Friday, May 23, 2008


Finals and More Possible Signings

First, some self-promotion. I was asked for a brief sentence by Jeff Klein of Slap Shot about whether the NHL playoffs drag on too long. I don't agree with that sentiment if only because more hockey is better than less hockey. I understand that the delay for the Stanley Cup Finals to begin is a big deal, but a little patience never hurt anyone. Though it could lead to some head scratching postings on some blogs. Seriously, NY Times, a conspiracy theory that the Red Wings-Penguins final was helped about by the refs? The Philadelphia Flyers organization has a reputation of being penalty minute machines for a reason; they generally provide good reason for referees to award them minors. (Aside: Whether that reputation actually reflects the numbers is something I may look into in the future; but my point - and their rep - retains.)

Still, because the Finals are a marquee matchup doesn't mean it was done improperly. These two teams have done the best in the playoffs this year by far and they have clearly earned their trips to the finals. Just like Carolina and Edmonton in 2006; and Ottawa and Anaheim last year. The Detroit Red Wings will be without The Mule for Game 1, but it should an excellent series against the Pittsburgh Penguins all the same.

More Devils offseason information is coming about. From the NY Post's Sports Shorts, the Devils are looking to re-sign Bryce Salvador. He looked pretty good in the few games he did play for New Jersey. While he is not fast and won't provide much offense - save for the fluke from the neutral zone - he's a physical veteran defenseman who can play in that #4 spot if need be. I would like to see how Salvador does in a full season. Hopefully, he still has enough in him to provide a good full season. From Gulitti we learn that the Devils do not necessarily have to sign Alexander Vasyunov and Vladamir Zharkov to retain their rights. But they do have to sign Kirill Tulupov by June 1 to keep him in the Devils organization. Given what Jared Ramsden had to say about Tulupov; he's not a bad prospect. OK, so he may not be a big minute defenseman; but he's big and can bring the pain and positional coverage on a third pairing - and maybe at a #4 spot if he continues developing. Echoing Ramsden's analysis; I'd be surprised if the Devils would let Tulupov go back to the draft. Here's hoping he gets signed over the next few days.

Lastly, I've gotten a bunch of e-mails asking whether they can link to here. You don't need to ask; you can add ILWT as you wish. Even if it's not even a sports site. I'll be cool with it, for the most part.

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