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Canucks Get Stronger while 'Hawks Lighten Up

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Old
07-13-2010, 02:05 AM
  #1
Illmatic Stoic
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Canucks Get Stronger while 'Hawks Lighten Up

Quote:
Northwest: Canucks get stronger while 'Hawks lighten up

For several years, the Northwest Division was the NHL's closest from top to bottom, with seasons when all five teams finished above .500 not being unusual. It suggested either a remarkable parity or perhaps mediocrity.

That's not the case today.
http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/story/1...wks-lighten-up


Last edited by NFITO: 07-13-2010 at 01:01 PM. Reason: updating link... was not working
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Old
07-13-2010, 02:23 AM
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I hope their right about our direction, but I feel very confident with out current position. Colorado and Edmonton should be doing better then last year, and if anything, I think Minnesota is going "sideways" and Calgary will end up in a tailspin.

Although Minnesota hasn't landed a big free agent, or even gotten a huge offensive threat otherwise, to replace Gaborik's departure, I don't see them doing worse then last year. They are still in the midst of a pseudo rebuild, but I can see them competing this season, barring major injuries.

Calgary on the other hand, barring a miracle from Jokenin, probably aren't going to finish 9th or 10th, but I feel lower in the rankings come seasons end.

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07-13-2010, 02:26 AM
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Illmatic Stoic
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Yea I completely agree with you on Minnesota, I don't see them improving greatly or doing worse. Around 10th in the conference. I do however think that Calgary has not really decreased much and will be a borderline playoff team again, but won't make it past the first round.

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07-13-2010, 02:53 AM
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It's a fairly odd analysis of the division IMO.

Vancouver - "The Canucks still need to do some juggling to get some of their restricted free agents signed, but Vancouver is shaping up to be an elite team next season. " UP

OK fine...

Colorado - "The Avs are more cost conscious now because their attendance has dropped in recent years, but they have put together a strong core of talented young players and there should be free-agent bargains before the summer is over." UP

Oh really? They are saving money, and are going after scraps on the UFA market, so they trend up? Anderson was the only guy keeping that series against SJ respectable.

Calgary - "But the dynamics haven't really changed for a team that been on the playoff bubble at best for several seasons" SIDEWAYS

Uh, they traded Phaneuf for spare parts... It's not the same team at all without him.

Minnesota - "Center Matt Cullen has been a $3.5 million addition to a lineup that has some good elements in it, but not enough to be a playoff team." DOWN

Probably not a playoff team, but I'd put them down as sideways.

Edmonton - "If Nikolai Khabibulin has any kind of season, Edmonton could surprise people the way Colorado did." UP

Because he'll have a lot of time to prepare in the off-season while dealing with that DUI case Khabibulin had a .909 sv% before the injury and still posted a 3.03 GAA... Shots Against is the problem there, and I haven't seen them do much to address this...

Then there is this one for the Hawks:

Chicago "Since the draft, Chicago has moved out five regulars from its Stanley Cup lineup and a sixth might leave for an offer sheet. And there are still eight more roster spots to fill."

"Chicago's core is still there with Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Marian Hossa and a few other key players under long term deals, but the Blackhawks seemed destined to find that getting to the top is easier than staying there." SIDEWAYS

That's a puzzler, they are heading sideways (ie cup winners again) while having to fill 8 roster spots with rookies/AHL'ers? They should be down, not sideways.

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07-13-2010, 02:58 AM
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As always they'll be surprises but over an 82 game season more often then not the best teams do rise to the top.

Minnesota played well in certain stretches of the season last year but they just couldn't bounce back from a very poor start to the season. They've got a team there that can be a playoff team but the West is a pretty strong conference.

The way I see it there are at least 6 teams in the West that should be a very strong bet to make the playoffs.

Vancouver, Detroit, Chicago, San Jose, LA, and St. Louis. I think the Blues with Halak and another year of development with their younger kids will rebound this season and make the playoffs.

