NHL Quick Shifts is a daily series where we gather up the latest NHL news and links from the FanSided NHL blogosphere, as well as other NHL / hockey blogs. So with that, here is today’s edition of Quick Shifts!
- Sabres GM Upset Over New Draft Lottery Rules – The plan seemed so simple for the Buffalo Sabres: bite the bullet and have one more terrible season in 2014-15 and cross your fingers that the New York Islanders are equally as terrible (the Sabres have the Islanders first round pick from the Vanek trade). At best, you are rewarded with Connor McDavid. At the very best, you get Jack Eichel as well. Then the NHL announces they have tweaked the draft lottery odds to make it more difficult for the worst team to win the first overall pick. It is a measure being put in place to prevent teams from tanking, a practice that has plagued the NBA over the last few years. It also serves to increase the drama for the draft lottery, as there is always hope for a bubble team that just missed the playoffs. If you’re Tim Murray, GM of the Buffalo Sabres, you are considerably upset by the this. Murray did state that it is not the intentions of the Sabres to purposely lose next season. However, we all know the Sabres aren’t going to turn into winners this off season.
- Nathan Horton Is A Question Mark For the Blue Jackets – The Columbus Blue Jackets have bigger things on their mind today – notably reaching a deal with star forward Ryan Johansen, but Union and Blue took a look at the Jackets biggest free agency acquisition from the 2013 off season, Nathan Horton. Horton had a difficult, injury plagued, first season in Columbus. He missed the first half of the season due to shoulder surgery. Abdominal surgery ended Horton’s season early, a blow to a Columbus roster that could have used his veteran presence during the playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. We did not get a large enough sample size to truly judge whether Horton will be a good fit in Columbus. If he can stay healthy, 2014-15 should take care of that. Either he will become the player the CBJ hoped he would be, or he’ll be shipped off to LA at the trade deadline.
- Biggest Questions Going Into NHL Free Agency – NHL.com has a great list of the biggest questions going into NHL free agency. At the top of the list is whether there is a market for Martin Brodeur. I know I am not the only one hoping the answer is no, and Marty either decides to retire or the Devils throw him a lifeline and sign him to one more year. Seeing Martin Brodeur in a jersey that doesn’t belong to the New Jersey Devils is something we should never have to be put through. This would be Mike Modano in Detroit all over again.
Stay tuned to TMMOTS today for the latest NHL free agency news and opinion. We will have an hourly free agency live thread that will be updated with the latest signings!