Ryan Lambert

  • How many goals could Phil Kessel score with Penguins? (Trending Topics)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 8 hrs ago

    The Phil Kessel trade was, in many ways, an eventuality. The Maple Leafs only had to find a team with the cap space — or in this case, cap space facilitated through salary retention — and will to take on a guy who had come to be perceived as a “problem” in Toronto. 

    Of course, Kessel wasn't actually a problem, because he was in fact one of the few bright spots for what was a miserable team for his entire run in Toronto. No one wants to paint it that way because he was in some ways discourteous to the local media (i.e. he didn't put up with their BS), and he was a highly paid, high-skill player on a team that was mired in garbage water before he got there and will continue to be for at least a few more years.

    Those who want to run down Kessel will point to the losing, which is more or less beyond his control, because they cannot in any way denigrate the numbers or the durability. From 2009-present, he has missed exactly 12 games, and none since 2010-11 began. The 181 goals he scored in 446 games for the Leafs is fifth in the league over those six seasons. The 213 assists is eighth.



  • Puck Daddy Power Rankings: Mike Richards, bad free-agent deals, NHL buyouts

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 2 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.]  

    9. Trading for Zac Rinaldo

    Don Sweeney had a bad weekend. No two ways about it. So he's swimming around, looking for a life preserver that will improve his team. Then he promptly grabs the nearest trillion-ton weight and sinks to the bottom of the ocean silently screaming, “Courage!” into a cold, ink-black void.

    8. The difference between “bad” and “overrated”

    Today is the day when a lot of bad contracts will be signed, but contrary to popular opinion in the hockey world these days, a player with a bad contract is not a bad player.

    7. Going with two goalies

    6. The Devan Dubnyk contract

    5. Dean Lombardi

    4. The Hall of Famers

    3. Buyout bargains

  • How competitive can Buffalo Sabres be next season? (Trending Topics)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 3 days ago

    Tim Murray is a smart guy and the Sabres are clearly still in something of a rebuild mode. But given the moves this weekend, the end-date on that was moved up considerably.  

    People who would consider the Sabres “ contenders ” headed into next season are currently using a new and interesting definition of the word, but there's no doubt at all that this is a roster which has been significantly improved in a very short period of time. And how it all came together was genius.

    That, by the way, is the benefit of doing what Murray did since he took the job: Trading everything that isn't nailed down, and some stuff that is, gets you a lot of draft picks and prospects.

    Of course, that doesn't take into account that Kane comes pre-signed at a high dollar value, or that O'Reilly needs a new and likely expensive contract, nor does it count that the Sabres gave up Tyler Myers, Nikita Zadorov, Mikhail Grigorenko, and other assets. But proven, quality NHL players — even with high dollar values — are worth more than most high picks and good prospects.


  • What We Learned: NHL Draft report cards (and Boston's near failure)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 4 days ago

    The first thing you have to say about what the Bruins have done this offseason is that it's all an overreaction.

    Were they an elite team to the level they had been from, say, 2010-2014? No, obviously not. Many of the bad habits they picked up during that time — trading very useful or even great players, overpaying depth, believing that their “identity” was what made them effective, etc. — festered and eventually infected the organizational brain.

    But luck was certainly a factor in what has driven more or less every decision in this bizarre summer. Last season, they went 4-10 in the shootout. That's a luck problem, because you're supposed to go about .500, because you're supposed to shoot about 30-33 percent; the Bruins shot 15 percent, second-worst in the league behind only — you guessed it — unlucky Los Angeles.

    Tuukka Rask also posted the worst save percentage he's seen in four seasons. And while .922 is still in the upper echelon of the league (and you really can't legitimately ask for better than .922 from anyone), that also played a role.

    Or, rather, was.

    But this, whatever this is, shows a lack of direction and, perhaps, understanding.

    Gold Star Award

  • Measuring the real impact of NHL’s new 3-on-3 overtime (Trending Topics)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 7 days ago

    Earlier this week, the NHL announced that its five minutes of 4-on-4 overtime would, instead, be replaced by five minutes of 3-on-3 for the coming season as a means of reducing the number of shootouts. 

    This is a good idea because the shootout is bad, and it stands to reason that more goals will be scored at 3-on-3 than 4-on-4. Remember, the AHL went to a sort of hybrid format for this past season: three minutes of 4-on-4 before another four of 3-on-3, then the shootout if nothing was decided.

    And with that system — which the NHL did not fully adopt — 75 percent of overtime games were decided before the shootout became an option. That was more than double the previous season. So effectively, that shows how effective this can be in getting rid of the shootout which, again, is stupid and bad.

    If you're wondering, that means that only about 74 games out of the league's 1,230 next season would go to a shootout. You'd much rather have that than the current 158 or so.

    But basically, the takeaway here is that the NHL currently sees a shootout once in every 7.5 games (13 percent). The new format will reduce that number to a little less than once per nine games (11.7 percent).

