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Peter Schaefer (trade with Ottawa) - Schaefer will make Boston better because he's a very good penalty killer and he can score at least 15-20 goals a season. The Bruins only had to give up a 2 goal (last season) guy in Sean Donovan.
Manny Fernandez (trade with Minnesota) - By acquiring Fernandez, Boston shored up their goal tending. Fernandez is a very capable 30-40 win goalie if he stays healthy. Along with Tim Thomas, Boston has a capable tandem.
Remaining Holes - None
Boston basically has almost the identical team that finished the year out of the playoffs. However, by adding a capable goalie in Fernandez and an upgrade over Sean Donovan they may be able to make the playoffs. Glen Murray being healthy all year will definitely help their chances because he was Savard's trigger man.
Predicted Finish - 5th
Jocelyn Thibault (1 yr, $760K) - all Thibault will do is start a few games and provide the Sabres with some capable goaltending.
Remaining Holes - 1 top six forward, depth forward
I think there were many more major subtractions from the Sabres this off season then additions. They lost Danny Briere and Chris Drury. Two major offensive contributers and two captains. It's going to be interesting if the Sabres can land on their feet after this one. They do have the personnel to recover with the emergence of Tomas Vanek and solid contributers in Derek Roy and Maxim Afinegenov. Not to mention the inevitable coming out party of Drew Stafford. But can the Sabres recover from losing two leaders in the dressing room? That remains to be seen.
Predicted Finish - 1st
Roman Hamrlik (4 yrs, $22 million) - Hamrlik will definitely not replace Souray's cannon shot from the point on the powerplay. However he does have a rather hard shot and is much better defensively then Souray. That alone will help the Canadiens in their own zone. Personally I think Hamrlik is a better fit for the Canadiens then Souray is.
Bryan Smolinski (1 yr, $2 million) - Smolinski will provide what Bonk did but he will score a little bit more. He can also jump up to the first or second line if needed.
Tom Kostopolous (2 yrs, $900K) - A good depth signing for the Habs who will provide grit and hard work every night.
Remaining Holes - top 6 forward, depth defenceman
The Habs have improved defensively this off season, however they have yet to address the most glaring need. That's scoring. They had trouble scoring all year and that is probably what cost them entrance into the playoffs. Gainey has got to find a way to get a top six forward capable of being on the first line. Koivu, I believe is better suited as a second line center.
Predicted Finish - 4th
Niko Dimitrakos (1 yr, undisclosed) - Dimitrakos didn't fair well in the NHL last season, and wasn't that good in the AHL either. I don't really know what Ottawa is trying to get out of this signing.
Remaining Holes - #5 or 6 d-man, top 9 forward
Up to this point in the off season, Ottawa really hasn't been busy adding players. They have just been trying to keep Ray Emery at a reasonable price (which has been accomplished). Now the Sens have to find a good defenceman to replace Tom Preissing and may be a forward to be inserted in the top 3 lines.
Predicted Finish - 2nd
Toronto Maple Leafs
Jason Blake (5 yr, $20 million) - Blake has shown to the hockey world that he can score and that he can skate like the wind. That alone will make the Leafs much better. Sundin finally has someone that he can feed the puck to and that can score goals.
Vesa Toskala (trade with San Jose) - Toskala, I believe, is a much better goalie then Raycroft has shown himself to be and he will surely shore up the Leafs goaltending situation. If "Razer" isn't traded, both him and Toskala will create a formidable tandem.
Mark Bell (trade with San Jose) - Bell was brought into San Jose to be a big body for Thornton's line. But he ended up being a dud and was even a healthy scratch at times. May be another change of scenery will bring him back to the dominant forward he was in Chicago.
Remaining Holes - top 6 forward
Toronto got better just with the acquisition of Toskala. When I saw him play in the playoffs, I thought is was amazing. If he can return to that form, Toronto has finally got themselves a goalie. Bell was just a throw in who might pay off. Jason Blake will help the Leafs score more and Sundin will finally have an semi-elite winger beside him. All in all this will probably add up to a playoff birth for the Leafs.
Predicted Finish - 3rd
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