Our Playoff Pool Winners... Harding being shopped... Stepan leaving school... Leino channels inner-Druce... a month long footy distraction
Thanks to all those who participated in our FHS Playoff Pool... like the Stanley Cup itself, some say it's the hardest trophy in (fantasy) sports to win. Actually there is no trophy, but regardless, it was no walk in the park for these guys:
1st Place: Geoffo Reith - he loaded up on Hawks & Sharks and his master-stroke was taking Pat Kane over the likes of Crosby & Ovechkin in box #1. For his troubles he takes home the coveted Tee from our friends over at PuckingHilarious. Drop us a line Geoffo so we can get you all sized & sorted.
2nd Place: Arpon from The Daily Hab-it - he loaded up on Hawks & Penguins and fitting that a Habs blogger was beaten due to his Habs taking down the Penguins in the 2nd round. For his troubles he gets to sponsor a page over at Hockey-Reference.com and may we point out that Chris Nilan's page is available?!?
3rd Place: Iain Mackay - friend of the program & all around good guy, he stacked his team with Hawks, Sharks & maybe a few too many Penguins but it was enough to hold onto 3rd. For his troubles he gets a year's worth of swag from FHS, which we all know, you can't put a price on.
Thanks to all for playing & for our friends over at HockeyDraft.ca for hosting.
Josh Harding is being heavily shopped by the Wild and with a number of team's looking for a cheap alternative in goal, he could end up in a good situation somewhere and we'd take a risk on this guy as you should see a nice boost in value once he gets moved.
We mentioned yesterday that Rob Blake is expected to announce his retirement shortly... fantasy GMs will really be sad to see him go as he's been so good for so long, over his 19 seasons he topped 40 points 11 times and in five of those seasons he also added 100+ PIMs. He finishes his career with a streak of 13 straight seasons where he topped 30 points. When a star retires, we here at FHS like to shine a light on their best fantasy season but its hard to pick out just one for Blake, but this one will do nicely... 1993/94, 84 games, 20+48=68 with 137 PIMs and 304 shots... not too shabby, eh? As a point of reference, only one dman had more PIMs than that this year, Matt Carkner, and he only had 11 points and the most shots by a dman this year was 242 (Chara).
The Coyotes re-signed dman Dave Schlemko... he got into 17 games for the 'yotes last year and has shown some offensive ability during two seasons in the AHL and in the WHL prior to that.
Reports say the Rangers are going to sign Derek Stepan out of UofWisconsin soon, he'll skip his final two years of college and despite what Larry Brooks reported, I don't think there's a snowball's chance in hell that he's going to play for Calgary in the WHL. He'll try to make the Rangers out of camp and will play in Hartford if he can't. Stepan had a big year with 54 points in 41 games at Wiscy and also led the WJC in scoring with 14 points in seven games, definitely a guy to keep your eye on.
The Blues signed 2009 1st rounder, David Rundblad, to an ELC... he'll stay in Sweden at least another season before joining what is sure to be a crowded blueline in St.Louis after that.
Let's take a look at a breakout, breakdown & Druce Award from the finals...
Breakout (a player who showed that they'll be breakout candidate in next year's Breakout Bible):
Dave Bolland - was close to breaking out with 47 points last year but a back injury hampered him this season and he regressed to only 16 points in 39 games. Long-term he's a solid option as the Hawks #2C, which is great work if you can get it and he flashed some of that potential with 3+3=6 in the finals and 7+5=12 in his last 13 playoff games.
Breakdown (think we all expected a lot more):
Mike Richards - came out of the gates flying with 17 points in the first two rounds of the playoffs (12 games) but then his production really dried up and he could only manage 2 points (both on the PP) and was a minus-7 in the final series.
Ville Leino - went from a healthy scratch in the first four games of the playoffs to an unstoppable force near the end with 3+6=9 in the final series and 7+12=19 & a plus-12 in his last 15 playoff games. What is he good for next season?... nobody knows but at the least he would appear to have bought himself some leeway with the Flyers and should head into training camp with a boatload of confidence.
Never been a fan of the SI writer Jim Kelley, I find that he's out of touch and never has much to say... well here's another reason to not bother reading his stuff, he's totally clueless. Here's a quote from his article from yesterday where he suggests that the Blackhawks won't be re-signing Hossa in the offseason???
There are contracts the team likely would love to unload -- Brian Campbell and Cristobal Huet come immediately to mind -- but it will be difficult. The most likely not to be renewed is Marian Hossa, a quality player who has been living off a succession of one-year deals in an attempt to find a spot on a Cup-champion (mission accomplished). Look for the Hawks to shop his rights as soon as the parade is complete.
Sure people make mistakes and misinterpret things but you're telling me that this guy has gone the entire season thinking that Hossa is on a one-year deal???... my lord. [more]
What's distracting us today?
WORLD CUP baby, that's what's distracting us... actually footy will be distracting us for a whole glorious month starting today (you've been warned). So to get everyone in the mood we offer you this brilliant adidas commercial featuring David Beckham, Noel Gallagher, Snoop Dogg, Greedo & others re-creating the cantina from Star Wars...