NHL Expansion Draft Preview-Western Conference.

The NHL offseason is officially underway!  Yesterday we had a blockbuster trade that flew under the radar as most people were bitching about some shirt Draymond Green was wearing.  Really, who gives a fuck?  Let’s take quick look at the deal the Montreal Canadiens and Tampa Bay Lighting made yesterday quickly before my Western Conference Mock Expansion Draft.

The Montreal Canadiens Acquired LW Jonathan Drouin and a conditional 2018 6th round pick from the Tampa Bay Lightning.  In return, the Lightning acquiried Mikhail Sergachev and a conditional 2018 2nd round.  Low key blockbuster!  Tampa had been having Drouin troubles for about 3 years now, and they finally dealt him after years of speculation.  The questions remains — why the fuck are the Lightning trading Drouin within the division?!

Drouin is a 22 year old left wing that was originally drafted 3rd overall in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.  The kid is a sniper, and 2016-17 was his breakout season.  He registered 21 goals, 32 assists, and 53 points on the year.  He will likely slot into Les Canadiens top 2 lines as a goal scorer.  Shortly after the deal went through it was announced that Drouin signed a 6 year $33 million contract extension.

Sergachev is an 18 year old Defenseman drafted 9th overall by Montreal in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft and was arguably the Habs’ top prospect.  He spent all of 2016-17 refining his game in the Ontario Hockey League (Major Juniors).  Sergachev dressed in 50 games for the Windsor Spitfires registering 10 goals, 33 assists, and 43  points last season.  Look for him to make the jump to the NHL or AHL this season.   The conditional 2nd round pick hinges on Mikhail’s games played; if he plays 4 ,the picks are exchanged. If not, both teams retain their original picks.

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^ Get a load of these two smug pricks.

With that out of the way, lets kick start my Western Conference Mock Expansion Draft!  I was already proven wrong by the Pittsburgh Penguins shortly after the cup final.  Goaltender Marc-Andre Fluery waived his no-trade clause, and he will be exposed instead of my predicted goalie Matt Murray.


Oh well…


Central Divison:

Image result for Chicago Blackhawks logoForwards they will expose: C Marcus Krueger, RW Jordin Tootoo, C Andrew Desjardins, C Michael Latta, RW Thomas Jurco, LW Pierre-Cedric Labrie, C Dennis Rasmussen

Defenseman they will expose:  Michael Rosival, Trevor Van Riemsdyk, Viktor Svedberg

Goalies they will expose: Jeff Glass

Vegas Selects: D Trevor Van Riemsdyk

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Surprise! Vegas takes another Dman.  The younger, shittier brother of Toronto Maple Leafs star James Van Riemsdyk will likely be taken from the Hawks.  He has experience playing in big time games with big time players.  He’ll likely bottom out as a solid bottom pairing defenseman. He’s only 25, so Vegas will give him a shot.  He’s coming off a 5 goal, 11 assist, and 16 point season in  2017.  He also finished with a career best +17 +/-.


Image result for colorado avalanche logoForwards they will expose: C Carl Soderberg, LW Blake Comeau, C Mikhail Grigorenko, C Joe Colborne, C Rocco Grimaldi, LW Matt Nieto, C John Mitchell

Defenseman they will expose: Mat Clark, Patrick Wiercoch, Mark Barberio

Goalies they will expose: Jeremy Smith

Vegas Selects: C Mikhail Grigorenko

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Some solid options from an abysmal organization.  Colorado will likely be one of the more active teams this off season.  After being one of the worst teams in the last 20 years, they got absolutely screwed out of the #1 overall draft pick.  Avalanche GM Joe Sakic will likely protect a large group of players merely to save them for trades that acquire future assets (Duchene, Landeskog, etc).  Vegas will scoop up 23 year old Grigorenko, a former 1st round pick of the Buffalo Sabres.  He’s never been able to really get it together in the NHL —  however this year he recorded his best numbers yet.  He finished 2017 with 10 goals, 13 assists, and 23 points.  Grigorenko is listed as a center, but can play wing as well.

Image result for dallas starsForwards they will Expose: C Cody Eakin, LW Curtis McKenzie,  RW Adam Cracknell, RW Brett Ritchie, LW Antoine Roussel, C Justin Dowling, Gemel Smith, C Radek Faksa

Defenseman they will expose: Dan Hamhuis, Greg Pateryn, Andrew Bondnarchuk

Goalies they will expose: Kari Lehtonen

Vegas Selects: LW Antoine Roussel

Image result for Antoine Roussel 2017

Solid pick right here for the Knights.  There is a fear in Dallas that they will have to expose Roussel for the Draft.  Consensus in the media says that Cody Eakin will be taken from the Stars.  I’ve already taken a shit load of centers, so lets go with Roussel.  Roussel is the text book definition of  “Depth/Secondary Scoring”.  He’s also extremely consistent — in his four full NHL seasons he’s finished with 29, 25, 29, and 27 points respectively.  He also brings an edge to his game.  Seen as an agitator, Antoine has amassed over 100 penalty minutes in all four of his NHL seasons.

