Countdown: Connor McDavid knows he's not getting help

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Every Wednesday Ryan Lambert counts down the biggest stories around the NHL. This week he takes a look at major signings that haven’t happened, minor signings that have and the latests comments from Connor McDavid.

6. Not wanting Tyler Seguin

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A few times this summer I’ve railed against the people who have said Tyler Seguin should have re-signed already to ensure Dallas has certainty going forward and blah blah blah.

Turns out, you know else wanted to get Tyler Seguin re-signed already? Tyler Seguin!

Yup, he said yesterday that he hasn’t had any contract talks with the Stars since the draft and that he’s disappointed to be heading into training camp without a new deal in place, which leads one to wonder what the issue is. One assumes he’s going to be asking for a lot of money. He took a team-friendly deal with Boston that is now on the verge of expiring, and over the length of that contract so far — from 2013-14 to present, plus this coming season — Seguin scored 384 points in 387 games. All for the low, low AAV of just $5.75 million.

He’s one of just seven players to play at least 250 games and score more than 0.98 points per game. In fact, he’s fifth in the league over that time behind perennial MVP-type players like Sid Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Patrick Kane, and teammate Jamie Benn. So what’s the issue, right? This is the kind of guy you just say, “Hey whatever you want is fine,” if you think you’re gonna be any good as a team.

So this tells me one of three things:

Seguin is rightly asking for the moon, to the extent that he would be paid more than Jamie Benn ($9.5 million) because he’s coming off a deal that underpaid him and he’ll only be about 27 and a half when his new deal starts.

The Stars are willing to blow it up if things go sideways and don’t want to hamstring themselves by giving a guy they know is worth a ton of money a long-term, expensive deal that could make it more difficult to trade him.

Both 1 and 2.

One thing that’s very cool if you’re the Stars is now you get to have a whole season of thinking about how Seguin is probably gonna either get traded or walk for nothing. Pretty sick!!!

5. Basically the same as the Seguin thing but with Max Pacioretty instead

Also confirmed this week is that Max Pacioretty doesn’t expect to re-sign in Montreal, but that uhhhhhhhhh, Montreal expects him to show up to camp and might not trade him?

This makes, y’know, zero sense. Which I guess makes, y’know, plenty of sense since we’re talking about the Canadiens, an organization that runs as smoothly as a thing that explodes when you try to make it run even a little bit. I don’t really know what that thing is but it’s hard to find comparisons to when you’re dealing with something as dysfunctional as the Canadiens front office.


4. Troy Brouwer apparently?

The Panthers signed Troy Brouwer this week to a one-year deal worth less than a million bucks, meaning it can be buried in the AHL at no cap-cost to the team. Pretty decent contract, then, because he can probably be useful in a fourth-line role.

But I gotta wonder: Why?

Because I’m lookin’ at their roster page here and I’m not seeing a lot of wiggle room to squeeze him into the lineup without also squeezing someone out. The Panthers don’t really have roster problems here and they have a slew of good young forwards who are gonna need NHL slots. Your Henrik Borgstroms, your Denis Malgins, your Maxim Mamins. Maybe even your Owen Tippets. And that doesn’t include a number of other forwards who were probably also in the mix for bottom-six roles since the top-six is extremely filled out and probably on the higher end in the NHL as a whole.

With the addition of Brouwer, we’ve gotta be pushing a dozen guys who will be competing for six, seven, maybe eight spots, depending upon how many forwards they feel like carrying on the roster at any given time. This just really strikes me as a “too many cooks” situation, because you can only play 12 forwards a night (and just 11 if you’re smart!) so I’m not sure what Brouwer brings to the table other than, I dunno, he was on that first Chicago Cup team and Dale Tallon loves guys who fit that very specific description.

This is a who-cares signing, sure, but it’s also a who-needed-this signing.

3. Reassurances in Ottawa

All the Erik Karlsson drama this week painted over two crucial news items coming out of Ottawa that ah well everything is actually really cool and good now that Mike Hoffman got shipped out of town.

Mark Borowiecki wants to be a guy who leads a culture change, and Craig Anderson (who you’ll recall desperately wanted to get the hell off that sinking ship somewhat recently) said yeah sure he’d love to be in Ottawa as long as there’s no more drama.

Well look, how many times has this team been assured that a culture change was on the way thanks to adding guys who are Good In The Room and all that? Several by now, for sure. And how can Anderson have any kind of assurance that there won’t be any additional drama since Karlsson still wants out and the owner could go off on some unhinged rant tomorrow about a new arena deal, and not have that be a surprise to literally anyone.

2. Market inefficiencies

It was reported yesterday that OHL teams are now telling players not to mention the Popular Online Video Game “Fortnite” on social media, and to go back and delete any tweets about it. Why? Yeah of course it’s for a dumb reason: NHL teams have decided liking Fortnite is bad for some reason.

Remember when Jeff Marek tried to blow up an anonymous borderline elite prospect’s spot by saying Fortnite had effectively ruined his career by playing video games? Yeah now the whole league thinks this thing — and not, say, CTE — is derailing kids’ careers. Coming from the league that brought you “Dougie Hamilton goes to too many museums,” I guess that’s not really much of a surprise, though.

1. Connor McDavid being a big cutie and sweetie

I love the idea of Connor McDavid saying that only scoring 41 goals last year wasn’t enough, so he’s working on ways to score more to help his team win. One can infer what he means there: If I don’t score 55 or 60, we’re probably not making the playoffs again.

This is why he’s the captain, folks! That’s leadership.

Connor McDavid may need to take him game to another level for the Oilers to compete. (Cole Burston/CP)
Connor McDavid may need to take him game to another level for the Oilers to compete. (Cole Burston/CP)

(Not ranked this week: Nothing!

I hope you enjoy your beautiful Labor Day weekend!!!)

Ryan Lambert is a Yahoo! Sports hockey columnist. His email is here and his Twitter is here.

(All statistics via Corsica unless otherwise noted.)

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