Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Rating the East's weirdest offseason headlines with the Bizarro-meter

Yesterday, we dusted off the offseason bizarro-meter and gave it a good workout going through the Wester Conference. We looked at some big swings in Calgary, an international drama involving Minnesota, a deposed captain in Winnipeg, and lots more. It got weird, which is kind of the entire point.

Today, it’s the East. As always, we’re ranking each team by how bizarre their offseason was, with the important caveat that “bizarre” does not necessarily mean “bad”. We want the teams that surprised us, whether that was with something positive, negative or somewhere in between.

We’ll go by divisions, starting in the Metro and working our way from the least to most bizarre.

Metro Division

New York Rangers

The offseason so far: It was mostly a status quo offseason after last year’s far more newsworthy summer. They did trade Alexandar Georgiev to Colorado and Nils Lundkvist to Dallas, re-signed Kaapo Kakko on a tidy bridge deal, lost Ryan Strome and Andrew Copp to free agency, and named Jacob Trouba captain.

But their strangest story was: They bet big on Vincent Trocheck, no doubt hoping he can duplicate the production he had for whatever team it was he played for last year.

Bizarro-meter ranking: 3.8/10. They made some moves, but in terms of weirdness there’s not all that much to see here.

Washington Capitals

The offseason so far: They added forward depth in Dylan Strome and Connor Brown, but will start the season without Tom Wilson and Nicklas Backstrom.

But their strangest story was: Finally addressing the goaltending by trading Vitek Vanecek and signing Darcy Kuemper to a big-money deal.

Bizarro-meter ranking: 4.5/10. It’s not often you can find the most recent Cup-winning goalie on the UFA market, and the Capitals snapped him up.

Carolina Hurricanes

The offseason so far: They signed Paul Stastny and extended Martin Necas, along with a handful of smaller moves. Also, they gave Don Waddell a new contract before he started interviewing with other teams, which was a nice change.

But their strangest story was: Acquiring Brent Burns and Max Pacioretty in exchange for (checks notes) essentially nothing. Huh, apparently managing the salary cap has benefits.

Bizarro-meter ranking: 5.9/10. It’s not that getting multiple free all-stars wasn’t impressive, but after recent offseasons the Hurricanes are like the gifted kid who gets an A- on the exam. I’m not disappointed, but I know they’re capable of so much more.

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