RE 13-14 RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS: THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is one part sorcerer, one part mystery, one part ghost and one part magician. We’ve seen him for two years now, and comparisons are made but remain vague. This, my friends, is a telltale sign of greatness: The Nuge is special.

RE 13-14: 62, 21-42-63

  1. Those are some sweet boxcars. Well, the Nuge delivers on the 5×4 and should have a better year 5×5. This is a pretty good bet based on his own past. 
  2. Where does he improve in your RE to gather the extra points? Nuge will see his TOI increase this season (I’m suggesting this will happen for the entire top 6) and I also think he’ll return to his 5×5/60 rate (1.98) he enjoyed as a rookie. In 62 games at age 18, he scored 29 EV points and 23 PP points, I’m suggesting an increase at each discipline (in the same number of games)–a healthy increase to be sure, but let’s remember he’s a #1 overall selection.
  3. Who is he? I think he’s unique; there’s some Datsyuk, there’s some Sakic, there’s some ‘he who shall not be named’ but at some point we’ll know and that’ll be the Nuge. This is actually the fun part, watching him step into more of the offense and more of the battle. He has some insane abilities–ask any hockey guys about his edges one time, but only do it if you have about three hours. Nuge is crazy good on his skates.
  4. What is he good at? He’s a stealth back checker, does the old Keon by coming up and getting the puck off sticks–brilliant stuff–and he’s a supreme passer, elite as a teeanger and God only knows what he’ll when he matures. He has exceptional on-ice vision, a sixth sense, some kind of intuition, that allows him to wait until the exact moment when a pass is best sent away. It’s a thrilling component of his game and one expects it’ll make him an outstanding 5×4 player for a long time.
  5. Anything else? This goes back to his skating, but he’s everywhere and incredibly elusive. RNH stops and starts instead of making a wide looping swing, he can get up to speed in a heartbeat and he can somehow position himself to avoid the head on checks that can do damage. He must have a math brain like that kid with the big head in the Foghorn Leghorn cartoon–seems to be able to calculate avoidance in Matrix-like fashion.
  6. What isn’t he good at? He wasted a lot of shots last season–could have had a dozen goals without that wonky sight–and I do think 5×5 scoring will be shy of Hall’s as we roll along. He’s also slight, that means he’s going to lose some battles and all Oiler fans pray for baby Nuge daily–someday he’ll have more weight on that frame.
  7. What about the Vollman Sledgehammer? Rock solid in both seasons, he’s a teenager with blue skies–and man that is a rare item. Nugent-Hopkins is such a massive piece of the future, he’s posting these ridiculous blue bubbles in the two way division before he shaves. Surreal. Surreal.
  8. He doesn’t push the river, though, not like Hall. No, but expecting that is crazy. Hall is 17 months–basically TWO YEARS–older than the Nuge. That’s a crazy, crazy difference for two guys drafted in consecutive years. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins just turned 20. He’s six months older than Nail Yakupov for crying out loud–he is really just a kid. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins this fall will be just about exactly the same age as Jordan Eberle was when he made his NHL debut.
  9. Are there signs he’ll be able to push the river one day without Hall? His rookie season was better in this regard (Nuge was healthier in 2011-12). His WOWY as a rookie on that line: RNH w/Hall: 53.3%; RNH w/o Hall: 44.7%; Hall w/o RNH: 51.3%. His WOWY this past season with Hall: RNH w/Hall: 54.6%; RMH w/oHall: 39%; Hall w/o RNH: 44%.
  10. What does it all mean? Basically, Hall pushes the river on that line, which is not a surprise buddy has been doing it since he got off the lear jet. The Nuge–while still a teenager–was playing in the “two-way” quadrant of the Vollman Sledgehammer and delivering 44.7% shot differential without Hall. That’s impressive, considering the quality of the team he has been playing for in the two seasons NHL.
  11. Long way to go. The beauty of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is that he started chasing the river at such a young age it’s going to mean he can play at par in his very early 20′s–even without Hall, imo.
  12. Are his WOWY’s better than Gagner? Let’s use 2011-12 for Gagner since last year was so wonky. We’ll also use Hall because he’s unique on the Oilers. Gagner w/Hall: 54.7% (RNH was 53.3%); Gagner w/o Hall: 46.2% (RNH was 44.7%); Hall w/o Gagner: 50.8% (Hall was 51.3%). So, about equal when Nuge was a rookie, and let’s remember sample size, et cetera et cetera et cetera. I think Nuge is going to be an outstanding 2-way center, the fact he isn’t drowning with or without on this horrible, horrible, horrible team is splendor.
  13. You don’t seem at all worried about last year’s offense? No, the 5% shooting percentage will improve and he was quite good as his season wound down (final 22: 3-14-17 +3) so for me this is a strong arrow.
  14. He’ll never be an offensive dynamo. It would be insane to make any kind of sweeping statements based on a shortened, injured season. Bitch.
  15. So what can he be? I think we’ve seen enough of RNH to say could be a dynamic 2-way C who can play in all three disciplines and impact the game. I think he’ll be a very good EV scorer and a tremendous PP quarterback, and he could be the best of the #1 overall picks.
  16. What can’t he be? A power forward, King Kong.
  17. Can he be better than Hall? Sure, although Hall looks like he’s going to be tough to catch. I don’t think he’ll be a better 5×5 offensive player than Hall or Yak, but that may be due to the position he plays (and the difficulty of it). He could be a ridiculous PP performer.
  18. That injury was a freaky thing. It has been an issue for a long time.  Willis posted this: Nugent-Hopkins has been plagued by shoulder injuries since entering the NHL, missing time twice in his rookie season. The second injury came in just Nugent-Hopkins’ second game back after missing a month to the first one, and at the time assistant coach Steve Smith suggested that Nugent-Hopkins may have aggravated the previous injury. Back in December, Nugent-Hopkins’ shoulder was again in the news, as his status for the World Juniors came into some doubt thanks to another injury – though ultimately Nugent-Hopkins did play, and played well. Krueger’s comments that this won’t be an on-going issue are encouraging, but as this is Nugent-Hopkins’ fourth injury in less than two years it is very much an issue worth keeping an eye on.
  19. So we may not have seen the full Nuge? Scary, ain’t it?
  20. Do you like him better than Hall or Yak? This is going to sound weird, but I feel the same way about them as I do about my kids. I couldn’t choose between them, I’m enthralled by their progress and fascinated by their development. This is the fun stuff and it’s especially thrilling because these are true diamonds, perfect cut.
  21. Why this song?  The song I’ve chosen is mysterious, like RNH, and early days, like RNH now, not fully formed but obviously something new and unique. The music is Bowie but not yet the complete Bowie we know now. The style in his voice is close, the music is on the way to Ziggy and it’s absolutely original (as always). It matches Nuge because it’s a mystery and still in its infancy, but packs a tremendous wallop despite being the work of a very young artist.
  22. Is the lyric about betrayal? No, it’s about personal discovery.

