Skip to main content

Rosen's mailbag - Oct. 22, 2014

by Dan Rosen

Here is the Oct. 22 edition of Rosen's weekly mailbag, which will run every Wednesday during the season. If you have a question, tweet it to @drosennhl and use #OvertheBoards.

Let's get to it:

Is it time to panic as a Colorado Avalanche fan or what? -- @jlwillert15

Panic is a strong emotion made even stronger when it's still October and the team you want to panic over has played seven games. Don't panic yet. There are 75 games to play.

But -- and you knew there had to be a but coming -- you might want to be concerned, or at least curious about what is happening with the Avalanche. Then again, if you monitored how the Avalanche won games last season and listened to the pundits in the offseason, you shouldn't be all that surprised Colorado is off to a rocky start (pun intended) this season.

Fact: The Avalanche allow far too many shots on goal per game. They did last season (32.7 per game) and they are doing it again this season (35.7 per game). It puts too much pressure on their goalies.

Fact: The Avalanche do not have the puck enough. They didn't last season, when they were minus-629 in shot attempts for and against, according to They haven't this season as they are minus-94.

The Avalanche survived last season to win the Central Division because Semyon Varlamov was superb, good enough to be a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, and because they were opportunistic.

Colorado scored on one of every 10 shots and averaged 2.99 goals per game. Their .102 shooting percentage was second in the League and they were fourth in goals.

This season, albeit in a small sample size, they're shooting percentage is .060 and they're averaging 1.71 goals per game. They're 28th in the NHL in both categories.

As for goals against, last season they allowed 2.63 per game; so far this season they're allowing 3.43 per game.

There are reasons to be optimistic. Nathan MacKinnon isn't going to stay cold for too long. He's too good for that. The same goes for Matt Duchene, Jarome Iginla and Gabriel Landeskog.

How legit are these Chris Kelly plus Matt Bartkowski plus the New York Islanders' pick for Jordan Eberle rumors? Good move for the Bruins? -- @bandrea91

It's unclear if they're legit or fantasy. Frankly, I'm not sure why the Oilers would accept a trade like that for one of their star players. If the Oilers are going to make a trade with the Bruins, I'd start with including goalie prospect Malcolm Subban in the return package and go from there.

But here is the bigger picture:

Eberle would be a great fit in Boston, no doubt about that. He's the right wing the Bruins are looking for to play with Milan Lucic and David Krejci. It's a massive hole in their lineup right now that they're trying to plug, but can't seem to fix, at least not yet.

Eberle is also a player who comes with a $6 million salary-cap charge through the 2018-19 season. It would be hard for the Bruins to take Eberle on and keep their young players (Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug, Reilly Smith) in Boston without giving back salary in future seasons.

Trading back Chris Kelly ($3 million this season and next) and Matt Bartkowski (unrestricted free agent after this season) would not give the Bruins enough space to hang on to Eberle and re-sign Hamilton, Krug and Smith, not to mention Carl Soderberg and Adam McQuaid.

An Eberle-to-Boston trade is food for thought for both sides, but I can't for the life of me see how the above proposed trade is at all feasible.

What do you feel will turn the Winnipeg Jets franchise around quicker: Trading three, four or five players, hiring a new general manager, or getting a new coach? -- @richman43

I'm absolutely against a change on the bench. Paul Maurice needs time to put his mark on the Jets. He hasn't had a full season yet. He deserves that and more.

That said, the Jets need a shakeup. They're stuck in quicksand while looking around at a loaded Western Conference. It's daunting.

Winnipeg needs to take a hard look at a lot of areas of the roster, particularly in goal.

Ondrej Pavelec is 27 years old and he's never had better than a 2.73 goals-against average or .914 save percentage in any season (he had those numbers in 2008-09). Can he get better or is this what he is? If this is what he is, the Jets have to try to upgrade in goal.

Pavelec is signed for two more seasons at $3.9 million, but that doesn't mean the Jets can't try to bring in someone else to compete to be the No. 1 goalie. I'm not sure that someone else is Michael Hutchinson.

