You might have a point with Atlanta but they will at least get 50 or so goals from Kovalchuk. What will Toronto do? They have no one on that team with his pizzazz. Personally I'm excited that the Leafs are about to become a cellar dweller team. There's some kid in Oshawa that's pretty good...............
While I generally agree with both of these, my personal opinion is that Tampa Bay's moves this offseason won't do much to improve this team for next year and does damage to their organizational depth in future seasons. The real test for Tampa Bay's front office is what they do the rest of the off season when they have some critical decisions to make regarding whether they are going to keep some key players as a result of the moves that they have made. At this point, while making some good moves, they've also made one of the worst moves of the off season in giving up a pick to have the exclusive negotiating rights for Rolston, a player who openly said he was going to test the market. Any pick was too high of a price to pay in that situation. They'll probably be the most improved team point-wise next year, but I don't think that necessarily says anything about the moves they've made this offseason. Before anyone goes ******* and flies off of the handle, what I mean by that is that this team was a hell of a lot better than their record showed last year.
Last edited by Clarence Beeks: 07-02-2008 at 08:03 PM.
As a Tampa area resident and fan of the team, they still have holes to fill. I know they got new owners but I'm wondering if they hired Bobby Clarke too???? hehehehehe Sorry, couldn't reisit.
Seriously, they have brought in offense but they need to address the goaltending situation and defense. Kolzig is not a 60 games per year fix at this stage of his career. Great back-up, 30 games but...and D is still suspect...same with the Philly teams from 98-05.
Regardless of my above statement, Tampa wins for most improved for the excitement they have created around the team. I agree with the above poster who stated they were much better than their record last year. If this team has a solid #2 line, they will be very tough.
Not the worst, but I would say not improved would be Colorado.
We lost Finger(serviceable 5/6 defenseman), Sauve(great defensive pairing with Foote), Theodore(great alternative to have to Budaj and was pretty crucial in landing numerous wins for us), and Brunette (bargain scorer). We might lose Sakic to retirement which is about as major as you can get, as you lose a bit of leadership and consistent scoring.
In exchange, we added Raycroft, who I doubt will make much of an impact, and Tucker who is on the downslide.
Anaheim is not nearly going to be as good as last year, they are based on veterans, and Scott Niedermayer did not impress me, especially during the playoffs, and both Teemu and Pronger have lost some of their ability. The defense is still very solid, as is the goaltending, so cellar dwelling is unlikely, but still keep in mind that the Ducks scored the fewest goals of any playoff team (3-12)
Atlanta hasnt significantly gotten worse, but hasnt improved either, which does not suggest playoffs, but does not guarantee them to be cellar-dwellers either, but there are still some serious defensive issues (9-15)
Boston already struggled with injuries (especially Bergeron), but still made the playoffs, so I could see some remarkable improvement, along with the additions of Ryder and the growth of Kessel into an improved player. (4-10)
Buffalo was a remarkably streaky team last year, which went along with their goalie (Miller) and one of their best players (Vanek) who also suffered consistancy issues. Hopefully these two will get their act together, and Roy and Pominville will continue to improve, but the defense is still the main issue. This team has made no major improvement personel wise, but the team will go however its top players will (5-10)
Calgary barely made the playoffs last year, and the west has only improved. To make things worse, one of Calgary's finest (but also most inconsistent) left them, and no major additions have been made yet. (8-15)
Carolina did not make the playoffs only thanks to the MVP of the league and his team going on a last ditch streak of winning. Again, they were struck brutally by injuries, and also added Joni Pitkanen to compliment their area of weakness, by trading from an area of great strength. Expect good things, unless injuries continue to be a problem (3-9)
Chicago is an amazing youthful team, and had a fantastic run at the end, and was an injured Calder Trophy finalist to sneaking into the 8th playoff spot. The youth will only improve, and MAJOR improvement have been made in net, with Huet, and at the blueline, with Campbell. Expect the playoffs for this team (4-9)
Colorado made the playoffs and went on into the 2nd round, only to be swept by the eventual winner. The team suffered through injury problems, but still was very, very close to coming in as the 3rd seed rather than the 6th. Although Darcy Tucker has been added as a useful energy player, so far there has only been major decline in terms of the goaltending with the loss of Theodore. (6-12)
Columbus has yet to make the playoffs, but has had their best season ever, being at least in competition for the playoffs, largely due to both improved D and great goaltending. Although they lost Zherdev, a quality highlight reel scorer, they added a solid 2nd/1st line forward to their lineup in Huselius (although chemistry may still be an issue), along with 3 solid defensemen (Backes, Commodore, and Tyutin). The offense, however, is still lacking (7-13)
Dallas finished as the runner-up to the Western conference champion, and clearly has benefited from an excellent deadline deal, along with solid coaching, all while lacking their best player. No players have been lost, but they have (over)paid for Avery, who has proven to help a team win, regardless of his popularity. Expect them to be a lock for the playoffs (2-6)
Detroit won the Stanley Cup in a dominant fashion, only having problems against the lowly Predators, and have only improved, adding Marian Hossa to the best team in the NHL. Hasek will not be much of a loss, although the goaltending has been secured moreso by the addition of (the Penguins' season saver) Conklin. A repeat is likely (1-3)
Edmonton nearly made the playoffs based on the strength of their youth, and has made major strides during the offseason by dealing from positions of strength to significantly improve their team (adding Visnovsky, Cole, Brule). Expect the playoffs for this team, especially if Horcoff can stay healthy, and if the kids dont undergo sophomore slumps (3-9)
