Grocery Shopping: Goalies on the Free Agent and Trade Markets

Cam Lewis
May 28 2015 08:00AM

To put it simply, it’s really important to have good goaltending. This certainly isn’t anything groundbreaking, but in order to be successful in the NHL, you have to keep the puck out of your net. It’s pretty uncommon that teams find their true ace goaltender on the free agent market, but this year boasts a class of pretty decent goalies for teams looking to upgrade in net. Aside from those guys, a couple of goaltenders on contending teams may become casualties of their team’s cap crunch this summer. Whether it’s through free agency or trade, there are a lot of goalies that could be changing teams next season.

After the jump, I’ll break down the crop of free agent goalies, some guys who could be trade bait, and the teams who should really consider making an upgrade in net. 

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Cap Crunch: The teams who are in trouble, and the teams who can capitalize on it

Cam Lewis
May 25 2015 08:00AM

According to Gary Bettman, the NHL’s Salary Cap is likely going to settle at around $71 million for the 2015-16 season, as many have expected for the last few months. This puts a lot of teams in an ugly position. Thanks to the fall of the Canadian dollar over the past year, the cap ceiling didn’t rise as much as many around the league expected it would. Next year will mark the 10 year anniversary of the cap being implemented. Since the 2005-06 season the cap has almost doubled from its modest $39 million figure. After the NHL signed its TV deal with Rogers, projections were floating around that had the cap rising to $80 million by 2017, and $100 million by 2021. Whether that ends up being the case or not, teams like Chicago, Los Angeles, and many others have been strangled by the slow growth of the cap ceiling, meaning tough decisions and an interesting offseason is on the horizon. 

For every team in a cap bind, you have another opportunistic team with a boat load of cap space looking to take advantage of players who get squeezed out of their current team’s cap picture. After the jump, I’ll look at some of the players who could come available thanks to the $71 million cap crunch. 

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Can the breakout teams of the past help us predict Calgary, Nashville, and the Islanders' future?

Cam Lewis
May 22 2015 08:30AM

Every year there’s one of those teams who really exceeds expectations and rides a seemingly endless, unsustainable hot streak into the playoffs. Sometimes these teams stick, other times, they fall back into oblivion. This year we had the Flames, Predators, and Islanders all break out and massively exceed their preseason expectations. None of them were expected to be any good this season, especially the Flames, who were supposed to be knee deep in the McDavid sweepstakes, but they vastly exceeded their expectations and put together really good seasons.

Last year, we had Colorado and Tampa Bay. Both of them were lottery watching in the shortened 2013 season, but managed to exceed expectations and finish as two of the best teams in the league in 2014. As we all know, one of them fell off a cliff, and the other one looks like they might win the Stanley Cup this year.

So what’s going to happen with Calgary, Nashville, and Long Island? How can we tell when these teams are legitimate, rather than just luck driven overachievers? 

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2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs Conference Finals Preview: New York Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Cam Lewis
May 15 2015 12:47PM

I can’t say I’m surprised at all. The New York Rangers made easy work of the Penguins in the first round, then proceeded to steal their second round series from the Washington Capitals. Even when the Caps were up 3-1 in the series, it was nearly impossible to count the Rangers out. The Tampa Bay Lightning were almost on the wrong side of an epic collapse of their own, letting the Canadiens back into the series after going up 3-0. 

Although their paths getting to this point have been a little unpredictable, these are the two teams that belong here. I don’t think this Eastern Conference Finals matchup comes as much of a surprise to anybody as the Rangers and Lightning really are the cream of the crop in the East. On one hand, you have last year’s Eastern Conference Champions and the President’s Trophy winners, and then you have the team who looks poised to become the league’s next powerhouse. Then you also have Martin St. Louis and Ryan Callahan facing their former teams in a playoff series, which is pretty cool. 

Are the Rangers bound for another shot at their first Stanley Cup since 1994? Or are the Lightning ready to establish themselves as the team to beat in the East? Let’s take a look.

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NHL Notebook-- May 13th

Anthony Petrielli
May 13 2015 05:34PM

Peter Chiarelli

NHL teams getting compensated for rival clubs poaching their management members is not new, but similar issues are already arising since the last time they decided to get rid of this rule.

When the league moved away from compensating teams for hiring management personnel, it was because everyone felt this was restricting candidates from getting hired. A team would rather mine through the minor ranks and hire someone for free than give up assets to bring in someone at a price.

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