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Around The NHL – FJM’ing Lambert’s Links



Ahhhh, Monday.  It’s 7:13 here, and I’ve already gone for a run, been to the bank, and had breakfast.  I’m far too inspired to write something decent today.

Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait for the good stuff - that’ll go in my USA Today column.  On Bourne’s Blog today, we’re gonna try something new:

Fire Joe Morgan” was a long-running blog that took other pieces of writing and shredded them, line by line.  Thanks to that site, “FJM’ing” a piece of work has become fairly commonplace.  (Check out Drew Magary’s FJM’ing of Peter King‘s Monday morning article every week, for a slightly chaotic good example).

So what I want to do, is use Ryan Lambert’s “What We Learned” column from Puck Daddy (which touches on a piece of info from every NHL team), and comment on each of those team-based items, as opposed to commenting on the writing.  It’s an easy way for us to discuss what’s up around the NHL on Mondays, while making Lambert do the research for us.  Thanks Ryan! 

(PS, I have no idea if this is legal or not.)


What We Learned

 Anaheim Ducks: Ducks GM Bob Murray on those rumors that his team would trade Bobby Ryan for Tomas Kaberle(notes): “Ridiculous.” This, by the way, is the correct response to rumors of this type.

If I were Anaheim, I wouldn’t trade Bobby Ryan for the entire Toronto Maple Leafs team.  He’s 23 years old, 6’3, 220 and coming off BACK-TO-BACK 30 goals seasons.  “Wait, we can get KABERLE?  Pack Ryan’s bag!” probably won’t be said anytime in Anaheim soon.

Atlanta Thrashers: A comprehensive study by Birdwatchers Anonymous confirms what you probably already knew: The Thrashers were really bad at drafting from 1999 to 2005.

Oops, Lambert mispelled “hockey” d-r-a-f-t-i-n-g.

Boston Bruins: Both sides in the negotiations between the Bruins and Johnny Boychuk(notes) are optimistic they’ll get a deal done. Joe Haggerty thinks the negotiations probably start around Matt Hunwick’s(notes) current salary $2.8 million.

 Hey, anytime you can lock up a guy for millions of dollars after one good season, you HAVE to do it.  Like Tim Thomas, or Milan Lucic! 

….Juuuust kidding, Bruins fans.  Boychuk was unreal in playoffs for the B’s, and he does have a 65 point AHL season under his belt (20 goals, 45 assists).  Combine that with the fact he’s physical and only 26, and he becomes a must-sign for the Bruins.

Buffalo Sabres: The lede from this column in the Buffalo News says Sabres fans asked themselves one question while watching Chicago win the Cup Finals: “Why couldn’t this be our team, our style, our Cup?” The shortest answer I can give is the Sabres didn’t miss the playoffs in nine of 10 years starting in the late 90s.

Another efficient route to finding the answer would be to print both rosters out, and lay them side by side and LOOK AT THEM.

Calgary Flames: Long story short: Ian White(notes) is going to get a bunch of money in arbitration from the Flames this summer.

Long story short: The Calgary Maple Leafs Flames are going to struggle again next year.

Carolina Hurricanes: Buried deep inside a post about how Ray Whitney(notes) has not completely given up on returning to the Hurricanes, there is this terrifying fact: “The (Canes’) self-imposed budget this year could be no higher than $44 million.” Hoo boy are they going to be BAD next year.

Last year when I did my pre-season predictions on which teams would make playoffs, I got a lot of heat for leaving the Canes out.  After a couple great points by readers, I was questioning myself.  Yeah.  They actually are pretty good. 

But since the puck dropped on game one last year, it’s felt like they’ve seriously committed themselves to failure.  Suddenly, just a year later, I think that fanbase is in for an Islanders-esque few years of misery.

Chicago Blackhawks: Many of the Blackhawks already have plans for their day with the Stanley Cup, and most involve taking it to their hometown. Hint: Don’t let Kris Draper’s(notes) baby sit in it.

Guys used to get a lot more than a day with the Cup before everybody remotely affiliated with the team got to take a turn with it.  By the end of my Dad and Clark’s Cup time, there may or may not have been words like “tools” and “reinforcement rods” thrown around.

Colorado Avalanche: Not surprisingly, the Avalanche have every intention of constructing their team in much the same way the Blackhawks have. The difference being Colorado has vast tracts of cap space. And won’t use much of it.