2012-13 NUGE SLEDGEHAMMER

hemsky vollman

 

There you have it, friends. Blue skies, nothing but blue skies. The 11-12 is the same quadrant, same blue. It was a horrible experience, losing for losing’s sake, but the prize is breathtaking. Absolutely breathtaking.

LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE

up in the air

This morning at 10, we hit the air with a full list of guests and a lot of content to cover. Scheduled to appear:

  • Author Gare Joyce will talk about some exciting projects he has coming up, and I’ll ask him about Future Greats and Heartbreaks, one of the best hockey books ever written. Your questions and comments are welcome. 
  • Harrison Mooney from the Vancouver Sun and Puck Daddy. The Luongo soap opera, can the Canucks win Stanley and I’ll try to get information about Harrison’s new song that’s coming out.
  • Mukai Maromo MMA fighter and one tough guy. We’ll talk about his charity work and about invite you to the River Cree Resort and Casino for the first “Heritage Day Classic,” a poker tournament aimed at raising funds for charity, with this year’s focus being the Crystal Kids Foundation.
  • Neal Livingston from Tend the Farm. We’ll talk Teemu, the new hires for OKC, and is there any hope for Tyler, Curtis and Ryan.
  • Craig Moonen from Krush Performance. Trades and suspensions in mlb. It’s an exciting day!

