Stock Watch for Every NHL Team After Offseason Changes

Allan MitchellFeatured ColumnistJuly 13, 2014

Stock Watch for Every NHL Team After Offseason Changes

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Every NHL team enters the offseason with a list of needs and a plan of action to solve their problems. Despite their best efforts, most teams don't find an ideal fit for every need.

    This year the trade market has been less than substantial, while there are few draft picks ready to step in and help. Most of the improvement—real or imagined—has come to each team via free-agent procurement.

    Here's a team-by-team stock watch after the latest offseason upgrades.

30. Buffalo Sabres

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    Offseason Recap: The Buffalo Sabres took Sam Reinhart No. 2 overall in the entry draft, their biggest acquisition of the summer. Buffalo was very busy in free agency, adding Matt Moulson, Brian Gionta, Andrej Meszaros and Cody McCormick. They also bought out Christian Ehrhoff and acquired Josh Gorges from Montreal via trade.

    What is Left: The Sabres' depth chart looks set, but now that they've signed Sam Reinhart, it's crowded at center. The club may also add more scoring if it comes available, with left wing being an area that could use some help.

    Stock: Buffalo's stock is up. New GM Tim Murray had a strong draft and added some interesting free agents. Bucky Gleason of The Buffalo News suggests patience will be required despite the additions. Many of those assets will be dealt off at the trade deadline, as the Sabres will be a lottery team with a chance to land Connor McDavid next summer.

29. Carolina Hurricanes

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Offseason Recap: The Carolina Hurricanes conducted a lot of business by retaining their own free agents. Both Ron Hainsey and Jiri Tlusty were re-signed, giving the Hurricanes two solid players. Tim Gleason and Jay McClement were added on value deals. 

    What is Left: The Hurricanes' depth chart looks very much the same as last season. New GM Ron Francis has been unable to add to the roster in a meaningful way this summer. 

    Stock: Carolina's stock is down. The additions this summer have been marginal, while the issues from one year ago remain. The summer isn't over, but at this point the Hurricanes are on the outside looking in.

28. Calgary Flames

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    Alex Gallardo/Associated Press

    Offseason Recap: The Calgary Flames added important pieces from the free-agent market this summer. Goalie Jonas Hiller, winger Mason Raymond and defenseman Deryk Engelland all signed quickly on July 1. 

    What is Left: The Flames' depth chart suggests they might look to add at right wing and defense, but the heavy work this summer is done. 

    Stock: Calgary's stock is up marginally, but they have been passed by two teams who did more. The goal for GM Brad Treliving is to build a long-term winner, so the moves address the team's best interests at this time.

27. Florida Panthers

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    Matt Slocum/Associated Press

    Offseason Recap: The Florida Panthers were extremely active this summer. After taking franchise defenseman Aaron Ekblad in the entry draft, GM Dale Tallon got busy in free agency. When the dust cleared, new Miami residents included Dave Bolland, Derek MacKenzie, Willie Mitchell, Jussi Jokinen and Shawn Thornton. 

    What is Left: The Panthers' depth chart looks complete, as there's a nice mixture of youth and experience with some room for surprises in training camp. Tallon spent a lot of money but acquired veterans to fill the holes.

    Stock: Florida's stock is up. The additions up the middle at center and defense give the team a completely different look. They are a veteran team, but if the kids can score goals the Panthers could contend for a playoff spot. 

26. Edmonton Oilers

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    Gregory Bull/Associated Press

    Offseason Recap: The Edmonton Oilers were active in free agency. The club added defenseman Mark Fayne and forward Benoit Pouliot as well as traded for Nikita Nikitin and Teddy Purcell. The result is better depth on defense and an outstanding group of NHL wingers.

    What is Left: The Oilers are still in dire need of a veteran center. Leon Draisaitl was drafted No. 3 overall and represents the future at the position. Edmonton's current center depth chart is the worst in the Western Conference. Failure to address the issue before fall could be disastrous.

    Stock: Edmonton's stock is up. GM Craig MacTavish addressed the lack of depth on defense and gave the team the possibility of three scoring lines. Their grade would be even better with a veteran center added to the acquisitions.

