Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pre-Free Agency Sixes in the Northeast Division

Milan LucicThomas VanekTomas PlekanecJason SpezzaPhil Kessel
David KrejciBrad BoyesMike CammalleriNick FolignoMikhail Grabovski
Patrice BergeronDrew StaffordBrian GiontaMilan MichalekNikolai Kulemin
Zdeno CharaTyler MyersP.K. SubbanErik KarlssonJohn-Michael Liles
Dennis SeidenbergJordan LeopoldJaroslav SpacekSergei GoncharDion Phaneuf
Tim ThomasRyan MillerCarey PriceCraig AndersonJames Reimer

Just so we know what we're looking at here... according to the points from last year, these are the top three forwards, two defense and goaltender signed on for each team in the division. There are going to be better players missing from this list, due to free agency, injuries last season or other miscellaneous reasons. I don't believe this is an accurate look at each team, just a snapshot for comparison purposes.

Being as though this is only the second division I've looked at in these sixes, I'm not expecting a great deal of change through free agency to training camp in any of these five teams.  Goaltending across the board has all five projected starters, the defense might be missing a name or two to injury, but won't change much and the forwards could see some improvement with budgets increasing, but not by too much.

The Cup champs look to be in about the same shape in their top six as they were when they won it all, the Sabres are working hard on their re-tooling with more money, the Habs are still very quick and anchored well in net, the Sens are missing Daniel Alfredsson from their list due to injury and the Leafs are going to ride Grabovski and Kulemin for as far as their legs can take them.

If I were to project division standings from these sixes, which isn't wise, but I will anyways... Boston, Montreal, Buffalo, Toronto and Ottawa.

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