Trade Winds: Mike Komisarek

February 9, 2012
 

Could there be interest in Mike Komisarek?

A lot of hockey fans would scoff if you told them that Mike Komisarek was a name worth talking about at the trade deadline. After all, Komisarek hasn’t really been himself since he left Montreal and the media has worked very hard to make that readily apparent. Playing alongside Andrei Markov, inside a tight-trapping, defense-first system, Komisarek was once a defensive juggernaut – considered to be worthy of donning the ‘C’ in the post-Koivu era. In Toronto however, injuries and a fast-paced system that doesn’t play to his strengths in the least, have slowly eroded his reputation. Read the rest of this entry »

Prediction Time: Central Division, pt. 2

September 7, 2011

Jeff Carter, Meet Rick Nash

3.) Columbus Blue Jackets

Since the beginning of the lock-out era hockey fans have been told time and time again by just about every media outlet imaginable, that the best way to build a hockey team in this salary cap world, is to collect high-end draft picks.  The NHL used the strategies employed by the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals to sell this model.  The idea is that if you are a bad enough team, you’ll have some rough years, but you’ll be rewarded with your very own Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin.  The reality is that there are several teams who have followed this model and experienced absolutely no success whatsoever.  One of those teams is the Columbus Blue Jackets. Read the rest of this entry »


Prediction Time: Central Division, pt. 1

September 5, 2011

The Central Division is host to the strongest group of teams in the league.  Unlike many other groups, where there is an obvious candidate to easily break free from the rest of the pack, Central is hotly contested by two of the most elite teams in the NHL.  Both the Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks have recent Cup wins to their name.  The competition does not end there though.  Right behind the two top dogs are the ever-resilient and ever-surprizing Nashville Predators.  It doesn’t seem to matter how little money or how little talent the Preds can assemble, they always seem to manage to milk a fantastic season out of blue collar grinders and a dependable goalie.  Of course, Shea Weber helps, but his superstardom was not always something that coach Trotz could depend on. Read the rest of this entry »


Rumor Roundup, Part 1

June 22, 2011

Heading into the 2011 NHL Entry Draft there are a lot of rumors floating around.  This is a look at the biggest names who might be on the block.  One of them may be traded.  All of them may be traded. None of them may be traded, but they’ve all been put in situations where their names are worth discussing.  However, there are ways their teams might retain them, and as a result, more players potentially on the trade block.  So on top of the big name guys available, we’ll take a look at the dark horse candidates to be moved, and those who might be on the block because of underperformance or just poor cap value.  First up, everyone’s favorite American winger: Read the rest of this entry »


Meet the Jets: Byfuglien

May 31, 2011

 Face of the Franchise

Dustin Byfuglien (Defence / Right Wing)
Age 26, 6’5”, 265 pounds

          While Evander Kane is probably the eventual face of the franchise in Winnipeg, there is no doubt that Dustin Byfuglien is currently the most marketable star on the roster.  Winnipeg fans will have memories of ‘Big Buff’ terrorizing the Canucks for the past two post-seasons on route to his Stanley Cup victory in the 2010.  During that dominating performance Byfuglien forced the introduction of new hockey buzz word  ‘swagger’.  He was seemingly drenched in confidence, and that attitude was contagious.  There is little doubt that he was an absolutely key cog for Chicago in that Cup run.  Known for his net presence and purely intimidating size, Byfuglien is a virtually irreplaceable part of the puzzle.  Read the rest of this entry »


Chicago Blackhawks: Offseason Game Plan

May 23, 2011

Overview

  

Outlook

The magic of the 2010 season is past, but the mess has been left behind for a new management team to clean up.  The core pieces remain intact, but cap realities have caught up to the Hawks roster which was so perfectly manipulated by Dale Tallon.  Stan Bowman attempted to piece something reasonable together in the aftermath of Tallon’s departure, but it is clear now that his appointment was based on name value and higher influence rather than credentials.  Still, what’s done is done, and the Hawks will have to move forward with what they have, and look to add high quality pieces as opportunity arises.  The challenge now is to replace the lost depth in a cost effective manner, utilizing trade, free agency, and development.  Read the rest of this entry »