Ryan Lambert

  • What's going on with Mark Giordano's extension? (Trending Topics)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 3 hrs ago

    It's been a relatively quiet offseason for the Calgary Flames, for whom all the shopping was done even before the free agency period began on July 1.

    There was the housekeeping associated with re-signing a few restricted free agents (on contracts that ranged from solid to irresponsible). And they obviously traded for Dougie Hamilton, then extended him for a long time at a good price, giving themselves perhaps the deepest blue line in the league for the 2015-16 season. Apart from grabbing Michael Frolik to shore up a not-great forward group on Free Agent Frenzy Day, general manager Brad Treliving has had plenty of time to just hang out this summer.

    When you improve a team that much in such a short period of time, maybe you deserve the days off.

    At this point, there just might not be a particularly good decision to be made here. But one has to come eventually.

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  • What We Learned: What Jake Voracek tells us about usage and player value

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 1 day ago

    Late last week, Jakub Voracek signed a hefty contract extension with the Philadelphia Flyers that made him a player with the 10th-highest cap hit in the league (tied with Eric Staal and Ryan Getzlaf).

    The initial reaction most people had to that deal probably ranged somewhere between, “Well, Jake Voracek isn't a top-10 player in the league, so that's a dumb contract,” and, “He doesn't deserve as much money as Ryan Getzlaf,” and “He's only getting paid because of Claude Giroux.”

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    In short, Voracek is very, very good, and the perception that he's a product of playing with Giroux, while understandable, isn't all that fair to him. He and Giroux form a lethal partnership, to be sure, but it isn't because Giroux carries the water .

  • On trading declining superstars (Trending Topics)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 3 days ago

    Shea Weber is a four-time NHL All-Star who has finished top-eight in the Norris voting six times in his 10-year career. He is very, very good.

    But the question of how much longer that will be the case has some in Nashville wondering whether he's in decline, and has others elsewhere, including our own Josh Cooper, advocating for a trade. Weber has been the face of the Predators for so long at this point that such a scenario seems impossible. Seeing Weber on another team would feel somehow wrong, given that he's been with the Predators since there was a salary cap.

    Ryan Lambert is a Puck Daddy columnist. His email is here and his Twitter is here .

    (All stats via War On Ice unless otherwise noted.)

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  • Puck Daddy Power Rankings: NHL on NBC; arbitration system; the Maple Lous

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 6 days ago

    [Author's note: Power rankings are usually three things: Bad, wrong, and boring. You typically know just as well as the authors which teams won what games against who and what it all means, so our moving the Red Wings up four spots or whatever really doesn't tell you anything you didn't know. Who's hot, who's not, who cares? For this reason, we're doing a power ranking of things that are usually not teams. You'll see what I mean.]

    6. The TV schedule

    People love to complain about the U.S. national TV schedule every year, and the reason is that it is usually bad.

    Like, look, you want to put the teams on TV that are going to draw the biggest audiences, and teams with the biggest fanbases tend to be in population centers in the Northeastern U.S. There are exceptions to the rule — Chicago and Detroit, for example — but that's why every NBCSN game feels like it's contractually obligated to feature one of the Rangers, Flyers, Penguins, or Bruins.

    That perception isn't far off from reality.

    5. The current arbitration system

  • What to make of Adam Larsson's contract? (Trending Topics)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 7 days ago

    Adam Larsson got paid decent, but not great, money over the weekend, and plenty of term. The reasoning behind it, though, is a little hazy.

    Obviously, you don't want to part ways with a former No. 4 pick who is now just 22 years old, but if you had a redraft of the 2011 Entry Draft, Larsson might not be in your top 10. He's certainly not fourth overall. And this extension kicks in at a time when his career seems to be at its lowest point in a lot of ways.

    He got what he got — $4.167 million AAV over six years — because that's what most young defensemen in the league get these days. Sure, the Devils were a shambling disaster last season, but Larsson wasn't really a bright spot, which seems like a problem for a guy you just extended for $25 million. He didn't really get it because he earned it. 

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  • What We Learned: Why are teams waiting on Cody Franson?

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 7 days ago

    The apparent sticking point in all these Cody Franson negotiations, which have stretched on impossibly long to this point, is that Franson would like a team to sign him for more than one year. Not that he's hard-lining that, but it's definitely a preference.

    And the thing is, teams should be falling all over themselves to give him that kind of term.