25. New York Islanders

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    Offseason Recap: The New York Islanders have put together a monster summer. After addressing goaltending by acquiring and then signing Jaroslav Halak, GM Garth Snow addressed other areas. Free-agent additions include forwards Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin and defenseman T.J. Brennan.

    What is Left: The Islanders have done a lot of work this summer, but the blue line remains an issue. Their depth chart on defense is clearly their weak spot, and New York will need to offload a forward in order to improve the group.

    Stock: New York's stock is up, but they are not a strong playoff contender with that defense. Smart improvement in goal and at forward gives the team hope, but they aren't there yet.

24. Ottawa Senators

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Offseason Recap: The Ottawa Senators added veteran center David Legwand in free agency, while also retaining their own pending UFA in winger Milan Michalek. GM Bryan Murray made the very difficult Jason Spezza deal, getting back role players and draft picks. 

    What is Left: The Senators are going to miss Spezza, but the depth chart shows nice quality and depth up front. Their issue is defense, so Ottawa should be looking to improve there.

    Stock: Ottawa's stock is down. There's no way they can overcome the loss of Spezza—and Ales Hemsky—and improve their position. The lack of improvement on defense suggests this roster might be in some trouble.

23. Vancouver Canucks

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Offseason Recap: The Vancouver Canucks made smart investments, delivering goalie Ryan Miller and winger Radim Vrbata in the first two days of free agency. They also dealt center Ryan Kesler to Anaheim for a package of picks and players.

    What is Left: The Canucks' depth chart looks much different without Kesler and with Miller and Vrbata. The forward group lacks depth after the top six. 

    Stock: Vancouver's stock is flat; they are neither better nor worse than last season. They remain as they have been since their Stanley Cup run in 2011—a playoff candidate in need of luck and an infusion of youth.

22. Winnipeg Jets

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Offseason Recap: The Winnipeg Jets are the least active team in the NHL, so their free-agent acquisition of center Mathieu Perreault this summer was a watershed moment. They also retained their own free agent in winger Chris Thorburn.

    What is Left: The Jets' depth chart has improved at center, but the main issue—goaltending—remains unaddressed. 

    Stock: Winnipeg's stock is flat. Although the acquisition of Perreault is a positive, every team in the Western Conference improved this year. If the Jets can add a goaltender before fall, they'll push higher in the NHL rankings.

21. Nashville Predators

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Offseason Recap: The Nashville Predators made a blockbuster trade for James Neal at the draft and added Olli Jokinen via free agency

    What is Left: Nashville can't catch a break. Mike Fisher ruptured his Achilles tendon and is out four-to-six weeks. At 34, recovery may impact his performance, and Fisher is important to the team. The depth chart shows nice balance and the usual lack of scoring.

    Stock: Nashville's stock is flat, due mostly to the Fisher injury and assets lost in the Neal trade. Patric Hornqvist is an exceptional player, but losing Nick Spaling will hurt the Predators' scoring depth.

20. Toronto Maple Leafs

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Offseason Recap: The Toronto Maple Leafs made a big splash at the draft, taking the brilliant William Nylander in Round 1.

    The club's performance in free agency was less flashy, with defenseman Stephane Robidas and winger Leo Komarov taking much of the available cap room. They added European free-agent forward Petri Kontiola, who may prove to be a valuable addition. Toronto also acquired defender Roman Polak in a trade with St. Louis.

    What is Left: The Leafs have RFA's James Reimer, Jake Gardiner and Cody Franson to sign, but their depth chart looks set. 

    Stock: Toronto's stock is up. The addition of veteran Robidas gives the defense a much-needed boost, while the young defensemen have another year's experience. The Leafs are strong playoff candidates in 2014-15.

19. Philadelphia Flyers

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Offseason Recap: The Philadelphia Flyers have been doing a lot of work improving their defense this offseason. The club added defensemen Andrew MacDonald and Nick Schultz and brought back Kimmo Timonen at a bargain price in free agency. Philadelphia also dealt for R.J. Umberger in a deal for Scott Hartnell. 

