Player Notes

  • Kopitar, Kings not close in contract talks
    Kings GM Dean Lombardi doesn't feel that Los Angeles and Anze Kopitar are even in the same ballpark when it comes to Kopitar's contract negotiations.

    Advice: Kopitar is entering the final campaign of his seven-year, $47.6 million contract. He means a lot to the Kings' franchise so it would be surprising if he doesn't eventually agree to terms. At the same time, based on what Lombardi said we have to wonder if Kopitar will head into training camp without a new deal. He has 218 goals and 610 points in 683 career games with Los Angeles. 54 minutes ago
  • Nazem Kadri is happy with how his summer went
    Nazem Kadri feels good about how this summer went for him.

    Advice: "This off-season has been my best," Kadri said. "Physically, it has been easier. My body is catching up with me and it's easier to get stronger and I can work on those areas that I have to, a lot of explosive movements, agility, a lot of footwork. I'm continually working on speed and obviously strength. I think my lower body is a whole different ball game. I've become stronger and that's what you need to keep up with all the best players." Although expectations are low for the Leafs overall, Kadri is entering this season with plenty to prove. He's coming off of a rough campaign where he recorded 39 points in 73 games and received a pair of suspensions, including one by the Leafs for disciplinary reasons. He has the potential to be a great player, but he'll turn 25 on Oct. 6, so talk of his potential is going to start to die out. At some point in the not too distant future, he'll start to be assessed purely based on what he's shown rather than what he was once pr Today, 7:18 am
  • Chara hopes to move past 2014-15 campaign
    With the start of training camp just around the corner, Zdeno Chara doesn't want to spend much time dwelling on Boston's failed 2014-15 bid.

    Advice: "I don't want to go back too much to last year. I think the most frequent word that came out of last season was inconsistency, and that’s what we have to work on," said Chara. "We have to make sure we play with that consistency, and not experience those ups and downs like last year." Chara is coming off of a down season in which he only recorded 20 points and while Boston might bounce back, he is less likely to. At the age of 38, his decline makes sense. Today, 7:02 am
  • Connor McDavid doesn't want to focus on stats
    Connor McDavid doesn't want to focus on reaching numerical goals.

    Advice: In other words, he'd rather focus on having a good season rather than recording X amount of points. Obviously a good season would likely go hand-in-hand with offensive production for a skilled forward like McDavid, but his point is partially that if he sets those kinds of statistical benchmarks for himself, it could end up negatively influencing him. He also noted, "Numbers are one thing, but some of the best games I have ever played have been games in which I didn't get a point or maybe had one point." Of course, with a focus on fantasy hockey, we obviously put a lot of value in numbers. McDavid is a risky pick because rookies, even incredibly talented ones, are particularly hard to predict, but he at least has the potential to surpass the 70-point mark in his first campaign. Yesterday, 6:48 pm
  • Voracek played big role in luring Neuvirth
    Jakub Voracek apparently played a big role in recruiting Michal Neuvirth, who signed a two-year, $3.25 million deal with the Flyers this summer.

    Advice: Voracek doesn't feel that he was the one to convince Neuvirth to move to Philadelphia, but Neuvirth seems to see things differently. "I met Jake and we talked about things here and he said all good things about the Flyers," Neuvirth recalled. "He wanted me to come here. I think it made him happy when I signed here. ... He was the reason I signed here." He'll serve as Steve Mason's understudy in 2015-16 and is projected to play in around 25 games assuming both netminders stay relatively healthy. Yesterday, 2:29 pm
  • Evgeny Kuznetsov happy with two-year deal
    Evgeny Kuznetsov thinks the two-year bridge contract he signed in July is good for both sides.

    Advice: Kuznetsov hopes to sign a long-term deal with Washington eventually, but this contract gives him a chance to show Washington what he's capable of. He recorded 11 goals and 37 points in 80 contests last season and he's believed to have a significant amount of untapped upside. In the meantime, his contract comes with a $3 million annual cap hit. Yesterday, 9:22 am
  • Sergei Plotnikov talks NHL arrival
    It sounds like the 2015-16 season was the perfect time for Sergei Plotnikov to make the jump to the NHL, and it doesn't hurt that it's with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    Advice: At 25, he's in a situation that's possibly golden if he can line up with Evgeni Malkin (as some expect). Plotnikov's KHL production has been about 15 goals and 35 points (give or take) in 50+ games for three straight seasons. The Penguins would probably be delighted with similar production. Sunday, 11:36 am
  • Career year coming for Tommy Wingels?'s Kevin Kurz pegs Tommy Wingels for a career-year in 2015-16, even if health is a bit of an issue.

    Advice: Wingels has 20-goal, 50-point potential, according to Kurz. The 27-year-old would need to see quite a jump from what seemed like breakthrough seasons in 2013-14 and 2014-15 (38 and 36 points respectively) to do so. Based on those numbers, 20 goals and 40 points might be a safer wager. Sunday, 11:31 am
  • Stan Bowman: Fans will love new Blackhawks
    After a tumultuous off-season, Chicago Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman is exalting the virtues of change.

    Advice: Bowman told " I think we're really going to fall in love with some of these guys." Few, if any, teams have seen the sort of dramatic changes the defending champions experienced this summer, so they'll need to see the likes of Marko Dano contribute in 2015-16. Sunday, 11:19 am
  • Columnist believes Stars' budget makes sense
    To some, the Dallas Stars are heading toward possible headaches, but the Dallas Morning News' Mike Heika laid out the wisdom of GM Jim Nill's plan.

