Dom Lunardo | May 27th, 2020
Dom Lunardo | May 25th, 2020
Size, speed, strength, and skill. No that’s not an interesting piece of alliteration. Rather, these are just some of the adjectives which best describe draft-eligible centerman, and top prospect, Quinton Byfield. As draft day approaches, many NHL general managers are vigorously checking boxes and having their comprehensive data sheets ready to roll. With this being said, Byfield quite deservedly remains near the top of many pro scouts’ lists. So just how good is Quinton Byfield and what impact can we expect him to have at the NHL level? Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | May 23rd, 2020
To date, only eight players of Austrian descent have played in the National Hockey League. Superstar centerman, Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s will be the ninth. Born and raised in Feldkirch, Austria, Rossi is as raw a talent as they come and poised for greatness. A shoo-in top-10 pick, there’s lots to love about his approach to games and how he conducts himself. Let’s take a closer look at Marco Rossi, one of the most interesting talents at the upcoming NHL Entry Draft. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | May 13th, 2020
Desire, personality, talent, charisma, passion, skill, and a burning will to win. These are just some of the adjectives used to describe Hall-of-Fame goaltender, Patrick Roy. If one was to make a “Mount Rushmore of NHL goaltenders”, Patrick Roy would be forever enshrined in history. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | May 4th, 2020
One of the finest Swedish hockey players of all-time appears in the form of Peter Forsberg. As a player, Forsberg was a superstar power-forward with an incredible skill set. A proven winner, Forsberg is a two-time Stanley Cup Champion and member of the Triple Gold Club (Olympic Gold, World Championship, and Stanley Cup). Hockey fans all around the world have adored both his on-ice vision and elite style of play. Let’s rewind and enjoy a “blast from the past” by taking a closer look at the life and playing career of Peter Forsberg. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | April 30th, 2020
Over the last 15-20 years, the United States has seen a surge of talented, American-born hockey players. From Mike Richter, Tony Amonte, Jamie Langenbrunner, Bill Guerin, Pat LaFontaine, Brian Leetch, Patrick Kane, Ryan Suter, Auston Matthews, and Jack Eichel, the U.S. presence in the National Hockey League continues to rise at a steady rate. Enter Livonia, Michigan native, Mike Modano, and you have perhaps the cream of the crop of USA hockey. Let’s take a closer look at the NHL career of Mike Modano and the road he paved for the next generation of hockey players south of the Canadian border. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | April 29th, 2020
The Colorado Avalanche are one of the most youthfully exuberant, skilled, and exciting teams in the National Hockey League. They’re explosive, well-rounded and have some of the best players in the show playing for their team with the likes of Nathan MacKinnon, Gabriel Landeskog, Mikko Rantanen, and rookie phenom, Cale Makar. Before the NHL hit the pause button due to the COVOD-19 pandemic, the Avs posted a 42-20-8 record through 70 games and sat two points behind the Central Division leaders, St. Louis Blues. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | April 28th, 2020
Detroit, Michigan (aka Hockeytown U.S.A). After qualifying for the playoffs for an NHL-record 25 consecutive seasons, the Detroit Red Wings have fallen on some tough times recently. Long gone are the days of Steve Yzerman (as a player), Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Nicklas Lidstrom, Sergei Fedorov, and many others who have donned the white and red of Detroit. Right now, the state of the Red Wings franchise is in a full-out rebuild.
The 2019-20 version of the Detroit Red Wings sits in last place overall in the NHL standings with an abysmal 17-49-5 record. All eyes in Detroit are on Steve Yzerman, a hall-of-Famer during his playing days, as he attempts to steer the ship in the right direction. For starters, Yzerman is slated to have a top-5 selection at the upcoming 2020 NHL Entry Draft. In addition, the Red Wings also have a fairly deep prospect pool with several players on the cusp of everyday NHL jobs. Let’s dive in and take a closer look at who these prospects are and what impact they can have at the NHL level.
