Player News

Date: Team: Pos:

Victor Hedman surprised everyone with a phenomenal fantasy performance last season as he posted 55 points, 53 penalty minutes and a +5 rating in 75 games for the Lightning.

It took five seasons for the 23 year-old, former second overall draft pick to find his offensive form in the NHL, but Tampa Bay can be assured that it was worth the wait. If Hedman can replicate and even improve his performance this coming season, he'll have established himself as an elite blueliner for years to come. Although his stats were promising, one productive season does not make a player a lock to continue producing high numbers. Hedman is an all-around player however, and will log big minutes in all situations for the Bolts. Consistency is the next challenge to conquer for the immensely talented Swede.
Aug 30 - 8:55 PM

The Toronto Star estimated that a new hockey franchise in Toronto would cost over $1 billion to create when considering expansion fees, new arena costs and a territorial payment to the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Spurred by a report from last week from the Sports Business Journal regarding the NHL expanding to Toronto, the Star looked at the viability of sustaining another team in Ontario's hockey-mad capital. The paper reports that a new Toronto team would have to pay a $400 million fee to the NHL in order to be included in the expansion class. Next, the team would need to build a new arena, which has an estimated price tag of $400 million. Finally, the report suggests a payment of around $250 million for the Maple Leafs' owners to repay revenue losses the first franchise would suffer from a new team.
Aug 30 - 7:56 PM

Scott Kosmachuk is a prospect to watch as he enters his first professional season within the Winnipeg Jets organization, as the 20 year-old has excelled since being taken in the third round of the 2012 NHL Draft.

Kosmachuk has notched 84 goals and 82 assists in 134 games in the two seasons since his draft year, including 101 points in 68 games last season. The speedy winger with superb hands helped the Guelph Storm win the OHL Championship last season and after bulking up and establishing a scoring touch in the AHL, Kosmachuk could find himself in a Winnipeg jersey in the not-too-distant future.
Aug 30 - 6:30 PM

Ryan Johansen and the Blue Jackets are still in the midst of an intense contract standoff as Columbus hopes to sign their young star to a bridge deal, while Johansen says he deserves a long, lucrative deal.

Johansen and his agent Kurt Overhardt believe the 22 year-old budding star deserves a raise after notching 63 points in 82 games during his first full season in the league. The Blue Jackets do too, offering the 6'3, 220 pound center a two year, $3.5 million per year bridge contract where a long-term deal would come afterwards. But Johansen's side wants to be paid now, seeking a deal in the range of $7 million per season, which has created a negotiation stalemate. If Johansen does not sign by the start of training camp on Sept. 18, the Jackets could use their ample cap space to sign another unrestricted free agent while Johansen holds out.
Aug 30 - 5:24 PM

33 year-old Kevin Bieksa isn't worried about his age or the rest of his veteran teammates, saying the Canucks old timers and newfound youngsters will make for a balanced team this fall.

"You can look around the league and I don’t think you’ll find a group of guys our age who are in the shape we’re in," Bieksa said regarding the Canucks' old guard. Despite a flock of promising young prospects, Vancouver's core is aging. Daniel and Henrik Sedin are turning 34, Alex Burrows is 33, Dan Hamhuis is 32 and new goalie Ryan Miller is 34. "We have a lot of pride on this team, a lot of integrity, and we’re not happy about what happened last year. I think we’re all going to look in the mirror and come back motivated." Bieksa said.
Aug 30 - 4:18 PM

David Perron meshed superbly with his new teammates in Edmonton last season and will look to build off of his 57 point and 90 penalty minute campaign.

The 26 year-old power forward has been fairly consistent throughout his seven year NHL career, and is a good bet to reward fantasy owners with points and penalty minutes once again. His plus/minus was a concern on an under-performing Oilers squad last year, but the team hopes new goaltenders, defensive acquisitions and rookies can help stop the bleeding on defense. Perron will have new linemates, as his center from last year Sam Ganger was traded, but that shouldn't keep the Sherbrooke, Que. native from contributing.
Aug 30 - 3:14 PM

Martin Jones put forth a terrific rookie season in 2013-14 and could be a viable fantasy option in net if Jonathan Quick does not recovery quickly from his off-season wrist surgery.

Quick is the Kings' undisputed starter and Jones will not hold significant fantasy value unless he is propelled into a starting role due to injury or a trade. Nonetheless, Quick is coming off a long spring and off-season wrist surgery, and although his projected return is during the pre-season, the Kings would be wise not to overwork their starter if Jones proves that his success last season was no fluke. Jones is a smart draft choice to back up Quick on your fantasy roster, but could be universally valuable if Quick can't stay healthy.
Aug 30 - 2:09 PM
Mike Yeo - C - Wild

Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo plans to let his three healthy goaltenders battle it out for the starting role in the pre-season.

