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06-20-2011, 10:58 AM
  #90
Agnostic
11 Stanley Cups
 
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A contender for me is a team for which you can reasonably (without fan bias) expect to reach the top 4 without making significant changes to the current roster. If I was to pick 4 teams today that I would bet would compete for the cup in 2011-2012 then Montreal would not be one of them. Not with a 22nd ranked offense and lack of proven track record in lengthy post seasons. Changes required.

But then again with the razor thin margins by which Boston and Vancouver reached the finals, and given the changes that all teams are forced to make in their off seasons I would be hard pressed to declare any true contenders on June 20.

The fun thing about the NHL these days is that there are fewer obvious contenders, the "foreseeable future" is the shortest it's ever been, and the differences between skill levels in teams is the smallest it's ever been. All this means is that management moves of every type are now magnified in their importance.

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