Yesterday we went through what the division had been up to before hibernation. Today, let’s swing around the rest of the conference. And we can pretend the Eastern Conference doesn’t exist, because for this season it really won’t. At least not until late June. And if the Quenneville-Kompon-Kitchen axis of dumbassery (QuenneKompchen?) shows all of its strength, that won’t be our problem anyway.
Are you ready? Let’s roll.
Garbage-Throwing Rioters (with the one cool fan in yoga pants in a parking garage): Continued team tradition of signing overrated, overpriced d-man in free agency in Jason Garrison, who’s going to look like an Ent when the Kings forecheck is buzzing him in the playoffs. Ryan Kesler is broken and may never be the sadly-awesome force he was again. But Schneider was playing in Europe and should be sharp, if they can ignore the “Luongo Question” long enough. Perhaps one last run before their own cap-acolypse, as only nine guys are signed for next year at a cost of $43 million, and that doesn’t include the Children Of The Corn.
Calgary – Old, expensive, bad. Give us Iggy.
Edmonton – Young, will be expensive, probably not good yet. But tons of fun to watch.
Colorado – Young, intentionally not expensive, and still not good.
Minnehaha – Oh right, one of the main causes of this madness. Won’t that be fun for Wild fans? Right, Parise and Suter are now here, so they’ll be better. How much? In a normal season, they would still be in a playoff battle. Suter just might not be as good without Weber (though he made Rafalski competent three years ago in Vancouver), and their other talented forwards are all injuries waiting to happen. Even with Suter, this blue line still sucks. But hey, they got all those headlines! And the Gophers are #1, which is all anyone up there really cares about anyway.
L.A. – Be afraid. Be very afraid. While Doughty may come back looking like Fat Albert, this is still a menacing group, and in all the ways the Hawks hate. Big forwards who love to get physical and a nasty blue line backed by the best goalie in the game. Kopitar is hurt but not long term. Yikes.
Anaheim – Teemu and the Suckfest. Which would be a great band name. Expect Getzlaf or Ryan to get dealt by the deadline when yet another Bob Murray led team goes fresh-water-fish-in-salt-water.
San Jose – See Calgary
Dallas – They’re big signings this past summer were both over 40. I don’t think I have to say much else. And Derek Roy does not constitute a cavalry, especially when Brenden Morrow’s neck is made of graham crackers.
Phoenix – Kind of the same as Nashville yesterday. They’ll be good just because, though if this sale thing drags on any more you wonder what the breaking point is.
And that’s all of them.
– You probably saw yesterday that Phillip Danault was traded in the Q to Moncton. He goes from a team well out of it in Victoriaville to second place one. He would currently be the 4th leading scorer on Moncton, the only center ahead of him being Alex Saulnier. So I would imagine he would still skate top-six minutes if not top center minutes. We’ll keep an eye on it.
– The amount of games a junior can play at the NHL level before burning one year of his entry-level deal will probably shrink to six this year. This won’t matter much for the Hawks, it would only come up if either Danault or McNeill get a look after their junior season ends and that’s highly unlikely.