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06-08-2010, 02:49 PM
  #1
HCH
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: The Wild West
Country: Canada
Posts: 4,962
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Outlook for next season

With all of the changes that have been occuring I thought a new thread might be in order to discuss the outlook for next season.

I am sure it will range from the optimists who point to the success in the playoffs to the pessimists who think we backed into the playoffs and were lucky to advance as far as we did.

Let's set the table
- There is a chance that 2/3 of the NHL coaching staff will be gone.
- It looks like the entire AHL coaching staff is heading south with whatever knowledge they had of our AHL talent
- Six of our scouts and whatever knowledge they had of our prospects is gone
- There is a chance that one of our goaltenders will be gone in a trade to shore up other weaknesses on the team
- Three of our top four defensemen last year were old and slow. They are getting older and slower
- Martin wasn't able to integrate many of our prospects into the team
- Our ability to sign FA's is restricted because of our salary structure
- Our team offense slipped to 23rd from 13th the previous year
- Our team defense improved to 12th from 22nd the previous year
- Our regular season standing slipped to 18th from 13th the previous year
- We have some legitimate candidates for the NHL club who played in Hamilton last year
- The new players we added last year have had a full season and an extended playoff run to learn Martin's system and to learn each other's tendencies
- There is the potential to get rid of the "bad eggs" on the team and go forward with a more cohesive unit

I would like to see more size at forward. Pacioretty and White would be candidates from within the organization. I would also like to see more mobility on defense. That is where Subban is a lock and Weber is a possibility. We could also use some toughness on defense. After O'Byrne there wasn't much for physical play from our D, and even O'Byrne was only marginally effective in that role.

With all of that, next year feels to me like it will be another year of battling for a playoff spot. I would be interested in your thoughts.

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