Because It's The Cap: Dallas Stars Offseason Preview

Cam Lewis
May 28 2017 09:00AM

USATSI_8912921_168383996_lowres

© Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Stars were the NHL's most fun team in 2015-16, pounding teams into paste with their high-flying, 80s team offence. But in 2016-17, after losing both Jason Demers and Alex Goligoski to free agency, they predictably took a step backwards. The Stars' juggernaut offence collapsed down to league-average, and as a result, the team wasn't able to compensate for poor defence and goaltending and they fell by a whopping 30 points in the standings. 

General manager Jim Nill responded by firing head coach Lindy Ruff and replacing him with Ken Hitchcock, a familiar face in Dallas. Soon after, the Stars were blessed by the Draft Lottery gods, moving from eighth overall all the way to third. Nill has a lot of salary cap room and flexibility to work with this summer, and he's already made a major move trading and signing Ben Bishop to a long-term contract. It's already been a busy offseason in Dallas, and I imagine Nill, who's notorious for making big splashes, isn't finished yet.  

Read Article | 0 Comments

Because It's The Cap: New Jersey Devils Offseason Preview

Cam Lewis
May 25 2017 08:00AM

The New Jersey Devils are trapped in limbo. They have a few good players on their roster right now that form the beginning of a group that you could go into the playoffs with, but there isn’t enough there to push them to that level. Also, after years of being competitive, they have virtually nothing in terms of prospect depth in their system that could make a difference. 

But the Devils have been granted a couple pieces of good fortune that could actually help turn this ship around. First, they moved from fifth overall to first overall thanks to the new NHL Draft Lottery system, and second, their old pal Ilya Kovalchuk apparently wants to make an NHL comeback, and the Devils hold his rights. 

It isn’t Sidney Crosby or Connor McDavid kind of golden ticket, but the Devils are looking a hell of a lot better off than they did a few weeks ago. 

Read Article | 0 Comments

Future Free Agents: Cody Franson

Cam Lewis
May 25 2017 07:00AM

USATSI_9806471_168383996_lowres

PHOTO CREDIT: © KIM KLEMENT-USA TODAY SPORTS

After two disappointing seasons in Buffalo, Cody Franson is headed back to the free agent market. He didn't really gel with the Sabres, as you can see based on his worse-than-usual production, but Franson is still the same big, skilled defenceman who can shoot bombs from the point, making him an attractive option for many teams in need of depth on the blueline. 

Read Article | 0 Comments

Because It's The Cap: Colorado Avalanche Offseason Preview

Cam Lewis
May 22 2017 08:00AM

USATSI_9967413_168383996_lowres

© Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Avalanche just had their worst season since moving to Colorado. They went 22-56-4, finishing dead last in the league by a mile, and came terrifyingly close to matching the dark Quebec Nordiques days from the early 1990s for the worst season in the franchise’s entirety. 

And what do they have to show for it? The fourth overall pick at this year’s draft. 

The Avs have a lot of work to do in order to resurrect this dead corpse and bring themselves back up to contender status. They’ve missed the playoffs three years in a row, in six of their last seven seasons, and haven’t made it out of the first round since 2008. This season’s implosion may seem like it came out of the blue, but in reality, it’s been a long time coming. 

Thankfully, when you’re this bad, there’s nowhere to go but up. But where do you even begin? 

Read Article | 0 Comments

Future Free Agents: Justin Williams

Cam Lewis
May 17 2017 07:00AM

USATSI_10030467_168383996_lowres

© Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

A couple years ago, the Washington Capitals brought Justin Williams in on a two-year deal in order to help win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. That didn't happen, and now Williams is set to hit the open market once again this summer and will be a hot commodity for a team looking for that grizzled veteran to help get them over the hump. 

Read Article | 0 Comments