Skip to main content

Pucks On The 'Net

Some thoughts on recent happenings in the hockey world:

The Toronto Maple Leafs and William Nylander finally ended their standoff, with Nylander landing a contract with just shy of $7 million cap hit for the next six years. Now market dynamics meant Nylander was going to get paid this amount. And the Leafs can live with the cap hit, especially after next season when Patrick Marleau and Nikita Zaitsev come off the books. Until then they may have to make some tough decisions, but its not so bad. What might be bad for the Leafs is the fact that they just paid $7 million for the sixth best - at best - player on their team. Tavares, Matthews, Marner, Reilly and Andersen, the goaltender. Come playoff time Kadri's grit may rank him above Nylander too.

Ron Hextall lost his job for being too patient. Meanwhile Kevin Cheveldayoff in Winnipeg is lauded time and time again for his patience. Like so many Flyers managers over the years Hextall needed a goalie to mask his problems, though I do think his biggest problem was the very impatient Paul Holmgren. Hextall cleaned up the Flyers salary cap mess that Holmgren created, but needed more wins.

The Oilers coaching change has paid off with a 4-1-1 record under coach Ken Hitchcock. That is good, as I absolutely hate to see Connor McDavid's talented wasted. I still believe he's the best talent to arrive in the league since the days of Gretzky and Lemieux - and that is saying something. But he will likely never have the career of Sidney Crosby only because of the ineptitude of the Oilers management and their failure to surround McDavid with worthy talent. This is a case where Hitchcock can come in and mask some problems, but that might not be what is really needed in Edmonton.

How about Winnipeg's Patrik Laine scoring 18 goals in the month of November, including five in one game. That is the most goals scored in a calendar month since March 1994 when Vancouver's Pavel Bure scored 19 times.


Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M