Mid Summer Report: Washington Capitals

download (31)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Washington Capitals

Last Season’s Finish:  56-18-8, 120 pts, 1st in the Metropolitan Division, Lost in the 2nd round of the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Lars Eller (Trade)
  • F Brett Connolly (UFA)
  • F Brad Malone (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • F Jason Chimera (NY Islanders)
  • F Michael Latta (Los Angeles)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Stanislav Galiev
  • F Zachary Sanford

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/16)

  • D Dmitry Orlov

Current Cap Situation as of 8/16/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $69,545,126
  • Current salary cap space: $3,454,874

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson, T.J. Oshie, Lars Eller, Justin Williams, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Daniel Winnik, Tom Wilson, Jay Beagle, Andre Burakovsky, Brett Connolly, Stanislav Galiev
Defensemen
Matt Niskanen, Brooks Orpik, John Carlson, Karl Alzner, Dmitry Orlov, Nate Schmidt, Taylor Chorney
Goalies
Braden Holtby, Philipp Grubauer

 

Outlook:
Washington had a great regular season.  Well, enough about last year…   No, seriously, the
Capitals finished with 120 points and the president’s trophy last season, but once again, fell way too early in the playoffs, this time, to the eventual champion Pittsburgh Penguins.  Playoff disappointments have dogged this team for nearly 10 years now.  Over the past 10 seasons or so, they consistently rank among the top regular season teams, but, they have yet to get out of the second round of the playoffs during that time.  This season, the Capitals bring back virtually the same team they had last season.  They should cruise through the regular season once again, but time will tell whether they can finally put together a long playoff run.  They are certainly due for one.

Mid Summer Report: Pittsburgh Penguins

download (30)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Pittsburgh Penguins

Last Season’s Finish:  48-26-8, 107 pts, 2nd in the Metropolitan Division, Won the Stanley Cup

Key Arrivals:

  • None

Key Departures:

  • F Beau Bennett (New Jersey)
  • D Ben Lovejoy (New Jersey)
  • G Jeff Zatkoff (Los Angeles)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Oscar Sundqvist
  • F Scott Wilson
  • D Derrick Pouliot

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/15)

  • None

Current Cap Situation as of 8/15/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $75,299,999
  • Current salary cap space: $0 ($2,299,999 over cap)

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Evgeny Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, Patrik Hornqvist, Carl Hagelin, Chris Kunitz, Eric Fehr, Nick Bonino, Oskar Sundqvist, Conor Sheary, Bryan Rust, Tom Kuhnhackl, Scott Wilson, Pascal Dupuis
Defensemen
Kris Letang, Olli Maatta, Trevor Daley, Ian Cole, Justin Schultz, Derrick Pouliot, Brian Dimoulin
Goalies
Marc-Andre Fleury, Matthew Murray

 

Outlook:
The Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup.  You can’t have a much better season than that.  It didn’t come without struggles, though.  On January 1, 2016, they were sitting in 10th or 11th in the east, and on the outside, looking in on the playoff picture.  But after New Year’s, they just got better and better as the season went on.  They finished the season winning 14 of 15, before losing their last regular season game, which was essentially a throwaway game.  They stayed white hot throughout the playoffs.  The scariest part for everyone that is not Pittsburgh fans is, They are returning almost their whole entire team this season.  They did lose a few role players, but those guys can easily be replaced by young guys.  The only issue they have at the moment is that they are currently $2.3 million over the salary cap ceiling.  Pascal Dupuis (and his $3.75M cap hit) is on long term injured reserve, and will not be returning to hockey, so they are allowed to go over by the amount of his salary, but that still leaves then tight against the cap this season.  But for now, Pittburgh is in great shape, and are poised for another deep playoff run again in 2016-2017.

Mid Summer Report: New York Rangers

download (29)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the New York Rangers

Last Season’s Finish:  46-27-9, 101 pts, 3rd in the Metropolitan Division, lost in the first round of the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • D Nick Holden (Trade)
  • D Adam Clendening (UFA)
  • F Michael Grabner (UFA)
  • F Nathan Gerbe (UFA)
  • F Josh Jooris (UFA)
  • F Mika Zibanejad (Trade)
  • F Jimmy Vesey (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • D Keith Yandle (Florida)
  • F Eric Staal (Minnesota)
  • F Viktor Stalberg (Carolina)
  • F Derick Brassard (Ottawa)
  • D Dan Boyle (Retired)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Pavel Buchnevich
  • F Josh Jooris
  • F Brady Skjei

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/16)

  • None

Current Cap Situation as of 8/16/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $70,500,000
  • Current salary cap space: $2,500,000

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello, J.T. Miller, Mika Zibanejad, Kevin Hayes, Michael Grabner, Tanner Glass, Maxim Lapierre, Jesper Fast, Oscar Lindberg, Nathan Gerbe, Josh Jooris, Jimmy Vesey
Defensemen
Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Klein, Nick Holden, Brady Skjei, Dylan McIlrath, Adam Clendening
Goalies
Henrik Lundqvist, Antti Raanta

 

