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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Nation Network Prospect Profiles: #18 Daniel Sprong

Rhys Jessop
June 21 2015 03:55PM

With the Travis Konecny profile at 20, we begin to move away from the guys that could go anywhere from the late first round to the early third round, and into the next "tier" of players. We're starting to get in to the range of guys we're all pretty big fans of, and guys that have been on our radars for a couple of seasons.

Daniel Sprong was one of the guys that distinguished himself as a top prospect in the class of 2015 last season, and has continued to grow into a player that could one day score 30 goals in the NHL. Let's take a look after the jump.

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Everson, McNally become free agents in aftermath of Harvard Cheating Scandal

Cat Silverman
June 21 2015 02:50PM

The Toronto Maple Leafs defensive prospect Max Everson was drafted in the seventh round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, but his chances to slip on a blue jersey just got a little bit slimmer. 

The same, unfortunately, might be said of Patrick McNally - a fourth round pick from 2010 for the Vancouver Canucks. 

Everson and McNally were the two NHL prospects who skated only seven games for Harvard University during the 2012-2013 season, following their involvement in the 2012 Harvard Cheating Scandal -- a controversy over whether or not students in the 2012 Government 1310 class (Introduction to Congress) had collaborated on a take-home final exam. Nearly half of the 279-person class (roughly two percent of the entire freshman student body at Harvard in spring of 2012) had investigations brought against them, with an estimated seventy of the 125 students being forced to withdraw. 

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Nation Network Prospect Profiles: #19 Nicolas Meloche

Garret Hohl
June 21 2015 02:00PM

The QMJHL may have one of its best crops of NHL potential defenders in recent history.

One of the leaders for this group is Nicolas Meloche. A huge, tough as nails, defensively solid, potent offensively, do-all type defender who has a lot of potential, yet may be undervalued by scouts.

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Nation Network Prospect Profiles #20: Travis Konecny

Thomas Drance
June 21 2015 12:00PM

Ottawa 67s forward Travis Konency comes from a family of hockey players - Vancouver Canucks centre Bo Horvat is a second cousin - and despite being small of stature, plays a hard-nosed game. He's also been rather productive at the OHL level, and could represent significant value in the latter part of the first-round.

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