Morning Skate: Sunday, Jan. 13

628830.jpg

Morning Skate: Sunday, Jan. 13

P.K. Subban awaits word from his agent as contract rumors heat up with NHL teams officially ready to sign and trade players.

Newest Buffalo Sabres forward Steve Ott and the rest of his teammates get ready to start things up on the NHL season.

Brian Burke said getting fired by the Toronto Maple Leafs was like getting a two-by-four upside the head. That guy can certainly paint a picture, cant he?

According to my good friends and Pro Hockey Talk, all seven rounds of the NHL Draft will be held on June 30 in New Jersey. That should be a long, long day.

Scott Gomez reports to Canadiens training camp, and then told to go home because the Habs will be buying out his contract after the NHL season is over.

Jeff Vinik has high hopes for the Tampa Bay Lightning organization now that the NHL lockout haze has lifted.

For something completely different: Greg Bedard with an excellent piece on Wes Welker and his value to the New England Patriots.

How dominant has Craig Kimbrel been? The numbers are eye popping

How dominant has Craig Kimbrel been? The numbers are eye popping

Remember that infield hit by Jonathan Villar of the Brewers off Craig Kimbrel on May 11 in Milwaukee?

Don't worry, nobody does. That's the last hit off the Red Sox closer. That's right. One hit this month.

How dominant has Kimbrel been? Going into Saturday, right-handed hitters don't have a hit off him in their past 39 at-bats. Opponents are hitting .083 against him. Move the decimal point and 0.83 happens to be his season ERA, too, to go with 13 saves. 

Here's more via @SoxNotes:

Kimbrel, 28, has been one of baseball's best closers for years with the Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres. His first year in Boston last season was solid with 31 saves and a 3.40 ERA, but his walks climbed (30 total and 5.1 per 9 innings, the second-highest totals of his career). He also struggled in non-save situations.

There's been no struggling lately. The last run Kimbrel gave up was a home run by Kendrys Morales of the Blue Jays in the ninth inning on April 20 in Toronto that tied the score at 1 in a game won by the Red Sox 4-1 in 10. Kimbrel got the win and his only blown save of the season.

His three-out save Friday night was his first outing without a strikeout since a one-out save April 23. That followed his four-strikeout inning Thursday night.