Number 3: Jared McIsaac, Defenseman, Halifax Mooseheads/Moncton Wildcats (WMJHL)
Jared McIsaac starts us off at number three. What a talent the Red Wings have here! Drafted in the second round, 36th overall back at the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, McIsaac has seen his game blossom over the past few seasons. During this past year’s IHF 2020 World Junior Hockey Championship, McIsaac showed posied, discipline, maturity, and an elite skillset helping his native country of Canada win the Gold Medal.
McIsaac is a smooth skater who loves to carry the puck. He also has a real good presence and active stick in his own end. The Truro, Nova Scotia product currently plays for the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) after being traded earlier in the year from the Halifax Mooseheads. McIsaac is a solid all-around defender who has a very bright future ahead of him. The Red Wings have themselves a real find with Jared McIsaac.
Number 2: Joe Veleno, Center, Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)
Montreal native, Joe Veleno is next up on our list at number two. After posting one goal and five assists in seven games during this past year’s World Junior tournament, Joe Veleno is poised for stardom at the NHL level. Last season with the Drummondville Voltigeurs of the QMJHL, Veleno had a season for the ages posting 42 goals and 104 points in just 59 games.
When you look at Veleno as both a person and player, there is just so much to adore. He’s an excellent skater, cool with the puck on his stick, and is so unselfish. Veleno has all the makings of a fantastic athlete with a real keen eye for the ice. At just 2 years of age, Veleno plays a solid two-way game, and possess superb puck skills that he uses on each and every shift. The Red Wings have high hopes for the youngster, who they selected in the first round, 30th overall during the 2018 NHL Draft. Veleno should step right into the NHL next season and should help re0ignited the passionate fan base in Detroit Michigan.
Number 1: Moritz Seider, Defenseman, Grand Rapids Griffins (AHL)
Moritz Seider wins the top prize as the best prospect on the Detroit Red Wings. Blessed with a big, strong physique (6’4, 210 lbs), Seider is the crown jewel in the Red Wings organization on so many different levels. Seider is an elite skater with excellent agility and edgework (keep in mind he’s 6’4), who sees the ice extremely well. In his own end, Seider uses his size and wit to escape trouble and makes smooth transitions from defense to offense.
Seider was a stand out during the 2020 World Junior tournament as he captained his native country of Germany. Seider is reliable, a born leader, and makes few errors throughout the course of the game even at the tender age of 19. The Wings have been thrilled with his development, overall mobility, and his approach to each and every game. Detroit has its linchpins on defense with both Moritz Seider and Jared McIsaac. The future is looking bright in Mo-town.
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Joel Dorcas | April 28th, 2020
Nicknamed the “moose” because of his large frame and presence on the ice, Mark Messier will go down in NHL history as the ultimate team-leader and captain. Many will regard him as one of the best of all-time in any sport. His likeness will be forever referenced to when teams start building Championship Franchises. Let’s throw it back to the ’80s and ’90s and take a closer look at Mark “Moose” Messier. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | April 27th, 2020
For a team that’s missed the playoffs for the past seven seasons, there sure is a lot of optimism surrounding the Arizona Coyotes. To begin with, there’s a new owner in town. His name? Alex Meruelo, who’s brought a new outlook to the hockey operations department down in Glendale. In addition, there’s general manager John Chayka, who brought the likes of Taylor Hall and Phil Kessel to the desert with hopes of gaining some semblance of hockey relevancy. Head coach Rick Tocchet heads the list as one of the most innovative and well-respected coaches in the National Hockey League. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | April 27th, 2020
After an up-and-down last few seasons in the City of Brotherly Love that saw the team miss the postseason in four of the last seven years, the Philadelphia Flyers seemed to have found their “mojo” in 2019-20. This mojo appears in the form of the perfect balance of youth, good coaching, veteran leadership, and a stud goaltender. Mix these all together and you had a team on the path to the NHL playoffs before the NHL hit the pause button due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | April 26th, 2020
The Boston Bruins came within one win of a Stanley Cup triumph last spring, losing to the eventual champion, St. Louis Blues in a hard-fought seven-game series. The deciding game coming on home ice at the TD Garden, which makes it all the more painful for Patrice Bergeron and co.