@Lowetide_ on twitter, 10-1260 via text. Hope you can tune in!

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47 Responses to "RE 13-14 RYAN NUGENT-HOPKINS: THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD"

  1. engineer says:

    Vera Famiga? Choice, LT. Very choice!

  2. Bar_Qu says:

    Its funny, but RNH gets left off the top billing all the time (at least in my mind). Yes, I know he’s one of the fab 5, but it is almost like it is HALL, EBERLE, Nugent-Hopkins, YAKUPOV, JUSTIN SCHULTZ! I may need to start putting that hyphenated moniker in caps too.

    This is the most interesting RE for me because of this. If RNH is what you are describing (I honestly don’t know if I disagree or agree yet) then this will be his most explosive season yet. I would love it, really would. I just hope the PP under Eakins can continue to allow RNH to achieve those gaudy plays. From what I’ve read, Eakin’s Marlies struggled on the PP (he really is a coach after MacT’s heart, isn’t he?).

  3. Andropod says:

    On a slightly different note, I wonder who we would lose in the event that Seattle got an NHL franchise tomorrow?
    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/07/31/report-serious-momentum-behind-an-nhl-expansion-team-in-seattle/

  4. Lois Lowe says:

    I love Nuge’s game. He does so many things right and rarely makes mistakes with his positioning or decision making. He’s also more physical than he appears and has a knack for rubbing people off the puck.

  5. Zipdot says:

    Stealth is right. The Nuge is a hockey cat ninja.

  6. Captain Smarmy says:

    Nuge is the kind of player you’ll compare other players to. He’s all on his own.

    I remember in the WHL playoffs I had a chance to ask a Blades coach what the plan was for Nuge and he said “Short of giving our dmen third eyes we’ll probably try to beat him up and see if he quits.”

    He didn’t quit. (but Red Deer wasn’t good enough either)

  7. Магия¹º says:

    Andropod,

    The 2000 rule was one goaltender, five defensemen, and nine forwards OR two goaltenders, three defensemen, and seven forwards.

    Protecting the 2nd goalie left 4 more skaters exposed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000_NHL_Expansion_Draft

    2000 added 2 teams. The governors really tied their hands when they let 16 teams into the Eastern Conference. The NHL will not be looking East for expansion and QC needs a team in the East to move.

  8. Germoil says:

    “He’ll never be an offensive dynamo. It would be insane to make any kind of sweeping statements based on a shortened, injured season. Bitch.”

    Thank you for that

  9. Hammers says:

    Not sure he will have the season you project this coming year but next year he could be a point a game player . Injuries can take different time periods from player to player .Hope your right but doubt it .

  10. rickithebear says:

    RNH:
    top FO totals
    11-12 37.5% 90/90
    12-13 41% 89/90
    hopefully the slight young man can fll out over the next 4 years.
    and end up being strong enough to win FO.
    His strong puck pocession skills say he likely will.

    He is averaging a 65 game per season pace.
    RNH ranks
    11-12
    83rd fwd points
    142 nd ESP
    20th PPpoints
    12-13
    123rd pts for fwd
    195th ESP
    50th PPpoints.

    His poor ESP production is a concern.
    when the playoffs start the clutch and grab game increases.
    The strong EVP players come to the for front.

    Clearly the games payed has affected his totals.
    his .75 PPg pace in first 2 years is right there with Hall, yakupov.

    with what looked like a reduced PP oportunity rate at the end of year.coinciding with a lower 2nd/3rd line standard at Even point production we may get a steal of a long term contract next year.
    For a young winger/center.

  11. G Money says:

    The Nuge put up 52 in 62 as a rookie, and even with a broken wing, the Nuge put up >0.5ppg last season. WIth a healthy shoulder this season, the Nuge goes supernova Hall-style this year. No question. >1.0ppg? Yup.

