NHLP2  ANDREW CHAD CHARLIE JOEL
JR MARCEL MATT RYAN
SCOTT SHAWN TYSON BRYCE
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NHLP Cup Threat Ratings For 2016/17
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 NHLP Cup Threat Rating (CTR) - Continuously Updated
Ranked CTR - Rating
(Previous High - Low)
Team GM
(Division)
Notes
Central Conference - North Division
1 1508 (H - 1547, L - 1122) Marcel
(Central -
North)

Best Pick #223 E. Staal Ė Worst #210 Ekblad

Moves Ė 6

Best - Florida (Marcel) Trades Duchene, Ekblad, Jan 7th Waiver, 2017/18 1st Rounder #32, 2018/19 3rd #101 and 2019/20 4th #137 to Philadelphia (Scott) for Rackell, Little, 2017/18 Waiver, and Picks #20,#88 and #130

Worst - Philadelphia (Scott) Trades Klingberg and 2018/19 6th Rounder #210 to Florida (Marcel) for Gallagher and Pick #188

GM Marcel has the best team in the North Division.  The GM has 7 sure playoff players and strong scoring team led by Staal, Koivu Rakell and Radulov.  This is not a team that anyone will want to face in Round one of the playoffs.  Unless Montreal goes to the Cup, the best Florida can do is hit their Eastern Conference players.  Unless Montreal runs, it is very unlikely if Minnesota does not make the finals that Marcel will win it all.  Rakell, Hamilton and Hossa are all decent individual scorers.  For Hossa, weíd be hard pressed to think heíd be the only Hawk in the finals on a Hawks run, limiting the Panthers chances for another cup.  Overall we like the team and they can easily represent the North in the Conference Finals.   

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A nice move up the CTR thanks mostly to the team putting 25 points between them and 5th as well as top players Staal, Koivu and Hossa all on top NHL rated teams.  Rakell was a solid addition.  A big trade will have to occur at some point for Seguin, Little and Klingberg appear 93 non-playoff points.  GM Marcel likely isnít one to move quickly trading Seguin, but ultimately that might make the team weaker if it comes down to ďget what you canĒ mode as replacements.  Not the way winning GMís usually roll.  The flip side is moving too soon here could show his cards in an ultra-tough Division.  Marcel would love nothing more than Dallas to turn it on, but with 60% of the season gone alternatives might need to soon be looked into.

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Staal might have been the best pick in this yearís draft, for a 7th rounder.  The Wild are the NHLís top Western Conference team and Staal has 29 points leading GM Marcelís Panthers in CTR value with Koivu not far behind.  Seguin is scoring as usual, but Dallas is looking more like a team to miss then make the NHLís playoffs.  Hossa and Gallagher are solid while Duchene and Ekblad are out and slow respectively.  With such a good Wild duo, Marcel can compete in the North, but things are not going to be easy.  Every other GM must get his team in and we know 5, let alone 6, all can't make it.  Some monster team here, that thinks they can get in, wonít come April.  

 

2 1505 (H - 1977) Tyson
(Central - North)

Best Pick #1 Ė Crosby, Worst #73 Boedker

Moves Ė 7

Best Ė Cleveland (Tyson) Trades Backes to Chicago (Andrew) for Cogliano

Worst Ė Cleveland (Tyson) Drops Laine (13), Miller (13), Hoffman (11), Brouwer (13)  and Yakupov (12), Adds, Anisimov (13), Hossa (13), Seabrook (11), Marleau (13) and Rust (12)

The entire season was set in motion for Cleveland with the first overall pick and first overall Waiver of the NHLP season.  Having Crosby has worked out for Tyson.  If they run to the NHL Finals again, it might help win him his third Cup.  If Crosby does not have a big first round, this team will likely be gone early as overall it cannot score without Crosby.  The team didnít make any great or bad moves, but in hindsight only, we might say that the first Waiver of the season turned out to unfortunately not work in the end.  Laine went on to score like crazy and Miller and Hoffman are great playoff guys who are scoring well.  The team added Anisimov, and until his injury the Waiver might have been a great move.  Rust died off and had to be moved.  It is a tough call.  The team still has Marleau, Hossa and Seabrook, parts that can help win it all.  In the Furyís final move they dropped the teams second Backes that they had just picked up twice, while dropping the injured Anisimov.  If Boston misses the playoffs, the team would have penalties out, so as of writing this, dropping Backes might have been a move that saves Tysonís chances for a third NHLP Championship.  We say if Crosby has a good first round and Chicago advances with Pittsburgh, Cleveland has a good shot.  If Crosby has a mediocre, say 4 point first round, this team is likely out just like that.

