I have to say minnesota is going to have a tough time this year...then again so are we, maybe. Look at it this way, calgary already relativley strong bolstered their roster by resigning iggy, kipper and signing hamrlik, although the avs lost forzee they retained sackic and foote, and the oilers signed pronger and peca...the nucks may have resigned nazzy and bert, kept morisson and resigned dan but really where is our depth...sure we have a decent blue line keeping jovo but i think nonis has to pick it up and sign the bigger players...then you say but we dont have room in the cap...of course you wont have room if you sign people like dan at 5 mill when they are worth IMO at a max of 4 mill for 2 years...so my question to you is this...where do you think we stand among these recently developed powerhouses in the west after all we meet calgary adn the oilers 8 times each this season adn the avs we see 7 times...i think bert said it best when he said that this is a division that is going to be hard to make up ground in if you fall behind early...good luck minny, you'll need it
I don't think that there is any question that we are in the toughest division in hockey. Calgary and Edmonton both made some great moves in free agency and Edmonton still has loads of cap room to pick up more players. For the most part I think we are in pretty good shape as long as we can keep Ohlund. I think the Canucks have improved on paper and we were able to keep (arguably) the best line in hockey together. We still lack some grit though and no matter what they say about the rule changes, we all know what will happen come playoff time. Edmonton is still questionable in goal in my opinion and I'm hoping like hell that Kiippersov's season last year was a fluke as we will need that. Calgary is the team that concerns me the most. They were big and strong last year but lacked some scoring touch. Now they are even bigger, tougher and should score some more goals with Amonte. Although I hate to say it, I think the Flames will win the division and we finish second in a very tight group. I don't think we can write off Colorado just because Forsberg is gone. They played very well without him in the line-up for a good portion of the past two seasons. Losing Foote in my opinion will be a bigger blow. They may have to ourscore a few teams to win more games but they have the capability.
my bad, i didnt mean foote, but i have to agree with mindbender, the only problem i see with edmonton is that they dont have a goalie, alhtough conklin definitley has potential, this will be the year where he can prove his stuff, i honestly dont think though that you can predict who will finish atop the division, it could very easily be either of the 4 teams mentioned we shall have to see how things shape up
I think Vancouver has the advantage winning the division, but there will be a wider breadth of serious competitors than in previous years. Everyone in the northwest except minny has a good paper team going into the season, but injuries and unanticipated transactions could obviously seriously alter preseason projections. Vancouver has probably the best team continuity and the WCE, will probably be best advantaged by the new rules (at least in the beginning) but the lack of depth, grit and dependable goaltending will probably result in the same fate as the past few years as much as I hate to think so. Insanity has been defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, and Nucks have the same basic team (maybe) and the competition have all made major improvements. Its fun to speculate but who knows. Can't wait til october
Every team seems like its going to have 3 or 4 very good to elite guys ... that should balance out so the winning or losing i believe is going to come down to team depth in injury situations, 3rd & 4th line contributions, goaltending and the ability for one or two players to play above expectations - whether that be a rookie or maybe a guy like Anson Carter who has been written off by other teams.