Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while already hating my fantasy football team just a couple of weeks into things.
*Interesting look at why NHL players hate analytics and why most of them don’t even care what Corsi is or how it’s tabulated.
*Interesting piece on the play-by-play for Bruins radio, where over 200 applicants threw their hat in the ring to replace Dave Goucher as the voice of the Bruins. FOH (Friend of Haggs) Ryan Johnston is one of the finalists and has great on the call on Tuesday night, so count me as rooting for him to wind up getting the gig he’s worked his whole life for.
*This is actually a fairly thoughtful and well-researched blog post on the Blackhawks logo and why it’s unfair to claim that it’s racist using the same arguments as for the Washington Redskins or the Cleveland Indians.
*It’s unfortunate, but an arena conflict between the Flames and the city of Calgary is the same kind of thing that’s forced franchises to move in other NHL cities.
*Good piece from FOH (Friend of Haggs) Craig Custance about Detroit Red Wings forward Tyler Sheahan and the bond he has with one Michigan family and one special little boy.
*Count the Winnipeg Jets among the teams that are going to have former NHL referees stop by training camp to give them the lowdown on slashing and face-offs. I think everybody understands the slashing enforcement, but this face-off stuff is ridiculous.
*For something completely different: I’ve enjoyed “Billy on the Street” while it’s been on TruTV, but it looks like it’s finding a new home soon.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while disappointed at the whimper that Team USA went out with during a shootout loss to the Czech Republic.
*Here’s the aforementioned rundown on the Team USA loss just ahead of the medal round with the Americans going 0-for-5 in the shootout after battling to a 2-2 tie. Team USA had their chances and Ryan Donato scored another goal, but it’s clear they weren’t one of the more talented teams in the tournament with no current NHL representation.
*Marc Savard is back with another one of his DIY stick-taping videos where, this time, you can learn how to do a candy cane-style tape job just like Phil Kessel on your hockey stick.
*Down Goes Brown has the most annoying things that NHL GMs will say or do around the NHL trade deadline.
*Brad Treliving insists that it was just a coincidence that the Flames’ trip to Las Vegas coincided with the players’ mothers visiting for a road trip.
*Ryan Suter might be getting up there in terms of age and games played, but he is still every bit the workhorse he’s always been while in Minnesota.
*Braden Holtby is going through a tough stretch for the Washington Capitals as the losses are stringing together against him.
*For something completely different: MC Hammer has still got it after all these years.
The Bruins made a preemptive move to shore up their defensemen depth nearly a week ahead of the NHL trade deadline, but Don Sweeney isn’t done dealing yet. The B’s are still in the market for a big, experienced winger capable of potentially filling a top-six role and somebody who can also bring more of a size/strength dimension to a group of wingers that are pretty young and pretty undersized outside of David Backes.
The Bruins have expressed interest in Edmonton’s Patrick Maroon and New York’s Rick Nash, and it’s expected that Thomas Vanek and Michael Grabner are on their radar as well before the Feb. 26 deadline. While the Bruins might have to give up a decent prospect for a premier rental in Nash, it's not expected that the others will cost the Bruins either an "A" prospect or a top draft pick.
It’s also expected that the Bruins aren’t going to be very active in potential trade markets for D-men Ryan McDonagh or Nik Hjalmarsson over the next week after shipping Rob O’Gara and a 2018 third-round pick to the New York Rangers for 30-year-old defenseman Nick Holden.
Sweeney wasn’t tipping his hand much after the Holden deal, but indicated that the Bruins are still burning up the phone lines looking for the right moves to support Boston’s playoff run.
"We’re going to continue to look at the marketplace and see where guys may fit in, who’s available, continue the calls that happen a lot more frequently this time of year and see where it goes,” Sweeney said to reporters in Edmonton. “Our club has played well, but we’ve got a long way to go."
One other thing that the Bruins are clearly trying to do: Move the Matt Beleskey contract if at all possible after burying him in the AHL earlier this season. Hockey sources have indicated to NBCSportsBoston.com that the Bruins talked with the San Jose Sharks about Beleskey and that presumably it would have been in a deal where the B’s would have taken on the rest of Paul Martin’s similarly cap-unfriendly contract.
With the Bruins doing the Holden deal, that should eliminate Martin as a potential player of interest for the Black and Gold.
The Athletic’s Craig Custance reported on Tuesday that the Bruins and Red Wings had preliminary talks about Detroit energy forward Darren Helm. Those discussions are also believed to have been about trying to move Beleskey for a similar contract around the NHL. While there is very clearly a robust market of big, experienced top-six wingers for the Bruins to choose from, it’s going to be a much stiffer challenge for Sweeney to find somebody, anybody willing to take on a Beleskey contract that still has two years at a shade under $4 million per season left on it.