Jersey Joe’s POV’s/Opinions

*Phil Kessel trade: *In all honesty for the sake of this acquisition. It was known for a long time that Toronto’s media was all up in Kessel’s mind. If the Leafs had 2 legit forwards like Crosby, and Malkin in Pittsburgh then Phil would deal with 1/3 of the stress as a forward. Now the benefits for Toronto is that they get younger, and have Pittsburgh’s young prospects including Kasperi Kapanen who can help grow over time.

Pittsburgh gets to benefit with a high quality sniper of Phil’s caliber where if he was on the wing of Crosby, and using Sidney as a decoy down low. Now with David Perron on the other wing you have a speedy winger who can shoot on net, and help Kessel earn more points.

*Carl Hagelin to Anaheim:* Carl Hagelin swapped for Emerson Etem in the draft. It’ll be interesting to see if Hagelin can adapt to a team with guys like Jiri Sekac, and trying to play with Ryan Kesler where speed, fore-checking, and goals come in bunches.

*For Emerson Etem:* He hasn’t really proved much all though he has 15 goals and 31 points in 3 seasons with The Ducks. He’s the type of winger who has speed, great hands, good vision of the ice. He lives near the crease when he gets his scoring chances. Continue reading Jersey Joe’s POV’s/Opinions

Next Years NHL UFA Free Agent Class – The Defenseman & Goalie’s

Last article we took a sneak peak at next years UFA’s in terms of the forwards. This is part two that focuses on the defenseman and goalie’s. While there is not as much depth in next years free agent class on the blue line and in between the pipes, there is still a lot of quality. In terms of the defenseman I am sure these pending free agents are looking to cash in as Andrej Sekera, Johhny Boychuk, Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen have over the last 12 months.

Defenseman:

Dustin Byfuglien: current age 30 & current cap number 5.2 million

With already having young blue liners Myers, Truba and Bogosian on the roster and top prospect Josh Morrissey coming soon to Winnipeg, will the Jets invest long term on Byfuglien who is already thirty? Also keep in mind after the next two years Winnipeg will have 18 players that will either be a UFA or a RFA.

Mark Giordano: current age 31 & current cap number 4.02 million

Last season was a huge year for Calgary and their captain Mark Giordano (11G, 48 Pts, +13). The Flames want Giordano inked to an extension this summer. However, Giordano’s camp has floated an annual 9 million dollar number back to the front office in Calgary in the beginning of the negotiations. This is a story to watch.

Alex Goligoski: current age 29 & current cap number 4.6 million

Under the radar second pair defenseman in the league. Players like Goligoski have done well in recent free agencies. With yesterday’s trade of Trevor Daley it makes it more of a priority for Dallas to resign Goligoski.

Erik Johnson: current age 27 & current cap number 3.75 million Continue reading Next Years NHL UFA Free Agent Class – The Defenseman & Goalie’s

Jersey Joe’s POV/Opinion’s

So it’s been awhile since I last made my assessment on the NJ Devils draft picks, and a few other NHL teams that drafted in the first round. Today’s article will be based a little more technical.
Let’s touch base on the fact that Ray Shero per Tom Gulitti’s Fire and Ice Blog title goes “Devils part ways with executive VP of hockey operations/director of scouting David Conte

<http://fireandice.northjersey.com/fire-ice-1.174987/devils-part-ways-with-executive-vp-of-hockey-operations-director-of-scouting-david-conte-1.1371657>.”

http://fireandice.northjersey.com/fire-ice-1.174987/devils-gm-ray-shero-decision-to-let-david-conte-go-more-about-me-than-him-1.1371750

For me as a long time Devils fan I know the fact that “if something is broken you fix it.” Well I give my praise to Ray Shero for stepping in at a crucial time when a lot of players who under performed are now leaving the team. Now that this draft is over. I predicted that 2015 would be David Conte’s last draft since the past several seasons.

Lets put this into perspective how the Devils are set with Cory Schneider (starting goalie), and Keith Kinkaid (back-up) in net. Now lets look at the defense Andy Greene, Damon Severson, Jon Merrill, John Moore, Eric Gelinas, and hopefully Adam Larsson (depending on if he get’s re-signed prior to arbitration). Now with the forwards you’ll have Travis Zajac, Josefson, Henrique, Stephen Gionta, Patrik Elias, Mike Cammalleri, and Kyle Palmieri coming in for the new season.

