Grading the Offseason Moves of Each NHL Team

Tom Urtz Jr.Contributor IJuly 30, 2012

Grading the Offseason Moves of Each NHL Team

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    The month of July is slowly coming to a close, and each NHL franchise has a pretty good idea of the players they will invite to training camp in a few short weeks. Each NHL team's roster has changed this summer for the better or the worse.

    Free agents have signed in new cities, teams have completed blockbuster trades and the landscape of the NHL as we knew it has changed.

    This slideshow will grade the offseason moves of each team based on how teams improved or failed to improve.

Anaheim Ducks

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    Notable Transactions

    + Sheldon Souray

    + Bryan Allen

    + Brad Staubitz 

    – Lubomir Visnovsky

    – George Parros

     

    The Anaheim Ducks have had an average offseason. The rumors surrounding Bobby Ryan continue to circulate, and that could have an impact on the rest of the summer in the NHL. Anaheim lost key enforcer George Parros and replaced him with Brad Staubitz.

    The Ducks also shored up their blue line with Sheldon Souray and Bryan Allen. Both are veteran defenders, and they should add depth to the Ducks' blue line.

     

    Grade: B-

Boston Bruins

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    Notable Transactions:

    N/A

     

    With the exception of handing out new deals to Gregory Campbell, Chris Kelly and Daniel Paille, the Boston Bruins have not made any moves this summer. They have remained quiet in trade talks, and they didn't feel the need to make a splash during free agency.

     

    Grade: N/A

Buffalo Sabres

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    Notable Transactions:

    + John Scott 

    + Steve Ott

    + Adam Pardy

    – Derek Roy

     

    The Buffalo Sabres added some size and grit this offseason in an attempt to become a tougher team. However, they didn't get a great return when they ended up trading Derek Roy to Dallas.

    Although Roy has had some down years recently, he is a skilled player who could have garnered a larger return.

    While draft pickups Zemgus Girgensons and Mikhail Grigorenko could end up replacing Roy's production, right now there are no guarantees.

     

    Grade: C

Calgary Flames

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    Notable Transactions:

    + Jiri Hudler

    + Roman Cervenka 

    + Dennis Wideman

    – Olli Jokinen

     

    The Calgary Flames have had a solid offseason. They replaced the departing Olli Jokinen with Roman Cervenka, a Czech center who last played with Avangard Omsk of the KHL. He is only 26 years old, and he could really fit in with countryman and free-agent acquisition Jiri Hudler.

    Dennis Wideman will also help the Flames' offensive punch on the blue line.

     

    Grade: A-

Carolina Hurricanes

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    Notable Transactions:

    + Alex Semin

    + Jordan Staal

    + Joe Corvo

    – Brandon Sutter

    – Brian Dumoulin 

     

    The Carolina Hurricanes really hit a homer this summer with key free-agent signings and trades made. The acquisition of Jordan Staal will help Eric Staal's game and overall play, Alex Semin will bolster the Canes' top-six and Joe Corvo will also give the team an increased defensive depth.

    When you take into account that the Canes' top six will feature J. Staal, E. Staal, Semin, Jeff Skinner, Tuomo Ruutu and Jiri Tlusty, it only speaks to Carolina's overall depth.

     

    Grade: A

Chicago Blackhawks

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    Notable Transactions:

    + Sheldon Brookbank

     

    The Chicago Blackhawks are a team that has an established top-six and a solid defense core, so there weren't tons of moves to be made this summer. They were a team that pushed hard for Zach Parise, but ultimately he ended up with Minnesota.

    Sheldon Brookbank is a defenseman who will add some depth to the Hawks' bottom pairings.

     

    Grade: B 

Colorado Avalanche

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    Notable Transactions:

    + P.A. Parenteau

    + John Mitchell

    + Greg Zanon

    + Jamie McGinn

     

    The Colorado Avalanche made some solid acquisitions this summer. Not only did the Avs retain some key RFAs, but they added offense with by signing P.A. Parenteau, some depth with forward and penalty kill specialist John Mitchell and defensive stability when they added Greg Zanon and re-signed Jamie McGinn.

    The Avs are a young team that really has a lot to look forward to in the coming years.

