Holes That Need Filling Pt.3

It’s time yet again, for the seris of “Holes That Need Filling” articles. The atlantic is up. This edition will feature the atlantic teams and the stanley cup champs New Jersey.

New Jersey Devils

There’s nothing stopping this team from winning a cup this upcoming season. They still have the best defense and goaltender. Losing Nieuwendyk shouldn’t hurt them much since they won the cup without him. Lou Lamerilou(sp?) did a great job building this team as it’s won 3 cups in 9 years. He has done a great job at drafts and usually makes the right deals to make his team a contender year after year. He brought in Fresein, Tverdovsky, Nieuwendyk, and Marshall the last 2 seasons. Fresien ended up having an amazing post season and played well with Madden.

I don’t like how some people think that New Jersey had “zero” talent and those cup wins were because of the trap. This team is one of the deepest in the league and the trap is just a style they play. It may not be pretty but it gets the job done. They could easily convert to another style and still have success. They have 4 great lines and the best defense in the league. Better than Detroit, Stlouis and Vancouver. They have a nice mix of defense and offense. Neidemayer/Stevenes, Rafalski/White might be the best 4 in the league. They execute perfectly and that’s the reason they’ve been so successful.

New York Islanders

There isn’t alot of good things to say about the Isles. They are much better than the rangers but they still suck. Their players are alright but Mad Mike has F*cked up too much. So much talent he could’ve had. He dealt away Chara, Bertuzzi, McCabe, Jokinen, Luongo, and that’s only off the top of my head. They sill have talent but i can’t see them making the playoffs. New York is just a bad city to play in. Too much going on in that city to keep you focused.

The Isles have awful goaltending. I don’t have much faith in DiPietro and Snow won’t be able to wear his huge pads. Their Defense is filled with talent. Aucoin, Hamerlik, Jonnson, Niinimia, Martinek, Timander, and Cairns are a very strong top 7. Looked better than i thought. Hamerilk might be on his way out since there’s so little time for so many good dmen. Forwards also look great, but some are overpayed and don’t exactly get the job done(yashin). This team won’t be winning a cup anytime soon.

New York Rangers

This team is filled with a bunch of money crazed snobs. Holik on the top. I still can’t believe he got 9 million. Going to New York ruined his career like it has done to so many others. Darius Kasperaitais is another overpayed snob and so are Lindros, Malakhov. Richter, Poti, Bure and Nedved. I thought they were going to beat out the islanders for the final spot but i guess i was wrong. Nothing looks bright for this team. Their stocked with goaltenders and will have to lose one when September approaches.

Sather was given too much money and really f*cked up becaues of it. The Rangers should make the playoffs this upcoming season. Anything less is unacceptable. I still don’t know why they signed Holik last year.

Philadelphia Flyers

This is the most talented team in the east in my eyes. I reallly don’t know why Cechmanek got traded away, pointless. If Hackett plays sucky Clarke will be blamed i hope. The flyers have very talented right wingers. Williams, Amonte, Recchi, and Somik. That may be a problem as some might not get to play as much as they want. And one or even two might get dealt. I really can’t see anything wrong with this team except for their goaltending. They’ are stacked in every other position and that should translate into success.

They can win the cup. But i would be suprised if in the end they did. Esche just wont’ cut it as a starter. John Leclair has been injured for the last couple of seasons and Clarke is looking to move him and his 10 million dollar contract. Not many teams would take it on though.

Pittsburgh Penguins

This might be the worst team ever assembled. All they really have is Mario and Straka. And Straka might get traded because of his salary. And this might be Mario’s last season. After these two leave. I think the pens will be moved. So i guess Titans calling Calgary the worst team was wrong. Since it’ll be a challange for this group to get over 50 points. Their goaltending is alright with Aubin, Caron and Hedberg. Hedberg also being the the block. Their D is horrible and so are the forwards.

This team doesn’t have a brigth future Might be leaving pittsburgh and that’ sounds very good to me. I don’t exactly know where they’ll move but it probably won’t be to canada. As 5 out of the 6 teams are in money troubles there. I’m sorry for the penguin fans if there are any.

If you disagree with anything please tell me why. And with your response please tell me which division to do next.

