When Jarome Iginla signed a three-year deal with the Colorado Avalanche in July, it left a sizable hole on the Boston Bruins’ top line.
The guy who wants to fill that spot and make it his own is Loui Eriksson. As Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com shared, he’s eager to prove to coach Claude Julien he can provide the same kind of offensive punch playing on what’s already a talented first line.
“It’s definitely two great players to play with. I played two games with [David Krejci and Milan Lucic] last season, and it was nice,” said Eriksson. “We’ll see when the preseason starts, and if maybe we practice together a little bit. Then we’ll see how things work out. Krejci is a great player, and he can see the ice really well.”
Eriksson said he wasn’t happy with his first season with the Bruins after arriving in Boston in the deal that sent Tyler Seguin to the Dallas Stars. He had 10 goals and 37 points in 65 games. He missed 17 games after two separate concussions, something that kept him from being the total two-way player he was in Texas.
If he’s healthy, putting him with Krejci and Lucic could be just the elixir to get the former 30-goal scorer back into offensive form. Krejci’s ability to distribute the puck and Lucic driving the net and wreaking havoc could free space for Eriksson to shoot.
It’s looking more and more like Daniel Alfredsson will be returning to the Detroit Red Wings next season.
Red Wings GM Ken Holland spoke with Ansar Khan of Mlive.com and gave his thoughts on what they’re looking at regarding the 41-year-old Swede. It sounds like a new contract is coming Alfie’s way.
“My take is we’re probably going to try to do something with Alfie,” Holland said Monday. “He had a good year, 19 goals. When he was healthy, he was valuable.”
Alfredsson, along with Niklas Kronwall, were the Wings’ leading scorers last season. The part about “when he was healthy” is key as Holland said he doesn’t expect him to play all 82 games. He pointed to the bevy of young forwards the team has to help pick up the slack. If that’s the case, he’s got a lot of backup support.
Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar, Tomas Jurco, Luke Glendening, and Riley Sheahan all played key roles for the team down the stretch while veterans like Alfredsson, Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen, and Henrik Zetterberg all dealt with injuries throughout the season.
Having a copious amount of quality depth like that comes in handy for situations like this with older players you know will need rest.
Three seasons ago, Alexander Edler appeared to be a revelation on the Vancouver Canucks blue line. His 11 goal and 49 point season showed him to be a threat to score both at even strength and on the power play.
Since then, his production has slipped and they could use that version of him more than ever now.
Last season, Edler battled injury and poor play as he had 22 points, the same as he had in the lockout-shortened 2013 campaign, but checked in with a minus-39 plus-minus rating – worst in the NHL. Say what you will about that statistic, but if you’re a defenseman you never want to have a negative number, especially not the league’s worst.
For Edler, he’s never been much of a possession-dominant blue liner but instead has relied on his physical play and offensively-gifted skill set to get him by. As Canucks President of Hockey Operations Trevor Linden told Ben Kuzma of The Province back in June, he and Edler both know he has the skills to get his game back.
“He’s got all the tools to be a dominant No. 1 defenseman,” Linden said. “He’d be the first to admit he didn’t have a good year, and part of our job is to recapture the Alex Edler that we all know he can be. He has the skill-set that every team wants and we just have to get him back where he should be.”
Getting him back there may have a lot to do with keeping the Sedins healthy and perhaps getting back to playing more of a skill-style game as opposed to what John Tortorella was doing last season.
New coach Willie Desjardins brings an upbeat style of hockey and while he’ll work to implement that, making sure Edler can get back to the brand of game he knows best how to play will be vital. His skill set is unlike what other defensemen have in Vancouver and if he can’t get it going, the offense may stagnate.