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NHL 2021: Ice Bubbles Everywhere Edition


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So the draft is over, it's now free agency, fuck the Calgary Flames, season in January maybe? Also possible we do bubbles again?

Anyway, since no one eats well during a pandemic, here are predictions for what NHL players will look like when they show up to camp out of shape:

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I think a lot of teams are very afraid on pulling the trigger on huge contracts this free agency with the threat of a reduced salary cap stemming from Covid and also a potentially unique situation again next season.

Last I read was that Hall has basically accepted he's signing a bridge deal somewhere because of this.

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Hell of a bridge they built for him.

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Taylor Hall stated prior to free agency that the biggest factor for him, because of the lowered salary expectation due to covid, was the opportunity to win.

Instead of signing a one or two year deal with a team that gives him that opportunity, he signs a one year deal for what was probably the largest sum of money offered per season... to play for Buffalo.

Someone should have told him it was okay to say that he wanted the money. If no contending team offered him even six million per season for two or less years, then it is what it is... but Buffalo is not a team that is going to give him a chance to win. I think he wanted the dollars, and the term being only a season means that he'll be a UFA again next year, when maybe he can get more dollars if the cap doesn't remain stagnant.

On a Flames note... fuck yeah! Brodie gets replaced by Tanev for less money. The offensive production isn't the same, but Tanev is harder to play against and I like the cost savings. Plus, it's not like we don't already have young guys who play a similar game to Brodie knocking on the door right now. Talbot gets replaced by Jacob Markstrom, which is an excellent upgrade. A lot of nay-sayers are pointing to the stats giving Talbot an edge, but I'd argue that Calgary plays a tighter defensive game and Markstrom is considerably more consistent than Talbot, who runs hot and cold to extremes.

Rittich won't be wearing the flaming C by the end of the season. I think he gets some games in prior to the deadline as a way to showcase him for a trade and Markstrom winds up getting backed up by Tyler Parsons for the stretch run. The length on Markstrom's deal is great, because Wolf should be ready to take over by the time the contract is nearing its end.

Now, the last thing I'd like to see Treliving do in free agency is acquire an impact forward for the top six. Toffoli is still out there and would slot in nicely on the right side.

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Hall's making less than Jeff Skinner next season which is just really fucking funny. And you have to assume Hall will be on Eichel's line next season.

What a strange organization in Buffalo.

Also all the rumors of Hall to the Habs ended with the Habs not even extending him an offer.

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5 minutes ago, Toe said:

I didn't see any Flames games last year... is TJ Brodie any good?

Brodie is an offensively minded defenseman who has historically performed at his best on the right side of Mark Giordano. Experiments with other partners yielded mixed results leaning more towards poor. He doesn't battle well along the boards, but he's great at starting plays from the defensive zone. He's a smooth skater with good offensive flare, and has tightened up his defensive game the past couple of years, but I would expect regression from him in Toronto due to the fact that Giordano isn't there.

That being said, with defensive regression being something that I can absolutely see happening, I do expect to see his offensive game pick up a little playing in Toronto. He's a good bet to net you 5 to 10 goals from the blueline and if he clicks with the forward group, could provide good value as a playmaker. He's often hesitant to shoot, and tries to make fancier plays than necessary, so I wouldn't play him on the first powerplay unit... but some time on the second unit and encouragement to use his shot more as well as just make safer plays could pay dividends for the team.

He's a frustrating player, because you get flashes of brilliance from him, but then all of a sudden he'll become a problem for the team for a stretch. If they can find him a partner that he gels with like he did with Gio, and they can protect him by using him in advantageous situations, he's going to be a good pickup. Of course, you're going to hate it every time he tries to be fancy and coughs up the puck... or gets out-worked along the boards and gives up a scoring chance... but when he's effective, he's a sight to behold.

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I had figured he'd be a potential trade candidate, especially after signing Anderson. But uh, why not. Great AAV. It feels like they kicked the tires on a big Taylor Hall deal but decided 3 wingers was better than 1. Tatar is going to be gone after this season I assume now. It's been a decent offseason and they're much stronger, but I can't begin to figure out what the long-term plans are. They have a major stockpile of picks for 2021 that can be used to bring in more immediate help if they decide this upcoming season is going well enough.

Idk. Bergevin is such a weird GM. He gets the importance of the draft and having a constant pipeline and stockpile of players and picks but when it comes to the team he can't escape from this cycle of being just okay. Every savvy move is immediately followed by something catastrophically bad at the time and even worse in hindsight.

Also having Sergachev still would be really nice because Drouin is a bit redundant now.

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Learned from Jumbo Pat and only gave him 1 year.

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