    Franson is 27 years old and to all appearances greatly helps his team. In a lot of respects, he could be considered a high-end No. 3 defenseman or a low-end No. 2. This despite being on rotten Toronto teams for the last three seasons and generally having a lot asked of him. He pushes positive possession, suppresses opponents' shot attempts, generally outscores the other team, and so on. He also makes the teammates with whom he shares the ice post better numbers than they do without him. In short, Franson looks like a defenseman who should be pulling what you'd consider to be, say, Brooks Orpik money. Maybe that's not a good example, so here's a better one: Young(er) Andrei Markov.

    What We Learned

    Gold Star Award

    Minus of the Weekend

    Canes get:

    Draisaitl

    Yakupov

    Signoff

  • Settling the Seguin/Benn vs. Kane/Toews debate (Trending Topics)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 10 days ago

    Last week on our own Marek vs. Wyshynski podcast, Jim Nill did a thing that got everyone good and riled up: He compared the two dynamic superstars on his team to the unassailable Good Winner Boys from his division.  

    The allegedly inflammatory quote in question:

    “We’re not there but we think we’re on pace with where our players are at. The Benns and Seguins remind me of Toews and Kane when they were 22, 23, 24 years of age. I think we’re trying to get there.”

    This in some ways is a general manager blowing smoke for His Guys. He was asked against which team he measures the Stars' progress, and he obviously said Chicago because it's hard not to measure yourself against the club that won three Stanley Cups in six years. That's a pretty good way of defining success; it's not as though they fluked their way to one Cup win five years ago. They've clearly built something that allows them to stay competitive despite a hell of a lot of roster turnover, which is something that Nill knows all about because he's gone so far out of his way to acquire former Chicago Cup winners this summer.

    But in other ways, he's probably right.

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  • Puck Daddy Power Rankings: Experience factor; Del Zotto's deal; expansion dreams

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 12 days ago

    [Author's note: Power rankings are usually three things: Bad, wrong, and boring. You typically know just as well as the authors which teams won what games against who and what it all means, so our moving the Red Wings up four spots or whatever really doesn't tell you anything you didn't know. Who's hot, who's not, who cares? For this reason, we're doing a power ranking of things that are usually not teams. You'll see what I mean.]

    7. Concussions

    Amanda Kessel's college careeris reportedly over because of them. They don't even allow much checking in women's hockey (it still happens), which makes this all the more upsetting. Hockey's a physical, contact sport, obviously, but this shows just how easy it is to get concussions that have extreme effects for years after the fact.

    At what point do we start acting like this kind of injury is the mega-huge deal it really is?

    6. Stocking up on “experience”

    So how much do you want to bet Sharp and Oduya's “leadership” is credited with the turnaround?

    5. Rookie camp highlights

  • How much is Braden Holtby really worth? (Trending Topics)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 13 days ago

    Later this week, Washington goaltender Braden Holtby is scheduled to have an arbitration hearing, and the two sides seem quite far apart from an arb asking price perspective.   

    The Capitals asked for a $5.1 million cap hit, because they have about $10.3 million worth of cap space remaining and still have to re-sign Marcus Johansson as well. Holtby asked for quite a lot of money — $8 million — because by a lot of standards he seems as though he's worth it.

    So really, we're facing two questions here:

    1) Is Braden Holtby really a top-five goaltender?

    2) How much is he worth if so?  

    The good news about goalies is also, in some ways, bad news: It's relatively easy to compare and contrast them because we really only have one statistic through which we can evaluate them, but also, we only have one statistic through which we can evaluate them. That, of course, is save percentage, and there are very few goaltenders who do what Holtby does in terms of keeping those numbers high at his age.

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  • What We Learned: Craig Smith and an education about arbitration

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 15 days ago

    (Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.)

    Most hockey fans, I think it's fair to say, couldn't pick Craig Smith out of a lineup.

    He was the fifth-leading scorer on the Predators this past season, so put him behind Pekka Rinne, and probably even a few other guys who finished behind him in scoring (Colin Wilson, James Neal, and Seth Jones), and he's one of the lesser-known interchangeable parts on a team that not a lot of people league-wide get to see very often.

    Most people really only got exposure to them in that six-game series against Chicago to open these playoffs. If they were really, really paying attention, they might have noticed that Smith was one of four guys who tied for second on the team with five points in six games.

    But the more I thought about it, the more this whole thing nagged at me. I mean, $4.75 million for Craig Smith?

    Nyquist couldn't possibly be a career comparable for Smith, could he? That doesn't seem right. And yet...

    What We Learned

    Gold Star Award