Because It's The Cap: Boston Bruins Offseason Preview

Shawn Reis
June 09 2017 09:00AM

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© Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins were a team that not a lot of people expected anything out of heading into the season. But on the heels of a balanced attack that saw them come 13th in the league in goals for and 9th in the league in goals against, not to mention a dominant 54.7% Corsi, they made the playoffs and put up a good fight against the eventual Eastern Conference finalist Ottawa Senators. Let's take a closer look at their roster, salary cap situation, and the road that lies ahead to see if and how they  can go from good team to great.

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Because It's The Cap: Toronto Maple Leafs Offseason Preview

Scott Maxwell
June 08 2017 12:00PM

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© Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

After finishing last place in 2015-16 and winning the draft lottery, the Toronto Maple Leafs had little to no expectations for this year. Many, in fact, expected no different than the previous season, despite the fact they improved in terms of scoring depth and goaltending, their two biggest flaws in their last place season. However, their were a few more optimistic fans who made sure their opinions were heard, and made the case that the Leafs, in fact, were actually a good team.

And actually good this team was. With the help of the three-headed-monster in Toronto in Auston Matthews, Mitchell Marner, and William Nylander, veteran scoring from James van Riemsdyk, Nazem Kadri, and Tyler Bozak, and solid goaltending from Frederik Andersen, the Leafs snuck into a playoff spot and took the President's trophy winning Washington Capitals to six games before bowing out of the postseason, giving everyone a taste of what's to come.

Now, the Leafs probably have the easiest offseason ahead of them. With their expansion draft situation causing very little problems, very few contracts that need to be resigned on their main roster, and a ton of cap space, with about $10.5 million in LTIR available at their expense, the Leafs have the chance to load up for the next couple years while their best players are on entry level deals, and if they play their cards right, they could be looking at Cup contention as soon as next year.

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Because It's The Cap: Calgary Flames Offseason Preview

Ryan Pike
June 08 2017 10:26AM

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PHOTO CREDIT: SERGEI BELSKI-USA TODAY SPORTS

The Calgary Flames had an eventful 2016-17 season. Armed with a new head coach in Glen Gulutzan, new contracts for Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau, and a pair of new goaltenders in Brian Elliott and Chad Johnson, they seemed poised for a big year. They stumbled out of the gate, boasting the league's worst record through the first month of the season – leading many observers to write them off.

But the Flames managed to turn things around, going on a few really strong runs and adapting over time to Gulutzan's puck possession system. They managed to make the playoffs for the second time in three seasons and while they were swept in four games by Anaheim, they turned a lot of heads for the way they went toe-to-toe with the Ducks.

This offseason, it's up to general manager Brad Treliving to make enough tweaks that the Flames can actually beat the Ducks the next time they face them in the playoffs. The team has a few holes due to some expiring contracts, but they also have a good amount of cap space to utilize to fill them.

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NHL Draft Scout Series: OHL

Christian Roatis
June 07 2017 12:09PM

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It’s that time of year again! A time when our thoughts turn to trades, roster turnover and of course, the National Hockey League draft. A time when trading away those picks in March seems so stupid ’cause look how amazing all these prospects look!

The reality is, only a handful of the 211 children drafted in a few weeks’ time will ever amount to anything in the NHL, but it’s a most exciting time nonetheless. And with the lead-up to the NHL draft comes the now-annual NHL Draft Scout series where I “sit down” with scouts from the different prospect regions around the globe to get an up-close and personal look at the best prospects they have to offer.

This year, we’ll be visiting the WHL, QMJHL, USA, Finland, Sweden, Russia and the OHL, which we start with today. Brendan Ross is the director of scouting for theScout.ca and joins us today to talk about the OHL and the league’s 2017 NHL draft crop.

Let’s get into it.

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2017 Draft: How do OHL Goalies Stack up Against NHL-Caliber Competition?

Mike Z
June 07 2017 10:00AM

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This article is being co-posted on NHLNumbers as well as on my own site, OriginalSixAnalytics.com . Find me @OrgSixAnalytics on twitter. All Junior stats used here were provided by @3Hayden2 , the creator of @Prospect_stats ( www.prospect-stats.com ). Please give him a follow and check out his great work. (Last, for those who do not know, I formerly wrote under the pen name of “Andrew Kerison”) 

While both the NHL and Major Junior (WHL, OHL, QMJHL) can benefit from hockey analytics, the findings in each league are often quite different. The NHL is a league of parity, where the gap between a top player and an average one can be relatively thin. Junior, on the other hand, is the opposite. Top players like Mitch Marner, Matthew Tkachuk, and Brayden Point can often make an immediate impact at the NHL level, while many of their teenage competitors will never play an NHL game at all. The massive range of Junior talent is probably best illustrated by the fact that Connor McDavid was able to win the 2016-2017 NHL scoring race while still being young enough to play for his former Erie Otters team in last week’s Mastercard Memorial Cup!

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