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-   -   Forcasting the Central Division... (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=149478)

David Singleton 07-05-2005 10:20 AM

Forcasting the Central Division...
 
With the CBA winding down, and to expand upon the thread (EDIT: over here for those unfamiliar with the best team specific message board on the net) discussing the '05/'06 Wings, let's forcast the Central Divison for next year.

Starting with the bottom...

5. St. Louis Blues
Not a knock against the Blues, but I think they have to step back about two years before moving forward again against some very young and good divisonal foes.

4. Chicago Blackhawks
Up and coming team that needs two years worth of UFA's that will be generated from the new CBA.

3. Columbus Blue Jackets
I'm not sold on Denis yet. I believe he has the goods, but needs one more year. They just make the playoffs.

2. Detroit Red Wings
You guys don't lose that much. I honestly believe you get better by going younger, even though it may not show in the standings this year. Goalie is somewhat of a concern, but Legace might prove his worth as a #1. They make the playoffs. Nashville's edge is that their young team has been playing together for several years now.

1. Nashville Predators
Working on the assumption they acquire a #1 center and resign their RFA's (including Sullivan), they appear ready to win the division this year. I don't think they are ready for a Cup run yet, though. That said, if this year is incrediblely wild and strange, anything is possible. Before anyone goes there, this is not a homer pick.


Just a bonus, the Western Conference Standings...

1. San Jose
2. Calgary
3. Nashville
4. Detroit
5. Colorado
6. Edmonton
7. Los Angeles
8. Columbus

W.C representative in the Cup Finals- San Jose.

[EDIT: Just for the sake of seeing all opposing, or supportive, opinions from the enemy. ;)]

David

MrMastodonFarm* 07-05-2005 10:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drsingle

1. Nashville Predators
Working on the assumption they acquire a #1 center and resign their RFA's (including Sullivan),

With all due respect, that is a horrible assumption to make.

David Singleton 07-05-2005 10:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrMastodonFarm
With all due respect, that is a horrible assumption to make.

That's not a horrible assumption to make. They will be players looking for a #1 center with the cap room to make a run, even after signing their RFAs.

So it's not horrible, or completely far fetched. I would say that's quite likely they sign FAs to address that position and probably a veteran defenseman as well.

Now, my assumption that they win the Central may be horrible. ;)

David

Vlad The Impaler 07-05-2005 10:28 AM

How do we forecast the standings when we don't even know who will play where?

Tea leaves? Tarot? Throwing bones? :dunno:

MrMastodonFarm* 07-05-2005 10:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vlad The Impaler
How do we forecast the standings when we don't even know who will play where?

Tea leaves? Tarot? Throwing bones? :dunno:

Assumptions!!

David Singleton 07-05-2005 10:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrMastodonFarm
Assumptions!!


That's right. Besides, it's fun (well unless you're expecting doom and gloom).

What else are we going to do, work?

LOL.

Safir* 07-05-2005 10:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drsingle
That's not a horrible assumption to make. They will be players looking for a #1 center with the cap room to make a run, even after signing their RFAs.

So it's not horrible, or completely far fetched. I would say that's quite likely they sign FAs to address that position and probably a veteran defenseman as well.

Now, my assumption that they win the Central may be horrible. ;)

David

One could make a similar argument for the Blackhawks.

Your assumption that they win the Central isn't horrible, but a little far fetched.

David Singleton 07-05-2005 10:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drsingle
That's right. Besides, it's fun (well unless you're expecting doom and gloom).

What else are we going to do, work?

LOL.

Just a diffrent slant at the same angle of this thread .

David

David Singleton 07-05-2005 10:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TomACE
One could make a similar argument for the Blackhawks.

Your assumption that they win the Central isn't horrible, but a little far fetched.

I'll concede a little far fetched, but not too much so.

My logic with the Predators is that their core has been together for several years now. Adding a #1 center, hopefully, would have the same effect as adding Sully did last year (the Predators took off).

I believe to be successful team, you must have a strong core. Then one or two free agents could successively be brought in without damaging the chemistry. Too many free agents and you feasibly have a chemistry problem. That's why I give the edge to Nashville over Columbus and Chicago. It's also why I believe those teams are only one and two years, respectively, away from being very strong teams.

David

barrytrotzsneck 07-05-2005 01:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrMastodonFarm
Assumptions!!


the same sort of assumption that says that calgary isn't a cinderella team or that kiprusoff is the real deal. i'm inclined to believe that calgary\kiprusoff is for real...but all we can do is make assumptions.

that said...the preds likely WILL sign the important RFA's\a couple of key free agents...but I don't want to predict how the division pans out...though I feel the Preds are in a somewhat enviable situation in regard to the cap\flexibility.

Ajacied 07-05-2005 01:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drsingle
Just a bonus, the Western Conference Standings...

1. San Jose
2. Calgary
3. Nashville
4. Detroit
5. Colorado
6. Edmonton
7. Los Angeles
8. Columbus

W.C representative in the Cup Finals- San Jose.

David

Columbus? Edmonton? LA? I personally wouldn't even consider them for the playoffs the way their rosters are right now.