Image result for minnesota wild logoForwards they will expose: C Eric Staal, LW Jason Zucker, C Cody Brassart, C Ryan White, RW Chris Stewart, RW Kurtis Gabriel, C Erik Haula

Defenseman they will expose: Nate Prosser, Marco Scandella, Christian Folin

Goalies they will expose: Alex Stalock

Vegas Selects: LW Jason Zucker

Image result for Jason Zucker 2017

Zucker is the pick from most of the talking heads out there.  Zucker is coming off his best season – he posted a 47 point season on 22 goals, and 25 assists.  I wouldn’t expect 30+ points consistently since he’s more of a depth scorer.  Would be a solid add for Vegas, as he is only 25.

Image result for Nashville predators new  logoForwards they will expose: LW Cody McLeod, C Trevor Smith,  C Cody Bass, C Mike Ribeiro, C Craig Smith, LW James Neal, C Vernon Fiddler

Defenseman they will expose: Yannick Weber, Matt Irwin, Anthony Jaynen

Goalies they will expose: Marek Mazanec

Vegas Selects: LW James Neal


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Nashville could go either way when it comes to exposing/protecting forwards.  They don’t have many players that would be exempt.  I went with James Neal solely because the chatter seems to be that he would be exposed.  If I’m Vegas, I’m grabbing a guy coming off a deep cup run.  His numbers are starting to dip as he gets older  but he can still bring solid production.

Image result for St Louis Blues logoForwards they will expose:  LW David Perron, RW Ryan Reaves, C Kyle Brodziak, RW Dmitrij Jaskin, C Landon Ferraro, RW Nail Yakupov

Defenseman they will expose: Robert Bortuzzo, Chris Butler, Petteri Lindbhom

Goalies they will expose: Carter Hutton

Vegas Selects: RW Nail Yakupov

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The biggest bust in recent NHL history comes off the board from St. Louis.  Not much more to say.  He was selected #1 overall by Edmonton in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and he went into a horrendous situation with the Oilers.  He came out firing in the lockout shortened 2013 campaign.  He posted 17 goals, 14 assists, and 31 points in the 48 game regular season — not too shabby.  Since that time though, he’s been a disaster.  Multiple coaching changes and mismanagement has done him in.  This past offseason, he was traded to the St. Louis Blues for a career ECHLer (That’s AA hockey, not even AAA).  He amassed only 9 points on 3 goals, and 6 assists in 40 games played with St. Louis.  The physical tools are all there.  He’s got incredible end to end speed, lightning quick release, and is not afraid of body contact.  Vegas will take Nail in what will likely be his last shot before he bolts for CSKA Moscow of the KHL.

Image result for winnipeg jets logoForwards they will expose: RW Joel Armia, LW Adam Lowry, C Marko Dano, RW Chris Throburn, C Mathieu Perreault, RW JC Lipon, RW Anthony Peluso

Defenseman they will expose: Mark Stuart, Julian Melchiori, Paul Postma

Goalies they will expose: Ondrej Pavelec

Vegas Selects: C Marko Dano

Seems to be the consensus that Dano will be scooped up by Vegas.  I’ll go with him since it seemed to be the unanimous pick with the beat writers.  I could see Mathieu Perrault being picked as well.  Dano is only 22 years old, and lacks experience at the NHL level. He was a former 1st round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks.  He only played in 38 contests this year, posting 11 points on 4 goals and 7 assists.

Image result for Anaheim Ducks new logoForwards they will expose:  C Chris Wagner, RW Jared Boll, C Antoine Vermette, RE Logan Shaw, RW Corey Tropp, LW Emerson Etem, LW Andrew Cogliano

Defenseman the will expose: Clayton Stoner, Sami Vatanen, Jeff Shultz

Goalies they will expose: Dustin Tokarski

Vegas Selects: Sami Vatanen

Image result for Sami Vatanen 2017

Tough decisions coming out of Anaheim.  So many defensemen and not enough protection spots.  They will have to leave Vatanen exposed as he is older than Hamphus Lindholm and Cam Fowler.  Both have more upside at this stage of their careers.  Sami is an offensive defenseman, who lacks size.  He can still play top four minutes and quarterback the power play.

