Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pre-Free Agency Sixes in the Southeast Division

Bryan LittleEric StaalStephen WeissMartin St. LouisAlex Ovechkin
Evander KaneJeff SkinnerTomas KopeckyVincent LecavalierNicklas Backstrom
Nikolai AntropovTuomo RuutuDavid BoothRyan MaloneAlex Semin
Dustin ByfuglienJoe CorvoBrian CampbellBrett ClarkDennis Wideman
Tobias EnstromJoni PitkanenDimitri KulikovVictor HedmanJohn Carlson
Ondrej PavelecCam WardScott ClemmensenMichal Neuvirth

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 five teams in the Southeast Division, including Winnipeg (which is still being represented with the Thrashers logo until their official logo arrives), is about as wide open as it is when they hit the ice for the regular season. It just has that look of crazy about it, doesn't it?

The Jets top six is pretty much the same as when it finished the year in Atlanta, the Hurricanes look a bit stronger than last year with the emergence of Skinner, the Panthers look underwhelming in every spot, the Lightning need a goaltender and to sign Steven Stamkos, while the Capitals look strong despite the absence of Mike Green in their blueline top two.

The off-season is going to be awfully wild for this division and their balance of power could shift a few times before it is all said and done.

If I were to project division standings from these sixes, which isn't wise, but I will anyways... Washington, Carolina, Winnipeg, Florida and Tampa Bay (gotta have a goalie or else everyone will score at will).  Like I said, the balance of power will shift a lot here.  I will likely have a training camp version of these sixes to show how they progressed.

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