NHL East

Nichols’ Notes: Mike Green a Possible Rental & More

Nichols’ Notes: Mike Green a Possible Rental & More
Chris Nichols

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Green a Possible Rental if Capitals Slip, Comparing “That 70s Line” and the Stars’ Super Trio

How about Mike Green as a potential trade deadline acquisition for a team this year? Bob McKenzie delves into the possibilities.


“Well, a lot of it depends on how the Caps are doing. I mean, if they’re a playoff team they may want to keep him around because he’s got a dynamic offensive element to his game, especially on the power play.


“But, I mean, if they’re outside of the playoff picture and he’s a $6 million a year player and he’s unrestricted at the end of the year – unless they negotiate a more cap-friendly number for a player of that stature – then he would definitely be an interesting rental for a team that thinks, if they have the cap room to add that much money for the balance of the season, he could really make a huge difference on a power play. And especially on a team where their defense is engrained enough that he has to elevate his play to that level, as opposed to being asked to carry the load.


“A lot of it will really depend on Washington. What their plans are vis-à-vis contracts. What Green expects to get money-wise.



Keith Yandle’s name has been linked to trade talk for years now, and Elliotte Friedman offered his perspective on Monday.


“Yandle is interesting to me. Don Maloney has told the agent and he has said this quote to me too, when I asked him about it. He said, ‘If we ever trade Keith Yandle, you’re going to look at the trade and you’re going to understand why.’


“I think that’s a great quote and I think it’s the truth.”




Ryan Kesler explains if he’s comfortable always being cast in a second-line center role.


“You want to be ‘the’ guy, but I saw a good situation here in Anaheim. I don’t really think of it as No. 1 and No. 2. I think of it as 1a and 1b. Getzlaf is world class, and he is obviously a great player. I saw a good situation with us being both big down the middle and we could be dangerous together.”




Charlie Coyle and Jason Zucker are inseparable on and off the ice, including living together.


And Zucker is apparently a little OCD in some areas, which even he admits is “a little over the top.”


“I’m really neat and I’ll put everything away neat,” Coyle said.


“But it doesn’t have to be in straight lines. Everything (to Zucker) has to be perfect.”


Like Zucker’s Nike Stefan Janoski shoe collection?


“The shoes can’t be touching,” Coyle said. “They’re kind of like dressy Nike shoes, and he buys literally every pair he sees. I just have regular like hack-around shoes. But that’s him; he likes his style and all that.”




Darren Dreger served up some Oilers-related comments on the development of Nail Yakupov and Oscar Klefbom. Dreger also offered this answer when asked about Yakupov’s name continually being the member of the Oilers’ core linked to trade talk in the past year.


“Well, the easiest to move. In terms of what would you get for Nail Yakupov? Not as much as you’d need to give up on a young player of that stature. And when anyone comes swirling around the Edmonton Oilers, they’re not asking about Nail Yakupov. They’re asking about Jordan Eberle. They’re asking about Oscar Klefbom. They’re asking about players like that.”





Pavel Datsyuk has been happy to see Tomas Tatar pot a few goals of late, and the veteran offered his perspective on how Tatar can keep the production coming.


“He young, but he already have experience, he more need to take his experience and use it,” Pavel Datsyuk said. “Also he have good shot but he not use it much. He need shoot it more. Sometimes he little bit hold. He need more use this shot.”



Jon Cooper appreciates the fact that Valtteri Filppula can switch back and forth so effortlessly from center to wing.


Filppula “is Mr. Utility. I truly believe he could play goal if he had to,” Cooper said. “And he’s played all over, so he can handle the position. Plus he plays a lot more controlled game, he makes really poised plays on the wall and he can spring Stammer and let him play the game fast.”




David Poile is “very happy” with the Preds’ 7-2-2 mark early this season, but also knows his team can’t take its foot off the proverbial gas pedal.


“I think that we’re seeing what we already knew — the NHL is going to be very close this year,” Poile said. “We’ve used the word parity a lot in the last couple years, and it seems to me that’s clearly the case. I have no idea who is going to make the playoffs in either conference in the league. I think it’s that close.”




Pete DeBoer is also quite pleased with his team’s 6-3-2 start, and understands the importance of perspective when viewing his team’s struggles to win the past few games. A win is still a win.


“I think it’s good sign,” DeBoer suggested. “I look around the league. Sometimes you need to watch some of the other teams around the league play to realize this isn’t just going on here slogging through some games.


“I saw Detroit lose to Buffalo last night. I watched Washington-Arizona in a 6-5 game. So there are lots of things going on right now around the league and sometimes you need that perspective to realize that things aren’t that bad. We’re finding ways to win. We have areas we need to improve but we’re getting points and that’s the critical part.”




Elliotte Friedman provided some expansive comments on Sven Baertschi, including how the young forward had “universally negative” reviews from the few teams with which Friedman has spoken regarding Baertschi’s AHL play.


There was also an organizational defense of Baertschi though, and the overall piece is a really well-balanced read.


The most salient observation, though, came from Friedman on a more macro level when it comes to preaching patience with the young players.