After that you've got a bunch of teams battling it out for the 7th and 8th spots. I think Calgary should be a playoff team (especially considering the fact that the other divisions are better then the NW division in the West) and after that who knows what happens.

Phoenix was really good last season but lost a couple of key peices this offseason and they'll need another great year from Bryz.

Anaheim looks like they've got some big holes on defence. Dallas isn't that strong on defence either.

Edmonton IMO isn't ready to be a playoff team yet. Way too much ground to make up but they should be better this season. I think Colorado might take a small step back this season. Minnesota has the potential to be a playoff team as I mentioned earlier but do they have enough to get it done.

Nashville lost some depth on defence but looks to be pretty good up front. They're always in the mix. Columbus doesn't look that special to me on paper but if they get better goaltending then perhaps they make a strong push. However they do play in a very difficult division.

Last but not least every year there's a team that just gets hammered with injuries and there's a team that over acheives. It could just be a situation where the healthiest team out of all those playoff bubble team steals a spot while a team that gets hit hard with injuries ends up with a lottery pick.

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07-13-2010, 03:03 AM
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the wild are the oilers of 09/10 potientally. it would be good, they need a franchise player.

the oilers have to be better, but they're not playoff bound

the flames, I don't know. play out the string until sutter finally makes a move that gets him fired?

Colorado, they'll be in the hunt.


it really is a weak division. we win the division on paper easily.

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07-13-2010, 03:05 AM
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I actually disagree about the Avs not heading up. Their roster is young so those players will only get better. As their core gets better, their team is better.

As for the Flames... they look like a wild card more than anything. If all the stars align, they might be a contender but its more likely than not that they will just go down the drain and go after the lottery.

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07-13-2010, 03:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timorousme View Post
the wild are the oilers of 09/10 potientally. it would be good, they need a franchise player.

the oilers have to be better, but they're not playoff bound

the flames, I don't know. play out the string until sutter finally makes a move that gets him fired?

Colorado, they'll be in the hunt.


it really is a weak division. we win the division on paper easily.
On paper it appears to be the weakest division in the West. The Central division is obviously the strongest (might be strongest in the NHL) but the Pacific division is a pretty interesting division. I see two very strong teams there and then three teams that on paper don't look so great.

Just like last year you never know how things could turn out but Anaheim, Phoenix and Dallas all have some question marks. All three have a relatively poor defence but have the potential to be solid in goal and solid up front. It wouldn't surprise me to see one of these three teams do better then expected and one of these teams will be pretty bad next season.

Therefore at this point I think the Pacific division appears to be better due to the fact that they have two likely top four teams while the NW only has one.

Another interesting thing to note are the goaltenders in the West. If you believe as I do that the top six teams should be Vancouver, Chicago, San Jose, Detroit, LA and St. Louis then you'd be hard pressed to say that Vancouver doesn't have at least the 2nd best goalie out of all of those teams (with Halak being perhaps the only one better). Who knows who Chicago will have in goal, Detroit and LA will have two relatively young goalies again and San Jose will go from Nabakov to Nitty and Greiss.

If Luongo is on his game Vancouver could have the edge in goal amongst contenders in the West.

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07-13-2010, 03:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denkiteki View Post
I actually disagree about the Avs not heading up. Their roster is young so those players will only get better. As their core gets better, their team is better.

As for the Flames... they look like a wild card more than anything. If all the stars align, they might be a contender but its more likely than not that they will just go down the drain and go after the lottery.
I like Colorado as well but often times teams that are that young can take a step back after getting the success they got the previous season.

St. Louis is a prime example of that.

I think St. Louis takes a big step forward this year and I think Colorado will do so soon enough. I'm somewhat surprised with their lack of activity in the UFA market so far but there are still a ton of decent names available so maybe they're not done yet.

They've got a good young team but they've also got a very strong prospect pool especially defensively. On the big club the defence appears to be the weakest link for that team but that's something that should only get stronger over the years.

Edmonton and Colorado are likely going to be our biggest threat over the next 3 to 5 years if their prospects develop the way they hope they will.

