2010 NHL Entry Draft: Early mock drafts favor Taylor Hall at No. 1


hallmemorialcup.jpgWhen it comes to the NFL Draft, everyone and their crazy Uncle Henry seem to come out with a mock draft. Hockey might not enjoy the same brand of around-the-clock coverage, but that doesn’t change the fact that June’s Entry Draft will fuel debates among NHL executives and scouts for some time.

Who will end up being a bigger difference maker: Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin? Should the Bruins go with Cam Fowler instead pf Seguin, if the chips fall the way people expect? Does this draft have the next Henrik Zetterberg?

There’s no way to know for sure how productive an 18 or 19-year-old hockey player will be as the person matures. There does seem to be a consensus, though, at least when it comes to NHL.com’s poll of one Eastern and Western Conference executive: Hall is considered the No. 1 pick over Seguin in both cases.

Actually, both personnel men had the same top 5 picks:

  1. Hall
  2. Seguin
  3. Fowler
  4. Erik Gudbranson
  5. Brandon Gormley

It’s pretty difficult to dissent about Hall being the No. 1 pick right now. He’s been a major success in almost every format of hockey competition. That being said, Seguin didn’t have the kind of firepower surrounding him when the two top prospects met at high levels of junior competition, so the jury’s really still out on this one.

We’ll be all over the 2010 NHL Draft this summer. Along with the June 25-26 event itself, we’ll provide player profiles, analysis of picks/trades and plenty of other coverage before and after it takes place. Make sure to stick with us through that exciting process.

Add Lecavalier to list of expensive Flyers healthy scratches

Vincent Lecavalier
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Are the Philadelphia Flyers aiming for some sort of record when it comes to expensive (potential) healthy scratches?

While lineups are obviously subject to change, CSNPhilly.com notes that Vincent Lecavalier appears to be among a rather rich group of Flyers who are expected to sit during their season-opener.

Also likely to be in street clothes: Sam Gagner and Luke Schenn.

That’s $11.3 million in cap space rotting on the bench, and that’s only counting what the Flyers are paying Gagner.

“I really don’t know what to say,” Lecavalier said. “I’ll practice hard and be ready when they call me up.”

The CSNPhilly.com quotes from Lecavalier, Gagner and Schenn only get sadder from there, a reminder that there are human beings attached to these numbers – whether you focus on disappointing stats or bloated salaries.

Flyers fans with the urge to reach for an Alka-Setzler can at least take some comfort in knowing that the team will see $6.8 million in savings after this season, as both Gagner and Schenn are on expiring deals.

It could be a long season, though, and this Lecavalier headache may not truly end until his contract expires following the 2017-18 campaign.

Video: NHL drops hammer, suspends Torres for 41 games


One of the NHL’s most notorious hitters has been tagged by the league.

On Monday, the Department of Player Safety announced that San Jose forward Raffi Torres has been suspended 41 games — half of the regular season — for an illegal check to the head of Anaheim’s Jakob Silfverberg.

The length of Torres’ suspension is a combination of the Silfverberg hit and Torres’ history of delivering hits to the heads of opposing players, including Jordan Eberle, Jarret Stoll, Nate Prosser and Marian Hossa.

“Torres has repeatedly violated league playing rules,” the Department of Player Safety explained. “And has been sanctioned multiple times for similar infractions.”

The league also noted that Torres has been warned, fined, or suspended on nine occasions over the course of his career, “the majority of which have involved a hit to an opponent’s head.”

“Same player every year,” Ducks forward Ryan Kesler said following the hit on Silfverberg. “I played with the guy [in Vancouver]. He needs to learn how to hit. That has no part in our game anymore.”

As for what lies ahead, things could get interesting upon potential appeal:

Torres successfully appealed a suspension under the previous CBA, getting his punishment for the Hossa hit reduced from 25 to 21 games.

Under terms of the new CBA, Torres isn’t categorized as a repeat offender because his last suspension came in May of 2013 — more than two years ago.

Of course, part of the reason Torres hasn’t run afoul of the league in two years is because he’s barely played.

Knee injuries limited Torres to just 12 games in ’13-14, and he sat out last season entirely.