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Bottom Feeder to Contender

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07-29-2014, 10:12 AM
  #1
NHLFAN1989
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Bottom Feeder to Contender

Which teams that have missed the playoffs consistently for the past 5-7 years have a chance to make a big impact on becoming pretenders to contenders with their prospect pool.

I think the NYI and Calgary Flames have a real shot at becoming real good teams in the coming years. My Sabres looked to be in a good spot, but with their recent signings in the FA market have got me to kinda change my tune for a bit.

Let's hear it fans.

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07-29-2014, 10:16 AM
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maketrades
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Sabres suck for life, as simple as that.

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07-29-2014, 10:18 AM
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Sabres suck for life, as simple as that.

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07-29-2014, 10:19 AM
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I'd say the Isles and Oilers *shudder*.

Both have a great group of young forwards and have finally gotten quality UFA's to help them contend, something both should have done 2-3 years ago. They also sorted out their blue line with nice prospects and vets

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07-29-2014, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maketrades View Post
Sabres suck for life, as simple as that.
The sabres will contend before tml. Enjoy toiling in mediocrity.

As far as the OP is concerned, Colorado is the obvious example, although they haven't been at the bottom for as long. Perhaps Florida could earn a wildcard spot as soon as next year, but it might be a few years before they're "contending".

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07-29-2014, 10:24 AM
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Panthers have Ekblad, Barkov, Bjugstad, Huberdeau, Gudbranson, Grimaldi, etc. I think they have pretty good potential, though some holes may appear as guys like Luongo/Campbell get older and decline.

Islanders have plenty of good young pieces. No stud stud blueliners, but still a lot of good names. A lot will depend on how Reinhart develops or if any of their other solid D prospects can take an unexpected big step forward.

Calgary is a bit further back, but you gotta like getting Monahan/Bennett in back-to-back drafts.

Draisaitl could be a big difference maker for Edmonton if he turns out, though I still think they ultimately need to move one of their wingers for help on D.

Buffalo should look great after this upcoming draft. I'd be surprised if they didn't draft top 3-4, they have a DEEP farm, including a couple pretty high-end youngsters. They're further away, but might become the best of the bunch in 3-4 years.

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07-29-2014, 10:24 AM
  #7
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I like how Florida is developing. Ekblad and Gudbranson on defence with Barkov and Huberdeau on offence. Add a McDavid there and you got a team that'll be a major force in a few seasons.

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07-29-2014, 10:25 AM
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Colorado is a perfect example.

I just see NYI being a team that will finally take strides in the right direction. Especially with their D prospects, and Halak signed.

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07-29-2014, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by No Team Needed View Post
I like how Florida is developing. Ekblad and Gudbranson on defence with Barkov and Huberdeau on offence. Add a McDavid there and you got a team that'll be a major force in a few seasons.
Gudbranson isn't developing as well as Florida would have hoped.
Ekblad is great, I'm a huge fan, but it seems people don't believe his upside is really that high.
Barkov is looking well.
Huberdeau is developing slower than expected.

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07-29-2014, 10:28 AM
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Gudbranson isn't developing as well as Florida would have hoped.
Ekblad is great, I'm a huge fan, but it seems people don't believe his upside is really that high.
Barkov is looking well.
Huberdeau is developing slower than expected.
Eh, Huberdeau didn't have a good year last year because of a couple factors. Pretty sure he was injured for a bulk of the year. I still think he can be a 65 point top line winger in most years

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07-29-2014, 10:32 AM
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maketrades
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phosphene View Post
The sabres will contend before tml. Enjoy toiling in mediocrity.

As far as the OP is concerned, Colorado is the obvious example, although they haven't been at the bottom for as long. Perhaps Florida could earn a wildcard spot as soon as next year, but it might be a few years before they're "contending".
That's doubtful unless you get McDavid which you probably won't because of your strange and mediocre free agent signings.


Last edited by maketrades: 07-29-2014 at 10:39 AM.
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07-29-2014, 10:34 AM
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I'd say the Isles and Oilers *shudder*.

Both have a great group of young forwards and have finally gotten quality UFA's to help them contend, something both should have done 2-3 years ago. They also sorted out their blue line with nice prospects and vets
Well, at least from the Islanders perspective, it wasn't for lack of trying. Nobody wanted to sign with them and the only thing that will cure that ill is improved play.

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07-29-2014, 10:47 AM
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Well, at least from the Islanders perspective, it wasn't for lack of trying. Nobody wanted to sign with them and the only thing that will cure that ill is improved play.
That's fair.
Same could probably be said about Edmonton.. whatever. Point stands! EDM and NYI will contend sooner rather than later (just, please don't do it in 2015.. pretty please)

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07-29-2014, 10:55 AM
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That's doubtful unless you get McDavid which you probably won't because of your strange and mediocre free agent signings.
We've made lateral moves at best.

