Monday, September 01, 2008

McKeen's hits the newsstand

Just a very quick note that the McKeen's Hockey annual is now available, either by way of your local newsstand or special order through the publication's website.

Part of my contribution this year consisted of picking a fantasy all-star team — or "23 players that [will] win your pool" — which is something I was a bit loath to put out there.

It's a good thing these things usually hit the recycle bin long before April. ;-)

On that note — I'd be interested to hear which players others feel are in line for the biggest bump in production this season. Who's 2008-09's Mike Richards? Are there any veterans out there set to surprise? And which goaltenders are set for a rebound year?



At 3:58 a.m., September 01, 2008, Blogger Joe Sander said...

I had Alex Radulov pegged as 09's "Mike Richards". Oh well ...

At 7:55 a.m., September 01, 2008, Blogger Karl said...

maybe not exactly the Mike Richards of this year but RJ Umberger could be huge finally getting steady top 6 minutes and top unit PP time (last year: 1:46 per game, 12th on the Flyers and still put up 50 points). 65 points, if playing with Nash all season isnt out of the question at all.

David Booth could be pretty big when he gets more PP time since, what, 95% of his 40 points last year were EV strength (126:18 TOTAL PP TIME, 1:43 per game - 10th on the team)? he had 1 ppg and 1 ppa. that should increase significantly this year. id expect him to be a 60+ point player if healthy all season.

Patrick O'Sullivan already started to tear it up last year but that doesnt mean his numbers cant improve if playing with Kopitar and Brown. he had 38 points EV strength, and 10 on the PP. increased time on the PP could see him hit the 65+ point mark. he was 10th in PP minutes on the team last season with 2:25 per game.

Brandon Dubinsky seems pretty obvious since he was the third highest scorer in the league after some so-and-so date into the new year. 7 points of his 40 on the PP on a team that could need him on the first unit now. Naslund, Gomez, Dubinsky, Redden, Rozsival? i guess if Sundin signs there, that makes it a little moot.

i suppose theres more (maybe Kesler, Steen) but thats guys i can think of having significant increases off hand. and lets not forget the kid line on the Oilers gets a year older with more depth around them to succeed. Nilsson, Gagner and Cogliano: one might have a bigger jump in points.

At 9:54 a.m., September 01, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Young Kids is the key for the hockey pool, i got Kane, Toews, Gagner, Cogliano, Kostitsyn brothers, Backstrom, Clowe, Dubinsky in my mind

At 11:13 a.m., September 01, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Stephen Weiss has the potential to (finally) flourish under DeBoer, while out west Joe Pavelski in SJ is someone to keep an eye out for, especially if, as predicted, he spends the season on a line with Patrick Marleau (who should have a nice rebound season) adn Devin Setoguchi.

At 11:21 a.m., September 01, 2008, Blogger Cameron said...

Backstrom-C Wsh has the biggest upside I can see. He was a ppg over the last 60 games, but showed flashes of ridiculous playmaking ability (back to back 5 assist games). Even a slight up-tick in his relationship with Ovechkin means a 70+ goal year for OV and 100pt season for Backstrom.

Book it.

At 12:48 p.m., September 01, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Predicting upside for a rookie who had 69 points in 82 games, and plays on a line with the reigning Hart Trophy winner? Wow. Sleeper.

At 11:12 p.m., September 01, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The man to watch this year is Tim Connolly. He's a point per game player if he can ever stay healthy and it has to happen eventually.

At 10:47 a.m., September 03, 2008, Blogger Dennis Prouse said...

Antoine Vermette is going to get more ice time in Ottawa. He is the undisputed second line centre, and will regularly get secondary power play minutes. You can reasonably expect that his production will jump.

Kesler is another guy whose ice time will jump, and who will be given more opportunities to produce. Let's put it this way -- if Kesler doesn't step into the void and score more, the Canucks are in deep trouble.

At 12:05 p.m., September 03, 2008, Blogger Unknown said...

Kesler won't put up a lot more points than he did last year simply because he lacks offensive creativity. He's got speed, size, and the right work ethic, but he doesn't have those 'smarts'.

Is Mirtle going to pick the Panthers to make the playoffs this season? He's bound to get it right within the next 20 years.

At 2:15 p.m., September 03, 2008, Blogger James Mirtle said...

Nice try Jes — I picked them to be 12th in 2005-06 and 10th in 2006-07. They finished 11th and 12th those years.

The majority of picks had Carolina winning the Southeast last year anyway.


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