Once again, a promising season ends in dissapointment

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by kasper11, May 17, 2007.

  1. kasper11

    kasper11 Registered User

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    After finishing second in the conference during the regular season in 05-06, the Devils improved this season to take the conference title. During the regular season that is. Once again the team fizzled in the playoffs, with the biggest goat this year being Dominik Hasek. Hasek is also the team's biggest question as the offseason begins.

    Most of the Devils team is expected to return next season. The team has resigned potential free agents Chris Drury, Jason Smith, and Sami Salo. Second line center Joe Nieuwendyk has announced his retirement, while the team will not be making a contract offer to defenseman Patrice Brisebois, goaltender Ed Belfour or winger Geoff Sanderson.

    The team will most likely not be active during free agency, as improved contributions are expected from Tomas Vanek and Ryan Getzlaf, both of whom played sparingly as rookies, and Russian sensation Alexander Semin, who is expected to play a key role. On defense, the team will have five of their top 6 defensemen returning, and youngsters Bruno Gervais, Greg Zanon, Randy Jones, and Branislav Mezei appear ready to make a contribution.

    Right now the unknowns are the future of Dominik Hasek and Peter Bondra, both of whom may opt to retire. Bondra's roster spot has been all but given to Semin, but the team is unsure if Marc-Andre Fleury is ready to be the everyday goalie next season. If Hasek does retire, look for the team to attempt to sign or trade for a veteran goalie.

    The team is expected to be close to $10M under the cap even if Hasek returns, so money will not be an object. Despite the short playoffs, the team is expected to have plenty of cash on hand. If a top flight defenseman is available the team may make a run, otherwise there probably won't be any major signings (barring of course a replacement for Hasek should he retire). The team may look for a 2nd line center to replace Nieuwendyk, should youngster Nathan Horton be moved to the wing.

    Expected roster for 2007-8:
    LW: Ilya Kovalchuk, Alexander Semin, Jason Blake, Manny Malhotra, Alexandre Picard
    C: Chris Drury, Ryan Getzlaf, Nathan Horton, Nick Tarnasky, Maxim Lapierre
    RW: Marian Gaborik, Tomas Vanek, Peter Bondra, Mattias Weinhandl
    D: Robyn Regehr, Jason Smith, Sami Salo, Steve Staios, Dmitri Kalinin, Randy Jones, Bruno Gervais, Greg Zanon, Branislav Mezei
    G: Dominik Hasek, Marc-Andre Fleury
     
  2. Ohio Jones

    Ohio Jones Game on...

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    A tough way to end a terrific season, Rich. The future looks bright, though - best of luck in the off-season!
     
  3. Not much of a consolation but it has been the year of the upset so far.
    Four of five division winners eliminated so far with the possiblity of that becoming a five in six number. There's usually one or two eliminated but four or five is unheard of.
     
  4. Dempsey

    Dempsey Registered User

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    It also happened to the Kings. I had great regular season success for the first 5 or so years in the HFNHL but advanced past the first round only once.
     
  5. Ohio Jones

    Ohio Jones Game on...

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    It's not entirely unheard-of in teh NHL -- look at how many years the Senators played well in teh regular seaosn, but couldn't get their act together in the playoffs? Perhaps Nick can take some small consolation for his astonishing defeat by remembering his beloved Sens are one win away from the big dance...

    Go Sens Go!
     

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