As noted earlier, maybe two years for $4 million to $5 million.
His rebuild is on schedule. He can control his recruiting vision and effort, but not the health of players. Losing Jontay Porter for this entire season knocked the Tigers out of the NCAA Tournament hunt. Then losing Mark Smith for the stretch run took them out of the NIT quest. Five of the guys he added before Year 2 -- Mark Smith, Dru Smith, Javon Pickett, Torrence Watson and Xavier Pinson -- are solid building blocks. Parker Braun could be another. K.J. Santos and short-timer Christian Guess . . . not so much. Tray Jackson and Mario McKinney are strong recruits for next year and beyond.
I am well aware of Bishop's recent play . . . and his recent injuries, too, since he is one of my fantasy team netminders. The Stars seem to be putting it together at the right time.
Well, the Pittsburgh Penguins could stop them. The Washington Capitals too. Those teams carry Cup credentials and they can match up in a series when healthy. The Boston Bruins are a threat too. I do expect the Eastern Conference survivor to be favored to win the Cup this season.
Why? Unless Jordan Binnington implodes in the playoffs, he's the guy next season. He won't command giant money, so the Blues can keep Jake Allen as well and hope Ville Husso bounces back at San Antonio. The goaltending is working just fine as is, so I don't see the team gambling on an aging netminder who carries some injury risk.
Tony Bennett took the high road with his players over the whole UMBC thing. He kept the motivational talk upbeat. But this might be a good time to take some paint off the walls with his halftime address.
Pronger's name came up when the Flyers had their GM opening, but he apparently didn't push hard for that. He is an executive in training, working under Dale Tallon for Florida. Will he be a GM some day? Sure, if he really wants to take such a 24/7 job. Some former players crave that sort of role while others prefer a more balanced life.
Until he proves otherwise, sure. Hart arrived this season as a high-end prospect and Binnington did not. But goaltending is a funny thing. Scouting and developing netmiders is a tricky business. The Blues have drafted and/or signed a zillion of them. Maybe they finally found a guy with real staying power.
Del Zotto could be a nice No. 7 defenseman next season. The team wants a veteran in that role, not a prospect. Given Gunnarsson's injury history, he seems like an obvious candidate to move on.
The NHL is uniquely vague about injuries. Why? Hockey players are armed with sticks. When the other team knows that your guy has an injured left wrist, there is a pretty good chance that it slash away at that left wrist. That said, the NHL is embracing legalized gambling and consumers in that realm will demand more specific injury information. That's why the NFL has such strict injury reporting rules. I would expect the NHL to follow that lead eventually.
Playoff experience is overrated. How much playoff experience did Vegas have, as a group, entering postseason play last season? None, obviously, and the Golden Knights played for the Cup. Over the years the Blues added one former Cup winner after another and go almost no real benefit from that come playoff time. Either teams elevate their play -- and keep elevating it during the playoffs -- or they don't. Guys with playoff experience understand this challenge going into the postseason. Guys lacking said experience learn this pretty quickly.
Lots and lots of skill there. Do NOT put the Lightning on the power play! Stamkos, Point, Johnson, Hedman, McDonagh, Sergachev, Palat, Gourde . . . those guys can make teams look silly out there.
Since he brought this team back from the dead, I would expect him to remain coach regardless of what happens in the playoffs. Remember, this team was dead last in the Western Conference.
The Cardinals are most concerned about his health and his mechanics, not his statistics. Obviously the field staff will want to be comfortable with both by the time the team leaves Florida.
Nothing. He is good enough to play in the NHL.
This team appears equipped to make a run. But can it keep elevating its play? Can it keep finding new levels? We shall see.
He went from 36 homers to 12 last season, from 100 RBIs to 67. I imagine the Reds hope he can at least meet those totals halfway this season.
Out of training camp, no. He's not that close and the team wants to see him score at the minor league level and prove to himself that he can be a difference maker at the highest level. He is just turning 20, so it's early in his development. As he showed during his strong showing at the World Junior Championships, he is at least on par with most players his age.
He leads by scoring goals, not by giving inspirational talks to the troops. He has also rounded out his game by back-checking and blocking shots in the defensive zone in addition to fighting for pucks in the offensive zone.