So we had actual live game action tonight, and I have to admit I’ve never really paid attention to NHL preseason games. In fact I don’t pay attention to the preseason in any sport. I go to a couple preseason baseball games in Arizona every year, but that’s just a reason to get drunk during the day. But tonight the NHL Network had the Ottawa/Toronto game and for some reason I couldn’t help but watch some of it. Right off the bat I had to remind myself this is a preaseason game between Ottawa and Toronto, so don’t draw any conclusions. And I won’t. But a couple things jumped out at me and one was that Erik Karlsson appears to be the QB of the Ottawa Power Play. He’s #26 in my Defenseman rankings so this is a good sign. Grabovski impressed me too (even though he only had 1 assist and no shots) and Tyler Bozak looked good. Brian Burke has shown the ability to find NHL caliber undrafted Free Agents before (Penner) so Bozak is a guy to keep an eye on, but don’t draft him unless it’s a flyer in the last round - more than likely he’s WWF (Waiver Wire Fodder). Now onto some headlines:
Drew Doughty – D (LA): My scars run deep with Drew Doughty. I took him with the 15th overall pick in my important league last year and it turned out to be a worse decision than the time I blew up a neighbor’s mailbox at midnight on New Years Eve (did you know that’s a federal offense?). But when I did that I was only 18, when I took Doughty last year I was 28 – I should’ve known better. Turns out Doughty doesn’t care what I think or what his GM thinks. A new deal is imminent, but until it happens Doughty will be sitting at home eating twinkies while giving a giant middle finger to the King’s front office. Bottom line though is he’ll be in uniform when the King’s season starts against the Rangers on October 7.
Mike Santorelli – C (NYI): Had a Goal in the 1st game against Nashville and a Goal in the 2nd too, but if a goal is scored in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? No. Just check out the box score. Did a fan keeping score post this? Nevermind, just keep an eye on this guy, he could end up getting Power Play minutes…
Nathan Gerbe – C (Buf): I didn’t rank this midget (5’5″ 173lbs) in my Center rankings but he did score 16 goals in 64 Games last year. And tonight against Carolina he had a Goal and 2 Assists… Still like I’ve said before small guys don’t last for long in the NHL (Marty St. Louis being the exception) so don’t consider this an endorsement.
Jarome Iginla – RW (Cgy): Sitting out practices with back spasms. This caught my eye only because I’ve got Iginla in my Top 10 and I don’t want to look bad.
Dustin Byfuglien/Penner – D/LW (Wpg/LA): Apparantly these 2 have more weight problems than Oprah. This seems like the typical offseason beat-writer column trying to justify why his/her team hasn’t won the World Series in over 8 years. But still I consider both of these guys somewhat risky.
That’s it for now, but hockey is back! Preseason isn’t spectacular but it’s a good enough fix if you’re a fellow junkie like me… Thank Jesus the NHL isn’t in the same boat as the NBA. The issues on the table are very similar to what the NHL went through in 2005, so in other words the owner’s will win. They have the money.