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Roster freeze before the rumor storm; NHL power rankings

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With the season hitting that time and the holiday roster freeze now in effect, people are starting to warm up for the trade rumor stage of the season: Who are the potential rentals to sell, what market demand will there be for their services, and does that demand equal a price worth selling? A little early for all that, but it does remind me to do another roster matrix/depth chart soon. [Update: That roster matrix is now posted here.]

A quick preview of that matrix: The Islanders have just 10 bodies on the NHL roster (active or IR) who are signed for next season (4F, 5D, 1G), totaling roughly $23.4 million in cap hit (including the Yashin and Witt buyouts). However, they have eight RFAs (including Josh Bailey, currently in the AHL) that will boost both figures. And they have other existing contracts like Nino Niederreiter, Rhett Rakhshani, and Calvin de Haan, who might make the roster in 2011-12. That's the quick sum; more on that later. Meanwhile:

The Islanders moved up in one media ranking. They're still in 30th in our calculated Real Power Ranking -- but the win and shootout loss has moved their power number up.

Media Rankings Survey

Between Burnside and Portzline, we're back to hack one-liners this week:

Outlet Rank Last Week Their Commentary
CBSSports 30 30
An early Christmas present for the Isles, beating Anaheim for their only win so far this month.
Col. Dispatch 30 30
Hard to imagine there's not a lot of support to build this hapless organization an new building, isn't it? [Editor's note: Dear Aaron, you really don't know what you're talking about. You might as well be discussing Bulgarian politics. Best stick to the on-ice stuff.]
ESPN 29 30 No truth to the rumor the Islanders will pick six random fans to start their next game. Not that the results could be any worse for a team that has won twice in their past 23 outings. A disgrace. [Editor's note: As if you had to check, of course that is Burnside's comment. Amazing the difference when Pierre LeBrun does the write-up vs. the pot-shot artist from Atlanta, innit?]
Sportsnet (Brophy) 30 30 The hapless Islanders turn the crease over to 27-year-old rookie Nathan Lawson who looks pretty good until allowing three shots in the shootout in a 4-3 loss to Phoenix.
TSN
(Cullen)
30 30 Not a lot of reason to get excited about the Isles either, but young defencemen Andrew MacDonald and Travis Hamonic are playing well and playing a lot
Average 29.8 30 As with idioms in other languages, snark only works when you get the background right.

NHL Power Rankings

These are updated through Sunday's games and based in part on strength of schedule factors. Formula and calculations courtesy of our own ICanSeeForIslesAndIsles. Explanation of how he does it is in the original post. If you have any questions about it, leave them in comments and he'll likely answer.

For reference, last week's -- where Phoenix was 4th and Anaheim 18th -- can be found here. Anaheim stayed level despite losing to the Isles; Phoenix took a hit thanks to their rough trip through the metro area.

    W L OTL Pts GP Win% %Pts/GP PWR
1 Detroit 20 8 4 44 32 0.688 0.3710 2071
2 Philadelphia 22 7 5 49 34 0.721 0.3700 1959
3 Dallas 20 10 3 43 33 0.652 0.3539 1942
4 Colorado 19 10 4 42 33 0.636 0.3573 1935
5 Vancouver 18 8 4 40 30 0.667 0.3506 1931
6 Nashville 17 9 6 40 32 0.625 0.3436 1889
7 Los Angeles 18 12 1 37 31 0.597 0.3423 1859
8 Tampa Bay 18 10 4 40 32 0.625 0.3512 1857
9 Pittsburgh 21 10 2 44 33 0.667 0.3444 1840
10 Phoenix 15 9 7 37 31 0.597 0.3324 1810
11 San Jose 17 11 5 39 33 0.591 0.3228 1785
12 St. Louis 15 11 5 35 31 0.565 0.3264 1761
13 Chicago 18 14 3 39 35 0.557 0.3167 1750
14 Atlanta 18 11 5 41 34 0.603 0.3214 1730
15 Washington 19 12 4 42 35 0.600 0.3191 1711
16 Columbus 16 13 3 35 32 0.547 0.3098 1690
17 Boston 17 10 4 38 31 0.613 0.3167 1683
18 Anaheim 17 15 4 38 36 0.528 0.3050 1658
19 Montreal 19 12 2 40 33 0.606 0.3104 1648
20 Minnesota 14 13 4 32 31 0.516 0.2926 1610
21 Carolina 15 12 4 34 31 0.548 0.2961 1602
22 NY Rangers 20 14 1 41 35 0.586 0.2837 1525
23 Calgary 14 16 3 31 33 0.470 0.2611 1445
24 Edmonton 12 14 5 29 31 0.468 0.2477 1375
25 Florida 14 16 0 28 30 0.467 0.2439 1332
26 Ottawa 14 17 4 32 35 0.457 0.2349 1258
27 Toronto 12 16 4 28 32 0.438 0.2390 1255
28 Buffalo 13 16 4 30 33 0.455 0.2330 1250
29 New Jersey 9 21 2 20 32 0.313 0.1735 934
30 NY Islanders 6 18 6 18 30 0.300 0.1651 901

Final Thought

I'm charging this whole thing to the Underhill's bill.