    Just a quick reminder of some things we might have forgotten that remind us of just how good the baby Nuge was as a rookie:

    - NHL record for the earliest career hat trick for a first overall pick
    - Oilers record for the earliest career hat trick in fewest career games
    - Only the second player to ever be named NHL Rookie of the Month for the first two months of the season. The other? Evgeni Malkin.
    - First 18-year-old in NHL history to reocrd five assists in one game. And only the fourth 18yo to ever record five points in one game.

    Like I said – healthy shoulder and Hall and Eberle on his wing, and we will bear witness to the latest stellar explosion in the Oiler galaxy.

  12. pboy says:

    I am bullish on all of the Fab Five but I think in 20 years time, Nuge will be the standout of that group. I really believe that the kid wins an Art Ross or two during his career. His shot during his rookie year was deceptively good, I expect him to regain and improve on that and his shooting % will revert to his norm once he’s healthy. He’s going to be playing with elite finishers and to be consistently near the top of the charts, that’s a big, big bonus.

    Love this kid.

  13. LMHF#1 says:

    Andropod:
    On a slightly different note, I wonder who we would lose in the event that Seattle got an NHL franchise tomorrow?
    http://blogs.edmontonjournal.com/2013/07/31/report-serious-momentum-behind-an-nhl-expansion-team-in-seattle/

    Big mistake if this actually happens. They have way too many teams in trouble already. Allow one to move there. The talent level in the league is too thin as it is.

  14. G Money says:

    LMHF#1: Big mistake if this actually happens. They have way too many teams in trouble already. Allow one to move there. The talent level in the league is too thin as it is.

    That would unquestionably be the right thing to do for the league. However, that doesn’t mean they’ll do what’s in the best interests of hockey. Because Bettman.

  15. D says:

    LMHF#1: Big mistake if this actually happens. They have way too many teams in trouble already. Allow one to move there. The talent level in the league is too thin as it is.

    Agreed. Also, Seattle is going to be a tough market for hockey regardless of whether it’s an expansion team or a relocation.

  16. LMHF#1 says:

    G Money: That would unquestionably be the right thing to do for the league.However, that doesn’t mean they’ll do what’s in the best interests of hockey.Because Bettman.

    Logic. Thought. Forgot I was dealing with the “Let’s call it the Metropolitan Division!” league.

  17. linkfromhyrule says:

    Can’t wait to see Nuge next season, he’s gonna be stellar.

    And a big hell no to an expansion. HELL no. Too many teams in trouble already, be it financial talentwise or whatever. Mind you, Bettman’s decisions range from questionable to idiotic at the best of times (metropolitan? SERIOUSLY?!) which makes me think this is a real possibility!

  18. linkfromhyrule says:

    LMHF#1: Logic. Thought. Forgot I was dealing with the “Let’s call it the Metropolitan Division!” league.

    lol you beat me to the metropolitan joke! Damn

  19. DeadmanWaking says:

    In a seven game series, either Hall will smoke your gearbox or Nuge will dissect your lanes (that gap where your side-view goes), name your poison–unless the game ends in OT with a vapor trail top corner launched from a comet in a phone booth that ruptures your opponent’s spine, melts his knees, and breaks his heart.

    NHL expansion draft would cause tough decisions

    Or maybe not, with the team as we knew it:

    Forwards: Belanger, Eberle, Gagner, Hall, Hemsky, Jones, Nugent-Hopkins, Paajarvi, Smyth
    Defensemen: Petry, Potter, Schultz, Smid, Whitney
    Goalies: Dubnyk

    What are we protecting this group from, exactly? Barbers who shave against the grain? It sure isn’t greedy fingers.

