Looking at the Sabres Prospect Pool

Over the past few years when you talked about the Buffalo Sabres, you always talked about the depth and strength of their prospect pool. When seeing the way fans have been talking this summer, you would think Buffalo has the pool of Carolina. It is as if everyone forgot that the team has Sam Reinhart and Jack Eichel.

Before any in depth look at the group of Sabres youngsters, you have to remember that the team has been selling off pieces for picks and prospects over the past several seasons. Another thing you have to consider when looking at prospect pools is that every NHL club can only have 50 pro contracts, which causes you to move out prospects for known commodities. Even though 50 seems like a large number, it isn’t when you are making about 12 draft picks a season.

For some reason, Sabre fans feel that the departure of Nikita Zadorov and Brendan Lemieux rival the departures of Chris Drury and Daniel Briere. No one wants to talk about the fact that Brendan Lemieux refused to sign an Entry Level Contract with the Buffalo Sabres. Tim Murray said time and time again that the club tried to sign the second round pick to a deal, but he kept saying no. So they threw him in the package that saw Buffalo acquiring Evander Kane as well as Zach Bogosian. The other mentioned, Nikita Zadorov, a defenseman who is projected to be a top-pair caliber guy, was moved to Colorado as part of the Ryan O’Reilly deal. Mikhail Grigorenko was another prospect Buffalo included in that deal. Those are 3 talented prospects, but you have to move good pieces to bring in established NHLers. Continue reading Looking at the Sabres Prospect Pool

For the Love of Hockey

Greetings and hello, my name is Chris Malboeuf and welcome to my first blog post. I am 25 years old and I live in Courtenay B.C Canada, my favorite NHL teams are the Vancouver Canucks and the Detroit Red Wings. Also I am a fan of the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots, favorite CFL team is the Saskatchewan Roughriders. What I do for fun is I enjoy sports (hockey is it) and I also like to Tweet about hockey and retweet NHL articles. My thoughts go out to the family of Al Arbour former coach of the New York Islanders who passed away yesterday. Over the coming weeks I will blog about the upcoming NHL season and I hope to connect with others bloggers to share ideas! My question for today is, what are your favorite NHL teams? My thoughts on the Patrick Kane saga, will his career be over? Will he go to jail, who knows only time will tell. Will the Red Wings go for 25 playoffs appearance next year? Crossing my fingers that they will and hopefully win the Stanley Cup!

Continue reading For the Love of Hockey

2015-2016 NHL Eastern Conference Preview

The National Hockey League has reached that point in the summer where there is pretty much of a lull in the off season activity.

The entry draft has passed, much of the free agent period has started to slow down and teams are pretty much setting themselves up depth wise, in preparation for training camp next month and the upcoming season. Teams that missed the post season last year will be trying to find that much needed fix to get back into the playoffs, while those that made the top eight in each conference will be making their minor adjustments to claim the Stanley Cup.

The Florida Panthers have been rebuilding their franchise trying to get back into the playoffs for the past few season. With young players like Jonathan Huberdeau, Aaron Ekblad, Aleksander Barkov and Nick Bjudstad as well as their young depth in Lawson Crouse, Brandon Pirri, Reilly Smith, Erik Gudbranson, Dmitry Kulikov and Alex Petrovic give them an impressive young core for the future of the club.

The Panthers also have some veteran leadership to help bring the younger players up to steam in the NHL. Some of those veterans include Jaromir Jagr, Roberto Luongo, Jussi Jokinen, Brian Campbell, Willie Mitchell and Dave Bolland. Last season the Panthers were above average in puck possession while acquiring 91 points in the standings.

If Calder Trophy winner Ekblad can build off his success and continue to become a premiere defenseman, while Jagr, Campbell and Luongo continue to provide positive guidance and contribution to the club’s young stars the team could be worth watching this season. Continue reading 2015-2016 NHL Eastern Conference Preview

Former New York Islanders Head Coach Al Arbour passed away on Friday at the age of 82.

The four time Stanley Cup winning coach, had been receiving treatment for Parkinson’s disease and dementia near his home in Sarasota, Florida.

From 1979 to 1983, Arbour led the Islanders to four straight Stanley Cup Championships. In a statement from the organization, team president and general manager, Garth Snow said, “Al will always be remembered as one of, if not, the greatest coaches ever to stand behind a bench in the history of the National Hockey League.”

He added, “The New York Islander franchise has four Stanley Cups to its name thanks in large part Al’s incredible efforts. From his innovative coaching methods to his humble way of life away from the game, Al is one of the reasons the New York Islanders are a historic franchise. On behalf of the entire organization we send our deepest condolences to the entire Arbour family.”

Arbour was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1996. In addition to the four Stanley Cups he led the Islanders to, Arbour also won four as a player with the Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks and Toronto Maple Leafs. Continue reading Former New York Islanders Head Coach Al Arbour passed away on Friday at the age of 82.

Flames Prospect Profiles: #5 Mark Jankowski

Over the next little while, I will be taking a look at the Calgary Flames’ top prospects and profiling them one by one. Over the course of each article, I will share each prospects strengths, weaknesses, their expected arrival to the NHL, as well as their top end potential.

Last time out, I took a look at Oliver Kylington (read here).

Today, we will be taking a look at Mark Jankowski, who was drafted 21st overall in the 2012 NHL Draft, and who I view as the Flames number five prospect.

Mark Jankowski:
Birthday: September 13th, 1994 (age 20)
Drafted: 1st round (21st overall) in 2012 NHL Draft
Position: Center
Height: 6’4″
Weight: 198lbs

Strengths: Continue reading Flames Prospect Profiles: #5 Mark Jankowski