2016 NHL Predictions

2016 NHL Predictions

Atlantic:
Tampa Bay Lightning
Florida Panthers
Detroit Red Wings
Montreal Canadiens (Makes Playoffs)
Boston Bruins
Ottawa Senators
Toronto Maple Leafs
Buffalo Sabres

Metropolitan:
Washington Capitals
Pittsburgh Penguins
New York Rangers
Columbus Blue Jackets (Makes Playoffs)
New York Islanders
Carolina Hurricanes
Philadelphia Flyers
New Jersey Devils

Central:
Minnesota Wild
Dallas Stars
Chicago Blackhawks
St. Louis Blues
Colorado Avalanche (Makes Playoffs)
Nashville Predators
Winnipeg Jets

Pacific:
Los Angeles Kings
Anaheim Ducks
San Jose Sharks
Calgary Flames
Edmonton Oilers
Vancouver Canucks
Arizona Coyotes

Playoffs:

East: Pittsburgh Penguins over Tampa Bay Lightning
West: Los Angeles Kings over Dallas Stars

Stanley Cup: Los Angeles Kings over Pittsburgh Penguins

Hart: Zach Parise
Art Ross: Sidney Crosby
Norris: Drew Doughty
Adams: Barry Trotz

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NHL Notes for July 1st

NHL Notes for July 1st

Chicago Blackhawks: Still in salary cap hell even after trading Saad. They still need to sign Kruger and need 1 more defenseman. I think they will trade Patrick Sharp unless they find someone to eat Bickells contract. The defenseman they would target would be someone like Barrett Jackman, Johnny Oduya, or Anton Volchenkov.

Tampa Bay Lightning: Lock up Stamkos long term

Boston Bruins: Miss Peter Chirelli already? A puzzling offseason and they will still be slammed against the cap and got much worse. They should really add a defenseman and have to sign Brett Connoly who could be an offer sheet suspect. Watch Chara and Eriksson here.

Philadelphia Flyers: They have to sign a backup goalie and Del Zotto but seem set after that. They could possibly move a defenseman like Luke Schenn. They should also try to extend Voracek.

Montreal Canadiens: A big extension for Galchenyuk and thats about it.

Minnesota Wild: They could use some 3rd line forwards and another defenseman. Locking up Granlund could be a focus for them.

Vancouver Canucks: Sign a 3 or 4 defenseman especially after trading away Bieksa.

Los Angeles Kings: Sign a backup goalie and lock up Kopitar and Lucic long term. They may also need a depth defenseman.

San Jose Sharks: Sign some second line forwards. Sign a top 4 defenseman like Francois Beachumen. This is a crucial year in San Jose and risks maybe taken.

Dallas Stars: Try getting a 1st or 2nd line Winger and top 4 defenseman

Ottawa Senators: They seem set and at their max budget

Pittsburgh Penguins: Pursue a top winger or two such as Alex Semin, Martin ST Louis or even PHil Kessel? Sharp/ Skinner. I would also get some defensive depth.

New York Rangers: They will have about 6M after the Stepan extension. They need forward depth and a RW badly. An extension for Kreider will be pursued. They have some RFAs to be signed to low $$$ deals.

New York Islanders: They have to sign Brock Nelson and a backup goalie.

Carolina Hurricanes: They need a winger and to sign Eric Staal to an extension. They may trade Skiner for depth.

Columbus Blue Jackets: They will sign Saad for big $$$. Calvert RFA and a 4th line player.

St. Louis Blues: They have some RFAs to sign including Tarasenko, Allen and Magnus Paajarvi. They should extend David Backes who has been the backbone of this team and may trade TJ Oshie.

Detroit Red Wings: After signing their 4 big RFAs including Nyquist they could look for a winger. This could be a team that makes a big deal at the deadline.

Calgary Flames: They locked up Dougie and now have to sign some lower tier RFAs. A backup goalie is possible unless they want to stick to Jon Gillies. While they have lots of cap space now there are no immediate holes. They have some intriguing RFAs next season which they have to sign to bridges or long term extensions including Monahan, Gaudreau, Granlund, Colbourne and UFAs next year including Giordano, Hudler, Russell, and possibly David Jones. They will have room at the deadline.

Edmonton Oilers: Sign Schultz but the time is NOW for the Oilers.

Toronto Maple Leafs: What A Mess! They have to sign Bernier to an extension. Kadri and PAnik are RFAs. They will likely trade Kessel to give them some chips for the future. They should pursue deals with mid tier UFAs to give them some chips for the deadline when they are out of contention.

Colorado Avalanche: They need a top 2 or top 4 badly. They also have to turn Grigorenkos career around.

Winnipeg Jets: They can explore trading Byfuglien for some forwards. They need to pursue about 2-3 forwards ranging from 2nd line players to 3rd liners. PRoblem is Winnipeg isn’t exactly a hot destination.

Washington Capitals: They have 3 big RFAs including Holtby which will take up about 12M of the their salary cap space. They should also pursue a top line winger to play with Ovechkin.

Buffalo Sabres: An O’Reilly extension is a must which will cost about 7M a season. They should also look for some top defenseman. They could potentially sign some depth.

Florida Panthers: Sign an offensive defenseman and trade for a top winger like Kessel or Sharp.

Anaheim Ducks: Status quo but maybe someone like St Louis would help.

New Jersey Devils: They need a big name forward but I don’t know if now is the time.

Nashville Predators: Lock up some RFAs and focus on Mike Ribero.

Arizona Coyotes: Sign Vermette. Tank the season and get ready for Vegas!

Panthers decision

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The Florida Panthers have won the draft lottery for the first time since 2003 when they then traded the pick. The Panthers have made the playoffs just once since 2000 which is incredibly woeful but the team is filled with young talent and of course the number one pick in this years draft. There are a “big 3” as far as top prospects this year in Sam Bennett, Aaron Ekblad, and Sam Reinhart which is quite different from last year when Nathan MacKinnon was the clear and consensus top choice. According to our friends at capgeek.com the Panthers have just about 30 Million dollars until they reach the salary cap ceiling. They are also very likely to compliance buyout Ed Jovonaski and potentially yet doubtfully 1 of Brian Campbell, Tomas Kopecky, or Tomas Fleishmann. New owner Vinny Viola a prominent New York businessman has stated he is willing to spend to the cap and he wants to win.

General Manager Dale Tallon has stated that he wants to sign 2 defenseman and most likely 3 forwards. This is a very weak free agency class when it comes to defenseman with the biggest names out there being Markov, Niskanen, and Zidlicky. Ultimately though i think that Dale will draft the best available player rather than most needed. I think you combine that with the success of Huberdeau and Barkov the pick will likely be a forward. The Panthers have depth at the center position though which both Bennett and Reinhart play not to mention they also have interest in Maple Leafs UFA Dave Bolland. Of the two forwards, according to draft experts they say Sam Bennett will likely be able to switch to left wing which the Panthers do have a need there. In the end I strongly believe that the pick will come down to Sam Bennett or Aaron Ekblad. I also think that the Panthers will not move this pick unless its for a young controllable player such as Jeff Skinner or Evander Kane. I really don’t see the Panthers trading down either. So…

With the 1st overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft the Florida Panthers select Sam BennettĀ