Jason Brough

Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber (6) and center Colin Wilson, right, celebrate after Weber scored a goal against the San Jose Sharks during the second period in Game 3 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup Western Conference semifinal playoff series Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. San Jose Sharks left wing Patrick Marleau is at left. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
AP

Former Habs analytics consultant calls Weber an ‘average NHLer’ (Update: He regrets saying that)

26 Comments

Having already acknowledged he “made a passionate case” in favor of keeping P.K. Subban, the former analytics consultant for the Montreal Canadiens is now calling Shea Weber an “average NHLer” and saying the return the Habs got for Subban was “so, so far outside what could be considered reasonable.”

Matt Pfeffer made those remarks in an interview with The Hockey News.

He also explained the basis of his analysis.

“My analysis of Shea Weber had very little to do with Corsi,” Pfeffer said. “It’s easy to hate on Corsi, but he is not a good goal differential guy either. He’s not pushing the needle in terms of how many goals the Nashville Predators score and get scored on when he’s on the ice. He’s good, he’s serviceable, but he doesn’t really push the needle on either side.”

That’s certainly not what the Habs think of Weber. They believe he’s far more than “serviceable.” They believe they’ve added a “tremendous leader” who also happens to be “a helluva defenseman.”

“His track record shows for itself,” GM Marc Bergevin said after the trade was made. “Last year in the playoffs he averaged over 27 minutes a night, so he’s a very useful defenseman. He’s a stud.”

It remains to be seen who’s proven right in this debate, but it’s sure going to be fun to watch it all play out.

Update:

Related: Subban touches down in Smashville, hits the stage to sign Johnny Cash tune

Vrbata is talking to four teams about a contract: agent

Vancouver Canucks right wing Radim Vrbata (17), of the Czech Republic, shoots the winning goal past New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41), of the Czech Republic, in a shootout in the Canucks 2-1 victory over the New York Islanders in an NHL hockey game in New York, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
AP

Radim Vrbata could be getting close to joining a new team.

Perhaps it’ll be his old team.

“We have been discussing the structure of a contract with four teams and hope to come to an agreement shortly,” his agent, Rich Evans, told Arizona Sports today.

Evans would not say which teams were involved, but there has been speculation the 35-year-old winger could return to the Coyotes. He’s spent the last two years in Vancouver. The first year went well, the second was a struggle.

Vrbata enjoyed his time in Arizona. He had plenty of individual success, including a 35-goal season in 2011-12. Upon signing with the Canucks, he said it “wasn’t easy to leave” the Coyotes.

“We have been there six years and always really liked it,” he said. “I liked it from a hockey standpoint and we liked it off the ice, so it was a tough decision.”

Of course, that doesn’t mean he’s automatically going back. Remember that the Coyotes are under new management now. They may not even be interested.

The fit has to be right for Vrbata, too. It wasn’t during his second year in Vancouver, and his goal total fell from 31 to 13.

Related: Vrbata’s UFA profile

Jets prospect Roslovic leaving college after one year, likely headed to OHL London

SUNRISE, FL - JUNE 26:  Jack Roslovic puts on his jersey after being selected 25th overall by the Winnipeg Jets in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center on June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Getty
2 Comments

Winnipeg Jets prospect Jack Roslovic is leaving college after just one year at Miami University (Ohio). The 19-year-old forward has signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Jets.

“I feel like I’m ready for the next challenge,” Roslovic, a Columbus native, told The Dispatch today. “I had a great time at Miami, made tremendous growth, both personally and with my game. But this is the next step.”

Roslovic was drafted 25th overall in 2015. He had 10 goals and 16 assists as a freshman at Miami. He says he’s put on 13 pounds since last summer, but won’t find out where he belongs until he can measure himself against the other hopefuls at Jets training camp.

He’s most likely headed to OHL London, but is also eligible for the AHL and NHL.

Senators’ Hoffman ‘looking forward to working with’ Boucher, but first a contract needs to be signed

HKN Flyers Senators
AP

His arbitration hearing is scheduled for Aug. 4, but Senators forward Mike Hoffman is hoping it doesn’t get to that.

“We’re in the midst of trying to sign a new contract here,” Hoffman said this weekend, per the Canadian Press. “New coach coming in, Guy Boucher, I had him in junior when I played in Drummondville of the Quebec League. Very good relationship with him, we won a championship together. So definitely looking forward to working with him this year.”

Hoffman scored 29 goals for Ottawa in 2015-16. He had 27 the season before. Over the past two years combined, only 18 NHLers have scored more goals than his 56.

In May, Sens GM Pierre Dorion called it a “bonus” that Hoffman and Boucher have a history, but also cautioned against reading too much into it.

“This team is built around 20 players. So we’re going to do what’s right,” said Dorion. “We’re going to work hard at it, but at the end of the day, if they want $10 million a year, well, we’ll say, ‘Mike, good luck, best of luck moving forward.'”

Bruins name Kevin Dean head coach of AHL Providence

SUNRISE, FL - JUNE 27:  Brandon Carlo poses after being selected 37th overall by the Boston Bruins during the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center on June 27, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Getty

The Boston Bruins are expected to name Kevin Dean the head coach of their AHL affiliate in Providence. That’s according to CSN New England, which expects the announcement to be made shortly.

Update: The announcement has been made.

Dean has been an assistant coach in Providence the past five seasons. The head coach during that time was Bruce Cassidy, who was recently named to Claude Julien’s staff in Boston.

From CSN New England:

The writing appeared to be on the wall for Dean’s promotion when he spoke with the Bruins media following one of the development camp sessions last week, and gave some very well-articulated, smart and candidly honest answers about the B’s prospects. While it’s clear Dean was the most appropriate choice given his knowledge of Bruins personnel, he also carries a strong reputation as a natural teacher that greatly helped the B’s organization develop young defensemen like Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski, Kevan Miller and Adam McQuaid over the last six plus seasons.

The B’s have added a number of defensive prospects to their system in the last couple of years, including Jakub Zboril, Brandon Carlo, Jeremy Lauzon, and Charles McAvoy. They need those youngsters to be developed properly, so having an AHL coach that knows how to work with d-men makes sense.

Related: Carlo impresses Dean