Dom Lunardo | April 25th, 2020
It’s been five seasons since the Buffalo Sabres drafted Massachusetts-born star centerman, Jack Eichel, second overall during the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. One pick behind Connor McDavid, who many tout as the very best hockey player in the world today. Eichel has been spectacular in a Sabres uniform and has been one of the most dominant players in the NHL. However, Eichel needs help, and lots of it if the Sabres are to make some noise and finally clinch a postseason berth in a very competitive Eastern Conference. Are reinforcements on the way in the Queen City?
Dom Lunardo | April 21st, 2020
“You really don’t remember, was it something that he said? Are the voices in your head calling, Gloria?”. What a team. Amazing moment for the St. Louis Blues during their 2019 Stanley Cup Triumph, the first cup in the franchise’s history. It’s been a long time coming for the Blues and their passionate fan base out in the Midwest, but it all came together in mesmerizing fashion during the 2018-19 campaign. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | April 19th, 2020
Anaheim, California. Although certainly not a traditional hockey hot-bed, Lord Stanley was raised here during the 2006-07 season. Fast forward nearly 14 seasons later, and that Ducks team without question looks much different. That so-called “Death Valley”, California road trip, has a whole new persona behind it with the drop in the play of the San Jose Sharks, Los Angeles Kings, and Anaheim Ducks. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | April 17th, 2020
Mathew Barzal, Josh Bailey, Devon Toews, Ryan Pulock, Anthony Beauvillier, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau. These are just some of the names that make up a pretty good hockey team in the New York Islanders. on the New York Islanders hockey club. When the face of the franchise, John Tavares left for Toronto last summer (yes, Islander fans are probably still ruing over it to this day), not many expected the team to play as well as they did. The days of the“run and gun” Islanders have been replaced by a solid four-line team, that can break a game open with their skill. In just a few short seasons, the islanders have morphed into one of the most exciting teams in the National Hockey League. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | April 16th, 2020
When you think of the Washington Capitals one thing comes to mind, and that’s “The Great 8”, Alex Ovechkin. For the past 15+ seasons, “Ovie” has been the face of the Capitals franchise with 700+ goals to his name. Quite simply, Ovechkin is one of the single-greatest goalscorers in the history of the National Hockey League. He’s consistently dominant, feared amongst opponents, lethal all over the ice, and awakened a fan base in D.C. that was rather dormant before his arrival back in 2005-06. Oh, and let’s not forget that Ovechkin also spearheaded the team to their first Stanley Cup triumph two seasons ago after years and years of playoff shortcomings and disappointments. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | April 15th, 2020
The Columbus Blue Jackets…the team that sent shock waves across the National Hockey League. It’s been just about 12 full months to the day since the Columbus Blue Jackets pulled off perhaps one of the biggest upsets in NHL history. During last spring’s first-round matchup against the heavily-favored (and President’s Trophy-winning) Tampa Bay Lighting, the Jackets went on to sweep the Bolts four games to zero. An encounter for the ages saw the Blue Jackets knock off a Lightning team that accumulated 128 points during the regular season. Absolutely unbelievable. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | April 12th, 2020
“One day our Jets will fly again” For fans of the Winnipeg Jets from all across Canada, that phrase loomed large when the team sadly relocated to Phoenix, Arizona at the end of the 1995-96 season. 16 years later, the Jets (and their newly ignited fan base) made their triumphant return to the National Hockey League during the 2011-12 season. That infamous phrase was at the forefront once again in the eyes of hockey fans in Winnipeg: ”One day our Jets will fly again”. Continue reading
