Winners and Losers of the NHL Off Season Thus Far

Gary Bettman

Coming off a shortened lock out season, some teams may be more inclined to jump the gun and make irrational decisions in regards to off season acquisitions. Lets take quick a look at some of the winners and losers.

Winners:

Winnipeg Jets:

I like what the Jets did this summer in the way that they didn’t really give a whole lot to acquire serviceable players. In my opinion, they received good value for the players they acquired. Getting Devon Setoguichi for a 2nd rounder is a steal, considering that it took TWO 2nd round picks to acquire Douglas Murray at the trade dealine for the PIT Penguins. I also like the addition of Frolik as he has good speed and is a more developed, harder working version of Burmistrov.  Overall the Jets added skill and versatility to there young core, without giving up anything significant. They have a impressive top 9 forwards, with an improving D corpse, and steady goaltending, I believe the Jets will be in the playoff contenders next season!

Toronto Maple Leafs:

Oh my beloved Toronto Maple Leafs. A large majority of people may disagree with this thought but I believe the Leafs did a fantastic job this Off Season. A lot of people are frustrated over the Mikhail Grabovski ordeal. It’s really not that complicated. He got signed to a lucrative deal by Former GM Brian Burke (who I am a fan of). Nonis along with Randy Caryle are developing what they believe to be a winning recipe and unfortunately, Grabovski and his playing style along with his contract, didn’t fit in with that recipe. The contract was just too bad. Now, on the other side of the coin, The Leafs brought in bruising RW David Clarkson. I’m a big fan of Clarkson, although the contract is not ideal, I believe that Leaf Fans are going to love him. He’s a hard nosed Toronto Boy, who is *WANTS* to be here. The same goes for Dave Bolland. Bolland has been up and down from injuries but I believe he is inline for a great season as our 3rd line center. I feel like we have the right mix of players here, that want to win.

The Potential 2nd line of Lupul-Kadri-Clarkson has me very excited for the upcoming year. I guess only time will tell.

The Losers:

Vancouver Canucks:

I’m just going to start off by saying that I honestly believe Mike Gillis should be let go as GM of the Vancouver Canucks. I don;t think I’ve seen a worse managed trade situation then the Luongo/Schneider saga. He over valued Luongo last season, signed him to a terrible contract and then decided to trade his goalie of the future for a under whelming package. He could have gotten a much higher value for Schneider at the Deadline oppose to waiting for someone to be desperate for Luongo. He has failed to add anyone this off season and the Canucks still have an dried up farm system. With their stars aging, and depth depleting, the Canucks maybe the new Calgary Flames. I also don’t like the hire of John Tortarella, I think the guy is funny and has some great sound bites, but I just don’t see him working well with the Vancouver media/fan base. Gillis is reeling and fired Vingneault who I believe is the better coach.

New Jersey Devils:

I honestly feel bad for the Devils. I compare them to a bride being left at the alter. I do commend them of there steal of Goalie Cory Schneider, but other then that…poor NJ. Lets look at what they’ve lost over the last 3 Seasons. Zach Parise (Free Agent), they could have traded him, but waited and…got nothing in return. David Clarkson (Free Agent), they could’ve trade him, but waited…got nothing in return. Last but not Least, Ilya Kovalchuck (Left for KHL), they only thing they received was a notice that they would still have to pay Kovalchuck 300,000 over the next couple years. The thing that is obviously the most frustrating is that they had the oppourtunity to trade these players for a boatload of assets, and I mean ALOT of assests. But alas, they got nothing. They had to give up assests for Schneider, which they don’t have many of. Lets hope Lamoureillo can work his magic again. Also, I must say, that Ryan Clowe contract is TERRIBLE. the guy scored 3 goals last year! Cody Franson had 3 goals in the first round of the Playoffs!!

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