Nail Yakupov quite likely is the worst player chosen by the Oilers in recent memory. Inspite the fact that he went first overall in the 2012 entry draft he was -4 in his first season with the team. This means that his overall contribution was negative after scoring 17 goals and adding 14 assists in 48 games (less than a point a game).
Now you may argue that +/- does not truly reflect the worth and contribution of a player, after all he is playing with others on his line who may contribute to his demise. That is true, however, when you go -33 in your next season and are a positive contributor in only 7 of the 63 games that you played, a pattern emerges.
+/- may not be a true indication of how Yak played last season, but if you look at his game log for the 2013-14 NHL season, you may notice that he was on the ice for only 7 games where his net contribution was positive. There were only 7 games where Yak’s +/- equaled to his points in that game. In contrast he has 3 games where he was -4 (this is not your line-mates causing your demise, this is you not taking care of your own end) he also had 6 other games where he was -2 or worse.
This is not what you would expect prima facie from your number one pick. The Oilers could have traded their first selection, chosen Thomas Hertl and picked up some assets in the deal making the club better. Instead they will be sending Yakupov to the minors or to another team by the end of the year when Darryl Katz writes another letter to fans, apologizing for a second lost season, before Christmas.
This week we give a special shout-out to the guy or gal on your team you always pick for the shootout. It takes creativity, mental clarity and a good deal of confidence to go face to face with a goalie, when your game is on the line.
Your shootout pro takes to this challenge like a duck to water, deking, weaving, cocking the leg or flashing the hands, all the while remaining composed and confident of their success. What makes your shootout pro stand out from the rest however is not only that you can count on them to score, but it’s the sheer audacity of the moves that thrills and solidifies their position on the shootout roster.
What’s your favorite shootout move or favorite NHL shootout moment?
Ok who said you can’t have Christmas in July? Even though it is not even the end of summer, or the beginning of the NHL season you can safely secure an original 6, NHL ,team sweater for your next ugly sweater Christmas party. You get to pick from two versions of each team.
So what is your holiday favorite out of the bunch?
According to New York times, hockey helmets will now have a standard, 5 star rating system and it won’t make them sexy. More padding is required in the helmet to reduce the probability of concussions resulting from direct blows to the head. Viginia Tech scientists already tested and ranked the 23 available helmets for football. Those rated 5 stars have the best chance of preventing a concussion during impact. The key to safety is the amount of padding in the helmet and that will make helmets larger and more round, not something professional hockey players will want to see on their heads, unless they want to look like the Great Gazoo.
Sales of the NR and 1 star football helmets plummeted as parents moved to higher rated helmets to ensure better safety for their children. This forced football equipment manufacturers like Riddell to change course and offer more effective helmets to consumers. Will this happen in hockey? It is hard to say, as far the large hockey equipment manufacturers go so far, they are skeptical. Looks trump safety with the pros, who only recently, despite overwhelming evidence that visors save eyes, started wearing eye protection on their helmets in droves.
Will looks trump safety with hockey parents? We will see. At the end of the day parents are the ones buying hockey helmets and if they aren’t as safe as they’ve thought the manufacturer fastest to market with such a product may win a large amount of business. The NHL is home to 700+ customers, while minor hockey registrations are north of 600,000. Someone will do the math correctly on this soon.
Built in 1979 the Joe Louis Arena is now the 4th oldest in the NHL and I guess the Red Wings feel a move would be in the best interests of the team and the recently bankrupted city. “Motor City”, “Rock City” or “Hockeytown” as we know it, could use the boost, however it seems that of the $650M price tag, $450M will be coming from public funds in the form of state backed bonds and property tax revenues.
The $450M will go towards the development of an entertainment district centered around the arena, much like the $480M development under way in Edmonton for the Oilers franchise. Bars, hotels, clubs, restaurants and residential apartments and condos are all set to make an appearance, as well as a stunning new glass faced arena seating around 20,000 spectators.
Whether or not the investment can provide the city with the boost it needs to get its finances and tattered reputation back on track, will remain to be seen. One thing’s for sure – that glass faced arena design will look impressive in 2017 once it’s all complete.
Which NHL arena would you like to see re-vamped or re-built?
As you all know, a good goalie is critical to your teams summer or winter campaign. When your wingers are tired, your center is injured and your defencemen just got burned by some puck weaving magic, your goalie is your last line of defence and potential savior. In this weeks Monday Night Shout-out, we’re looking for team tributes to your masked defender. Captains, players, team centers or hell – even goalies themselves, are invited to shower praise upon your “Bulin Wall” or your “Quicky”. Check out this save and let us know if your goalie has pulled off an amazing save similar to this one. Reto Berra’s Bicycle kick save