Outlook:
The Rangers had a strong season last year, but ran into a white hot Pittsburgh Penguins team in the first round of the playoffs.  The Penquins quickly dispatched the Rangers in 5 games, en route to their 4th Stanley Cup Championship.  But, this article isn’t about the Penguins.  In this off season, the Rangers were pretty active in order to keep their team competitive.  First, they traded Keith Yandle to Florida for a draft pick, because they knew they wouldn’t be able to fit him under the Salary Cap.  Then, they let Eric Staal and Vicktor Stalberg go to free agency.  Then, they made a trade with Ottawa that sent Derick Brassard there, and brought in Mika Zibanejad.  Zibanejad is younger (23 vs 28) and cheaper (by about half) than Brassard, but last season produced only 9 fewer points.   Finally, they won the Jimmy Vesey sweepstakes and signed him to an entry level contract just last week. Oh, and by the way, defenseman Dan Boyle also retired.  So the Rangers have fixed some of the cap issues that they have been dealing with, all while keeping most of the core of the team together.  They will have to rely on some younger players that they didn’t have to last season, so there will be some growing pains there, but at the end of the year, the Rangers should find their way back into the playoffs for the 11th time in the last 12 years.

Mid Summer Report: New York Islanders

download (28)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the New York Islanders

Last Season’s Finish:  45-27-10, 100 pts, 4th in the Metropolitan Division, lost in the second round of the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Andrew Ladd (UFA)
  • F Jason Chimera (UFA)
  • F P-A Parenteau (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • F Frans Nielsen (Detroit)
  • F Kyle Okposo (Buffalo)
  • F Matt Martin (Toronto)
  • D Brian Strait (Winnipeg)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Shane Prince
  • F Alan Quine
  • D Ryan Pulock
  • D Adam Pelech
  • D Scott Mayfield

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/15)

  • F Ryan Strome

Current Cap Situation as of 8/15/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $70,576,475
  • Current salary cap space: $2,423,525

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Andrew Ladd, John Tavares, Mikhail Grabovski, Nikolay Kulemin, Anders Lee, Casey Cizikas, Josh Bailey, Cal Clutterbuck, Brock Nelson, Jason Chimera, P-A Parenteau, Ryan Strome, Shane Prince, Alan Quine, Eric Boulton
Defensemen
Johnny Boychuk, Nick Leddy, Travis Hamonic, Thomas Hickey, Calvin de Haan, Ryan Pulock, Adam Pelech, Scott Mayfield
Goalies
Jaroslav Halak, Thomas Greiss, J-F Berube

 

Outlook:
The Islanders had one of the best seasons that they have had in a long time.  First, they hit the 100 point total in the regular season for the second year in a row, and for the second time since 1984.  Then, in the playoffs, they made it into the second round for the first time since 1993.  Unfortunately, that is as far as they went.  However, the Islanders had to make some tough choices this summer due to being right up against the salary cap ceiling.  They had to sit and watch their #2 and #3 point leaders from last season, Kyle Okposo and Frans Nielsen sign with other teams, leaving two big holes in the top 6 up front.  They were able to add Andrew Ladd to plug one of the holes, but that leaves another hole in the top 6.  They are hoping one of their younger players can step up and fill the role.  Ryan Strome looks ready to take that next step in his development.  If the Islanders find a way to replace the 116 combined points that Okposo and Nielsen represent, they should continue to be a strong team in the east.  If they don’t, they will likely take a step back in the standings.

Mid Summer Report: Philadelphia Flyers

download (27)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Philadelphia Flyers

Last Season’s Finish:  41-27-14, 96 pts, 5th in the Metropolitan Division, lost in round 1 of the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Dale Weise (UFA)
  • F Boyd Gordon (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • F R.J. Umberger (UFA)
  • F Ryan White (Arizona)
  • D Evgeny Medvedev (KHL)
  • F Sam Gagner (Columbus)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Jordan Weal
  • F Roman Lyubimov

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/15)

  • None

Current Cap Situation as of 8/15/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $71,961,666
  • Current salary cap space: $1,038,334

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier, Wayne Simmonds, Matt Read, Dale Weise, Michael Raffl, Boyd Gordon, Scott Laughton, Nick Cousins, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Chris VandeVelde, Jordan Weal
Defensemen
Mark Streit, Andrew MacDonald, Michael Del Zotto, Radko Gudas, Nick Schultz, Brandon Manning, Shayne Gostisbehere
Goalies
Steve Mason, Michal Neuvirth

 

Outlook:
Philadelphia was unusually quiet on the free agent market so far this summer.  The only players they acquired were a pair of bottom 6 forwards in Dale Weise and Boyd Gordon.  They obviously feel the team they have is good enough to have another go at it this season with them.  They did make the playoffs last season with this group, but that wouldn’t have happened if the Boston Bruins didn’t fall on their face in the last week of the regular season.  Once the Flyers got into the playoffs, they were quickly dispatched by the President’s Trophy winning Washington Capitals.  Now, the Flyers were a tale of two teams last year.  On November 25, 2015, they were 7-10-5, and in 13th place in the Eastern Conference.  After that date, they went 34-12-9 and grabbed the second wildcard spot in the playoffs on the last day of the season.  If they play as well as did during the last 2/3 of the season last year, they will be fine.  Assuming they play that well all year, they should have no trouble returning to the playoffs.

