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  • The Press Box June 5, 2012

    Stanley Cup Finals

    The Los Angeles Kings won a convincing game three by a score of 4-0 to take a commanding 3-0 series lead in the Cup finals over the New Jersey Devils.

    The New Jersey devils simply can not score. Despite several chances on the power play in the series, the Devils have managed only two goals after three games. Heading into this series I commented one story line to watch was the Devils strong PP VS the Kings strong PK. What will happen when the irresistible force meets the immovable object" I said. Turns out the Devils PP is not that irresistible!

    Simon Gagne returned to the Kings line up for game three. A very risky play considering the Kings roster is simply dominating every series in the post season and Gagne has not played since 2011. While it was great to see Gagne recover from a serious concussion, inserting him into the middle of the Cup Finals is a risky play.

    Devils star forwards Ilya Kovalchuk, and Zach Parise have combined for zero points in the series.

    Scotty Bowman once said in an interview after winning the Stanley Cup with Detroit after being asked when he knew they were going to win. He said at some point your team just takes on a sense of inevitability. I think the L.A. Kings are playing with a sense of inevitability right now and are simply unbeatable.

    Habs Head Coach
    The Montreal Canadiens have officially announced Michel Therrien as their new Head Coach. Therrien was previously the Habs coach for parts of three seasons from 200-2003. While Therrien's coaching history does not suggest he can make the Habs an immediate Cup contender, but could have a positive fantasy value on Habs players as he coaches an offensive style of game.

    Tomas Vokun and the impact on the goalie market
    The Pittsburgh Penguins made a surprise move Monday trading a seventh round pick for the rights Vokun from Washington. Even more surprising is that they almost immediately signed him to a two year $4 million contract.
    With The Penguins cap restrictions and the pending unrestricted free agency of Sidney Crosby and Jordan Staal coming in one year there has bee trade rumors surrounding Staal, or Malkin, and even Crosby. How can the Pens afford three elite centers, and Fleury, and Letang, and fill out a competitive roster?
    You can not, but perhaps the player deemed as expendable is not a skater, but goalie Marc Andre Fleury!
    Fleury has three years remaining at $5 million with a limited no trade clause. After the first round performance against the Philadelphia Flyers that saw horrible defense and goaltending it is possible Pens management has decided that Fleury is expendable.
    If so, he would join Roberto Luongo, Tim Thomas, Miikka Kiprusoff, Jonathan Bernier, Anders Lindback, Sergei Bobrovsky as several starting goalies rumored to be available and several free agent goalies.
    Speaking of Tim Thomas, despite his agent claiming that his announcement to take a year away from hockey is not leverage in a trade request the rumors persist. There is a slim glimmer of hope here for Thomas fantasy owners that a trade could still be done during the summer and Thomas suddenly changes his mind. Doubt it!
    CBC's Elliotte Friedman posted his weekly 30 thoughts post, and chimes in on Thomas. Read, Curious case of Tim Thomas, NHL's drug policy + 30 Thoughtsfor Elliotte's insight to a perplexing situation.

    Trade Rumors
    The Ottawa Senators are shopping Sergei Gonchar who has one year remaining at $5.5 million. The Sens would look for a cap relief deal in order to resign Erik Karlsson to a new lucrative long term deal. Teams The Detroit Red Wings could be a team that has interest. The Wings have not been afraid to acquire veteran players and if Suter signs elsewhere Gonchar suddenly becomes an option.
    Another Red Wings Trade rumor involves the Washington Capitals and would see the Wings send Johan Franzen, Darren Helm, and Jakub Kindl for Mike Green and Brooks Laich. Wings would get a power play replacement for Lidstrom and a top six forward or second line center in Laich. The Caps would add Franzen into their top six and Helm would bring speed and the intangibles that have eluded the Caps in the playoffs.

    Free Agency Rumors

    Carle Maloney (@maloney3383) of the Hockey Writers discusses Potential Edmonton Oilers Free Agent Targets. Players included are Matt Carle, Jason Garrison, Josh Harding, Barret Jackman, Justin Schultz, Ryan Suter, and Dennis Wideman Harding is a real possibility as the goaltending position is an area of concern, but Harding may not be a long term solution. Garrison may resign in Florida, but if he hits the market may take a home town discount to sign in Vancouver. Schultz would be the best case scenario as it would give the Oilers a blue chip defender making drafting Nail Yakupov easier.

    Fantasy Hockey Philosophy 101: Stop being ripped off and get a part-time job!
    FHC writer Matt Perry has another great read on how to win your fantasy hockey league. If you are always in the middle of your league, it is a must read! If you are a fantasy hockey newbie, it is a must read!
    Read it here!

    Follow me on Twitter: @pharling
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. kbooks's Avatar
      kbooks -
      Good read as always. some thoughts

      1. Miikka Kiprusoff now that they have decided not to tear it down and rebuild. Hartley feels with some retooling they can get back in the playoff picture. Trading Kipper would not support that thrust.

      2. Fleury had a bad playoff and struggled but I would be shocked if he is moved. The Vokoun signing at $2m per for two years still leaves about $9m in cap room and only Tangredi, Niskanen and Sullivan to be signed. Sullivan may not get another contract and I expect Pittsburgh to go after a defenseman in free agency or a trade.
    1. Coach Perry's Avatar
      Coach Perry -
      Another thought. I don't think Gonchar needs to move to make room for Karlsson. The Sens have enough cap space to sign EK for Crosby money and still have 23 million left to spread over 9 players bottom roster players. Plus next year with Gonchar and Alfie coming off the books it gives them another $10 million.

      On another note, barring a big trade they will need Gonchar's minutes on the back end next year. Assuming they retain Karlsson they only have Karlsson, Gonchar, Phillips and Cowen signed and probably don't want to have to pay through the nose for anyone on the FA market (outside of guys they won't get . . . Suter etc). Best to hold on to him for now and move him at the deadline if they aren't in it.
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