Ryan Lambert

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  • LAS VEGAS, NV – NOVEMBER 22: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman (L) encourages people to boo him as majority owner Bill Foley looks on before the Vegas Golden Knights was announced as the name for Foley’s Las Vegas NHL franchise at T-Mobile Arena on November 22, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The team will begin play in the 2017-18 season. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

    The thing everyone is talking about this week in the NHL is the league’s general managers being reticent to release their protected players lists for the upcoming expansion draft.

    It’s easy to see why they wouldn’t want those lists going public. Not for the stated “We don’t want guys to feel hard-done by” reasons they’ve trotted out in an attempt to defend the dopey decision. In a league where arbitration hearings sometimes leave people crying, and one in which we’re constantly reminded, “It’s just a business,” hurt feelings shouldn’t enter into it.

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    Read More »from Expansion draft controversy gives Bettman the chance to flex (Trending Topics)
  • Puck Lists: 7 places the Coyotes should be that are not in Arizona

    GLENDALE, AZ – FEBRUARY 11: Head coach Dave Tippett of the Arizona Coyotes watches from the bench during the third period of the NHL game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Gila River Arena on February 11, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Penguins 4-3 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    Boy oh boy, gang.

    Here we are again. Only a few years after the league fought pretty damn hard to wring a few million more a year in taxpayer money out of the good — also: gullible — people of Glendale, the league is also now saying the Glendale situation is really bad and no one could have foreseen how bad it is and by golly it’s just gotta change at this point.

    This week Gary Bettman sent a letter to state lawmakers to let them know the Glendale arena is “not economically capable of supporting a successful NHL franchise,” which, y’know, who could have seen that coming? The city terminated its long-term agreement with the team, which it shouldn’t have signed in the

    Read More »from Puck Lists: 7 places the Coyotes should be that are not in Arizona
  • Calling out goalies, deadline haters and Sabres (Puck Daddy Countdown)

    (In which Ryan Lambert takes a look at some of the biggest issues and stories in the NHL, and counts them down.)

    7 – The best policy

    This weekend, I saw the stupidest thing I ever saw on NHL Network. Which is clearing a pretty high bar, if we’re being honest.

    Remember that ear wax vacuum commercial where the guy didn’t know how to use a Q-tip? That guy was extremely stupid. And this was worse: Bill Peters caught a bit of flak from the talking heads whose names I did not catch for saying a goalie with a save percentage in the .870s (at the time) has been bad.

    Like, he said it would be nice if he could get a save from a guy who can’t even stop pucks within 25 points of the league average, and for the NHL Network guys that was a bridge too far.

    Look man, if your goalie’s having a bad week, calling him out doesn’t help, right? Especially if it’s a good goalie. Everyone goes through slumps and throwing a guy under the bus is just kinda being a jerk. But Eddie Lack’s time in Carolina has

    Read More »from Calling out goalies, deadline haters and Sabres (Puck Daddy Countdown)
  • BOSTON, MA – FEBRUARY 6: Zach Aston-Reese #12 of the Northeastern Huskies skates against the Harvard Crimson during NCAA hockey in the semifinals of the annual Beanpot Hockey Tournament at TD Garden on February 6, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Crimson won 4-3. (Photo by Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)

    As the college hockey season winds down, the discussion logically shifts to who deserves the postseason awards.

    The discussions for the Mike Richter and Spencer Penrose awards this year are, as far as I’m concerned, more or less academic. Canisius’s Charles Williams (.944) is the only goalie in the country for the Richter worth considering; the next-closest contender is Army’s Parker Gahagen (.936). It’s a huge gap. And for Jim Mongomery to guide Denver through that conference and fend off that Minnesota-Duluth team after all it lost in the summer, and only really suffering, what, one bad weekend all year? If he’s not the coach of the year, I really don’t know who is.

    Meanwhile, the

    Read More »from NCAA Hockey 101: The Hobey Baker case for Northeastern's Zach Aston-Reese
  • What We Learned: Uh-oh rest of NHL, Carey Price is heating up

    Getty Images

    (Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.)

    For a little while there, the Montreal Canadiens looked vulnerable.

    This has been a solid team all year, but there were plenty of questions to be asked about how their all-world goalie was going to hold up. This was, after all, his first time back from what was basically a year-long injury battle, and those who were skeptical that he’d be able to keep up his high-level performances are probably starting to get a bit of whiplash.

    He was nearly unbeatable In the first two months of the season, going .947 in 16 games to start the year (this after a strong albeit not-very-busy World Cup). Then it became time to start asking questions about workload, because he went a dismal .899 in December and .906 in January.

    The Habs unsurprisingly started to

    Read More »from What We Learned: Uh-oh rest of NHL, Carey Price is heating up
  • Is there any reason at all for Capitals skepticism? (Trending Topics

    Washington Capitals’ Brett Connolly (10) celebrates with teammate Jakub Vrana (13) after scoring a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game as New York Rangers’ Oscar Lindberg (24) skates away, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

    The biggest splash in the run-up to the trade deadline was undoubtedly the one made by the team that was already the best in the league.