    This is the Schultz who has long conversations about adequate back-pressure with the pit crews at Midas. It’s not even the Schultz we keep in the velvet nook behind the snug panel fronting the the double-sided mickey-box that used to adjoin the old priest hole before the extra wing was added onto the master bathroom. That list resembles Freddy Benson cracking the safe behind the gesso-pocked Jamieson patriarch (the one with the Elizabethan neck ruffle and the clef-palate) in order to stow a contraband packet of Wrigley’s gum. It’s like Sothby’s in a joint promotion with Fuzzy Wuzzy after a flood.

    Ranking right up there with the foregone forlorn, Vancouver will have an easy call on whether to protect two goalies for the next expansion or three.

    Among the treasures, RHN is the unknown unknown. He could have mental gears that haven’t even been invented yet. Just imagine once he learns to slow the game down.

  20. Wolfie says:

    There is a strong pull to want to compare the current group of uber-talented kids to the ones of the glory days of old.

    Hall looks an awful lot like a Messier/Anderson hybrid. He has a little bit of a mean streak like Messier had although he doesn’t really fight like Moose did and he has a touch of Anderson’s kamikaze style of driving to the net.

    Eberle reminds of of Kurri in a lot of ways. He’s sneaky good. Probably not as defensively sound as Kurri was but has a heck of a shot and that sniper’s touch.

    I don’t think the Oilers of yesteryear had anyone like Yakupov. The 80s Oilers had a ton of guys who could put the puck in the net. Gretzky’s goal scoring often gets overshadowed by his playmaking ability but when you look back at how he scored his goals it was comical. He outsmarted the goalies and beat them in almost the simplest ways. Yak is more modern version of a sniper. Think Stamkos, Bure, Ovechkin and Brett Hull comes to mind.

    As for Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. The uncanny resemblance to #99 is striking. Gretzky was revolutionary and I don’t think RNH is that. However, the way he skates and makes a pass is very Gretzky like. He has that illusiveness and sees things at a higher level. I think RNH is actually a better 2-way player than Gretzky was. People forget as well though that when Gretzky wanted the puck he went and got it. Although he usually preferred to let others do that for him. The fact that RNH wears a # in the 90s as well kind of inspires fantasy as well. For me it says that there will never be another like the Great One but you know what?!? I’m no slouch.

    It really is tough to say which one of the #1s will be the better player. As LT mentioned it’s going to be hard to surpass Hall. To me RNH is the one that could be the one to overshadow the others. Because of his playmaking ability he’s going to be in on a ton of offense. I could see this kid winning multiple Art Ross trophies.

  21. PDO says:

    Магия¹º:
    Andropod,

    The 2000 rule was one goaltender, five defensemen, and nine forwards OR two goaltenders, three defensemen, and seven forwards.

    Protecting the 2nd goalie left 4 more skaters exposed.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000_NHL_Expansion_Draft

    2000 added 2 teams. The governors really tied their hands when they let 16 teams into the Eastern Conference. The NHL will not be looking East for expansion and QC needs a team in the East to move.

    How about prospects? Ex, Klefbom, Nurse….

    Nuge and Hall will both be over a PPG, don’t think anyone else will be though. Can’t wait to watch a healthy Nuge play all year; hopefully he’ll take off like Hall did last year…

  22. Lois Lowe says:

    D,

    I disagree. Seattle is a great sports market and I think they’d support a team easily.

  23. Магия¹º says:

    PDO: How about prospects? Ex, Klefbom, Nurse…

    Apparently they are exempt:

    -Players who have not played 50 NHL games are automatically exempt.

    -Each team must leave unprotected at least one defenseman who appeared in 40 games last season OR 70 games in the last two seasons combined.

    -Each team must leave unprotected at least two forwards who appeared in 40 games last season OR 70 games in the last two seasons combined.

    -No team may lose more than 1 goaltender OR 1 defenceman and no team may lose more than 2 players.

    That last one is fun because teams in trouble have an incentive to pay an expansion team to select a player to protect others.

  24. wheatnoil says:

    Zipdot:
    Stealth is right.The Nuge is a hockey cat ninja.

    1st Line: Ninja – Chance – Clutch

  25. russ99 says:

    Anyone else concerned that we haven’t locked up Nuge to his post-entry level contract yet?