Mid Summer Report: Carolina Hurricanes

download (26)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the

Last Season’s Finish:  35-31-16, 86 pts, 6th in the Metropolitan Division, missed the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Teuvo Teravainen (Trade)
  • F Bryan Bickell (Trade)
  • F Viktor Stalberg (UFA)
  • F Andrew Miller (UFA)
  • F Lee Stempniak (UFA)
  • D Matt Tennyson (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • D Michal Jordan (UFA)
  • D James Wismiewski (Tampa Bay)
  • F Nathan Gerbe (NY Rangers)
  • F Riley Nash (Boston)
  • F Chris Terry (Montreal)
  • F Brad Malone (Washington)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Sebastian Aho
  • D Ryan Murphy
  • F Derek Ryan
  • F Brendan Woods
  • D Haydn Fleury

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/15)

  • None

Current Cap Situation as of 8/15/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $56,445,831
  • Current salary cap space: $16,554,169

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Jordan Staal, Jeff Skinner, Bryan Bickell, Victor Rask, Elias Lindholm, Lee Stempniak, Viktor Stalberg, Joakim Nordstrom, Jay McClement, Andrej Nestrasil Teuvo Teravainen, Phillip Di Guiseppe, Brendan Woods, Derek Ryan, Sebastian Aho
Defensemen
Justin Faulk, Ron Hainsey, Noah Hanifin, Jaccob Slavin, Brett Pesce, Ryan Murphy, Matt Tennyson
Goalies
Cam Ward, Eddie Lack

 

Outlook:
Carolina is one of the lowest budget teams in the NHL.  Since winning the Stanley Cup in 2006, Attendance at the PNC Arena has been in steady decline, despite the Raleigh-Durham area being one of the fastest growing areas in the U.S.  The attendance decline can be attributed to their lack of success on the ice.  They have missed the playoffs for the last 7 years, and 9 of the last 10 years.  When the team is that bad in a market that has to compete with some of the best college basketball teams in the country, it’s no surprise that attendance is as low as it ever has been in Raleigh.  But, that is going to change soon.  All those losing seasons have given them a lot of high draft picks, and they have not wasted them.  They have quietly assembled a nice young group of players that should develop into a real strong team in a few years.  At an average age of 25.3 years old, the Canes are one of the youngest teams in the NHL, if not the youngest.  If Carolina can get their ownership situation resolved, (Owner Peter Karmanos has been trying to sell the team for years), and hang on to this young group after they mature into big boy contracts this team will be a Stanley Cup contender one day.  Just not this year.  Expect more growing pains in the short term.

Mid Summer Report: New Jersey Devils

download (25)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the New Jersey Devils

Last Season’s Finish:  38-36-8, 84 pts, 7th in the Metropolitan Division, missed the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Beau Bennett (Trade)
  • F Taylor Hall (Trade)
  • D Ben Lovejoy (UFA)
  • F Vernon Fiddler (UFA)
  • F Luke Gazdic (UFA)
  • D Brandon Gormley (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • D Adam Larsson (Edmonton)
  • D David Schlemko (San Jose)
  • D David Warsofsky (Pittsburgh)
  • F Mike Sislo (Colorado)
  • F Jordin Tootoo (Chicago)
  • F Bobby Farnum (Montreal)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Pavel Zacha
  • F Miles Wood
  • D Steven Santini

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/14)

  • None

Current Cap Situation as of 8/14/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $60,461,307
  • Current salary cap space: $12,538,693

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Taylor Hall, Travis Zajac, Mike Cammalleri, Kyle Palmieri, Adam Henrique, Devante Smith Pelly, Vernon Fiddler, Jacob Josefson, Pavel Zacha, Sergey Kalinin, Beau Bennett, Reid Boucher, Luke Gazdic, Joseph Blandisi
Defensemen
Andy Greene, Ben Lovejoy, John Moore, Jon Merrill, Damon Severson, Steven Santini, Yohann Auvitu, Josh Jacobs
Goalies
Cory Schneider, Keith Kinkaid

 

Outlook:
New Jersey is one of the lowest budget teams in the NHL.  Not only are they carrying over $12 million in cap space, they are also using the injured reserve loophole to save even more.  Ryan Clowe and Marc Savard have almost $8.9 million combined cap hit.  Without those two players helping their cap situation, the Devils would be well below the $53 million salary floor.  On the ice, the Devils were the weakest offensive team in the NHL last season, scoring just 184 goals.  So, this summer, they set out to change that, and made a trade with Edmonton, who were themselves looking to upgrade their defense group.  The Devils traded defenseman Adam Larsson for forward Taylor Hall, which will accomplish that goal for the Devils.  It’s a start, but it will not be enough.  There is a serious lack of elite level talent on this team, and until they add another few elite level players, they will continue to struggle in the standings.  It looks like another year in the draft lottery for the Devils.

