Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pre-Free Agency Sixes in the Pacific Division

Corey PerryLoui ErikssonAnze KopitarShane DoanPatrick Marleau
Ryan GetzlafMike RibeiroMike RichardsRay WhitneyJoe Thornton
Bobby RyanBrendan MorrowDustin BrownLee StempniakJoe Pavelski
Lubomir VisnovskyAlex GoligoskiJack JohnsonAdrian AucoinDan Boyle
Cam FowlerStephane RobidasRob ScuderiMichal RozsivalBrent Burns
Jonas HillerKari LehtonenJonathan QuickJason LaBarberaAntti Niemi

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.

The Pacific Division already looks a little different from training camp a year ago and there should be some more sweeping changes when free agency hits.  The Ducks don't look too different, but adding Fowler to the mix was definitely an improvement.  Brad Richards out, Lehtonen assuming the number one job makes the Stars is a little worse than par for a difference.  The Kings look stronger with Mike Richards in the fold, but until Drew Doughty signs, they will be a little worse than par also.  The Coyotes have their own goaltending questions to answer, not to mention Keith Yandle's contract situation, they are much worse than last year.  The addition of Burns to the Sharks' blueline makes them just a bit better in their top six.

With the way the Pacific Division plays, I think these teams can beat up on each other at any given time, but I think there will be some definite favourites coming out of camp, but those who have fallen behind, should be able to reel themselves in a bit closer when free agency opens up.

If I were to project division standings from these sixes, which isn't wise, but I will anyways... San Jose, Anaheim, Los Angeles, Dallas and Phoenix.

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