Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Rating the West’s weirdest offseason headlines with the Bizarro-meter

Training camp week has arrived, meaning the offseason is officially over. Let’s get weird.

Or not all that weird, depending on the team. It’s time to dust off the Bizarro-meter, the annual feature in which we rate every NHL team based on just how strange their offseason was.

Let’s be clear: Bizarre does not mean bad, and this isn’t a ranking of who did or didn’t improve over the summer. For bizarro-meter purposes, it’s very possible for a team to think outside the box and surprise us with a brilliant but unexpected move. It’s also far more common to see teams make the same cliched and uninspired mistakes that don’t seem odd at all.

If you want to know how well your team did in the offseason, look elsewhere, because I’m dumb and have no idea focused on my area of expertise. As always, we’ll do this by division, going from the least to the most bizarre in each. Today is the Western Conference, while tomorrow will see us head east.

Central Division

Arizona Coyotes

The offseason so far: They continued to offer cap space reprieves via trade, and traded up to get Conor Geekie at the trade. There was the usual arena drama too, but as strange as that is, we knew it was happening before the offseason started.

But their strangest story was: Passing on Shane Wright, although they were hardly the only ones.

Bizarro-meter ranking: 3.0/10. Pretty standard stuff for the Coyotes. Honestly, I’m giving most of these points for their new home being called Mullet Arena and that one day where they made everyone wear matching suits.

St. Louis Blues

The offseason so far: They sent Ville Husso to Detroit, then watched David Perron join him as a free agent. The re-upped with Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou on similar deals. Maybe the biggest news was what didn’t happen, as they couldn’t land hometown hero Matthew Tkachuk.

But their strangest story was: A Vladimir Tarasenko trade has seemed inevitable for going on two years now. It still does, because once again it didn’t happen.

Bizarro-meter ranking: 4.1/10. The Blues are a good team, so a quiet offseason isn’t all that weird. But at least a few of their fans are scratching their heads.

Nashville Predators

The offseason so far: They landed Ryan McDonagh from Tampa in what was basically a salary dump. And they landed the 2023 NHL draft and awards show, which I’m guessing will be just a little bit fun.

But their strangest story was: Letting all sorts of Filip Forsberg drama build up, then giving him the exact same eight-year deal everyone had predicted for him since last year.

Bizarro-meter ranking: 4.2/10. Also, I didn’t know they signed Kevin Lankinen until right now. It’s fun to learn new things.

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