Image result for arizona coyotes new logoForwards they will expose: LW Jamie McGinn, RW Brad Richardson, LW Jordan Martinook, C Alex Burmistrov, C Peter Holland, C Chris Mueller, C Tyler Gaudet

Defenseman they will expose:  Luke Schenn, Kevin Connauton, Jamie McBain

Goalies they will expose: Louis Domingue

Vegas Selects: Jamie McGinn

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Beat writers have Vegas selecting Luke Schenn from Arizona.  Luke Schenn sucks.  Like a lot.  McGinn presents a solid bottom six forward who can kill penalties and pot a few goals here and there.  He’s on a shitty contract but Vegas can afford to take on his money.

Image result for Calgary Flames logoForwards they will expose:  RW Michael Frolik, C Matt Stajan, RW Troy Brouwer, LW Brandon Bollig, C Curtis Lazar, RW Alex Chiasson, Linden Vey

Defenseman they will expose: Matt Bartkowski, Deryk Engelland, Brett Kulak

Goalies they will expose: Tom McCollum

Vegas Selects: C Curtis Lazar

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Another 1st round bust gets snapped up by the Golden Knights.  Picked 17th overall by the Ottawa Senators in 2013, he’s never produced at all at the NHL level.  He was traded to Calgary at the 2017 NHL trade deadline.  Provides Vegas with a forward prospect who may catch fire, but it’s unlikely.  He is a better option than most of the Flames exposed forwards – otherwise, he sucks.

Image result for Edmonton Oilers logoForwards they will expose: LW Benoit Pouliot, C Mark Letestu, RW Justin Fontaine,  RW Tyler Pitlick,  RW Jujhar Kjaira, RW Jordan Eberle, LW Zachary Pochiro

Defenseman they will expose: Eric Gryba, Mark Fayne, Griffin Reinhart

Goalies they will expose:  Laurent Brossoit

Vegas Selects: D Griffin Reinhart

Image result for Griffin reinhart oilers

Another major bust coming into Vegas!  Picked 4th overall in 2012 by the New York Islanders, Griffin hasn’t been able to make the leap. Nothing else of real value available from the Oilers– might as well load up on D prospects.  A chance to play for the Knights is exactly what Reinhart may need.  He spent all of 2017 playing for the Bakersfield Condors, the Oilers AHL affiliate.   His only real regular playing time in the NHL was in 2015-16 when he skated in 29 games for the Oilers.  He only notched 1 assist, and had a -6 +/- rating.

Image result for Los Angeles Kings logoForwards they will expose:  RW Dustin Brown, RW Marian Gaborik, C Kyle Clifford, C Jordan Nolan. RW Teddy Purcell,  LW Andy Andreoff, C Nick Shore

Defenseman they will expose: Derek Forbort, Zach Trotman, Vincent Loverde

Goalies they will expose:  Jeff Zatkoff

Vegas Selects: C Nick Shore

Image result for Nick shore 2017

Depth forward for the bottom two lines — can play center and wing at a decent level. He is not going to score a lot goals, or set them up for that matter.  He is good in the faceoff circle, kills penalties, and is strong defensively.  Nothing sexy about this pick. The other  options Gaborik and Brown are all on enormous contracts not worth taking on.

Image result for san jose sharks logoForwards they will expose: LW Mikkel Boedker, C Melker Karlsson, RW Joel Ward, C Ryan Carpenter, C Chris Tierney, C Michael Haley, RW Buddy Robinson

Defenseman they will expose: Paul Martin, David Schlemko, Dylan DeMelo

Goalies they will expose: Aaron Dell

Vegas Selects: LW Mikkel Boedker


Image result for Mikkel Boedker sharks

Coming off a career worst year, it is very likely the Sharks would be willing to expose Boedker.  He was signed as an Unrestricted Free Agent last summer by the Sharks.  He was slated to play alongside the likes of Jumbo Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, and Logan Couture.  He is all over the map production wise but can generally top out around 50 points.  However, this year he only notched 26 in 81 games played.  Could be an easy target for the Golden Knights.

Image result for Vancouver Canucks logoForwards they will expose: C Markus Granlund, Reid Boucher, RW Derek Dorsett, C Jayson Megna, RW Jack Skille, C Brendan Gaunce, C Joseph Cramarossa

Defenseman they will expose: Luca Sbisa, Akex Biega, Erik Gudbranson

Goalies they will expose: Richard Bachman

Vegas Selects: D Luca Sbisa

Another defenseman rounds out the picks from Vegas.  It is absolutely vital that they load up on defense talent in the Expansion Draft and Entry Draft.  When it comes down to playing in the playoffs, solid D corps are crucial.  Sbisa is not a top 4 defenseman by any means, but he is a solid bottom pairing D man with experience.