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07-29-2014, 11:06 AM
  #15
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We've made lateral moves at best.
we've actually downgraded in a couple areas if you compare this roster to the opening night roster of last year

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07-29-2014, 11:08 AM
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Buffalo looks like it's the team of the future imo, unless they have a bunch of players play over there heads this year they will be the worst team in the nhl imo. which gaurentee's them McDavid or Eichel. once that happens they will have a strength down the middle with McDavid/Eichel and Reinhart, and they also have some great young talent on defense in Zadorov, Ristolainen, and Myers. they also have some other solid prospect and 2 other first round picks next year with one likely in the top 10. aslong as they surround those guys with good players they will be a force in the future imo.

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Old
07-29-2014, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Analyzer View Post
Gudbranson isn't developing as well as Florida would have hoped.
Ekblad is great, I'm a huge fan, but it seems people don't believe his upside is really that high.
Barkov is looking well.
Huberdeau is developing slower than expected.

Gudbranson was close to a boom/bust pick IMO, in regards to being a legit top 4 guy.

He had physicality, size and leadership going for him in the CHL. He was/is raw offensively, and he's been adjusting to how to play proper defense in the NHL.
He has shown improvements in puck handling and defensive awareness, but he has looked lost out there at times, especially when Jovo was his lost partner.

Huberdeau has been injured a majority of the time. Half way through his rookie year his hip became an issue and his play dropped off. The surgery he had in the offseason wiped out a lot of strength and conditioning, he needs to do, which left him in subpar shape for the season. Then we find out he was playing with a broken foot for a while to end the season.
He needs to have a successful offseason and really work on his balance and strength. He was knocked off the puck too often. And was dreadful along the boards.

Overall I think the Panthers have the pipeline to at least be a competitive team in the East in a year or two.
Their weakness is still trying to find consistent scorers and solidifying the defense. Luckily, in the short term, Luongo can hold the fort better than an over the hill Timmy, until the defensive players mature.

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07-29-2014, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by 416Leafer View Post
Panthers have Ekblad, Barkov, Bjugstad, Huberdeau, Gudbranson, Grimaldi, etc. I think they have pretty good potential, though some holes may appear as guys like Luongo/Campbell get older and decline.

Islanders have plenty of good young pieces. No stud stud blueliners, but still a lot of good names. A lot will depend on how Reinhart develops or if any of their other solid D prospects can take an unexpected big step forward.

Calgary is a bit further back, but you gotta like getting Monahan/Bennett in back-to-back drafts.

Draisaitl could be a big difference maker for Edmonton if he turns out, though I still think they ultimately need to move one of their wingers for help on D.

Buffalo should look great after this upcoming draft. I'd be surprised if they didn't draft top 3-4, they have a DEEP farm, including a couple pretty high-end youngsters. They're further away, but might become the best of the bunch in 3-4 years.
Agree with all of this. If I had to pick 1 that I think could make a big leap in the standings next year, it's Florida. They added a huge talent on defense in Ekblad, and added a quality veteran back there to mentor him and their other young blue liners. They'll have a full year of Luongo in net, and he can certainly steal them some points here and there and will definitely give them a lot of help in shootouts compared to the goalies they've used the last couple seasons. And they've got a bunch of very talented young forwards who could really break out at any time.

Islanders seem to be just waiting on their young talent since they struggle to sign many desirable FAs. I guess it could happen next season, but I doubt it. Their forward group looks a bit deeper than it has in the recent past (with the caveat that a lot of those players are very young might not be as good as NYI would hope, yet), and their goalie situation is a bit improved (if Halak can manage to stay healthy or actually shoulder the kind of workload the Isles will need him to), but, again, everything really hinges on whether their young players can propel the team forward. I think they'll need more time. They'd need a lot rookies to be impact players at every position but G to really jump ahead in the standings.

Edmonton finally has a respectable group of defensemen. No #1 yet, obviously, but one could be coming up the pipeline for them soon. Their forwards outside of the top 6 are still a bit of a mess, and they're still lacking depth at center, and especially still need a #2 who can log big defensive minutes while providing some scoring (so hopefully Draisaitl works out well for them). They're improved, but IMO not enough to make the playoffs. The holes they have yet to fill are too important.

Calgary is still very early on in their rebuild. Don't expect them to come anywhere close to the playoffs, but don't think there's any reason for fans to worry. They've got good talent in the pipeline and will be able to add more at next year's draft.

And Buffalo is in the same boat as CGY. It's early, the talent isn't there yet, but it should be fairly soon.

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07-29-2014, 12:20 PM
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Agree with all of this. If I had to pick 1 that I think could make a big leap in the standings next year, it's Florida. They added a huge talent on defense in Ekblad, and added a quality veteran back there to mentor him and their other young blue liners. They'll have a full year of Luongo in net, and he can certainly steal them some points here and there and will definitely give them a lot of help in shootouts compared to the goalies they've used the last couple seasons. And they've got a bunch of very talented young forwards who could really break out at any time.

