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The 2017/2018 NHL Thread

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So....free agency is a think! Shattenkirk got less money/term than I was expecting, was sad the Leafs didn't get him. BUT! They did get Marleau! Big contract, but I think he could do great things with Matthews, and it gives us the option of trading JVR for defensive help should we feel the need. 

 

Also! Price signed his extension...in 2018/19 he's going to be making 10.5 for 8 years. He's the best (or at least top 3) goalie in the world...he's worth the money, but I can't help but feel they will be in cap hell by having that much money tied up in net. 

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I think Montreal will be fine with that. I have a feeling that Plekanec will be gone next year which will free up 6m in cap space. If Drouin proves his worth then I can even see them attempting to move Pacioretty next season for someone making less money, or some draft picks.

I honestly can't believe that Marleau got the kind of contract he did. I mean he's good but he's old and I'm not sure his experience that he can pass of onto the young guys is worth that kind of money. 

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Montreal has so many question marks. Is Galchenyuk going to become a top center? Is Drouin? Where are the defenders with the ability to skate the puck out of trouble? I just see a team that thinks they're a lot closer than they are and who keep shuffling pieces around sort of haphazardly. Price really feels like the only sure thing they've got for what they're trying to do.

Marleau's contract came in pretty high but I don't think Toronto would have done it if they weren't totally comfortable. He's a pretty significant upgrade on Matthews' wing (most likely). That line couldn't really be called Toronto's top group last year - I think that changes now. Marleau is an iron man and is much better equipped to play tough minutes than was Zach Hyman.

Watching Washington get dismantled without having actually won the Cup is pretty interesting. Kuznetsvov bent them over by using the threat of the KHL. They had to give Johansson away for a song, couldn't negotiate with Alzner or Williams or Shattenkirk, lost Schmidt to expansion, and they're not out of the woods yet. Burakovsky and Grubauer need new contracts and they've got to budget for a hefty John Carlson raise a year from now. I think they're still a good team but wonder if they'll need this year to refocus and make a new plan.

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I think Washington drops a bit in the standings, same with Pittsburgh. Both still have solid (though aging) cores but will need to do some retooling and find some new pieces to fit in there. I would be shocked if Pittsburgh manages to win 3 straight, but would not be shocked if they win 3 out of 4 or 3 out of 5.

Everything you said about Montreal is right, they've just been shuffling pieces around and trusting Price to carry them. I wouldn't be shocked if we get a playoff where Price does carry them at least to the Cup Finals just by being Carey Price, but they really need to change their mentality. They play a really physical style and I think it's why they've started the last 2 seasons on a tear, by just being tougher than the other teams. But the season's way too long to keep playing that way, eventually everyone gets worn down. It showed a ton with Weber later in the year. But if Drouin or Galchenyuk can manage to emerge as a center then their biggest problem is fixed and maybe the rest start to go away as a result.

Also, looked at the 2017 NHL schedule. Just my luck the Habs are on the road the week we'll be up there, but if we move our trip around we can get there a day or two early and see them play the Leafs. Do I push to do this? I think I push to do this.

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5 minutes ago, damshow said:

I think Washington drops a bit in the standings, same with Pittsburgh. Both still have solid (though aging) cores but will need to do some retooling and find some new pieces to fit in there. I would be shocked if Pittsburgh manages to win 3 straight, but would not be shocked if they win 3 out of 4 or 3 out of 5.

Everything you said about Montreal is right, they've just been shuffling pieces around and trusting Price to carry them. I wouldn't be shocked if we get a playoff where Price does carry them at least to the Cup Finals just by being Carey Price, but they really need to change their mentality. They play a really physical style and I think it's why they've started the last 2 seasons on a tear, by just being tougher than the other teams. But the season's way too long to keep playing that way, eventually everyone gets worn down. It showed a ton with Weber later in the year. But if Drouin or Galchenyuk can manage to emerge as a center then their biggest problem is fixed and maybe the rest start to go away as a result.

Also, looked at the 2017 NHL schedule. Just my luck the Habs are on the road the week we'll be up there, but if we move our trip around we can get there a day or two early and see them play the Leafs. Do I push to do this? I think I push to do this.

One thing Pittsburgh has been good at is getting the most out of their young players. Guys who come up from the minors and slot in really well whatever they want. They're like the Paul Heyman of hockey where they seem to be able to find everyone's strengths and focus those in. Do I think they'll threepeat? No, but then again I didn't think they had a chance against Nashville this year.

And of course you push it. I really need to get to Montreal at a time when they play Pittsburgh that way the wife and I can see both of our teams play. It's only an 8 hour drive which is nothing but then on the other hand...it's an 8 hour drive.