  26. LMHF#1 says:

    Gomez gets 1 year for 900k from the Panthers.

    That would have been absolutely perfect.

  27. Магия¹º says:

    Магия¹º: That last one is fun because teams in trouble have an incentive to pay an expansion team to select a player to protect others.

    Why am I surprised Pollock did that in 67?

    http://lowetide.ca/blog/2007/08/pollock-tracer.html

    “they made a deal with the North Stars so Dave Balon was taken first and sent Andre Boudrias and others over after the draft”

  28. BlacqueJacque says:

    I always liked the Nirvana cover more, which is odd, because I rarely prefer the cover to the original.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fregObNcHC8

  29. Scott Reynolds says:

    With Hall’s RE in the sky, I think it makes sense to project this for the guy you’ve got as his center. There have been 42 point per game seasons by forwards over the last three years, and 27 of those guys also had a teammate over a point per game. Three on the same team would be much more unusual, so I’m excited to see what you’ve got for Eberle and Yakupov.

  30. godot10 says:

    russ99:
    Anyone else concerned that we haven’t locked up Nuge to his post-entry level contract yet?

    No, because the comparables for either short term or long term are set. Short term (Matt Duchesne), long-term (Hall, Taveres, Seguin, Matt Duchesne).

    Nugent-Hopkins has no incentive to sign after coming off of a season where his boxcars were low because he was hurt.

    Landeskog hasn’t signed yet either.

  31. HeavySig says:

    I believe that we will see a much different, stronger player once RNH is done his rehab. A lot of his detractors before (and after) he was drafted pointed to his size and slight build as a weak spot. Because of his exceptional balance and skating he could often land some surprising hits, he wasn’t exactly a match for Joe Thorton when it came time to mucking it up.

    However, you have to take into account his wonky shoulder that made it even tougher for him to compete physically. Horcoff’s face-off stats went south of 50% in the same situation and that was an area he normally did very well at. RNH’s shooting percentage also dropped considerably, again the shoulder could have contributed to that decline.

    Having a rebuilt, stronger shoulder won’t make him a power forward, but it should allow the “Nugician” to shore up his weaker areas while working his nugic.

    hmmm…after writing it out, not sure how well Nugician works. Yay or Nay?

  32. Logan91 says:

    “Ryan Nugent-Hopkins is one part sorcerer, one part mystery, one part ghost and one part magician.”

    Haha, gave me quite the laugh.

  33. Kris11 says:

    New name: Merlin Ninja-Hopkins

  34. TheOtherJohn says:

    Superb player. Kills it 5 x4 and is such a sound defensive C for a 20 year old. Makes everyone he plays with a better player. Expect he will be the next member of the Oiler $6m club. He has a chance to be an absolute horse.Really impressive player! Can’t win a face off to save his life but so what.

    I expect history may show him to be the 3rd best player on tthis team; Hall, Yak then RNH but that could still be truly exceptional

    To whoever spoke of RNH and he who should never be used as a comparator: Gretzky scored 51-86 137 and tied for the NHL scoring lead as an 18 year old first year player in the NHL. RNH had a very good start to his career. He did not have THAT good a start to his career

  35. nycoil says:

    It strikes me that Nuge could score 30+ goals a season down the line if placed in a primary scoring role, but given the horses that we have on the wings, he’s more likely going to be closer to Doug Weight-type totals, where you get about 3 apples per goal for with him (20G-60A-80P baseline, with hopefully a couple of 25-75-100 outliers in there down the road). That, coupled with his back-checking and positional awareness, should make him one of the better 1Cs in the West in his prime, despite a lack of size. He’s a natural, best instincts I’ve seen in Oiler silks since Doug himself, and that was as a raw rookie. Every game until he got hurt he made at least one play that made you say, “Wow,” even if he didn’t score. A seeing-eye pass, a Datsyukian stick-check, a batted puck out of the air, that dangle on Lidstrom, etc., just a sublime talent. Can’t wait to see him 100% and with a bit more bulk to his frame. He has an underrated physical game, too. If he gets a bit of piss and vinegar in him like on that Morrow hit, he’s going to be something! Hopefully he takes after Hall in that department, rather than Hemsky.