    Advice: In particular, Heika notes that the Stars are set to where Patrick Sharp's $5.9 million cap hit will expire when Jamie Benn's bargain deal is over, so they could basically send that money to their captain. The Stars are very much in win-now mode, which makes them a very intriguing fantasy proposition. Sunday, 11:08 am
  • Andrew Copp aims to make Jets roster
    Winnipeg Jets prospect Andrew Copp hopes to go from prospect to full-time roster member in 2015-16.

    Advice: Copp, 21, generated 14 goals and 31 points in 36 games with the University of Michigan last season. He also appeared in one game with the Jets, producing an assist. He was a fourth-round pick (104th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft. Sunday, 8:54 am
  • Seguin loves what GM Jim Nill is doing in DAL
    Tyler Seguin was happy with the Stars' acquisition of Patrick Sharp.

    Advice: "It was kind of more of a, ‘There’s Jim Nill again’ kind of reaction," said Seguin. "Be very quiet during most of the trades and then all of the sudden make a big bang. In the last three seasons, including [Rich] Peverley and myself coming over. On July 4, I was sitting on my phone just waiting for Jim to do something. It’s kind of been his date. Around there was our acquisition from Boston, then the [Jason] Spezza and [Ales] Hemsky deal. Now Sharp, Niemi and Oduya. Jim is doing his thing and making our team better. That gives the players a lot of confidence as well." Sunday, 6:28 am
  • Bruins will rely on younger defensemen
    The Boston Bruins will rely on young defenseman Zach Trotman to eat up some minutes for them in 2015-16.

    Advice: Trotman didn't look out of place during his time with the Bruins last season. He finished the year on a pairing with Zdeno Chara and he should see a good amount of action going forward. "In Trotman’s situation, he’s made some pretty good plays and he’s been pretty reliable," said head coach Claude Julien. At some point you have to balance out your back end depending on who you’re playing. Some teams have two or three good lines and if you put all your best D’s on one pair, you become vulnerable. We’ve had to rely on [young guys], and at the same time, I think they’ve been earning our trust with the way they’ve been playing." Sunday, 5:50 am
  • Matt Martin generated most hits since lockout
    New York Islanders winger Matt Martin easily leads all NHL skaters in hits since 2012-13, the most recent lockout.

    Advice: Martin has delivered 974 hits in 205 games played. He's the only player who cleared 800 hits in that time frame, as Cal Clutterbuck comes in at 768, the only other player above 700. Martin is also a source of PIM (114 in 2014-15, 561 in 358 career games), so he could be a somewhat-interesting utility consideration if you can stomach the loss in traditional stats. Saturday, 10:57 am
    Player Note
    Matt Martin NYI - LW,RW
  • Valeri Nichushkin says his hip is healthy
    Dallas Stars forward Valeri Nichushkin says his surgically repaired hip is "feeling great."

    Advice: His 2014-15 season was largely aborted, as he only appeared in eight games after a promising rookie year. Nichushkin is an awfully interesting wild card, especially if he can manage to make his way into a stacked Stars' top six forward group. Saturday, 10:22 am
  • Barret Jackman feels like a rookie with Preds
    At 34, Barret Jackman has that fish-out-of-water feeling as he approaches his first training camp with the Nashville Predators.

    Advice: He registered 803 regular season games played with the St. Louis Blues, so one can understand the rookie feeling of uncertainty he's experiencing right now. He won't be very fantasy-relevant on a loaded Predators blueline, although injuries could conceivably open up chances for him to fill "grit" stat categories. Saturday, 9:27 am
  • Curtis Glencross discusses PTO, contract talk
    Curtis Glencross rues taking a "hometown discount" with his most recent deal, especially as he waits on the sidelines of unrestricted free agency.

    Advice: Glencross detailed his "frustrating" situation with the Calgary Sun on Friday. "I have a young family, and it’s tough to bounce around on a PTO — it has to be a good opportunity, too, so I can do well and get an extension," Glencross said. Glencross will likely need to impress on a one-year "audition" before he gets any chance at longer-term security. Saturday, 9:23 am
    Not Active
  • Justin Abdelkader wants to stay in Detroit
    Justin Abdelkader wants to remain in Detroit beyond this season but he knows that things don't always turn out the way you expect.

    Advice: Obviously you want to stay but you also know it’s a business," Abdelkader said. "You just don’t know (what’ll happen). I’m just going to focus on having another good year and we’ll see what happens." The 28-year-old had a career-high 23 goals and 44 points for the Wings last season. Saturday, 6:53 am
  • Cody Eakin happy to have new deal done
    Cody Eakin believes that his new contract extension will get his season started on the right foot.

    Advice: Eakin didn't have a contract going into 2014-15 and he missed a good chunk of training camp because of it. He subsequently got off to a slow start before rounding into form later on. "I don’t think anyone was happy how last season started, so this is much better," Eakin said. "I definitely think that getting this done is a positive. I think we’re entering an important time for the team, and I’m excited to be a part of it." Saturday, 6:42 am
  • Crosby excited about Phil Kessel's speed
    Sidney Crosby said that he's excited about Phil Kessel's speed.

    Advice: "Speed. I think that's probably the first thing that comes to mind," Crosby said. "He's a threat with his shot and with his feet, but I think his feet kind of create everything for him." Kessel has had some very good seasons while playing with average centers. His offensive upside while playing with Crosby or Malkin is huge. Saturday, 6:29 am
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