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07-13-2010, 03:46 AM
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Believe it or not, its funny how things are falling into place for Vancouver to dominate the west.

San Jose, no Nabokov? Are you serious?
Chicago loses half their team.
Detroit seems to be going down hill.
Are there really any better teams out there?

Van could possibly win the presidents trophy.

My true worries are with LA. This team is going to be good.

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07-13-2010, 04:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Outraged666 View Post
Believe it or not, its funny how things are falling into place for Vancouver to dominate the west.

San Jose, no Nabokov? Are you serious?
Chicago loses half their team.
Detroit seems to be going down hill.
Are there really any better teams out there?

Van could possibly win the presidents trophy.

My true worries are with LA. This team is going to be good.
Based on what?

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07-13-2010, 04:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meganuck View Post
Based on what?
Lidstrom, Cleary, Draper and Bertuzzi. Even Frazen I feel is going down hill.

Their core is old.
How does this team fair minus Lidstrom?

Edit: What happened to Maltby?

Yes they got a lot of good young players, but so doesnt Edmonton?

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07-13-2010, 04:14 AM
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Illmatic Stoic
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Based on what?
My thought's exactly, they had injury problems last year and jimmy howard will likely be better. I would not be surprised if they beat us in the regular season.

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07-13-2010, 04:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outraged666 View Post
Lidstrom, Cleary, Draper and Bertuzzi. Even Frazen I feel is going down hill.

Their core is old.
How does this team fair minus Lidstrom?

Edit: What happened to Maltby?

Yes they got a lot of good young players, but so doesnt Edmonton?
Franzen had an injury last season but is 31 I believe. As long as Lidstrom, Datsyuk and Zetterberg are playing, they're always dangerous.

Hudler is back as well. I'd say that they're going to be a solid team and always seem to give the Canucks problems.

Those old bones finally got a long summer as well. I expect them to be re-energized.

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07-13-2010, 04:19 AM
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Illmatic Stoic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outraged666 View Post
Lidstrom, Cleary, Draper and Bertuzzi. Even Frazen I feel is going down hill.

Their core is old.
How does this team fair minus Lidstrom?

Edit: What happened to Maltby?

Yes they got a lot of good young players, but so doesnt Edmonton?
Yea but Edmonton has no good older people. Lidstrom is still a workhorse and a top 10 defenseman arguably top 5 while Zetterberg and Datsyuk are still in their prime. Fransen is not downhill... did you seem him in the playoffs? He was the best player on the wings in the playoffs which is where he plays his best. They still have a great core and Jimmy Howard will only get better most likely unless he backtracks like Mason and Razor.

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07-13-2010, 04:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meganuck View Post
Franzen had an injury last season but is 31 I believe. As long as Lidstrom, Datsyuk and Zetterberg are playing, they're always dangerous.

Hudler is back as well. I'd say that they're going to be a solid team and always seem to give the Canucks problems.

Those old bones finally got a long summer as well. I expect them to be re-energized.
Yeah I agree. I expect Detroit to be a very solid team next season and it wouldn't surprise me to see them finish 1st in the West.

Just think about how well they played considering all the injuries they had to key players.

The argument that Detroit is going to drop because they're getting older is really flawed.

I mean Lidstrom is one of their oldest players and even at that age he's better than any defencemen we've got.

Unless they get a **** load of injuries again they'll be a top 4-5 team yet again and IMO they are the favourites to win the Central.

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07-13-2010, 05:32 AM
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I'm sitting here at work with not much to do and it got me thinking about the future of this Canucks franchise.

This next season might just be one of the best chances we've had at winning a cup. Obviously Gillis feels the same way which is a big reason as to why he was as active as he was from the draft until July 1st. However it got me thinking about what the next few years might look like.

I'm not saying this team can't win now but what I am saying is have a look at what we could potentially ice down the line. IMO the season that likely will be our best shot at winning the cup might just be the 2012-2013 season.

