Vancouver report

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GM Report – Canucks Break Training Camp

 

After a disappointing season last year, the team had a player’s only meeting to discuss how to improve the team in this upcoming year.  The players know that last year they did not live up to their potential, and need to do better.  After some lively discussion, it was decided that last year they were too uptight and played scared.  This led to a flat offense and too many injuries.  A solution was needed, and the Scandinavian players, many of them experienced veterans, came up with an idea to help the players relax and feel invigorated.  They approached GM Otteson, who is Norwegian himself, and asked if the team could hire a Swedish masseuse and install a Finnish steambath.  He agreed, and the team coming out of camp, though essentially the same players, looks so much relaxed, sharper and better than last year. Six wingers have the potential to score 28+ goals, and the goaltending, over 80 games, is the best in the league on paper.

Zajac and 5th round pick Kuhnhackl replace Dorsett and Kassian at forward.  Vlasic and Martin replace Irwin and Edler at LD.  And at RD 1st round pick Gostisbehere and free agent Polak replace Bieksa and Jokipakka.  Bishop replaces Anderson in net, with Luongo remaining #2.  The plan is for the centers and defensemen to feed pucks to the wingers, who will do most of the goal scoring.

The other big news is that the Sedins will be split up at even strength, though reunited of the top PP line with Eriksson.  This is an effort to get Henrik to shoot more, instead of always passing to Daniel. Also, Gaudreau has been benched for game #1. (How was the party, Johnny?)

Players on “double secret probation” and who need to prove themselves in the minors this year, or else, are Murphy, Jokipakka, Lowry, Nieto, Fast, Jarnkrok, Kassian, and Kuemper. New draftees Miller, Martinook, and Paul will be given a little time to develop.

So with that, GM Otteson will track down Elsa, the new masseuse, and let her magic fingers do their work. (Hey, it is a fantasy league, right?)

Depth Chart

LW – Gaudreau, D Sedin, Jokinen, Jenner

C – Zajac, Krejci, H Sedin, Johnson, Eakin

RW – Eriksson, Palmieri, Galchenyuk, Kuhnhackl, Holland

LD – Vlasic, Josi, Martin, Edler

RD – Tanev, Gostibehere, Polak, Bieksa

G – Bishop, Luongo, Anderson

Colorado cuts

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Following the trade of Baertschi and Horvat (along with our FA pick) for Drouin, it ends up cutting 2 of the required 7 off the roster.  Also sent home after weak camps are Lucas Lessio, Anton Lander, Ronalds Kenins, Jiri Sekac and Nick Shore. That’s 5 more and I do believe we are now ready for our opening day. We are ready for games in Colorado!!

Kevin from Colorado

Vancouver cuts

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Management has decided to cut the following six players:
Three veterans who just lost a gear:
Andy Greene
Nikolai Kulemin
Brad Boyes
Management has a special thank you for former first round pick Boyes, who scored 42 goals, only behind Heatley’s 49, the year the Canucks won it all.
Two young defensemen who show little potential:
Matt Irwin
Christian Folin
And finally Derek Dorsett, who, at training camp, squirted water in the face of Zack Kassian, saying that there was only room for one goon on this team. Coach Smyl concurred and cut Dorsett.

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Islander Cuts

islandersblackJoakim Andersson: We wish Andersson the best of luck in Sweden and want to thank him for his services. He was a favorite of mine, always doing the little things.
Erik Cole: A long time Islander, he will be missed. We were happy to see him go out the way he wanted with an excellent season last year. We see an assistant coaching job in his future for this Islanders staff.
Jonas Hiller: Another guy that helped us make an unbelievable run last season. He has decided to take his talents to the Swiss league. Best of luck to Hiller and his family.
Cody Hodgson: The former first round pick had a couple of decent seasons for the Islanders but never made a lasting impression. Still young, but management has given up on Mr. Hodgson.
Nikita Nikitin: Nikita was brought in to help us on the PP last season. He was sub par at best and had trouble finding a permanent role. He’s out as young d-men come in.
Alex Stalock: He was one of two goalies grabbed in the 2014 draft, both him and Martin Jones have moved on from the Islanders organization. It’s tough being a goalie in New York.
Fedor Tyutin: A loaner type player that helped with injuries the last couple of seasons, he was never going to stick. We hope Fedor can enjoy another season of hockey before retiring.
Thanks,
Kevin – NYI

