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NHL Offseason Grades: Central Division

Arizona Coyotes

Key Acquisitions: Shayne Gostibehere, Ryan Dzingel, Anton Stralman

Key Departures: Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Conor Garland, Christian Dvorak

The Arizona Coyotes are going full rebuild mode, trading most of their core players for draft picks and cap dumps. Their first big move was trading their captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Conor Garland to the Canucks for the 9th pick and a bunch of cap dumps. Later in the offseason, the Coyotes dealt Dvorak to the Canadiens for a 1st and 2nd round pick. The Coyotes clearly got worst this offseason and are planning to tank this upcoming season.

Grade: A

Chicago Blackhawks

Key Acquisitions: Marc-Andre Fleury, Seth Jones, Jake McCabe

Key Departures: Duncan Keith, Adam Boqvist, Nikita Zadorov

The Chicago Blackhawks made some huge moves this offseason, looking to go on one last run with their core. The Blackhawks added reigning Vezina-winning goalie, Marc-Andre Fleury for basically free. Then the Blackhawks made a blockbuster move to acquire Seth Jones. Ultimately, the Blackhawks lost some of their youth pieces and used a bunch of much to go on one last run with Toews and Kane.

Grade: B+

Colorado Avalanche

Key Acquisitions: Darcy Kuemper, Darren Helm, Gabriel Landeskog (resigned)

Key Departures: Philipp Grubauer, Brandon Saad, Joonas Donskoi

The Colorado Avalanche faced a tough situation this offseason, having limited money but a ton of players to resign. They ended up losing Joonas Donskoi, Ryan Graves, Brandon Saad, and Phillipp Grubauer since they couldn’t afford them but ended up being able to resign their star players, Gabriel Landeskog and Cale Makar. Although the Avalanche got worse this offseason, they still have a great roster and are potential favorites to win the Stanley Cup.

Grade: B

Dallas Stars

Key Acquisitions: Ryan Suter, Jani Hakanpaa, Braden Holtby 

Key Departures: Jason Dickinson, Andrew Cogliano, Jamie Oleksiak

The Dallas Stars are trying to get back into the postseason after missing the playoffs last season. The Stars replaced Jamie Oleksiak with an aging Ryan Suter, traded Jason Dickinson to Vancouver, and signed a depth defensemen in Hakanpaa. They also made a questionable move by signing Braden Holtby, even though they already have 3 NHL goalies. The moves the Stars made this offseason weren’t major but could get them back in the playoffs.

Grade: C+

Minnesota Wild

Key Acquisitions: Alex Goligoski, Dmitry Kulikov, Jon Merrill

Key Departures: Ryan Suter, Zach Parise, Nick Bonino

The Minnesota Wild had an interesting offseason, making some questionable moves that hurt them. The big one being buying out the contracts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, giving the Wild a ton of dead cap. Instead of using that cap space to get a center, the Wild overpaid for Goligoski and still haven’t resigned star winger Kirill Kaprizov. The Wild made some controversial decisions that could end up backfiring on them.

Grade: C

Nashville Predators

Key Acquisitions: Cody Glass, Philippe Myers, David Rittich

Key Departures: Viktor Arvidsson, Ryan Ellis, Pekka Rinne

It appears like the Nashville Predators are going into a rebuild, trading many of their key players such as Viktor Arvidsson and Ryan Ellis for younger players like Cody Glass and Phillippe Myers. They even made a big change in net with long-time Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne retiring. With the direction the Predators are heading to, they did a great job of getting younger and getting draft picks.

Grade: B

St. Louis Blues

Key Acquisitions: Pavel Buchnevich, Brandon Saad, Zachary Bolduc

Key Departures: Jaden Schwartz, Vince Dunn, Mike Hoffman

The St. Louis Blues had a decent offseason, their main moves were upgrading their wingers. The Blues replaced Mike Hoffman and Jaden Schwartz with Pavel Buchnevich and Brandon Saad. The loss of Vince Dunn will hurt the Blues’ blue line, but they still have a solid defense. The Blues still have Robert Thomas to resign, which will be difficult with no cap space.

 

Grade: B-

Winnipeg Jets

Key Acquisitions: Nate Schmidt, Brenden Dillon, Riley Nash

Key Departures: Mason Appleton, Derek Forbort, Tucker Poolman

The main weakness of the Winnipeg Jets last season was their defense, leaving goaltender Connor Hellebuyck left to dry at some points. The Jets addressed their needs by adding two top 4 defensemen in Nate Schmidt and Brenden Dillion, With their great forward core, fantastic goaltending, and upgraded defense, the Jets are looking to make some noise in the playoffs.

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