The Avs have the biggest range of any team in the NHL next year.  They could finish anywhere from 3rd to 13th and I wouldn’t flinch.

Columbus Blue Jackets: The Blue Jackets have already begun planning their prospect camp, which will take place later this month. Among the invitees is Cam Atkinson, who you might remember as 5-foot-6 kid that embarrassed Wisconsin in the NCAA title game and led the NCAA in goals last season. A shocking omission: Nikita Filatov(notes).

I’m scared Rick Nash is gonna have one of those jail-cell careers, where he just does the best he can with what he has, works hard,  never demands a trade, and never gets the chance to win a Cup.  He’s one of my favourite NHLers, and I’d LOVE to see him find some success. 

Is that success possible in Columbus?  I don’t think any time soon.

Dallas Stars: Who should the Stars try to poach from the Blackhawks? Joel Quenneville says, “Cristobal Huet.”

Ha! I liked that joke. 

Detroit Red Wings: Chris Chelios(notes) says he plans to spend more time with his kids now that he’s retired. His kids will probably be unavailable, however, since they have to work to pay their mortgages.

“Spend more time with my kids” is an immediate “ohhh boy” for me.  It’s the same as saying you’re a year away from submitting your name for the first available coaching vacancy.  You played til you were 40-whatever for a reason, Chris.  Hanging out with your kids just isn’t that fun when it’s everyday.

Edmonton Oilers: At least someone out there is advocating that Tambellini consider trading down and getting something out of Boston. I think it’s an excellent idea. Oh, wait, it’s saying Tambellini should be trying to acquire BOTH picks? Yeah that’ll never happen.

I’ve written about my theory on rebuilding through the draft before - I hate it.  I’m all for hanging on to immediate impact guys that can develop while contributing, Tavares-style (as in, I’m not a complete idiot). 

However, I’m NOT for “developing” a guy for three years before he’s half-useful if you can get someone for him who can play today.  This point has nothing to do with that blurb on Edmonton, but whatever, I like beating this dead horse.

Florida Panthers: Earlier this week the Panthers offered season tickets for $5.60 a game (that’s $229.60 a season). And had a free cookout. Now don’t you wish you lived in a market where no one cared about hockey?

No.  No I don’t.

Wait, what?  I live in Phoenix?  Well this is awkward.

Los Angeles Kings: Mark Hardy, the… um, embattled Kings assistant coach resigned from his job. And by “resigned,” I mean was he was fired but allowed to tell people he resigned.

Crap, and Yzerman JUST filled that coaching vacancy.  You’ll get the next job, Mark.  …Future’s bright, buddy.

Minnesota Wild: The Minnesota Wild are having a draft party, as most teams do these days. So if you’re a Wild fan, swing on by Aperitif Restaurant & Bar in Woodbury and watch your team draft another overrated Minnesotan ahead of several demonstrably better players.

Ooo, daggers.  The best thing I’ve read about the Wild in awhile came from the their beloved beat writer Michael Russo, who talked about the perpetual cycle of mediocrity the team is caught in.  Great point, but as an Isles fan, that doesn’t sound so horrible.

Montreal Canadiens: They caught the Philly scumbag that vandalized Montreal reporter Pat Hickey’s car.

Man, you can’t even damage someone car, steal their license plate and post pictures of it on facebook anymore.  What’s this world coming to?

Nashville Predators: Hobey Baker winner Blake Geoffrion recently tweeted that he would sign his contract with the Predators at his Nashville-area elementary school tomorrow. The Predators, meanwhile, say no deal is in place.

I saw an interview where someone asked Blake if his Grandfather “Boom-Boom” taught him tricks to the slapshot.  What does that even mean?  What could the guy say?  “Well, you really try to hit it hard.  Ideally with a stick made of light wood with no curve.”  There’s not exactly a secret formula you can pass down through generations like a cookie recipe.

New Jersey Devils: The agent that represents Ilya Kovalchuk(notes) in Russia — as opposed to the one that represents him here in North America — says that Kovy wants to sign in the KHL. His incentive for saying this is, I’m sure, not financial.

He’s been in Atlanta and New Jersey so far.  I’m hoping Carolina or Columbus gets him next so I officially never get to watch a whole game that showcases one of the most electrifying players of the past decade.  That’d be awesome.