Mid Summer Report: Columbus Blue Jackets

download (24)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Columbus Blue Jackets

Last Season’s Finish:  34-40-8, 76 pts, 8th in the Metropolitan Division, missed the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Sam Gagner (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • F Kerby Rychel (Toronto)
  • D Justin Falk (Buffalo)
  • D Fydor Tyutin (Colorado)
  • F Jared Boll (Anaheim)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • D Cody Goloubef
  • D Zach Werenski
  • D Gabriel Carlsson

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/14)

  • None

Current Cap Situation as of 8/14/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $69,182,141
  • Current salary cap space: $3,817,859

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Brandon Saad, Brandon Dubinsky, Nick Foligno, David Clarkson, Scott Hartnell, Cam Atkinson, Boone Jenner, Matt Calvert, Gregory Campbell, William Karlsson, Alexander Wennberg, Sam Gagner
Defensemen
Seth Jones, Jack Johnson, David Savard, Ryan Murray, Dalton Prout, Cody Goloubef
Goalies
Sergei Bobrovski, Curtis McElhinney

 

Outlook:
Last season, Columbus was expected to be a good team, possibly one that could finally have some success in the playoffs.  But, the wheels fell off the bus right away, as they lost their first 8 games of the season.  They fired head coach Todd Richards after game 7, and hired coach John Tortorella.  They continued to be inconsistent and streaky the rest of the season.  This season, the Tortorella system should be well known by the players.  They didn’t make many changes to the roster in the off season, and they have several players under 25 who are all one year wiser.  If this team is capable of putting together a strong season, this is the year.

The Hockey Nuts Podcast S1, Ep3: The Dog Days of Summer

Our next episode of the Hockey Nuts Podcast has gone live!  This week, we get you caught up on everything that has gone down in the world of hockey since our last episode, plus, we talk more about the World Cup of Hockey tournament.  We then, start speculating on how next June’s expansion draft will go.

Check it out today!!!

 

 

The Hockey Nuts logo final

Mid Summer Report: Dallas Stars

download (23)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Dallas Stars

Last Season’s Finish:  50-23-9 109 pts, 1st in the Central Division, lost in the second round of the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • D Dan Hamhuis (UFA)
  • D Andrew Bodnarchuk (UFA)
  • F Adam Cracknell (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • D Alex Goligoski (Arizona)
  • F Colton Sceviour (Florida)
  • F Vernon Fiddler (New Jersey)
  • D Jason Demers (Florida)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • D Jamie Oleksiak
  • D Patrik Nemeth
  • D Stephen Johns
  • F Brett Ritchie

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/14)

  • F Valeri Nichushkin

Current Cap Situation as of 8/14/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $66,415,833
  • Current salary cap space: $6,584,167

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Jason Spezza, Patrick Sharp, Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, Ales Hemsky, Cody Eakin, Antoine Roussel, Patrick Eaves, Valeri Nichushkin, Brett Ritchie, Radek Faska, Mattias Janmark, Curtis McKenzie, Adam Cracknell
Defensemen
John Klingberg, Johnny Oduya, Dan Hamhuis, Jordie Benn, Jamie Oleksiak, Patrik Nemeth, Andrew Bodnarchuk, Stephen Johns
Goalies
Kari Lehtonen, Antti Niemi

 

Outlook:
Dallas was arguably the most entertaining team to watch in the NHL.  That will not change this season.  They boast the most potent offense in the league, leading the NHL with 267 goals last season.  But, they had the worst defense in the league among the teams that made the playoffs.  They set out this summer to improve on that, bringing in stay-at-home defenseman Dan Hamhuis to replace Alex Goligoski, who left in free agency.  Dallas is proving that you can win with an offense focused team in today’s nhl, and we should expect that they will make the playoffs fairly easy yet again this season.

Mid Summer Report: St. Louis Blues

download (22)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the St. Louis Blues

Last Season’s Finish:  49-24-9, 107 pts, 2nd in the Central Division, lost in the Western Conference Final

Key Arrivals:

  • F David Perron (UFA)
  • G Carter Hutton (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • F David Backes (Boston)
  • G Brian Elliott (Calgary)
  • F Troy Brouwer (Calgary)
  • F Steve Ott (Detroit)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Petteri Lindbohm
  • F Mackenzie MacEachern
  • D Jordan Schmaltz

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/14)

  • none

Current Cap Situation as of 8/14/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $69,679,582
  • Current salary cap space: $3,320,418

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Vladimir Tarasenko, Paul Stastny, Alexander Steen, Jaden Schwartz, Jori Lehtera, David Perron, Patrik Berglund, Ryan Reaves, Dmitrij Jaskin, Kyle Brodziak, Scottie Upshall, Robby Fabbri, Magnus Paajarvi
Defensemen
Alex Pietrangelo, Jay Bouwmeester, Kevin Shattenkirk, Carl Gunnarsson, Robert Bortuzzo, Joel Edmundson, Colton Parayko, Petteri Lindbohm
Goalies
Jake Allen, Carter Hutton

 

Outlook:

 

St. Louis had one of the best seasons in franchise history last season, first earning 107 points in the regular season, and then making it all the way to the conference final for just the second time since the NHL/WHA merger.  Unfortunately for them, they hit a salary cap wall this summer, and have had to sit idle as forwards David Backes and Troy Brouwer got plucked away in free agency.  Those two players represent 39 of St. Louis’ goals and 84 points last year.  They signed David Perron this summer, but his production was even less than Brouwer, never mind Backes.  So, St. Louis will need to find goals from some other sources that they already have.  Either way, St. Louis is still a strong team, and should make the playoffs again this season.  It just won’t be as easy for them this year.