Colorado report

COLORADO_THIRDColorado Avalanche Preview 2016
The youth movement continues in Colorado.  Gone are veterans Mark Giordano, David Perron, Frans Nielsen, Karl Alzner, Carl Soderberg and Antti Raanta. Draft picks in 2016 and 2017 were obtained in each of these moves that will help build the highly anticipated successful future Av’s management is counting on.
Front office staff is excited about the talent obtained from these trades and draft picks.  Now on the roster are the following:
Bo Horvat – C  chosen third overall in the second round of last year’s draft by Chicago, Horvat followed up with a solid 16 goal and 24 assist season.  At 21 years old we hope he continues to progress as he gains experience.
Sam Reinhart – drafted 6th overall this year.  With 23 goals as a rookie we hope he becomes a 30 goal guy that will be a top six forward for years to come.
Max Domi- drafted him 11th overall – couldn’t believe he was still available at that spot, which facilitated the Frans Nielsen trade.  Domi is a similar play maker as Nielsen but at 15 years younger should become a better goal scorer in time.
Nikolaj Ehlers – another first round draft pick that projects to become a 25-30 goal scorer.  We see a high celing with this young player
Ryan Pullock – Right hand shot defenseman that plays well in his own zone and possesses a canon of a shot.  Watch for him to develop as a top PP point man with an edge.
Chris Bigras – A surprise second round pick but our scouts were pushing for management to draft this guy.  Young defender projected to be a top four pairing guy with the NHL’s Avalanche.  Fingers crossed.
Reid Boucher – very skilled forward and crafty with the puck.  We had him projected as a second round pick and were happy to see him in the third round.  Has a one year deal in New Jersey and hopefuly teams up with Hall to add to his point total.
Nic Petan – WHL scoring machine that had an audition with the Jets last year.  Can be a real playmaking threat and has some grittiness to his game.
Nick Cousins – Looks to see more ice time this year in Philly and build on his stats from last year.
Casey Nelson – NCAA defenceman who is slated to be on the Sabres roster this year.  Has awesome playmaking skills and is a solid defender.
Daniel Carr – NCAA forward who should see some opportunities on the Habs team this year.  Could project to be another 20 goal guy.
Brandon Davidson – hopes to become a depth defenseman with a solid two way game.
Balance of Avalanche Roster:
 
Forwards:
Ryan Johansson had a sub par season but we hope he has a sensational bounce back season this year. Same can be said for the injured RNH who needs to step it up this season.  Reilly Smith continues to emerge as top two way forward that can score, while the same can be said for draft picks Victor Rask and Rickard Rakell. Vincent Trocheck has also been a pleasant 3rd round draft pick addition to our club. Marcus Johanson gives us depth as a utility forward that can play anywhere and Alex Killorn gives us some defense up front along with some intimidation.  Anders Lee and Brock Nelson continue to emerge as top forwards as does Ryan Spooner.  It will be a make or break season for former draft picks Sven Beartschi,  Zemgus Girgensons and in particular former first overall pick Nail Yakupov.  Chris Tierney is developing well in the minors and looks to make the big club next year.
Defense:
Tyson Barrie and Adam Larsson continue to get better every year as does the Finnish pairing of Sami Vatanen and Olli Maata.  Jared Spurgeon is a top pairing RD with solid defense and a good offensive upside.  Derrick Pouliot, last year’s first round pick continues to toil in the minors developing his game and Thomas Hickey adds some depth to our back end.   Rookies will see ice time this year as games will need to be made up with the trading of Giordano and Alzner.
Goalies:
Rask and Rinne will share the bulk of the games although neither had a great season.  Carter Hutton will also play 17 games this year. This may be an area that management addresses next.
We see a lot of 7-6 or 6-5 games in our immediate future.  With a lot of firepower and young defenders with underperforming goalies, there will be a lot of goals scored in Colorado games this year.   Hopes are not large on making the playoffs but rather seeing our players develop over the next year.  We are however looking at what should be a very bright future in Colorado.
Kevin – Colorado Avalanche