Sherwood Park Crusaders Captain Brendan Kallis joined Tyler Yaremchuk as he broke down the past week in Crusaders action.
Photo via Target Photography
On the surface, tonight’s match-up between the Sherwood Park Crusaders and Grande Prairie Storm is just another AJHL regular season game, but for Crusaders forward Dylan Stewart, this marks his 200th career junior hockey game.
What’s the ceiling for this Winnipeg Jets team?
For this year, I think they could not only make it to the playoffs, but they could do some damage once they get to the big dance.
Throughout the past week, there has been talk of the Blue Jackets looking to add another top-six winger. Of course, they missed out on Matt Duchene but their interest in him was well known and now that he’s been dealt, there isn’t another big name that’s rumored to be available.
Frank Seravalli’s Trade Bait board over at TSN is usually a pretty solid indicator of who could be on the move. Right now he has two wingers at the top of his list, Evander Kane and James Neal.
I’ll start with Neal, who’s off to a good start with the Vegas Golden Knights. Neal checks a lot of the boxes that the Jackets are looking for; he can skate, has a physical edge and is a volume shooter. While he would look good, I’m not sure if he’s a fit.
First off, I think the Jackets are looking for more of a long-term fit and Neal, whose contract is up at the end of the year, would likely be more of a rental. Would the Jackets want to pay a hefty price for half a year of James Neal? Doubtful. But on the other hand, with the likes of Jenner, Atkinson, and Bjorkstrand all up at season’s end, maybe having some financial flexibility would be a good idea.
The Golden Knights are also loaded with defensemen and wouldn’t want to add another one. That’s a problem because one of the biggest trade chips the Blue Jackets have is defenseman Ryan Murray.
Evander Kane is the other name Seravalli has listed. Obviously, Evander Kane is more known for his behavior off the ice, but if the Jackets can look past that they might be able to add a really strong forward.
Kane already has 9 goals this year and he’s been one of Buffalo’s best forwards. In terms of 5v5 possession, he ranks 3rd in most categories and he faces the second toughest competition amongst all Sabres. He’s also proven that he can contribute to the power play, an area the Jackets could use some help. His 5.04 PPP/60 would rank second the Blue Jackets behind only Sonny Milano.
The price might be high, and similar to Neal, Kane’s deal expires at the end of the year.
Other names on Franks list include David Perron, Tomas Vanek, and Rick Nash. None of those names really seem like a dream fit and as I mentioned earlier, with a lot of players needing raises come July, the Jackets need to be careful with how they handle things.
The type of player they might be looking to acquire may not actually be available right now, given how many teams are still in the playoff hunt. I wouldn’t expect Jarmo Kekalainen to make a move until the new year, at the very earliest.
The Cru are growing mustaches and snapping losing skids! Tyler Yaremchuk discusses the past week in Sherwood Park and is joined by Jacob Franczak.
For more info on the Crusaders Movember campaign, click here
(image via Ottawa Sun)
Given their rumored interest in Matt Duchene, are you disappointed Columbus didn’t end up landing him?
Honestly, I’m not. I believe they put together their best offer, which likely included Ryan Murray and some draft picks, and I’m happy they didn’t end up overpaying. Also, based off of their play so far this year and what I’ve seen, they really don’t need him.
Scoring goals isn’t a problem thanks to the emergence of young talent like Sonny Milano, Oliver Bjorkstrand, and even Josh Anderson. They currently sit 8th in the NHL in goals for.
Forward depth, especially down the middle, isn’t as big of a concern as some thought it may be over the offseason. In fact, their forward depth is growing into a legitimate strength of this club. Down the middle they have Brandon Dubinsky, Alex Wennberg and Nick Foligno filling out their top-9 and with young talent like Pierre-Luc Dubois continuing to develop, there really isn’t much space or a real need for someone like Duchene.
Who won the three-way trade from yesterday?
It’s a cheap answer, but honestly, everyone came out a winner in this move. Colorado waited and waited and were rewarded with a very impressive haul of picks and prospects. Sam Girard is ready to play in the NHL and so is Russian forward Vladislav Kamenev who has 8 points in 10 games down in the AHL.
Nashville gave up a few nice pieces, but they want to win a Stanley Cup and adding Kyle Turris not only takes some pressure off Ryan Johansen but also allows Nick Bonino to take on a role he’s more comfortable with. It smooths out the Predators forward depth and they didn’t sacrifice anything from their big-league roster. The 6×6 extension for Turris makes it look even better.
