Offseason Grades for Every NHL Team, Mid-Lockout Edition
It's time for the NHL teams to get their report cards.
Some teams did a lot. Some teams did very little. Some of the teams that did a lot might not have improved, while teams that did little improved a lot.
If the NHL wasn't locked out right now, we would be seeing the results of all the offseason moves. However, fans will just have to wait to see them.
As for now, these are the grades for all 30 teams.
Key Additions: Daniel Winnik, Bryan Allen, Sheldon Souray
Departures: Jason Blake, Sheldon Brookbank, Niklas Hagman, George Parros, Lubomir Visnovsky
The Anaheim Ducks offseason was more about finally being able to dump the contracts of Jason Blake and Niklas Hagman. While the team lost one of the toughest players in its history, and traded away one of their best defenseman, Anaheim didn't do horribly.
Bringing in Bryan Allen and Sheldon Souray will help the defense, giving them more experience to go around their young defenders. Daniel Winnik will be a bottom-six player that might have an impact if he can learn to convert more of his shots into goals.
Key Additions: None
Departures: Joe Corvo, Benoit Pouliot, Brian Rolston
The Boston Bruins are one of the few teams in the NHL that did a whole lot of nothing in the offseason.
While they didn't necessarily need to bring in any new players, not making a change to a lineup that was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs might come back to haunt them.
Key Additions: Steve Ott, John Scott, Adam Pardy
Departures: Brad Boyes, Jochen Hecht, Derek Roy
The Buffalo Sabres had a small makeover in the offseason in order to have a tougher team.
Letting go of more skilled players like Brad Boyes and Derek Roy, to bring in tougher players like Steve Ott and John Scott, will make the team tougher but there could be repercussions.
Buffalo will now need to rely on young players to fill in and replace the production of Roy and Boyes. Cody Hodgson and Tyler Ennis will have a lot of pressure on them to perform above their potential very early on in their careers.
Key Additions: Jiri Hudler, Roman Cervenka, Dennis Wideman
Departures: Olli Jokinen, Tom Kostopoulos, David Moss
The Calgary Flames continued on their mission to delay a rebuild as long as they can.
While the Flames didn't lose much in the terms of skill, the players they brought in bring more skill to go around Jarome Iginla and Mike Cammalleri, while Jiri Hudler brings in experience playing for one of the best teams in the NHL.
Roman Cervenka had a breakout year in the KHL last season. Finally, Dennis Wideman gives the Flames a huge boost to their defense.
Key Additions: Jordan Staal, Alex Semin, Joe Corvo
Departures: Bryan Allen, Jaroslav Spacek, Brandon Sutter
While the Carolina Hurricanes lost a great young player in Brandon Sutter, and experienced defenders in Bryan Allen and Jaroslav Spacek, they had a great offseason.
The acquisition of Jordan Staal will not only make Jordan better, but it will also make his brother, Hurricanes' captain Eric, even better. Alex Semin could also be in the position to overcome his previous inconsistency.
Carolina could be in a great position to challenge for the Southeast Division crown this season.
Key Additions: Sheldon Brookbank
Departures: Andrew Brunette, Brendan Morrison
The Chicago Blackhawks are another team that didn't do much in the offseason. Letting go of veterans Andrew Brunette and Brendan Morrison proves that Chicago is ready to continue on with a younger lineup.
There's still a few veterans on the roster, but the Blackhawks are now led by Jonathan Toews alone. He's a great leader, but he's a young man and still has much to learn.
Key Additions: P.A. Parenteau, Greg Zanon
Departures: Jay McClement, Peter Mueller
The Colorado Avalanche moved out a depth player in Jay McClement and a skilled player who has injury problems in Peter Mueller. That might not affect them that much.
What will affect the team is how P.A. Parenteau plays with either Matt Duchene or Paul Stastny. If he can play anywhere close to the level he played with John Tavares, the Avalanche might have enough scoring to challenge for the last few playoff spots.
Additionally, Greg Zanon provides some experience for a young Avalanche defense.
Columbus Blue Jackets
Key Additions: Nick Foligno, Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Adrian Aucoin, Tim Erixon, Sergei Bobrovsky
Departures: Rick Nash, Kristian Huselius, Marc Methot
The Columbus Blue Jackets brought in a good core of a team. The problem is that the core they brought in could be a whole lot better. They all have talent, but not enough to bring the Blue Jackets out of the bottom of the league.
The loss of Rick Nash will cause problems as well.
Key Additions: Jaromir Jagr, Ray Whitney, Derek Roy
Departures: Adam Burish, Radek Dvorak, Steve Ott, Mike Ribeiro, Sheldon Souray
Another team with a small makeover, the Dallas Stars injected a lot of skill into their lineup during the offseason.
While the loss of Radek Dvorak, Steve Ott and Mike Ribeiro will be felt, the acquisitions of Jaromir Jagr, Ray Whitney and Derek Roy bring in a lot of scoring to Dallas. With Loui Eriksson and Jamie Benn already on the team, the Stars could cause other teams problems with their offense.