There you have it.  My Western Conference mock Expansion Draft.  Keep in mind this shit may be way off.  There are so many variables at play here.  I got a lot of help from the beat writers mock  draft on the Washington Post, and a little hockey nerd site called capfriendly.com.  You can fuck around with exposing/protecting players yourself here:


Here’s my final list I’m not going to do line combos because it’s fucking late, and I’m still sitting in the office like a hardo.

Forwards: Tyler Ennis, Darren Helm, Tomas Plekanec, Bobby Ryan, Seth Griffith, Brock McGinn, Mike Cammelleri, Michael Grabner, Mikhail Grigorenko, Antoine Roussel, Jason Zucker, James Neal, Nail Yakupov, Marko Dano, Jamie McGinn, Curtis Lazar, Nick Shore, Mikkel Boedker.

Defenseman: Joe Morrow, Mark Pysyk, Braydon Coburn, Ryan Pulock, Derrick Pouliot, Luca Sbisa, Griffin Reinhart, Sami Vatanen, Trevor van Riemsdyk

Goalies: Phillip Grubauer, Michal Nuevirth, Joonas Korpisalo


Thus ends the second half of my two part mock expansion draft.  Hopefully 50% of it will actually true, but that is unlikely.  Stay tuned next week for a recap of the NHL awards, and expansion draft– both take place on the 21st in Las Vegas.


Stanley Cup Final Game 6 Recap

Well, there it is.  The Pittsburgh Penguins are the 2017 Stanley Cup Champions. They are the first team to win back-to-back cups since the late 90’s Red Wings. The Predators fought hard to force a game 7 back in Pittsburgh, but the playoff seasoned Penguins were just too much to handle.

For 58 minutes, Matt Murray and Pekka Rinne put on a goaltending clinic.  The action was end to end, with chances coming in abundance.  Matt Murray made 27 saves, had some assistance from his posts and officials.

Just under 2 minutes into the second period, Predators winger Colton Sissons banged home a lose puck into the yawning net.  It was a rebound that trickled through Murray’s five hole.  Unfortunately, the officials blew the whistle before the puck went into the net since it looked as if the puck was covered up.  Once the play is dead — it’s dead.  Does not matter that the puck went in, or was loose.  It sucks, but it is what it is.

The Predators continued to push hard to a go-ahead goal, but Murray was fantastic.  At the other end of the ice, Pekka Rinne was matching Murray save for save.  Despite being awarded 4 power play chances and one 5 on 3 advantage, the Predators could not beat Murray.  Before long there were only 5 minutes remaining in the 3rd period — surely this was going to go to sudden death overtime.

With just 93 seconds remaining, Penguins winger Patric Hornqvist corralled a loose puck in the right wing corner after a wacky bounce off the end boards.  Out of position from the bounce, Hornqvist banked the puck off of Pekka Rinne into the back of the net.  That was it.  Carl Hagelin added an empty netter with just 10 seconds left to play.  Pure joy and elation for the Pens, and heartbreaking defeat for the Preds.

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Overall, the series was a bit of a let down.  Not taking anything away from the Predators, but they just did not match up well with Penguins.  Their forward group just did not pack enough of a punch.  They stood a fighting chance if Rinne stood on his head, and if he hadn’t shit himself in games 1,3, and 5 this probably goes 7 games.

Sidney Crosby was the 2017 Conn Smythe (Playoff MVP) winner.  In an all time hose job, he wins the award in back to back years.  Neither season he deserved it.  2015-16 should’ve been Phil Kessel, this year it should have been Jake Guentzel or Evgeni Malkin.

My pick has to be Guentzel —  he played in only 40 regular season games and finished with 33 pts on 16 goals and 17 assists.  In the 25 game playoffs, he managed to grab 21 pts on 13 goals and 8 assists.  Most of the goals came in clutch moments as well.  Feel bad for Guentzel but since the Penguins won the finals, Sid gets MVP.  Absolute joke.

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On to the 2017 off season we go!  From now until July 6th, the NHL is going to be loaded with offseason events. On June 21st, we will have the NHL Awards Ceremony (who cares?) and the expansion draft.  Move two days later to 6/23, and we will have the 2017 NHL Entry Draft from Chicago’s United Center.  Rounding off the events is the beginning of Unrestricted Free Agency on July 1st.

Now that 2017’s over, LET’S GO BRUINS!!


A Preview of the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills

For the first time in its one hundred and twenty-two year history, the U.S. Open will be played in the state of Wisconsin at Erin Hills. Established in 2006, Erin Hills is a relatively young course that we do not know a lot about. What we do know is this course was literally built to host the US Open, and with its width and length, who knows what is we have in store come Thursday. World No. 1 Dustin Johnson is looking to defend his title, a feat that has not been accomplished at the U.S. Open since Curtis Strange did it in 1989.

