As Gordon Bombay famously said, “Ducks fly together.” Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry proved the fictional coach right by re-upping with Anaheim, ignoring the lure of unrestricted free agency. By locking up their premier duo for a combined $135 million, the Ducks avoided their own version of Sophie’s choice and ensured themselves a chance at the Stanley Cup this season and beyond. Is the long-term commitment, however, worth the cost?
When former Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson traded Rick Nash to the New York Rangers last summer, the move was expected to add an element they were sorely lacking. What wasn’t expected was that it would be Columbus netting a return of forwards Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov, defenseman Tim Erixon and a first-round pick in this year’s entry draft, who would ultimately get the better of the deal.
Last year it was the Ottawa Senators coming back from the dead and making a surprise trip to the playoffs. This year, it’s the Montreal Canadiens who are making a surprise comeback, sitting atop the Eastern Conference in a full worst-to-first transformation. Matt Horner explores the major reasons why.
I’ll admit I live a life of fantasy. I’ve been doing so for some time now. Although that fact is no secret to my family and friends, what started as a ‘hobby’ has become not only a time-consuming passion, but also a painstaking pursuit of glory and salvation bordering on religious fanaticism. This is fantasy hockey. This is what we live for.
Toronto’s Nazem Kadri has finally found his niche in the NHL and Chicago is being led by the new-and-improved Patrick Kane, but Edmonton Oilers center Sam Gagner may have made the biggest strides as a player this season. Has the 23-year-old veteran finally turned the corner and developed into one of the game’s elite?
The Anaheim Ducks sit two points from the top of the NHL, yet are in an unenviable position. Both Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, the team’s two towers of power, are unrestricted free agents on July 1st and the longer they go unsigned the more GM Bob Murray risks losing them both for nothing. What would you do in Anaheim?
There was so much going on in the 1992-93 NHL season that it’s easy to overlook subtle details. The fact that three defensemen on one team, scoring 20 or more goals could even qualify as “subtle” though, is a testament to the record-breaking year. Twenty years later, it’s time to celebrate Al Iafrate, Kevin Hatcher, Sylvain Cote and the Washington Capitals.
In a follow up to his preview of the goaltenders and defenseman in line to suit up for Team Canada at the 2014 Olympic games, Ryan Fulford takes the time to weigh in on the forward contingent. Will the sheer depth of offensive talent be enough to help the nation repeat a historical 2010 performance when they take the ice in Sochi?
Anything can happen in a shortened season. Sure, Jaromir Jagr and Eric Lindros leading the league in points during the lockout-shortened 1995 season wasn’t surprising, but Boston’s Blaine Lacher coming within one shutout of leading the league wasn’t a popular preseason bet. The possibility of unpredictability, plus the increasing importance of every game due to a sprint to the playoffs, means early season stats are becoming overblown, regardless of the small sample size.
Nobody ever said cracking down on the injury epidemic in the NHL would be an easy task. That’s why, when refs get calls wrong – which they inevitably do – it can be beneficial to take a step back and evaluate how the big picture is unfolding. Rest assured though hockey fans, gradual progress toward a cleaner game has already begun.