Posts Tagged ‘Christian Ehrhoff’

Last season: 43-29-10, 96 points. 7th in the East, lost in the first round to Philadelphia (4-3).

Key Additions: D Christian Ehrhoff, RW Ales Kotalik, F Ville Leino, D Robyn Regehr

Key Losses: D Chris Butler, C Paul Byron, C Tim Connolly, RW Mike Grier, G Patrick Lalime, RW Mark Mancari, D Steve Montador

Offense: The Sabres offense is led by former 40 goal scorer Thomas Vanek. The Austrian only had 32 goals last year, but tied a career high with 41 assists. Derek Roy missed more than half of 2011-12 with a torn quad, but still picked up 35 points in 35 games. He’ll be ready for the start of this season. Newcomer Leino (14 goals, 53 points with Philadelphia) should fill the void of Tim Connolly nicely. Drew Stafford missed 20 games and still was able to register 31 goals. The population continues to increase in Pominville, as Jason was able to notch 20 goals for the fifth straight year. Tyler Ennis (5’9) and Nathan Gerbe (5’5) may be short, but both can play. They should both score 20 while playing with the Sabres’ top 9. Brad Boyes, acquired at the trade deadline from St. Louis, had 14 points in 21 games with the team. Versatile veteran Jochen Hecht can play any forward spot and is trusted on the penalty kill. Paul Gaustad was among the league leaders in faceoff percentage (59.6%). Pat Kaleta is the team’s main agitator and Cody McCormick is the enforcer (16 fights, 142 PIM).

Defense: (more…)

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Some quick hits from the first two days of free agency:

-The Brad Richards saga is finally over, as he chose to sign with the New York Rangers for 9 years (and $60 million).  According to reports, he turned down more money from other teams (Calgary, Los Angeles and Toronto).  The Rangers have themselves a big money center to play with Marian Gaborik now.  They also added tough guy Mike Rupp from the rival Penguins.

-Speaking of the Maple Leafs, they added Tim Connolly for two years.  Connolly has averaged .83 points per game since the lockout, but has only played in 302 games in that time.  When healthy, he can form a nice duo with Phil Kessel, but how many games he plays is the question.

-Not going to go into much about the Flyers, who were very active on Day 1, as this post sums it up pretty well.

-The Panthers were also very active, adding over $31 million in salary for 2011-12 in the since the draft.  This includes over $21 million to 6 players in free agency the last two days.  They aren’t done yet, as the team is still $1 million under the salary cap floor. (more…)

As the NHL season comes to a close, we are going to vote on the NHL Awards, and four of us will pick one candidate each to “campaign” for. At the bottom, you will see balloting and the final results.

Drew Doughty, Los Angeles Kings by Gabbi

While there are several worthy candidates for the Norris trophy, there’s no doughty about who this year’s recipient should be. All puns aside, the top defenseman in the National Hockey League this season is Drew Doughty of the LA Kings. For a young guy playing only his third season in the NHL he’s playing as though he’s been in the league for 20 years. (While looking at his numbers I saw NHL Seasons: 3 and said, “No. There’s no way!”) Coming of a sophomore campaign where he was nominated for the Norris, he had 40 points and helped anchor the defense of the young Kings team. With that, young Drew Doughty has earned this year’s Norris trophy.

Lubomir Visnovsky, Anaheim Ducks by Realdeal

Visnovsky has to be the Norris favorite after leading all NHL Defensemen in points (62), and finishing second in goals (18).  He’s played over 24 minutes per game for the Ducks, being a rock on their blueline when the team needed it the most.  His 116 blocked shots are ahead of the likes of other Norris candidates such as Weber, Letang and Chara.  His +18 is pretty respectable and his 5 Power Play goals and 31 Power Play points are part of the reason the Ducks finished second with the man advantage.

Shea Weber, Nashville Predators by Cujo

For the Norris trophy a man you should consider is Shea Weber. He might not have as many points as some, but he has been a real workhorse for the Nashville Predators. He is averaging 25:19 in ice time and 29 shifts per game. 2nd on the team in blocks and 1st in hits, he knows what it takes to get the job done on the ice.

Keith Yandle, Phoenix Coyotes by Joey

I’m sorry say that again…Yandle is 24? Hard to believe that this year’s most consistent defenseman in all facets of the blueline game is young buck Keith Yandle of the Coyotes.  Handling top minutes and opposing teams’ best forwards night in and night out in lieu of Zybnek Michalek’s departure to Pittsburgh could easily have been a sign of tough times for Yandle this year. Except not only has he filled in admirably but he has only improved in stats and intangibles for the third consecutive season. Considering the typical development of an NHL ready defenseman, we may be looking at the next big thing on the blueline for a long long time. This is no flash in the pan; this is a Norris candidate for years to come. 

Final Voting (more…)