Florida was close to the playoffs during a final playoff push, but ultimately fell short. Moreover, they dealt their best player and captain to improve their blueline, whether or not Ballard will stand up to the challenge is the major question. Corey Stillman (perhaps the best bang for your buck FA signing this offseason) will be a major addition. However, the playoffs are simply unrealistic for this team, considering the lack of secondary scoring in particular (9-15)
Los Angeles ... it loathes me to write this, the Kings will not have a whiff of the playoffs, they are for sure a cellar-dwelling team. Their defense is brutal, and their goaltending is at best tentative, although their youth will develope nicely. Additionally, the Kings suffer from being in the best division in the league. (12-15)
Minnesota made the playoffs, albeit with a very weak showing once they got there. For all they have lost to free agency (Demitra, Rolston) they have gained during the offseason (Zidlicky, Brunette). I doubt that this team can come close to a top-seed, but I doubt they fall below the cut for the playoffs (6-8)
Montreal made the playoffs to the 2nd round, but this does not show their true success that season, winning the conference in terms of the regular season and also having the best offensive team in the league. The only player lost was a very weak Ryder, while Tanguay has been gained, and the youth will continue to improve (2-5)
Nashville was the big suprise for me, beating all the critics by not only making the postseason, but putting up a stalwart fight against the cup-winning Detroit Red Wings, all on the back of their big suprise - Dan Ellis, who also boasted the best save percentage of all goaltenders. The Zidlicky trade, regardless of the proper value going either way, will not have a great effect on the team, considering their strength on the blueline, especially expecting a full season from Weber. Will the team make the playoffs? I dont think so, considering how much the conference has improved. Will they be a cellar-dweller? I doubt it (9-10)
New Jersey is always expected ever year to decline, for the "system" to collapse, yet they are always quick to prove the critics wrong based on the excellent performance of the Brodeur phenomenon. The team lacks offense, and hopefully gained some by signing Rolston. Luckily, the team has not lost too much. I do not believe that the Devils will be the division champions again, but I believe they will make the playoffs. (5-8)
Long Island (Isles) may or may not have made the playoffs with a healthy season from Dipietro, but what is for sure is that the offensive depth from the organization was probably the worst in the league, having the worst offense in the conference. They have added Streit and Weight, who may or may not be impact players. Even if they are, I would not expect much from this team, to be honest, especially if Dipietro continues to experience injury issues. (13-15)
New York City (Rangers) made it to the second round based on the strength of their veterans and goaltending, although Jagr is not sure to coming back. One of the top FA's has been added to shore up the blueline, and a quality scorer has been added by trade, although one of their best D-fensive D-man was lost because of this. No major players have been lost, except for pest extraordinaire Sean Avery. (3-8)
Ottawa was far and away the best team in the Eastern Conference - until the end of their 17th game. After that, the team more or less collapsed, due to a combination of injury and lockerroom issues. This culminated into barely making the playoffs, along with a 1st round sweep. Additonally, Ottawa lost key players Stillman, Redden, and Commodore to free agency, although they have gained quality role players. Ottawa can be a playoff team, but they absolutely depend on their 1st line of Heatley, Spezza and Alfredsson (3-12)
Philadelphia went from being the worst team in the league, to dominating the regular season, to a midseason collapse, to a late season rebound, all the way to the ECF. The team has lost little, and hopefully will see the return of Gagne, although they will have to absorb the loss of one of their top playoff performers, which should be pretty easy. (5-9)
Phoenix has seen major improvement, shipping in a true #1 calibre center and only losing a solid 2nd liner, along with growth from the youth. Several roleplayers have been added from the UFA market have also been added. Although they are in a tough division, expect them to be very competitive (4-10)
Pittsburgh went to the Stanley Cup Finals and won the division last year, but lost major elements of their team, from Conklin, to Malone, to Hossa, although keeping all of them would have been impractical. However, Crosby is going to be back for the whole season likely, so likely this team will stay the same in terms of offense (1-5)
San Jose finished the season fantastically but somewhat declined in the postseason. The loss of Campbell is rather brutal, but the replacement of the coach will probably be positive for the team. Expect Marleau to rebound and the team to be competitive next year. (2-6)
St. Louis was, for parts of the 07-08 season, a serious contender for the playoffs, until a late season collapse that is the hallmark of Andy Murray coached teams. I doubt that this team is any more competitive than it was last year, but it is going in the right direction nonetheless (12-15)
Toronto is probably the biggest loser during the FA period, having to buyout several of their players, and having made poor signing descisions. No major improvement has been with this team. However the team still certainly has a solid defense, but not much else going for them (13-15)
Tampa Bay may be the story of this UFA period, adding a significant amount, both in depth and up front, and will probably be competitive with the addition of generational player Stamkos. However, clear presents on the blueline have not yet been addressed, unfortunately (6-15)
Vancouver lost two quality players, and has not added anything to bolster their roster unfortunately. However, Luongo had an off year, and will probably bounce back and make this team somewhat competitive. Somewhat (5-13)
Washington has lost little recently, and has only slightly declined in terms of goaltending, which should not be a major issue for them. However, was Washington's season a fluke on the back of 1 superstar? (3-10)
What do you guys think?
Last edited by LAX attack*: 07-04-2008 at 01:03 PM.
Vancouver is looking like they won't make the playoffs. They only have 2 legit top 6 fowards right now, which are the Sedins. Gillis missed out on all the trades so far and none of his offers to FA's have worked out. This team isn't likely to make playoffs with a top 2 goalie in the league. No wonder why this team has no cup in 38 years.