Detroit Red Wings
Key Additions: Mikael Samuelsson, Jordin Tootoo, Jonas Gustavsson
Departures: Niklas Lidstrom, Ty Conklin, Jiri Hudler, Brad Stuart
While the players that the Detroit Red Wings brought in aren't bad, they're not the players that Detroit was primarily after this offseason.
As we all now, Detroit really wanted Ryan Suter and to a lesser degree, Zach Parise. With the loss of Niklas Lidstrom, they needed a player like Suter. Without the addition of a defenseman to somewhat replace Lidstrom's production, Detroit could be in a lot of trouble.
Key Additions: Justin Schultz
Departures: Cam Barker
The Edmonton Oilers didn't do much in the offseason, but then again, they didn't need to. The acquisition of Justin Schultz gives the Edmonton Oilers yet another young piece to add to the core they already have.
Other than that, the loss of Cam Barker doesn't hurt and the drafting of Nail Yakupov? Well, it gives them yet another young player.
Key Additions: Peter Mueller, Filip Kuba, George Parros
Departures: Jason Garrison, Mikael Samuelsson
The Florida Panthers were one of the biggest surprises of the 2011-12 seasons. They are looking to keep that success going and make it farther in the playoffs.
The loss of Jason Garrison will hurt, but Filip Kuba has the chance to at least help with some of that production. Not in that he will be producing offense, but whoever his partner is will have an offensive impact.
If Peter Mueller can put his injury woes behind him, he could be a steal for the Panthers. George Parros will bring in the toughness that will discourage the other team's goons.
Los Angeles Kings
Key Additions: None
The Los Angeles Kings added no one and lost no one. As the defending Stanley Cup Champions, that is as good as anyone can hope for.
Key Additions: Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Zenon Kenopka
Departures: Kurtis Foster, Guillaume Lantendresse, Mike Lundin
Let's see: the Minnesota Wild lose players like Kurtis Foster, Mike Lundin and Guillaume Latendresse. They bring in players like Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.
I think anyone can surmise what grade the Wild is getting.
Key Additions: Brandon Prust, Colby Armstrong, Francis Bouillon
Departures: Chris Campoli, Mathieu Darche
Montreal didn't lose much, but what they brought in isn't going to make much difference to a team that had it's lowest finish in the standings since 2004.
Bringing in fourth-liners and a bottom-pairing defenseman will not do anything for a team that's fanbase will not welcome another losing season.
Key Additions: Chris Mason
Departures: Ryan Suter, Andrei Kostitsyn, Anders Lindback, Jordin Tootoo
This offseason for the Nashville Predators will not be remembered for who they acquired. it will be remembered for the team losing one of the best players and certainly one of their best defenseman in team history in Ryan Suter.
That loss alone gives Nashville a bad grade.
New Jersey Devils
Key Additions: None
Departures: Zach Parise
While at least Nashville did something in the offseason, the New Jersey Devils lost their captain and did absolutely nothing to replace him.
New York Islanders
Key Additions: Lubomir Visnovsky, Brad Boyes, Matt Carkner
Departures: P.A. Parenteau, Al Montoya, Jay Pandalfo
The New York Islanders are progressing towards being a playoff contender. They just need to learn to put it all together.
The acquisition of Lubomir Visnovsky will go a long way in improving the Islanders young defense. While Brad Boyes has underachieved in the past few seasons, the Islanders hope he can bounce back, possibly playing with John Tavares.
The loss of P.A. Parenteau will be felt, however, as he had great chemistry with Tavares.
New York Rangers
Key Additions: Rick Nash, Taylor Pyatt, Jeff Halpern, Aaron Asham
Departures: Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky, Tim Erixon, Ruslan Fedotenko, Brandon Prust
The New York Rangers got away with highway robbery in the team's acquisition of Rick Nash.
Not only did they acquire a superstar in Nash, they added extra depth that will be invaluable come playoff time.
Key Additions: Guillaume Latendresse, Marc Methot, Mike Lundin
Departures: Matt Carkner, Nick Foligno, Zenon Konopka, Filip Kuba
The Ottawa Senators surprised everyone when they made the playoffs last season and then proceeded to take the No. 1 seed New York Rangers to a full seven games.
That didn't keep the Senators from letting go of a couple of key players from their lineup, with Filip Kuba being the most glaring, as Erik Karlsson's former defense partner. Marc Methot looks to be Kuba's replacement. Hopefully, he can allow Karlsson to take the same risks he did last season.
Guillaume Latendresse replaces Nick Foligno and Mike Lundin replaces Matt Carkner. All in all, Ottawa lost some players and replaced them with very similar players.
Key Additions: Ruslan Fedotenko, Luke Schenn
Departures: James van Riemsdyk, Matt Carle, Jaromir Jagr, Pavel Kubina
Philadelphia lost some valuable defensemen in Matt Carle and Pavel Kubina. The loss of Carle could really hurt the Flyers with all the defensemen they have out with injury.
Luke Schenn provides some relief for the defense, but he needs to improve over his last season in Toronto if he wants to help the Flyers.