     

    Grade: B+

Columbus Blue Jackets

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    Notable Transactions:

    – Rick Nash

    – Marc Methot

    + Artem Anisimov

    + Brandon Dubinsky

    + Tim Erixon

    + Adrian Aucoin

    + Sergei Bobrovsky

    + Nick Foligno

     

    Scott Howson finally decided to trade Rick Nash, and he feels that he made the best possible deal. The New York Rangers ultimately had offered more for Nash at the trade deadline than the offer Howson finally accepted.

    The overall additions the Blue Jackets made will improve the team significantly, but the loss of Rick Nash will hurt the team.

    Erixon is a top defensive prospect who could become an anchor on the Jackets' blue line. If Sergei Bobrovsky can continue his solid play, he could really help the Jackets become a better team.

     

    Grade: B-

Dallas Stars

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    Notable Transactions:

    + Ray Whitney 

    + Jaromir Jagr

    + Aaron Rome 

    + Derek Roy 

    + Cody Eakin

    – Mike Ribeiro

    – Steve Ott

    – Adam Pardy

     

    The Dallas Stars made some interesting moves this summer. It was not too long ago that the Stars parted ways with Mike Modano when they looked to get younger. However, this summer they got older by adding Ray Whitney and Jaromir Jagr.

    The team also dealt Mike Ribeiro and acquired Derek Roy, Cody Eakin and Aaron Rome. When you factor in the Stars' additions, they made a huge splash, but it will have to pay off soon.

     

    Grade: A-

Detroit Red Wings

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    Notable Transactions:

    + Mikael Samuelsson 

    + Jordin Tootoo 

    + Jonas Gustavsson

    – Nicklas Lidstrom

    – Brad Stuart

     

    There was a huge changing of the guard this offseason. Nicklas Lidstrom has retired, Brad Stuart went home to San Jose and the Wings were unable to sign Zach Parise or Ryan Suter even though it was expected that the former Predator would sign there.

    Mikael Samuelsson and Jordin Tootoo were solid bottom-line additions, and Jonas Gustavsson is a suitable backup for Jimmy Howard.

    Despite these additions, the Wings did not adequately replace the gaping holes left by Stuart and Lidstrom.

     

    Grade: C-

Edmonton Oilers

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    Notable Transactions:

    + Justin Schultz

     

    The only major move the Edmonton Oilers made this offseason was the acquisition of Justin Schultz. Schultz is a top defensive prospect who was formerly property of the Anaheim Ducks, and he finished up a stint at the University of Wisconsin.

    Schultz is a top-notch prospect who is expected to join the Oilers out of training camp.

     

    Grade: B

Florida Panthers

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    Notable Transactions:

    + Filip Kuba

    + George Parros

    + Peter Mueller

    + Casey Wellman

    – Wojtek Wolski

    – Jason Garrison

     

    The Florida Panthers made some moves this summer that make sense given the direction their youth movement is going. Jonathan Huberdeau, Nick Bjustad and Jacob Markstrom are young top prospects who could get their shinning moment in the Sunshine State very soon.

    In the meantime, the Panthers added forwards Peter Mueller, Casey Wellman, George Parros and lost Wojtek Wolski and Jason Garrison.

    Filip Kuba returned to the Panthers and will add some limited offense on the blue line.

    The loss of Garrison's shot could result in a decline in power-play efficiency, but Jonathan Huberdeau could help in that area.

     

    Grade: B-

Los Angeles Kings

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    Notable Transactions:

    N/A

     

    The Los Angeles Kings are the defending Stanley Cup champions, and other than re-signing Dustin Penner, Jarrett Stoll and a few others, the Kings stayed quiet.

    Lombardi should be commended for retaining key members of the team before they were able to hit the free-agent market.

     

    Grade: N/A


Minnesota Wild

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    Notable Transactions:

     

    + Zach Parise 

    + Ryan Suter 

    + Torrey Mitchell

    + Zenon Konopka

     

    The Minnesota Wild made the biggest splash in free agency. They added an offensive scorer in Zach Parise, a solid all-around defender in Ryan Suter and some depth players in Torrey Mitchell and Zenon Konopka.

    The Wild swung for the fences and hit a home run in their moves. They will become a stronger team for the foreseeable future.

