Ryan Lambert

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  • After months of negotiating through the media on either side, it seems that there's finally a light toward which we can all turn, hopefully, in the case of "Ryan Johansen Wants To Get Paid" v. "Yes But Is He Worth It?"

    Even calling what's gone on for the last couple of months “negotiations” could best be described as overdone at this point, because neither side has budged very much from their asks of the other. The Blue Jackets still want two years at $3 million (or $3.5 million, depending upon whom you believe), and Johansen wants two years at $6-6.5 million (also depending upon whom you believe).

    Only this week — with training camp looming — has the talk of a potential long-term deal cropped up once again, quite some time after both brushed the other's valuations off as being outlandish. One can't imagine there would have been much changed since then, at least in terms of the likelihood for acrimony if they actually want to venture down that darkened road again.

    But this time, Jarmo

    Read More »from Ryan Johansen and the raging performance vs. potential debate (Trending Topics Extra)
  • What We Learned: Do NHL players actually care about Corsi?

    (Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)(Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)

    (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.)

    The now-over debate about the efficacy of advanced stats was, at its core, really about the practical application thereof. There was no disputing the numbers being spit out; maybe a team here or there over-counted shots for or against (i.e. Florida in Tomas Vokoun's heyday) but for the most part the data collected on that front over the past seven or eight seasons has been solid. That was never in dispute.

    But whether it mattered at all, and what it meant if it did, was a whole different issue entirely, but clearly the nerds have won and all that stuff. So now the hockey world is going to shift to an entirely different debate about the practical application of corsi numbers and the like, and to some extent, that is already under way.

    During the NHL's

    Read More »from What We Learned: Do NHL players actually care about Corsi?
  • It's pretty clear by now that there is significant stratification in the NHL. 

    There is a small handful of great teams — Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Jose, St. Louis — and quite a few more very good ones. There are several middling teams thrown in as well, which range from decent to kind of bad, but which will have no impact on playoff proceedings overall.

    Then there is a small number of truly dismal teams, and it is this group of three or four clubs that will be of particular interest this season.

    Unlike the last time a true “generational talent” came into the NHL (2005, when Sidney Crosby was the consensus No. 1 by a mile), there is actually going to be a season played this year, and for the most part we don't have to get into conspiracy theories about the selection process. The results you see on the ice over the next several months will dictate who picks where, which is the way it should be.

    But here's the thing: This year isn't really like last year, in terms of being able

    Read More »from Dishonor For Connor: Analyzing race to bottom for Connor McDavid (Trending Topics)
  • [Author's note: Power rankings are usually three things: Bad, wrong, and boring. You typically know just as well as the authors which teams won what games against who and what it all means, so our moving the Red Wings up four spots or whatever really doesn't tell you anything you didn't know. Who's hot, who's not, who cares? For this reason, we're doing a power ranking of things that are usually not teams. You'll see what I mean.] 

    6. Setting odds 

    It's been said in this space before that when it comes to setting odds, the big betting houses seem to really struggle with hockey.

    This year, it seems, has been no exception.

    You'll remember that last season the Leafs' over/under was somewhere in the neighborhood of 96 points, and any reasonable observer who had access to sufficient data and chose to put some money on it could have — and really should have — made a lot of money on what was essentially a suckers' bet. There was no actual way the Toronto Maple Leafs of last season would ever

    Read More »from Puck Daddy Power Rankings: NHL expansion, slagging Ovechkin and Canada’s worst contract
  • What We Learned: Let's not freak out about NHL camp tryout drama

    (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.)

    This is a thing that shouldn't have to be said, but apparently still needs saying, so here goes: NHL teams that invite NHL veterans to training camp with no actual guarantee of a contract is just good business.

    Pretty simple concept, really. If a team does this, it potentially improves them in some tangible way — often providing little more than team depth, but that in itself is obviously worth something — with the only cost to them being money. And even then, that's only if the invitee can beat out whatever other guys on the team might also be competing for a spot, usually at the bottom of a lineup.

    These facts are self-evident. If you invite a guy to camp without a contract, you are by definition guaranteeing him nothing but a chance to skate around in

    Read More »from What We Learned: Let's not freak out about NHL camp tryout drama
  • The bizarre implications of the David Krejci extension (Trending Topics)

    David Krejci is not Boston's No. 1 center.

    You know that. I know that. The Bruins know that. Krejci knows that.