47 Responses to Holes That Need Filling Pt.3

  1. avsfan19-33 says:

    Calling NJ’s top four the best in the league is way off. I can agree that the top three d-man are very good, but saying White is up there is just wrong. White isnt much more than a scrapper who happens to play on a very, very talented defensive team. Other than that your observations on each team were good.

  2. Sands says:

    Young man….. first things first … the Rangers…. OK OK i understand the snob thing…. OK… I agree to some extent…. But Richter being in that group? HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLZ no. he’s the only one with heart on the team beside Leetch…. And Richter won’t even be there next year … he’s retiring … before camp … so don’t start with that…. the rest….. well ok i agree but Richter… sorry man that’s just out of line….If anything… i remember Richter taking a pay cut… and it wasn’t his first….

  3. -MJ- says:

    I really like the Flyers’ top 2 lines. I think JR and Amonte are going to click, and I think that having a healthy Simon Gagne will take the team a long way. He may get 40 goals, if he stays healthy. The only thing really holding the Flyers back is the abscence of a legit starting goaltender.

    Another thought, where does everybody think the Penguins would be moved to, if they are moved? Portland, Hamilton and Winnipeg are some options, have you heard of any others?

  4. vlad27 says:

    Decent article, though spell check and a bit of research would have helped.

    This seems a bit extreme both ways. I don’t think there is that much that separates the “god-awful” teams from the ones you “can see” winning a cup. For instance, I hate the rangers, but I can see them going to at least the semifinals this year. They’re a team of lazy professionals who don’t have the heart to grit out 82 games but will put their pride on the line when the playoffs begin. Holik is a leader in the lockerroom, and for $9 he has to get Bure, Lindros et al motivated.

    I agree that trading away Cechmanek was ridiculous, especially when Philly has no one comparable lined up to take the spot.

    The Isles are a good GM away from going a few rounds in the playoffs. Get Mike the f*ck out of there.

    The Pens – well, alright they’re on the verge of going out of business and they won’t make the playoffs. But, they’re loaded with good prospects and in 5-6 years they’ll be back. Matter of fact, after CBA gets settled and there’s a salary cap we might all be surprised in what great shape the Pens are going to be to emerge as an economically efficient team.

    Finally, on to my Devils. You know, the lack of scoring and the godawful powerplay scares me every year and I was pissed at Lou for not getting us a scorer at the trading deadline or in the summer. Not Fedorov, but a Ray Whitney or Magnus Arvedson would be nice. Oh well, I can’t complain as they’ve been doing well. The devils epitomize teamwork more than any other team in the NHL. Their core of guys (Stevens, Brodeur, Nieds, Elias, Brylin and Rafalski) are exceptionally good to the development of yet unproved players. This is how White got to be so well regarded and why in general the team is as deep as it is. As for cup predictions…the Sens are starting to scare me, but I can see the Devils winning another one.

  5. leafs2003champs says:

    I could see the devils winning another except for 1 problem that being stevens age he is 39 and what happens when he retires in the very near future who will take his place grantted the D will still be good but it is better with him then without.

  6. NYRules says:

    cmon man… richter nedved poti? none of them are snobs and like stated b4 the only other players on the team with heart are leetch and barnaby and kovalev(didnt show it too much last season though).

    the only team i can see winning the cup are (going in order starting at most likely) colorado, devils, ottawa, detroit, rangers, ducks, canucks, call me crazy but the leafs…. maybe im playin favorites with the rangers but if they make it which i honestly believe they will this year, bure kovalev lindros holik… all of them will be unstoppable. Once in the playoffs when they remember why they are playing the game, they will wake up and kick major ass. I dont even see the Devils, colorados or detroits defense being able to stop them. Only way i see them gettin knocked out is by ottawas offense or even deadlier colorados offense.

  7. JonnyBoomBoom says:

    Ok, maybe Im missing something, or maybe Im just stupid but isnt the articles title “holes that need filling”? So by giving reviews on each team…where exactly are the “holes that need to be filled”?

    Title should have been something like…Atlantic Division Preview or whatever.