     

    Grade: A+

Montreal Canadiens

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    Notable Transactions:

    + Brandon Prust 

    + Francis Bouillon

    + Colby Armstrong

     

    The Montreal Canadiens made some interesting signings this offseason. They signed tough guy Brandon Prust to a four-year deal worth $10 million. They also took a flyer on Colby Armstrong by signing him to a one-year deal 

    The Canadiens also locked up Carey Price long-term and are still working on extending PK Subban.

     

    Grade: C

Nashville Predators

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    Notable Transactions:

    + Chris Mason

    + Sébastien Caron

    + *Shea Weber

    – Ryan Suter

    – Anders Lindback

     

    The Nashville Predators traded Anders Linback to the Tampa Bay Lightning and received Sébastien Caron in exchange. Free-agent netminder Chris Mason also decided to sign in Nashville.

    The Predators also lost Ryan Suter, and they were put in big financial bind when they matched an offer sheet Shea Weber signed with the Philadelphia Flyers.

    Weber is locked up for the next 14 years, and he will make $26 million dollars in the next calendar year.

    Although they kept Weber, it was at an absurd price.

     

    Grade: C-

New Jersey Devils

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    Notable Transactions 

    + Krys Barch

    – Zach Parise

    – Alexei Ponikarovsky

     

    The New Jersey Devils have gone from Eastern Conference champions to a team that will struggle in 2012-13. Whenever a team loses their captain, it has a significant impact on the team.

    The loss of Parise will force other players to step up, and it could impact whether or not players re-sign in New Jersey next season.

    Travis Zajac is a solid young center and one of Parise's closest friends. With Parise gone, one would assume that Zajac could follow his former linemate to the "Land of 10,000 Lakes."

    If Devils fans thought this offseason was bad, wait until next July when David Clarkson and Patrik Elias hit the free-agent market.

    The Krys Barch signing makes little sense when you consider the similar role players the Devils already employ.

     

    Grade: D

New York Islanders

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    Notable Transactions:

    – P.A. Parenteau

    + Matt Carkner

    + Brad Boyes

    ? Lubomir Visnovsky

     

    The New York Islanders lost P.A. Parenteau and replaced him with a former 40-goal scorer in Brad Boyes who has an aggregate of 39 goals in the past four seasons. They added tough guy Matt Carkner and attempted to add Lubomir Visnovsky.

    The status of the trade is currently in limbo because Visnovsky has contested the validity of the trade.

    Nonetheless, the Islanders lost a significant amount of offense in Parenteau.

     

    Grade: C-

New York Rangers

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    Notable Transactions:

    + Rick Nash

    +Taylor Pyatt 

    + Jeff Halpern 

    + Arron Asham

    – Tim Erixon

    – Artem Anisimov

    – Brandon Dubinsky

    – Brandon Prust

     

    The New York Rangers made a huge splash last week when they acquired Rick Nash. They parted with two top-nine forwards in Anisimov and Dubinsky and lost a top defensive prospect in Tim Erixon, but they made out like kings in the trade.

    The Rangers also added face-off specialist Jeff Halpern and two bottom-nine forwards in Aaron Asham and Taylor Pyatt.

    Overall, the Rangers were one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. They added Rick Nash, a healthy Marc Staal and potentially a healthy Michael Sauer.

     

    Grade: A

Ottawa Senators

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    Notable Transactions:

    + Marc Methot

    + Guillaume Latendresse

    – Nick Foligno

     

    The Ottawa Senators added a top-four defenseman in Marc Methot, added a depth player in Latendresse and lost a young forward with upside in Nick Foligno.

    The Senators are also still awaiting word on whether or not Daniel Alfredsson will be returning next season.

     

    Grade: C+

Philadelphia Flyers

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    Notable Transactions:

    + Luke Schenn

    + Ruslan Fedotenko

    + Bruno Gervais

    – James van Riemsdyk

    – Jaromir Jagr

    – Matt Carle

     

    The Philadelphia Flyers swung for the fences when they went to sign Shea Weber to a 14-year offer sheet. However, the Predators went to match that sheet. The Flyers also acquired Luke Schenn, Ruslan Fedotenko and Bruno Gervais.