There are plenty of story-lines circulating the airwaves- will Jason Day keep up his impressive play as of late? Can Rickie pick up his first major victory? Does Spieth get back on track? Will DJ fall down another flight of stairs? Who knows. What we do know is the field is looking pretty wide open and this championship could belong to anyone.

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Look at those dudes, they mean some serious biznass. We also have some young guns shooting up the ranks, looking to capture their first major victory. Look out for the likes of Smylie Kaufman, Jon Rahm, and Justin Thomas to sneak in there and make some noise.

We are already starting to get complaints from players about Erin Hill’s infamous fescue, and Kevin Na posted on social media to share his concerns. “Erin Hills is a great design course but the fescue is almost unplayable. BTW never found the ball. So don’t hit it in there lol. straight hitters have a chance!” Lol indeed, Mr. Na.

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One thing I have never really understood about golf is people complaining about how easy or difficult a course is. Everyone is playing the same course with, for the most part, the same conditions so sorry Kevin, but I don’t feel bad for you and your millions. Just don’t suck and you might make the cut. Jack Nicklaus once said, “When a player complained it just meant that was one less person I had to beat.”

Another story-line I know everyone is just DYING to hear more about is whether or not Lefty will make it for his Thursday afternoon tee time. If you didn’t know already, Phil Mickelson came out and said that he will be attending his daughters high school graduation where she is giving the Valedictorian speech, rather than play in the open. Phil, who states that it was one of the easier decisions he has had to make, has never won a U.S. Open, the only major remaining to fill his trophy case. There is a chance of Thunderstorms for Thursday, and reports are coming out that Phil would need a four hour delay in order to make his tee time. Lets just say, crazier things have happened.

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My Three Players to Watch

Dustin Johnson- Might be a little obvious (World No. 1, defending US Open winner) but I’d be remiss if I didn’t include DJ on here. Barring any injury, I expect DJ to be battling late on Sunday.

Louis Oosthuizen- Love me some farmer Louis. Any man that likes to farm more than golf and is a professional golfer must be one damn good farmer. No particular reason I’m taking Louis(Just kidding, its because he loves farming), dude just gets it done.

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Rickie Fowler- Is it finally time for Rickie? Most likely not, but who am I to judge.

Who do you like come Sunday? I’m excited to see how this course is going to play out and what the golfers are going to be able to do, especially if the end up in the thick stuff. Stay tuned for post-tournament recap.


Stanley Cup Final Game 5 Recap.

Disaster is the only way to describe Game 5 for the Predators.  After coming off a monstrous win on home ice to even the series at two games a piece, all momentum was ripped away less than a minute into Game 5 at PPG Paints Arena.  Pekka Rinne moves to 0-6 in with a 4.88 GAA for his career in Pittsburgh — not a great look.

The game opened up with Nashville’s Ryan Ellis taking a holding call against Sidney Crosby.  Under a minute later, Justin Shultz slipped a point shot through the five hole of Rinne.  A soft goal to open the game less than 2 minutes in — and that was it.  Pittsburgh kept up the pressure while scoring three first period goals.  Bryan Rust and Evegeni Malkin rounded out the score sheet.

Nashville’s Juuse Saros entered the net at the start of the second period hoping to stop the bleeding (spoiler: he didn’t).  Pittsburgh added three more goals from Conor Sheary, Phil Kessel, and Ron Hainsey.  Pittsburgh would cruise through the rest of the game to a an easy game 5 victory.

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On what has been a rollercoaster of a series, the Penguins are just one win away from claiming back to back Stanley Cup titles.  This would be the first time any team has gone back to back since the Red Wings in 1997 and 1998.

Watching this series has lead me to draw some comparisons to the 2011 finals between Boston and Vancouver.  The Canucks and Luongo were rock solid at home.  They won the first two games (only by 1 goal each) only to travel to Boston and get absolutely run out of the building .  Luongo was pulled twice in three games in Boston.  The home team won each game, until Nathan Horton poured a little TD Garden Ice onto Vancouver’s ice prior to the start of game 7.   The rest is history.

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Looks like the Predators may need some Bridgestone Arena ice should this series go 7 games.  Unfortunately though, it looks like the Penguins have snatched the life from the Predators.  Bridgestone Arena has been able to lift it’s team before, and it will take their best effort to keep this series alive.  Game 6 is Sunday at 8:00pm EST on NBC.

Game 6 Prediction: Preds 3- Pens 0

Series Prediction: I’m sticking by it — Predators win series 4-3.

