The 2013 NHL season is no longer an 82 game marathon, but instead is a 48 game dash to the finish line.
Will teams that had multiple players skating in Europe fair better? Will veteran squads win because they will have fresh legs all season long? Only the next few months will tell.
Here are my Eastern Conference power rankings.
1. Pittsburgh Penguins – A healthyEvgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby will lead Pittsburgh deep into the Stanley Cup playoffs. The addition of veteran goalie Tomas Vokoun gives Coach Dan Bylsma a solid option if Marc-Andre Fleury falters.
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS: FAVORITES TO WIN THE STANLEY CUP
The Penguins traded Jordan Staal to the Carolina Hurricanes for Brandon Sutter, a defensive prospect and a first round pick (with which they drafted another defensive prospect). Shortly after, they shipped defenseman Zbynek Michalek back to the Phoenix Coyotes for a couple of prospects and a third round pick.
Then, during the free agency frenzy, the struck out on their main target former New Jersey Devils captain Zach Parise and their assumed secondary targets defenseman Ryan Suter and winger Alexander Semin (the verdict is still out on Shane Doan, though the rumored four year, $30 million asking price and ...
Naturally gifted, fluid skater, exceptional puck handling, and devastatingly accurate shooting are some of the greatest aspects of top NHL players.
Conversely, lazy, unmotivated, self centered, and poor locker room presence are the worst possible aspects of an NHL player.
With a light load of free agent talent, it is no shock that a player who encompasses all of the descriptions above still remains unsigned. Alexander Semin is easily the most intriguing free agent of the entire 2012 free agent class. In 469 regular season games Semin has acquired 408 total points (197 goals and 211 assists). In comparison Zach Parise, now of the Minnesota Wild, has 410 points in 502 reg...
Monday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Shelly Anderson confirmed that the Pittsburgh Penguins had extended an official contract offer to free agent forward Shane Doan, though the terms of the proposed deal were not disclosed.
With almost $10 million in available cap space and a nicely-defined hole on their top-line wing, the Penguins have space both on the books and on the roster to acquire the 35-year-old winger's services.
A veteran of 1198 NHL games, Doan's 788 career points and 1071 PIM would be a welcome addition to the top line. Having lost Steve Sullivan to free agency and after the Jordan Staal trade, the Penguins' top-six forwards group becom...
It was a landmark trade that shipped one star center in Jordan Staal to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for a draft pick, prospect, and new third line center Brandon Sutter.
Sutter was the key piece to this deal as Pittsburgh needed another center to replace Staal’s role. Unfortunately, many fans are looking at this as if Sutter will be replacing Staal. But, that's just not possible.
Jordan Staal played 431 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins tallying a total of 120 goals (.28PPG) and 128 assists. His 13 shorthanded goals in his career make him one of the strongest and deadliest penalty killers in the game.
Sidney Crosby’s contract extension seems to have gotten lost in the Zach Parise and Ryan Suter free agency hoopla. Not to mention the loss of center Jordan Staal to the Carolina Hurricanes overshadowing the gargantuan deal.
Twelve years. $104.4 million. $8.7 million per year.
The kid didn’t even get a raise. Oh, the superstitions of the magical number 87.
The contract’s cap hit, really, was the main reason the Pens could be all in on the Parise sweepstakes. It hurt missing out on him – almost as much as it hurt being spurned by Marian Hossa in 2008…almost – but there’s a bigger picture, here.
The Pittsburgh Penguins signed Sidney Crosby to a sweetheart extension this June, but after missing out on Zach Parise, it appears he'll begin the 2012-13 without the scoring winger Pittsburgh has long coveted.
Whether they get that player this summer or not, the franchise center will spend the next 12 years in Pittsburgh at just $8.7 million per season, shaving off roughly a third of what he could have earned in a spend-happy free agent market.
With the cap space he left on the table, the expectation has become that the Penguins will reward his loyalty with his own version of James Neal.
Given Crosby's (relative) sacrifice, they should. When the time is right, t...