5 things: Early Calder Candidates

Ryan Lambert
October 31 2015 08:00AM

We're now 10 or 11 games into the season for just about everyone in the league, and already some of the wheat in the "Calder Consideration" pool is starting to separate from the chaff.

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5 Things: Is the Pacific Worse Than We Thought?

Ryan Lambert
October 24 2015 08:40AM

The Pacific Division looks absolutely awful two and a half weeks into the season. Is this just a small sample size thing, or are these teams actually this bad? 

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5 things: Don't panic

Ryan Lambert
October 17 2015 08:00AM


It is too early to freak out, Oilers fans.

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5 things: Living without you

Ryan Lambert
September 30 2015 01:39PM

There are probably not too many headlines worse than "Jordan Eberle out four to six weeks" as far as the Oilers are concerned, but you'd have to think those would involve longer lengths of time, or the names "Taylor Hall" and "Connor McDavid." Beyond that, disasters don't get much bigger.

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Top-10 UFA Countdown: #4 - Antoine Vermette

Ryan Lambert
June 22 2015 08:00AM

Photo Credit: Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports

The outcome of the Stanley Cup Final will, in many ways, vindicate Stan Bowman's decisions at the trade deadline this year. He spent big to get Antoine Vermette and Kimmo Timonen (a combined cost of two second-round picks, a first, and a decent prospect) and hadn't, for most of the playoffs, gotten much out of them.

There wasn't much of a surprise there with Timonen, because the guy is like 112 years old and coming off a very serious health concern that almost ended his career. But the performance of Vermette, which has only began to sort itself out late in the run, long seemed a point of concern to say the least.

We're obviously working with a very limited data set here (just 39 games from the regular season through the end of the playoffs) but 4-6-10 in all situations and a sub-50 percent possession number on a team as good as Chicago is deeply problematic. Which goes a long way toward explaining his getting just 13:35 per game from Joel Quenneville; he hasn't averaged that few since he was a sophomore in the league, back in 2005-06.

At best, Bowman was "vindicated" with a Cup win (in much the same way the Tomas Kaberle trade once didn't-matter after the Bruins won the Cup), but at worst, the Vermette and Timonen trades could look like terrible decisions. 

And though he came on late, the fact that scoring two goals in six games was a coup probably throws Vermette's price in the UFA market into serious doubt, if nothing else.

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