As for Ottawa, they paid a hefty price but they finally have who they believe is a #1 center. The Senators already have solid goaltending, a good d-core and a really strong group of wingers. Now they finally have a game-breaking forward. For Duchene, hopefully, a fresh start and some strong linemates can help him return to the near point per game pace we saw early in his career.
Also, for Pierre Dorion, he no longer has to worry about a new extension for his top center. He sends out the pending FA Turris and gets Duchene, who has one more season at $6 million.
Is there a big move for the Oilers to make? Do they need a big move?
That would depend on your definition of a big move. Do they need a top-six winger? They definitely do. Someone who can bring some speed into their forward group, shoot the puck and contribute on the powerplay would make a real impact on this team.
There are players like that out there, but as I wrote about last week, I don’t think there’s a move out there for Peter Chiarelli to make. The only teams who are probably willing to start selling in November are Arizona and Colorado. I don’t think it’s a smart move to use assets on players like Blake Comeau or Tobias Rieder.
The only option would be if they can make a hockey trade. In that case, it would likely involve a player like Matt Benning or Ryan Strome going out the door. If Chiarelli chooses to go that way, maybe he can go to a team like the Rangers and offer a package for Chris Kreider or maybe he goes to Vegas to open up a conversation on Jonathan Marchessault.
Following the big trade on Tuesday, Ryan Cox joins Tyler Yaremchuk to share his thoughts on joining the Cru and talk a little basketball. You read that right… basketball!
A franchise best 108 points, a record-setting winning streak, and a near upset over the Penguins in the first round of the playoffs. It was the most successful season in the history of the Columbus Blue Jackets. This year, they’re out to prove that last year was no stroke of luck.
Having lost their last four games, the Sherwood Park Crusaders made a monster move today, sending Merritt Oszytko to the first-place Fort McMurray Oil Barons in exchange for forward Ryan Cox.
Is Steven Stamkos back to being the “Old Stammer”?
The entire Tampa Bay Lightning are incredibly hot right now, in large part thanks to the combo of Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos.
Stamkos, of course, played just 17 games last season and has struggled with injuries over the past two seasons. But is the elite goal scoring Stamkos back? Well, I would argue he never really left. When you look at Stammers numbers, there has never been a decline.
Even though he played just 17 games last year, he still put up 9 goals and 11 assists. Even in the years when he’s been hurt, his points per game was never worse than 0.83.
Stamkos’ ability to score never seriously declined, he just struggled with injury. Now that he’s back to being 100%, I think we can expect the 27-year-old to put up elite numbers for a long long time.
Are Ethan Bear and Caleb Jones going to be NHLers down the road? Or do the Oilers need to continue adding to their d-core?
I haven’t watched Bear and Jones too much over their junior and brief pro-careers, but what I have seen out of the two is very promising. I think it’s very likely that the two will be NHL players in the near future. Are they top four quality? That’s yet to be determined.
With that being said, it’s win now time in Edmonton, if you haven’t noticed. Let’s focus on right now.
When Sekera comes back they’ll have:
So if they do acquire someone, who would you take out of the lineup? Or maybe there’s someone out of that group you trade? They have 6 capable NHL d-men, but I do believe there’s an upgrade to be made on the second pair. I think they’re one more d-man away from having a Stanley Cup caliber back-end.
I also don’t think the type of trade they’re looking for can be made in-season. So, my final answer is Bear and Jones will one day be NHLers, we just don’t know how good and for now, they need another d-man.
What’s a bigger surprise: Oilers & Habs struggles or the success of the Canucks & Golden Knights?
As much as I’m surprised that the Habs and Oilers aren’t playing better, teams go through slumps. It’s been a bad month for both of these teams, but I believe that Carey Price will eventually start stealing games for Montreal and the Oilers offense will click and they’ll start winning as well.
The Golden Knights doing THIS? It’s insane. Nobody saw this coming and not only is it good for the growth of the game in Las Vegas because winning attracts fans, but it’s good for George McPhee. Nevermind the obvious trade candidates like Nate Schmidt and James Neal, but players like Lucas Sbisa, William Karlsson, and Cody Eakin are becoming worth more and more with each passing game. That’s just as big for the future of this team as the wins are.
The Canucks are playing good, but I don’t care because eventually they’ll lose something crazy like 8 of 10 and plummet to the basement. It’s coming, trust me.