Don't forget the Sharks have lost 2 of their top 3 centers (Ricci and Damphousse), one was the Captain, the other an Alternate. The Sharks are now lacking depth down the middle as well as experience. And they weren't all that deep up front in the first place. With only one legit 1st liner (Marleau - and even he's arguable), there's even more pressure on their seondairy scoring, in particular Ekman and Cheechoo, 2 overachievers last season who are not likely to duplicate their succes. Up front they seriously need help, on the blueline and in net however, they are perfectly set, probably for at least 3/5 more years.

David Singleton 07-05-2005 01:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ott = Snott
Columbus? Edmonton? LA? I personally wouldn't even consider them for the playoffs the way their rosters are right now.

Don't forget the Sharks have lost 2 of their top 3 centers (Ricci and Damphousse), one was the Captain, the other an Alternate. The Sharks are now lacking depth down the middle as well as experience. And they weren't all that deep up front in the first place. With only one legit 1st liner (Marleau - and even he's arguable), there's even more pressure on their seondairy scoring, in particular Ekman and Cheechoo, 2 overachievers last season who are not likely to duplicate their succes. Up front they seriously need help, on the blueline and in net however, they are perfectly set, probably for at least 3/5 more years.

I have to admit that the last three gave me fits. I initially left Columbus out in favor of Phoenix, but changed my mind.

I had forgotten those changes for San Jose. I have to think further on them. If they are OK with the cap to be able to replace those two (tall task, especially in the chemistry dept.), then maybe they stay there. I don't know.

David

freakazoid 07-05-2005 01:48 PM

Adding a #1 center is a waste of cap room. Sign 1 or 2 veteran dmen that can actually play defence, and watch Legwand blossom to a ppg player. He hasn't been given a chance to display his offencive abilities in the past because of the Predz lack of D, but if that changes Legwand will really take off. He played great during the last WC when he had a defence to rely on.

David Singleton 07-05-2005 02:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by freakazoid
Adding a #1 center is a waste of cap room. Sign 1 or 2 veteran dmen that can actually play defence, and watch Legwand blossom to a ppg player. He hasn't been given a chance to display his offencive abilities in the past because of the Predz lack of D, but if that changes Legwand will really take off. He played great during the last WC when he had a defence to rely on.

Leggy is already a solid two-way center and has the potential to be a top line center, but I don't mind picking up a bonafide top line center to go with Leggy.

Center is far and away the weakest position on this team. Defense is far and away the strongest position on the team. That said, I would love to see maybe an Adam Foote signed.

I think the Preds will go after a top line center and a veteran defenseman. I don't want them to add too much to shake the chemistry this team has. It's a huge advantage to return the vast majority of your team intact.

David

Ajacied 07-05-2005 02:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by drsingle
I have to admit that the last three gave me fits. I initially left Columbus out in favor of Phoenix, but changed my mind.

I had forgotten those changes for San Jose. I have to think further on them. If they are OK with the cap to be able to replace those two (tall task, especially in the chemistry dept.), then maybe they stay there. I don't know.

David

I also don't see why Dallas isn't even mentioned. They might only lose Pierre Turgeon (and the rest of their UFA's; Bure, Young, Tugnutt, Therien, Sekeras, etc) but their core is deep, versatile and talented (Zubov, Lehtinen, Modano, Turco, Arnott, Guerin, Morrow)..

David Singleton 07-05-2005 02:10 PM

Do they keep Modano and Guerin? If so, I don't disagree. Where would you put them?

Any thoughts on how I broke down the Central Division?

Old Hickory 07-05-2005 02:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ott = Snott
I also don't see why Dallas isn't even mentioned. They might only lose Pierre Turgeon (and the rest of their UFA's; Bure, Young, Tugnutt, Therien, Sekeras, etc) but their core is deep, versatile and talented (Zubov, Lehtinen, Modano, Turco, Arnott, Guerin, Morrow)..

And Expensive These are 04-05 salary figures from NHLPA.com
Zubov - $6,000,000.00
Lehtinen- $3,650,000.00
Modano- $9,000,000.00
Turco- $4,154,092.00
Arnott- $3,850,000.00
Guerin- $8,866,445.00
Morrow $1,600,000.00
Those salaries equal 37, 120,537-24%= 28,211,608. That team is going to have trouble competing with less than 8 mil for the rest of their team.

The Stars are going to be forced to buy at least one of these guys out and will likely lose him to the highest bidder

MrMastodonFarm* 07-05-2005 02:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nomorekids
the same sort of assumption that says that calgary isn't a cinderella team or that kiprusoff is the real deal. i'm inclined to believe that calgary\kiprusoff is for real...but all we can do is make assumptions.

No, not really the same thing, at all.

Saying the Flames (or any team) will make the playoffs because they made it the previous year isn't a wild assumption.

Saying the Predators will be tops in their division on the assumption they will sign a first line center would be a silly assumption to make. Yes they might very well do that, but why not assume other teams will make improvements in order to make this division standings?

It's just silly.

