Where does each team go after the playoffs.
Were down to the conference Finals, and we are left with four teams that no one would have predicted. Well maybe some crazy forecaster predicted Edmonton after the Pronger and Peca aquisitions, but Im sure they’d have to been drunk to call that.
Once the playoffs are said and done, we’ll all sit glued watching what should be a crazy race into next season.
Im gonna go ahead and speculate a bit where each team should sit going into next season.
Anaheim – First off, who would of thought. Secondly, who would of thought they’d do it with a goalie no one has heard off. Burke has a history of finding a way to ice competative teams, and he may of iced the Stanley Cup team this year. I can’t forsee much movement in Anaheim over the summer though. I think Brian will resign his key players led by Selanee. Maybe we see Giguere traded if the right package comes back to Anaheim, but I’m quite sure Brian would rather keep both of his goalies so that he can avoid a potential disaster if Bryzgalof(sp) suddenly sinks next season.
Atlanta – Potentially the team to watch in the east next year. A healthy Lehtonen can make a huge difference in the standings. I’ve got my eyes on the Savard situation. Something tells me they can ill afford to lose him without a suitable replacement!
Boston – With no clear cut starting goalie, and a bone head trade that will forever linger on this team I think Boston fans are in for a long rebuilding stage. They may look to flip Murray if someone will take that hefty contract.
Buffalo – They just need to resign their players. Don’t see a need to do much more than that.
Calgary – Only 1 key addition needed. If Atlanta lets Savard walk, then I think the Flames have found the missing puzzle link. Savard in my opinion will make Iginla into a 60 goal scorer!
Carolina – I think Recchi stays now that Patrick is out of Pittsburgh. Weight may opt to leave though, and that doesn’t really effect the core on this team. They will need a vetran back up for Ward, and should look to add a good scoring d-man to gel with team philosy. They should go after Mccabe in my opinion.
Chicago – They would love to rid themselves of Khabibulins contarct. Well I have the perfect way to do that. To Tampa: Khabibulin, To Montreal: Richards, To Chicago: Aeibischer and Ryder. Also one should not forget that Chi-town has a ton of cap room.
Colorado – Sakic yes, Blake wont, and a hopefully resurgent Theodore are what surrounds this team. Can’t see them doing much.
Columbus – Last off seaosn we were left saying where the hell did that team come from with that aquisition a couple of times. Columbus was one of those times when they signed Foote. I’m willing to bet that they will at least be active in the offer category this summer.
Dallas – Arnot will probably leave, and cause a big stir in Dallas this summer by doing so. They have money to be active, but so do a lot of other teams.
Detroit – Zetterberg’s contracts signing early last year was the Wings golden ticket of the century. He is by far the best 2.5 million dollar player in the NHL. I have to wonder if they have one more golden ticket in them. It won’t be to LUONGO before we find out!
Edmonton – Simple logic here for the Oilers. Re-sign
everyone that isn’t under contract. See how easy that was.
Florida – Jokinen was a good start. Luongo is second, and they need him. After that, its all about being lucky to find in-expensive players that over achieve!
LA – Crawford should be named soon. Other than that, I think its quite important to make sure Vladamire Guerrero gets a good #3 hitter to hit infront of him. Oops, wrong LA team. I wonder if Guerrero can play RW, and C, and LW, and G……..
Minnessota – The fate of this franchise lies in its ability to shore up Gaborik long term at any cost. Then go out and find this stud a freakin’ centre man.
Montreal – If the Chicago deal doesn’t happen(see above) then maybe they’d be best suited to make a serious run at Arnott.
Nashville – Just resign your players. This team was a healthy Vokoun away from the finals in my opinion.
New Jersey – Gionta restricted. Gomez restricted. Elias un-restricted. One of these players will not return simply because NJ wont have the cap space. So I say bye bye Elias, and hello NJ hockey decline!
NY Islanders – I guess its safe to say we wont see any bone headed moves without Milbury running the ship. Too Bad though, it made for exciting conversation.
NY Rangers – Would Elias add himself to the Czech Rangers to solidify their Czech content?
Ottawa – One of Redden or Chara will not be back. Further more I would pull off a blockbuster with the Canucks. To Van: Alfredsson, To Ott: Bertuzzi.
And name Heatly the Captain.
Philadelphia – Bobby Clarke went for it and failed miserably. I dont have a clue how the Flyers can right this ship, but re-signing Gagne is a must!
Phoenix – Joseph will re-sign, Gretzky will still coach, and I wont be suprised to see Doan dealt. After that, maybe a sun tan and a Steve Nash autographed basketball.
Pittsburgh – To sell or not to sell. To bring in and pay huge for Malkin or not. To drive to Philly for a cheese steak or to drive to Philly for 2 cheese steaks. Hard decisions lie ahead for the Penguins.
San Jose – I honestly can’t see them doing much, nor do they really need it. Perhaps a new conditioning coach so they dont lose their legs come playoff time. They could call up Boston and see if the Bruins are willing to give them something for nothing again. Maybe we see Boyes, Murray and a signed poster from the cast of Cheers traded for a Thornton game worn jersey.
St.Louis – Managed to actually play better towards seasons end by going with their limited youth. I say keep getting younger and build for the future.
Tampa Bay – Need goaltending badly. I also think they are in need of retaining Richards. How about St Louis to Toronto for this years 1st overall, that way they clear cap space for Brad. Might make an offer to Legace.
Toronto – Simply put, they will be the busiest team this off season. Not too sure how many big aquisitions they’ll get, but im sure JFJ will atleast end up with good ones.
Vancouver – Bertuzzi will be gone. Naslund will ask to be traded mid way through the season. The Canucks will hit re-build mode.
Washington – Simply build around Ovechkin. They have a good amount of cap space to quickly put themselves into the playoffs again next season. Question is how many UFA’s want to play in Washington. For me its to close to Bush, and I hate Bush.
As I said before I anticipate quite a lot of movement this summer. I can’t wait!