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The Franchise Player Rule

This year something happened that left me scratching my head and really questioning the current CBA. The Atlanta Thrashers were forced to trade their franchise player, Ilya Kovalchuk in the midst of their own attempts to make the playoffs. The reason being of course that the Thrashers were unable to get him under contract for next season before the trade deadline and were not willing to take the risk of negotiating with him after the deadline where they could lose him for nothing come July 1st. To make it clear, I understand why the Thrashers had to do what they did, but I just don't see how this is good for the NHL, especially for struggling franchises like the Atlanta Thrashers. Do I...

2010 Stanley Cup Final Begins Saturday

And then there were two... Over a month ago sixteen teams began the quest to hoist Lord Stanley, now just two teams have that chance. The Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers will meet in the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals.

NHL Sets Conference Finals Schedule

The NHL's Final Four are set after the Philadelphia Flyers capped off their historical come back this evening when they defeated the Boston Bruins 4-3 to move into the Eastern Conference Final. Not only did the Flyers battle back from 0-3 down in the series, they were down 0-3 early in the game as well. Philadelphia will now face the 'Giant Slayers' from Montreal. The Canadiens dispatched both NHL superstars and the two teams that were favoured to meet in the East Final, the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins. The San Jose Sharks look to have finally broken their playoff curse, and they did it in convincing fashion. San Jose dispatched of the two-time defending Western Conference...

When Elimination Becomes Reality

Every year, 29 teams face disappointment. The possibility of elimination becomes reality for all but one team. You can break down stats, rosters, salary caps, or whatever it is you think it is important, but you cannot determine a team's success, especially in the postseason. The farther your team advances, the stronger the blow is once they are eliminated. As a Sabres fan, seeing Buffalo get knocked off by the Bruins was tough, but not compared to the rest of the Eastern Conference. I couldn't even begin to describe what it must feel like for Washington, Pittsburgh, or even New Jersey. Each of them were defeated in their own arena, leaving their fans stunned. With such high expectatio...

Home Ice Is No Guarantee

The 2010 playoffs have shocked the NHL, and there are still two rounds remaining. The saying “anything can happen in playoffs” has certainly been proved once again this year, especially in the Eastern Conference. All three division winners in the East were knocked out in the first round. Even with earning the home-ice advantage, they still were unable to win the series. In the first round, the home team lost more than half the time, posting a 23-26 record. There was little improvement in the second round as the home team posted a 14-11 record. Why is home ice mean less in the playoffs? Or does it? Washington, New Jersey, and Buffalo all had 25 or more wins on home ice during the re...

The Winning Blueprint

Ask many fans these days who think they know more than NHL executives themselves and most of them will tell you that the blueprint to build a winning team is through the draft. Well looking at these remaining eight teams, I'd say that there is no blueprint, as the evidence is inconclusive. Now of course every team needs players that they've drafted on their teams. I haven't really seen a team built completely through acquisitions, at least not since the days before the lockout. But looking at teams throughout the league, I've come up with three strategies that are used to build teams: Through The Draft: These are teams where the main core and the majority of the supporting pla...

NHL Schedules Second Round Series

The Montreal Canadiens were the eight and final team to advance into the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs following their stunning first round upset of the President's Trophy winners, Washington Capitals. Montreal will now face the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Boston Bruins will take on the Philadelphia Flyers. Out west, the San Jose Sharks will have their hands full against the veteran filled Detroit Red Wings. Meanwhile, the Vancouver Canucks and Chicago Blackhawks will re-kindle their bitter rivalry in a re-match of last year's Western Conference Semi-Final. Detroit and San Jose kick off the second round tomorrow.

Top 10 Surprises Of The Season

I'm supposed to be getting Leaf fans ready for the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, but for obvious reasons, that won't be happening. Other than Burke's hour long state of the union address and the signing of goaltender Jussi Rynnas out of Finland, there hasn't really been a whole lot coming out of Leafland. So instead I will try to find other ways to amuse you until July 1st, which apparently is the Leafs new draft day. Obviously that doesn't sound very good because not only has the free agent route of building a team proven to be unsuccessful time and time again, but the free agent crop this year is thinner than Ben Roethlisberger's moral line between right and wrong. So with that said, I'm g...