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"Aarif Deen - DailyNHLGrind"
MI • United States • 24 Years Old • Male
For everything hockey - 24/7 news updates, scores, humour, blogs, and everything else in between, please follow me on twitter at https://twitter.com/DailyNHLGrind.

LINK TO PART ONE: http://my.hockeybuzz.com/...8&user_id=131735
LINK TO PART TWO: http://my.hockeybuzz.com/...35&post_id=13858

20. Boston Bruins:
I’m gonna try as hard as I can to say as little as possible about Tim Thomas. Without getting into much detail, the two-time Vezina trophy winning Stanley Cup Champion is done in Boston, and it’s finally Tuukka Rask’s time to shine. Nathan Horton is apparently healthy and ready for training camp, and the Bruins are set to enter the upcoming season with just about the same lineup that finished off last year (other than trading for Ray Bourque’s kid).

I still think signing a veteran like Arnott would work wonders for Boston, but whether they do or not, they’re still fully capable of challenging every team in the East. They hold one of the most complete lineups in the league and they’ll be back in October to make another run at the Stanley Cup.
Verdict? Playoff bound.

19. St. Louis Blues:

Not many were able to see the Blues’ huge season coming last year. Hitchcock grabbed a team loaded with depth and talent, and took them one giant step into the right direction. The winners of the dominant Central Division will be back next year with even more depth. Vladimir Tarasenko is looking for a full-time roster spot. He won’t be the only one, as College star Jaden Schwartz will also look to become an impact player.

Their goaltending duo of Elliott and Halak will both be back and healthy, and Pietrangelo, Shattenkirk and the backline will also be looking to inflict as much damage on the opposition as possible. Similar to the Bruins, the Blues didn’t make any big changes at all, but with a team as talented as the one they have, changes weren’t really necessary. Look for the Blues to repeat as Central Division champs and possibly make it past the second round of the playoffs as well.
Verdict? Playoff bound.

18. Philadelphia Flyers:
If David Poile had not matched the offer-sheet for Shea Weber, you wouldn’t be reading about the Flyers offseason till day 6 of this series. Holmgren has made tons of bold moves in the last 12-14 months for the Flyers. We’ve learned one thing during that time frame that not a single person can debate… Paul Holmgren has got massive balls.

Seriously now. Trading Richards and Carter is where it all began. Handing the team to a young Claude Giroux could’ve gone either way, stealing Jagr from under cross-state rival Pittsburgh’s nose took a lot of guts, trading for his rights—then immediately signing Bryzgalov for nine years could possibly cripple this franchise or send them to their first Cup in a long time, and dropping that huge ass bombshell of an offer-sheet on the Predators for Weber was the cherry on top. Now I myself am not a Flyers fan, but damn are those fans treated to one of the most exciting GM’s in all of sports history. I mean look at all the major sports. Look at all the teams. What fan of any team in any league can say that their GM single handedly crippled the financial stability of another franchise within the matter of seconds? Holmgren can do it all!

Now as for the moves he made this summer, they were all good for the team as well. Finally acquiring Luke Schenn was a great move, as was ridding himself of JVR’s contract. Fedotenko is a winner and a champion with a lot of experience. Losing Jagr and Carle sucks, but their defense, with or without Pronger (god I love that guy) is still one of the strongest in the league. Giroux is gonna take another step toward elitism, and Brayden Schenn will surprise many this year. The Flyers are, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, one of the best teams in the National Hockey League.
Verdict? Playoff bound.

17. Toronto Maple Leafs:
Brian Burke, and every single fan of the Maple Leafs expected the Luke Schenn era to last a little longer than four years. But it’s time for JVR to make a difference in Toronto. If he could become the top line centerman they’re reportedly going to try him out as, then this trade could work wonders for the Leafs. There’s one bigger question mark in Toronto (once again) that is even bigger than their lack of a top line centerman. The crease. Is James Reimer the real deal? Brian Burke has a lot of faith in the kid, and I for one believe he will be a star in this league. But injuries completely destroyed his season last year. Optimus Reim needs to make a huge comeback this year to win the hearts of Leafs nation again.

So please stop the Luongo rumours—Reimer is Toronto’s man. Kessel will look to build on last years fantastic season, and the D group run by Phaneuf will look to hopefully live up to their talent level and potential and make Reimers’ job a lot easier. Toronto could sneak into the playoffs. It’s gonna take a group that buys into Carlyle’s system though. They have all the pieces. Now they just need to go out and play some hockey.
Verdict? Playoff hopeful.

16. Buffalo Sabres:
Fans wanted more size, nastiness, and punch inserted into their lineup? Well, they got exactly that. Small centerman Derek Roy is FINALLY gone. Traded for rough and tough forward Steve Ott who last year was the undisputed champion of the “biggest trash talker in the league” award. Towering grinder John Scott was also acquired as well as big defenseman Adam Pardy.

Now last year was supposed to be a step in the right direction for Buffalo, but it ended with a failure of missing the postseason. With a better season out of American star goaltender Ryan Miller as well as great full seasons from Leino, Hodgson, and Stafford, the Sabres could possibly inflict a lot of damage on the Eastern Conference.
Verdict? Playoff hopeful.

LINK TO PART ONE: http://my.hockeybuzz.com/...8&user_id=131735
LINK TO PART TWO: http://my.hockeybuzz.com/...35&post_id=13858


For everything hockey - 24/7 news updates, scores, humour, blogs, and everything else in between, please follow me on twitter at https://twitter.com/DailyNHLGrind
Filed Under:   bruins   sabres   maple leafs   flyers   blues   offseason   nhl  
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