Nation Network Prospect Profiles: #2 Jack Eichel

Ryan Lambert
June 26 2015 11:00AM

We're getting down to the nitty gritty here at the Nation Network draft profiles. In fact, we're down the No. 2 guy on everyone's draft board, and our very last profile. Yup it's Buffalo-bound Jack Eichel, who is largely considered the second- or third-best prospect to come along in the last several years (behind you-know-who this year, and Nathan MacKinnon two years back). 

A lot has been said about Eichel by this point, but here's a run-down.

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Top-10 UFA Countdown: #4 - Antoine Vermette

Ryan Lambert
June 22 2015 08:00AM

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Photo Credit: Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports

The outcome of the Stanley Cup Final will, in many ways, vindicate Stan Bowman's decisions at the trade deadline this year. He spent big to get Antoine Vermette and Kimmo Timonen (a combined cost of two second-round picks, a first, and a decent prospect) and hadn't, for most of the playoffs, gotten much out of them.

There wasn't much of a surprise there with Timonen, because the guy is like 112 years old and coming off a very serious health concern that almost ended his career. But the performance of Vermette, which has only began to sort itself out late in the run, long seemed a point of concern to say the least.

We're obviously working with a very limited data set here (just 39 games from the regular season through the end of the playoffs) but 4-6-10 in all situations and a sub-50 percent possession number on a team as good as Chicago is deeply problematic. Which goes a long way toward explaining his getting just 13:35 per game from Joel Quenneville; he hasn't averaged that few since he was a sophomore in the league, back in 2005-06.

At best, Bowman was "vindicated" with a Cup win (in much the same way the Tomas Kaberle trade once didn't-matter after the Bruins won the Cup), but at worst, the Vermette and Timonen trades could look like terrible decisions. 

And though he came on late, the fact that scoring two goals in six games was a coup probably throws Vermette's price in the UFA market into serious doubt, if nothing else.

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Top-10 UFA countdown: #10 - Johnny Oduya

Ryan Lambert
June 03 2015 09:00AM

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Photo Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports

This is a series counting down the top-10 pending UFAs. It will be posted across the Nation Network over the next month! Enjoy!

If you're looking for a veteran presence that Chicago might be inclined to let walk, especially from that blue line, Johnny Oduya seems as likely a candidate as anyone. While he is part of the four-headed beast that arose in these playoffs because Joel Quenneville literally doesn't trust anyone else to patrol the blue line, Oduya best matches the description of a guy who will probably be allowed to walk.

The reasons why should be clear enough: He'll be 34 on Oct. 1, he probably wants one last multi-year deal, he probably wants a raise from his current $3.375 cap hit per NHLNumbers.com, and he's wrapping up a season in which he was vilified for much of the year by his own fans.

Stan Bowman is a smart general manager and while it's not totally clear how he's going to address his blue line's depth problems, giving a 34-year-old coming off a bad year multiple seasons and a raise doesn't seem like part of the plan. So in other words, it's very likely that Oduya is available to the highest bidder come July 1.

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5 things: Jim Benning's blue line plan

Ryan Lambert
May 28 2015 12:41PM

The Canucks' blueline is a serious area of concern, but with next to no cap space left, how can Jim Benning achieve his goal of adding more NHL-calibre bodies while making it more competitive?

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Chris Osgood retired. Who cares?

Ryan Lambert
July 19 2011 01:24PM

 

You're going to hear a lot of talk in the coming week about Chris Osgood. A lot of that talk is going to include the word "great."

And all of it is going to be 100 percent incorrect.

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