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      Insults/Name-calling will not be tolerated   11/19/2016

      It's great to see the boys earning their way into the playoffs this season (barring a Colorado-would-be-proud collapse).  What a night-and-day difference from way back in November.   With the playoffs, we typically see more traffic/visitors on the site, usually from the opposing team's fanbase (especially from the Oilers).  This is just a reminder that stating your opinion is fine (it's exactly what these forums are for), and friendly, good-natured ribbing is OK, however, name-calling and insults will still be a major no-no and cause for the Banhammer to warm up.  This applies to all new guests and visitors as well: you're more than welcome to join the party, but civility is house rule around here.   All insults/name-calling will be met with a zero-tolerance approach, regardless if you are a new person to the forums, or have been around since these forums began.   First-offenses will be met with a moderator-needs-to-approve-your-post for 3 days Second offenses will be met with a week-long suspension Third offenses will result in a perma-ban   If you have any questions regarding this policy, or would like to voice your concern about it, you are absolutely free to contact me directly.   We all love this team, and this game.  Let's all hop on the Bandwagon, enjoy a few beverages, and ride this wave of excitement as far as we can.   --  Kulstad


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Crzydrvr last won the day on November 14 2016

Crzydrvr had the most liked content!

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About Crzydrvr

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  1. Exactly this. When you have 14 numbered balls the number of possible combinations of draw-4s you can have is 1001. They throw out one of those to make an even 1000, and divvy up those remaining combinations randomly so that each team is allotted the same amount of combinations as their lottery percentage under the draft rules. Under the new rules they have to draw combinations 3 times, one for each of the top 3 picks starting with 1st overall. Once a team wins a position, all of their remaining combos are rendered redraws (which is why the odds change for 2nd and 3rd pick if you examine draft lottery simulator formatting) and they will contnue trying until a draw 4 combo comes up whose team hasn't already won a lottery position. I have fuzzy memories of learning this in high school mathematics so it's not exactly rocket science, but it's the most convenient method for Ernst and Young to work with regarding sport lotteries and the popping ball machine always looks good for camera purposes.
  2. I mean, if you take a look at what's available in FA this year you'd have to admit that the extra $30 million might not even be worth using. The best players on defence are 1 top pairing offensive defenseman and a bunch of number 4s, some of which are past their prime already. The best players up front are (with the exception of guys like Thornton and Oshie, who will in all likelihood resign with their current teams) made up of aging 2nd line players or tweeners like Justin Williams and Sam Gagner. Right now the only leads we have on Vegas is that they're looking at another KHL winger (likely Dadonov who was linemates with Shipachyov), they're in talks with Chicago (who want to move Marcus Kruger because otherwise they're not gonna be making it under the cap for next year) and Minnesota (Jason Zucker is a Nevada native, but there's a cost difference between Zucker and a guy like Matt Dumba that would need to be made up for it to be worth it for Vegas, in addition to the Nino Niederreiter contract issues) and other teams like Washington, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Boston have already made initial contact on the availability of certain players in exchange for assets. We can take a stab in the dark at what certain conversations entail but it's not hard to believe that some teams are also looking at the opportunity to acquire a good player from Vegas post-expansion draft in addition to the cap strapped who are trying to make space. The rules only state that Vegas can't trade a player back to their original team before January 2018, not that they can't trade them to other teams if I am remembering correctly. I think Buffalo is going to be taking a hard look at the expansion list in the hopes of getting quality LHD, and I think they'd jump all over the chance to trade for a guy like Marc Methot even at full contract value. There's a lot of moving pieces and with the affiliation to Chicago now set in stone the VGK can afford to play the futures game. And depending on what's available I think Treliving might also be wise to jump on board if it's to get good cheap depth up front or a goaltender.
  3. It is a big deal, Brouwer earns $4.5 million on the cap. If the Golden Knights have $73 million in contracts at maximum, that means that on average the cap hit on the players they acquire directly through the draft can't even be $2.5 million a year. Brouwer is basically a non-starter for that reason alone, unless the Flames are willing to pay what the Knights want (and make no mistake, they've got a monopoly on available cap space and can set the market price at whatever they want). Why acquire Brouwer when better players are available at lower contracts?
