Sunday, August 30, 2009

Off-Season Report card- West

1) As we did a few days ago with the Eastern Conference we will go team by team out West and discuss their off season moves. Yes, we agree, we're harsh graders! ; )

  • Anaheim Duck: Finished 8th with 91 points. Lost important defenders in Francois Beauchemin and Chris Pronger. Added Boynton, Saku Koivu and Lupul, so overall the Ducks will be a much better team up front, but now their question marks will be on the back line. Overall they did the best they could under tough circumstances. Grade B-

  • Calgary Flame: Finished 5th with 98 points. Of course the biggest addition was Jay Bouwmeester. Lost Michael Cammalleri and Adrian Aucoin. We're not huge Bouwmeester fans,but he should improve their backline to be one of the better in the tough West. Will be tough to replace the offense of Cammalleri. Grade C

  • Chicago Blackhawk: Finished 4th with 104 points. Biggest move of course was the dismissal of GM Dale Tallon. Lost Matt Walker Nikolai Khabibulin Samuel Pahlsson and Martin Havlat . The biggest pick up was RW Marian Hossa, 12 years, $62.8M , but apparently he was damaged goods? How could they not know this? Also obtained Tomas Kopecky, and John Madden. The loss of Khabibulin could be the most hurtful as he was the #1 guy and the heir apparent, Huet has yet to show he is capable of winning in the spring. Grade: C

  • Colorado Avalanche: Finished 15th with 69 points. Big losses in the loss of Sakic(retired), and Ryan Smyth(trade). Biggest addition is draftee Matt Duchesne who we hear is the real deal. Avs also lost Ian Laperriere, and Tyler Arnason. Added Tom Preissing to help the defense and goalie Craig Anderson to hopefully give the team a true #1 goalie next season. Probably this is the best that newbie GM Greg Sherman could do, but this team still has oodles of holes. Grade C-

  • Columbus Blue Jackets: Finished 7th with 92 points. Picked up defensive forward Samuel Pahlsson. Have apparently severed ties with Christian Backman, Jason Williams, , Manny Malhotra, Michael Peca, and Chris Gratton. Freeing up some cap space to sign Paulsson and give Nash a long term deal. Grade B-

  • Dallas Star: Finished 12th with 83 points. Lost Steve Begin, Chris Conner , Brendan Morrison and D Sergei Zubov. Added Karlis Skrastins. The payroll cutting in Dallas is evident! It doesn't bode well for 09-10. Grade D+

  • Detroit Red Wing: Finished 2nd with 112 points. On paper appears that this was a dreadful off season for the West Champs. They lost Marion Hossa, Tomas Kopecky, Mikael Samuelsson and Jiri Hudler. They replaced those with Todd Bertuzzi, Andy Delmore, Patrick Eaves, and Jason Williams. We're not impressed, and could see the Wings fall significantly in 09-10. Grade F+

  • Edmonton Oiler: Finished 11th with 85 points Let go Ales Kotalik and Dwayne Roloson and replaced them with Nikolai Khabibulin. In the short run an improvement in net. Not sure we'd of given the 36 year old Bulin Wall 4 years. Grade C+

  • Los Angeles King: Finished 14th with 79 points. Added playoff hero Rob Scuderi to bolster their back line. Big money, but he should help on and off the ice. Also added Ryan Smyth. Not the player he was 5 or so years ago, but another character player the young Kings could use. Grade B+

  • Minnesota Wild: Finished 9th with 89 points. Lost Marian Gaborik , Kurtis Foster and Krys Kolanos. To replace those pieces the Wild added Martin Havlat, and Shane Hnidy. In our opinion basically lateral moves. One injury prone big Euro for another. Grade C

  • Nashville Predator: Finished 10th with 88 points. No big moves in The Music City. They lost depth players Vernon Fiddler, Ville Koistinen and Scott Nichol, and added winger Ben Guite. They are hoping the return of Steve Sullivan puts them back into the post season. Grade C

  • Phoenix Coyote: Finished 13th with 79 points. Total chaos to put it mildly with the circus that's occurring to gain control over the money pit in Glendale Arizona. To his credit GM Don Maloney hasn't appeared to allow these mega distractions alter his plan(Now if he could only unload the under performing coach-Wayne Gretzky!). They added Jason LaBarbera, , Vernon Fiddler, , Adrian Aucoin, Radim Verbata, and Lauri Korpikoski. Grade B-

  • St. Louis Blue: Finished 6th with 92 points. Biggest addition was goalie Ty Conklin who gives the Blues a solid tandem with Chris Mason. Lost overpaid/oft injured rearguard Jay McKee. With their mid season turn around, and solid mix of vets and youngsters the Blues didn't need much of an over haul. For the first time Keith Tkachuk's salary is more in range of what he might contribute. Grade C+

  • San Jose Shark: Finished 1st with 117 points. Did very little. Of course they were the best NHL team(in he regular season) However they (again) choked so one would believe that changes would follow? Rumors persist that Marleau,who was just striped of his captaincy, is on his way out, perhaps in a Heatley deal? They need to do something to change the choking dynamic. Grade D
  • Vancouver Canuck: Finished 3rd with 100 points. Biggest move was undoubtedly to resign the Sedin twins. Good for them that they didn't over pay or give a ridiculous double digit deal. Also added Mikael Samuelsson, and Andrew Raycroft. Losing long time defender Mattias Ohland. For their own good, hopefully they stay away from any Mats Sundin discussion. Grade B-


Lyle said...

Harsh grader indeed! No A's?

Mad Monk said...

I agree with Lyle, you're tough Faux. Detroit gets an F?

The Co-Pilot said...

I garee that we did a nice job this summer to fill the holes. We are gonna surprise a few teams this season for sure. I can't wait for the drop of the puck

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