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The best news for Cleveland is now they have put 19 points between them and 5th place.  The team is solid, top to bottom.  Led by Crosby who is averaging 1.35 PPG while line mate Rust is a desirable asset.  Pittsburgh, as great as they are, still canít catch top dogs Washington or Columbus.  GM Tyson never made a move at the Winter Meeting and with 19 points to work with, can fire away at will.  Steen is the question mark with the Blues in struggle mode.  If the Fury can get in, runs by Chicago or Pittsburgh, to NHLP powerhouses, could make for an unstoppable combination, on Tyson will find hard to move away from.  Crosby seems to never move.  So it appears this team is basically set for the playoffs, as moving Rust while keeping Crosby makes little logic.  They are good.  Easily threats to win it all.

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GM Tyson not only has the top team in the North Division, but also the entire NHLP.  Led by Crosby who has simply been sensational after missing a few games to start the season.  The supporting cast here will be hard to beat for any other Divisional team.  A second Pen is a nice touch with Rust who is holding his own.  A potential league best Chicago trio of Anisimov, Hossa, and Seabrook, and in total five players off the leagueís top four teams.  The bottom two arenít very bottomish at all with Steen and Marleau, both off teams that would start the playoffs in the top four in their Conference.  This team is full of assets but they are going to struggle, believe it or not, just to make the playoffs.  This Division is tough but building on here wonít be easy as Tyson must for sure get a playoff spot where some weaker teams in the Division will just be happy to get in. 

 

3 1438 (L - 1040) Ryan
(Central -
North)

Best Picks #193 Anisimov, Worst #146 Ribeiro

Moves Ė 10

Best Ė Boston (Ryan) Drops Kadri (11), Steen (10), Toffoli (11) and Gaborik (12), Adds Eaves (11), Josi (10), Hanzal (11) and Hanzal (12)

Worst Ė None

Looking at all 10 moves the Boston Bruins made this season, we cannot pick out one that we can even make a case was a bad move.  Karlsson was a good first overall pick 24th overall and his scoring has helped Boston all season long.  Eaves, Josi and Hanzal are all around from the best teams move of the season.  Trading the second Hanzal at the deadline for Carlson could turn into a big, small deal, for GM Ryan.  The team hung onto Anisimov and his high scoring.  The NHLP Bruins look securely in, so a non move was a huge great move for the GM, as long as Anisimov returns by game one of the playoffs.  If he does not, it might end up something Ryan regrets.  Boston is very strong.  Has distance players and can score.  The CTR has them slightly behind Florida (Marcel) and Cleveland (Tyson) but we donít think they will have any problems scoring in the first round if Anisimov plays, something we canít say for Cleveland.  Until we know the playoff matchups we canít say who will represent the North but right now it is easily a three team race.

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GM Ryan hasnít made a single move since the previous CTR, with a slight drop.  The team is 7 points out of 4th, which isnít anything to hit the panic button about just yet.  Most value here is Anisimov while Kelser, Karlsson, Silfverberg and Lucic are all easy to move parts.  The biggest issue appears scoring, which hasnít been there of late.  This is a solid Division and two teams will be very disappointed here, a tough break for the GMís involved, but reality of the NHLP Divisional structure where good teams miss out in tough Divisions.  If you give your assets away, you likely drop your odds of winning it all.  Keeping them, you likely donít make the playoffs.  Ryan needs to be wise and make the right moves to get in with the best team possible, every GMís goal, but always easier said than done.   

