Is Auston Matthews the “best overall player” in the NHL? I think it’s fair to say it’s up for debate, but his teammate on the Maple Leafs might not think there’s much to debate. Staying in the East, Ottawa locked in another young player on a long-term contract, and it’s one I think will pay off in the long run.
With the Colorado Avalanche, it was another day of informal practices, including the arrival of Ross Colton and a few of the stars on the team.
All that and more in this Thursday edition of Evan’s Daily.
Colorado Hockey Now
And then there was one. With the arrival of Ross Colton on Wednesday, the only new addition who hasn’t made an appearance in Denver yet is Miles Wood. In addition to Colton arriving, veterans like Mikko Rantanen and Devon Toews got to town, and dazzled in the scrimmage.
On Thursday, I’ll put out three early predictions on the Avalanche heading into the season, and Colton may or may not be a part of one of them.
I’m not going to do a full post on it, but I watched Kovalenko’s game in the KHL on Wednesday. He’s a buzzsaw out there. Six more hits, and sealed the game with an empty netter. After he shot it, he took a high hit, and you can kind of see the fire he plays with. I’ll continue watching him as the year goes on, and hope to catch Gulyayev on Thursday.
Kovalenko breaks up the play in the defensive zone, seals the game with an empty netter, and then is ready to throw down because of a late hit he took. pic.twitter.com/9UjPEQDNqH
— Evan Rawal (@evanrawal) September 6, 2023
Around The NHL
Auston Matthews is really good. Heck, he’s a great player. But is he the best overall player in the NHL? I’m not quite sure I’d go that far.
His teammate Matthew Knies went there.
Matthew Knies asked how good Auston Matthews is. “Pretty damn good. He’s not just the best goal scorer in the NHL but he plays defense too. He’s kind of the best overall player [in the NHL] in my eyes.” pic.twitter.com/DzXKQwPH1Y
— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) September 5, 2023
To be honest, Matthews is on the shortlist. He had a down year offensively, partially due to some injuries, but he’s also a great defensive player, and that sometimes is overlooked. As for me? If we’re talking best overall player, I have a hard time not going with #8 here in Colorado. He does everything at both ends of the ice, and eats up minutes like it’s nothing. Matthews probably wouldn’t be that far behind, though. If he could take another step in the playoffs, that might change.
Ottawa isn’t messing around. On Wednesday night, they signed Jake Sanderson to a massive 8-year, $64,400,000 contract. Sanderson, it should be noted, has only played 77 NHL games, but he’s a really good player. For a team like Ottawa, I think this is a great bet. They locked up a great young defenseman for his prime years, and if the cap continues to go up, it will look even better. There’s risk involved when giving that much money to an unproven player, but he has the skill and upside to make it pay off in a big way.
National Hockey Now
Kyle Dubas is adding a veteran to his front office crew, bringing in former Sharks GM Doug Wilson.
NHL teams are checking in on the price for Shane Pinto, and the Boston Bruins might be one of them.
Our Blackhawks crew previewed the Avalanche, and yes, they talked to me about it. You can read more here.
Is the cup window for the Los Angeles Kings now open?
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