    What is Left: The Flyers' depth chart is a work in progress. The money is tight, so more additions can't happen without a deal that sends away cap dollars. So far this summer, Philadelphia has been unable to ease the pain. 

    Stock: Philadelphia's stock is down. They have been unable to trade off veterans with major cap hits, so the roster tinkering has stopped. There are holes, specifically at left wing.

18. Detroit Red Wings

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Offseason Recap: The Detroit Red Wings have been comatose for much of the summer. They signed their own free agents in Kyle Quincey and Daniel Cleary but have not landed an upgrade at any position. 

    What is Left: The Red Wings are transitioning from a veteran-laden group to a mixture of youth and experience. Their depth chart has youngsters like Gustav Nyquist, Riley Sheahan and Tomas Tatar taking on greater roles this coming season.

    Stock: Detroit's stock is falling slightly. They are eroding, and there are no free agents coming to save the day. However, better health for impact forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg plus that new wave of youth will keep them in contention.

17. Washington Capitals

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    Francois Lacasse/Getty Images

    Offseason Recap: The Washington Capitals added two big free agents to their blue line this summer. Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik were the big UFA defensemen on the market, and Washington got both of them. 

    What is Left: The Capitals will have plenty of new faces this coming season and men like Evgeny Kuznetsov for the full year. The depth chart looks like the club could use another center, but new coach Barry Trotz may look at moving players around during training camp. 

    Stock: Washington's stock is up, mainly due to Trotz and young Kuznetsov being around for a full season. The team should be more defensive than in the past but have plenty of power with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom.

16. New Jersey Devils

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Offseason Recap: The New Jersey Devils added offensive punch to their roster in free agency. Mike Cammalleri is a veteran who can help at even strength and the power play. Martin Havlat is also an intriguing addition, and the club retained Jaromir Jagr before he left for free agency.

    What is Left: New Jersey's depth chart has issues, notably on defense. The Devils may also look to add goaltending as the summer wears along.

    Stock: New Jersey's stock is up. The club signed goalie Cory Schneider long-term as a restricted free agent and have a veteran-laden lineup with a history of success. They had some goaltending issues last season, and their record was poor based on possession expectations, per ExtraSkater.com, but New Jersey should recover in 2014-15.

15. Arizona Coyotes

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    Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

    Offseason Recap: The Arizona Coyotes acquired center Sam Gagner via trade in their big transaction this summer. The Coyotes did not make a big splash in free agency on July 1, so early results were not inspiring. However, their July 11 David Moss signing was a solid move. 

    What is Left: The Coyotes' depth chart has balance and quality up the middle, two calling cards for this team. This is the time of year when Phoenix makes calculated, smart free-agent bets, so they are not finished improving their roster. 

    Stock: Phoenix has its stock going up this summer, and chances are the additions will continue. Gagner is a classic buy-low acquisition and could pay off in a big way.

14. New York Rangers

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    Uncredited/Associated Press

    Offseason Recap: The New York Rangers have seen a lot of roster turnover this summer. Although they added Dan Boyle and others in free agency, the club has also been hurt by UFA exits. Brad Richards, Benoit Pouliot, Brian Boyle and Anton Stralman have all left the team, leaving the Stanley Cup finalists scrambling for replacements. 

    What is Left: The Rangers' depth chart shows a lot of the quality that got the team to the Stanley Cup Final. They need to upgrade at right wing before training camp. 

    Stock: New York's stock is down. A number of quality role-players are gone, and the Rangers are unlikely to find suitable replacements for every position in a short space of time. This will be a transition season in Manhattan.

13. Columbus Blue Jackets

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    Chris Szagola/Associated Press

    Offseason Recap: The Columbus Blue Jackets were not active in free agency but did improve their depth at forward in acquiring Scott Hartnell and Jerry D'Amigo

    What is Left: The Blue Jackets' depth chart is strong, but there's work to be done. Emerging player Ryan Johansen is proving to be a difficult player to sign as a restricted free agent, per Pro Hockey Talk's Ryan Dadoun

    Stock: Columbus' stock is up, as the young players mature and push the team to new heights. That will change if the club can't reach a contract agreement with Johansen. His breakout season in 2013-14 is a major positive for this team's future.

