With training camp fast approaching, the excitement is starting to flood through the Nation. The schedule is out, rosters are being debated, rookie camp is set to go, and there’s finally news to talk about after a long summer drought. As such, all this NHL activity has got me to thinking. Today, I take a look at the new spin-o-rama ban, Leon Draisaitl, and Marty Brodeur. As always, your disagreements are encouraged.
BAN THE SPIN
Spin-o-rama ruling: Linus Omark’s chances of a return to the NHL just went from slim to none.
— Robin Brownlee (@Robin_Brownlee) September 11, 2014
Today, the NHL announced that the Spin-O-Rama will be banned from the shootout going forward. The idea of banning a move from the NHL’s version of a talent competition makes absolutely no sense to me. The goal of the shootout is to score goals, so why is the NHL taking one of the weapons away from the shooters? You’d have to think the goalie faction will be happy with this rule change, and I bet they’re the only ones. Hell, I didn’t even like the spin move but I still think it should be allowed IN A FUNKIN SHOOTOUT!
Regardless of what you think of the shootout, it’s part of the game and it just got a little less interesting today. The whole point of the shootout is to outsmart the goalie and score goals, so why would they take away a successful option that works? Frankly, I don’t care if the goalies hate it. Your job is to stop the puck. What’s next? A ban on shots off the ice? If the shootout is going to stay in the league, I think players should be allowed to do pretty much anything to score.
If the league doesn’t want trick shots in the shootout, maybe they shouldn’t have the shootout as a deciding factor for games in the first place? Maybe it’s just me.
Draisaitl weighs 215… will shed some in camp. Plan was to play at 212… about 5 pounds heavier than last year. Smart. #Oilers
— Jason Gregor (@JasonGregor) September 11, 2014
With the Oilers depth at centre looking as thin as ever, I would be shocked if Leon Draisaitl doesn’t make the team out of camp. Personally, I would have liked to see the Oilers with enough veterans so that Draisaitl could spend the year in junior, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. What we will have is another year of high expectations for a young player that we’re not even sure is ready to handle the load.
Fortunately, this is the first year that Oilers fans get to watch a young player that’s already built like a man. At 215lbs, Draisaitl will already be one of the biggest forwards the Oilers have got. I think back to Lil Nugey’s first season, and how he looked (still does) so small compared to everyone else. However, in Nuge’s case, he was able to outthink his opponents – can Leon do the same? Luckily for Draisaitl, he should be able to handle the physicality of the NHLer better than a 33 pound RNH did, but we’ll need to see if he can think and process the game quickly enough to be successful at this level.
He has all the physical tools, but what’s happening upstairs? Like it or not, we’re about to find out if he’s ready. I’m betting on Man Boy to have a wonderful rookie season.
HANG EM UP, MARTY
One thing that we’re starting to see a lot more of, with the season approaching, is lists of UFAs that are still waiting for NHL contracts. Marty Brodeur is obviously one of those names still waiting for a place to play. Personally, I think that Brodeur should hang up the skates and retire.
I don’t think there’s anyone that would dispute Martin Brodeur’s career. The guy will go down as one of the greatest goaltenders to ever play the game, and that’s how I’d like to see him remembered. I understand why he would want to keep playing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he should. Over the past few years, Brodeur’s save% has been in decline since he played in 77 games back in the 2009-10. Last year, Brodeur finished the season with a .901 save% which is definitely on the lower side of average for an NHL starter. Can he duplicate those same results this year? Sure. But would that help a team, and is it worth sitting around until mid-November like Ilya Bryzgalov did last season?
It’s also worth noting that Brodeur’s agent is saying that he wants to play for a contender. Is that a realistic expectation at this point given his rising age and declining numbers? Chances are, IF he does get a call to play it’ll be similar to what happened to Tim Thomas, last year, when he signed with Florida. Thomas signed on with a young Panthers team that really had no hope for a playoff appearance, and I’d expect the same for Brodeur if he ends up waiting around. Is that how he wants to go out after playing for 1 team throughout his entire career? I’m not so sure.