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NHL Offseason Grades: Metropolitan Division

NHL offseason grades: Metropolitan Division

The Metropolitan Division is set to be the most competitive division in the NHL with many teams improving and regressing in the offseason. Here are the NHL offseason grades: Metropolitan Division.

Carolina Hurricanes

Key Acquisitions: Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Ethan Bear, Frederick Andersen

Key Departures: Dougie Hamilton, Alex Nedeljkovic, Petr Mrazek

The Carolina Hurricanes had a major retool this offseason, shaking up their core to try to make a deep playoff run. The Hurricanes downgraded their goaltending, trading Alex Nedejkovic and letting go of Petr Mrazek to sign Frederick Andersen and Antti Raanta. Then they let go of their #1 defenseman, Dougie Hamilton, and instead used the money to successfully offer sheet Jesperi Kotkaniemi. The Hurricanes didn’t make good use of their cap space and ultimately got worse.

Grade: C-

Columbus Blue Jackets

Key Acquisitions: Jakub Voracek, Adam Boqvist, Jake Bean

Key Departures: Seth Jones, Cam Atkinson, Michael Del Zotto

The Columbus Jackets are going full rebuild mode, trading many of their veteran players for picks and prospects. The Blue Jackets started the offseason by fleecing the Blackhawks, trading Seth Jones for Adam Boqvist, two first-round picks, and a 2nd round pick. Then the Blue Jackets used the picks to obtain young players for their rebuild including Kent Johnson and Jake Bean (via trade). Overall, the Blue Jackets had a successful offseason, starting up their rebuild 

Grade: B+

New Jersey Devils

Key Acquisitions: Dougie Hamilton, Luke Hughes, Tomas Tatar

Key Departures: Ryan Murray, Will Butcher, Nathan Bastian

The Devils had a huge offseason, making some major improvements to their current roster and future team. The Devils added a superstar #1 defenseman in Dougie Hamilton and drafted their future #1 defenseman in Luke Hughes. Additionally, they traded for Ryan Graves and signed Tomas Tatar and Jonathan Bernier. The Devils had a fantastic offseason, setting themselves up for the future.

Grade: A+

New York Islanders

Key Acquisitions: Richard Panik, Kyle Palmieri (re-signed), Casey Cizikas (re-signed)

Key Departures: Nick Leddy, Jordan Eberle, Michael Dal Colle

 

The New York Islanders didn’t do too much this offseason, keeping together the core that made it to the Eastern Conference Finals in consecutive years. The Islanders did lose Nick Leddy and Jordan Eberle, but both of them could be easily replaced with the Islanders’ abundance of depth. The Islanders kept their team together to hopefully go on another deep playoff run.

Grade: B-
New York Rangers

Key Acquisitions: Barclay Goodrow, Ryan Reaves, Sammy Blais

Key Departures: Pavel Buchnevich, Colin Blackwell, Brendan Smith

The New York Rangers took a different approach this offseason. Instead of acquiring more skill, the Rangers wanted grit and toughness by trading for Barclay Goodrow, Ryan Reaves, and Sammy Blais. The cost of the grit was skill, with the Rangers having to trade away Pavel Buchnevich in order to clear cap space. Even though the Rangers got tougher, they lost a ton of skill and downgraded their roster with these moves.

Grade: D

Philadelphia Flyers

Key Acquisitions: Ryan Ellis, Rasmus Ristolainen, Cam Atkinson

Key Departures: Jakub Voracek, Nolan Patrick, Phillippe Myers

The Philadelphia Flyers made some major moves this offseason, to hopefully get back into the playoffs. The Flyers struggled defensively last season, prompting them to make some big trades to acquire Ryan Ellis and Rasmus Ristolainen. The Flyers did lose some young pieces in Nolan Patrick and Phillippe Myers, but it looks like they are going into win-now mode

Grade: B

 

Pittsburgh Penguins

Key Acquisitions: Brock McGinn, Danton Heinen, Filip Hallander

Key Departures: Jared McCann, Brandon Tanev, Cody Ceci

The Pittsburgh Penguins had a subtle offseason, making lateral moves to free up cap space. The Penguins replaced Jared McCann and Brandon Tanev with Brock McGinn and Danton Heinen. Additionally, they let go of Cody Ceci, who was going to as for a big raise. The Penguins had a quiet but smart offseason, however, they should have been more aggressive to improve the roster and help Crosby win his 4th Stanley Cup.

Grade: B-

Washington Capitals

Key Acquisitions: Vitek Vanecek (re-acquired), Matt Irwin, Dylan McIlrath 

Key Departures: Brenden Dillion, Michael Raffl, Zdeno Chara

Apart from resigning Alex Ovechkin, the Capitals didn’t do too much this summer with their lack of cap space. They did re-acquire Vitek Vanecek who showed some promised last season for the Capitals. But the Capitals did end up losing some defensive depth in Brenden Dillion and Zdeno Chara. Overall, the Capitals didn’t do too much this offseason, but they should have improved the roster to help Ovechkin win another Stanley Cup.

Grade: C

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