- Yahoo Sports Staff at Puck Daddy7 hrs ago
The 2014-15 NHL season begins next week, which means it’s a critical time for your fantasy hockey team. Who do you draft? Who do you keep? Which player do you trick your buddy into trading to you, just for a chance to call him a “sucker” when he breaks 30 goals?
Yahoo Sports and NHL.com are here to help. Watch our hour-long Fantasy Hockey Draft Special on Thursday, Oct. 2, at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT, featuring Greg Wyshynski from Puck Daddy, NHL.com Fantasy Hockey Expert Matt Cubeta and host Andi Petrillo of NHL Network.
The show is live streaming on Yahoo Sports and NHL.com. You can ask questions live by Tweeting them with the hashtag #NHLFantasyshow.
Among the topics:
- NHL players offering their fantasy hockey advice.
- The top five players at each position.
- The top sleeper picks.
- Facing off on player vs. player, like Patrick Hornqvist vs. James Neal.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy8 hrs ago
When Lokomotiv started the 2014-15 KHL season with three wins in their first nine games, a change was needed. Head coach Sean Simpson and assistant Colin Muller were fired on Saturday, with Anatoly Khomenko taking over as interim coach. But the team wanted to bring back someone they were familiar with.
Enter Dave King. Again.
The 66-year old King was hired by Lokomotiv as their new head coach on Wednesday. He had been working briefly as a consultant with the team until visa issues were worked out. (King will retain his role as Senior Advisor to the Arizona Coyotes coaching staff after the KHL season.)
When King was brought in last spring to coach Lokomotiv, he knew what success would do for the area.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy9 hrs ago
It's a Wednesday edition of Marek vs. Wyshynski beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. PT, and we're talking about the following and more:
Special Guest Star: Chris Johnston of Sportsnet on NHL B.O.G. meeting.
• Joffrey Lupul's play-in game idea.
• Vladimir Tkachev doesn't ink with Oilers.
• New Sportsnet studio.
Question of the Day: Going Postal! Ask us anything! Email firstname.lastname@example.org or hit us on Twitter with the hashtag #MvsW to @wyshynski or @jeffmarek. Click here for the Sportsnet live stream or click the play button above!
Click here to download podcasts from the show each day.Subscribe to the podcast via iTunesor Feedburner.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy10 hrs ago
Forrest Griffin made his name in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, including a huge upset win over “Rampage” Jackson in 2008 and memorable bouts against Tito Ortiz. He was a light heavyweight champion who is in the UFC Hall of Fame.
Please note nothing in that description involved the word “skating,” which is probably why his practice with the AIK Hockey of HockeyAllsvenskan wasn’t exactly at an all-star level.
Although we were impressed with that dual goalie interference/delay of game for closing his glove around the puck play to score from his knees …
Faring much better is Swedish MMA star Alexander Gustafsson, a.k.a. The Mauler, who taught some fighting and played some puck with the team.
MMA training has been the norm for more than a few NHL fighters through the years, for what it’s worth.
- Sean Leahy at Puck Daddy10 hrs ago
Here are your Puck Headlines: A glorious collection of news and views collected from the greatest blogosphere in sports and the few, the proud, the mainstream hockey media.
• Players from Sweden’s AIK taking part in a boxing workout. “See? It’s not just us,” said Flames head coach Bob Hartley.
• There’s just over a week until the Pittsburgh Penguins play their season opener and Evgeni Malkin has yet to skate this preseason. [Tribune Review]
• "On Thursday, Oct. 2, NHL.com and Yahoo Sports will team up to produce a one-hour fantasy hockey draft special that will air at 7 p.m. ET online at NHL.com and Yahoo.com." [NHL.com]
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy12 hrs ago
Did you watch the Kansas City Royals beat the Oakland A’s in their Major League Baseball wild card game on Tuesday? Pretty exciting stuff, what with the Royals making the playoffs for the first time since the 18th century.
Joffrey Lupul of the Toronto Maple Leafs watched the game, and wondered whether that October (eve) magic in baseball would translate to the NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Better ball game. Someone tell me why the NHL doesn't have a playoff between the 8th and 9th seeds. Anyone?
Now, the fact that a member of a perennial bubble team is lobbying for a de facto extra playoff seed should surprise exactly no one. And Lupul’s idea received a rather harsh response on the twitters …
So you hate the idea, but it would be the two most watched games of the entire season.
But let’s analyze this idea a little, shall we?
The Case For Adding A Play-In Game
The integrity of the Stanley Cup Playoffs would remain intact with the top eight seeds battling in each conference. This play-in merely adds another level of intrigue to the postseason, and as Lupul said these games would receive huge ratings – hey, who doesn’t love a Game 7?
- Ryan Lambert at Puck Daddy14 hrs ago
8. RFAs with big-money dreams
Ryan Ellis is, at this point, an outlier.
The Preds defenseman recently got five years for $12.5 million out of his team. And while only guaranteeing yourself $2.5 million per on average isn't great for an RFA who was once a first-round draft pick, you'd have to say he cleaned up in this economy.
Everyone else who hadn't signed to this point has fallen into line in the last several days, and almost all of them have taken sharp discounts. Torey Krug and Reilly Smith in Boston both only got $1.4 million for one year. Cody Eakin only got two years at $1.9 million per. Jaden Schwartz did a little better at two years and $2.35 million AAV. Pretty cheap for all four of them, all things considered, but it does set the table for them to cash in when their deals are up, either at the arbitration table or because they clearly agreed to the current deals with the understanding they'd be able to really get paid next summer (which is clearly the case with the two Bruins).
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
NHL players are being asked more and more about advanced stats.
Los Angeles Kings defenseman Drew Doughty is one of them, and LA Kings Insider writer Jon Rosen received a heaping spoonful of that delightful Doughty candor in a conversation about defensive partner Jake Muzzin.
“Yeah. I think that Corsi thing is a bunch of crap, personally. That’s not to take away from Muzz being the top guy in the league, because you know Muzz is a really good player. He’s improved so much over the last few years. He’s just going to improve even more and become better. Me and Muzz have it in our minds that we’re going to be one of the best D-pairings in the league one day, so we’re going to work towards that.”
This is somewhat noteworthy because the Kings were the best Corsi team in the NHL last season and one that incidentally turned that monstrous puck possession game into a second Stanley Cup in two seasons.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
(The 2014-15 NHL season is nearly upon us, and attempting to handicap the winners and losers can sometimes leave us speechless. So we decided to break down all 30 teams with the next best thing to words: Emojis!)
Huzzah! New owners for the Coyotes, after years of turmoil!
Alas, the Coyotes celebrated by finishing out of the money for a second straight season under Dave Tippett, just two points out of the wild card. Mike Smith’s injury near the end of the season was their undoing.
But that was the Phoenix Coyotes.
These are the Arizona Coyotes.
The best of Ekman-Larsson, who is in turn the best thing about this team.
The Coyotes made a statement when they bought out Mike Ribeiro, who had 47 points in 80 games but whose off-the-ice behavior led to his dismissal.
Radim Vrbata and the Coyotes couldn’t agree on a new deal, and the team’s sniper left for the Canucks.
- Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy1 day ago
Boston Bruins coach Claude Julien has seen his share of diving and embellishment.
Some of it was from his own players like Brad Marchand, and Julien acknowledges that his team isn’t innocent from the occasional flop. Some of it was from teams like the Montreal Canadiens in the 2014 playoffs, including Tomas Plekanec’s Emmy-nominated performance in “The Phantom High Stick.”
So with the NHL ready to take a firmer standagainst embellishment, with video review leading to fines and public disclosure of players’ names, how does Julien feel about all of it?