Key Losses: Taylor Hall, Greg Nemisz, Harry Young, Adam Henrique, Philip Grubauer, Justin Shugg, Marc Cantin, Dale Mitchell, Scott Timmins, Marc Cundari, Eric Wellwood, Cam Fowler*
Key Additions: Tom Kuhnhackl, Alexander Khokhlachev, Nick Ebert, Jack Campbell, Nick Czinder
If This Team Were a Rock Song or Album? "The Boys Are Back in Town" by Thin Lizzy
The Hall era is over. Welcome to the Ebert era. Many believe Nick Ebert could be the top pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, following in the footsteps of fellow Windsor alum, Taylor Hall. Ebert is an American defender with high end hockey sense, great mobility and deadly poise with the puck.
The Spits still retain enough firepower to do some serious damage. Up front, they return Zack Kassian, Kenny Ryan and Stephen Johnston which is a decent veteran core to insert talented first year players around. Kuhnhackl and Khokhlachev make for a couple interesting inserts into the line up. Both are incredibly talented. Kuhnhackl and American forward Nick Czinder will help infuse the Spits line up with size. Khokhlachev has some serious talent and should provide a solid offensive catalyst to back up a lot of what was lost in the offseason.
On defence, things remain interesting. A lot depends on Cam Fowler's return. You could put a good bet that the Ducks will return Fowler after nine games in Anaheim but if he impresses like Michael Del Zotto did for the Rangers at the start of last season, he could stick. Especially on that thin Anaheim defence corps.
Ryan Ellis will most likely be returned from the Nashville Predators but there are significant well-founded rumours that Ellis is going to be moved at the deadline to Mississauga for Kerby Rychel.
Jack Campbell will take over goaltending duties in Windsor and may prove himself to be the best puckstopper in the whole league. Good enough, maybe, to lead the Spits to a third straight regular season western conference title.