What I’m really psyched about is that prospect camp is coming up very soon that guys like Sergey Kalinin, Pavel Zacha are getting ready to show Ray Shero, and coach Hynes what they have to put up on the ice. One of the things with training camp coming in a little while (maybe a few months) I would love to see Coach Hynes treat every player who has yet to prove themselves would be to compete really hard in practice every day, and see who shows up to play during the pre-season.

This is the thing when Peter DeBoer was the Devils coach he was too soft on the veteran players during the season. Now that Hynes is now the coach I’m very amped up that he’s going to hold every player accountable. What I also like is that he’s going to have a “fast attacking, fast supporting, fast thinking” up-tempo, 2-way system.

When I talk to friends of the podcast, I am a producer for Running With The Devils Podcast. I always keep talking about what Shero is doing right, and a lot of us agree that Ray is righting the ship. When I’m reading fans saying that they dislike something about the business side of what Shero does.

This is what those naysayers have to hear is that when a previous work history doesn’t have a good impact on the business. It’s time to adapt. When I say, “it’s time to adapt” I mean take a look at what the Chicago Blackhawks, and the LA Kings have done. They kept majority of their recent drafted players, and kept most of them, and then traded others along the way to bring in key assets to win Stanley Cups.

Now as a Devils fan, Ray Shero is doing the right thing with not bringing in the same group of guys on the roster. Also now that coaches Geoff Ward is the assistant coach who won a Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins as an assistant coach to Claude Julien. Alain Nasreddine having been with Shero’s AHL team along with Coach Hynes in Scranton Wilkes-Barre I see a lot of chemistry on the bench.

What I need from people to understand is that as a producer of the podcast I don’t expect everything to be perfect because lets be realistic we will have a better team than last years. But if I’m close, and I hope I’m wrong. With the current roster I expect us to go as high as 10th seed in the Eastern Conference. But if something drastic happens I expect us to make 8th or 7th seed. But only the hockey gods know the outcome.

From what my expectations are of this upcoming season we will have a better team, and I tell people “I’d rather have a young team struggle, learn together, and gel over time.” But I don’t want us to go after players who are nearing the end of their careers. I know I would love the Devils to make the playoffs but I’d rather see higher quality assets overtime get acquired, and assembled properly, and make the Devils a long term contender. Eventually hoist The Stanley Cup for a fourth time.

It’s time to see what Ray Shero does once he names a new director of scouting, and what else may occur.

“Keep on running.”

Next Years NHL UFA Free Agent Class – The Forwards

With this years UFA free agent class winding down, I feel it’s a good time to take a sneak peek at next years class. While this years class had a number of solid but unspectacular players, next years class at present time is loaded. There are quite a few elite players and a deep number of second tier top players after the top group. In fact as of now next years class is so good I have to break it up into two articles. This will be the first of two installments, with this article on the forwards. The second installment will be on the
defenseman and the goalie’s. Please note the list below is not in order of ranking but in alphabetical order.

The Elite:

Anze Kopitar – current Age 27 and current cap number 6.8 million

Given Kopitar’s age and the fact he is considered by most at minimum one of the top ten players in the game, if he were to become a UFA next July 1st the bidding would be intense. I have no doubt that the Kings will move heaven and earth to sign Kopitar well before then. The Kings cap is tight and all NHL teams have to go with the assumption that next years cap ceiling at best will increase just like this past season (cap ceiling went from 69 million to 71.4 million). Kopitar is already at a high number but figure in terms of annually cap hit after next season the Kings will be looking at 10 million. It will probably take a max deal (8 years) as well to ink Kopitar and keep him away from free agency. Keep in mind also for the Kings after next season Tyler Toffoli will only be 1 year away from being an RFA with arbitration rights and he will command a huge raise off his new salary of 3.25 million. Continue reading Next Years NHL UFA Free Agent Class – The Forwards

NHL free agency can be rough

NHL free agency can be rough.

Though trades are a pretty common part of professional sports, it can be difficult to accept that your favourite player is gone – let alone that they’ve been traded to a different team.

One 5-year-old St. Louis Blues fan was reduced to tears last Thursday when she heard the news that her favourite player had been traded.

Devastated at the news that T.J. Oshie was headed to the Washington Capitals, Libby Lu was seen being consoled by her mom in the video.

Continue reading NHL free agency can be rough