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The Good And Bad Moves In The Off-Season

from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,

Here’s a look at the best and the worst of hockey’s off-season:

The Best

St. Louis Blues

The key here is that they added a potential No. 1 centre in Stastny, hurting a division rival — the Colorado Avalanche — in the process. In the tight Central Division, a move like that could make all the difference. Add KHL veteran Jori Lehtera to a deep mix that includes David Backes and Patrick Berglund, and the Blues are solid up front.

The feeling in St. Louis is the Blues got a real deal in getting Gunnarsson from the Leafs for Roman Polak, making the Blues already solid defence even better. The issue with St. Louis, though, is always goaltending.

Worst

Pittsburgh Penguins

A new GM, a new coach and a perennial post-season disappointment, this franchise could well be on its way to a train wreck of a season.

The new GM, Jim Rutherford, is widely perceived to have erred in firing coach Dan Bylsma, pursuing Willie Desjardins as replacement only to low-ball him, having to settle instead for Mike Johnson.

Also, Rutherford’s trade of sniper James Neal to Nashville didn’t go over well in the dressing room. The team lost Orpik and Niskanen to Washington and will have to rely on recent draft picks like Beau Bennett and Olli Maatta — drafted by the man Rutherford replaced — to fill in. Things could get awkward.

more in each category...

Filed in: NHL Teams, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

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hard to argue with the TB comments, maybe we’ll see the Blues next summer

nice chatting you Paul, let me know if you come down from the frozen tundra this winter

Posted by Eggsuckindog on 08/08/14 at 06:36 PM ET

Chet's avatar

there’s a very real chance Det misses the playoffs this year.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 08/09/14 at 12:49 AM ET

SYF's avatar

there’s a very real chance Det misses the playoffs this year.

Posted by Chet from twitter: thegansen on 08/09/14 at 12:49 AM ET

If, and a very huge IF, the Wings can keep the IR list to the ‘97 Cup Champs level, they’re making the playoffs.  More than anything else, the injury bug in the ‘13-‘14 was the worst I’ve ever seen.

Posted by SYF from the team that re-signed KFQ and DFC by KFH on 08/09/14 at 01:05 AM ET

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The Wings should have more than a dishonourable mention on the list and the Kings have no business being on the list at all.

The Stanley Cup champs not making any changes is a good thing and I don’t understand why everyone is so baffled that the Kings didn’t buy out Richards.  Sure, he’s overpaid but isn’t it a good thing to have a bottom six player putting up 40+ points a year, especially if you can afford his contract?  What should they have done, bought him out and signed a cheaper, worse player to take his place, just for the cap space?  Having actual talented players as depth is better than having cheap, easily replaceable borderline NHLers as your depth.

Posted by Garth on 08/09/14 at 11:44 AM ET

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Completely agree, Garth.  I think that author also forgot that the Kings managed to re-sign Gaborik for less than a $5M cap hit.  That’s ridiculous.  Him and Kopitar are an absolutely deadly combination.  The only key player they lost was Willie Mitchell, who has definitely lost a step or two since their first Cup win.  Regher adequately replaces him and they have McNabb coming up soon.  Kings are in great shape.  Good enough to win the Cup last season and should challenge for it again this coming year.

Posted by Canucklehead from Ottawa, Ontario on 08/09/14 at 11:01 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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