  8. Bretzky says:

    First of all, the way that the Devils play the trap completely affects their success in the past decade. How can you say with confidence that they would have the same success with a different style of play? Where are you getting that info? What are you basing that on? The devils game is all about slowing the game down and keeping play in the nuetral zone for 75% of the game. BORING AS HELL, yet it works because so many teams aren’t designed to play that type of game, and eventually the Devils get a bounce their way, and then can tighten up defensively, and if all else fails they have Marty Brodeur to bail them out of any hole they might get into. That’s why the Devils are so successful; not because they are “the deepest team.” They are most definitely not the deepest team in the NHL. A handful of teams in the league boast more depth, as well as similar defense and goaltending (Detroit, Colorado, Dallas, Ottawa) but play a much different style of play than the Devils.

    Next, JohnnyBoomBoom is right. You title this article “Holes That Need Filling,” yet you only give us a 4-5 line opinion of which teams you think are good and which aren’t. You lack any suggestions for how to fill the holes or fix the problems with the teams that you designate as “the worst in the NHL” or a bunch of “snobs” and provide us with no information to back up your “theories.” Also the spelling errors are elementary and make it very hard for someone who is literate to believe that anything you write is of any substance.

    I’ve been a daily-reader on this site for quite some time, but I just recently signed up as a member and I’m looking forward to writing some solid articles that have a little more relevant content and substance to them than this one. This article really provided the readers with absolutely nothing.

  9. RangerSteve says:

    For the Rangers, you called them snobs..oh no, you must have really hurt them therej/k. The Rangers have Dunham, Markannen and Blackburn. Look for Blackie to head to Hartford full time for a year or so then come back as the #1. Richter looks all but done, the concussions aren’t helping him and he isn’t getting that much better. You complain how the Rangers don’t make the playoffs, i guarantee you complain how they “bought the cup” if they win it. Sather has screwed up a lot, but what would YOU do if you were handed a mess from Neil Smith. The Rangers had NO BODY on that team. Fleury was the only go to guy they had and even then he went into rehab. not much he could or anyone else could have done.

  10. still_fly72 says:

    Just wondering, which is the only team not in financial trouble in Canada???

  11. still_fly72 says:

    It is pretty funny you called all these guys snobs because they are getting over paid and play in New York when you obviously know nothing about their personalities or lives. Actually it’s pretty stupid you called them that.

  12. Bretzky says:

    I would guess Vancouver because I know that Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, Montreal, and Edmonton are all trying to cut costs.

  13. GretzNYR99 says:

    Richter, Nedved, Poti… overpaid slobs? Quite hardly, kid. Do some research before you call these guys slobs. Richter is actually paid fairly, Nedved and Poti the same, and as for Poti? You got a problem with him being “overpaid” talk to the arbitrator, he’ll/she’ll be glad to hand your ass to you verbally on how Tom Poti deserves that money.

    As for the Smith reference, yes, Neil Smith messed New York up. Sather did some stupid things, but all were not his fault, let me explain for the 3 millionth time.

    1. Bobby Holik got 9 million dollars for the Rangers because the Rangers were the highest bidder in the Holik sweepstakes. Holik wasn’t offered anything from NJ. Philly offered 7, and the Rangers matched that offer with a 5 year 9 million dollar offer. Sather didn’t over pay him on purpose, last year it wasn’t a buyer’s market like this year, so players could have gotten ANY, and I MEAN ANY price they asked for. Holik is living proof of my statement.

    2. Kasparaitis’ case was the same. Colorado didn’t want to resign him. Philly had also offered him one, Toronto had offered a deal to him, and a host of other teams. You’re gonna tell me that if you had the money to outbid these other teams for a player you really need, you wouldn’t do it? Especially when YOU’RE TRYING to address your defensive problems? Common sense, maybe if you, and the other Ranger bashers weren’t so ignorant and looked at last year’s market, you’d see what I’m saying.

    New Jersey beyond Brodeur and Stevens isn’t that talented. They have a few other decent players, Elias, Niedermayer, and Rafalski, but it’s moreso the fact that they can just play trap well that helps them win. Trap clogs the neutral zone, which basically makes breakouts up the ice from opposing teams useless, it deadens them and you need almost perfect passing to beat the trap. 5 guys waiting in the Neutral Zone is hard to get around. I’d like to see them play trap without 2 line pass rule, that will screw them over so bad, or the widening of the rink. New Jersey will fall apart, one day. It’s coming soon, I can tell, especially after that game against Tampa Bay… New Jersey Assdevils is more like their new team name once Stevens retires.