The Jets need to figure out what they're going to do with Evander Kane.

Is Kane part of the future or is he going to be traded? If they are going to trade him, they better get a major haul in return. This is an organization that has already lost in trades involving Ilya Kovalchuk and Marian Hossa. It can't happen again.

Back to your question, the answer isn't simple and no matter what happens, this will not be a quick turnaround. It can't be in the Western Conference.

Who of the Edmonton Oilers, Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes wins the Connor McDavid/Jack Eichel sweepstakes? -- @dshort_0610

The last-place team isn't guaranteed the first or second pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. The changes to the draft lottery give the team that finishes 30th a 20 percent chance of winning the lottery; the team that finishes 29th has a 13.5 percent chance of winning the lottery.

Of the three teams you mentioned above, I'm taking the Oilers out of the equation. I think they're going to find a way to get better as the season goes on. They will have some progress this season. I don't think it'll be progress all the way to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but their odds of winning the lottery won't be as good as the other two, in my opinion.

Carolina is in a difficult position right now because of injuries, but goaltending should be the Hurricanes strength. If it turns into that, their chances of winning the lottery will go down too.

That leaves the Sabres, but nobody should be surprised by that.

Are the New Jersey Devils and Peter DeBoer mismanaging Adam Larsson? -- @Brian_Bobal

I think people tend to jump to that conclusion because Larsson was the No. 4 pick in the 2011 NHL Draft and now it appears he's fourth on New Jersey's depth chart of young defensemen. It's understandable why the coach would get blame for the slow development of a player who came into the League with loads of potential.

But I disagree with that blame.

DeBoer's job is to win games. If he doesn't do that this season, he knows he could be looking for a new job this summer. The pressure is ratcheted up in New Jersey because of two straight seasons without a playoff berth. The Devils haven't done that since 1985-87.

General manager Lou Lamoriello demands results. DeBoer has to deliver, which means he has to play the players he feels more comfortable with, the players that have his trust and have proven to him they can deliver.

Larsson clearly hasn't done that. That's on Larsson. He had to come into training camp this season and blow DeBoer and his coaching staff away, but it didn't happen. Damon Severson did just that.

Eric Gelinas has a weapon with his shot, particularly on the power play. Jon Merrill is steady, sturdy and reliable. Severson has shown his offensive flair. Larsson has some speed, but he hasn't done anything to force DeBoer into automatically penciling him into the lineup.

Who do you think the Detroit Red Wings are targeting, and who would leave for that price? -- @13redwingsfan

They've been targeting defensemen since the summer and I wouldn't count on general manager Ken Holland stopping until he gets one. They wanted Dan Boyle, but he went to the New York Rangers. Christian Ehrhoff was another one, but he went to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Now it's going to have to happen in a trade, and you've probably heard Buffalo Sabres defenseman Tyler Myers come up in rumors with the Red Wings. TSN's Bob McKenzie and Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman recently reported the Red Wings interest in Myers.

Even though he has struggled in Buffalo, Myers would be the ideal right-handed shooting defenseman for Detroit. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock and assistant coach Tony Granato would probably fall over themselves to get their hands on a 6-foot-8, 220-pound defenseman with more than 300 games of NHL experience.

The price is another matter. McKenzie reported the Sabres are asking for a package that includes either Gustav Nyquist or Anthony Mantha. He said those are non-starters for the Red Wings -- and they should be.

Pavel Datsyuk is 36, Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen are each 34. They have a lot of mileage on them too. The Red Wings can't give away young, scoring forwards just to add to their blue line.

Detroit has other prospects that should interest most teams, including forward Landon Ferraro, defenseman Ryan Sproul, Xavier Ouellet and Alexey Marchenko, and goalie Petr Mrazek. Myers could cost the Red Wings one, two or even three of those players, plus draft picks, but the Sabres might not go for that.

Either way, the Red Wings need a right-handed shooting defenseman, but they also need to be careful about what they pay to get one.


View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.