    These additions were solid, but they pale in comparison to what the Flyers lost. Losing JVR, Jagr and Carle will ultimately have an impact on the Flyers' overall depth.

     

    Grade: C+

Phoenix Coyotes

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    Notable Transactions:

    + Zbynek Michalek 

    + Steve Sullivan

    – Ray Whitney

     

    The Phoenix Coyotes lost their top scorer Ray Whitney in free agency. They also signed Steve Sullivan and re-acquired Zbynek Michalek from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    Overall, it was a summer where the Coyotes lost big, especially considering that Greg Jamison's group is $20 million short in terms of funding to buy the team.

     

    Grade: C+

Pittsburgh Penguins

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    Notable Transactions:

    + Brandon Sutter

    + Brian Dumoulin 

    + Tomas Vokoun

    + Tanner Glass

    – Jordan Staal

    – Aaron Asham

     

    The Penguins made a solid move trading Jordan Staal at the draft. They added a suitable third-line center in Brandon Sutter and a solid prospect in Brian Dumoulin.

    Prior to that, the Pens signed Tomas Vokoun to be a solid backup netminder. Tanner Glass will also make the team more physical, and he replaces Aaron Asham.

    Overall, the Penguins had an average summer.

     

    Grade: B-

San Jose Sharks

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    Notable Transactions:

    + Brad Stuart

    + Adam Burish

    – Andrew Murray

     

    The Sharks made a great move in bringing back Brad Stuart to be an anchor on the blue line. He is a solid defenseman who will really help the team.

    The acquisition of Adam Burish should make Joe Pavelski happy as the two were teammates in college.

    Overall, the Sharks may have missed out on Nash, but they did strengthen their blue line.

    Grade: B-

St. Louis Blues

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    Notable Transactions: 

    N/A

     

    The St. Louis Blues did not make any moves outside of retaining key free agents. The Blues obviously like their chances as is, so it will be interesting to see if they are more active at the trade deadline.

     

    Grade: N/A

Tampa Bay Lightning

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    Notable Transactions:

    + Matt Carle 

    + Anders Lindback 

    + Sami Salo 

    + Benoit Pouliot 

    – Mike Commodore

    – Dwayne Roloson

     

    Steve Yzerman really has done a great job this offseason. The addition of Matt Carle and Sami Salo will bolster the team's blue line, Anders Lindback has future starting goaltender potential, and Benoit Pouliot is a solid bottom-nine forward.

     

    Grade: A

Toronto Maple Leafs

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    Notable Transactions:

    + James van Riemsdyk

    – Luke Schenn

    – Jonas Gustavsson

     

    The Toronto Maple Leafs still need to address their need for a starting netminder, but they added a scorer they needed in James van Riemsdyk.

    The loss of Luke Schenn won't hurt as much considering the emergence of Jake Gardiner.

     

    Grade: B-

Vancouver Canucks

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    Notable Transactions:

    + Jason Garrison

    – Sami Salo

     

    The Canucks dropped one defenseman and added another. Jason Garrison is a younger offensive defenseman, and he has a booming shot that could drastically help the team's power play. Salo was older and injury-prone, so the acquisition of Garrison makes tons of sense.

     

    Grade: B


Washington Capitals

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    Notable Transactions:

    + Mike Ribeiro

    + Joey Crabb

    + Wojtek Wolski

    – Alex Semin

    – Cody Eakin

    – Dennis Wideman

     

    The Capitals made a few moves this summer. They acquired Mike Ribeiro in exchange for prospect Cody Eakin, and they lost defenseman Dennis Wideman and top forward Alex Semin.

    If the Capitals' 2012 first-round selection Filip Forsberg can pan out as planned in a few years, the loss of Semin won't sting as much.

     

    Grade: C+

Winnipeg Jets

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    Notable Transactions:

    + Olli Jokinen

    + Alexei Ponikarovsky 

    + Al Montoya

    – Chris Mason

     

    The Winnipeg Jets made some solid moves in adding top-six center Olli Jokinen, bottom-nine forward Alexei Ponikarovksy and backup netminder Al Montoya.

    Overall, it was an average offseason for the Jets.

     

    Grade: B-