  14. Kashin says:

    I agree with the first paragraph. They do a lot of trades with fiture big guys in it. eventually they get it right and then milbury gives himself a pat on the back. The worse point was that the Mad Mike thinks on certain deals he got the advantage. I like Yashin a lot being that he was always my favorite player. That deal is a toss up. Its more about waht they have given up. They get decent guys in return.

    I think goaltending isnt as bad as said. It will be average. I would say somewhere between 7th-10th in the east is realistic.

  15. swedishvoice says:

    Stevens is retireing in one to three years, but I still think the d will be good I mean Hale is a good prospect that reminds many of a yonger Stevens Martin also a prospec that reminds many of a yonger Nidermayer (boath just signed). Giroux is partly proven, he should have gotten more time last seson but what the hell Stevens, Nidermyer, White, Rafalski, Teverdovsky, Smehlik, Daneko, Albelin and partly Zuzin do i need to say more?

    He had 9 points in his first seson with the Islanders and have developed good in Sweden, Finland and in the AHL, he will be great.

    Than you have Sawn Brown, I was not to happy when he got signed but there have to be somthing to this guy, I mean he seames to be the no1 promo guy for the Devils right now so Lou must know something we don’t, and as a devils fan…

    In Lou we trust…

    The Devils D will be fine.

  16. Parks99 says:

    …….I dont think that Toronto is in any financial trouble. They are preparing for a salary cap that doesnt mean the money is not there.

  17. cheeze says:



  18. Sands says:

    I’m just going to laugh at you, cause your a nobody….. the main thing I have to say to you is…… I don’t like you, so make sure ya don’t trip here on this site, cause I’ll be there to make sure you never get up.

  19. Donovan says:

    Sorry d-man. I don’t think your telethon for dumbasses worked. Maybe you should try UNICEF boxes next.

    Hey Cheeze-Face, that button next to the A on your keyboard, see it, press it.

  20. JohnFlan22 says:

    Since you didn’t stay true to the tiltle I’ll try and do it for you. Here it is, what it will take each of these teams to win the cup this year.

    Devils: This team dumped there bottom 4 d-men and are going to have to count on farm hands to fill in. While there draft record is impecable for the most part I say they need 2 depth D-men incase of injury. If stevens or Neidermayer went down for awhile this team would struggle alot. Also They would be alot more exciting with A Number 1 Center to play with elias as he is wasted playing with scrubs from time to time.

    NYI: As a fan of this team I am biased and see more light at the end of the tunnel then you. I would say they are a Zigmund Palffy and Ken Klee away from the cup as they have no top sniper or solid Stay-at-home D-man on the roster that is a bruiser in there top 4. Dipietro will surprise this year, the defense is too talented to let him down and will make him look “really good” most games.

    NYR: This team is stacked, personally I think the only thiing thay have to do is switch the whole teams contract structure from guaranteed money to incentive based contracts and they would probably crush the entire league. they could use a top true LW and a Hatcher/ Chara Type on D and they would be right there at the top.

    Flyers: The team is stacked but getting older, have to win in the next 3 years or it’s back to the drawing board, The lockout will kill this team but at least they have some good youth to rebuild around, maybe for the better. They are an Elite goalie from the cup but Vernon and Osgood won cups with stacked teams and I would Hardley say that either were Elite goalies. They could use a Rob Blake type on D to push them over the top.

    Pens: A top LW, RW. A second line LW, RW and four top four D-men before they start even thinking about the playoffs. Will look much better after Lockout with Fleury probably almost ready by then to take the reighns and other young guys having experience.

    Thats my peace. Proceed with the Rippin’

  21. Captainspoon says:

    A scrapper? Did you happen to watch the playoffs? He was probably their most consistent defenseman. He doesn’t turn the puck over, he’s tough, and smart. he’s probably at least in the top 40 throughout the league.

  22. Habfan1234 says:

    The most talented team in the East is not the Flyers but the Sens. They probably have the best assortment of offensive talent in the NHL and one of the best defenisive cores in the NHL. I would also take Lalime over Hackett. I will go out on a limb here and predict that the Sens will be hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup this season.

