The Good and Bad of the 2015 Offseason (So Far): Pacific Division

Cam Lewis
July 31 2015 09:00AM

Is it the start of the season yet? No, it isn't. In fact, it isn't even close. We still have over two months to go until the puck drops on the 2015-16 NHL season, meaning there's a lot of time for teams to make moves, and there's a lot of time to sit around and think about who's had a good offseason and who hasn't. Pretty much all of the interesting free agents are off the table now that we're heading into August, but as we saw the other day with the Canucks and Penguins, there's still a lot of time for teams to make moves and tweak their rosters. 

With that being said, after the jump I'm going to break down the good and the bad of the offseason in the Pacific Division (so far) and who might still be looking to make some more moves before the season starts. 

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5 things: How bad is Zac Rinaldo?

Ryan Lambert
July 27 2015 03:55PM

So just how bad is Zac Rinaldo really?

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The Curious Case of the Unsigned Cody Franson

Cam Lewis
July 22 2015 08:30AM

It’s been three weeks and Cody Franson doesn’t have a contract. If you search his name on Google, you’ll be flooded with reports that the huge, offensive minded defenceman is speaking with teams all around the league. Most recent reports suggest he’s in talks with the Boston Bruins, who recently shipped their best blue-liner, Dougie Hamilton, to the Calgary Flames. And of course, there’s talk that he’s open to come back to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the team he spent the majority of his career with before being dealt back to the Nashville Predators, who drafted him 79th overall in 2005.

Other than Franson, all of the big name defencemen are off the market now. There are a few solid veterans, some potential reclamation projects, but all of the big names – Sekera, Martin, Green, Beauchemin — were locked up on the first day of free agency. So what’s the deal with Franson? Is it him? Are his demands too high for the calibre of player he is? There appears to be interest around the league, but for whatever reason, teams seem to be skeptical of handing out a fat contract for Franson’s services. 

That seems a little bizarre, because he may be the best defenceman of the entire bunch — and he still has room to improve. 

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Who's Left? Unrestricted Free Agent Defencemen Still on the Market

Cam Lewis
July 08 2015 03:19PM

All in all, 2015 has given us a pretty tame offseason so far. The crop of unrestricted free agents wasn’t too strong, and as a result of a lower than expected salary cap ceiling, there wasn’t as much money to be spent as usual. As a result, a match made in heaven where teams didn’t massively overpay for the average to above average players on the market. Aside from Ryan O’Reilly’s bizarre, bulletproof contract with the Sabres, there haven’t been many ugly contracts handed out over the past week. 

Although a good chunk of the top talent from this year’s UFA class is off the board, a few big names are still floating around on the market. Some of the guys available flying under the radar would make great additions and could really be worth top dollar, while others seem like the types who should be avoided like the plague. 

After the jump I’ll take a look at some of the interesting names left of the 2015 UFA defenceman crop.

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Top-10 UFA Countdown: #1 Justin Williams

Kent Wilson
June 30 2015 01:00PM

It's an indication of the strength of this particular UFA crop that Justin Williams comes in number 1 on our list. That's not to take anything away from the 33 year old, who has been a high-end winger for years. But his age and the fact that he's only scored in the 40-point range the last two seasons goes to show there isn't a lot of franchise changing players available to sign this summer. 

Despite those concerns, Williams remains a very useful player, in part because his value doesn't merely come from his offense. As one of the few wingers who has proven he can push possession over the years, Williams is a guy who can play up and down the line-up and provide quality minutes to whoever inks him.

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