On Friday night, after Columbus defeated Calgary in regulation and Carolina defeating Winnipeg in regulation, there was a six way tie for last place in the NHL. Those six teams- Columbus, Toronto, Edmonton, Buffalo, Calgary, and Winnipeg. All six of these teams are looking to improve between now and the end, and the parody leads to ask who is the worst team of these six, or in other words, the top team that deserves the number one overall draft pick.
Columbus has had consecutive down years now following a playoff appearance. They made multiple trades bringing in Brandon Saad and Seth Jones, two young, potentially elite players in the league. They have great goaltending in former Veznia winning Sergei Bobrovsky, who has suffered groin injuries for years.
Toronto is in a full rebuilding mode, where they are trying to trade as many players as possible by the day of the trade deadline. Most of this roster has come up in discussions with mostly every team in the league as they want to rid themselves of the Brian Burke/Dave Nonis era.
Buffalo is another rebuilding, but they are steadily improving, after picking up players like Jack Eichel, Ryan O'Reilly, and Evander Kane this summer. They are also learning a new system, after hiring for Penguins coach Dan Bylsma this summer. Like Columbus, their starting goalie was out for a while in Robin Lehner, who they also picked up this summer.
Winnipeg made the playoffs, but management is still convinced they are rebuilding as they are in a tough division where five teams will make the playoffs. They also have elite players rumored to be moved as they are pending UFAs- Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd. Also, with the rise of Connor Helleybuck, they could move one or both of Ondrej Pavalec and Michael Hutchinson.
Calgary also made the playoffs, and made it to the second round with young stars like Sean Monahan, Sam Bennett, and Johnny Gaudreau pushing their offense to a new level. Over the summer, they added Dougie Hamilton and Michael Frolik to make their team better; however, there seemed to be a setback, placing them near the bottom of the league and not being able to get consistency.
Edmonton was the third worst team in the league last season, but won the draft lottery and drafted Connor McDavid first overall. After a hot start, he suffered a injury that kept him out until after the All Star Break. Other players injured during the course of this season for the Oilers include Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jordan Eberle, who are former first round draft picks. This team also has had underwhelming goaltending and management, and brought in Peter Chiarelli and Todd McCellean to right the ship. Chiarelli also brought in new guys to better this team- Griffin Reinhart, Eric Gryba, Cam Talbot, Zach Kassian, Andres Nillson, and Andrej Sekera.
What are your thoughts on parody? Who is the worst team in your opinion? Who can turn it around? More to come…