“The worst thing we do right now – all the games are on television. Even the American Hockey League, if you want to find their games you can – we pick people apart. And sometimes we need to sit back there and say, ‘You know what? We’ve got to watch for some growth.’ And I think that’s the right move to make all the time. 100 percent of the time.”




Brian Lashoff finally made his season debut for the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday, and after being a healthy scratch for so long says there are subtle parts of the game to which he’ll need to pay particular attention.


“It’s little things like your gap and getting back to pucks,” Lashoff said. “Those are two things that are important for our team and for our success, and those are two things that I’ll have to concentrate on the most, especially gapping out there and making sure I don’t have too much space between myself and the opposing forwards.”


Also: “My transition game, going back to get pucks and getting them up the boards as quick as possible is something that I want to improve on,” Lashoff said. “It’s something I’ve worked on in practice, in the preseason and training camp.
“I think they know what to expect from me. I’m going to battle, penalty kill and do what I do. But at the same time, I want to get better at some things like moving the puck quick and getting involved in the offence.”




Shawn Thornton has no plans to fight a former teammate when the Bruins and Panthers hook up Tuesday night, but…


“I never go into a game thinking about it. I haven’t for a long time,” said Thornton. “They’re pretty banged up, I think a lot of their toughness is actually out of their lineup.


“But you never know. I’d beat up my own sister if it got us two points. So it really doesn’t matter to me.”




Bryan Bickell has a reputation as a playoff performer, but he knows he needs to establish a better regular season game.


“I wish I could figure that out. I have to bring out more during the regular season, get myself personally in the game. It’s tough to, I don’t want to say get motivated during the regular season, but I enjoy the playoff atmosphere and it has been working for me. But I need to bring it more to the regular season, when they need me.


“At times when things are not going right, I need to do the smaller things. Keep it simple and work hard; that’s what ‘Q’ wants, I think.”




Darryl Sutter was asked to compare “That 70s Line” with the Dallas super trio of Jamie Benn, Jason Spezza, and Tyler Seguin.


(He gives a long answer, yes, which is why it’s the last piece of this column. But great insight from Sutter into the match-ups within the subtext of his thoughts, and he also reveals that he thinks Tyler Toffoli has been the Kings’ best player so far.)


“Yeah, I think Benn and Carter probably have similarities because they’re proven players now. Both are looked on as leaders. Both probably play a big man speed game. I think Seguin obviously has a chance to be a superstar in the league, so that would be a difference. I think Tyler’s been really consistent for us and a really good player at both ends of the ice, and playing a lot of situations for us. Tanner’s had a tough time on this trip. A lot of that is because when you do play Tanner with Jeff and Ty, they get the attention, especially with Kopi and Gabby either in the lineup or not on top of their game or just coming back, so they’re going to draw a lot more attention.


“If you sort of capsulize and look at this just this road trip – say it was a season – if you go into Pittsburgh and they play Crosby early against Carts, and as soon as they have the two-goal lead, then they put Brandon against him. So that’s how they see it, right?


“So even last night when you see it, Staal, he’s out against Jeff a lot, which means that they still see Carter as more of a threat than Kopi as it went along. It just tells you you need the balance in the lineup. That line is not going to carry us. If we’re looking as a line to carry us, that’s not going to happen.


“They didn’t play together last night very much, and if you look at Tyler, a big part of their production has been special teams, if you look at the last 10 days. And that’s when you’re trying to get some consistency out of everybody…


“If we’re only thinking about Dallas, that it’s just Benn versus Carter, we better be going a little farther down the line, saying who’s against who, and who’s against who, and who’s against who…Last year we had seen a lot of the Russian boy with those guys, you know, he’s a real complement to their line. He’s probably a player similar to Tanner. Spezza’s been there lately, but Spezza can pretty much play anywhere on their team when you look at how they’re set up. They have a pretty forceful group of forwards when you look at it. So, quite honest, I’m not sure who’ll play there. I don’t think they look at it like that, either. I think they probably do it more on a game basis.


“There’s very few lines in the league, when you look at it. There’s no ‘lines.’ There’s ‘twos.’ It’s the way it works. It’s very seldom. Jeff and Tanner and Tyler get talked about because they’ve had a little bit of offensive success and they all wear numbers in the 70’s, but how much they actually play together, if you’d actually broke it down, you’d see it a little bit different.


“Hey, Tyler’s probably been our best player, at least 12 games in, when you look at all situations. Not just offense, but if you look at the whole thing, he’s probably been our best player.”[/vc_column_text][dt_gap height=”10″][vc_facebook type=”standard”][dt_gap][vc_tweetmeme][dt_gap height=”10″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][dt_fancy_separator separator_style=”dotted” separator_color=”accent”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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NHL East
Chris Nichols

Chris has written about both hockey and fantasy hockey for a number of media outlets over the last 14 years, including a combined decade with Sportsnet.ca and ESPN.com. He launched NicholsOnHockey.com in February of 2014. An aversion to wearing socks sparked a move from his hometown of Edmonton to San Diego, California in the mid-’90s, and the Oilers have not won a Cup in his absence.

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