Minnesota's Goalie depth is crazy. Hackett proved himself in a short NHL stint, Kuemper former CHL Goalie of the year, Gustaffson WJC winning goalie for Sweden and extremely solid in the SEL this year. Plus Backstrom the vet, Harding still has many years in him hopefully
Edmonton will be better in the long-run. They have around 4 or so seasons, I think, before they become dominate. Maybe they'll be good enough to have more scoring league-wide as teams have to adjust, but that is wishful thinking.
In the next 3 years I'd say Minnesota. Parise and Suter will be in their primes and Granlund will be pretty far a long in his development. Wild also have better built-in depth, which is most effective in short-to-medium term increments. In the long-run as exciting as having Parise and Suter is, the Wild will be biting a serious bullet with their contracts.
Someone said it earlier, but Edmonton for the top end talent and Minnesota for depth. I see the Oilers dependent on the new coaching system and management. They have all the talent in the world, but that doesn't mean squat if you can't put them together.
I like the post but koivu makes almost 7 too and backstrom makes 6. I know backstroms contract is up next year but he'll still command five and if you let him go you'll have a hole in net. Players like coyle and zucker if they get to be second line players won't be cheap either, probably around 4.5 million. Point being, I feel like Minny won't be able to afford all the depth they have assembled. Same with Edmonton and all their young guns
Backstrom and Heatley will be well out of town before Coyle and Zucker begin to sniff $4m+ contracts.
Edmonton has some extremely talented offensive players in Schultz, Yakupov, Hall, Eberle and Hopkins but they lack any physical grit or big bodied players that are also skilled. You play rough with the Baby Oils and you can win. They don't match up well physically, which is why the Baby Wild did so well against them. Guys like Coyle, Zucker, Larsson, Bulmer match up well against the Oils because they have grit and play the body well.
I'm sorry, but how is it fair to compare any team's future to a team who has had the last three first overall picks and also lucked into a flukey college FA signing.
That said, Minnesota has a great supporting cast, compared to almost no supporting cast in Edmonton outside of Smid/Petry.
That's the truth. If Hemsky can stay healthy that changes a bit, but IMO you are bang on. That said at some point we will be trading youth to start filling holes, just not the high end youth IMO. IMO it's easier to acquire depth than it is star players.
Depth's overrated. The most difficult thing to find in professional hockey is scoring and the Oilers will have that in bunches.
As for the Baby Oil's ability to match up physically the opposition, I have it on good authority that 19 year olds tend to get stronger and heavier with the passage of time.
Minnesota will be better over the next 2-3 years. I'll take the Oilers over the next 7-10.
Tell that to Cup winning teams. LA, Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Detroit, you keep going down the list; all of them had vets and depth that got it done.
You can pick it up eventually with their offensive firepower to come, I understand that, but the Oilers will need to completely overhaul the way they look for depth, and I'm not sure this management is capable of finishing the team's makeup with the right pieces that make the difference between an offensive powerhouse and cup winner.
The Wild's future has way more uncertainty. Granlund, Brodin, Coyle, Dumba, Larsson, etc.. are just prospects right now. Hall, Nugent-Hopkins and Eberle have already established themselves as top caliber players. Yakupov is likely to do so considering most 1st overall picks these days don't flop.
If Minnesota's prospects develop like we all project them too, that team will be a force. Especially considering Parise, Suter and Koivu will be there along with them.