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The Hockey Writers Daily - September 13, 2023
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Welcome to The Hockey Writers Daily
In today’s edition, we have six NHL teams that got worse this summer, the Avalanche’s Tomas Tatar signing, the Islanders’ major goaltending gamble, and much more.
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Here’s the good stuff…
September 12, 2023 by Jim Parsons
Trade rumors are an ever-present facet of the sports world and at this time of the year, the NHL is no exception. When star players are mentioned in these speculations, it often ignites a flurry of discussions among fans, analysts, and even the players themselves. Most rumors tend to be wildly inaccurate, but there can be enough chatter that the players in question are actually asked about it.
One such rumor involving Arizona Coyotes’ standout Clayton Keller recently captured the attention of an Arizona-based podcast. Asking in a jovial way and likely knowing the answer they were going to get, the interviewer, Steve Peters, managed to get Keller to open up a bit about his conversations with the Coyotes. In particular, he wanted to know if the trade rumors linking him to the Toronto Maple Leafs were true. Keller found the speculation rather funny.
September 12, 2023 by Alex Chauvancy
More than a few teams improved this offseason, but what about the other end of things? Who got worse? After looking at improved teams from this offseason, let’s look at others, in no particular order, that may not have fared as well when trying to bolster their rosters for the 2023-24 season.
September 12, 2023 by George Majchrzak
After two seasons with the New Jersey Devils, Tomas Tatar is now a member of the Colorado Avalanche. The speedy winger with solid offensive touch was part of a Devils team in 2022-23 that saw a great turnaround and even entered the Stanley Cup playoffs as a contender, only to see those dreams of postseason glory dashed in a second-round loss to the New York Rangers.
Though he had been rumored to be connected to the Montreal Canadiens, Pittsburgh Penguins, or the New York Islanders for weeks, Tatar signed with the Avalanche, just a year out from winning the 2022 Stanley Cup. The deal is for one year at $1.5 million. The 32-year-old Tatar is coming off a 20-goal campaign for the Devils and should continue producing at that level for his new team.
September 12, 2023 by Ryan Szporer
The Montreal Canadiens had to replace Joel Edmundson as alternate captain. There’s actually an argument they had no choice but to go with Mike Matheson, which the Habs did to start the week. It’s a good argument at that. To be clear, there’s no evidence to suggest anyone forced Canadiens management to go the way they did. There’s only logic that Matheson was the best option. Granted, David Savard was also a decent bet, based on the intangibles the fellow-Quebec-native defenseman brings to the table, including Stanley Cup-winning experience (which Matheson lacks).
September 12, 2023 by Mike Fink
The Golden Knights built their Cup team without investing in goaltending, spending under $10 million on the position. They seem like an outlier as a team that can win without investing in goaltending, specifically an elite player who can carry the team, but the Colorado Avalanche did the same thing a season before. They acquired Darcy Kuemper in the 2021 offseason and he only cost them $3.5 million against the salary cap yet he was able to help them make a Cup run.
With the league continuing to shift to a more offensive-minded and speed-based game, the trend looks like teams will be forced to invest in more skilled skaters and as a result, spend a minimum on goaltending. Enter the New York Islanders. General manager (GM) Lou Lamoriello signed veteran Semyon Varlamov to a four-year deal and extended rising star Ilya Sorokin for the next eight years.
September 12, 2023 by Justin Caron
It’s that time of year again; summer is winding down, the lengthy offseason is nearly over, and training camps across the NHL are set to begin in the coming weeks. The beginning of a new season is exciting for all hockey fans as every team opens with a clean slate and a shot at putting together a Stanley Cup championship campaign. It seems each season, an unlikely franchise takes the league by storm and surprises with its performance. Last season, the Florida Panthers rode the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference to a Stanley Cup Final appearance against the Vegas Golden Knights.
While it’s no secret that the NHL’s viewership ranks lower than any of the other four major North American sports leagues, there are some dream Stanley Cup meetings that hockey fans and even the average viewer would love to see. Today, we look at five purely hypothetical Stanley Cup Final matchups that the hockey world needs.
More stuff from THW and around the NHL:
Detroit Red Wings - Grading the Red Wings’ 2023 Offseason
New York Rangers - Former Rangers Still Looking for New Homes in 2023-24
NHL News & Rumors - Blue Jackets, Maple Leafs, Coyotes, Bruins, Blues
From TSN - NHL, NHLPA now planning to hold scaled-down World Cup of Hockey in February 2025
From Sportsnet - Horvat confident Hughes can handle heavy burden of Canucks' captaincy
From the NHL - Bedard mingles with Crosby at NHL Player Media Tour
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