    I could easily name five teams that are much worse than the Pens of this year and they are the 92-93 Sens, 93-94 Sens, 92-93 Sharks, 74-75 Caps, and the 75-76 Caps. The 92-93 Sens finished the season 10-70-4 (24 Pts.), the 93-94 Sens finished the season 14-61-9 (37 Pts.), the 92-93 Sharks finished the season 11-71-2 (24 Pts.), the 74-75 Caps finished the season 8-67-5 (21 Pts.), and the 75-76 Caps finished the season 11-59-10 (32 Pts.). So as you can see there are many teams in NHL history that had a worse configuration of players.

  23. great_one98 says:

    Richter Nedved Poti earn their money i will add. But everyone who plays on the rangers in my mind is overpayed.

  24. great_one98 says:

    27 points, geesh. That’s so little. Boy did they suck.

  25. great_one98 says:

    Yeah i forgot. Penguins can’t afford anything at this point. A top line lw would mean hlavac for them basically. A top line rw berezin if he comes cheap. Flyers have pitaken on D and hes’ great. So their D will be good for years to come.

  26. great_one98 says:

    Sorry about that. I’ll fix my mistakes in my next article as it will be my best yet. Although i still think my 1st was.

  27. mikster says:

    Dumb Italian from NY?

    Unacceptable, you’re out.

  28. aafiv says:

    The Roman Cechmanek trade was not pointless.

    Cechmanek was thoroughly inconsistent from game-to-game in the playoffs this year and, unlike the year before, the team in front of him was playing very well.

    It’s quite clear that the Flyers core was unhappy with him and would not be able to play well in front of him. Cechmanek’s presence in the locker room would be a distraction where the team is trying to build up its younger players.

    This was a development move on the part of the Flyers. Management has stated that the team will focus on the younger talent starting this season. It expects players like Gagne, Williams, Somik, and Esche to play a larger role. Having a distratcion like Roman Cechmanek in the locker room is not helpful to this end.

  29. Rysto says:

    You really overrate the Isles bottom three on defence. The top four are very good, but Martinek, Cairns and Timander are not. They hardly ever touched the ice during the playoffs, and that was a big reason why the Islanders lost so badly to the Sens.

  30. Aetherial says:

    Toronto is not even close to financial problems.

    Their ownership is primarily the Ontario Teachers Pension Fund. If they were not making 20-30 percent ROI each year you can bet the pension people would have pulled out.

    Also, I believe their overall ownership group is probably the richest in the league.

    They make money, a LOT of money.

  31. Levitate says:

    the rangers don’t have to lose any of their goaltenders by september…blackburn will go to hartford, dunham is the starter, markannen the backup…you can protect 2 goalies for the waiver draft, dunham and markannen will be protected, blackburn is still exempt

    richter is a nonfactor since he’s still suffering from post concussion syndrom…he’ll either retire or the rangers will expose him or whatever, doesn’t matter

  32. Peter_North says:

    Holes That Need Filling? I don’t even want to go there. Well…..maybe I do.


  33. GretzNYR99 says:

    HAHA, you got the boot.

    What Mikster means to say when you get the boot…


  34. GretzNYR99 says:

    LOL, 8 wins from the 74-75 Caps, the best team EVER right there.

  35. Donovan says:

    Toronto makes a profit of 25-35 million dollers a year. That must be close to tops in the league considering they don’t add anything in the offseason.

  36. TheHoJoMan says:

    Toronto made more profit this year than any other team in the league. Vancouver turned a a profit (around $6M) for the first time in years. Ottawa is also coming out of their cash strapped days but they still will have trouble breaking even. Montreal isn’t earning what they used to but they’re still alright. The only teams I really worry about are Edmonton and Calgary.

  37. TheHoJoMan says:

    Do you work for the NHLPA?

  38. great_one98 says:

    Got trashed more in PT.2. Well i will promise to actually to say which holes need to be filled next time.

  39. JohnFlan22 says:

    Yea pitkanen (sp) is gonna be a nice replacement and eventually an upgrade over Desjardin. Weinrich if they still have him is ok but again getting older and from what i hear the flyer fans want to run Therein (sp) out of town but yea, Pikanen and woywitka (sp) will be nice additions for them to build around after the lockout. Also why so little faith in Dipietro? The kid is mad talented and with the outlet passes he can make to guys like Jonsson, Hamrlik and Niinimaa he is gonna start mad oddman rushes. All he needs is expereince and he’s gonna be the man. my thoughts. -Flan

  40. JohnFlan22 says:

    Ehh, I’ll give you that Timander sucks and if Cairns isn’t mashing Corsons head in then he ain’t doin much but Martinek is actually very good. Last season he was recovering from knee surgery i believe but two seasons ago he was an integral part of the isles D befor the injury and def has potential to come back to that level. He has potential to be a No. 4 D on most teams in the league. Watch him this year, he will be a sleeper.