New York Islanders: Islanders prospects Calvin de Haan(notes) and Casey Cizikas(notes) will attend Canada’s World Junior camp in August, but de Haan will be too injured to participate. That’s a helluva shoulder injury.

Maybe when those kids reach their potential, we can trade them for some draft picks with potential.  /holds finger to temple, pulls imaginary trigger.

New York Rangers: Want to ask Brandon Dubinsky(notes) a question? Sure you do. As of this writing, a whopping 14 people have asked him a question, so you can see the public is really clamoring to hear his thoughts.

My thoughts: God I hate the Rangers.

Ottawa Senators: Jason Spezza(notes) and his wife had a baby girl over the weekend. The Senators are considering flipping the newborn to the Rangers for a second-round pick in 2012 and an infant to be named later.

Like Nash, I’m a big Spezza fan, and I think he’s worth what he’s being paid.  I’ll now sit back down while everyone laughs at me.

Philadelphia Flyers: The Flyers wanted to sign Peter Forsberg(notes) for the stretch run. I assume it’s because he was pretty good for them last time and they feel that his not playing in the NHL for two seasons would only help matters.

Stop with the Forsberg and Jagr stuff, NHL.  What, you’re trying to sell jerseys now?  Those ships have sailed. (Yes, for effs sake, I did watch the Olympics, where those guys totalled one NHL playoff series worth of games without sucking or getting hurt).

Phoenix Coyotes: The Coyotes say they will use more kids next season in an effort to basically do what the Blackhawks did, much like every other relatively young team in the league. Kyle Turris(notes) is expected to be one of the players they use at the NHL level, but I feel like I said that last year too and look how that worked out.

The Coyotes have some decent talent waiting in the wings.  Here’s something I never imagined I’d say 12 months ago: I’m excited about the Coyotes roster.  Wolski FTW!

Pittsburgh Penguins: Brooks Orpik(notes) underwent surgery for a sports hernia. It all worked out okay. This is major news in the offseason.

Whereas Alexi Ponikarovsky IS a sports hernia, and the Penguins are hoping they can have him removed sometime too.

San Jose Sharks: Because Rob Blake(notes) is retiring, Jim Matheson thinks they should consider trading for Sheldon Souray(notes). Because they’d only have to pay him $4.5 million despite his $5.4 million cap hit. ‘Course that’s $4.5 million and a gigantic cap hit for him to miss like 50 games.

The worst part about being a Sharks fan is how much everyone dismisses this team during the regular season.  I don’t envy their GM this off-season either - wayyy too many people (like me) who “know” wayyy more than him.  Gut the team! Leave it alone! PUT THORNTON IN NET!

St. Louis Blues: The Blues raised $60,000 to fight breast cancer. That was nice of them.

Similar topic:  My brother raised $3,880 for Spinal Cord Research Saturday.  Congrats buddy.

Tampa Bay Lightning: If you want to be an assistant coach for the Lightning, it’s time to get your resume in order. Guy Boucher hasn’t picked anyone to do the job yet.

Sigh, just like being 15 again - can’t get a job without experience, can’t get experience without a job.

Toronto Maple Leafs: Dion Phaneuf(notes) will be named captain of the Maple Leafs today. Subhead says, “Will follow Mats Sundin(notes) as wearer of the C.” Sometimes the jokes write themselves.

I like making Phaneuf the Leafs captain.  I think it could finally give them some personality again.  One you may not like, fine, but it’s not one you’d enjoy playing.  And don’t forget how young that guy is….  That’s right – I chose not to bag on him.

Vancouver Canucks: Nucks Misconduct asked readers to put together their speculative 2010-11 Canucks teams. The results were hilariously stupid.

Not sure when the Canucks skyrocketed up the “most hated teams in the league” charts, but man is there some venom towards that team out there.

Washington Capitals: Tonight, the Hershey Bears could win their second Calder Cup in three years, and third in the last five. To summarize: They are good.

And man has it translated to playoff success for the Caps!  Wooooooohooo :)


There ya have it guys!  Jam packed with links if you care to poke around the NHL today.

I’ll see ya tomorrow, hope you enjoyed JTB’s first FJMing!


