June 18 2016 07:56AM
The 2016 UFA crop of defencemen isn't very deep. The Arizona Coyotes acquired the rights to the best D-man available, Alex Goligoski, yesterday for a 5th round pick in 2016 and they have the exclusive negotiating rights until next Saturday, June 25th. If they sign Goligoski before July 1st, the list of candidates becomes even less attractive.
Jason Demers, Keith Yandle and Dan Hamhuis are the other top free agent defencemen. You could land a solid, veteran 3rd pairing defender, but the list of top-four D-men is short.
Will Peter Chiarelli turn his focus to a restricted free agent instead and submit an offer sheet?
June 16 2016 01:00PM
It is no surprise the television ratings in Canada during the 2016 NHL playoffs were down. With no Canadian teams entered it was obvious the numbers would be low. However, in the United States they had 16 teams in the postseason for the first time ever, yet their ratings were well below the past few seasons.
Despite having one of the league's best players involved, viewership for the Stanley Cup Finals was down 29% from last year and 23% from 2014. That is a massive drop, and the NHL needs to address the reality that fewer people are watching games on cable TV.
June 13 2016 01:39PM
The 2015/2016 season officially ended last night after the Pittsburgh Penguins won their fourth Stanley Cup in the most recent 25 NHL campaigns, tying them with the Detroit Red Wings for the most. The New Jersey Devils and Chicago Blackhawks have three, Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings two, while the Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Dallas Stars, Tampa Bay Lightning, Carolina Hurricanes, Anaheim Ducks and Boston Bruins have one.
Only eight teams haven't made the Cup final since 1991; The Toronto Maple Leafs (1967 last appearance) St.Louis Blues (1970) and New York Islanders (1984), while the Minnesota Wild, Columbus Blue Jackets, Nashville Predators, Winnipeg Jets and Arizona Coyotes have yet to appear in a final.
The NHL's 2016/2017 season unofficially begins on Wednesday when the first of two buyout windows opens up.
June 09 2016 03:05PM
The Oilers haven't uncovered many impact players outside the first round over the past decade, and Director of Player Personnel, and the man with the final say on draft day, Bob Green, is planning on changing it.
The Oilers have uncovered a few solid players outside the first round in the last six drafts, and it is still too early to tell how many more might pan out. Brandon Davidson (sixth round in 2010) and Tobias Reider (fourth round in 2011) have emerged as solid players. Jujhar Khaira (third round 2012) and Erik Gustaffson (fifth round 2012) and Anton Slepyshev (third round 2013) have already played 15, 41 and 11 NHL games respectively. They have some potential.
The fact Reider and Gustaffson are playing for other NHL teams is not the fault of the amateur scouts. Their job is to make the right picks, after that it is up to management and coaching to develop them.
June 06 2016 05:30PM
Only 19 days until the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. Seeing the Oilers pick in the top four is nothing new, but the expectation of them to make a significant trade is heightened compared to previous years. The Oilers simply didn't have the depth at forward to consider trading one of their scorers, but the arrival of Connor McDavid, and emergence of Leon Draisaitl, allows GM Peter Chiarelli to move a skilled forward in the hopes of landing a right-shot defenceman.
I'll admit the anticipation of a move has me more intrigued by the Oilers than I have been in a decade.