Mid Summer Report: Chicago Blackhawks

download (21)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com

 

As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Chicago Blackhawks

Last Season’s Finish:  47-26-9, 103 pts, 3rd in the Central Division, lost in round 1 of the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • D Brian Campbell (UFA)
  • F Jordin Tootoo (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • F Teuvo Teravainen (Carolina)
  • F Bryan Bickell (Carolina)
  • F Andrew Shaw (Montreal)
  • F Andrew Ladd (NY Islanders)
  • F Dale Weise (Philadelphia)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Richard Panik
  • F Vincent Hinostroza
  • D Ville Pokka
  • F Nick Schmaltz
  • F Tyler Motte

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/14)

  • None

Current Cap Situation as of 8/14/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $70,601,794
  • Current salary cap space: $2,398,206

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Artem Anisimov, Marcus Kruger, Richard Panik, Artemi Panarin, Andrew Desjardins, Jordin Tootoo, Vincent Hinostroza, Dennis Rasmussen, Brandon Mashinter
Defensemen
Brent Seabrook, Duncan Keith, Niklas Hjalmarsson, Brian Campbell, Trevor van Riemsdyk, Michal Kempny, Erik Gustafsson, Michal Rozsival
Goalies
Corey Crawford, Scott Darling

 

Outlook:

 

Chicago is one of the best teams in the league, period.  In the last 8 years, they have won the Stanley Cup 3 times, lost in the Western Conference Final twice, and lost in the first round of the playoffs 3 times.  All of that extra hockey can be hell on the players, which is likely a factor why last year was one of their first round exits after playing 11 rounds of playoff hockey in the three years prior to that.  So, they should come into this season much more fresh, not that they need it.  They should have no trouble making the playoffs again this season.  They are arguably the most top heavy team in the league, which makes them vulnerable to injuries.  They have a lot of guys with big contracts, so they have no choice to fill the bottom two lines with guys that earn under $1 million per year.  But, no matter what, the Blackhawks can almost treat the regular season as their pre-season.  Once the playoffs begin in April, Chicago will again be the team to beat in the west.

Mid Summer Report: Nashville Predators

download (20)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Nashville Predators

Last Season’s Finish:  41-27-14, 96 pts, 4th in the Central Division, lost in the second round of the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • D P.K. Subban (Trade)
  • D Yannick Weber (UFA)
  • D Matt Carle (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • F Cody Hodgson (UFA)
  • F Gabriel Bourque (UFA)
  • F Eric Nystrom (UFA)
  • D Shea Weber (Montreal)
  • D Barret Jackman (UFA)
  • G Carter Hutton (St. Louis)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Colton Sissons
  • D Petter Granberg
  • D Anthony Bitetto

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/14)

  • None

Current Cap Situation as of 8/14/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $67,585,831
  • Current salary cap space: $5,414,169

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Filip Forsberg, James Neal, Mike Fisher, Craig Smith, Ryan Johansen, Colin Wilson, Mike Ribeiro, Calle Jarnkrok, Viktor Arvidsson, Colton Sissons, Cody Bass, Miikka Salomaki, Austin Watson
Defensemen
PK Subban, Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm, Ryan Ellis, Matthew Carle, Petter Granberg, Anthony Bitetto, Yannick Weber
Goalies
Pekka Rinne, Marek Mazanec

 

Outlook:

Nashville made a huge splash this summer by being part of the trade of the year in the NHL.  Two days prior to free agency opened on July 1, the Predators traded defenseman Shea Weber for Montreal’s P.K. Subban.  It has been a very unpopular move so far with Montreal fans, as Subban was a fan favorite there, as well as their best defenseman by far.  Well, Weber now goes to Montreal and assumes the undisputed #1 defenseman role, but he is 4 years older than Subban.  Subban was a controversial figure in Montreal, as apparently, the upper brass with the team felt he was becoming bigger than the team, and there is no room for that.  Subban comes to Nashville, and his individuality will not only be accepted, but encouraged.  In a non-traditional hockey market like Nashville, Subban will singlehandedly put butts in the seats, not that they need help.  This team has been very strong for several years now, and fan support has been strong as a result.  They should continue to be a strong team this season, and with Subban on the team, they will be even more fun to watch.  The only thing left for Nashville to do is finally advance past the second round of the playoffs, which is something they have yet to accomplish.