"The plan for the first three preseason games is… to give everybody equal playing time," said Yeo. "We’ll determine who to give a greater workload to from there." Yeo went on to say that his goaltenders will receive a boost this season due to Minnesota’s improved scoring abilities. During the second half of last season the Wild offense found their stride, and with the Thomas Vanek signing the team should produce sufficient offense for Niklas Backstrom, Josh Harding and Darcy Kuemper.
Aug 30 - 12:46 PM

The Red Wings gave Tomas Tatar a lucrative contract extension earlier this summer, and are expecting the 23 year-old to be a regular 20-goal scorer in return.

The energetic Slovakian filled the role of a second-line scorer in his first full season in the NHL. He won a spot on the Slovakian Olympic team, and later notched eight points in seven games for his country at the World Championships. Tatar earned his salary raise, but must build off his 39 point rookie season while most likely receiving less ice-time as a result of a fully healthy Red Wings roster.
Aug 30 - 11:52 AM

Justin Schultz received high praise from his General Manager Craig MacTavish after signing his one year contract extension with the Oilers on Friday.

"I think that Justin has Norris Trophy potential, and I don't think there are too many people that would disagree with me in that regard," MacTavish said. With 60 points in 122 NHL games, Schultz has definitely showed flashes of the dominance that he displayed in the NCAA and AHL before coming into the NHL. If MacTavish is right and Schultz puts up a Norris-caliber season, he'll be doing it at $5.325 million less per year than 2012 winner P.K. Subban. Nonetheless, the 24 year-old has a high-ceiling and will be a much sought-after fantasy defenseman.
Aug 30 - 11:22 AM

Devante Smith-Pelly seems poised to stick around with the Ducks this season after spending most of the past two seasons in the minors.

The 22 year-old power forward is a fast, physical winger who has a keen ability to score, as proven by the five playoff goals he scored in 12 games last season. Smith-Pelly spent 49 games in the NHL in 2011-12, but toiled in the AHL for 110 games over the past two years, racking up 75 points. Since his NHL contract kicked in right away in 2011, the Ducks need to give the six-foot, 222 pounder a new contract this season. The Scarborough, Ont. native's fantasy value could skyrocket this season if he establishes a spot next to Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf like he did late last year. Smith-Pelly might also be used on a depth energy line, so his point production will depend on where Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau likes to play him.
Aug 30 - 10:12 AM

Eric Staal got back on the ice Friday for an informal skate and said he felt good after having off-season surgery to repair a core muscle injury.

"I just want to continue to take steps before (training) camp opens and then look forward to the start of the year," he said. Staal suffered the injury while he was training and it wasn't a lingering issue. He'll turn 30 years of age at the end of October and this is the second straight year that he's been hurt during the off-season. Despite those ailments, Staal has been incredibly durable throughout his career, missing just a total of 17 games.
Aug 29 - 9:35 PM

Wild coach Mike Yeo said Josh Harding, Niklas Backstrom and Darcy Kuemper have a chance to win the No. 1 job.

"I have to say we're kind of open right now, to be honest with you," Yeo told Michael Russo of the Star Tribune on Wednesday. "We're going to have some scrimmages ... but we're going to have to pretty quickly determine who we want to give a greater workload to after that. That's going to be a good challenge." Harding may have the inside track on the position because of his success in 2013-14 before he was forced to the sidelines due to his ongoing battle with multiple sclerosis. Kuemper performed well in his absence and Backstrom is looking to bounce back from an injury-plagued campaign. Training camp will be interesting in the Minnesota crease.
Source: NHL.com
Aug 29 - 5:58 PM

Sheldon Brookbank will reportedly attend training camp with the Calgary Flames on a tryout.

He was hoping to stay with Chicago, where he's played the past two seasons. "The Hawks said that they liked me and they'd like to have me back if it worked but obviously they're a little strapped under the cap," Brookbank said. "It didn't quite pan out as I'd hoped. It's not to say that it's totally over and done with. You never know what could happen from now until the start of the season. As for now, I'm moving on and I'm going to Calgary and I'm going to try to make their team." Brookbank had seven points and 64 hits in 48 games last year.
Aug 29 - 5:09 PM

Zach Hamill has agreed to a one-year contract with HPK to play in Finland.

Last season, he played in 21 games with the AHL's Utica Comets and 13 contests with Astana Barys of the KHL. Hamill was originally taken with the eighth overall pick in the 2007 draft by the Boston Bruins. He skated in just 20 NHL games in his career and contributed four assists.
Source: hpk.fi
Aug 29 - 3:36 PM



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