#hot topic

George Prax's picture
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Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

Jeff Carter. Clearly the Jackets are struggling without a top center, and you can see Nash is getting frustrated as well.

George Prax's picture

There are many reasons Columbus is struggling. Keep in mind they lost 5 games WITH him too.

Phil T's picture

Scott Gomez of course

Mike Dusak's picture

Roberto Luongo's metal health.

George Prax's picture

The poison ivy Ilya Bryzgalov got while lost in the woods.

George Prax's picture
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Mark Trible's picture

Tavares, hands down.

George Prax's picture

I'll go Nugent-Hopkins. Obviously we knew he was great but he's raising the bar. 4 goals already.

John Saquella's picture

Varlamov. People knew he was talented, but he's been fantastic for the Avs

Phil T's picture

I hate the Leafs, but Phil Kessel.

Patrick Storto's picture

I'm actually going to go with Kari Lehtonen.

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

Johan Franzen looks like he's bouncing back very nicely. Jiri Hudler as well.

Rob McGowan's picture

Although I'd love to go with JT, I have to say Nugent-Hopkins. Didn't expect such a strong start from a kid fresh out of the draft.

George Prax's picture
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Bense's picture

Getting rid of fighting would be the dumbest thing in the world. The truth is, it does exist for a reason and its not just there because it always has been. With the new instigation rules, you might as well get rid of it. You can't have douchebags like Matt Cooke running around doing whatever he wants and then turtleing out of a fight only for his team to get the power play. Let the players enforce the "rules"

George Prax's picture

Fighting may have a place as something reactionary to a dirty hit like Cooke, as you mentioned, defending teammates, etc, but goons and stage fighters are completely irrelevant. They need to be cut out of the game and the deterrent needs to be against fighting as a whole for that to happen. People can still fight, they just get kicked out of the game if they do. To me, that would make every fight count.

Phil T's picture

I agree that staged fights need to go. Back in the days you didn't have a goon in the lineup who's sole purpose what to fight; they all knew how to play hockey to a certain extent.

Rob McGowan's picture

Fighting stays. Period. Getting rid of it would do more harm than good. This is something I am very strong about. Removing a team's right to police themselves on the ice defeats the attitude of a "team" and will allow star players to get cheap shotted. Guys who fight, when inserted in the line-up, do make a difference. It's been proven with winning record that these players DO HELP THEIR TEAM WIN even if they don't score goals every night. However, a fighter has to be able to assist the team with more than just fists, otherwise they should not be dressed for all 82 games. Don't start instituting ejections for players that fight either, bc then no one will fight at all and the above mentioned will continue to ensue. Bottom line is that the game needs to be left alone. Period.

Patrick Storto's picture

The game doesn't need to be left alone. Probert's brain showed evidence of CTE after he died, caused by concussions. The NHL won't be able to sweep this under the rug for much longer.

Cheap shots will be taken out of the game with heavier suspensions and fines, not with punches. Staged fights are an embarassment to the game.

Rob McGowan's picture

My argument is guys like Probert don't exist anymore in a full time role. Generally speaking, if you want to fight, you have to play the game too. I don't see nearly as many players going forward, who fight, suffering from CTE or other TBA's...cheap shots and fighting are two completely different cases. And I wasn't addressing staged fights, just fighting in general. I personally enjoy watching all fights...but I can clearly understand and relate to people wanting to have that part of the game removed - just not fighting as a whole.

Patrick Storto's picture

I disagree, there are still quite a few players in the NHL that dress just to fight. Off the top of my head I can think of Konopka, Orr, Parros, Janssen and Mcleod just to name a few. These players possess very little hockey skill other than their ability to fight.

George Prax's picture

Disregarding the "leader" argument, I'll give you all those guys except for Konopka. He's actually a very good 4th line hockey player, and he was top 5 in the league in faceoffs last year. That's enough of a contribution to take him off that list (and you're telling this to Rob McGowan of all people lol)

George Prax's picture
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Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

I think this is perfect. Shanahan is doing what Campbell never could, he's explaining why the suspensions happen and why they are so long. He uses the NHL rule book in his explanation as well. It makes the fans understand, but most importantly, the players. If everyone is getting these high number of games off due to suspensions, they should think twice of hitting to the head. It protects the players as well. So yes, it should continue and I expect it to.

George Prax's picture

I like it, but this was the easy part. When it gets to February, March, April, May, when the games actually matter, his job is going to be a lot tougher.

Jordan Kuhns's picture

I'm okay with the suspensions. Just goes to show that players can be too reckless with power in making the big hit when it isn't necessary. Shanahan's latest video profiling legal checks showed that you don't need to always hit hard to make the right defensive play.

