The FSR is here... Modin signing could impact Buff... Kovy deal official... Comrie give Pens options... there's no way you're not going to miss this BUSHKORN video
Reports say that Atlanta will sign UFA forward Freddie Modin to a one-year deal... this would make sense as GM Rick Dudley loves the big bodies and he mentioned earlier that he might still be in the market for another forward. Modin doesn't score enough or play enough to be useful in fantasy leagues anymore but this move makes it even that more likely that they move Dustin Byfuglien back to defense to start the year, which we don't really think will help his value.
The Stars have invited Jonathan Cheechoo to training camp on a try-out basis... we'd give his chances of making the team as slim-to-none and that might be too generous.
Can it actually be true? The Ilya Kovalchuk saga is over. As expected Kovy is back with the Devils... it only took more than two months. He'll likely be lining up with Arnott and Elias and should put up 85-90 points. The Devils still have some work to do as they are currently about $3 mill over the salary cap. Tough to say who's on their way out of Jersey.
Mike Comrie signed a very cheap $500,000 contract with the Penguins. We guess he doesn't really need the money. The early buzz has him playing LW on Crosby's line... which is the same position Kunitz plays. One will either slide to RW or Staal could get moved back to the 3rd line. He put up 21 points in 43 games with the Oilers last year but he suffered from mono so that might have slowed him down some. Assuming he can find a bit of chemistry with Crosby (not everybody does) he should pick up between 50-60. Eric Tangradi was getting a bit of hype that he might win a scoring line job. With Comrie on board, that's not happening. Good news for Pens fans, as we didn't think Tangradi is ready for the NHL.
The Habs re-signed RFA goalie Carey Price to a two-year deal... our scouts are divided on how we think he'll do this year with half saying he's in for a big year as he really wasn't that bad last year (2.77 & .912) and didn't get the goal support whereas the other half is not sure he's ready for the pressure that they've put on him by making him the clear-cut #1.
The Avs re-signed RFA forward Chris Stewart to a two-year deal... he was one of the biggest breakouts of last season as he increased his point total from 19 to 64 points. We think it will be a little challenging for him to build on that this year as everything went right for the Avs last year but he should be lining up once again with an underrated center in Paul Stastny and that could help him come close to last year's totals.
As we mentioned the other day, Jordan Staal is still dealing with that foot injury he suffered in last year's playoffs and the Penguins are saying that he'll miss the beginning of training camp but they expect him to be ready for the start of the regular season... something to keep in mind as he'll likely gut it out and play but this probably won't help him get off to a hot start.
The Sharks have signed former Hawks goalie Antti Niemi... this is obviously a good move for Niemi as there probably isn't a better team for him to land with but we wouldn't go anoiting him as a top 5 fantasy goalie now, sure he won a Cup but dude only has a .911 sv% over the past two seasons in the AHL & NHL combined, so he doesn't look like an elite goalie quite yet. This move really hurts Antero Niittymaki's value as he looked to be in line to rack up a lot of wins this year and it would kill Thomas Greiss' hopes of stealing the #1 job as he'll likely be moved or waived/demoted.
Lightning GM Steve Yzerman says that he's not expecting Paul Ranger back for training camp so you definitely shouldn't be expecting him back any time soon... and should really just pass all together as he's dealing with some personal issues and only played in eight games last year.
Former Flames and CBJs farmhand goalie Kevin Lalande has signed to play in the KHL with goon-squad Vityaz Chekhov... not really big news but I know there's a few people out there that had high hopes for him.
Nikolai Khabibulin was sentenced to 30 days in jail on Tuesday for his DUI conviction but instead of just serving it, he's going to appeal. Who knows how long the appeal could take, some say a year, so his status is still up in the air... not that you really want to go anywhere near him this year as nobody's even certain if he's recovered from the back injury that he was rehabbing in Arizona while driving around like a drunken fool. Speculation is that he'll report to training camp but some aren't sure if he can even cross the border legally... geez.
As we mentioned last week, knee surgery was a possibility for Niklas Kronwall and he actually went through with it on Tuesday. While it sounds minor and he'll apparently be back skating during training camp we could see him missing some action at the beginning of the season and starting slowly. It's also a troublesome sign that Kronwall's coming into the season at less than 100% as he's very fragile to begin with (averaged 58 games per season over the last five).
The Leafs re-signed RFA forward Christian Hanson to a two-way deal. He'll be on the bubble to make the team in camp and will likely split the season between the Leafs & Marlies... we're not very high on his fantasy upside anyway, so you shouldn't be too upset by this.
The Weight is over!... actually this was news a long time ago but just made official on Tuesday, Doug Weight is coming back for another season with the Islanders. The old man had one goal in 36 games last season, nuff said.
Tim Kennedy has signed a one-way deal with the Rangers. It's been a bad summer for Kennedy as he looked to have a solid future with the Sabres organization but got a little greedy in arbitration and the Sabres bought him out, making him a UFA. Now he signs with a Rangers team that already has about 11 forwards that are hoping to see ice-time on one of the top 2 lines this year, so he's going to be fighting for a spot in the everyday lineup. Who knows how the Rangers lines are going to shakedown, we'll see how they look at training camp as there's too many moving pieces right now but we can't see Kennedy being one of their main scoring threats.
The Oilers re-signed RFA forward Sam Gagner to a two-year deal... we've always liked Gagner and are really big on his breakout chances for this season, in fact we've got him as our #8 ranked breakout candidate in the Breakout Bible this year. We think he'll benefit from the influx of talent on the Oilers as last year the only decent winger was Dustin Penner but with Ales Hemsky returning from injury and the additions of Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle & Magnus Paajarvi, there's going to be a lot more scoring ability in the lineup. Gagner played a lot with Penner last year so maybe Eberle joins that line and we think that would the Oilers most dangerous unit.
The Coyotes re-signed UFA winger Lee Stempniak to a two-year deal so he's coming back and will try to continue his insanely hot form from the end of last season when he had 14 goals in 18 games for Phoenix. We don't think he has any chance to keep anything close to that pace up but he has two seasons with 25+ goals and he shoots enough & at a decent % to make us think that another 25 goal season is possible. This signing will likely take away a roster spot from one of Brett MacLean, Mikkel Boedker & Viktor Tikhonov to start the season and that's unfortunate as we were hoping MacLean could grab a scoring line role and surprise some people this year.
What's distracting us this week?
- We've never wanted to speak Swedish more than we did after watching this Peter Forsberg commercial.
- It's a commerical (for Capital One) featuring Alex Ovechkin. Man, he's a bad actor.
- There's not a lot of good stuff out there right now so when in doubt... look to BUSHKORN... his blood pressure seems to have really dropped over the summer as he calmly discusses how Brian Burke couldn't trade Tomas Kaberle, then drops a bomb by picking the Leafs to finish 6th in the East and really convinces us by proclaiming, "there is no way we're not going to miss the playoffs this year"... ummm, exactly