Today we start off by heading to a new division rival who continues re-signing a bunch of core players who have never led the team to the playoffs to long-term contracts. At least this one I can get on board with as 23 year old D Zach Bogosian re-signed for 7 years, $36 million.
But in Bogosian’s case, I’ll opt for the other interpretation, which is that they’re overpaying for potential.
His skills set is unparalleled on the Jets’ blue line: Skates like the wind and hits like a brick. There’s no question the former third overall pick in the NHL Draft could develop into one of the League’s better defenseman, to the point where a $5.14 million cap hit is going to be laughable for the Jets.
Jumping out of the division, here's an article on guys who were made big strides last year and how they hope the progress made was a permanent step forward and not simply a one-hit wonder.
Thomas Hickey, New York Islanders: The Los Angeles Kings waived Hickey, the fourth player taken in the 2007 NHL Draft, prior to the start of last season -- only to see him find a home on Long Island, where New York Islanders general manager Garth Snow has had great success with players no one else wanted. Hickey turned into a regular on defense, mostly paired with veteran Lubomir Visnovsky. He produced one goal and four points, but was a plus-9 while playing nearly 17 minutes a game, enough to earn a two-year contract -- and the opportunity to show last season wasn't a fluke
In a sort of interesting and sort of sad story, Canucks D Alex Edler will likely be suspended the first 2 games of the Sochi Olympics if he manages to make Sweden's final roster. This suspension is an extension of the recent punishment Edler received as a result of a very dangerous knee-on-knee hit on Canada's Eric Staal during the most recent World Championships.
Vancouver Canucks standout defenceman Alexander Edler is expected to be suspended for the first two games of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic men’s hockey tournament as an extension of a previous suspension by the International Ice Hockey Federation, according to News1130 Sports in Vancouver.
This is a very long and interesting read about why the Russians should have an advantage in the upcoming Olympics. Other than, you know, being the home team.
Like Canada, it will be gold or bust for the Russians. Their crowd and their players will find no solace in a silver or a bronze. Sochi, coming as it does, right after Vancouver, will have the overtones of a grudge match against the two hockey giants and a failure by Russia to win at home will have the same devastating effect it would have had on Canadians. Hockey, there as here, is serious national business and every player on the Russian team knows it.
And because it's my final day doing the Cupcakes for a while, a little Islanders love as the ESPN series "Can you do that again?" takes a look at the remarkable season John Tavares had and asks if he'll be able to replicate the success that had him in contention for MVP.
Poor John Tavares. Being the best player on the New York Islanders is like being the best musician in One Direction: No one really takes you seriously. But Tavares is legitimate, the first-overall pick from 2009 showing one way or another, season after season, that he doesn't care that people think the Islanders are a joke and that he should have demanded a trade at some point in his four laugh-riot seasons.