Notable Off Season Moves
Notable Off Season Moves
Boston Bruins Notable Offseason Moves
The Boston Bruins have been to the Stanley Cup Finals twice in the last three seasons. In 2010-11, the Bruins won a hard-fought series over the Vancouver Canucks that started the downfall of Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo. In 2012-13, the Bruins went to the finals behind young goaltender Tuukka Rask and lost in six games to the President's Trophy winning Chicago Blackhawks. The Bruins have been a busy hockey team since the abbreviated 2012-13 season ended and they have made some moves that they hope will get the team a third trip to the finals and a second Cup championship.
2013 Stanley Cup Odds: 10/1
Notable Change #1: Tyler Seguin signs with the Dallas Stars.
Talented young wingers who can score goals and play tough in the corners are hard to find. That is why a lot of people were surprised when Tyler Seguin signed with the Dallas Stars. The Bruins also lost Nathan Horton and Jaromir Jagr on the wing, which means that there will be some significant changes on offense for the Bruins in 2013-14. Even though Bruins head coach Claude Julien is trying to play off the Seguin loss as the right move, it will affect the team. The team management is insisting that Seguin's immature attitude and bad work ethic made him expendable. If it was just Seguin that left, then it would be different, but the Bruins have short-handed themselves on offense and it will hurt.
Notable Change #2: Jarome Iginla signs with the Bruins.
When Jarome Iginla was asked where he wanted to be traded at the trade deadline last season, he told the Calgary Flames that he wanted to go to Pittsburgh because the Penguins had the best chance at winning the Cup. Iginla was offered the chance to go to Boston, but he chose Pittsburgh. It is hard to blame Iginla. He has spent his entire career in the Western Conference and does not see the day to day play of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. When his contract with Pittsburgh was up, Iginla righted the wrongs of the trade deadline and signed with the Bruins. He is a welcomed addition to a team that has serious needs on offense.
Notable Change #3: Major overhauls on defense.
When the 2013-14 season starts, about the only name on defense that fans will recognize will be Zdeno Chara. The Bruins allowed veteran defenseman Andrew Ference to leave in free agency and dropped some other veteran defenders to make way for younger players. Young defensemen such as Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug showed promise in limited stretches last season, but none of them have played a full NHL season. In 2013-14, the Bruins will move to a younger defense and hope that their prospects can hold up to the pressures of playing every day in the NHL.
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Buffalo Sabres Notable Offseason Moves
If you want to find a disgruntled and disenfranchised fan base, then you only need to go as far as Buffalo, New York and talk to some of the fans of the Buffalo Sabres. When team owner Terry Pegula took over the team two years ago, he promised a Stanley Cup in Buffalo in three years. Instead of developing a winning team, Pegula tried to buy one. But he soon learned that offering outrageous contracts to fringe players like Ville Leino will not win his team a championship. The Sabres have changed gears and the fans have been told that there will be "pain" to experience before a Stanley Cup win. If there is a fan base that knows about pain, it is the fan base of the Buffalo Sabres.
2013 Stanley Cup Odds: 50/1
Notable Change #1: The hiring of Ron Rolston.
When the Buffalo Sabres announced that the team was turning interim head coach Ron Rolston into the full-time head coach, there was a collective groan heard in Buffalo. The Sabres promised an extensive head coaching search that would involve every potential candidate the team could find. Instead, the team wound up hiring Rolston after only a couple of weeks of looking. The fans may not like the move, but it could be the first step towards building a winner in Buffalo. Rolston spent time coaching the Sabres' minor league affiliate in Rochester and he has been praised over and over again for his ability to coach young players. Since the Sabres are making a move towards youth, Rolston is the perfect fit. He also has a winning record as an NHL coach, which is a good foundation to build on.
Notable Change #2: Darcy Regier retained as general manager.
One of the biggest headlines generated by the Sabres was a change that the team did not make. Despite firing long-time head coach Lindy Ruff, the team has refused to send general manager Darcy Regier packing. Instead, team owner Terry Pegula and President Ted Black have thrown their full support behind Darcy Regier. The team management feels that Regier is still able to put together a championship team as he did in 2005. The Sabres have given Regier significant financial and tactical resources to build the Stanley Cup champion in Buffalo that he has been unable to build in 16 years.
Notable Change #3: Twin Towers drafted in the first round.
In the first round of the 2013 NHL draft, the Buffalo Sabres chose defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen with the eighth pick and defenseman Nikita Zadrov with the 16th pick. The Sabres got the 16th pick from the Minnesota Wild in the trade that sent former Sabres captain Jason Pominville to Minnesota. Ristolainen is 6'4" tall and Zadrov is 6'5" tall. These are the model examples of what general manager Darcy Regier means when he says the team is going to get younger and bigger. Both picks will start off in Rochester, but many fans think that both players could be on the Sabres by the midway point of the season.
