Heatley jersey refused to wave.
Many teams made headlines over the summer, shaking up their rosters in an attempt to address weaknesses. Other chose to stay pat, tinkering here and there but avoiding major moves. Each team had their reasons for the deals they did or didn't make, but history shows that they can't all be right. So which teams made the right decisions?
Common sense would say that we can't possibly know the answer until the end of the 2011-12 season. But common sense doesn't have to find something to write about during the offseason, so let's start arbitrarily naming winners and losers right now instead.
Winner: Minnesota Wild - Revamped their roster by acquiring Dany Heatley and several other San Jose Sharks, whose well-known penchant for disappearing during long playoff runs is unlikely to ever be an issue in Minnesota.
Loser: Los Angeles Kings - Their continued failure to resign restricted free agent Drew Doughty leaves them vulnerable to the possibility of another team signing him to an offer sheet in an alternate universe where NHL general managers are actually doing everything possible to make their teams win.
Winner: Ottawa Senators - Free agent Zenon Kenopka signed a $700,000 deal and could provide excellent value while competing for the second line center role, which is great news for Senator fans as long as they don't think too hard about what it says about the rest of the roster.
Loser: Philadelphia Flyers - Gave a record-breaking contract to Ilya Bryzgalov after reading a scouting report calling him "Unmistakably the next Dominik Hasek", before later realizing they should have read the second half of the sentence where it says "in the sense that nobody can understand a word he's saying or even what language he thinks he's speaking".
Winner: New Jersey Devils - By signing Zach Parise to a one-year contract, continued to wisely uphold their longstanding club policy of never signing superstar wingers to deals in the two to fourteen-year range.
Loser: Toronto Maple Leafs - The revamped assistant coaching staff is already confusing players with talk of a complex new penalty-killing system, replacing the past years' strategy of everyone standing around asking each other "Hey, am I crazy or is one of us missing?"
Winner: New York Rangers - Brad Richards is already being called the most successful big-money free agent signing in Rangers history after recently lacing up his skates correctly on the first try.
Loser: Edmonton Oilers - Even though they don't really have a strong rivalry with the Canucks these days, newly acquired forward Ben Eager won't stop talking about all the time he's going to spend in the penalty box the next time he plays in Vancouver.
Winner: Colorado Avalanche - Critics who mock them for potentially trading the first overall draft pick to Washington for Semyon Varlamov are overlooking the fact that the young Russian goalie could possibly play well enough to turn it into the second overall pick instead.
Loser: Carolina Hurricanes - For reasons nobody in the marketing department can pinpoint, sales of their "I sure do love those Hurricanes" merchandise has recently plummeted along the US east coast.
Winner: Montreal Canadiens - Signed Erik Cole as a free agent, making them the only team on Hockey Night in Canada to be ensured of having a player whose last name Bob Cole will pronounce correctly.
Loser: Boston Bruins - While most modern offseason training regimes emphasize cardio and endurance instead of weightlifting, foolish Bruin players have spent the entire summer repeatedly lifting 34.5 lbs over their heads.