Because It's The Cap: Carolina Hurricanes Offseason Preview

Cam Lewis
May 31 2017 06:24PM


© James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes are an interesting team. For a couple of years now, they've boasted strong possession numbers, but nothing has come of it. Last year, though, the Canes went on a little bit of a run, working their way into the playoff picture despite being written off before the season even started. The team boasts a ridiculously good young blueline and some interesting talent up front. Poor goaltending and an inability to score has held this team in the basement, but with so much young talent, it seems the Hurricanes are poised to not only end their eight-year playoff drought, but become contenders in the Eastern Conference. 

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Because It's The Cap: Los Angeles Kings Offseason Preview

Cam Lewis
May 30 2017 08:00AM


© Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After spending three years at the top, which included two Stanley Cups and a loss in the Western Conference Final, the Los Angeles Kings have relinquished their throne. Despite finishing at the top of the league in shot attempt differential, a combination of mediocre goaltending and an inability to score goals resulted in Los Angeles missing the playoffs for the second time in three years. As a result, the guillotine was brought out, and Dean Lombardi and Darryl Sutter, the two individuals who brought the Stanley Cup to Los Angeles for the first time, were let go. 

Rob Blake has taken over the general manager duties, and boy, does he have himself quite the mess to clean up. It's been known for a long time that the Kings are in salary cap hell, and as the team continues to age and their worn down and beaten up players see their game continue to deteriorate, the situation becomes more and more bleak. In his new role, Blake is going to have to figure out whether or not this core, one that pays Dustin Brown, Marian Gaborik, Anze Kopitar, and Jonathan Quick a combined $26.55 million annually, can climb back to success. 

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Because It's The Cap: Dallas Stars Offseason Preview

Cam Lewis
May 28 2017 09:00AM


© 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.  

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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. 

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Future Free Agents: Cody Franson

Cam Lewis
May 25 2017 07:00AM



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. 

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