Saturday, 4 September 2010

Offseason Recap-Pacific Division

The Sharks will continue to be the top team in the division. At least in the regular season.

San Jose Sharks - 3
Key Signings
7/1: G Antero Niittymaki (TB) 2 years
7/31: RW Devin Setoguchi (re-signed) 1 year
8/4: RW Jamal Mayers (CAL)
9/2:  Antti Niemi (CHI) 1 year, $2 M
6/21: 5th round draft pick (2010) from MIN for RW Brad Staubitz
6/24: D Mike Vernace, LW Brett Sterling, and 7th round draft pick (2010) from ATL for future considerations
G Evgeni Nabokov (KHL, SKA St. Petersburg)
D Rob Blake (retired)
C Manny Malhotra (VAN)
RW Jed Ortmeyer
What To Expect
Former captain Patrick Marleau and goaltender Evgeni Nabokov have taken the most amount of heat for the Sharks' playoff failures in the past. GM Doug Wilson opted to keep Marleau after a career high 44 goals last season and let Nabokov head back to Russia. HOwever, with the signings of Antero Niittymaki and Antti Niemi should give the Sharks solid goatending. Niittymaki plays better when the crease is being shared and Niemi brings his Stanley Cup winning experience to California. The Sharks did lose a few key players from last season, captain Rob Blake retired and faceoff ace Manny Malhotra headed to Vancouver. This is still a deep lineup and shouldn't slip too far from last season.

Los Angeles Kings - 5
Key Signings
7/17: C Brad Richardson (re-signed) 1 year
7/18: C Marc-Andre Cliche (re-signed) 1 year
7/18: C Trevor Lewis (re-signed) 1 year
7/18: LW Richard Clune (re-signed) 1 year
7/27: LW Alexei Ponikarovsky (PIT) 1 year
D Sean O'Donnell (PHI)
RW Raitis Ivanans (CAL)
LW Alexander Frolov (NYR)
D Randy Jones (TB)
LW Fredrik Modin
C Jeff Halpern
What To Expect
Other than Alexander Frolov and Sean O'Donnell, the Kings did not lose any significant players from last season. Alexei Ponikarovsky replaces Frolov and while his peak may not be as high, Ponikarovsky offers a much more consistent game. Jonathan Bernier is ready to step into the NHL full time and will challenge Jonathan Quick who set a franchise record for wins with 39 for the starting job. Drew Doughty appears to be ready to own the Norris Trophy for the foreseeable future.

Phoenix Coyotes - 6
Key Signings
7/1: D Derrek Morris (re-signed) 4 years, $11 M
7/1: LW Ray Whitney (CAR) 2 years, $6 M
7/2: C Andrew Ebbett (MIN)
7/26: LW Alexandre Picard (re-signed) 1 year
8/30: RW Lee Stempniak (re-signed) 2 years, $3.8 M
5/13: 5th round draft pick (2010) from CAR for RW Jared Staal
6/26: 4th round draft pick (2012) from COL for LW Daniel Winnik
6/30: C Patrick O'Sullivan from EDM for D Jim Vandermeer
D Zbynek Michalek (PIT)
C Joel Perrault (VAN)
LW Stefan Meyer (CAL)
RW Francis Lessard (OTT)
What To Expect
The man they called The Wizard in Carolina is in the desert and Ray Whitney should help improve the 24th ranked offense from last season. His was the only major addition to a team that will once again be scoring by committee. They lost shutdown specialist Zbynek Michalek to Pittsburgh but Vezina finalist Ilya Bryzgalov should be able to keep the damage minimal.

Anaheim Ducks - 9
Key Signings
7/1:D Toni Lydman (BUF) 3 years, $9 M
7/1: C Saku Koivu (re-signed) 2 years, $5 M
7/21: D Danny Syvret (PHI) 1 year
8/2: D Andy Sutton (OTT) 2 years
8/9: RW Teemu Selanne (re-signed) 1 year, $3.25 M
6/26: 5th round draft pick (2010) from TOR for RW Mike Brown
6/30: RW Jason Jaffray and 7th round draft pick (2013) from CAL for C Logan Man Millan and 7th round draft pick (2013)
7/9: LW Aaron Voros and LW Ryan Hillier from NYR for D Steve Eminger
7/19: LW Thomas Zuborsky from NYR for D Matt McCue
7/30: 3rd round draft pick (2011) from NYI for D James Wisniewski
D Scott Niedermayer (retired)
G Joey MacDonald (DET)
What To Expect
Defense used to be the power of Anaheim, now a team that was once led by Scott Niedermayer, Chris Pronger, and Francois Beauchemin is now headed by Lubomir Visnovsky, James Wisniewski, and Toni Lydman. Jonas Hiller's job this year may be slightly more difficult than it was for Giguere the past few years. Not much has changed up front as the Ducks may struggle to score after their first line of Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf, and Corey Perry.

Dallas Stars - 13
Key Signings
7/1: RW Adam Burish (CHI) 2 years, $2.3 M
7/1: G Andrew Raycroft (VAN) 2 years
7/12: C Aaron Gagnon (re-signed) 1 year
7/16: D Brad Lukowich (VAN) 1 year
7/16: D Maxime Fortunus (re-signed) 1 year
7/16: RW Raymond Sawada (re-signed) 1 year
7/23: LW Fabian Brunnstrom (re-signed) 1 year, $675,000
8/26: Nicklas Grossman (re-signed) 2 years, $3.25 M
C Mike Modano (DET)
G Marty Turco (CHI)
What To Expect
The face of the franchise for 20 seasons, Mike Modano, was let go and headed home to Detroit. With goalie Marty gone as well, the team's chances lie in the hands of oft-injured Kari Lehtonen. GM Joe Nieuwendyk will have a tough time putting a good team together, especially under the tight budget he must adhere to. Whether or not they have a one line attack depends largely on the play of Mike Ribeiro, but even if he has a good season, expect this team to miss the playoffs again while it refinds its identity.

Sources: Free Agent TradeCentre, The Hockey News Yearbook

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