The reason I say 2012-2013 is because most of our core players will still be signed (with the potential exception of Raymond and Ehrhoff) and more importantly a few of our top prospects will be in their last year of their ELC's and should likely be able to have an impact at the NHL level.

Here's what we could potentially have for the 2012-2013 season:

Sedin-Sedin-Burrows
Raymond*-Kesler-Rodin
Schroeder-Hodgson-Malhotra
LW4-C4-RW4
13F

Hamhuis-Edler
Ballard-4D
Connauton-6D
Sauve

Louie
G2

Without including Raymond we sit at $42.744m (not including bonuses).

Let's assume the cap goes from $59.4m to $62m between now and 2012-2013. The cap could go up or down but I'll go with a reasonable estimation. That leaves us with $19.256m in cap space to account for Raymond, a top four defencemen, a bottom pair defencemen, a fourth line, a 13th forward and a backup goalie.

Now just for fun let's assume the fourth line and 13th forward cost us $3m (average of $0.75m per player) and we sign a backup goalie for $0.8m. That leaves us with $15.456m to sign Raymond, a top four defencemen and a bottom pair defencemen.

At that point even if Raymond costs us $4m, a bottom pair defencemen costs us $1.5m and if Gillis wants to keep around $1m of cap space to start the season we will still have around $9m in cap space for that final top four defencemen.

Now that I've got you guys all excited here's the potential bad news...the current CBA ends September 15th 2012. In other words if an extension is not reached who knows what the hell could happen.

Personally I'd be surprised if there is a work stoppage and even though its 2 years away it doesn't appear as if there will be major issues that could cause a work stoppage. Simply put the league just can't afford another work stoppage and the players have to be pretty satisfied with how the current CBA is working.

Then again with our luck....

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07-13-2010, 06:59 AM
  #18
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lidstrom at age 70 would still be better then anybody on our defense, he is THAT good imo

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07-13-2010, 07:28 AM
  #19
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lidstrom at age 70 would still be better then anybody on our defense, he is THAT good imo
nice hyperbole

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07-13-2010, 10:20 AM
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nice hyperbole
Please, that was the least hyperbolic statement ever in history

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07-13-2010, 11:04 AM
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Franzen had an injury last season but is 31 I believe. As long as Lidstrom, Datsyuk and Zetterberg are playing, they're always dangerous.

Hudler is back as well. I'd say that they're going to be a solid team and always seem to give the Canucks problems.

Those old bones finally got a long summer as well. I expect them to be re-energized.
After looking over the roster again I actually think Detroit could win the Central division over Chicago, if healthy.

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07-13-2010, 11:05 AM
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I'm sitting here at work with not much to do and it got me thinking about the future of this Canucks franchise.

This next season might just be one of the best chances we've had at winning a cup. Obviously Gillis feels the same way which is a big reason as to why he was as active as he was from the draft until July 1st. However it got me thinking about what the next few years might look like.

I'm not saying this team can't win now but what I am saying is have a look at what we could potentially ice down the line. IMO the season that likely will be our best shot at winning the cup might just be the 2012-2013 season.

The reason I say 2012-2013 is because most of our core players will still be signed (with the potential exception of Raymond and Ehrhoff) and more importantly a few of our top prospects will be in their last year of their ELC's and should likely be able to have an impact at the NHL level.

Here's what we could potentially have for the 2012-2013 season:

Sedin-Sedin-Burrows
Raymond*-Kesler-Rodin
Schroeder-Hodgson-Malhotra
LW4-C4-RW4
13F

Hamhuis-Edler
Ballard-4D
Connauton-6D
Sauve

Louie
G2

Without including Raymond we sit at $42.744m (not including bonuses).

Let's assume the cap goes from $59.4m to $62m between now and 2012-2013. The cap could go up or down but I'll go with a reasonable estimation. That leaves us with $19.256m in cap space to account for Raymond, a top four defencemen, a bottom pair defencemen, a fourth line, a 13th forward and a backup goalie.

