shows exactly how much they have forgotten (to steal a line from Herb Brooks) that the name on the front of the jersey is the hell of a lot more important than the one on the back.  These players are getting out of control.

I’d like to take this opportunity to commend the NHL on taking a stand.  The NHL has devoted the entire month of October to combat this trend.  ”Hockey Fights Cancer” sprung out of a need that arose this summer.  When Dany Heatley thew his baby fit and demanded a trade multiple times because he wanted to be “the guy”,  the powers that be knew they needed to act and bring the pain.  Hockey players are widely known as the most down to earth, friendly, and humble guys in sports.  To have this threatened by the likes of an entitled winger acting like the love child of Kanye West and Whitney Houston had to be stopped.   Ok, Hockey Fights Cancer really is about fighting something way more important than Dany Heatley, but if he wants to elevate his level of importance, ok, let’s go there.

Kudos goes out to Alex Ovechkin, Tim Thomas, Jeff Carter and Sidney Crosby for participating in the Hockey Fights Cancer ads.  Way to demonstrate your good attitudes and willingness to stand up for what is right boys!

NHL Fights Cancer with Alex Ovechkin, Jeff Carter, Sidney Crosby and Tim Thomas, among others

NHL Fights Cancer with Alex Ovechkin, Jeff Carter, Sidney Crosby and Tim Thomas, among others

The fundamental breakdown in Heatley’s understanding of what being “the man” is centers around the fact that his brain hasn’t matured past the age of 14.  He thinks that scoring goals, getting power play time, and winning makes you “the man”.  He must think that doing those things makes you important and beloved.  Those make a you pretty great hockey player, but they don’t make you “the man”.

Vincent Lecavalier donating 3 million dollars to build a pediatric cancer and blood disorders center makes him “the man”.

Zdeno Chara donating and working for Right to Play, travelling to Mozambique to see the good that the organization is doing for children makes him “the man”.

Even the little things make someone “the man”.  Shane Doan stopping to talk to a disabled teen after practice, and not only giving the kid his stick, but taking it back to the locker room and getting other players to sign the stick before bringing it back out for him.  That makes you “the man”.

These are the things that make players beloved and leave a lasting impression.  In 30 years, you’ll barely be a memory, Heatley.  It’s the work you do and your attitude outside the rink that make people remember you after you are gone.

Stay classy, Zdeno Chara, Vincent Lecavalier, Shane Doan, and all the NHL players helping with the NHL Fights Cancer effort.

Thanks for stopping by Dany Healtey, but don’t come back, k?

Veronica Corningstone

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Is Jiri Hudler really worth $5 Million per season?

July 30th, 2009

Is it official?  Is former Detroit Red Wings forward Jiri Hudler officially done with the NHL?

Looks that way, after the KHL officially registered Hudler’s 2 year $10 Million deal with HC Dynamo Moscow on Thursday afternoon.  Who knows what the IIHF and the NHL will do, or any future impact this may or may  not have.

Jiri Hudler: KHLs newest $5 Million player

Jiri Hudler: KHL's newest $5 Million player (image courtesy of viewfrommyseats.com)

But back up for a second.  Jiri Hudler got a contract offer of $5 Million per season?  Holy crap.  Is he really worth that?  TSN reported Hudler received an offer of $15 Million over 5 years and that’s a bit more in line with what he brings to an organization.

Actually, hold that thought.  Am I the only one who isn’t terribly sure how good Jiri Hudler is?  I know the name, I know his face, but seriously, can you recall a highlight reel goal he’s scored?  I can’t.  What I can tell you is he registered a career high in points last year with the Red Wings – 57 points in 82 games.  Yeah – that’s $87,719 per point (yes, I rounded down).

When I think of $5 Million per year players, I think of stars like Martin Havlat, Jeff Carter, Simon Gagne, Alex Kovalev, and Alexander Semin to name a few.  If I’m building a team as a GM, I’d pick all these guys far before Hudler.

Is he really that good?  Mike Babcock had  a great quote in last season’s Stanley Cup players saying “the beauty of playing in Detroit is guys like Hudler get to play against other teams 3rd lines…”.  Very true – Hudler has benefit from Detroit’s depth in playing against weaker checking lines.  Also, from playing with other quality forwards.

For what it’s worth, I see Hudler more comparable to another forward the Red Wings just lost, Mikael Samuelsson, now of the Vancouver Canucks.  Their career stats are similar but paychecks aren’t – Samuelsson signed a 3 year $7.5 Million contract earlier this summer ($2.5 Million average).

Hudler – 255 games played, 127 points.
Samuelsson – 466 games played, 208 points.

According to salaries, Hudler is twice as good as Samuelsson.  That line might belong in the “Things that make you go hmmmm” category.  Whatever we may think about this, given the kind of money Hudler signed on for, he’ll be relied on as a top producing forward.  I’m not convinced he can be the best player on the ice, consistently.  Not after 255 regular season NHL games played.

Stay classy, Jiri Hudler.

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