  • Best and worst (but mostly worst) of the 2015 NHL Awards Show

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 8 days ago

    The Oscars, the Emmys, the Grammys, the Tonys, the Golden Globes the BAFTAs, the SAG Awards, the Directors Guild Awards, the Independent Spirit Awards, the Writers Guild Awards, the MTV Movie Awards, the MTV Video Music Awards, the Peabody Awards, the Teen Choice Awards, the People's Choice, the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards, the ESPYs, the Webbys, the CMAs, the AMAs, the Billboard Awards, the iHeartRadio Music Awards, the Daytime Emmys, the Cable Ace awards.

    This is an incomplete list of all the awards shows that are 100 percent guaranteed to be more interesting and entertaining than the NHL Awards, and you can say that even with the full understanding that they haven't awarded a Cable Ace Award since 1997 (shout out to Kel Mitchell for somehow beating out the entire leading cast of "The Larry Sanders Show" for best actor in a comedy series). This, like every year, was drudgery of the worst kind. Bland, boring, bad.

    Here's the thing: Almost no other sport does a show like this.

    Not one.

    The Best

    5. Erik Karlsson won the Norris

    Didn't see that one coming but boy is that great.  

    4. Brent Burns

    3. Carey Price won everything

    2. Jiri Hudler

    The Worst

  • Puck Daddy Power Rankings: World Cup Young Stars roster; NHL Draft; trading block

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 9 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. The free agent crop

    Well we're about a week away from July 1 and while there's a lot of stuff to talk about in the next seven days, the fact that a lot of places are leading their “Here are what we consider the top free agent forwards” list with Matt freakin' Beleskey should tell you everything you need to know about what a snoozefest the Free Agent Frenzy [sic] is going to be on July 1.

    6. World Cup of Hockey GMs

    Wow, so exciting. Doug Armstrong is running Canada, and Dean Lombardi helms the U.S.


    Dougie Hamilton - Aaron Ekblad Jacob Trouba - Seth Jones Ryan Murray - Morgan Rielly Extra: Matt Dumba

    John Gibson Connor Hellebuyck Extra: Malcolm Subban

    5. Evgeni Malkin's attitude

    4. The NHL awards

  • How will Sharks GM Doug Wilson try to save his job now? (Trending Topics)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 10 days ago

    Things have not been good in San Jose for the last two seasons. First they infamously drop a 3-0 series lead to eventual Cup champions Los Angeles, then they wholly fail to qualify for the playoffs. The one begets the other. 

    If the Sharks win one of the four games they lost to the Kings, we're not sitting here having a conversation about, “What's wrong with the Sharks?” because it's wholly likely nothing is wrong with the Sharks. As has happened so many times in the past, a team suffered a miserable defeat and panicked. That's all. Doug Wilson saw his team blow a 3-0 series lead to a lower-seeded team that also happened to be a division rival, and determined that what went wrong was not “The Kings are just so good that it was unavoidable,” or “That was some terrible luck for our very-good-to-great team,” or a combination of the two. He determined that what went wrong was he hadn't acquired enough players like John Scott, Mike Brown, and Scott Hannan.

    These are not mutually exclusive ideas.

    And here's Wilson on that issue:

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

  • What We Learned: What is Cam Talbot actually worth?

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 11 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.

    The New York Rangers have made it quite clear that, due in large part to their current cap crunch, the bidding is open on backup goaltender Cam Talbot.

    At first blush, it seems like acquiring Talbot would be a good move, and the rumors are flying that as many as six or seven teams have an interest in acquiring his services. Certainly, his only two seasons at the NHL level — playing as a backup/injury fill-in for Henrik Lundqvist — seem to portend that he's capable of being an NHL starter, but that comes with the caveat that we have very little information about what Talbot can actually do at the NHL level (he has only faced a little fewer than 3,350 shots) over 57 career games.

    But the numbers wouldn't have predicted that this would end up being the case; in fact, what he's done over his entire career actually puts Talbot to shame:

    But basically, it's a good time to be in the market for a potential starting goalie.

    What We Learned


  • Let's talk about offer sheets (Trending Topics)

    Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy 14 days ago

    With the salary cap either barely rising, holding steady, or maybe even falling a bit, the buzzards are already circling.

    Several teams — successful teams — are facing cap issues, and all of them have restricted free agents to re-sign. As such, fans of many cash-strapped teams and pundits alike are wringing their hands in glee over the possibility of weaker teams acquiring young, tantalizing talent for the price of the money on the deal and a few draft picks. It's the same every summer, of course, because you always have a wish list on hand and it's a sexy, swashbuckling idea.

    “You just swoop in and get the guy you want.”

    But we all say that every summer knowing that these offer sheets are rare. In the salary cap era, only eight have actually been signed (we don't know if, say, P.K. Subban was advanced one but didn't sign it, because that kind of thing doesn't get publicized) and only three of those have come since 2010. The reason it seems we're getting so worked up about it now is the quality of guys who look like they could be available.