The Flyers also lost a lot of skill with the departures of James van Riemsdyk and Jaromir Jagr. Ruslan Fedotenko will come nowhere near replacing that lost production.
Key Additions: Steve Sullivan, David Moss, Zbynek Michalek
Departures: Adrian Aucoin, Daymond Langkow, Taylor Pyatt, Ray Whitney
The Phoenix Coyotes escaped a disaster when they were able to re-sign their captain Shane Doan. Other than that, bringing in the veteran experience of Steve Sullivan will definitely help the Coyotes stay at the same level for at least another season. David Moss provides more depth and bringing back Zbynek Michalek helps the defense.
The one thing that should worry Phoenix fans is that they lost a lot of veterans during the offseason.
Key Additions: Brandon Sutter, Tomas Vokoun, Tanner Glass
Departures: Jordan Staal, Aaron Asham, Zbynek Michalek, Steve Sullivan
Somehow, Pittsburgh Penguins dealt Jordan Staal and didn't look like losers in the deal. Bringing in Brandon Sutter to replace Staal will give Pittsburgh a third-line center that's more in line to be behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.
The acquisition of Tomas Vokoun gives the Penguins the best goaltending tandem in the league along with Marc-Andre Fleury.
St. Louis Blues
Key Additions: None
Departures: Jason Arnott, Jonathan Cheechoo, Carlo Coliacovo, B.J. Crombeen
The St. Louis Blues finally broke through last season as the top team in the tough Central Division. While they didn't make any moves to acquire new players via trade or free agency, the Blues are getting some new players with a full season with Jaden Schwartz and the newly-signed Vladimir Tarasenko.
The losses that St. Louis suffered shouldn't affect them that much as they have enough depth to replace them.
San Jose Sharks
Key Additions: Adam Burish, Brad Stuart
Departures: Daniel Winnik, Dominic Moore, Jim Vandermeer
The biggest move that San Jose made was bringing back defenseman Brad Stuart. That move gives the Sharks an even stronger defense, as they already have Dan Boyle, Brent Burns and Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
Adam Burish gives the Sharks another depth forward that will further solidify San Jose's bottom six.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Key Additions: Matt Carle, Sami Salo, Anders Lindback, Benoit Pouliot
Departures: Brett Clark, Mike Commodore, Dwayne Roloson, Ryan Shannon
One season after making it to the Eastern Conference Finals and taking the Boston Bruins to Game Seven, the Tampa Bay Lightning failed to make the playoffs. The two biggest reasons for that failure were their defense and goaltending.
Steve Yzerman made it a mission during the offseason to improve at those positions and he did just that. Matt Carle and Sami Salo will definitely improve on what was one of the worst defenses in the league.
Carle will help with shot-blocking and if Salo can stay healthy—which is doubtful—he will be able to help them on the offensive and defensive sides of the game.
Anders Lindback isn't a proven goalie but he should do much better than Dwayne Roloson did last season.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Key Additions: James van Riemsdyk, Jay McClement,
Departures: Luke Schenn, Colby Armstrong, Joey Crabb, Jonas Gustavsson
The Toronto Maple Leafs are another team where their grade will be more reflective on what they didn't do rather that what they did do.
The acquisitions of James van Riemsdyk and Jay McClement will help, but the Leafs needed a goaltender in the offseason. Maybe not a starter, but at least a veteran backup.
The only impactful loss the Leafs suffered was Luke Schenn and they willingly gave him up.
Key Additions: Jason Garrison
Departures: Samuel Pahlsson, Aaron Rome, Sami Salo
After being disappointed in the 2011 Stanley Cup Finals, the Vancouver Canucks didn't even make it out of the first round in this past year's playoffs.
The Canucks wanted to improve their defense and that's just what they did with the home-town Jason Garrison. Playing in the relative obscurity of Florida, Garrison has slowly developed and is ready to play in a big city.
Key Additions: Mike Ribeiro, Wojtek Wolski, Joey Crabb
Departures: Mike Knuble, Alex Semin, Tomas Vokoun, Dennis Wideman
The Washington Capitals took a big risk letting Alex Semin go. With Semin gone to the Carolina Hurricanes, the move could come back to haunt them. The loss of Dennis Wideman will also be felt as the team's defense is a bit on the young side.
The players that Washington acquired, with the exception of Mike Ribeiro, are all depth players. Ribeiro will be a good second-line player for them, while Joey Crabb is a reliable bottom-six forward.
The Capitals are hoping that Wojtek Wolski can finally break away from his inconsistency and play to his potential.
Key Additions: Olli Jokinen, Alexei Ponikarovsky, Al Montoya
Departures: Eric Fehr, Tanner Glass, Chris Mason
The Winnipeg Jets acquired what probably is their best first-line center in team history (including Atlanta) in Olli Jokinen. How that is possible, I'll never know, but he is far better than what they had previously.
If Jokinen can help Winnipeg's wingers get on the scoreboard more, there shouldn't be that much of a problem. Alexei Ponikarovsky could reform the chemistry he had with Nik Antropov in Toronto.
Al Montoya is more than capable replacement for Chris Mason.
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