Jonathan Szekeres's picture

He's trying so hard to make players afraid of him, he's suspending some people for regular hockey hits. Truly, the NHL is going to stand for the No Hits League very shortly

George Prax's picture

He's setting the boundaries, not trying to make people fear him. That would be a douche move.

George Prax's picture
Cinerichabs88's picture

Zero tolerance, i belive that the players are to blame in this, with the mix of the cement hard equipment... do like the OHL and the Q, ban it completely. The guy you hit gets a concussion because you went for the head your suspended, remove staged fighting and the guys will only fight when there pissed no more instigater and then the cheap head shots will stop... bauer is on the right track with there new armour system, its protective enough but still has padding to lighten the blow...

George Prax's picture

I like the idea of Brian Burke's "Bearhug" rule that they were talking about last year. Don't know why they haven't done that yet.

George Prax's picture
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George Prax's picture

After what he said last week, Andrei Kostitsyn. But a few players coming back from injury too... Gorges, Markov, also, I think Cammalleri.

Tanner Kovach's picture

Pavelski needs to play like a top line player, couture needs to avoid a sophomore slump. Burns also needs to prove he was worth his pricetag

Adam Pardes's picture

JVR. We all know Giroux will take his game to the next level, now it's up to JVR to become more consistent.

Rob McGowan's picture

Kyle Okposo. The other guys had improved seasons but Kyle had a late start after coming back from injury. He needs to have around a 60-point year to help the team make their way into the playtoffs.

Phil T's picture

Scott Gomez

George Prax's picture

Agreed Phil, he needs to step up and retire.

Rob Melendez's picture

Dion Phaneuf is going to need to take a step forward and show he's capable of playing at the level he exhibited in the second half of the season.

Patrick Storto's picture

Nazem Kadri

Greg Duley's picture

Hornqvist needs to get back to the 30 goal plateau or at least close to prove he wasn't a fluke.

Also Rinne, has to prove last year wasn't just a lucky year and play the same way again.

George Prax's picture
Greg Duley's picture

With Parise becoming a UFA that really changes everything if he hits the market, with Weber its not so much him hitting the market as Suter and Rinne going to it because they won't commit long term.

George Prax's picture

Weber's deal definitely affects the market, simply by the fact that he's now the highest paid defenseman in the league, and he's still an RFA. As a Habs fan with Subban's contract expiring next year, that kinda scares me.

Rob Melendez's picture

I Agree that Parise becoming a UFA is going to have a larger affect if it happens because there is going to be a monstrous bidding war for him. That being said, Weber becoming an RFA, like Prax said does affect other RFA defensemen. Parise will have a larger impact though, in my opinion.

George Prax's picture
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Phil T's picture

Habs need more offense. JP DUMOONNNNTTTT

George Prax's picture

Nah, I think they need a good defensive forward. Too bad all the good ones got signed.

Phil T's picture

YOU'RE A DAMN FOOL

Jonathan Szekeres's picture

The Canucks are weaker on defense and offense. They need a top six forward to play with Ryan Kesler and a PP quarterback, unless Keith Ballard somehow gets his shit together

George Prax's picture
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nowhere's picture

I really hope that Stamkos wants to stay with TB, and that it's nothing more than wild speculation and wanting some hockey buzz to continue through the Summer months.

Adam Pardes's picture

I don't think he's going anywhere. Even if someone throws him an offer sheet, Stevie Y will match it. No doubt.

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

It's called nothing else is happening, and Leafs fans are getting giddy. Stammer in a Bolts uniform next season.

nowhere's picture

Done deal - Stamkos re-signed for 5 years. Great work by Stevie Y to get Stamkos signed. Still waiting for cap #.

George Prax's picture
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Phil T's picture

None of the signings were good luls. All massive overpayment. I guess I like Leino to BUF and Cole to MTL.

Russell Dornisch's picture

I still can't believe Flash got the contract he did from Florida! $4 mill for a guy whose career can be done in a "flash"

Jonathan Szekeres's picture

Ed Jovanovski. 36 years old, singing a 4 year deal at 4 million per. ARE YOU KIDDING ME???!?!?

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

Best: Vokoun for 1.5?? WOW. Worst: Bias by me, but Ericsson's. Lot's of overpaying out there though.

George Prax's picture

Definitely Vokoun now. Guess he wants to win a cup lol

nowhere's picture

I'll have to go with Vokoun as the best based primarily on the value, and Jovonovski as the worst based on the fact it's Jovo.

Jason Pietroniro's picture

Vokoun takes the cake

Jordan Kuhns's picture

Vokoun was easily the best. I like Ville Leino, but $4.5 is overpaying for an undersized forward with a wonky hip.