    For this season, however, given the shoulder and how long it took Hall to ease into things even down in OKC, I think it best to bring him back with softer minutes and primo 5×4 time to start. Hopefully there are some meaningful games for this team in March, and by then he’ll be 100%. Maybe something like the following to start the year:

    Line 1A: Gagner-Hall-Yakupov (Two whirling dervishes on Sam’s wings that are going to push opposing d-men back on their heels with their rifles and wrecking ball mentalities, leaving Gagner to focus more on improving his deficiencies in face-offs and defending and rounding out his game)

    Line 1B: RNH(Arcobello)-Perron-Eberle (Bit small, but give them more of the soft parade. Perron seems to have some defensive awareness to his game, and if he can bring some of Hitchcock’s discipline and Eakins reinforces it, this could work. Eberle, I think has more to give defensively also. His work on the PK his rookie year had some nice things (and some glaring holes). This trio could be a stick-checking, positionally aware, three-headed monster with a quick transition game and three pairs of silky smooth mitts that will give the opposing soft parade fits. Use 1A and the Gordon line against the opposition’s best and let 1B go to work. Acrobello seems like a smart player, but man it’s going to be a struggle every night until Nuge gets healthy. Still feels like a lack of depth down the middle and a lack of bottom 6 options that can play up in the lineup when need be (that ever elusive actual NHL player (TM)) is going to hurt. It’s still August. We’ll see.

  36. Cobbler says:

    LMHF#1,

    The talent level available to the league is just fine and there are enough players to go around. The problem is you still have teams signing Colten Orr’s and Fraser McClaren’s ahead of more skilled players.

    The talent is available but team structures or the cap are preventing more skilled players being put in the lineup.

    I simply refuse to believe that at any given time there are fewer than 700 NHL calibre players in the world.

    And I can’t believe that Brad Boyes isn’t signed yet. Guy made $1M last year and is historically at 0.7 ppg RW.

    Current UFA’s could almost make a decent team.

  37. LMHF#1 says:

    Dead Cat Bounce:
    Oilers are done:

    http://oilers.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=679345&navid=DL|EDM|home

    Abject stupidity if true. Way too many talented hockey players out there that could be signed or invited to TC for a team that is far from complete to simply put up the ‘closed for business’ sign.

  38. LMHF#1 says:

    Cobbler:
    LMHF#1,

    The talent level available to the league is just fine and there are enough players to go around.The problem is you still have teams signing Colten Orr’s and Fraser McClaren’s ahead of more skilled players.

    The talent is available but team structures or the cap are preventing more skilled players being put in the lineup.

    I simply refuse to believe that at any given time there are fewer than 700 NHL calibre players in the world.

    And I can’t believe that Brad Boyes isn’t signed yet.Guy made $1M last year and is historically at 0.7 ppg RW.

    Current UFA’s could almost make a decent team.

    You’re measuring vs. the current level of talent. I am not.

  39. Marc says:

    I suspect Nuge will have the best career out of the kids. HIs defensive instincts are incredible for someone so young, so he’s likely to be the best all around play of all of them. And his vision should keep productive later in his career than Hall, who will eventually lose his speed, and Eberle, who will eventually lose his quickness (I could see Yak’s shot keeping him dangerous for a long time).

    I think when all is said and done though, I will look back on Hall as my favourite player. He just draws your eyes whenever he’s on the ice. It was the same with Messier for me. I knew that Gretzky was the better player, but I Messier’s shifts were always my favourites because of the energy that he played with.

  40. RexLibris says:

    Re: Expansion – the league could afford one more team, at least.

    http://theleafsnation.com/2013/2/8/should-the-nhl-expand-relocate-or-contract

    http://theleafsnation.com/2013/2/17/should-the-nhl-expand-relocate-or-contract-part-two-the-talent

    History has shown that fewer teams does not necessarily mean smarter or better teams. The inclusion of the WHA put the nail in the coffin of 70s Broad Street hockey. Expansion can breed innovat ion and give outsiders a shot.

