As the NHL season enters its final month, The Hockey Fanatic decided to share our list of who we feel are the top 100 NHL players this season. The methodology for making this list? Well performance obviously, as well as overall importance the the league and to their respective teams. Our list includes players who consistently move us hockey fans out of our seats with exciting plays or big hits or amazing saves. These are the top 100 players that the NHL should be marketing and be promoting in their advertising spots.
|R||Martin St. Louis||NYR|
|L||James van Riemsdyk||TOR|
Well the 2014 Winter Olympics from Sochi, Russia are into week two and mens and womens hockey is in full swing. There have been some exciting games thus far and The Hockey Fanatic is counting down the top ten moments in Olympics hockey from round robin play of the 2014 Sochi Games.
Next up is the elimination round. Is Russia playing possum? We will have to wait and see as the next round of mens hockey begins this week. The elimination round for the Men’s side looks like this:
Image: Courtesy of the Globe and Mail
On the womens side a Gold medal rematch between Canada and the US is expected. Should be another great game. #CANvsUSA
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This season marks the first with the new divisions and as a result the playoff is a little different with wild cards. Currently in the 30 team NHL the East has 16 teams with 14 teams in the West. A little lopsided for the playoff seeds right? Well the NHL has worked towards parity which I tend to disagree with. I miss the days of the dynasty and while I don’t want to see the same four or five teams always winning the Stanley Cup, it would be cool to see some consecutive Cup wins.
So it will be interesting to see how the NHL playoff format works this year. I personally have a recommendation for the playoff format. It is something that the NHL used to do when it was a twenty-one team league back in the ’80′s. At the end of the regular season, the top 16 teams would make the NHL playoffs regardless of division/conference with the seeds as follows:
#1 vs. #16
#2 vs #15
#3 vs. #14
#4 vs. #13
#5 vs. #12
#6 vs. #11
#7 vs. #10
#8 vs #9.
That way any given team might have the opportunity of playing against any other team in the playoffs. Yes there are some cons to this method in terms of potential travel or playoff rivalries (although new rivalries could be developed). So based on today’s standings (yes not all the teams have played the same amount of games at this point, but this is only for illustration purposes) if the playoffs started today, the match-ups would be as follows:
Anaheim vs. Carolina
Chicago vs. Phoenix
St. Louis vs. NY Rangers
Pittsburgh vs. Montreal
San Jose vs. Toronto
Colorado vs. Minnesota
Boston vs. Vancouver
Tampa Bay vs Los Angeles
Are you kidding me? There are some great match-ups. The Bruins and Canucks in the opening round? Excelsior. San Jose vs. Toronto? The Lightning vs the Kings. This would provide some great hockey. It would also make the regular season seeding mean more as well. Especially if you were one of the last couple of playoff seeds. A few extra wins could mean drawing an “easier” opponent in the first round.
Hockey fans would love it. Players would love it. Probably the only ones who wouldn’t love it would be the League itself and the owners. Unfortunately those are the two main components that would need to make this come true. Well one could dream can they?
With the second half of the season underway and with a two-and-a-half week Olympic break coming up, the NHL’s March 5th Trade Deadline isn’t that far off and teams will be making decisions on how to bolster or rebuild their lineups. As always there are a few rental players who are available, but it is unlikely that we will see any blockbuster deals. Today’s NHL simply does not allow for that. Too much parity in the League and too many teams who think that they have an actual shot at making the playoffs. Not to mention that there appears to be a trend of General Managers who are fearful of losing their jobs so they are hesitant to make any major deals. Oh how we long for the days of long ago where we saw seven player blockbuster deals. Ah the digital age keeps us on top of all of the trade rumors so the days of a surprise blockbuster are few. In an earlier post we discussed a handful of players that could be on the move prior to the trade deadline. We thought that we would revisit this and predict which players may be wearing new NHL jerseys come March 5th.
Here is a look at ten players whom could be on the move prior or at the NHL trade deadline on March 5th. There are teams looking to add small pieces for a playoff run, others are looking for a top four defenseman or a top six forward. Still others are looking for goaltending help. Teams like the Edmonton Oilers are looking for all of the above. Well here are ten players that we would expect to attract some interest before or around the 2014 NHL trade deadline.
The lower salary cap and tight budget for many teams explains why we have not see many trades this season and we may not see a lot happen during this year’s trade deadline. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could see a could of blockbusters though? Like a Shea Weber to Edmonton or Vancouver or a Pavel Datsyuk to St. Louis or Dallas? One can dream can’t he?
In approximately seven hours the 2014 Men’s Hockey Team for the Winter Olympics will be announced for Canada. The 25 player roster will most likely include some questionable picks as Canada has enough great players to ice two Olympic teams. Like the media and sports channels we too have our predictions as to who should be on the team. We may even have a few surprise picks. Here is a look at The Hockey Fanatic’s picks for the Canadian Men’s Olympic hockey team.
Carey Price – Montreal Canadiens
Cory Crawford – Chicago Black Hawks
Roberto Luongo – Vanconver Canucks
Duncan Keith – Chicago Black Hawks
Shea Weber – Nashville Predators
PK Subban – Montreal Canadiens
Marc-Édouard Vlasic – San Jose Sharks
Drew Doughty – Los Angeles Kings
Brent Seabrook – Chicago Black Hawks
Alex Pietrangelo – St. Louis Blues
Dion Phaneuf – Toronto Maple Leafs
Steven Stamkos – Tampa Bay Lightning
Sidney Crosby – Pittsburgh Penguins
Ryan Getzlaf – Anaheim Ducks
Jonathan Toews – Chicago Black Hawks
Corey Perry – Anaheim Ducks
Joe Thornton – San Jose Sharks
Jamie Benn – Dallas Stars
Patrice Bergeron – Boston Bruins
Chris Kunitz – Pittsburgh Penguins
Patrick Sharp – Chicago Black Hawks
Corey Perry – Anaheim Ducks
John Tavares – New York Islanders
Taylor Hall – Edmonton Oilers
James Neal – Piitsburgh Penguins
There you have it, our pick for Team Canada at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.