Islanders seem to be just waiting on their young talent since they struggle to sign many desirable FAs. I guess it could happen next season, but I doubt it. Their forward group looks a bit deeper than it has in the recent past (with the caveat that a lot of those players are very young might not be as good as NYI would hope, yet), and their goalie situation is a bit improved (if Halak can manage to stay healthy or actually shoulder the kind of workload the Isles will need him to), but, again, everything really hinges on whether their young players can propel the team forward. I think they'll need more time. They'd need a lot rookies to be impact players at every position but G to really jump ahead in the standings.

Edmonton finally has a respectable group of defensemen. No #1 yet, obviously, but one could be coming up the pipeline for them soon. Their forwards outside of the top 6 are still a bit of a mess, and they're still lacking depth at center, and especially still need a #2 who can log big defensive minutes while providing some scoring (so hopefully Draisaitl works out well for them). They're improved, but IMO not enough to make the playoffs. The holes they have yet to fill are too important.

Calgary is still very early on in their rebuild. Don't expect them to come anywhere close to the playoffs, but don't think there's any reason for fans to worry. They've got good talent in the pipeline and will be able to add more at next year's draft.

And Buffalo is in the same boat as CGY. It's early, the talent isn't there yet, but it should be fairly soon.
This is good analysis, the only thing I would add is FLA and BUF are in the east. I think they have more of a chance to make some immediate progress. EDM (who I think will improve, but not enough to make the playoffs) and CGY (who is really the club house leader to finish last) will be out-matched regularly.

I'm a CGY fan, and this is no bad thing. A contender in the west needs to have 4 or 5 real pieces to make a run, and Calgary is not there yet - the next summer or 2 should be the infliction point. BUF just needs to let their current talent gestate (and will certainly add a few pieces through the draft along the way). I don't have a crystal ball, but there is historically a big difference between picking 1st and 5th. Next year's draft will be huge.

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07-29-2014, 03:37 PM
  #20
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Cup Contenders I'll say none.. playoff contenders

NYI is who I'll take (4 reasons).
Full year of JohnnyT
Went out to Free Agency to get a new 2nd line Kulemin and Grabo should do fine together. Buyers at this deadline instead of sellers (can't sell without their 1st and 2nd round picks)
Lots of young guys on the verge of playing in the NHL and the ones that can help them score wins will be the ones that play.
New Goaltending tandem has the potential to turn a lot of last years losses into wins if they can play near .908

The Oilers have an argument-
Eakins gets a shot to have a second year with the team and will hopefully get more out of his players, lots of young pieces that can be traded if the right deal comes along to make the team better, over-paying role players sucks but they can help get you a couple extra wins. Goaltending to start the season should get them even more.
But the West has only gotten better in Min and Dallas and Vancouver is not ready to roll over and tank which makes 3 tough teams to pass.

Florida needs to pick up another NHL D-man and get a great season from Ekblad if he makes it. After that they still are waiting for young players to step up and contribute offensively they couldn't buy goals at any point last season and will struggle again this season unless a young guy or two can break out, but that's a couple big IFs.

Calgary - Great coaching can keep you above your provincial rivals but it can't make your team better every year, I actually expect Calgary to drop in the standings for 1 last year before they can start a tough climb back up.

Buffalo - Full sell mode ensuring 2 more years of bottom 5 finishes then they'll need their prospects to show up at the pro level.

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07-29-2014, 09:05 PM
  #21
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I think Calgary will make some huge steps in becoming a contender over the other feeders. With players like Granlund, Bartschi, Porier and Gaudreau possibly becoming solid contributors that add to an already young solid Center group of Monahan, Bennett and Backlund.

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Yesterday, 03:34 PM
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Jackets although they have had 2 playoff appearances. Then in a few more seasons the Panthers.

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Yesterday, 04:14 PM
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How many of the bottom teams will have no problem spending the money required to be contenders is the real question.

Calgary, Edmonton yup
Buffalo doubtful (they employ 90's NHL economics)
NYI history shows a big nope and there's also lolwang

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Yesterday, 04:32 PM
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we've actually downgraded in a couple areas if you compare this roster to the opening night roster of last year
Most of the moves made on D I think are to push some of the young guys out of the lineup for a year which is kind of reverse addition by subtraction

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Yesterday, 04:41 PM
  #25
ZeroPT
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How many of the bottom teams will have no problem spending the money required to be contenders is the real question.

Calgary, Edmonton yup
Buffalo doubtful (they employ 90's NHL economics)
NYI history shows a big nope and there's also lolwang


My god you haven't a clue what you're on about

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