Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Offseason to-do lists from around the NHL

If you're going to ruin some team's long-term
cap situation this summer, raise your hand.
While celebrating Boston Bruin fans may want to pretend otherwise, the 2010-11 season is already a fading memory. The NHL schedule doesn't allow much time for dwelling on the past, and all eyes are already focused on next year.

We're just three days away from the draft and ten days away from the start of free agency. That means that just two weeks from today, almost every NHL team will look significantly different than it does right now. That's good news for the majority of teams who expect to be significantly better next year. But how will they do it?

That's where the offseason to-do list comes in. Many teams have already made a list of their summer priorities and determined a plan of attack. I reached out to sources embedded with several teams, and they revealed some of the strategies they plan to be executing in the weeks and months to come.

Ottawa Senators - Meet with scouts and coaches to prepare an in-depth analysis of the various strengths in Craig Anderson's game; work on a detailed action plan for destroying them.

Toronto Maple Leafs - Remember last year when we signed Clarke MacArthur at a discount and he turned out to be a reliable everyday contributor? Just do that another seven or eight times, and we should have almost four full lines next year.

Montreal Canadiens - Communicate to fans that the bar has been raised, the competition is working harder than ever before, and that a few isolated car-burnings just isn't going to be good enough anymore.

New Jersey Devils - Step one: Don't go handing out any long-term nine-figure contracts to Russian head cases. Step two: Reread step one.

Calgary Flames - Three main priorities: 1. Place Niklas Hagman on waivers. 2. Find a trading partner willing to take Matt Stajan's contract. 3. Develop technology to prevent Flames fans from googling "Hey, whatever happened to that Keith Aulie kid we used to have?"

Phoenix Coyotes - Console the players who are no-doubt devastated by the recent announcement that the team would not be moving to Winnipeg; also, clean up all the confetti.

New York Rangers - Use advanced analysis algorithms to create a detailed ranking of all pending free agents and assign an estimated dollar value to their predicted statistical output. Then, on the morning of July 1, add a few zeros to the end of all those numbers and get shopping.

Boston Bruins - Repeatedly call up Taylor Hall, ask him how that whole "being picked #1 overall" thing worked out for him. (Tyler Seguin only.)

Winnipeg TBDs - Hold a big meeting in the boardroom with all the marketing consultants who are telling us to choose a name other than "Jets"; lock the doors; hit them repeatedly with nerf bats until they admit which rival team they're secretly working for.

Dallas Stars - Well, obviously the top priority is to trade Brad Richards before the trade deadline so that we don't lose him for nothing. So if we check this calendar, that means we have until… oh. Oh man.

Vancouver Canucks - Just finished a season that saw the team win the Presidents' Trophy, capture the Art Ross, receive nominations for both the Hart and Vezina, and win 15 playoff games, so it goes without saying that they need to blow up the entire roster and start from scratch.

Detroit Red Wings - Top up the liquefied meteor crystals that power the cyborg exoskeleton on the Lidstrombot 3000; don't forget to also paint on a few more grey hairs to keep people from catching on.

Atlanta Thrashers - Start by organizing some morale-building exercises to create a positive work environment instead of having everybody moping around all day long, according to the guy who just got back from vacation and hasn't checked his email yet.


  1. Don't ever stop making these. You make my work days go by that much better by a good laugh in the morning.

  2. Love this, despite the Rangers comment being outdated.

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  4. Too good, as a Canucks fan, that comment is a little to close to the sentiment in this city. That or riots are bad.

  5. As a Detroit Fan, loved the "Lidstrombot 3000" bit.

  6. Oilers - Tambellini trys to convince ex-Oiler now living in LA area to rejoin the franchise to bring the team back to its former glory when player was with team. What do you mean Ryan Smith is the only one who will answer his phone?

  7. Believe it or not the Canucks one is half true. There is actually a number of people here in Vancouver demanding to fire the coach, trade our stars, fire the GM etc. But I'm hoping they were just emotional after the loss and have calmed down since then. Also loved the Rangers and Thrashers ones.

  8. Vancouver sports talk radio is an amazing creature. It's the platypus of media: it's made from parts that appear stolen from around the world, it seems absurd and makes no sense, and it's occasionally poisonous.

  9. Haha, nice.

    Surprised there was no Flyers jab:

    "1. Sign decent goalie to outrageous salary and length. 2. Send next 20 1st & 2nd round draft picks for 20 mediocre players. 3. Trade away everybody else for nothing."

  10. Leafs gonna sign Brad Richards?

  11. I loved the Phoenix... haha, made my night :)

  12. The Ottawa goalie-graveyard rip was awesome!

  13. you forgot kesler's selke

  14. Pittsburgh Penguins- pay the Washington Capitals to re-sign Jaromir Jagr

  15. Why would you list Atlanta Thrashers as a team? lol