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35 days until the season begins. We're starting to get into Training Camp stuff and we'll soon have pre-season games. What is everyone excited for this year?

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1 hour ago, America's Most Forky said:

35 days until the season begins. We're starting to get into Training Camp stuff and we'll soon have pre-season games. What is everyone excited for this year?

To see how well Vegas does, get updates on the much needed 32nd Franchise and hopefully more information on when to expect that to happen, and for the Flames to do better than the Jays.

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So the season started and it was a really fun opening night for Leafs and Blackhawks fans!

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More Penguins games like that, please!

I guess I should toss some predictions together, it's only a few days into the season so think I can slide.

Eastern Conference

Metropolitan - Pittsburgh, Washington, Columbus

Atlantic - Tampa Bay, Montreal, Toronto

Wild Card - Ottawa, Carolina

Conference Finals: Pittsburgh over Tampa Bay

Western Conference

Central - Nashville, Chicago, Dallas

Pacific - Edmonton, Calgary, Anaheim

Wild Card - Minnesota, Winnipeg

Conference Finals: Edmonton over Chicago

Stanley Cup Finals: Edmonton over Pittsburgh

Hart Trophy: Connor McDavid

Vezina Trophy: Braden Holtby

Norris Trophy: Victor Hedman

Calder Trophy: Clayton Keller

Rocket Richard: Patrik Laine

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END THE SEASON! PLAN THE PARADE!

 

(Golly we were baaaaad yesterday. Woof.)

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Vegas gets the win in their first ever regular season game and James Neal looks like a million bucks with his two goals, especially that last one. I don't want to talk about my Pens until their winning of course so let's not even focus on that spanking they got last night.

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So Ovechkin is kind of good huh.

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As much as I don't like him, I have to agree. Too bad he can never get the rest of his team on the same game so they can finally win a cup.

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So Colorado scored a goal on a net that was off it's moorings. I'm not sure how they were awarded the goal but we'll definitely take it. I know they're only 2-1 so far but that's a much better start to their season than they had last year.

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THE YAK IS IN~!

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We are only three games into the season, but the Flames are 2-1 and the biggest question mark that we had (goaltending) seems to have been answered nicely. I was hesitantly excited by the addition of Mike Smith over the summer, as he was consistently strong for a consistently weak team in Arizona for so long... but his numbers didn't reflect a massive upgrade over Elliott and Johnson.

Well, through three games, Smitty is 2-1 with a 1.68 GAA and a .957 SV%. Smith's numbers will not stay that high all year. Career bests are 2.21 and .930, both in his first year with the Coyotes organization. If he can match those numbers, or even come close, the Flames are going to be a very dangerous team this year... AND we still have the debut of Jaromir Jagr to look forward to!

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So, long story short- 

Two years ago I was put on the waiting list for a very competitive hockey Strat league. Last night I was offered an opening and I took it. I have the second pick of the draft, and it's looking like Patrik Laine is going to be available there. Out of all the rookies last year, is there any that any of you would take over Laine there? The rest of the guys seem to think it's a foregone conclusion that I take him, but I want to cover my bases because this team that I've taken over has finished with the worst record the last two years, so I need all the help I can get.

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I don't know too much about fantasy scoring in hockey anymore but I can guess that if Auston Matthews were to go number 1 then Laine would be the best bet at 2, he should blossom into a goal-scoring machine.

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Yeah I'm with Damshow. There just isn't anyone else in that draft class that I could make an argument to take. 

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29 minutes ago, damshow said:

I don't know too much about fantasy scoring in hockey anymore but I can guess that if Auston Matthews were to go number 1 then Laine would be the best bet at 2, he should blossom into a goal-scoring machine.

Matthews is almost 100% going #1. If the guy takes Laine, then I'll take Matthews, and vice versa. Thanks.

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Got Patrik Laine, Michael Matheson, and Denis Malgin in the rookie draft.

Craig Smith and Adam McQuaid in the free agent draft which is meh. The previous owner kind of shat the bed the last couple years though so this is going to be a couple year process to get it back in track anyway.

I can post my lines later if anyone gives a hoot.

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Not a bad get though Laine is the only one who's really going to do anything for you in the short term.

I kind of want to get Franchise Hockey Manager 4 this year. It looks to have improved quite a bit but I'm not sure if it's worth it for the amount I play the games.

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Yeah I took Matheson to have a young defenseman to fill out the roster. I think he could be decent enough in the future. Malgin is a pure shot in the dark. Maybe he'll pan out, maybe not, but I like that he can play center, left, and right wing.

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I stopped paying attention around January last year. From memory, it seems the Avs have already matched their win total from 2016/17. I say it's because they brought back the glorious rocky mountain jersey hem. . 

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