12. San Jose Sharks

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    Mark Zaleski/Associated Press

    Offseason Recap: The San Jose Sharks have had a bizarre summer. GM Doug Wilson began the trade-and-signing period by calling his club a "tomorrow team," per David Pollak of the San Jose Mercury News. Wilson then proceeded to sign tough guys John Scott and Michael Halley,then re-signed physical winger Mike Brown in free agency

    What is Left: The Sharks' depth chart looks confusing. Wilson and Company are moving Brent Burns back to defense, and their new enforcer additions mean at least one line will be focused on something other than puck possession

    Stock: San Jose's stock is down sharply, which is an entirely self-inflicted wound. It seems the losses in postseason each spring have taken their toll, as the Sharks have decided to overcome playoff disappointment by winning fewer games.

11. Colorado Avalanche

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    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Offseason Recap: The Colorado Avalanche lost Paul Stastny and gained Jarome Iginla in free agency. They also traded P.A. Parenteau and a pick for Daniel Briere

    What is Left: The Avalanche's depth chart looks set and is occupied by some of the best young talent in the game. 

    Stock: Colorado's stock is down. Losing Stastny is a major hit, and Iginla is a quality scorer but an older, slower winger. Added to a challenged defense and a winning record in 2013-14 despite poor possession numbers, this might be a difficult season for the Avalanche.

10. Minnesota Wild

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    Chris O'Meara/Associated Press

    Offseason Recap: The Minnesota Wild dipped into the free-agent pool and grabbed a big name again. Thomas Vanek is an exceptional offensive-winger and gives the Wild a difference-maker. 

    What is Left: The Wild's depth chart looks good at defense and forward, but the goaltenders are a question mark due to health. Chad Graff of the Pioneer Press wrote that the Wild may carry three goaltenders this season as insurance. 

    Stock: Minnesota's stock is up. The Wild are no longer a have-not team and boast impact players at several positions. This could be the first season in Wild history where fans can talk about a deep and sustainable Stanley Cup run.

9. Dallas Stars

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    Mike Munden/Associated Press

    Offseason Recap: The Dallas Stars made a big splash this summer when acquiring center Jason Spezza from the Ottawa Senators. Added to the acquisition of winger Ales Hemsky in free agency, the Stars improved a great deal in the offseason. 

    What is Left: The Stars' depth chart looks complete unless they want to hold back brilliant young defenseman Jamie Oleksiak for one more year. 

    Stock: Dallas' stock is rising sharply. Stars GM Jim Nill had little depth at center when he arrived in 2013, but adding Tyler Seguin last summer and Spezza this year has changed the look of the team.

8. Montreal Canadiens

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    Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

    Offseason Recap: The Montreal Canadiens lost and gained in free agency but re-signed Andrei Markov before he reached UFA status. Montreal lost Thomas Vanek and Brian Gionta but added Tom Gilbert and Manny Malhotra, then traded for P.A. Parenteau. They also won the Jiri Sekac sweepstakes. 

    What is Left: The Canadiens' depth chart looks ready, with P.K. Subban's arbitration hearing the final worry of summer.

    Stock: Montreal's stock is up. The addition of Parenteau and Sekac helps up front, and re-signing Markov is big for the Canadiens' future. This team could win the east in 2014-15.

7. Boston Bruins

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    Elise Amendola/Associated Press

    Offseason Recap: The Boston Bruins were losers in free agency because of a lack of cap room. Jarome Iginla, Andrej Meszaros, Shawn Thornton and Chad Johnson all signed in new NHL cities. One of the few acquisitions made by Boston this summer was Linus Arnesson, a 2013 draft pick. 

    What is Left: The Bruins' depth chart shows a talented team that may need some help at right wing. The club may also need to make a trade for cap relief. 

    Stock: Boston's stock is down. The club spent the heart of this summer hamstrung by cap issues and being forced to watch other teams improve. It has been a trying month for the Bruins.