Vancouver, British Columbia. Where the mountains meet the ocean, and breathtaking landscapes and scenery are in abundance. This beautiful city located in the heartland of Western Canada is also home to the Vancouver Canucks. Over the past few seasons, things have been anything but roses and unicorns in the city of Vancouver. Long departed are the Sedin brothers (Daniel and Henrik) who together spent the better part of 17 seasons in a Canucks uniform. The team has seen a fundamental shift in personnel both on and off the ice to a squad built around skill, speed, charisma, grit and youthful exuberance. Continue reading
Joel Dorcas | April 5th, 2020
Time to wrap this list up. these guys are my top five but by no means is this the defining list. More than likely this list can be added to just like the other series, so feel free to add your favorites. Let’s get to it and find out who is the league’s best players based on their salaries!￼ Continue reading
Joel Dorcas | April 4th, 2020
Thank you to everyone who checked out my Top 10 Worst Contracts. If you didn’t get the chance, you can still check them out here: Top 10 Worst Contracts in the NHL (Part One)and here: Top 10 Worst Contracts in the NHL (Part Two). Now it’s on to players that have lived up to their contracts and then some. Let’s start it off with 10th to 6th. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | April 3rd, 2020
The Montreal Canadiens remain one of the most famous and recognizable franchises in the National Hockey League. We’ve all heard the names who have donned the white, red, and blue “Tricolore” of Montreal and marveled at icons such as Maurice Richard, Jean Beliveau, Patrick Roy, Henri Richard, Guy Lafleur, and Yvan Cournoyer. Fast forward a generation (or two), to the current crop of players on the “Habs” with the likes of Max Domi, Carey Price, Tomas Tatar, and Shea Weber. Although these are all pretty good pieces, they’re a far cry from the “good old days” that so many Canadiens from across Canada and the United States were accustomed to during the 1970s.
Joel Dorcas | April 2nd, 2020
On to Part Two, the really bad ones, these seem to be more obvious if you compare them to the first installment, which you can check out here
Feel free to comment with any contracts you feel should be on this list, Thanks! Continue reading
Joel Dorcas | April 1st, 2020
After digging deep into the upcoming Unrestricted Free Agent class the idea came about to explore and rank current contracts in a list of top 10 best and worst. Today we will kick it off with the worst contracts starting with 10 to six. Part Two will follow with fifth to absolute worst. All contract figures are pulled from capfriendly.com. Continue reading
Joel Dorcas | March 31, 2020
Jumbo Joe, once upon a time, an elite playmaking center who filled the scoresheet regularly, refuses to call it quits. His longing desire to capture the ultimate trophy, the Stanley Cup has put retirement on pause. At the ripe age of 40 years old, 22 seasons deep, the window should be shut on that dream. Not on Joe’s watch, he’s set on playing for at least a few more years. Will the Sharks bother to even offer a contract? Is there a fit for Thornton on a cup contender next year? Let’s take a closer look at the situation for 2005-2006 league MVP and six-time all-star Joe Thornton. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo| March 31st, 2020
Redefining the concept of the backup goaltender position at the National Hockey League Level. This seems like a job (best-suited) for….Jaroslav Halak of the Boston Bruins. It’s the old adage, “It’s never easy being a backup goaltender in the NHL”. When you take into consideration the lack of overall playing time, “catering” to the starter, and both the mental and physical demands of having to be 100% prepared to enter any game at the drop of a hat can be quite the daunting task. It’s also a typical and overwhelming feat for 31 goaltenders across the league. But as they say, “it comes with the territory”.
Dom Lunardo | March 30th, 2020
Belarusian-American, now that’s quite the unusual combination for an NHL player now, isn’t it? Minnesota Wild centerman, Alex Galchenyuk was American-born (Milwaukee, Wisconsin to be exact), but of Belarusian descent when he was drafted third overall by the Montreal Canadiens during the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Up to this point in his career, few would attest to the fact that Galchenyuk’s high-level skill set, speed, and ability to make plays are all part of his arsenal. The single largest issue facing the talented forward, however, remains his inconsistent play, which undoubtedly seems to follow Galchenyuk everywhere he goes at the NHL level.
