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ESPN's Rankings Are Upsetting (and other links)

Your collection of fine links for this morning.

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USA TODAY Sports

Nothing makes nerds angrier than an "unjust" ranking of Tomas Plekanec a favourite player. With ESPN's 2013-2014 player rankings fully published, there's been ample opportunity this week to fret over perceived ignorance in the hockey community.* Whether you want to save the baby or throw the whole damn tub out the window, fun can be had by embracing a list and/or yelling at it. Thus, I've posted each ESPN player list this week for your enjoyment. Check out the forward edition along with today's other fine links.

*But seriously, no Bobby Ryan in the top-100 forwards? What the hell is going on out here?

Montreal Canadiens News and Analysis
  • Like Andrew talked about earlier, there's a fair bit of roster news to report. To recap: Francis Bouillon (lower body) and Douglas Murray (lower body) are day-to-day with low severity "training camp injuries." Meanwhile, Davis Drewiske injured a shoulder in Wednesday's practice, which is projected to keep him out of the lineup for the next four weeks. Also of note is that Michel Therrien has split his camp into an evaluation group and a main group. The evaluation group includes Michael McCarron, Christian Thomas, non-AHL-eligible Sebastian Collberg, Nathan Beaulieu, Michael Bournival, Gabriel Dumont, a rehabbing Brian Gionta and others. The main group features all the regulars you'd expect plus Greg Pateryn, who's filling in for Douglas Murray.
  • Andrei Markov sat down with The Gazette's Dave Stubbs to talk about his journey from Moscow to Quebec. Topics include anxiety over leaving a Russian Elite League champion for an uncertain situation in the NHL, his first trip to the U.S., as well as the General's relationship with the city and Bell Centre faithful.
  • With Gorges-Subban, Markov-Diaz as Montreal's defacto top four, Olivier looks at how Douglas Murray potentially fits into the bottom pair.
  • Citing strong scoring depth (eight different players scored in the double digits last season), and P.K. Subban's body, Sean Leahy thinks that Montreal will make the playoffs in his Gold Medal Preview for the team. I missed linking to this earlier in the week, apologies.
General News and Analysis
  • ESPN's aforementioned top-100 forwards list features three Montreal Canadiens, all of whom are placed within the top 60. Max Pacioretty is tied with Milan Lucic at 45, between Chris Kunitz (44) and Andrew Ladd (47), Mike Richards (47) and Derek Stepan (47). Tomas Plekanec stands alone at 50, ahead of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (51), Alex Semin (51), and Joffrey Lupul (51). Alex Galchenyuk comes in at 58, ahead of Matt Moulson (59), but behind Jonathan Huberdeau (55), Evander Kane (55), and Mikko Koivu (55)
  • Speaking of ESPN, the company's main hockey writers list who they think are the most overrated and underrated players in ESPN's rankings. Scott Burnside claims that P.K. Subban's # 6 spot, behind Chara, Suter, Weber, Keith, and Karlsson, is undeserved, citing low ice time on the kill as evidence of an incomplete game.
  • The Canadiens will join the Oilers, Lightning, and one of Winnipeg, St. Louis, Washington, and Colorado in Scott Reynold's Young Guns ChallengeTM over at Copper & Blue. Check out the final heat and vote for the crop of talent you think is most worthy.
  • The Oilers have inked centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to a seven-year contract extension worth $42 million. The deal will expire in July 2021, about three months after Nugent-Hopkins' 28th birthday. Here's reaction from the fine folks over at Copper & Blue, who might have preferred the economic benefits of a bridge deal, but still seem happy to have their core locked in for a better part of a decade.
  • In an attempt to save "around an acre and a half of green space," the Montreal-area town of Westmount, Quebec has built an underground rink.
  • Current SNL cast member and former Gordan Bombay protege Kenan Thompson attempts to recreate the knuckle puck on Regis Philbin's bizarre sports program.
  • Tyler Dellow has created a new metric to quantify defense, and it's a must read.
EOTP News and Archive Material