 

Mid Summer Report: Minnesota Wild

download (19)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Minnesota Wild

Last Season’s Finish:  38-33-11, 87 pts, 5th in the Central Division, lost in 1st round of the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Eric Staal (UFA)
  • F Chris Stewart (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • F Thomas Vanek (Detroit)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Alex Tuch

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/13)

  • None

Current Cap Situation as of 8/13/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $70,831,087
  • Current salary cap space: $2,168,913

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu, Jason Pominville, Eric Staal, Charlie Coyle, Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter, Jason Zucker, Chris Stewart, Erik Haula, Jordan Schroeder, Zac Dalpe
Defensemen
Ryan Suter, Jared Spurgeon, Jonas Brodin, Marco Scandella, Matt Dumba, Christian Folin, Nate Prosser
Goalies
Devan Dubnyk, Darcy Kuemper

 

 

Outlook:

Minnesota made the playoffs for the 4th season in a row, but once again, got eliminated early, this time, losing in the first round.  The road will be difficult for them any year, as they will almost have to get past the Chicago Blackhawks if they are going to go deep in the playoffs.  That said, the Wild has been very quiet this summer outside of signing their restricted free agents.  They have had only one unrestricted free agent signing worth noting, as they brought in Eric Staal to essentially replace Thomas Vanek, who’s contract was bought out.  Other than that, this team will look very much like last year’s team.  This is a team that would easily make the playoffs in any other division than the Central Division.  But, in the Central Division, they will have to scratch and claw for every point they get.  They will surely be one of the teams that is right there in the last week of the season.  What side of the playoff cut line they end up on when the season ends will be up to them.

Mid Summer Report: Colorado Avalanche

download (18)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the

Last Season’s Finish:  39-39-4, 82 pts, 6th in the Central Division, missed the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Rocco Grimaldi (Trade)
  • F Turner Elson (UFA)
  • D Patrick Wiercioch (UFA)
  • F Joe Colborne (UFA)
  • D Fedor Tyutin (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • D Nick Holden (NY Rangers)
  • F Shawn Matthias (Winnipeg)
  • D Zach Redmond (Montreal)
  • F Mikkel Boedker (San Jose)
  • D Andrew Bodnarchuk (Dallas)
  • D Nate Guenin (Anaheim)
  • D Brandon Gormley (New Jersey)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Rocco Grimaldi
  • D Nikita Zadorov
  • D Chris Bigras

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/13)

  • None

Current Cap Situation as of 8/13/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $72,040,593
  • Current salary cap space: $959,407

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Nathan MacKinnon, Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog, Jarome Iginla, Carl Soderberg, Joe Colborne, Blake Comeau, John Mitchell, Cody McLeod, Mikhail Grigorenko, Rocco Grimaldi, Andreas Martinsen, Turner Elson
Defensemen
Erik Johnson, Tyson Barrie, Francois Beauchemin, Fedor Tyutin, Eric Gelinas, Nikita Zadorov, Chris Bigras, Patrick Wiercioch
Goalies
Semyon Varlamov, Calvin Pickard

 

Outlook:

 

Colorado’s summer had been relatively quiet.  Sure, their list of players coming and going is fairly long, but all of the changes were to the bottom two lines and their AHL affiliate in San Antonio.  But, on Thursday, August 11, their quiet summer became a wild summer, when Head Coach/VP of Player Operations,  Patrick Roy Suddenly resigned effective immediately.  Roy sited differences in the direction of the team that he and Ownership/Management had as the reason for his decision. This resignation leaves the team scrambling to find a coach when training camp is less than a month away.    Even without Roy’s resignation, it was going to be a difficult road ahead for the Avalanche this upcoming season.  Colorado finished out of the playoffs for the second consecutive season last season, and they effectively did nothing to improve the team through free agency.  Their top pick in this year’s draft, Tyson Jost, is just entering his freshman season at North Dakota, so his arrival in Colorado is years away.  So, this season looks to be a continuation of the rebuilding that has gone on in the last few years.

 

Mid Summer Report: Winnipeg Jets

download (17)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the

Last Season’s Finish:  35-39-8, 78 pts, 7th in the Central Division, missed the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Shawn Matthias (UFA)
  • F Quinton Howden (UFA)
  • D Brian Strait (UFA)
  • F Patrik Laine (Draft)

Key Departures:

  • None

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Patrik Laine
  • F Marco Dano
  • F Brandon Tanev
  • F JC Lipon

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/12)

  • D Jacob Trouba
  • F JC Lipon

Current Cap Situation as of 8/12/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $65,430,791
  • Current salary cap space: $7,569,209

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler, Bryan Little, Drew Stafford, Mathieu Perreault, Shawn Matthias, Alexander Burmistrov, Chris Thorburn, Adam Lowry, Joel Armia, Patrik Laine, Andrew Copp, Marko Dano, Nikolaj Ehlers, Brandon Tanev, Anthony Peluso, Quinton Howden, JC Lipon
Defensemen
Dustin Byfuglien, Toby Enstrom, Tyler Myers, Mark Stuart, Jacob Touba, Paul Postma, Ben Chiarot, Brian Strait
Goalies
Ondrej Pavelec, Michael Hutchinson

 

Outlook:

Winnipeg finished in last place in a very tough Central Division last year.  Fans in Winnipeg didn’t care.  They are still thrilled that they have a team in Winnipeg again.  Obviously, they want their team to be better, and they will be in a few seasons.  This team is building its foundation through the draft, as Winnipeg isn’t the largest market in the league.  The Jets’ biggest addition this summer was at the draft, when they took Patrik Laine with the second overall pick, right behind Auston Matthews, who went to Toronto.  All the experts say Laine is NHL ready now, and should make the Jets roster right away.  A few are even saying Laine was the best player in this year’s draft.  Time will tell on that one, but if he is ready, and some of the younger players take another step forward in their development, Winnipeg will make things interesting in the Central Division.  But it may not be enough.  With strong teams like Dallas, St. Louis, Chicago, Nashville, and Minnesota in their division, making the playoffs will be a tall order.  Perhaps in a season or two they will.