Dom Lunardo | March 29th, 2020
Participant in the CHL Top Prospects Game, NHL All-Star, and a Stanley Cup Winner with the Los Angeles Kings in 2014. These are just some of the career accolades for current Vancouver Canucks forward Tyler Toffoli. Excitement was in abundance when Jim Benning, General Manager of the Vancouver Canucks, pulled off the trade that brought Toffoli to the west coach back on February 17. Benning and his management team knew they were getting not only a great player on the ice but an even better person off it. For a Canucks team that was right in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race when the NHL hit the “pause” button due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canucks fans quickly recognized that Toffoli was going to be a very important piece of the puzzle. Continue reading
Joel Dorcas | March 29th, 2020
The Vancouver Canucks have made some big strides this season. Almost an afterthought to be in the playoff picture this late, Van-city finds themselves smack-dab in the race for third place in the Pacific Division. Leading the charge is, last line of defense, 2020 all-star goaltender, Jacob Markstrom. The 11-year vet has had his fair share of ups and downs over his career. This year, however, the pendulum is shifting in his favor. Markstrom is now revered as one of the league’s top backstops. He will now enter Free Agency at an optimal time. Let’s dissect the situation and find out what could be in store for the 30-year-old native of Gavle Sweden. Continue reading
Joel Dorcas | March 27th, 2020
The Toronto Maple Leafs brought in 28-year-old rearguard Tyson Barrie just this past off-season to bolster their group of defensemen. Barrie who had spent his entire career in Colorado up to that point built up a very good resume after eight seasons in the league. With things souring in Leaf land, Barrie is almost certain to hit the open market when free agency commences on July 1st. Despite enduring one of his more unproductive seasons, Barrie is likely to garner plenty of interest this summer from multiple teams. Let’s take a closer look at Victoria BC native Tyson Barrie. Continue reading
Dom Lunardo | March 27th, 2020
Typically, when a goaltender posts multiple 30+ win seasons with a sub-2.50 goals-against-average (GAA), one would think they’d receive a little more recognition on a league-wide basis. However, when your teammate for the better part of 9 years is “The Great 8”, Alexander Ovechkin, one of the greatest goalscorers in the history of the sport, this would seldom be true. Such is the case for Capitals goaltender, Braden Holtby, who often prefers his life quiet and “under the radar”. Two years removed from a Stanley Cup triumph with the Caps, Holtby will be in need of a new contract at the end of the 2019-20 campaign. What could the soft-spoken, laser-focused goaltender garner entering an unusual territory, as he’s set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st? Continue reading
Joel Dorcas | March 26th, 2020
It has been an interesting journey for the former 2010 first overall draft pick. At the height of his tenure with the New Jersey Devils was an MVP season in 2017/2018 where he registered career highs in goals(39), assists(54), and points(93). This was of course followed by the Devils trading the dynamic winger for middling prospects and conditional draft picks to the Arizona Coyotes just two-and-a-half seasons later. All of this taking place after starting his career with the Edmonton Oilers for six seasons starting in 2010. Hall fell out of favor in Edmonton and in Jersey and didn’t hold back his displeasure with each organization on more than one occasion. With a Hart Trophy and two all-star game selections in his back pocket Hall is set to hit the free-agent market this summer. Let’s take a closer look at the 28-year-old native from Calgary Alberta.
Nick Jehamy | December 20th, 2019
The San Jose Sharks have claimed veteran forward Stefan Noesen off of waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins. The 26-year old was promoted from the AHL to the Pittsburgh Penguins NHL roster for the Penguins December 4th matchup against the St. Louis Blues. Noesen went on to score in his first appearance for the team where they went on to win 3-0 against the Western Conference leaders. Noesen went on to appear in five more games for Pittsburgh where he went pointless and wasn’t much of a presence before the Penguins decided to place him on waivers.
