Toronto GM Cliff Fletcher sat down with some of the team's reporters yesterday and let his senility take over...
- He said that the team only has one top 6 forward in Nik Antropov with a few others who are on the fringe, like Alexei Ponikarovsky and Alex Steen. No mention was made of the team's highest paid forwards Jason Blake or Niklas Hagman... guess they're 3rd liners at best?... now we're ok with that assessment of Blake but this goes against what Fletch said when they signed Hagman saying that he could elevate his game if given the chance. So now you've changed your tune and you've got a 28 year old forward signed for 4 years that is taking away a roster spot and ice time from your true prospects and you consider him no better than a 3rd liner?
- Seeing as Toronto is going to end up in the lottery, here's Fletcher's musings on the possibility that they could get a shot at John Tavares and Victor Hedman: "Whoever gets the first pick next year is not getting a Crosby or an Ovechkin or a Malkin or even a Staal. You're not getting that. You're going to get a good player but you're not getting a franchise player next year. If you asked 100 scouts who is going to have a better NHL career between Stamkos and Tavares, you're probably going to have 95 say Stamkos."
The Sedin's said that they had a nice dinner with Vancouver GM Mike Gillis the other night but did not talk much about a new contract. Not sure what the point was then, is Gillis hoping to lure them aboard by fattening them up with free food? What is this freshman orientation week?
Eric Staal signed a big-baller contract extension yesterday in the $8M per season ranger for 7 years (starting after this season). Huge money but we love this kid, especially from a fantasy hockey perspective, as his combination of point production, PIMs and shots is beautiful. He had a big 2nd half last year, plays for an offensive coach in Peter Laviolette and has proven to be very durable (missed 1 game in his 4 year career).
Vinny Lecavalier is still rehabbing his shoulder and will miss some preseason action... this could hinder him at the beginning of the season... shouldn't be a major problem but remember that Vinny (and Marty St. Louis) aren't big 2nd half performers so they usually rely on getting out to strong starts.
We switched up the polls last night...
- Joe Sakic was a landslide winner of the last poll, people obviously feel that he's a better bet for this season than other future hall of famers like Sundin, Shanahan and Selanne. Wonder if this has anything to do with the fact that he's the only one signed as of now. Surprisingly, there was no love given to Teemu, who's only one season removed from a 94 point season.
- In the new poll we want to know who you like to have a big breakout this season... we give you four options that could be primed for a breakout. Don't want to give away all the secrets from the Breakout Bible 2008 but we voted for Andrew Cogliano and although all 4 of them are featured prominently, none of these are in our top 3 potential breakout players for 2008/09... we'll give you a hint, our top 3 are from LA, Montreal and San Jose.
Check back soon for our free projected 2008/09 stats and rankings and fantasy hockey draft cheatsheet which should be posted over the weekend.
Distraction of the Day
What's distracting us today... We talked about Pittsburgh's promotional efforts yesterday... well check out this promotion: Atlanta is offering up "All You Can Eat" tickets in selected sections to hockey fans this year. We hope the seats in those sections are widened as well cause anyone want to guess what the square tonnage of fans that buys tickets in those sections is going to run... in fact better reinforce the plumbing while you're at it.