The title really isn't as far fetched as you may think. Many, ok most, think we are a bottom 5 team. It is hard to not agree based on what last year brought. Hell the past couple years of decline. But this year has the potential to be different, and by different I mean not as bleak as everyone thinks. Here's why:
-New management +/- 0 call it a wash
-New Coach with the right system and attitude towards players +1
-Gone is the coach we thought may work but old skool Keenan 2.0 is not what this team needed. +1
-Kesler gone and Luo gone. We lose out but win with addition from subtraction rule on these +2
-Signed/traded for solid players. Bonino, Sbisa are solid, Vey has the potential, Vrbata is proven and replaces Kesler's points. Heck Vrbata may have an upside of Kes if he shines on the twins line. High 20 goal season? Shoot 33 may be within his grasp +++
-Tanev and Kassian hopefully make a big push this year +1
- Few propects who are eager to make the jump +1
The wild card with all this movement is how the new players and wanna be NHL players react and push the current roster. If it is hard and positive and they are given a chance to show what they have at camp? Well I think we will see some come back years for our vets, a couple vets will probably get pushed out with the new blood and the canucks will be a bit of Cinderella story. There is a lot of NHL capable players on the team right now and not a lot of wiggle room. But WD will be a fan of some young blood which could mean either higgins, hansen or burrows is on their way out (I assume Sestito will be for one) and part of a trade or they out play the young kids.
But hey with Markstrom requesting a trade we may see a move sooner than later here. I have said before a 2 for or 3 for 1 trade may still come. In the form of 2 or 3 canuck players (including a goalie) for a 1 swap being done.
Our possession numbers werent that bad considering how we ended up which leaves a big window of optimism to open up.
What do you think? Do we see a top 6 finish and beat out SJ? Or does LA fault after a long year? I dont think it is that much of a stretch....