Mid Summer Reports: Florida Panthers

downloadBy Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Florida Panthers

Last Season’s Finish:  47-26-9, 103 pts, 1st in the Atlantic Division, lost in the first round of the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Jaren McCann (Trade)
  • D Keith Yandle (Trade)
  • D Mark Pysyk (Trade)
  • G James Reimer (UFA)
  • F Colton Sceviour (UFA)
  • D Jason Demers (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • D Erik Gudbranson (Vancouver)
  • F Rocco Grimaldi (Colorado)
  • D Dmitri Kulikov (Buffalo)
  • D Brian Campbell (Chicago)
  • G Al Montoya (Montreal)
  • F Quinton Howden (Winnipeg)
  • F Teddy Purcell (Los Angeles)
  • D Willie Mitchell (retired)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Jared McCann
  • D Michael Matheson

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/12)

  • none

Current Cap Situation as of 8/12/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $69,283,332
  • Current salary cap space: $3,716,668

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Aleksander Barkov, Dave Bolland, Vincent Trocheck, Nick Bjugstad, Jaromir Jagr, Jussi Jokinen, Reilly Smith, Jonathan Huberdeau, Derek Mackenzie, Colton Sceviour, Jared McCann, Jonathan Marchessault, Greg McKegg, Shawn Thornton
Defensemen
Keith Yandle, Jason Demers, Jakub Kindl, Mark Pysyk, Alex Petrovic, Aaron Ekblad, Michael Matheson, Steven Kampfer
Goalies
Roberto Luongo, James Reimer, Reto Berra

 

Outlook:

 

Florida had their best regular season in franchise history last season, finishing with 103 points, and winning the Atlantic Division title.  They earned just their 5th playoff berth in their 22 year history.  Unfortunately, they lost in the first round of the playoffs to the New York Islanders.  But, it was a big step in the right direction for a team that has struggled with attendance issues during the last several years.  They have made a bunch of moves over the summer, but most of them involved role players and older veterans.  With the exception of Jaromir Jagr, Dave Bolland, and Jussi Jokinen, who are all returning this fall, this team’s core is made up of a bunch of guys under the age of 25.  This group was left intact from last season to this season, so it is reasonable to expect that the Panthers will continue to be one of the best teams in the Atlantic Division again this season.  In fact, fans in Florida should be excited as this team should remain competitive for years to come, as long as they can hang on to their core of young guns like Barkov, Trochek, Bjugstad, Smith, Huberdeau, and Ekblad.

Mid Summer Report: Tampa Bay Lightning

download (14)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Tampa Bay Lightning

Last Season’s Finish:  46-31-5, 97 pts, 2nd in the Atlantic Division, lost in the Eastern Conference Final

Key Arrivals:

  • D James Wisniewski (Pro tryout contract)

Key Departures:

  • D Matt Carle (Nashville)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Jonathan Drouin

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/12)

  • F Nikita Kucherov
  • D Nikita Nesterov

Current Cap Situation as of 8/12/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $66,408,333
  • Current salary cap space: $6,591,667

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Steven Stamkos, Ryan Callahan, Valtteri Filppula, Alex Killorn, Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, Bryan Boyle, Vladislav Namestnikov, J.T. Brown, Erik Condra, Jonathan Drouin, Cedric Paquette, Nikita Kucherov
Defensemen
Jason Garrison, Anton Stralman, Victor Hedman, Brayden Coburn, Andrej Sustr, Nikita Nesterov, Matt Taormina
Goalies
Ben Bishop, Andrei Vasilevskiy

 

Outlook:
Tampa Bay is the most stable team in the NHL in terms of player turnover from the 2015-2016 season to the 2016-2017 season.  They wouldn’t have it any other way, either.  Last season, they went all the way to the Eastern Conference Final before bowing out to the Pittsburgh Penguins.  They only had one major question mark entering the summer, and that was what pending unrestricted free agent Steven Stamkos would do.  It began to look like he was going to test free agency and possibly leave Tampa Bay, and rumors flew around the league at his possible destination.  There were about a dozen teams who were going to make an offer to land the free agent center.  Ultimately, to the disappointment of 29 fan bases, he decided to stay put in Tampa Bay, and he signed a 8-year deal worth $8.5M per year (average annual value).  Once Stamkos was signed, everything else fell into place.  Every other player on their roster that needed to be signed was a restricted free agent.  At the time of this posting, they still need to sign Nikita Kucherov and Nikita Nesterov, and with only about $6.5 million in cap space left, it could be tight, as Kucherov is a major part of the offense in Tampa Bay.  Assuming they eventually signs Kucherov, the Lightning will be a playoff team again this season, and they should be considered on of the Stanley Cup contenders in the Eastern Conference.