23 Responses to “Around The NHL – FJM’ing Lambert’s Links”
  1. Danimal says:

    love the idea Bourne. please continue FJM’ing Lambert’s Links. Could you FJM the comments section on Puck Daddy too?

  2. jtbourne says:

    Haha, that’s the best idea EVER. My last column over there was pretty polarizing… could be fun!

  3. Cassie says:

    Would you want to be an assistant coach for the Tampa Bay Lightning? Seriously? I mean, I’ve heard good things about Boucher, and of course Yzerman, but still.

  4. jtbourne says:

    Really? NHL assistant coach is the best job IN THE WORLD. Basically just be a good guy and soak in the perks of being associated with an NHL team. Then make it in Florida, with Yzerman as the GM? I’d do it FOR FREE.

  5. Hooks Orpik says:

    Enjoyed today’s FJM’ing.

    Interesting thoughts on Spezza and Nash. I kind of see Kevin Garnett and Minnesota when I think of Rick Nash and Columbus — two new franchises in sort of remote areas with 1 superstar middling away the best part of his career on forgettable teams year after year.

    What’s your take on the rumor floating around of Spezza to CBS for something like the 4 pick and Brassard. It gives Columbus a legit playmaker for their franchise player, that’s obvious. And imagine if Ottawa adds Gudbranson/Fowler to Jared Cowen, Brian Lee and Erik Karlsson — that’s a scary good defensive core that could win you something someday.

    Rumors leaked to the media aren’t reliable, but both sides could benefit from this one.

  6. Anna S. says:

    Just so you know, the rest of the web calls this sort of thing ‘MST3King’, after the show that made this sort of satire famous. Take a source text, rip it to pieces from the peanut gallery. I don’t care what you call it, particularly, but this post was hilarious. A few things:

    On the Ducks and Thrashers comments: AGREED. Ducks would be certifiable to trade Ryan, and it’s sort of a tradition now that the Thrashers can never be good.

    Chicago (and Coyotes, Kings, etc): This is my team, so maybe I’m biased, but I have a feeling that it’s harder to rebuild on a Chicago template than many teams seem to think. You have to luck into a Toews and a Kane and a Keith and a Seabrook, then sign a Hossa and trade for a Sharp, while somehow managing to assemble good depth guys. None of those players grow on trees, and good depth guys are surprisingly hard to assemble in a single season too. So good luck to everyone who wants to follow Chi-town, it’s a long, hard, Cup-less road for the next decade and a half.

  7. Liviu says:

    Everybody can hate on the Canucks; that’s fine with me. I’ll go right on loving them. Also, my favorite highlight of today’s post: “Alexi Ponikarovsky IS a sports hernia, and the Penguins are hoping they can have him removed sometime too.”

    Good stuff, JB.

  8. RewskiUVA says:

    Hey JB,

    What do you think Washington’s problem is that has prevented them from carrying over Hershey’s post-season success? Is it goaltending? coaching? defense? maturity? I find it hard to watch as 5 years of (relatively) huge success in the minors has failed to translate into post-season success in the big show. It honestly seems like all the time various Hershey players spend in Washington is serving to produce a powerhouse minor team instead of the other way around.

    Just wondering what your thoughts are on what the problem(s) might be causing the clubs lackluster, post-season performances.

  9. Char says:

    Man, I miss FJM. :-(

    Just to clarify, Hunwick’s $2.8 million is a two-year contract.

  10. Hooks Orpik says:

    Rewski — From living in this area they do like the so called AAAA players (the ringers like Aucoin and Giroux) but it’s unfair to say they haven’t developed good NHL’ers.

    Green, Fleischmann, Laich, Steckel, Schultz, Varlamov and Fehr have all come through the ranks in Hershey to become legit NHL’ers and guys like Carlson, Alzner, Neuvirth and Perreault are right behind them.

    Justin can probably speak to it better on why he thinks it hasn’t meant NHL success for Washington but Hershey’s developed their fair share of NHL talent, including Boudreau who basically rised with their core of my aforementioned players.

    But it doesn’t carryover. Look at the Chicago Wolves, they were a powerhouse but it never “trickled up” to Atlanta. I guess it just doesn’t work that way because usually your best AHL players aren’t going to be the best NHL players in a Stanley Cup run.