6. Anaheim Ducks

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Offseason Recap: The Anaheim Ducks made a huge trade this summer, acquiring center Ryan Kesler from Vancouver, but suffered a net loss in free agency. The club added role players Dany Heatley and Clayton Stoner, but lost goalie Jonas Hiller, center Mathieu Perreault and defender Stephane Robidas.

    What is Left: The Ducks' depth chart looks balanced, although the team might make a late move to shore up the wing if they're not convinced about Heatley. 

    Stock: Anaheim's stock is flat. The acquisition of Kesler is big and makes the team formidable at center. The quality and depth on defense is a question mark, and they are unproven in goal. The Ducks are a contender but have not taken a clear step forward.

5. Pittsburgh Penguins

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    John Russell/Getty Images

    Offseason Recap: The Pittsburgh Penguins have turned over a lot of their roster under new GM Jim Rutherford.

    The club acquired Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling in a trade for James Neal on draft weekend. When the July 1 free-agent window opened, Christian Ehrhoff and Steve Downie were added to the team. Marcel Goc was re-signed and will help with their depth up front. The club lost two significant defensemen in Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen.

    What is Left: The Penguins' depth chart has a new look, and there's better depth in the bottom-six forwards this year. 

    Stock: Pittsburgh's stock is up. The additions help their overall depth, while the losses on defense were addressed with the addition of Ehrhoff. If Olli Maatta continues his progress, the Penguins could win the Eastern Conference in 2014-15.

4. Tampa Bay Lightning

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    Gerry Broome/Associated Press

    Offseason Recap: The Tampa Bay Lightning moved furiously through the offseason, adding a large group of new names to the roster. Free-agent pickups include the re-signed Ryan Callahan, Anton Stralman, Brian Boyle—all former Rangers—and Brenden Morrow. 

    What is Left: The Lightning look finished from here, as their depth chart is brimming with new players. Add brilliant junior Jonathan Drouin, and the makeover is complete.

    Stock: Tampa Bay's stock is up. GM Steve Yzerman was very creative in making cap room to sign several top-drawer free agents. The payoff will come during the 2014-15 season.

3. St. Louis Blues

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    Bruce Kluckhohn/Getty Images

    Offseason Recap: The St. Louis Blues were very active in free agency, acquiring the consensus No. 1 player available, Paul Stastny. They signed goalie Brian Elliott and forward Steve Ott and fleeced the Toronto Maple Leafs in a trade that secured Carl Gunnarsson

    What is Left: The Blues' depth chart is quality across the board. The last piece of business didn't get done, as RFA Vladimir Sobotka bolted for the KHL. Sean Leahy of Puck Daddy reports that player and team were separated by $300,000. 

    Stock: St. Louis' stock is up despite the loss of Sobotka. The Blues' addition of Stastny gives them another quality offensive option to get past the top teams in the Western Conference. If the goaltending holds, this could be the season the Blues bring the Stanley Cup to St. Louis.

2. Chicago Blackhawks

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    Bill Smith/Getty Images

    Offseason Recap: The Chicago Blackhawks' big move this summer was re-signing Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. The club also signed Brad Richards to a cap-friendly free-agent deal. 

    What is Left: The 'Hawks' depth chart looks top-level in all areas, so the only movement may be a trade for cap relief. 

    Stock: Chicago's stock is up, which is news because they were already one of the NHL's best teams. The addition of Richards at center and the maturation of Antti Raanta give the Blackhawks better strength up the middle.

1. Los Angeles Kings

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    Offseason Recap: The Los Angeles Kings scored big in free agency by signing Marian Gaborik long-term before he went UFA. Since giving up Matt Frattin and picks for Gaborik at the trade deadline, the Kings won the Stanley Cup, addressed their goal drought, and did it for under $5 million a year. 

    What is Left: The Kings' depth chart looks set, but GM Dean Lombardi has been known to tinker. An example is the trade with Buffalo to bring in Brayden McNabb. The deal didn't fill an immediate need but increased depth and added a quality option.

    Stock: Los Angeles' stock is up. Winning the Stanley Cup, adding a perfect-fit sniper in Marian Gaborik and a splendid draft performance have the Kings in a very good position.

     

    Salary and roster information courtesy of CapGeek.com and TSN.ca unless otherwise noted.