So, after four years in the QMJHL, being passed over in the NHL Entry Draft, playing a year with the ECHL's Cincinnati Cyclones, and spending two and a half seasons with the Hamilton Bulldogs, David Desharnais has finally secured his first multimillion dollar NHL contract. It's been a long, arduous march through periods of rejection and financial insecurity for the 26-year-old and his perseverance should be commended. His story is a good one, plain and simple. Speaking of good stories (and terrible segues), I have a bunch links to good stories below.
Habs News and Analysis
- I know the details have already been discussed, but for reference's sake, here's what we know about the David Desharnais contract. The deal is a 4-year, $14 million extension that will see Desharnais signed through the 2016-2017 season. The average cap hit is $3.5 million, which amounts to 5.44% on next year's $64.3 million cap. The contract will cover one RFA year and three UFA years. Desharnais will be 30 years and 9 months old when the deal expires in July 2017. Of the current players on the roster, only three others (Josh Gorges, Carey Price, and Max Pacioretty) are signed through 2016-2017.
- As the deal just broke this morning, I haven't been able to find much in-depth analysis. The Canadian Press and NHL.com's Arpon Basu both have summaries of the deal, including reaction from Desharnais and his teammates.
- We do, however, have fantastic analysis of Desharnais' performance last season. Here's Andrew's season review from September and Christopher Boucher's scouting report. According to Boucher, Desharnais had the highest offensive zone ratio (number of successful plays in the offensive zone verses the number of unsuccessful plays in the offensive zone) of any centre on the team.
- As Laura discussed (and the comments indicated), the deal has reinforced the idea of a centre "conundrum" on the depth chart. There are four centres that can play top nine minutes on the roster. Who do you move to the wing? Back in September, our own Stephan Cooper took a look at the situation, analyzing each individual player's strengths and weaknesses.
- In other roster news, Michael Ryder has sustained a lower body injury and will not be able to play in New Jersey on Saturday. Michael Blunden has been called up to fill the spot left by Ryder. (It's okay, Tomas, you don't have to play with him). Petteri Nokelainen has successfully cleared waivers and will join the Hamilton Bulldogs.
- Lars Eller cites off-season health and physical development as two of the keys to his success this season. Brenda Branswell from the Montreal Gazette has the scoop.
General News and Analysis
- The fantasy hockey writers over at NHL.com have released their mid-season awards. To no one's surprise, Sidney Crosby is the unanimous MVP. Brendan Gallagher, P.K. Subban, and Max Pacioretty all receive top votes (by at least one writer) in the best rookie, best defenseman, and best left wing categories respectively.
- After playing 22 games with the Buffalo Sabres, Mikhail Grigorenko, has been sent back to the QMJHL's Quebec Remparts. Although the idea of wasting the first year of his contract probably doesn't sit well with Sabres fans, that's a sunk cost that shouldn't come into play when choosing what's best for Grigorenko's development. The folks over at Die by the Blade react to the decision.
- Eric Tulsky over at Broad Street Hockey pens a brief overview of modern NHL microstats. If you are interested in learning about these tools, are looking for context, or need a refresher, this article is a nice place to start.
- Doug Harrison at CBC Sports takes a brief look at some of the pending free agents this off-season.
- Michael Parkatti of Boys on the Bus devises a method to adjust Corsi for offensive zone starts, Corsi quality of teammates, and Corsi quality of competition. He also notes, to my surprise, that Corsi quality of competition correlates positively with a player's individual Corsi.
- Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider are pretty cool dudes. Watch them goof on the goaltending controversy that was said to exist in the Canucks' locker room.
- RexLibris over at Flames Nation examines league wide drafting success using data from 2000 to 2006.
Archive Material and EOTP News
- TV Ontario, Canada's other major public television network, has been posting some of their digital archive material to YouTube. Back in 2005, TVO's Allan Gregg conducted an interview with Jean Béliveau that was recently added to their channel. The interview is brief, but there's some interesting stuff including Béliveau contemplating his own legacy. Check it out!