    Even then, the core of Washington’s past Calder Cup champs is basically the core of their President Trophy team now (with the boost of Ovechkin, Semin and Backstrom).

  11. kitten fister says:

    Great post today Bourne love the FJMing.

    Hooks: Howson has already said they would not even trade the 4th overall for Spezza, let alone throw in Brassard. They are pretty much maxed out on there salary budget and would be real hard pressed to add 7 mil to it. They have young guys who will need new deals (Mason and Jake V). There D is going to look real nasty in a few years (Russel, Moore, Gudbranson/Fowler). I think there is a bright future in CBUS, esp if Mason can turn it around.

  12. Hooks Orpik says:

    Interesting Kitter, thanks for the info. The rumblings I heard was that they’re anxious to win, and to do that usually costs $$. Can’t blame them for wanting to hold onto the pick though, ought to be a pretty solid one.

  13. TimmyHate says:

    Hey JT

    Want to know your thoughts on a trade target for the Yotes’ – Spezza

    Yeah it might be a bit of a pipe dream but imagine the coyotes with a top line of Wolski-Spezza-Stempniak (or Doan). Yowza

    While I doubt this will happen (and I know GMDM has his budget already), a man can hope right?

    Of course I still dream about seeing a #12 Iginla Jersey out there for the yotes so what do i know

  14. Steve C. says:

    The Ducks can sign all the young talented forwards they want. (Perry, Getzlaf, Ryan)
    They won’t be sucessful again until they stop signing has-beens (Koivu, Blake, Ward), and put a top-tier defense on the ice again. (Pronger, Beauchemin, Niedermayer-back in 2007)
    Full disclosure: Pro defense/goaltending bias here. (…kinda like “pitching and defense” wins in baseball.)

    BTW…totally off topic, but I went to a 5/8″ hollow on my skates last week. Maybe it was because I was looking for it, but it did feel a liitle faster/easier. Thanks…I need all the help I can get! Think I’ll try 3/4″ next time to see if there is even more improvement.

  15. mikeB says:

    Moving Spezza to CBS for Brassard and #4 would be welcomed in Ottawa I think. Although I don’t know where Brassards cap is at (and he always seems to be hurt).

    Spezza is a top 12 Centre in the NHL…

    (No order)
    Thorton, Datsyuk, Stamkos, Getzlaf, Crosby, Toews, Sedin, Lecavalier, Backstrom, Richards, Carter

    I know I’m probably missing people… but he is that good. For 750k less per year he’s great value, now he is probably a little high. But when your top scoring winger is Peter Regin (Not counting Alfie, who does a lot of independant work) you are allowed to have an off year.

  16. Steve C. says:

    I forgot…

    Great idea for a weekly post.
    Plus, you’re working smarter not harder.

    Don’t worry you’ll find out soon enough if it’s legal or not.
    If it’s not, you can pay him 10% of what you make off this blog = 0.

  17. Colligan says:

    Was the Phaneuf-Sundin-sloppy-seconds joke too easy?

  18. jtbourne says:

    Ha! I’m so embarassed to say I missed the joke entirely. I don’t deserve to have a blog today.

    Everyone else, I’ll answer questions in tomorrows blog!

  19. Char says:

    Lacavalier a top 12 center? Ahead of Marc Savard? Is that a joke?

  20. mikeB says:


    If you are building a team most/all people pick vinny. And rightly so. Who were his linemates in TBay last year? Ryan Malone and Alex Tanguay? Both guys he outscored by 33, and 43 pts. One of who got outscored by Kurtis Foster (who plays defense, since most people probably have no idea who he is). Sure he was a minus player but the only Tampa player that had a notable impact on that team who had a + was Steve Downie.

    Savard is a great hockey player, but he isn’t carrying anything on his shoulders. Vinny also had a better ppg the Savard did. and Vinny had a crappy year.

    Mikko Koivu has a MUCH better chance to be on that list then Marc Savad does.

  21. jtbourne says:

    ….Savard ahead of Vinny? Nnnnnno. Char, you homer!

  22. Hooks Orpik says:

    And not to mention if anyone got omitted from the list it was Malkin.

  23. mikeB says:

    I don’t consider Geno a centre. because he is terrible at playing the position. That may be where he is listed, but he sucks at it. His best hockey is always played on the wing.

    But yes I did miss him.

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