2017 NHL Expansion Draft Preview – Eastern Conference Edition

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On June 21st, the NHL will be taking part in a historic event.  The Las Vegas Golden Knights will begin molding their roster by taking part in the expansion draft. Vegas must select at least one exposed played from all 30 NHL clubs.

For the 30 NHL franchises, there are rules that will needed to be followed when protecting and exposing players.  All of the rules are outlined on NHL.com, but here’s a few of the basics:

NHL Clubs Exposure Rules per NHL.com:

  1. All Clubs must expose 1 Defenseman who are A) Under contract in 2017-18 and  B) Played in 40 or more NHL games in the prior season, or played 70 or more NHL games total in the prior two seasons.

  2. All Clubs must expose 2 forwards who are A) Under contract in 2017-18 and  B) Played in 40 or more NHL games in the prior season, or played 70 or more NHL games total in the prior two seasons.

  3. One goaltender who is under contract in 2017-18 or will be a restricted free agent at the expiration of his current contract immediately prior to 2017-18. If the club elects to make a restricted free agent goaltender available in order to meet this requirement, that goaltender must have received his qualifying offer prior to the submission of the club’s protected list.

Las Vegas Selection rules per NHL.com

  1. The Las Vegas franchise must select one player from each presently existing club for a total of 30 players.

  2. The Las Vegas franchise must select the following number of players at each position: 14 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders.

  3. The Las Vegas franchise must select a minimum of 20 players who are under contract for the 2017-18 season

The 30 NHL clubs will released their protected and exposed lists by 6/17 — allowing for the fans to play armchair GM. Here is a little preview of who I think will be protected and exposed by all 30 NHL franchises.


Atlantic Division:

Image result for Boston Bruins logo Forwards they will expose: LW Matt Beleskey, RW Jimmy Hayes, C/RW Riley Nash, C/LW Tim Schaller, C Dominic Moore,  C Ryan Spooner

Defensemen they will expose: Joe Morrow, Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller

Goalies they will Expose: Anton Khudobin

Vegas Selects: D Joe Morrow

Image result for Joe Morrow 2017 playoffs

Vegas will take a flyer on the 24 year old 2011 1st round pick.  Seemingly shunned by both Claude Julien and new Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy, Morrow only dressed in 19 regular season games in 2016-17.  When 3 of Boston’s top 6 defenseman all went down, Morrow stepped into the lineup for 5 playoff games.  He finished with 1 assist, a +1 rating, and averaged 21.96 minutes of ice time. Morrow could be a great pick for Vegas.  He is young and can move the puck really well.  He has got great skating ability — but decision making and coverage can be a major weakness.

Image result for buffalo sabres logoForwards they will expose: LW Tyler Ennis, LW Nicolas Deslauriers, C Brian Gionta, LW Matt Moulson, C Johan Larsson, LW , C Cody McCormick, LW Marcus Foligno

Defensemen they will expose: Justin Faulk, Josh Gorges, Cody Franson

Goalies they will expose: Anders Nilsson

Vegas Selects: LW Tyler Ennis

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Slim pickings from the Buffalo Sabres — but Tyler Ennis has shown he can be a goal scorer at the NHL level.  He has shown that when on his game, he can put up 40-50 pts any given season.  However, the last two years he’s combined for just 24 points in only 74 games played.

Image result for detroit red wings logoForwards they will expose: C Riley Sheahan, C Luke Glendening, C Darren Helm, LW Tomas Nosek, C Ben Street, LW Drew Miller, RW Mitch Callahan

Defensemen they will expose: Brian Lashoff, Dylan McIlrath, Xavier Ouellet

Goalie they will expose: Jimmy Howard

Vegas Selects: C Darren Helm

Image result for Darren Helm 2017

Nothing much to see here — Helm is a solid veteran center who would be able to played on the 3rd or 4th line easily. He will be able to fill in with spot duty in Vegas’s top 6 should injuries occur.

Image result for florida panthers logoForwards they will expose: C Nik Bjugstad, C Derek MacKenzie, C Colton Sceviour, RW Jussi Jokinen, RW Paul Thompson, C Brody Sutter

Defensemen they will expose: Mark Pysyk, Jakub Kindl, Alex Petrovic

Goalies they will expose: Roberto Luongo

Vegas Selects: D Mark Pysyk

The consensus out there seems to be that Vegas will select either Petrovic or Pysyk.  I went with Pysyk simply due to upside.  Originally a first round pick of the Buffalo Sabres in the 2010 draft, Pysyk presents the ability to skate and move the puck.  Petrovic is a more prototypical stay at home defenseman.

