4 Divisions next year
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12-06-2011, 01:13 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
the only real problem i have is with the playoff format...
should be a conference cross over format, silly that first two rounds are within conference, good for rivalries, bad for ensuring top teams advance.
for us, it's not a great situation.
Boston is perhaps best stacked team in the league in terms of established & up and coming talent.
Chiarelli has proven to be a schrewd manager.
Toronto seems to finally be on the up. As much as I doubt they are "this good" yet, if Reimer continues to show he's the real deal, they have a pretty solid stable of talent assembled, will always be a cap spending team, and Burke has shown capable of assembling contending rosters.
Ottawa & Florida are stacked with top-quality young talent, their management is dubious, but if they don't screw up over the next 2-3 seasons, they should become much better teams.
Buffalo is now a cap spending team, remains to be seen how effective Reiger is managing that, but he was one of the best at fielding competitive teams on a budget.
Tampa is perhaps the most likely team to struggle to remain a top team year after year, but with Boucher/Yzerman in place, and with Stamkos/St-Louis/Hedman/Lecavalier as their core, as long as management doesn't restrict budget too much, they should be continually improving as well.
all in all, as much as recent history would suggest a "good" conference to be in (given Ott/Toronto/Fla/TB struggles and buffalo being a budget team), but looking at the make up of those 5 organizations, their current prospect pools, and their current leadership, and I'm concerned we may quickly end up playing in the toughest conference in the league...
habs NEED to make sure we have a strong plan in place & a management team capable of executing on it, or else in no time we could find ourselves stuck in the 5-6-7 spot on a regular basis
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