We are now coming into the month of May and are starting up the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
For many teams, their post-season will consist of many rounds of golf down in sunny Florida.
As for the backroom staff of those teams, their off-season began the day they were eliminated from the players, or in Colorado’s case the day the NHL season started.
Many general managers will seek out the best college free-agents before in season is up to improve their team now and the future.
However, for some teams it doesn’t matter how many colleges stars you sign, they’re still ways away from being competitive.
We’ve already seen some major coaching changes in Dallas with Lindy Ruff departing and LA with both GM Dean Lombardi and Darryl Sutter getting the boot. On top of that, one the playoffs are all wrapped up, expect to see trades and then eventually free-agency will roll around where the big names will move.
Now that you that we know what to expect this off-season, let’s look at what teams biggest goals should be.
Colorado Avalanche – Sell, sell, sell
General manager, Joe Sakic, made it very clear to the league that he want his stars out of Colorado. Up until the deadline, Sakic was shopping Duchene, Landeskog, and Barrie, all with a high price tag attached to them. Those moves seem more likely now, in the off-season, then they did during the season. Plenty of teams were, and will be, interested in any of the trio. I don’t be surprised to see Duchene in a Senators jersey or even Barrie in Oilers colours come next season.With even just one of those guys moved, the Avs will be expected a good haul in return, triggering an all-out rebuild. We saw one of their young prospects towards the end of last season, in Tyson Jost, who performed well during his opportunity. The Avalanche do you have good young talent within their organization, it’s just about moving players out to give those guys the chance. You can also factor in a top five draft pick into their pool of prospects. It might even be worth them exposing Semyon Varlamov in the Golden Knights expansion draft.
Vancouver Canucks – Continue what they started
Jim Benning started to turn his roster around at the deadline, by bringing in Nikolay Goldobin from San Jose in exchange for Jannik Hansen, and also when he brought in Jonathan Dahlen from Ottawa for Alex Burrows. Those two guys are just two more excellent additions to an already great crop of youth the Canucks have. Now the Canucks just have to give them all game time. Although Vancouver are interested in bringing back Ryan Miller, it would be wiser to let him good and bring in a younger goaltender to play alongside Markstrom. With Horvat, Boeser, and Baertschi leading the youth charge, it may even be time for the Canucks to say goodbye to the Sedins.
Arizona Coyotes – Let the youth run free
The Arizona Coyotes haven’t be involved in the postseason since the 2011-12 season, Arizona fans should not be expected to get back there anytime soon. General manager, John Chayka, should bring in a few veterans to take up the cap, besides that he’s just got to let his prospects develop in the big leagues. Much like the Canucks, the Yotes have a good crop of young talent with Clayton Keller, Jakob Chychrun, and Dylan Strome all under the age of 21. On top of that, they’ve got Max Domi and Christian Dvorak who are again young and proven NHLers. The future is bright in Arizona, it’s just up to Chayka to let that continue to happen.
New Jersey Devils – Get younger
New Jersey had the tenth oldest roster in the NHL last season at 27 years old. I didn’t matter last season how much experience they had with their veterans because, honestly, they were bad. This offseason, the Devils should focus on getting younger and calling up a few prospects to develop in the big leagues. Unfortunately for them, they don’t have many contracts expiring, we should likely expect the Devils to trade veterans like Cammallari away this offseason.
Buffalo Sabres – Take the next step
When you look at the Buffalo Sabres roster you’ll see plenty of talent, it’s now time for them to take the next time. They haven’t made the playoffs since 2011 and with all the controversy with Jack Eichel recently, he steps up and guide this team to the postseason. The Sabres have plenty of cap room to play with, they should be looking at bringing in depth scoring to help out Eichel & Co. Potential players available to them, who they could be interested in, could be Nick Bonino, PA Parenteau, and Patrick Eaves.
Detroit Red Wings – Get back to winning ways
Unlike the other times in this article, the Red Wings need to get back to winning ways. The core of their roster is still under contract for years to come, not really much room for them to rebuild. The Wings are an original six team meaning it might not be too difficult for them to attract players. They’re also getting a new fancy arena. The Wings won’t have much cap room to work with so they can only hope that they find some bargains in free agency. If not this team will continue to go backwards.
Dallas Stars – Find a Goaltender
Dallas conceded 260 goals in 2017, it’s fair to say this was a big reason to why they missed the playoffs. Granted, the offense for the Stars wasn’t there like it has been in the past, you’d still expect you, netminders, to step up. Goaltending has been an issue for the Stars for a while now, with the likes of Ryan Miller and Ben Bishop on the market the Stars should be making a huge push to bring one of them in.