  4. But GMGM isn't going to trade a Mathew Dumba, Calle Jarnkrok or a Sami Vatanen, and the expensive contracts aren't going to be worth much, so you'd be looking at offloading players on the caliber of a Lee Stempniak. Nobody says you can't do both. You can have a relatively competitive team while still having a couple of anchor contracts (I mean, basically every NHL team has this problem right now so it's clearly doable). And while $73 million looks like a lot, Las Vegas is going to be struggling to stay under that number for the draft. Nobody is looking to expose their good value contracts, they're exposing that 6/7th forward or 4th defenseman with the worst contract. So if you're going to be taking on salary anyways, why not make it strategic by only taking on salary from teams that pay you to take them? Tell them the guy you're going to take, if they don't like then that's their problem and they'll have to pay what that player is worth to change it. Competitive team now, still getting a high pick and acquiring assets for 2 years down the road when things really matter competitively. Nobody wants to watch a team with no hope, you've gotta sell them something to believe in. Columbus screwed up by picking the best players available to them, while Minnesota played a longer game. What ends up happening is Columbus is a slightly better team for one season, while Minnesota quickly becomes better afterwards and gives the fans something to cheer about by having young talented players. Take the couple of points you'd have earned having a better player instead of Andrew McDonald, put it towards the future and people will understand why you did so.
  5. Vegas can't draft more salary than the cap for this year, so they'd have to take some cheaper contracts here or there. The nice thing about that is that in today's world more salary =/= more valuable, and so even taking the time to draft some high-salary contracts, LV can theoretically stay under that upper limit by acquiring a ton of young players. Guys like Dumba, William Karlsson, and from the Flames names like Shinkaruk, Ferland or Lazar if any of the trio is available. Unless the Flames pay up to move Brouwer or Stajan, I think they'll still be with the organization in July. There are many teams seeking cap relief in more dire circumstances who should be willing to pay top dollar in order to keep their Cup windows alive. Washington, Tampa Bay, the Rangers, Dallas, Chicago all have players who are still useful but are major black holes because they're no longer worth the contract and are now taking away money from other positions. All of them still have Cup aspirations. If I'm George McPhee, I'm setting the initial price tag for taking on a $5 million+ contract at a 1st round pick or a good prospect, and adding more for every year the contract runs. Don't like it, good luck finding another partner to take on Orpik/Girardi/Kruger/Gaborik/Howard at full value. Those guys are still useful in the short term to some extent, you get major assets (especially if a big contract like Brown's or Callahan's comes a-knocking) and a few of the guys are genuinely god people to have setting the culture. And since your team is mostly full of high-value young and cheap players, you can afford to take a hit for a year or two in exchange. Unless it's a no-brainer talent or a pre-ordained trade agreement, I don't think McPhee would/should draft any skater more expensive than $3 million. Cap space is valuable and he should be selling off what he can to bring in assets that will help 2 or 3 years from now, just as Mr. Foley expects to make the playoffs.
  6. Starting to finish up my rankings for the season. While the following is contingent on what little left in the U18 tournament remains as well as the Draft Combine, I count 6 players in this draft who I'd label as Top Ten caliber players (guys who could reasonably be expected to become 1st line players or top pairing defensemen, regardless of development path). For comparison's sake, last year under the exact same grading sheet had 12 Top Ten caliber players, 2015's draft would have had 14 under the same, and 2014 would have had 7. The 6 are, in alphabetical order (because the damn list keeps changing weekly and won't be finalized for another few weeks): D Miro Heiskanen, HIFK (Finland) C Nico Hischier, Halifax (QMJHL) F Casey Mittelstadt, Green Bay (USHL) C Martin Necas, HC Kometa Brno (Czech) C Nolan Patrick, Brandon (WHL) C/RW Gabriel Vilardi, Windsor (OHL) All in all, a surprisingly diverse and well-represented group, with 6 leagues and 5 nationalities represented. It may suck that the playoffs are over for the Flames, but hopefully this little teaser will help kickstart draft season for everyone. Have fun guessing what order those guys and everyone else will be in, as well as talking about who is (or isn't) among that initial group of 6! EDIT: Replaced Pettersson with Mittelstadt due to a mixup.
