The Seven Million Dollar Man

Rangers Sign Chris Drury And Scott Gomez

How does a team know their investment will pay off?  Better yet, What would inspire a team to devote a large percentage of their cap space to one single player? This article plans on analyzing the production from “top-tier” forwards based on a seven million dollar cap hit or higher.

As of this writing there are 14 forwards making this salary or higher, with most of these players filling the scorecard adequately.  These 14 forwards discussed are Jason Spezza, Joe Thornton, Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards, Sidney Crosby, Jarome Iginla, Alexander Ovechkin, Scott Gomez, Evgeni Malkin, Vincent Lecavalier, Thomas Vanek, Dany Heatley, Chris Drury and Eric Staal.

A quick glance at this list screams Drury and Gomez as the noticeable busts.  Coming into a weak free agent year for centers the two cashed in on GM Glen Sather’s ludacris spending.  However, a deeper look into their 2009-2010 season makes other players current production look similarly as bad.

In addition, this article will identify the best of the bunch showing exactly if and why the top salaries are actually worth it.  Impending free agent Ilya Kovalchuk believes his worth to be 20 percent of the current cap, an enormous 11 plus million cap hit. With his current production, not to mention countless intangibles would you consider the 27-year-old worth it?

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Trade Rumors: Busy Day in Carolina

Pittsburgh Penguins v Toronto Maple Leafs

TSN’s Bob MacKenzie reported a trade of former first rounders.  The last place Carolina Hurricanes moved their most recent first round selection, Phillipe Paradis, to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Jiri Tlusty.

The Hurricanes get an NHL ready player who can be inserted in their lineup immediately.  Similar to their deals last year for Jussi Jokinen and Eric Cole the team gets a player who has shown flashes of offensive ability but fallen out of favor with their teams.  Considering that Tlusty is only three years removed from his 13th overall selection giving up a young prospect like Paradis does not hurt as much.

Held scoreless in his two games with the Leafs, the 21-year-old put up 15 points in 18 games with their AHL affiliate.  In 66 games last year in the A, the Czech native averaged a point per game with the Marlies.  At his age, his production at the AHL level translates to the ability to hold a regular shift.  Partner that with familiarity with coach Paul Maurice and the youngster should make a seamless transition to the Canes

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Goalie Starters 11/01/2009


Here are the expected starters for tonight:

UPDATED 11/01/2009 @ 7:48 PM:

UPDATED 11/01/2009 @ 1:08 PM:

  • At-ease soldiers, Steve Zipay confirms King Henrik via Twitter.

UPDATED 11/01/2009 @ 12:53 PM:

  • Pretty sure Bishop was mistaken, Lundqvist will be in net.  Probably mixed up the new mask with Valiquette’s.  Andrew Gross confirmed Lundqvist here.

UPDATED 11/01/2009 @ 12:30 PM:

  • Tim Thomas starts according to John Bishop’s live chat, Bruins beat reporter.  Bishop also notes he will be facing Steve Valiquette.   Working on confirming Valiquette in net, keep Lundqvist in for now as there is no confirmation from the Rangers beat.
  • The preview on the Canucks official site says Andrew Raycroft COULD start against Peter Budaj.  I doubt we will see Budaj, as Adrian Dater previously confirmed Anderson in tonight.

UPDATED 11/01/2009 @ 12:00 PM:

  • Expect Evgeny Nabokov to start against the Hurricanes since Thomas Greiss started only a week ago and the Sharks are not coming off back-to-back games.
  • Everything I’ve read points to Tim Thomas starting against the Rangers.  Will confirm at a later point with a link.

UPDATED 11/01/2009 @ 12:15 AM:

  • Steve Mason faces Jose Theodore when the Blue Jackets take on the Capitals tonight.  Tarik El-Bashir of the Washington Post confirms both.
  • Carolina Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice started Michael Leighton instead of Cam Ward yesterday, so naturally Ward will be back in net tonight.  Chip Alexander of Canes Now covers Maurice’s reasoning behind the decision.
  • Andrew Gross of Rangers Rants assumes Henrik Lundqvist plays tonight.
  • Craig Anderson to make his fifteenth straight start, Adrian Dater of All Things Avs reports.
  • As you may or may not have read here, is coming soon.  Right now I have added an About page and solved numerous formatting problems as well as sources for all 30 teams.  Check out our ever-changing beta here!

That’s all I have for now.  More updates to come.  If you have any tips, email them to me at

Yesterday’s Count: 21*/22 = 95.5%
Year-to-date Predictions: 314/318= 98.7%

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-Alexander Monaghan

*Went with the only source I had although it would have worked out if you followed my advice, ironically, when considering Ryan Miller’s performance last night