  41. prairieschooner says:

    LT
    Any chance of taking a look at prospects

    What is a prospect?
    How close is a prospect to the big show?
    Can you evaluate prospects
    How do you calculate prospects as a trading currency

    We hear lots of talk about trades “a pick and a prospect”
    Is a second round pick equal to a prospect?
    OKC appears to have Marincin and Musil as the 2 most common trade suggestions how much value should they have
    Are Larsen and Joensuu prospects?

  42. D says:

    Lois Lowe:
    D,

    I disagree. Seattle is a great sports market and I think they’d support a team easily.

    http://timandjeni.com/blog/can-seattle-support-six-major-pro-sports-teams/

  43. DeadmanWaking says:

    I have to say there’s nothing like searing a thick meaty chop in hot oil, garlic, cumin, fennel and a moxi-mucilungus meat diaper– rivaled only in its distinctly acrid signature by the frizz kitty catching her tail on fire.

    I don’t know how many times I’ve become deeply entranced in the act of hoovering a giant chop (meeeeat) over the the gleaming steel lip into the fragrant sizzle before twigging in vague reverie to the vacant bunk on the styrofoam packing tray. One close call after another and I never learn. Meeeeeat.

    One time it was going down, down down but I managed to twist it into a tumble in ultra slow motion … nooooooooooooo … so it back flipped onto the pan with just a molten corner where it cratered into a desperate vault, before surfing hot splattering oil into the end boards.

    Today I had a free-rider in a perfect four-corner belly leech, but I wasn’t fooled and I just went “I don’t think so, buddy, not this time, no sir, you’re not going to garlic Valhalla on my ticket, you disgusting sodden quilt for incontinent hemophiliacs. Your mother was a used tea bag and your father was a limp coffee filter. Now get off my loin.”.

  44. DeadmanWaking says:

    No, I edit that. How about “slick-eared, four-corner belly leach” if the theme of the day is hyphenation? “Perfect” not perfect, except in the hands of a master. Hum, a trifle more perfection than I bargained for, but who’s counting? Here goes:

    ..this perfect person.. this perfect being.. I do not understand this.. perfect?

    Perfect, Mr. President.

    I don’t want a million – I just want one. A perfect one.

    The cell is for lack of a better word… perfect.

    OK, go ahead! But Mr. Perfect better be polite…

    I told you … perfect!

    Wake her up, but be gentle about it! This woman is mankind’s most precious possession! She is… perfect!

    [Dazed] Perfect…

    [Dazed and listing] 5’7″, green eyes… long legs… great skin… perfect..

    Uh huh..and I don’t suppose you got the name of this … perfect fare ..

    [Spying] “They really made her… Perfect.” Leeloo finishes dressing. She is delighted.

    I want your best man on this! Don’t worry, Sir. I have the perfect one.

    He turns to Leeloo struggling out of her wet clothes. His breath is taken away by the sight of her perfect body.

    Perfect… Take command, Akanit.

    Ladies, start melting ’cause the boy’s hot! Hot! Hot! The boy is perfect..

    And now we enter what must be the most beautiful concert hall of all the universe! A perfect replica of the old opera house! … But who cares?

    Billions of stars glow in perfect silence.

    Crystal blue water, perfect white sand beaches. A true paradise.

    Korben cannot help but stare at her bare flesh. Her perfect bottom.

    Yes, Mr. Zorg, I hear you perfectly! So, how was the concert?

    Who gives a shit!

    Tut tut, I don’t think he should have snapped right after the last use of the “perfect” word. Most of that from a draft script from 1995. Luc had a fetish going … all over the gamut . She was hot, a real cinematic Band-Aid swaddled bacon-saver.

  45. nycoil says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    Did someone forget their multi-pass at the door today?

  46. Rocknrolla says:

    DeadmanWaking,

    The Fifth Element….great flick! Oh Mila….maybe a suggestion for LT for the next series…

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