5.08.2007

Looking Ahead "2"

Here's the rest of the teams for my subject, along with (possibly) a conference finals analysis, and a good hockey video. However, I might not get to all of that. Anyways....

Minnesota- The Wild likely won't make any huge moves in the summer, but there are definitely some possibilities. 1) Manny Fernandez traded. It's pretty likely, and actually, might turn into a major move. Neither Manny nor the spectacular Niklas Backstrom would truly be happy with back-up time, and while Minnesota would sure like to have both of them, it won't happen. To make it more complicated, Josh Harding looks ready, and the Wild have several other goalie prospects vying for the AHL that will be lost once Harding leaves (a.k.a. Miroslav Kopriva, Kristofer Westblom, maybe Niko Hoivinen). Also, the offense is a little crowded, so it may be possible to see Todd White or Stephane Veilleux move.
Montreal- Changes must be made, or Bob Gainey might leave. First of all, anyone in their right mind would get rid of Sergei Samsonov, whether it be a trade, waiving him multiple times, or buying him out. He has to go. Also, re-signing Sheldon Souray would be a huge blessing, and if he leaves, expect the Habs to go after whatever offensive blue-liner is left. David Abeischer will be good trade bait for either a checking forward or a young defenseman.
Nashville- It may actually be convienient to let Peter Forsberg leave. David Legwand is ready to be a top-line center, and Jason Arnott is more than capable of manning the second line. Vernon Fiddler could run the third line, and Jerred Smithson and Scott Nichol can trade off fourth line time, if Nichol doesn't leave in the first place. If he does, Rich Peverley will take his place. On defense, a veteran blue-liner is needed to replace Kimmo Timonen, who likely will become tooo expensive for the Preds to afford. One of Tomas Vokoun or Chris Mason could leave to make room for Pekka Rinne, with Mason being most likely.
New Jersey- The Devils will look to either re-sign Scott Gomez, or bring in another center of his status. It would help if another scoring forward was brought in, but really, the Devils don't have a lot they need to do.
New York Islanders- The Islanders want to sign Ryan Smyth, but he may have other ideas. If he leaves, the Islanders will have to find another scoring forward. Also, an extra defensema would be nice, but really, if the Islanders can keep everyone from this roster, they are good to go.
New York Rangers- The Broadway Blueshirts almost made the conference finals with the roster they had, so only a few changes will be made. A center, such as Ryan Hollweg, or even Petr Prucha (who isn't really a center, but is listed as one on nhl.com), could be moved to make room for exciting youngster Ryan Callahan. Callahan had 4 goals and 6 points in 14 games with the Rangers, and is still eligible for the Calder next year. On defense, everything is set if everyone stays. Unless Al Montoya or Stephen Valiquette is ready, a back-up goalie will be wanted after Kevin Weekes' so-so performance.
Ottawa- If the Sens make it to the Stanley Cup Final (which is actually a good possibility) then they should be happy with most of their roster. Tweaking will be done here and there if they don't make it though. Oleg Saprykin, who underacheived in twelve regular season games and has gone scoreless through 7 playoff games, will likely leave the team, as could extra defenseman Lawrence Nycholat, who only played once for the Sens and had little impact.
Philadelphia- The Flyers will definitley make big moves. Room needs to be made for Ryan Parent, Steve Downie, Alexandre Picard, and, on the possible list, Claude Giroux and Jussi Timonen. No matter who makes it, the Flyers will have a bigger youth movement than Pittsburgh. Lots of changes. In fact, the only sure bets are Simon Gagne, Joni Pitkanen, and Martin Biron.
Pittsburgh- The Pens will need a veteran influx next year. The Pens would like to keep Gary Roberts, but he may go elsewhere. A scoring winger would be nice, and so would another veteran D-man.
San Jose- The Sharks will be focused on their prospects now. But, there are rumors that Patrick Marleau could leave after his poor playoff performance.
St. Louis- It all depends on the draft. Scoring is a key focal point.
Tampa Bay- The Lightning will need defense, and they have the money too spend after telling Ruslan Fedotenko that he will not return.
Toronto- The Leafs need to increase their forward depth, and find a way to rid themselves of Bryan McCabe and Pavel Kubina. Perhaps the Tampa will want their stud back?
Vancouver- The Canucks will be looking to tweak their roster, especially the forwards.
Washington- The Capitals are likely to go through another rebuilding year. They need a playmaking center (or three) to compliment Ovechkin, Semin, and possibly youngster Alexandre Giroux (aren't the Caps tired of that first name?). Kris Beech needs to step up.

Sorry for the rushed finish. I won't be able to add a video just yet, but, tomorrow, I'll analyze the conference finals and try to include some playoff highlights.

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