Mid Summer Report: Detroit Red Wings

download (13)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Detroit Red Wings

Last Season’s Finish:  41-30-11, 93 pts, 3rd in the Atlantic Division, lost in round 1 of playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Frans Nielsen (UFA)
  • F Thomas Vanek (UFA)
  • F Steve Ott (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • F Joakim Andersson (Sweden)
  • F Brad Richards (Retired)
  • F Pavel Datsyuk (Russia)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Andreas Athanasiou

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/12)

  • none

Current Cap Situation as of 8/12/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $77,867,042
  • Current salary cap space: $0 (OVER by $4,867,042)

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Henrik Zetterberg, Frans Nielsen, Gustav Nyquist, Justin Abdelkader, Darren Helm, Tomas Tatar, Thomas Vanek, Riley Sheahan, Drew Miller, Dylan Larkin, Tomas Jurco, Teemu Pulkkinen, Steve Ott, Luke Clendening, Andreas Athanasiou, Johan Franzen (IR), Joe Vitale (IR)
Defensemen
Mike Green, Danny Dekeyser, Niklas Kronwall, Jonathan Ericsson, Brendan Smith, Alexey Marchenko
Goalies
Jimmy Howard, Petr Mrazek

 

Outlook:

Detroit is a veteran team that is beginning to get themselves into cap hell.  As of the day this was written, they were actually over that salary cap maximum by almost $4.9 million.  That is ok, as long as Johan Franzen ($3.9M) and Joe Vitale ($1.1M) remain on IR.  But if those two players become healthy, they will need to free up enough space to fit them under the cap.  That’s something worth keeping an eye on.  As for the rest of the team, it will look very close to the team that squeaked into the playoffs last season.  The only major changes were at the forward position, where Frans Nielsen and Thomas Vanek were brought in to replace retiring Brad Richards and Pavel Datsuyk.  The defensemen and goaltenders remain the same as last year.  The Wings should continue to be a strong team in the east, and their streak of 25 consecutive playoff appearances should continue for a 26th season.

Mid Summer Report: Boston Bruins

download (12)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Boston Bruins

Last Season’s Finish:  42-31-9, 93 pts, 4th in the Atlantic Division, missed the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F David Backes (UFA)
  • G Anton Khudobin (UFA)
  • F Riley Nash (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • F Max Talbot (KHL)
  • D Dennis Seidenberg (UFA)
  • F Loui Eriksson (Vancouver)
  • D Zach Trotman (Los Angeles)
  • G Jonas Gustavsson (Edmonton)
  • F Lee Stempniak (Carolina)
  • F Brett Connolly (Washington)
  • F Chris Kelly (Ottawa)
  • F Landon Ferraro (St Louis)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Frank Vatrano
  • F Noel Acciari
  • F Tyler Randell
  • D Joe Morrow
  • D Matt Grzelcyk

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/9)

  • none

Current Cap Situation as of 8/9/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $66,268,333
  • Current salary cap space: $6,731,667

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, David Backes, Brad Marchand, Matt Beleskey, Jimmy Hayes, Ryan Spooner, David Pastrnak, Riley Nash, Frank Vatrano, Noel Acciari, Tyler Randell
Defensemen
Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller, John-Michael Liles, Colin Miller, Joe Morrow
Goalies
Tuukka Rask, Anton Khudobin

 

Outlook:

The Bruins are a team in transition.  After winning the Stanley Cup in 2011, then returning to the finals in 2013, they began to feel the salary cap pinch as a result of their success.  They had to start shedding some of their assets due to being unable to fit them under the cap.  Moved out were key members of the team, like Johnny Boychuk, Dougie Hamilton, and Milan Lucic.  As a result of these moves, the Bruins came back down to earth.  While they still made the playoffs in 2014, they lost in the second round.  The fall continued in 2015 and 2016, as they failed to make the playoffs both years, although they ended up 9th both years.  So, having missed the playoffs two straight years, GM Don Sweeney set out to really turn hits team toward the future.  He started by buying out Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg on June 30, then chose not to resign several veteran players who were headed for unrestricted free agency, including Loui Eriksson, Lee Stempniak, Brett Connolly, and Chris Kelly.  This effectively got the Bruins out of salary cap jail after having been there for the last several years.  Sweeney wasted no time using his newly found salary cap room, signing veteran forward David Backes.  There was a lot of talk out of Boston that the Bruins were also looking to add a free agent defenseman, but to date, they have yet to land a top-4 D-man.  So, at this time, it looks as though the Bruins will be heading into the 16-17 season relying on a lot of their youth. Good thing they have plenty of it.  Unfortunately, it looks like it is going to be a difficult season for Boston fans this season, unless some of their prospects perform much better than expected.  Most of the core of the 2011 team is still in Boston, so don’t count them out, but it looks like 16-17 will be a lot like the last couple seasons.