Good news for anyone that drafted Brandon Dubinsky as he signed a two-year $2 million deal with the Rangers yesterday. We knew Dubie and the Rangers would eventually come to terms but we worried he might miss a good chunk of the preseason. All systems are go now so expect around 50 points and 100 PIM for the 23-year old power forward.
One guy who was taking advantage of Dubinsky's tardiness was Artem Anisimov as the rookie has beauty goals in two straight games (watch here & here) and looks to be making a case to start the year centering a scoring line. Not sure what Torts has in store for him but with the Rangers cutting down their roster to 25 already, he looks like he'll be on the team and we have high hopes for Double A after he was top 5 in AHL scoring last year as a 20-year old.
Brayden Schenn, the Kings 5th overall pick in this summer's draft, had two goals for LA in a win over the Anaheim "don't call us Mighty" Ducks. Looks like he wants to make the jump straight to the NHL like his brother but we don't think it's in the cards as the Kings are typically pretty patient and Schenn should go back to junior and gain some valuable experience playing in the WJC and Memorial Cup.
Mike Fisher had a hat-trick for the Senators in a drubbing of the Habs but we were more impressed by the four assist night from Nick Foligno... not bad production for a guy who might end up on the 3rd line. We had hopes that Nick would land a spot on a scoring line but the additions of Michalek and Cheechoo have probably scrapped that dream. This means he's probably not worth drafting this year but he's got potential.
A few notable cuts... Atlanta sent Anthony Stewart, Brett Sterling and Angelo Esposito to the AHL, all had a lot to prove (for different reasons) but came up short. Ottawa sent Ilya Zubov to the AHL and after two years of riding the bus in Binghamton, we're not too sure if he has the desire to do that much longer as the KHL will probably be calling. Tampa cut 2009 2nd round pick Richard Panik and sent him back to Windsor... not surprising at all but worth a note as you'll likely be hearing a lot more about him as he should light it up on the best junior team in the world this year.
Injury Updates (see our Injury Updates page for a consolidated list of injuries):
Simon Gagne said his groin is feeling better but now he's experiencing some pain in his surgically repaired hip. He's expected to be ready for opening night but for a guy who's already very fragile to be battling two injuries before the season even starts, makes us a little queasy... he's a risky pick.
We told you yesterday about Freddie Modin's injured knee, well it turned out to be a sprained MCL and he'll be on the shelf for 4-to-6 weeks.... abort any plans you had to pick this guy, and if you did... WTF?
Frans Nielsen of the Islanders will have knee surgery that will keep him out of action for the next 4-to-6 weeks... he wasn't really worth owning anyway.
What's distracting us today? Just a bunch of random tidbits from around the interweb:
- Thanks to In Lou We Trust for this great quote from Jacques Lemaire when responding to the media about his ultra defensive system:
"When it bothers me [is] when a person from the outside come to me and talks about something that he just doesn't know. That bothers me. He'll say, as an example, 'Do you think this guy or that guy would be better in an offensive system?' Then, I look at him. Poor guy. Go back to school." (Gulitti)
You tell 'em Jackie.
- Hockeyhead give us their top five reasons Kessel is a good fit on the Leafs. We like number 5:
Kessel has a history of not being very well liked by his teammates. Rumours and old wives’ tales follow him back as far as his time with the U.S. National Under-18 Team. That’s not going to matter a lick in Toronto, as there’s no way that he could be liked less than Jason Blake.
- Scotty Wazz looks at the position battles going on in camp for each team. Very important for all fantasy GM's to know what's going on so it's worth a read before draft day.
- We love bizarre junk from distant corners of the internet...Banging Panger made us very happy by posting this picture.
- Cycle Like The Sedins have some deep thoughts on fantasy hockey for you.
- We saw the cool little video from NHL.com on Lighthouse Hockey. Gotta love the oldtimers.