    This, however, has not stopped the Bruins from consistently referring to him as such over the last few years, and at times treating him that way. One of the ways in which he has been treated as the team's No. 1 center is by getting more ice time per game last season, which was, frankly bizarre. Another is the fact that the Bruins just extended him for six years (starting in 2015-16) at a cap hit $7.25 million per. This makes him, ostensibly, the highest-paid Bruin, at least for a little while.

    And so this raises a lot of questions, most of which start, and the first of which also ends, with one word: “Why?”

    This is, however, more or less a semantic argument. Calling Krejci the No. 1 when for the most part deploying Bergeron as such doesn't really matter in actual practice. You could call Bergeron the No. 4 and if he still played top competition and produced like he does, he'd

    Read More »from The bizarre implications of the David Krejci extension (Trending Topics)
  • [Author's note: Power rankings are usually three things: Bad, wrong, and boring. You typically know just as well as the authors which teams won what games against who and what it all means, so our moving the Red Wings up four spots or whatever really doesn't tell you anything you didn't know. Who's hot, who's not, who cares? For this reason, we're doing a power ranking of things that are usually not teams. You'll see what I mean.] 

    7. Thinkpieces

    With the so-called stats war having been declared over — the nerds won! — the hockey media can now move on to sifting through the rubble in its aftermath and thinking carefully about What It All Means. 

    It, of course, doesn't really mean anything, other than the fact that provable, reasonable data once again won out over guesswork. It happens like this all the time and in every single sport. Data becomes available, people who have been around forever poo-poo it, teams accept it, people who have been around forever say they still know better.

    Read More »from Puck Daddy Power Rankings: Bad coaching, the great unsigned in NHL and media antagonism
  • Ryan Johansen and finding comparable talent (What We Learned)

    (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.)

    The Ryan Johansen saga stretches on and on in Columbus and neither side seems willing to budge especially far from their dug-in positions on the matter of the young center's new contract. Everyone agrees a two-year term seems wise, but when it comes to the money, not so much.

    Johansen wants $7 million per. The Jackets would prefer that number be $4 million per. You can see the issue.

    Anyone not directly involved with Johansen professionally or personally likely recognizes that $7 million is a big ask, but that the Jackets' number is probably not enough to be commensurate with a kid who just turned 22 a month ago and already has a 33-goal season under his belt. So it was a little surprising for Columbus to come out over the weekend and say, basically,

    Read More »from Ryan Johansen and finding comparable talent (What We Learned)
  • What if NHL expansion is actually a really good idea? (Trending Topics)

    It feels as though the NHL's maybe-maybe not plans to expand the league have been kicked around more or less since the 2004-05 lockout with various markets trotted out as possibilities here and there.

    Usually, though, you hear one city as being in the mix for a team. Kansas City or Milwaukee or something like that; nothing too far-flung or out of left field. Then a little more recently you started to hear Las Vegas added to the mix because of how intriguing the idea is, and then Quebec because they're building a rink without a tenant, and then in the past year or so Seattle because they almost stole the Coyotes from the desert. Occasionally, too, you'd hear Hamilton or Toronto mixed in there because Southern Ontario really could support another team with very little difficulty, but it was always said that the Leafs and/or Sabres would be able to tell the League “no” on that front.

    But the second you brought up the word “expansion” to any hockey fan, you could see them visibly suppress

    Read More »from What if NHL expansion is actually a really good idea? (Trending Topics)
  • [Author's note: Power rankings are usually three things: Bad, wrong, and boring. You typically know just as well as the authors which teams won what games against who and what it all means, so our moving the Red Wings up four spots or whatever really doesn't tell you anything you didn't know. Who's hot, who's not, who cares? For this reason, we're doing a power ranking of things that are usually not teams. You'll see what I mean.]   

    6. Jersey piping

    The St. Louis Blues announced their new uniforms this week, fortunately bringing the number of teams that still stick with the visible “piping” down the sides or down the sleeves of their jerseys down by one.

    You'll notice that when jerseys of this type are introduced, everyone says, “Oh this jersey looks so great.” St. Louis's new ones are gorgeous. Fits in pretty well with the rest, too. Boston's? Great. Carolina's? Great. Chicago's? Great. Dallas's? Great. Edmonton's? Minnesota's? Montreal's? Both New York teams? You can go right down

    Read More »from Puck Daddy Power Rankings: Captain Subban, Sidney Crosby stress and R.I.P. jersey piping

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