Ajacied 07-05-2005 02:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kingsjohn
And Expensive These are 04-05 salary figures from NHLPA.com
Zubov - $6,000,000.00
Lehtinen- $3,650,000.00
Modano- $9,000,000.00
Turco- $4,154,092.00
Arnott- $3,850,000.00
Guerin- $8,866,445.00
Morrow $1,600,000.00
Those salaries equal 37, 120,537-24%= 28,211,608. That team is going to have trouble competing with less than 8 mil for the rest of their team.

The Stars are going to be forced to buy at least one of these guys out and will likely lose him to the highest bidder

They have a tough task ahead, I agree, but they will also have a lot of youngsters stepping in. Potentially as many as 6.. Miettinen, Jokinen, Kapanen up front whereas they have Daley, Erskine, jancevski on the blueline contributing, not to mention one of Ellis/Smith as the backup. The Stars will mix their high priced veterans with cheap, young, but NHL ready youngsters.

I don't think buying anyone out is needed. Mike Modano/Bill Guerin will both sooner take a paycut seeing as they wouldn't want to leave, Modano especially.

David Singleton 07-05-2005 02:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ott = Snott
Mike Modano/Bill Guerin will both sooner take a paycut seeing as they wouldn't want to leave, Modano especially.

That's a little too risky. My risk is on the Predator's obtaining one, maybe two, top free agent(s). Otherwise, I'm relying on their team not changing overmuch to imbalance chemistry. Adding too many players (whether veteran or prospect) to a team at one time takes one closer to the edge of team chemistry. Someone is going to make it work, but who that is more of gamble than the one I'm making.

I don't think you will keep both. I'm not sure you'll keep either.

David

triggrman 07-05-2005 02:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ott = Snott
I don't think buying anyone out is needed. Mike Modano/Bill Guerin will both sooner take a paycut seeing as they wouldn't want to leave, Modano especially.

They'd both have to take half their pay to stay or that can take the buy out plus whatever another team is talking, which means millions of dollars in losses just to stay with Dallas. I don't see it.

Ajacied 07-05-2005 02:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by triggrman
They'd both have to take half their pay to stay or that can take the buy out plus whatever another team is talking, which means millions of dollars in losses just to stay with Dallas. I don't see it.

Mike Modano is a given to stay.. The Stars won't deal away the franchise and with that all hopes on contending the next 5 years. They simply won't.. Mike Modano has no other interest either, I'm positive he will take a paycut if it means still being able to contend for the playoffs/Cup. Bill Guerin is a different story, but he's nearing the end of his prime and desperately wants to play on a contender, he loves Dallas and might consider a steep paycut in order to remain playing for one. I'm 100% positive Mike Modano will remain a Star till he retires, Bill Guerin not so much, but I simply have a hard time seeing him donning a Canes jersey when he wants to win a Cup no matter what.

SmokeyClause 07-05-2005 03:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrMastodonFarm
Assumptions!!

Assumptions are all varying degrees of leaps. It is a sizeable assumption to think the Preds will sign a 1st line center. But there is a lot to base this on. Comments from Poile/Shero, lack of a first line center, and plenty of cap space to work with. And I'll say this, we don't need a first line All-Star center. We need someone who can roll on the first and/or second lines of our team. A Jason Arnott, for example. It's not that farfetched to think that the Predators could sign someone of his caliber or similar.

That's really the only direct assumption involving the Nashville Predators that he made, and I just don't feel it is THAT big of a deal. I think it's a bigger assumption to think the Preds will be able to withstand the pressure of being a potential Division Champion. They've never faced anywhere near this pressure as a team. I think they can do it but saying they will do it requires a large assumption.

thestonedkoala 07-05-2005 03:14 PM

Your 'assumption' for the Northwest is questionable. Of all the teams, Colorado is suspect because they might lose a couple of really, really solid guys. Foote might leave the team, Forsberg might leave too, they got to get Hejduk and Tanguay under contract...Colorado is in okay shape but they don't have a legit second line if Forsberg and Sakic leave or retire. Their defense might lose two big players if Blake retires (he is 36, I don't know how much he has in him) and Foote if he leaves. Now you got goaltending on top of that. You need to get a solid backup behind Abby or else they won't go very far.

I think the Northwest could end up like this:

1) Calgary
2) Colorado/Vancouver/Minnesota/Edmonton

Outside of Calgary there is a lot of questions surrounding the next four teams.

barrytrotzsneck 07-05-2005 03:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrMastodonFarm
No, not really the same thing, at all.

Saying the Flames (or any team) will make the playoffs because they made it the previous year isn't a wild assumption.

Saying the Predators will be tops in their division on the assumption they will sign a first line center would be a silly assumption to make. Yes they might very well do that, but why not assume other teams will make improvements in order to make this division standings?

It's just silly.


not really. st louis and detroit are both in cap trouble...so it won't be about who they add...but really...who can they afford to keep? Chicago and Columbus both have nice initial pieces...but Chicago has a ton of holes to fill, notably on defense(Cullimore is a nice start, but is he a number 1 d-man on most teams? Probably not) and Columbus is still in the same boat as Atlanta(another team that I don't think will make the playoffs) -- world class offense, great goaltending...but laughable defense. You can't really deny that coming out of the lockout, Nashville is in the best shape...at least at first glance.


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