Season 5 profile: Dublin Fighting Irish

profilead Dublin

GM: Brad Denea  (third GM in team’s history)

Coach: Paul MacLean (replaced Dave Tippett after Season 4) (Tippett replaced Alain Vigneault after Season 3)

Last season: 20th overall, out of the playoffs

Ins and Outs (Season 4 to Season 5)

Out: Tim Thomas (trade), Petr Sykora (retired), Cody Franson (free agent), Nikita Nikitin (free agent)

In: Renat Mamashev (trade), Brian Elliott (trade), Nardo Nagtzaam (draft), Yegor Milovzorov (draft), Hyun Min Ahn (draft)

In Place (Key players signed past Season 5)

Phil Kessel, RW; Evander Kane, LW; Hampus Lindholm, D; Jakub Silfverburg, RW; Milan Michalek, RW




Three Questions

1. Will they get secondary scoring this season? The Fighting Irish have always been known for having a fearsome top forward line and this year is no different. Phil Kessel and Ryan Kesler will be there again this year, marauding across your blue line, but this time with Evander Kane as their wing man for the whole season. Thanks mainly to them, Dublin had the fourth-best powerplay in the league last season. Stopping the top line will be priority one for all teams that play Dublin. But that strategy isn’t new. In fact, it’s about to become five years old. The Irish could really use some secondary scoring and this year, they’re going to get more. Tomas Plekanec has always done an admirable job of dragging along the wingers on the second line and this season, he probably won’t have to pull as hard because James Van Riemsdyk and Jakub Silfverberg aren’t young pups any more. They are 26 and 25, respectively, and starting their prime seasons. Van Riemsdyk has all the tools to do much better than his 35-point season last year. He just has to shake off the effects of being traded twice in his young career. And Silfverberg, like many Dublin players, had a bad season last year, but he too has the speed and skill to blow away his career numbers. If those two young wingers have breakout years, Dublin will surge.

2. Can Tim Thomas do it another year? During Dublin practices, backup goalies Jonathan Bernier and Jake Allen always work hard, waiting for their shot to start for the team. But there they sit, like vultures perched on a branch, waiting for Tim Thomas to succumb to his 41 years. Most of those 41 years involved flopping, popping up, twisting, and stretching things not meant to stretch that much. At some point, one would think, he’s going to be out of a job. General Manager Brad Denea looked at Thomas’ numbers last year, noticed they are as good as or better than they have ever been and resigned the American to another season. Dublin didn’t make the playoffs for the first time last season, but you can’t blame the goalie. He started 51 games and posted a 90.4 save percentage – his third straight season of 90.0 percent or better. Maybe coach Dave Tippett was to blame for the team’s decline last year. In fact, he was blamed. Denea fired Tippett during the off-season and hired Paul MacLean to replace him. (Editor’s note: Later the day this was published  … Thomas was traded to Copenhagen and Brian Elliott has become the new starter in Dublin.)

3. What needs to improve most? When you look at the team’s statistics, the shots against average stands out. The Irish gave up more than 33 shots per game and only three teams in the league gave up more. Team defense needs to improve. But the Irish seem to be in a better position to make a track meet out of every game. They lack true defensive forwards, other than T.J. Galiardi and possibly Tom Wandell, who both played a lot last season, and their defense corps consists mainly of offensive defensemen. Opposing goalies have to hate looking at the defense page of their lineup. James Wisniewski, Keith Yandle, newly-acquired Renat Mamashev and Hampus Lindholm all have outstanding finesse, hockey sense and passing skills, and Olexander Pobyedonostsev, while not as good a passer, matches them in other areas and he can fire a puck from the point. The sixth defenseman is promising 22-year-old rookie Ryan Murray.


Season                 Place        PTS        PP %      PK %      SPG        SAPG     GPG     GAPG    PIM

Season 4             20             71              20.9       81.3      29.43     33.35      2.88     3.73     10.15

Season 3              7              99              17.4       84.6       29.83     31.34     3.66      3.18     9.35

Season 2              7              98              19.5        84.9       31.22    30.45     3.56     3.11      9.98

Season 1              13             90            17.9        81.3      31.07     30.33      3.39    3.30     8.95

Top Draft picks

Season 1: Alexander Ovechkin, LW, current age 30. Games played: 319; Pts 328; -22

Season 2: Olexander Pobyedonostsev, D, age 29; GP 218; Pts 71; -65

Season 3: Jake Allen, G, age 24

Season 4: Brendan Perlini, LW, age 19

Season 5: Nardo Nagtzaam, C, age 21.

Trade History

Season 1 (picks without years listed are from initial draft)

Traded Round 7 pick (used to draft Chris Kunitz) , Round 22 pick  (Bryan Allen) and $250,000 to Geneva for Round 8 pick (Olli Jokinen), Round 10 pick (Petr Sykora) and 2013 Round 2 (Ryan Murray)

Traded Round 9 pick (Joe Corvo) and Round 11 pick (Milan Hejduk), Round 13 pick (Josh Bailey) and $10,000 to Munich for Round 8 pick (Tomas Fleischmann), Round 10 pick (James Wisniewski) and Round 16 pick (Nikita Nikitin)

Traded Alexander Ovechkin and 2014 Round 1 pick (Darrell Nurse) to Moscow for Phil Kessel and Bobby Ryan

Traded Scott Hartnell, Tim Gleason, 2013 Round 1 pick (later traded) (Nail Yakupov), 2015 Round 1 pick (later traded) (Matt Nieto) and $5 million to Athens for Evander Kane and Alexander Sulzer

Traded 2013 Round 2 pick (Niclas Danielsson) and $1.35 million to Milan for Zbynek Michalek and Jaroslav Spacek

Traded Boone Jenner to Helsinki for Jakub Silfverberg and 2013 Round 2 pick (Olexander Podbyedonostsev)

Season 2 

Traded Tomas Fleischmann to Copenhagen for 2014 Round 1 pick (Jake Allen)

Season 4

Traded Bobby Ryan to Stockholm for Jakub Petruzalek and James Van Riemsdyk

Season 5

Traded 2017 Round 2 pick to Minsk for Renat Mamashev

Traded Tim Thomas and 2017 Round 1 pick to Copenhagen for Brian Elliott













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