by Patrick Hoffman on 09/16/11 at 03:01 PM ET
A few months ago, I did an e-mail interview with Lee Snowden, who does an absolutely terrific job covering the game of hockey on Twitter.
I was lucky enough to do an e-mail interview with him once again as he provides his thoughts on the NHL offseason and a look at the upcoming season.
PH: If you had to pick one word to describe the hockey offseason this year, what would it be? Why? Wacky.
LS: The big blockbuster deals we had earlier in the summer, then of course the nutty free agent spending, all kinds of offer sheet speculation with the solid crop of RFA’s. Finally, the notable RFA’s that have gone down to the last minute before camps open to get their deals done. To cap it off, we might have a couple hold outs. Another word could be ‘entertaining’.
PH: There was a lot of tragedy this offseason in the sport. How do you think everyone will come together this season to help get over it, heal, and move on?
LS: Hopefully, we don’t go through another summer like this in a long, long time. Every team seems to be putting together tributes and memorials in their own way to remember those that are gone. In the end we all realize life is much more important than our game and if that can create a little more respect on and off the ice we are all going to be better for it. It’s very hard to believe how many guys we lost this off-season. They will be missed.
PH: Now onto some actual hockey talk, which teams impressed you this offseason with their moves? Why?
LS: San Jose. Nobody likes to pick the Sharks anymore, but I will. In the playoffs last year, the Canucks had their way with the San Jose blueline and it was obvious. Doug Wilson goes out and adds Brent Burns, Colin White, and Jim Vandermeer. With Vlasic, Boyle, and Doug Murray, that’s a nice and big top 6. I think Marty Havlat will be a perfect fit in SJ. His skill will mesh perfectly with a much more talented group of forwards in San Jose compared to Minny. Best top two lines in the NHL.
I also like the moves the Caps made obviously. The Rangers and Kings are also set up nicely.
PH: On the other side of the coin, which teams disappointed you this offseason? Why?
LS: Everyone seemed to improve this offseason. There were a few though that left me scratching my head. In their inaugural year the Jets could have tried to impress their fans a bit more. A couple playoff teams from last season, the Preds and Coyotes, seem to be going all in with their youngsters.
PH: Which players are you looking forward to watching this season? Why?
LS: I like to see if players can continue on their upward trajectories. That said, can van Riemsdyk become a 30 goal scorer? Will Jamie Benn take over in Dallas and make it his team? Definitely the 1-2 punch in LA with Kopitar and Richards could be scary for opponents. Players who I think could bust out this year would also include Chris Stewart, Patrik Berglund, Zac Dalpe, and Travis Hamonic.
PH: If you had a crystal ball, which two teams does it show meeting in the Stanley Cup Final come June? Why do you think it is telling you that?
LS: San Jose, as I mentioned earlier, and the East is a bit tougher. I want to say the Caps, but Tim Thomas and the Bruins getting back wouldn’t surprise me.
PH: You continue to do a great job providing great hockey tweets on Twitter. Have you ever thought about reaching out to an outlet to help cover the game because you certainly do a great job of it on Twitter. Why?
LS: I haven’t really thought about it until recently. I like doing my Twitter feed for fun and pure enjoyment of it. Getting into hockey arguments is one of the great joys in life. I certainly appreciate all the great feedback I have been getting lately. I guess I’m just hoping the right eyes will catch my feed and the rest will be history.
PH: Anything else you’d like to share with Kukla’s Korner readers?
LS: I hope you are all ready for what I think will be an amazing hockey season, never ending story lines and highlight reel goals. I love talking hockey, especially cap numbers and stats. Always looking for a conversation. I appreciate the follows, thanks again Patrick.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.