There are plenty of reasons to purchase the hockey Season Pass. There are plenty of new articles every week including the Roundtable, Hits, Blocks and Draws as well as Minor League Reports.
We also give you the top 150 Keeper List as well as the Top 150 this season. Here are a few snippets from some recent columns.
This week’s question:
What do you think the fantasy ramifications will be with the hiring of John Tortorella in Columbus?
Brian Rosenbaum: Tortorella has a history of hitching his wagon to a few favorite players. Although Brandon Dubinsky wasn't one of his favorites while in NY, he seems to be one now, at least after one game in Columbus. I expect Torts will lean heavily on Dubi, who had a season-high 22 minutes of ice time Thursday night. Conversely, it seems as if Tortorella is already going to war with star Ryan Johansen, benching him in the third period and calling him out of shape. That will do nothing for his fantasy value.
Michael Finewax: Yeah, I'm kind of concerned about Ryan Johansen. He was moved down the depth chart in his first game before being benched for the last six-plus minutes of the game. He then missed Saturday's game with an 'illness' but the Blue Jackets wouldn't elaborate. Johansen might come out of this smelling like a rose but the comments that he wasn't in shape have to give cause for concern.
Ryan Dadoun: For what it's worth, Tortorella did deny the report calling Johansen out of shape. His denial is to be expected, but then given the history he has with the guy who made the report, Larry Brooks, I honestly don't know what to believe. The fact that Johansen was taken off the top line is very concerning to me though.
Either way, I think that relative to what people's preseason expectations were for Columbus, they should anticipate an across the board drop in offensive production now. If Dubinsky continues to get leaned on as he has, he should be the exception to that rule, but there won't be many others. Of course, Columbus was playing nowhere near its preseason expectations prior to the Tortorella hiring and if he can salvage this season, then an argument can be made that whatever happens is a plus given that Todd Richards seemed to lose the ability to guide this team.
Corey Abbott: On the brighter side of the coaching change, I like what I've seen from Ryan Murray so far. He's skating on the top power-play unit, where he has contributed two points, and has three points in two games. Injuries will remain his biggest question mark until he can prove otherwise, but he has great potential as a big-minute, two-way defender.
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American Hockey League
Tanner Kero was selected as the AHL Player of the Week after he produced three goals and an assist in three outings for Rockford. He tallied two goals and three points in a 3-2 win against Iowa last Wednesday. Kero is third in the AHL with six goals in seven games, which earned him a recent call up to the Chicago Blackhawks. Alexander Khokhlachev chipped in four assists in two games, including three in a 5-1 win against Lehigh Valley last Friday. He is tied for first in AHL scoring with 11 points in seven outings. First-round pick Matt Puempelhad three goals and two assists in four games last week with Binghamton prior to getting recalled by Ottawa. He has five points in six AHL games after nearly making the NHL out of training camp. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton defenseman Derrick Pouliot generated one goal and four points in two wins against Springfield. It was a bit of a surprise when he started the season in the minors, but he'll probably be the first blueliner called up if injuries occur for Pittsburgh. Pouliot has six points in six games this season.
Western Hockey League
WHL Player of the Week Jon Martin racked up two goals and five assists in three games for Swift Current. The undrafted 20-year-old is tied for the league lead in scoring with 19 points (11 goals, eight helpers) in 10 contests. The WHL nominated Ian Scott for the CHL Goaltender of the Week honor after he posted a pair of wins along with a microscopic 0.60 goals-against average and a .980 save percentage. He stopped 33 shots against Kootenay for his first shutout. The 16-year-old netminder, who isn't eligible until the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, has a 4-1-0-0 record with Prince Albert this year. Sam Steel, who can be selected by NHL clubs in the 2016 draft, registered two goals and three assists in four games last week for Regina. He had 54 points in 61 games last campaign and he has produced 12 points in 11 appearances in 2015-16. Columbus Blue Jackets third-round pick Keegan Kolesar generated three goals and two helpers in two wins for Seattle against Kamloops and Victoria. He has 12 points in seven games this season after being selected with the 69th overall pick in the 2015 draft.
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Hits, Blocks and Draws
Patric Hornqvist throws his body around, but he's not usually a leader in this category. He stood out last week though by recording 19 hits in three contests. That brings him up to 28 in eight contests this season, which puts him on a pace to shatter his previous career-high of 87 hits. Naturally it would be surprising if he maintained his current pace though. Penguins teammate Chris Kunitz had a big week too with 13 hits in three games. Unlike Hornqvist, Kunitz typically gets over 100 hits per season and had 211 in 2014-15. Kunitz currently has 29 hits in eight games this season. Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas finished with 18 hits in three contests last week. That brings him up to 27 hits in just five contests in 2015-16. David Backes had 12 hits on against the Canadiens on Oct. 20, but as has been consistently the case against Montreal so far this season, the Canadiens won anyway. Backes has 29 hits in eight games.
Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan had 16 blocks in three games last week and added another three in Monday's 4-0 victory over Calgary. That's brought him up to 26 blocks in nine games this season. He was up against Flames defenseman Kris Russell, who had five blocked shots in Monday's contest. Russell also had 13 blocks in three contests last week and leads the league with 35 in nine games in 2015-16. Edmonton's Oscar Klefbom had eight blocked shots in a 3-1 win over Detroit on Oct. 21. He has 21 blocks in nine games this season after recording 102 in 60 contests in 2014-15. Kevin Klein has recorded at least three blocked shots in three of his last four games. That's brought him up to 16 blocks in 10 contests.
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There were a few snippets of some of our columns. There’s plenty more to read and it’s only $19.99 for the whole season. It’s a great bargain!