Lost- Scuderi, Garon, Gill
Gained- McKee, Rupp
Retained- Fedetenko, Guerin, Adams, Goligoski
Evaluation- So I guess I owe Pittsburgh an apology for saying they wouldn't make the playoffs through the first 5 months of the season... was I so wrong to assume that though? Anyway, the Pens did a pretty solid job of filling holes and retaining the roles that won them the Stanley Cup. Even though Scuderi had a coming out party in this year's playoffs, and Gill held his own as the big man on campus, McKee, Rupp, and an extended Goligoski cover them on D. Rupp is big, McKee is a great stay at home defenseman, shot block extraordinaire, all around good guy, and I've been a fan of the offensive Dman Goligoski for a while, he might earn a spot on the team this year. Sometimes Cup winning teams dismantle after they win, but the Pens are still marching relatively tight.
Lost- Biron, Knuble, Lupul, Sbisa, Niittymaki, Alberts
Gained- Pronger, Emery, Boucher, Laperierre
Evaluation- Philly again made a big offseason signing by bringing in Pronger who will undoubtedly help log minutes and elbow heads. Seriously, the Flyers sign so many "Philadelphia-type" players (Pronger, Laperierre, Carcillo, hell even Emery can throw knucks). Most notably, 2 goalies out and 2 in. Unfortunately for Philly, it's still their weakest position. With what looks to be a tight cap situation, will Briere be the odd man out? I don't think he should be, but it might come down to that. Oh, the woes of signing ex-Sabres to huge contracts (Drury, Briere, Campbell...) Nonetheless, Philly will be strong contenders again, they have too much power not to. I'd imagine an improved PP this year with Pronger on the point.
New York Rangers
Lost- Gomez, Mara, Antropov, Sjostrom, Orr, Korpikoski
Gained- Gaborik, Higgins, Kotalik, Brashear, Lisin
Evaluation- Another big market team with big moves. Rangers fans felt relief upon learning Gomez and his albatross contract was off the books, only to acquire another question mark in Gaborik. I like Gabby 10x more than Gomez, but it's always a gamble to bring in a guy with injury issues. Overall, the Rags improved their forwards corps and added scoring depth that they desperately needed last year. They are still lacking standout defensemen, and will again struggle, if they even make the playoffs. How will Blair Betts feel towards Brashear? I'm guessing an apology is due. Sather with another shakeup, we'll see if it helps this time.
Strong Island Muscleheads
Evaluation- The Isles made good decisions in the draft, and spirits may have Isles fans thinking they are this year's Blackhawks (beacon of revitalization and improvement), but lets face it... DiPietro may as well be on the missing persons list and 75-80% of the rest of their roster is laughable. Tavares is good, but he's not going to carry this team back to their early 80s glory. This is just the beginning of a long rebuilding process. Ah who cares, it's the Isles. Blow up the Nassau Coliseum and take this team to Kansas City for all I care.
Marty Brodeur and the Other Guys
Lost- Gionta, Madden, Rupp, Clemmensen
Gained- Danis, Murphy, Sestito
Retained- Greene, Oduya
Evaluation- I didn't realize how hard a hit Jersey took this offseason before looking at the personnel changes. Gionta hasn't been as effective in the past few seasons since he lit it up on the EGG line, but losing him and Madden, won't help the Devs offensively. Clemmensen was a great backup for Marty this year, a typically limited role, and Danis won't compare. Rupp is a large man to replace. What has the Jersey front office been doing all offseason? Oh yeah, firing and hiring coaches. They need to get their shit together or Newark is going to invade The Rock and turn it into Nicholas Cage's The Rock. Alcatraz Apocalypse in Jersey, first stop Yikesville. Tough to be a Devils fan right now.
Lastly, the NE Division is next,