PHT Oddsmaker will be a regular feature where we set pretend odds and pretend to gamble on them. If you’d like to bet real money, meet us in the alley and we’ll talk.
Total points for John Tavares (O/U 79.5)
Only nine NHLers had 80 points or more in 2010-11, but I’d still take the over here. Tavares is as natural a scorer as there is in the game today. Remember, we’re talking about a guy who had 72 goals and 134 points in the OHL as a 16-year-old. There’s a reason he was taken first overall in 2009. And with eight points in the Islanders’ first four games, he’s well ahead of the pace it would take to surpass last year’s total of 67 points. He’s also got a great thing going with linemates Matt Moulson and P.A. Parenteau, whose own lofty stats might be the finest proof of Tavares’ talent.
Columbus coach Scott Arniel fired by Christmas (2/1)
Would things be different if James Wisniewski hadn’t been suspended for the first eight games of the regular season? Maybe. The Blue Jackets (0-5-1) are 2-for-30 with the man advantage and Wisniewski is one of the premier power-play specialists in the league. But if things don’t turn around dramatically, GM Scott Howson will have a decision to make (if he’s still around to make it). Arniel failed to lead the Jackets to the playoffs last season, his first behind the bench, and if they don’t make it this time around, Howson’s chances of keeping his job won’t be very good. You do the math. I’ll stay away from this one, because I don’t like to bet on people getting fired. Bad karma.
Dallas Stars to make the playoffs (5/1)
Pretty tempting odds considering Dallas (5-1-0) is tied with Colorado (5-1-0) for first place in the Western Conference. What the heck, I’ll throw a few bucks on that. The Stars are obviously going to miss Brad Richards, and there’s not much chance Kari Lehtonen finishes the season with a 1.58 goals-against average and .953 save percentage. Not to mention, Dallas has played a relatively easy schedule so far. But I’m willing to give a team with players like Brenden Morrow and Jamie Benn a shot to turn $20 into $100. If it pays off, dinner’s on PHT.
Having already moved on from Nathan Beaulieu, Alexei Emelin and Mikhail Sergachev, the Habs continued to remodel their defense on Thursday by acquiring David Schlemko from Vegas.
Schlemko, who spent last season with the Sharks, was acquired by the Golden Knights at last night’s expansion draft. Vegas will receive Montreal’s fifth-round pick in 2019 as part of the deal.
Signed to a four-year, $8.4 million deal last summer, Schlemko had high expectations in San Jose. GM Doug Wilson trumpeted him as a “solid puck-moving defenseman” and while Schlemko did show it at times, he also had his low points.
He was a healthy scratch midway through the year, and missed some time with a lower-body injury. All told, he had 18 points in 62 games, while averaging 16:45 TOI per night.
It’s unlikely that Habs GM Marc Bergevin is done here. While Schlemko is a decent pickup, he’s only one of five d-men under contract for next season, along with Shea Weber, Jeff Petry, Brandon Davidson and Jordie Benn. Andrei Markov is an unrestricted free agent, and it’s unclear if he’ll be brought back.
Related: Vegas has 15 d-men, but won’t keep them all
John Stevens has added a familiar face to his coaching staff.
On Thursday, the L.A. Kings announced the hiring of Don Nachbaur as an assistant coach.
Nachbaur has spent the last seven seasons as bench boss of the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs. He has worked with Stevens before, although it’s been a while.
Their paths crossed during their playing days with the Philadelphia Flyers and American Hockey League’s Hershey Bears in the late 1980s. After that, they coached together with the Philadelphia Phantoms in the AHL. Nachbaur was an assistant coach with the Phantoms for two seasons (2000-01 and 2001-02) while Stevens was the head coach.
They made the playoffs both years but didn’t go beyond the second round.
“Don is a great addition to our coaching staff. I personally have known him 30-plus years,” said Stevens. “I played with him and have coached alongside him. He has played the game at a high level and he is a tremendous all-around teacher who is very well-rounded.”
Nachbaur joins a Kings staff that includes assistant coach Dave Lowry and goaltending coach Bill Ranford.
A week ago, we released the full order of selections for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
Well, some stuff has happened since.
So here’s the new order for the first round, which will be selected Friday evening at United Center in Chicago:
1. New Jersey Devils
2. Philadelphia Flyers
3. Dallas Stars
4. Colorado Avalanche
5. Vancouver Canucks
6. Vegas Golden Knights
7. Arizona Coyotes
8. Buffalo Sabres
9. Detroit Red Wings
10. Florida Panthers
11. Los Angeles Kings
12. Carolina Hurricanes
13. Vegas Golden Knights (from Winnipeg)
14. Tampa Bay Lightning
15. Vegas Golden Knights (from NY Islanders)
16. Calgary Flames
17. Toronto Maple Leafs
18. Boston Bruins
19. San Jose Sharks
20. St. Louis Blues
21. New York Rangers
22. Edmonton Oilers
23. Arizona Coyotes (from Minnesota)
24. Winnipeg Jets (from Columbus via Vegas)
25. Montreal Canadiens
26. Chicago Blackhawks
27. St. Louis Blues (from Washington)
28. Ottawa Senators
29. Dallas Stars (from Anaheim)
30. Nashville Predators
31. Pittsburgh Penguins
That order could still change, as there’s been plenty of speculation that some of the top picks could be in play.
Are teams like the Devils, Flyers, and Stars willing to deal?
We’ll find out soon.
Everyone knew this was going to be a massive offseason for Islanders GM Garth Snow.
And Snow has now responded in kind.
Per TSN, the Isles are on the verge of acquiring Jordan Eberle from Edmonton. No word yet on what’s headed to New York in return. Sportsnet has confirmed the move, saying all involved parties are being informed of the move.
Update: Ryan Strome headed to Edmonton in exchange, per TSN’s Darren Dreger.
The move comes after weeks of speculation about Eberle’s future with the Oilers. He had a solid regular season in Edmonton, with 20 goals and 51 points through 82 games, but struggled mightily in the postseason. He went scoreless through 13 games, finishing with just two points while watching his ice time dwindle to 14:32 per night.
Eberle is still a quality offensive talent, though, and should be thrilled about the prospect of playing with Isles captain John Tavares. Tavares, in turn, will undoubtedly be pleased with Snow’s bold move to bring in additional scoring up front, which could go a long way towards signing an extension with the Isles.
It’s safe to assume Oilers GM Peter Chiarelli will feel some heat for this deal. While he did get out from under Eberle’s contract — $6 million annually for each of the next two years — Strome is coming off a disappointing year, and was exposed by the Isles at last night’s expansion draft.
That said, Chiarelli does have bigger fish to fry. Connor McDavid, the Hart Trophy winner, is eligible to sign an extension soon. Ditto for Leon Draisaitl.
Needless to say, those two contracts could be rather large.