  41. vlad27 says:

    Let’s go over this…Philly offerred Holik 7….and you’re saying the Rangers “matched” this offer by giving him 9 and 5 years. Matching, my friend usually means offerring something equal or slightly greater to the best available contract. How an extra two million and a long term deal for a 3rd line center is a slight improvement I don’t know.

    And please, get over your inferiority complex with the Devils. Yah, yah, we know your team doesn’t make the playoffs and this one does so you have to bash it. The Devils trap to the same extent that many other power teams do including the Flyers, Anaheim and to a measure even Detroit. Believe it or not it takes talent and quickness to play Burns’ system.

    Anyway, the comment about the Devils crumbling with Stevens’ retirement is just asinine. We have enough good prospects to strengthen up our defense when he does (in about 3 years or whenever the Devils win their next cup, whichever first). The talent is there on the offense: Langenbrunner has always been clutch (see playoffs ’99 and ’03), Friesen found his stride during the second half of the season and scored almost a record number of game winning goals in the playoffs. Considering the fact that the lines kept on getting rearranged and these guys couldn’t find chemistry for a while, I think things are looking good for the next season and the conceivable future. If Parise lives up to his potential, we’ll have another Petr Sykora on our first line in 3 years.

  42. vlad27 says:

    Must’ve sucked to be a Caps fan from 74-76 (and up to now, really)

  43. OldNord says:

    lol. Bob Goodenow taken possession of him. We need an exorcist here!

  44. Sands says:

    SEE YA…… LIKE I SAID….. SUCKS WHEN YOUR DOWN, people in high places my friend….. have a good time in 9th grade English class, I sure ya Aced the class.

  45. devfanman4 says:


    The Devils are one of the deepest teams in the league. They have a lot of “role players” who know their roles as well. Friesen was a great acquisition, but Langenbrunner was just as good of a pick up for the Devils. Both players are young, speedy forwards that can continue to develop in the east. The only holes I see in their team right now is (oddly enough) their defense, but that problem will be addressed by calling up some of the young Rats players like Martin, DeMarchi, Giroux, and Hale. And plus, since they don’t have the best defense this year (that goes to Detroit), this will finally prove once and for all that Brodeur is a great goaltender.


    The Isles’ D and future in net are the bright spots on this team. Their offense could use a little work, although they have a lot of heart (sans Yashin of course). They have a lot of potential to pull of a Anaheim or Minnesota run if Dipietro lives up to his expectations.


    Amazing talent, yet no chemistry. That’s why the Isles and Devils are better than them at this point. I’m not sold on them making the playoffs yet. It depends on injuries and if Sather can motivate these guys enough to get them to work harder (not even to full potential). Plenty of firepower and with Dunham and Markkanen their defense is the only thing that could be improved.


    One of the strong teams in the East along with the Devils and Sens. The whole they’ve had for a very long time is in net. With this team though, they should be able to compete with whoever in the net. Cechmanek was traded because, as mentioned before, he’s inconsistent. Sure, he’s great to have during the regular season, but when a team sees him for 4 to 7 games in a row, he’s easily beatable.


    I wouldn’t call the Pens one of the worst teams ever assembled. I would put them in the same pool with Florida, Columbus, and Calgary. They have a lot of young players now and since they have no money, they are in rebuilding mode. Mario’s there just to draw a crowd. He’s not half the player he used to be (although half of Mario Lemieux is better than 99% of the league). Look for them to be competing again in 3 to 4 years.

  46. devfanman4 says:

    Your description of White is at least 2 years old. He used to be a scrapper who gave the puck away and took stupid penalties, but watching Stevens for 4 years has taught him alot. He’s the future of the Devils’ D.

  47. devfanman4 says:

    I heard White will be there to fill Stevens’ role once he retires…at least that’s what they’re hoping.

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