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Phoenix Coyotes Notable Offseason Moves
The Phoenix Coyotes came up just short in their bid to reach the NHL playoffs for a third-straight year in 2012-13, finishing 10th in the Western Conference with 51 points in the lockout-shortened 48-game season. The Coyotes finally found a new owner in the offseason that will keep the team in Glendale and establish a level of stability, and that along with a couple of notable offseason additions has helped make this team a much better team and a legitimate contender to get back to the postseason in 2013-14.
2014 Stanley Cup Odds: + 4,500
Notable Change #1: New Ownership Establishes Level Of Stability
Phoenix has spent the last few seasons under ownership of the NHL, and while that wasn't necessarily a bad thing there was always questions about when the team will be moved and where it would go. The Coyotes finally found new ownership when the IceArizona group came in to end the four-year run and purchase the team, and that will provide a level of stability that will benefit the team. The players no longer have to worry about any ownership issues or the constant threat of being moved either via trade or as a team to a new city. That should help the team's veterans feel more comfortable and remove a distraction for some of its young stars.
Notable Change #2: Ribeiro Brought In To Center The Top Line
One of the biggest issues for the Coyotes was the lack of a No. 1 center that could consistently produce points both on the powerplay and at even-strength. The addition of veteran center Mike Ribeiro will fill that void, as he is a talented playmaking center that has the ability to anchor the top line both at even strength and on the powerplay. Ribeiro's presence instantly makes the top line better not just for the production he brings on his own, but for the way he will help his new linemates produce with a good chance that he will get some time with young winger Mikkel Boedker in order to maximize his scoring potential on the top line.
Notable Change #3: Forward Depth Gets A Much Needed Spark
Phoenix held on to Kyle Chipchura and Rob Klinkhammer for the leadership and versatility they bring to the team, but they also added a couple of key sparks to their forward depth with the additions of Brandon Yip and Tim Kennedy. Both are solid young players that bring a little bit of everything and can also provide some secondary scoring playing anywhere from the second line to the fourth, and that will tremendously benefit a Coyotes' team that was lacking two-way depth players when it missed the playoffs last season. Phoenix already has a strong defense core and a quality goaltender in Mike Smith, so the addition of some scoring up front will be key.
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Anaheim Ducks Notable Offseason Moves
The Anaheim Ducks hired Bruce Boudreau as their new head coach two seasons ago and the team has not looked back since. The complete turnaround from the 2011-12 to the 2012-13 season by the Ducks was a surprise for the fans, but it did not surprise the team at all. When the Ducks first hired Boudreau, they made immediate changes to the team's roster to bring in players that could play Boudreau's style. In the 2013 offseason, the Ducks took steps towards preserving the roster that they have and bringing in what many team front office administrators feel could be the final pieces of a legitimate Stanley Cup contender.
2014 Stanley Cup Odds: 22/1
Notable Change #1: Re-signing Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf.
As soon as the 2012-13 season ended, there was rampant speculation that Corey Perry was leaving Anaheim to sign with another team. But when the superstar signed a new eight-year contract, and then when he was joined by Ryan Getzlaf with the same commitment, the team and its fans were more than relieved. This represents a significant departure from how Anaheim normally treats its stars. In past offseasons, the Ducks would have allowed its top players to test the market. But Anaheim rightfully sees these two players as critical to its long-term success and it made the right move by signing them.
Notable Change #2: Re-signing Saku Koivu.
Once again, the most notable moves that the Ducks made so far this offseason were not necessarily changes. Saku Koivu is a wise NHL veteran who still has plenty to give the Anaheim Ducks. It has not been an easy career for Koivu, which helps to increase his locker room value to the team. He is expected to produce offensive numbers for the Ducks this season, but he is primarily being retained for his leadership abilities. The Ducks will have a lot of young and extremely talented players on their roster in 2013-14. The presence of Saku Koivu will turn that talent into a roster of winners.
Notable Change #3: Trading for Jakob Silfverberg.
Jakob Silfverberg is one of those young and talented players that Saku Koivu is expected to mentor this season. It may have looked like Anaheim took a huge risk by trading away Bobby Ryan to the Ottawa Senators for Silfverberg, but the trade actually benefits both teams. The Senators need a veteran offensive presence to replace Daniel Alfredsson, who left a huge gap when he decided to finish his NHL career in Detroit. Bobby Ryan can fill that gap and give Ottawa the stability it needs on and off the ice. Silfverberg is the kind of young scoring machine that fits perfectly into what Bruce Boudreau wants to do. This trade will bring more benefits to the Ducks than the fans could ever imagine as there is a huge upside to Silfverberg that could extend out for years.