Friday, January 28, 2011

Kessel NHL 'Mr Irrelevant'; Ovechkin Giddy (Video)

When the NHL went with the fantasy draft for the NHL All-Star game someone was bound to be the last man picked and that man ended up being Phil Kessel.  As many can tell you being the last one picked is not a fun experience, but in being the NHL equivalent to “Mr. Irrelevant” did not come without perks for Mr. Kessel.  For being the final pick in the draft Phil Kessel was given $20,000 to donate to the charity of his choice and a brand new Honda CR-Z.
Kessel was a good sport about being last, as he should be with the parting gifts.  The guy who probably is the most upset with way the draft played out is Paul Stastny to go second-to-last and get nothing for it.
The happiest person for the conclusion of the draft appeared to be Alex Ovechkin as you can see from the photo above.  A giddy Ovechkin snapped Kessel’s picture while he was the last one sitting waiting to be called. 

Video: Marc Staal Calls Eric 'Classless' for Not Taking Him First

This interview for Marc Staal during the NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft was absolutely classic.  The way Staal deadpans devastation was hilarious.  How he made it to the verge of tears when talking about his mom and calling Eric classless was amazing.  Eric threw it right back at Marc though when he paused on the next pick after saying, "From the New York Rangers," and then took Henrik Lundqvist instead.  Marc would be taken in the following round by Eric.

2011 All Star Fantasy Draft Drinking Game

Dirty Dangle has put out some rules for a fantasy draft drinking game.

The rules are simple:

Pick the available players in the order you think they'll go in the draft from 1-36, then sit back with your friends or alone at the bar and play the Dirty Dangle 2011 All Star Fantasy Draft Drinking Game! Remember, goalies have to be picked by the end of the 10th Round, and defencemen have to be picked by the conclusion of Round 15!

Here is the player pool to draft from.

A drink = 1 ounce of beer, or mixed drink

How many ever positions you are off in your mock draft compared to the actual draft, is the number of drinks you have to take. (Example: I take Stamkos 1st, but he goes 3rd = 2 drinks, or I take Phil Kessel 10th and he goes 36th = 26 drinks).
This is the kind of family fun that can really spice up the All-Star fantasy draft.  Remember to do this responsibly because if you are a really lousy at guessing picks correctly the chances of rapid intoxication are high.  Be sure to check out Dangle to see what order is expected over there and see how right or wrong it is.

I would add taking a drink for each mention of Sidney Crosby being absent from All-Star weekend, concussion, head-shot, or brothers,but then you might be hammered before it even starts.

Based on the mock draft I did with Nick yesterday the order would have looked like this:
  1. Stamkos
  2. Henrik Sedin
  3. Tim Thomas
  4. Henrik Lundqvist
  5. Ovechkin
  6. Daniel Sedin
  7. Danny Briere
  8. Jonathan Toews
  9. Kris Letang
  10. Rick Nash
  11. Cam Ward
  12. Zdeno Chara
  13. Claude Giroux
  14. Jonas Hiller
  15. Corey Perry
  16. Brad Richards
  17. Duncan Keith
  18. Shea Weber
  19. M-A Fleury
  20. Carey Price
  21. Dan Boyle
  22. Dustin Byfuglien
  23. Pat Sharp
  24. Marc Staal
  25. Keith Yandle
  26. Matt Duchene
  27. Anze Kopitar
  28. Brent Burns
  29. Erik Karlsson
  30. Loui Eriksson
  31. Jeff Skinner
  32. Paul Stastny
  33. Phil Kessel
  34. Partik Elias
  35. David Backes
  36. Martin Havlat

Video: Rangers Top 5 Plays 2010-11 Season

Some good choices, but some huge omissions from this list.  How does Marc Staal's pasting of Matt Stajan not make the list?  Zuccarello's OT game winner for his first NHL goal?  Stepan dancing around Ellis?

Does Moulson Deal Impact Dubinsky, Callahan or Boyle Contracts?

With each new contract signed by an NHL player we get another piece of information to help us see what the market might look like this summer when Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan and Brian Boyle need new contracts.  Obviously both those players and the New York Rangers were watching intently for the details of the most recent contract extension for forward Matt Moulson who signed a 3 year deal for 9.4 million.  Does the Moulson contract help shape the market for the three bigger RFA contracts the Rangers will now have to negotiate this summer?  Which of the three Rangers is the Moulson situation most comparable to?
The most comparable of the three to Moulson in terms of situation is likely to be Brian Boyle as they both had breakout years later I their careers.  Last season Moulson put up 30-18-48 as a 26-year-old and Boyle is currently on pace for a line of 28-14-42.  Those lines are nearly identical, however, there are some huge difference between Boyle and Moulson that will certainly impact their deals.  On the positive for Boyle is that he is a center which always inherently means more money than a winger would get.  Working against Boyle is the fact that he is only set to be an RFA this season while Moulson was set to be a UFA and that Moulson has now put up his numbers for two consecutive seasons while Boyle has only done it this year. Given the combination of those factors I would bet Boyle’s deal to likely be one-year pact between the averages of Moulson RFA deal last season (2.45) and this contract (3.13).  Look for Boyle to come out in the 2.7-2.8 area on a one year deal.
In terms of Dubinsky there is not much here as the better comparable is still the David Backes deal from St. Louis due to the more direct comparison in terms of production in many areas of the game.  The key difference in the Rangers and Blues scenarios in that comparison is that Backes was due to be UFA, like Moulson, this summer while Callahan has one year left, and Dubinsky two years until they reach the unrestricted level. 
Backes has 87 goals and 106 assists (.58 ppg) in his 296 career NHL games; Dubinsky is at 64 goals and 99 assists (.57 ppg) in his 286 games; while Callahan comes in at 63 goals and 56 assists (.46 ppg) in his 256 games.  The 4.5 million for Backes is still an overpayment, though he has gotten himself an All-Star invite since the new contract (with identical numbers to Dubinsky).  The differential in the years to free agency will save the Rangers money, but is still the best comparable for Dubinsky and Callahan.   I would expect Dubinsky to come in decently over the price of Moulson, while Callahan should come in over that number but similar area.
The underlying question for the Rangers might be how much money do the injuries both players suffered this season impact the salaries on their next contract.