Image result for montreal canadiens logoForwards they will expose: C Torrey Mitchell, C Paul Byron, LW Chris Terry, Brian Flynn, C Tomas Plekanec, RW Bobby Farnham, LW Stefan Matteau

Defensemen they will expose: Nikita Nesterov, Nathan Beaulieu, Alexei Emelin

Goalies they will expose: Al Montoya

Vegas selects: C Tomas Plekanec

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Vegas probably doesn’t want to select anyone from this wretched organization, but rules are rules.  Plekanec is well past his prime of being a top 1-2 center on his team.  He’d make for a solid 3rd line center on a young team.  Au revoir to the turtling turtleneck.

Image result for ottawa senatorsForwards they will expose: C Tom Pyatt, C Zack Smith, RW Alexandre Burrows, LW Clarke MacArthur, RW Mike Blunden, RW Tommy Wingels, C Casey Bailey, LW Bobby Ryan

Defensemen they will expose: Jyrki Jokipakka, Chris Wideman, Mark Borowiecki

Goalies they will Expose: Andrew Hammond

Vegas Selects: LW Bobby Ryan

Image result for Bobby Ryan 2017 playoffs

Seems to be the consensus out there that Ottawa would not protect Bobby Ryan — he’s been on the decline for quite some time and his contract is absolutely atrocious.  Ottawa may change Ryan’s status after his 15 pts in 19 playoff games this season.  Vegas will likely snap him up as a top 6 winger, and a way to get to the Salary Cap floor.

Image result for tampa bay lightningForwards they will Expose: LW Byron Froese, C Gabriel Dumont, LW Michael Bournival, LW Tye McGinn, C Cedric Paquette, RW Erik Condra.

Defensemen they will expose: Braydon Coburn, Jason Garrison, Andrej Sustr

Goalies they will expose: Kristers Gudlevskiks

Vegas Selects: D Braydon Coburn

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Coburn is a solid veteran defenseman with loads of experience playing big minutes.  The 6′ 5″, 225 lb Coburn can still log top 4 minutes but his best days are behind him.  Would be a solid addition to a likely young Vegas squad.

Image result for Toronto Maple LeafsForwards they will expose: C Brooks Laich, C Eric Fehr, RW Colin Greening, RW Seth Griffith,  RW Ben Smith, LW Milan Michalek, LW Josh Leivo

Defensemen they will expose:  Connor Carrick, Matt Hunwick, Roman Polak

Goalies they will expose: Garret Sparks

Vegas Selects:  Seth Griffith

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Ahhhh Seth Griffith.  Once a highly touted prospect in the Bruins organization, he’s just never been able to figure it out at the NHL level.  Playing for three organizations in 2016-17 didn’t help that.  Vegas will take a shot on the AHL goal scorer.

Metropolitan Division:

Image resultForwards they will expose: RW Lee Stempniak, LW Phillip Di Giuseppe, LW Brock McGinn, C Andrej Nestrasil, C Jay McClement, C Connor Brickley


Defensemen they will Expose: Klas Dahlbeck, Dennis Robertson, Matt Tennyson

Goalies they will expose: Cam Ward

Vegas Selects: C Brock McGinn


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Seems that McGinn has been the unanimous pick at various media outlets.  Can’t say I disagree — he presents some nice upside at a young age.  McGinn is a two way forward who is just 23 years old.


Image result for columbus blue jackets logoForwards they will expose: C Sam Gagner, C Zac Dalpe, C T.J. Tynan, LW Brett Gallant, C Lukas Sedlak, C Alex Broadhurst, RW Josh Anderson

Defensemen they will expose: Jack Johnson, Kyle Quincey, Jamie Sifers

Goalies they will expose: Joonas Korpisalo

Vegas Selects: G Joonas Korpisalo


Columbus will have a tough time when they have to release their lists. They have quite a few aging veterans with No-Movement Clauses or full No-Trade Clauses, which would leave them exempt from being exposed.

Consensus out there seems to be Korpisalo would be the pick by Vegas.  He’s a solid backup who can make up to 30 or so appearances.  He finished 2017 with 14 appearances, 2.88 GAA, and a .915 save %.  The young Finnish goalie would make a great backup and he’s only 23.  Eventually he could develop into a full time starter.

Image result for new jersey devils logoForwards they will expose:  RW Devante Smith-Pelly, C Luke Gazdic, C Jacob Josefson, Stefan Noesen, LW Mike Cammalleri, RW Shane Harper, C Carter Camper

Defensemen they will expose: Dalton Prout, Ben Lovejoy, John Merril

Goalies they will Expose: Keith Kinkaid

Vegas Selects: LW Mike Cammalleri

Image result for Mike cammalleri 2017

Nothing but trash to pick from the team that holds the #1 overall pick in this June’s NHL Entry Draft.  Couldn’t hurt Vegas to pry Cammalleri if he is exposed.  Once a gifted scorer, his goal totals declined as his age rose.  The Devils will look to expose him to relieve themselves of the $5 million dollar cap hit.  If not, look for the Devils to try and get a return for Cammalleri by trading him.

