Author Archive

Restricted NHL Free Agents Making Themselves Hot Commodities in 2016-17

January 10th, 2017
When the Chicago Blackhawks re-signed Artemi Panarin just after Christmas, they did more than lock up a key part of their roster. They also took the player who might have been this summer’s most intriguing restricted free agent off the market. The market for RFAs often exists more in imagination than ...

NHL Power Rankings: B/R Experts’ Week 14 Poll

January 9th, 2017
It’s been an eventful three weeks since we last updated the NHL power rankings here at Bleacher Report, but with the holidays behind us, our panel of hockey writers reconvened to take a look around the league. The timing is excellent. The Columbus Blue Jackets were dominant over the interim, pushing their ...

What If the Selke Trophy Were Actually Awarded to Defensive Specialists?

January 6th, 2017
The NHL has an award nominally for defensive specialists, the Frank J. Selke Trophy, which supposedly goes to "the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game." Yet, no purely defensive forward has won the trophy in recent memory. Instead, it sometimes feels as though it’s awarded ...

Post to Post: Will Artemi Panarin’s Extension Kill the Bridge Contract?

January 6th, 2017
Any serious NHL fan likely knows all about bridge deals. When a good young player comes off his entry-level contract, his team has a choice: Either sign him immediately to a long-term contract at significant dollars that will take him into unrestricted free agency, or settle for a deal between ...

Post to Post: Detroit Red Wings’ Playoff Streak Will End Without Pavel Datsyuk

January 3rd, 2017
It isn’t news that the Detroit Red Wings are a struggling hockey club. The 24th-ranked team in the NHL may be even worse than the standings indicate. Since opening the year 6-2-0, the Red Wings have lost nearly twice as many games as they’ve won, and even that undersells matters. Detroit is ...

The Best NHL Rookies Nobody Is Talking About

January 3rd, 2017
One of the joys of any new NHL season is watching rookies make their debuts at hockey’s highest level. 2016-17 hasn’t been an exception to the rule, and this year, we’ve been treated to a duel between Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine—both currently on-pace for 40-goal seasons—at the top of ...

Post to Post: What If Jaromir Jagr Never Left the NHL?

December 28th, 2016
Jaromir Jagr’s career has been one of the finest in NHL history. Just before Christmas he moved into second on the NHL’s all-time points list, and he’s unquestionably headed for the Hockey Hall of Fame whenever he eventually retires. The crazy thing is there was room for him to achieve even ...

How the New York Islanders Squandered Savings from Letting Kyle Okposo Walk

December 23rd, 2016
The salary cap forces terrible choices upon NHL teams. After all the work that goes into identifying, drafting and developing a player, a professional club can find itself losing him at the height of his career for want of cap space to keep him on the team. That isn't what happened ...

The Advanced-Stats Case for and Against Edmonton Oilers Defenceman Kris Russell

December 21st, 2016
Kris Russell is a player who draws a lot of criticism from people steeped in hockey analytics. Even an analytics-based approach to the game, though, recognizes that he does some things well. Edmonton Oilers head coach Todd McLellan seems to have identified what those things are. The problem is that the ...

Post to Post: The NHL’s Balance of Power Has Shifted from West to East

December 21st, 2016
For years, the NHL’s balance of power rested in the West. In the regular season, Western teams dominated their Eastern rivals. In the playoffs, the Stanley Cup headed West with shocking regularity. Then, last spring, the Pittsburgh Penguins became the first Eastern team in five years to win the Cup and ...