  7. Should be noted that even with his relatively poor season, his ability to prevent shots against is still top pairing defenseman level. As a whole Brodie's still well worth his price, it's just difficult to separate what we see from what he is because people tend to remember big glaring screwups rather than subtle effective play. In Hickey's case, I think people who expect him to be a physically dominant player are going to be disappointed. He's closer to a Vlasic type defensively than a Regehr in terms of style. Not all good defensive players have to be physical players, and I think there's a bit of an expectation for that to be the case, which is not necessarily always true.
  8. Athletically gifted player, excellent wheels and has a hard shot. A volume shooter, not a great passer but has good hands. Not a huge fan of him but would still take him for his tools alone. I think he has problems thinking the game and relies a lot on his physical attributes which is a red flag to me. He reminds me a lot of a Jake Virtanen or an Evander Kane. Another athletic specimen, not a guy I see a lot so I'm not an expert, but I didn't like his tunnel vision and I hear he's been largely a nonfactor with attitude issues in Russia at all levels which matches his numbers. He's another guy who has the physical capability to be a top player in the NHL, but he's a huge risk with the KHL factor. Good two-way guy, not really sure what he's going to be at the NHL level but he's one of the few guys who doesn't really have a major red flag. He's just good at everything, but not elite at anything. Maybe that in and of itself is a red flag? Either way, I don't see him dropping outside the top 20. He's one of the few guys in this draft with a relatively safe floor. Someone will love his mobility and potential enough to take him high in the draft. At some point I'm going to have to release a ranking sheet rather than answering questions, I just haven't gotten around to it. So look forward to that at some point in the distant future.
  9. He's a smart player who's made the most of his opportunities. Very well rounded guy, is more of an all situations type than a pure playmaker or shooter offensively. He could use some more top end speed and agility, but he's consistently been one of the most impactful draft eligible prospects in the OHL. I think he's done enough to put himself in the discussion as one of those players in the 5-15 range. He's not the most physically talented player, but he makes up for it with his hockey sense and his effort. I like him a lot for that reason, I think he cares about doing well on a small market team and that's not always/often the case with some of these elite prospects, so he gets bonus points for showing drive and not acting entitled about where he wants to go.
  10. I agree, which is why I say it's a weaker draft at the top. This has a high chance of being a draft where the best prospect isn't even drafted in the top 5 or 10. That makes it weak at the top, even below average drafts tend to have at least one or two players separate themselves from the pack. There will be gems as usual, but the top pick has been devalued because of that uncertainty, similar to 2012. Why pay out the nose for a player that you might be able to match at a pick way lower? Nobody in this draft is of the caliber of a consensus top 3 pick across most average draft years IMO. Don't get me wrong, I love Hischier and Patrick, but neither would be top 3 picks in last year's draft and everyone else in this draft would be on the cusp of the top 10 last year, at best. It's just not a great year to be picking 3rd, you're likely to get a player that in other years might fall in that 7-10 range of player, which as we've seen historically is a crapshoot in terms of NHL projections. The gap between a top 10 pick and a late 1st round pick is as thin as I've seen in the last 5 years, and we could see a lot of movement in terms of draft pick for draft pick trades as teams will be focusing on particular players they like more than usual.
  11. I think it's probably your best bet to do so if you wanna hit a home run and you're drafting in the middle of the round. The elite talent up front isn't there, and most of the forwards will probably top off as really good second line players (although one or two will, as normal, rise above the rest and break through into top line players). On the other hand, there's only one defender that is a safe bet and a top 10 caliber prospect in this year's draft IMO (and it isn't who you think it is). The rest are all medium risk medium reward or high risk boom or bust picks. There's a lot of them hanging around so I'd say the chances are good that of those non - top 10 caliber guys at least one or two will end up being top pairing players, the question is can you get a little lucky with it because a 1 in 4 chance (at best) isn't a great ratio for success at all.
  12. It's tough, he's definitely not playing up to par since returning. He's had too many poor and average games to be considered a true generational prospect. At this point he's starting to play his way out of the consensus 1st overall position, which would never happen to a Crosby-level prospect. This year's draft at the top looks extremely weak, and I think a lot of scouts are having to downgrade their projections for a lot of players. It's looking a lot like this year might not even match 2011 in terms of high-end talent. A lot of good, even great, prospects, but all of those impressing would probably be in that 10-15 range in last year's draft, for instance. Decent depth of the caliber of prospects, but that lack of high-end talent stands out considering the drafts before and after all look very strong at this point in time.