Image result for new york islanders logoForwards they will expose: LW Nikolai Kulemin, LW Jason Chimera, LW Shane Prince,  C Alan Quine, C Stephen Gionta, RW Cal Clutterbuck, C Bracken Kearns

Defensemen they will Expose: Dennis Seidenberg, Calvin De Haan, Ryan Pulock

Goalies they will Expose: Jaroslav Halak

Vegas Selects: D Ryan Pulock

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Pulock would be the pick of the draft for the Knights.  If he’s available, they will take him no questions asked.  The Isles are in a bit of a bind as they have to pick between Calvin De Haan, a good young defenseman, or Ryan Pulock, who is also a very talented young defenseman.  De Haan is more of a finished product, which is why I can see the Isles leaving Pulock exposed.  Should Vegas pick him up —  he has the potential to play top pairing minutes.

Image result for New York Rangers logoForwards they will expose: LW Matt Puempel, C Brandon Pirri, LW Taylor Beck, RW Michael Grabner, C Daniel Catenacci, C Chris Brown, LW Matt Hrivik.

Defensemen they will expose: Kevin Klein, Steven Kampfer, Nick Holden

Goalies they will expose:  Mackenzie Skapski

Vegas Selects: RW Michael Grabner

Image result for michael grabner rangers

Coming off a career year in 2016-17, Grabner would be a solid pickup for the Vegas squad.   Grabner netted 27 goals and 13 assists this season but don’t count on this type of production consistently. He is however, one of the fastest end to end skaters in the NHL.  He is a great Penalty Killer and a solid depth scorer.  Off season surgery to the Rangers’ Jesper Fast could mean Grabner is exposed.

Image result for pittsburgh penguins new logoForwards they will expose: LW Carl Hagelin, LW Scott Wilson, RW Josh Archibald, C Kevin Porter, RW Tom Kuhnhackl, LW Garret Wilson, RW Brian Rust

Defensemen they will expose: Derrick Pouliot, Tim Erixon, Cameron Gaunce

Goalies they will expose: Matt Murray

Vegas Selects: D Derrick Pouliot

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The thought of snagging Matt Murray is quite tempting, but having a plethora of young mobile defensemen is far superior to goaltending.  Pouliot is a young offensive minded defenseman who will be great anchoring the Knight’s power play.

Image result for philadelphia flyers logoForwards they will expose: RW Matt Read, C Greg Carey, RW Dale Weise, LW Pierre Edouard-Bellemare, LW Michael Raffl, LW Colin McDonald, C Scott Laughton

Defensemen they will expose: Nick Schultz, Will O’Neill, T.J. Brennan

Goalies they expose: Michal Nuevirth

Vegas Selects: G Michal Nuevirth

Image result for michal neuvirth flyers

Vegas gets its starting goalie from the Flyers.  Mostly splitting time with Steve Mason Nuevirth has shown the ability to be a mid-level starter in the NHL.  Everything else Philly can offer leaves this one as a no-brainer.


Image result for washington capitals logoForwards they will expose: C Zach Sill, RW Garret Mitchell, RW Brett Connelly, LW Thomas Christian, LW Chris Bourque, C Daniel Winnik, C Liam O’Brien

Defensemen they will expose: Brooks Orpik, Taylor Chorney, Tom Gilbert

Goalies they will expose: Phillip Grubauer

Vegas Selects: G Phillip Grubauer

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Grubauer rounds out the goalies for Vegas – solid backup but that’s about it.  Could either be a backup in Vegas or a starter down on the farm.


That wraps it up for the Eastern Conference — stay tuned for my western conference mock next week!

Stanley Cup Final Game 4 Recap

The Nashville Predators took game 4 of the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals, evening the series at two games a piece on home ice in the Music City.  On what will go down as one of the biggest home ice advantages in recent memory, the Predators have completely changed the tune of the series.  After losing games 1 and 2 on the road, the Preds have stormed back, winning games 3 and 4 by a combined score of 9-2. Bridgestone Arena has been absolutely rocking, and it seems as though this momentum will carry with them on the road in Pitt.

Continue reading Stanley Cup Final Game 4 Recap

The Case for 19-0

Fresh off a historic comeback in Super Bowl LI, the New England Patriots are storming into the 2017-2018 season with key acquisitions on both sides of the ball. Though raising some eyebrows with all these seemingly “win-now” pick-ups, the Patriots know their window with Tom Brady at the helm are dwindling down.

Let’s take a look at the key games on the schedule:

Continue reading The Case for 19-0