    When the Washington Capitals got Kevin Shattenkirk it addressed a need the team has kinda-sorta had for a while now, which is defensive depth. While Washington was always going to be able to count on goals coming throughout the lineup (more so this year than ever, as Alex Ovechkin slows down), a D corps with Karl Alzner as the No. 3 behind two first-pairing guys in John Carlson and Matt Niskanen was always running at least something of a risk.

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    With Shattenkirk — another top-pairing talent with a power play

    Read More »from Is there any reason at all for Capitals skepticism? (Trending Topics
  • Puck Lists: Ranking every NHL Trade Deadline deal

    PUCK LISTS are lists of hockey things. They run every Thursday on Puck Daddy.

    Well folks you know what it is. This deadline was awful, so let’s just get right into it:

    Shane Harper for Reece Scarlett

    These are made-up names I am very sure of that.

    Joe Whitney for Brendan Ranford

    I hate that I technically have to list this trade.

    Daniel Catenacci for Mat Bodie

    I have heard of Mat Bodie, but I don’t remember why or anything.

    Joe Cannata for Cody Corbett

    The Caps are loading up on goalies!!!!!

    Adam Wilcox for Mike McKenna

    Another minor-league goalie trade. Why are you all doing this to me?

    Jarome Iginla for a conditional fourth

    Ah man, I wanted Iginla to win a Cup.

    Steve Ott for a 2018 sixth-round pick

    I have no idea why you want to trade for Steve Ott but I guess if you want to there’s not much you can offer that’s of lower value than a sixth next year. But a team with Ott and Andrew Shaw at the same time? Gross.

    Kyle Quincey for Dalton Prout

    Two guys who can’t play.

    Teemu

    Read More »from Puck Lists: Ranking every NHL Trade Deadline deal
  • Mumps, Shattenkirk and Lightning sell-off (Puck Daddy Countdown)

    (In which Ryan Lambert takes a look at some of the biggest issues and stories in the NHL, and counts them down.)

    7 – Crying poor

    While it is, let’s say, interesting that the NHL’s revenues are expected to remain flat for what is effectively three straight years now, it’s just sad the extent to which the CHL works against its players.

    Just read this whole thing. I understand hockey is a business but, like, pay the players. Literally any amount of money beyond a very small stipend. Like the minimum wage, that would be a good starting point.

    But alas:

    Wow, cool.

    6 – Ottawa in ‘Going For It’ mode

    Maybe it’s just me but I really don’t get why Alex Burrows is a guy you give up one of your four or five best prospects for. Burrows has 20 points in 55 games this year, and while he’s

    Read More »from Mumps, Shattenkirk and Lightning sell-off (Puck Daddy Countdown)
  • NCAA Hockey 101: Denver rampaging to the NCHC title

    When you’re in the conference with the two best teams in the country, the problem is that you have to be almost perfect every night of the season. Slight mistakes can sink you quickly.

    So it was that Minnesota Duluth, having merely lost in 3-on-3 overtime (and thus given two points away) on Saturday night more or less sealed its fate as the NCHC’s runner-up behind top-ranked Denver. Coming into the weekend, Duluth knew it had a bit of a hill to climb, being two points back of Denver with four games to go in the regular season. It also potentially had the tougher out.

    Miami is only No. 29 in the country, and the games were at home, so that looked alright. But then they had to go to Kalamazoo and take on a Western Michigan team that just keeps earning points. And in the NCHC’s standings system that awards three points for a regulation or 5-on-5 OT win, two points for a 3-on-3 or OT win, and one point in a 3-on-3 or OT loss, earning points also robs other teams of points.

    So the Bulldogs

    Read More »from NCAA Hockey 101: Denver rampaging to the NCHC title
  • What We Learned: St. Louis Blues bungle another player decision

    (Hello, this is a feature that will run through the entire season and aims to recap the weekend’s events and boils those events down to one admittedly superficial fact or stupid opinion about each team. Feel free to complain about it.)

    On Friday afternoon, the St. Louis Blues extended Patrik Berglund for five years and $3.85 million.

    It goes without saying that it’s easy to get your mind stuck in the past a little bit, when $3.85 million was a pretty good-sized amount of money in the NHL’s cap structure. These days it’s only a little more than 5 percent of the total cap, so it’s not a killer or anything.

    But this deal in particular also isn’t a good idea.

    For one thing, there’s the term. Five years for what will be a 29-year-old middle-six forward who netted 137 points in his previous 327 games before the season started — about 34 per 82 games — doesn’t seem like a good investment.

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    And he’s on pace for less

    Read More »from What We Learned: St. Louis Blues bungle another player decision

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