Now just for fun let's assume the fourth line and 13th forward cost us $3m (average of $0.75m per player) and we sign a backup goalie for $0.8m. That leaves us with $15.456m to sign Raymond, a top four defencemen and a bottom pair defencemen.

At that point even if Raymond costs us $4m, a bottom pair defencemen costs us $1.5m and if Gillis wants to keep around $1m of cap space to start the season we will still have around $9m in cap space for that final top four defencemen.

Now that I've got you guys all excited here's the potential bad news...the current CBA ends September 15th 2012. In other words if an extension is not reached who knows what the hell could happen.

Personally I'd be surprised if there is a work stoppage and even though its 2 years away it doesn't appear as if there will be major issues that could cause a work stoppage. Simply put the league just can't afford another work stoppage and the players have to be pretty satisfied with how the current CBA is working.

Then again with our luck....
Ehrhoff, $4.5 - $5 mil/year long term.

+ add Sauve as 6th d-man.

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07-13-2010, 11:43 AM
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agent007 View Post
I'm sitting here at work with not much to do and it got me thinking about the future of this Canucks franchise.

This next season might just be one of the best chances we've had at winning a cup. Obviously Gillis feels the same way which is a big reason as to why he was as active as he was from the draft until July 1st. However it got me thinking about what the next few years might look like.

I'm not saying this team can't win now but what I am saying is have a look at what we could potentially ice down the line. IMO the season that likely will be our best shot at winning the cup might just be the 2012-2013 season.

The reason I say 2012-2013 is because most of our core players will still be signed (with the potential exception of Raymond and Ehrhoff) and more importantly a few of our top prospects will be in their last year of their ELC's and should likely be able to have an impact at the NHL level.

Here's what we could potentially have for the 2012-2013 season:

Sedin-Sedin-Burrows
Raymond*-Kesler-Rodin
Schroeder-Hodgson-Malhotra
LW4-C4-RW4
13F

Hamhuis-Edler
Ballard-4D
Connauton-6D
Sauve

Louie
G2

Without including Raymond we sit at $42.744m (not including bonuses).

Let's assume the cap goes from $59.4m to $62m between now and 2012-2013. The cap could go up or down but I'll go with a reasonable estimation. That leaves us with $19.256m in cap space to account for Raymond, a top four defencemen, a bottom pair defencemen, a fourth line, a 13th forward and a backup goalie.

Now just for fun let's assume the fourth line and 13th forward cost us $3m (average of $0.75m per player) and we sign a backup goalie for $0.8m. That leaves us with $15.456m to sign Raymond, a top four defencemen and a bottom pair defencemen.

At that point even if Raymond costs us $4m, a bottom pair defencemen costs us $1.5m and if Gillis wants to keep around $1m of cap space to start the season we will still have around $9m in cap space for that final top four defencemen.

Now that I've got you guys all excited here's the potential bad news...the current CBA ends September 15th 2012. In other words if an extension is not reached who knows what the hell could happen.

Personally I'd be surprised if there is a work stoppage and even though its 2 years away it doesn't appear as if there will be major issues that could cause a work stoppage. Simply put the league just can't afford another work stoppage and the players have to be pretty satisfied with how the current CBA is working.

Then again with our luck....
Edler will need a raise at some point as well.

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07-13-2010, 11:46 AM
  #24
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07-13-2010, 12:12 PM
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We're definitely looking like the favourite for the division and maybe the Conference, which is pretty surreal, but there will be some surprise teams.

LA will be better if they land Kovalchuk. Going from Nabakov to Nittymaki is lateral IMO, they're not losing a lot really. Phoenix maybe, Detroit is still good. Great feeling to go into a season, but you can never really tell in a cap era.

Upper echelon: Vancouver, San Jose, Chicago, Detroit.

Mid-teir: LA, Phoenix, Colorado, Nashville, Anaheim.

Playoff/lottery pick dog-fight: Calgary, Columbus, Dallas, St. Louis, Edmonton, Minnesota.

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