Offseason NHL Acquisitions That Have Already Paid Off
With the lockout forcing the kickoff of the NHL season until 2013, teams had to wait longer than usual to see how their offseason handiwork would pay off.
Luckily for some squads, new additions to the team are already playing dividends, whether they are a hot goaltender like Anaheim’s Victor Fasth or a power forward like New York’s Rich Nash.
Here is a list of offseason additions who have gotten off to strong starts in their new uniforms.
All statistics via ESPN.
The Anaheim Ducks may have not known it at the time, but the team struck gold when they signed Victor Fasth to a deal last May.
The Swedish goaltender has been a large reason for the Ducks' surprising start on the season. Fasth sports a 2.08 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage.
More importantly, when Fasth plays, the Ducks win. Fasth has a 9-1-1 record on the season as the Ducks are off to a fast start, currently standing at second in the Western Conference behind only the sizzling Chicago Blackhawks.
Fasth has played so well he has already earned a 2-year, $5.8 million extension from the Ducks.
Expectations were high when the New York Rangers traded for power forward Rick Nash over the offseason. Nash was supposed to be the missing piece in the team’s quest for its first Stanley Cup in nearly two decades.
While the former Columbus Blue Jackets star hasn’t exactly torn up opposing defenses, he has been a strong presence in the New York lineup.
Nash has five goals and eleven assists in 16 games, leading the team in scoring. The former No. 1 overall draft pick is also spending an average time on ice of 21:16, which represents a career high.
In a full season Nash is capable of scoring 40-plus goals, so the Rangers would like to see his offensive production increase as the team currently sits at ninth in the Eastern Conference, just out of the playoffs.
But Nash has displayed a complete game in New York and so far has been a solid acquisition by the Blueshirts.
If before the season anyone told you forward Mike Ribeiro would lead the Washington Capitals in scoring nearly halfway through the year, you would think they were lying. But unfortunately for Washington, that’s the type of season they are having.
The Capitals sit near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings as superstar forward Alexander Ovechkin has just eight goals and eight assists on the season.
Ribeiro on the other hand has fit in quite nicely in his first season in Washington. The veteran forward has seven goals and 17 assists on the season, producing at more than a point-per-game pace.
All in all, Ribeiro has served as one of the lone bright spots on a dismal Capitals season.
The Minnesota Wild signed defenseman Ryan Suter and forward Zach Parise to matching 13-year, $98 million contracts in the offseason. Of the two, Suter has gotten off to a particularly strong start.
While he has yet to score a goal on the season, the American defenseman has 14 helpers on the year and leads the NHL in time on ice, averaging an insane 27:26 per game.
Additionally, Suter has helped shore up the Wild defense. The team ranks seventh in the NHL in goals against per game and fifth in penalty-kill percentage, stopping opposing power play units 86.2 percent of the time.
The Wild currently sit just two points out of the Northwest Division lead, and Suter is a major reason for Minnesota’s turnaround.
The Colorado Avalanche signed forward P.A. Parenteau to a big four-year, $16 million contract in the offseason. So far, so good for the Avs and Parenteau.
The Canadian forward has nine goals and nine assists in 20 games this season and leads the team in goals scored after potting 18 goals and 67 points with the New York Islanders last year.
Thanks to a logjam in the Western Conference, Colorado currently sits just four points back of the eighth and final playoff spot out West. If Parenteau continues his very strong play, he could lead the Avalanche to the postseason.
The veteran defenseman has looked sharp in his first season with the Anaheim Ducks after signing a three-year deal with the team last summer.
Souray ranks eighth in the NHL with a plus/minus of +13 and has four goals and four assists on the season. The 6’4”, 237-pound defenseman is also averaging 21:23 per game on the ice.
At 36, Souray isn’t a long-term investment for the Ducks. But for a team looking to contend for their second Stanley Cup championship this season, Souray is a strong signing.
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