Thursday, October 6, 2016

Trade Rumor Thursday

Nail Yakupov. Image Credit:
Starting today, there will be a weekly post in this blog about NHL trade rumors. These posts will include players that are likely about to be traded, what teams want in return for specific players, and also players that would fit well on other teams. Information for this weekly post will have to be found on other websites, because yours truly is not an NHL executive or GM that has information like this at his fingertips. Websites such as: My NHL Trade Rumors, Bleacher Report, and Hockey Buzz (a blog), all give out great information on upcoming trades, but it will be nice to have it compiled all into one blog post.

Breaking news today is that the Chicago Blackhawks are working on a trade that will bring in former 2012 #1 draft pick, Nail Yakupov from the Edmonton Oilers. While this may be exciting news for Blackhawks fans, it comes as no surprise to Oilers fans. Already entering his 5th season in the league, the Russian 23-year-old winger has failed to live up to his expectations in Edmonton. #1 draft picks (such as Connor McDavid and Sidney Crosby) are usually expected to come in and contribute right away. Yakupov was no different but has failed to live up to this task. The Oilers landed the 1st overall pick in the NHL draft three years in a row (2010, 2011, 2012) selecting Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, and Nail Yakupov. The former two players have played consistently better than Yakupov has for Edmonton. Some critics blame the Oilers organization on Yakupov's failures whereas others simply say he was a draft bust. Regardless, it looks as if a new sweater will be on Yakupov in the near future and the Blackhawks are likely the suitors.

With this trade comes complications. These include Chicago's cap space, Edmonton's willingness to accept what Chicago has to offer, and what the Blackhawks decided will be a fair-market trade for Yakupov. Chicago only has a little under 2 million in cap space and Yakupov's contract guarantees 2.5 million. Therefore, in order for the Blackhawks to make a trade for Yakupov, they will either have to trade away a player that will shed enough salary for them to absorb Yakupov's contract, or Edmonton will have to retain some of his salary. Reports have made it clear that Chicago will likely have to give up a draft pick (2nd round?) and a star-AHL player in order to get Yakupov; especially to have Edmonton retain some of his salary. But will the Oilers think that he is worth more than that?. Many believe that Yakupov just needs a change in scenery to become an elite scorer, but is simply changing teams enough for this possible draft bust to turn into an effective player?

***UPDATE***: Yakupov was traded to the St. Louis Blues on October 7th for Zach Pochiro and a conditional 3rd round pick (which will become a 2nd round pick if Yakupov scores at least 15 goals for St. Louis).

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


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While hockey players are often viewed as toothless Neanderthals, the thought process that is in motion when players are on the ice is incredible. Hockey is known as a game that is made up of thousands of split-second decisions during every game. For example, hockey players have to make many more decisions during one shift on the ice than chess players make in an entire match. It is not only about skating down the ice, avoiding other players, and trying to score. It is about which way to turn to avoid the player, where to move the puck, when to stop, and when to pass.

According to the article "Keys to Great Hockey Sense," by Kim McCullough, the intelligence that players use is known as spatial intelligence. Spatial intelligence is the ability to know what is going on at a given time and anticipate what is going to happen next. In a sense, hockey players are always trying to look ahead to the future to make sure they are in the right position for whatever happens next. Also, it is not only one player that you have to anticipate, it is the whole team. A great hockey player must plan what they are going to do with the puck even before they have it on their stick. Overall, the sport is a contest of two teams pitting their players' spatial intelligences against one another; which seems a lot more intricate than two guys punching each other in the face and trying to get a rubber disc in the back of a net.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

About this Blog

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This blog is about all things hockey. There will be posts about students playing in adult hockey leagues, posts about the NHL, and posts about hockey in general. Hockey is a great sport because it can lead to great team skills and more relationships for students. Many of the players that play in adult hockey leagues also have careers in other fields. Players can be students, former students, doctors, and many other types of workers. As for the adult hockey league portion of this blog, the posts will be focusing on the South Bend Senior Hockey League. This league is a great opportunity for new students to find people with similar interests as well as a new hobby.

The NHL portion of this blog can be anything from story lines from players' personal lives to nightly game updates. It seems that NHL players are always finding themselves in situations that they should be in and these situations often lead to national news. Players are often very charitable and these stories should be shared as well. Other posts in this blog will be about hockey in general. From what goes in to being prepared on game day, to equipment reviews and malfunctions, everything hockey will be covered within this blog.