  13. Answering this now as I didn't see it my first run around this thread. As you said, big guys with skill are rare and when they're around as defensemen, you make sure to give them due diligence. He's an above average skater speedwise (I have him as an 8 out of 10) but his lankiness makes it difficult to gauge his footwork. Is he still growing into his body, and will it improve itself with more time and work, or is it simply one of those skills that'll never get better? He's good enough offensively. I think he has a bit of work to do in the other 2 zones; he can be pressured into bad plays and doesn't have a high panic threshold. Transition-wise the entire Steelheads team can be a bit of a crapshoot and it's hard to judge whether he was a victim of that or a cause of that. Defensively, he benefits a lot from sheer size and range of coverage, but he'll need time like most young prospects to fully develop that sense of where to be and where to look. Raw is exactly the word I would use, but he's been very impressive all things considered and if he works out like you hope he's going to be a PP threat and a two-way anchor at the NHL level on one of the top 2 pairings. He doesn't look as dynamic as he did in the summer or at the end of last season. He's got a bit of that Valeri Nichushkin syndrome, where he's got his size and speed but doesn't really have the hockey sense to use it effectively. He wasn't creating chances, wasn't backchecking well, had some tunnel vision and just generally was a nonfactor in the few games I saw of him since. A lot of pure athleticism in him, though. He's a project player who if he works out is going to be a presence on the ice, I just don't know if he ever reaches that potential. Liljegren is an interesting one, because you can see the talent, but like Kylington was he's been generally hit or miss so far in terms of his ability to process the play. Going by pure talent, he's a top 3 pick without question; excellent skater, good shot, great passer, decently physical and plays solid positional defense for an 18-year old, but his transition abilities are reliant on his decision-making and he does some odd stuff at times. As well, in the offensive zone he hasn't been great at reading the play and will pinch at the wrong time, or make an ill-advised pass that is turned over. It's very much a case of overcomplicating the play, he hasn't shown the elite hockey sense to use the right plays at the right time. Kylington was genuinely playing poor and didn't get any better in his draft year, but Liljegren has been getting better since returning from his stint in the J20 league which might salvage his draft status.
  14. Vesalainen has all the tools, but no killer instinct. I liken him to Magnus Paajarvi, great skater, built like a pro, but doesn't have the same level of IQ or finishing ability to be a legitimate elite scoring talent at the NHL level. Whether or not he becomes that bona fide first line winger, 30 goals 60+ point forward (his peak) or just washes out of the NHL (his bust factor), he's definitely got the tools. It's a matter of getting some confidence and finding out whether his toolbox is big enough to utilize all his tools successfully. Both of them are in the group of 20 or so prospects that fall in the middle of the 1st. All it takes is for teams to like someone else other than them and they could slide.
  15. I actually also have him as a No Draft myself. I wonder about his defense, I wonder about his effort, and I wonder about his actual skillset. He's poor already defensively, losing focus in his own end, being a floater, and compounds it by being the type of player that waits outside of scrums for pucks. With his size, he could be a dominant player in all facets of the game, but he is soft as melted butter and loses puck battles way more than he should. At 6'6", it's honestly impressive to be considered a soft player, but he is. Those massive holes aren't covered up by his ability to create offense, because he's not an elite thinker of the game. He's opportunistic but outside of his shot, which is heavy and has an average release, and his puck control, which is very good, he doesn't have the type of game or the traits that suggest he's an elite player at anything. He excels on the powerplay where he has time and space, but at 5 on 5 he's not a factor, in the sense that he's just coasting around and not grabbing control of the play when playing tough competition. He can capitalize when there's open ice or when he faces weaker lines and D pairings, which look good on the stat line, but means nothing at the pro level. I don't normally have many names on the ND list personally, but I wouldn't want to deal with him from a development perspective; he's a massive project and I don't like his attitude on the ice, relying on his linemates to do all the dirty work while he collects easy points. He's not a gamebreaker, so I have no problem saying "Even if he turns into a 50 point player, I don't want him on my team". Of course, this all could change if he improves away from the puck a lot in Prince George. He's got a fresh new slate.