Dom Lunardo | November 20th, 2019
“The little engine that could”, “David vs. Goliath”, “You’re too small to play this game”. Montreal Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher has probably heard all of those catchphrases over the course of his minor and professional career as a hockey player. Standing at a whopping 5’9 (and that’s being generous), “Gally” is certainly not one of the biggest players on the ice by any means. His game is certainly not flashy or pretty to watch, but man oh man, can this guy play the sport of hockey. Continue reading
Carson Babbini | August 22nd, 2019
In the aftermath of the most shocking story of the offseason in which the Minnesota Wild fired their general manager, Paul Fenton, after only one season, the team announced yesterday that they have hired former Pittsburgh Penguin assistant general manager and former player Bill Guerin as the fourth general manager in team history.
Givanni Damico | June 16th, 2019
After getting off to a 9-13-4 start through 26 games, there were not high hopes for the Blues to make a postseason run. The offense was struggling to put the puck in the net, and Jake Allen was an inconsistent nightmare in the crease. Vladimir Tarasenko uncharacteristically recorded just 24 points in the first 40 games of the season. The Blues had high hopes going into the season after acquiring Ryan O’Reilly from the Buffalo Sabres as well as signing veteran winger Tyler Bozak. They had the pieces for a great season, but it all started at the top.
Dale Money | June 11th, 2019
An agile 6-foot-1, 180-pound center for the Barrie Colts. Ryan Suzuki will be hoping to join his older brother Nick, who was drafted 13th overall in 2017 to the Vegas Golden Knights. Suzuki had very solid offensive performances for both his OHL club and internationally in 2018. Led all Colts scorers in points, contributing 25 goals, and 75 points in 65 games. An incredible spike in production from the year previously, where he had just 44 total points in one fewer games. Playing for Canada U18 at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, he put up one goal and seven assists in five games played.
Givanni Damico | June 8th, 2019
Breathe, Sabres’ fans! He’s back. For the first time in his career, Jeff Skinner was a 40-goal scorer during the 2018-2019 season. When the Sabres were on their crazy 10-game winning streak, Skinner was a Godsend. He was the reason they won many games this season, recording seven game-winning goals for Buffalo. Unfortunately for the team, they faltered and fell off into irrelevance once again. Buffalo got its 15 seconds of fame, but they also figured out how valuable of an asset Skinner is. The new deal is an eight-year deal worth an AAV (average annual value) of $9 million. Continue reading
R. Aaron Houde | June 3rd, 2019
It’s been a hard fought battle thus far en route to Lord Stanley’s Cup, and both the St. Louis Blues and the Boston Bruins are not going quietly into the night. The Blues have once again evened the series at two games apiece with their recent victory at Enterprise Center.
Carson Babbini | May 24th, 2019
After a rough season for the Ottawa Senators, they have found the man that will lead their rebuild after firing Guy Boucher as the team announced yesterday that they have hired D.J. Smith as their new head coach. The deal is reportedly worth three years. Smith will become the fourteenth head coach in Senators history.
Carson Babbini | May 18th, 2019
The New York Rangers have found their replacement for their longtime president Glen Sather yesterday, as the team announced that John Davidson will be the next team president. The move comes after Davidson resigned from the same position with the Columbus Blue Jackets early Friday.
Carson Babbini | May 17th, 2019
The Dallas Stars have locked up a big part of their young defensive core for the long haul as the team announced yesterday that they have signed defenseman Esa Lindell to a six-year contract extension. The new deal will be worth $34.8 million, paying Lindell $5.8 million per season. With this new deal, the Stars will avoid having Lindell hitting restricted free agency, which would have happened July 1st if not for this new deal.