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GM Ryan will not agree with this, but the CTR says the Bruins, although very good, still have the worst of the 6 teams in the North Division.  Anisimov is on a top four NHL team, so will be in high demand if Ryan ever feels something must be done to battle for a playoff spot, joining a crowd of five other GMís who know they have assets as well.  Kesler and Silverberg, Lucic, Toffoli and Gaborik, all more assets to join Karlsson of the playoff hopeful Senators.  With this many assets, you would not expect to be the weakest team in the Divisional, likely more a compliment to the Division then a knock against Ryan here.  It is going to be enjoyable watching this battle unfold.  For some Cup threats here that would normally be around to see a first round matchup, sadly, it simply isnít possible to happen for all 6 teams.  Who does the best job to build the best team and keep the most assets while staying in the top 4?  That will be the difference, so donít fall asleep in the North Division. 

 

4 1040 (L - 1505) Jr
(Central -
North

Best Pick Ė # 15 Malkin, Worst #87 Boedker

Moves 6

Best Ė Dallas (Jr) Drops Pearson, Faksa and Dumba, Adds Hedman, Point and Slepyshev

Worst Ė  Dallas (Jr) Drops Stone (11), Bjugstad (11) and Bjugstad (12), Adds Dumba (11), Faksa (11) and Andrighetto (12)

 

Anytime you draft Malkin from the top seeded Pens and have to trade him just to make the playoffs, you arenít going to win anything that year.  Dallas likely wonít make the playoffs but they are hanging on by a thin thread with Tampa Bay playing 9 games remaining and must get in.  The teamís worst move is a three for three and adding nothing, no assets or moveable parts.  That directly results in not having the points later and having to trade Malkin, for a fringe guy Kucherov.  The teams best move was a hail mary, adding more Bolts that are likely out anyway.  All in all, starting with Malkin, the Dallas season surely went downhill after that.  Is there any hope?  Well, if Tampa Gets into a playoff spot, and Dallas hangs onto a NHLP spot, the CTR for the playoffs might show them a high scoring first round team.  After that it would be a Bolts miracle run or help from Columbus or Pittsburgh on this 6 player Eastern Conference team.  Bottom line is not enough solid moves early were made to savage keeping Malkin who had an outstanding season.

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Teams that stay above 1500 in the CTR are the leagueís top rated teams.  Three Penguins, a Jacket, Wild and Hab.  This team has all the makings of a potential Championship team.  As was the case prior, it is a serious battle for a playoff spot but with studs like Malkin, Foligno, Schultz and Hornqvist, Gm Jr can do what he wants at any time.  Obviously this team appears set on a Pens run, the defending NHL champs, so we donít see any changes there.  No issues here on a full 7 playoff players.  Jr will just have to tweak things to get in, or make a move someone else forces him to make, which either way is a piece of cake with these monsters.  Dallas already has a legitimate opportunity to be the first NHLP team to win a third team Cup.  They are that good, but likely canít get a whole lot better by the looks of things. 

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GM Jr may have saved himself with a Waiver.  Way back of the pack in the North, the Stars have all they need to move into the top four at any moment.  There is no NHLP team that has this good of Penguins built team and ironically, Cleveland (Tyson) is built around Crosby.  What a potential battle this could be if Jr can keep it together by the end.  The team has Foligno, off the NHLís top rated Blue Jackets that can be used as bait with Bjugstadís low number twice to grab the points needed to move up 20 and into the mix.  A Penguin could go, likely a Schultz and Jr could still ice the best Pens team.  This Division is so tough that even if Jr comes up, it will be a battle as others are strong here as well.

 

5 922 (H - 1306) Chad
(Central -
North)

Best Pick -  #199 - Coyle, Worst Ė #18 Barkov

Moves Ė 7

Best Move Ė New Orleans (Shawn) Trades Dubinsky to Toronto (Chad) for Fabbri

Worst Move Ė Miami (Charlie) Trades Kopitar and Saad to Toronto  (Chad) for Shattenkirk and Parise

The Toronto season went downhill from the draft and GM Chad could never truly recover from picking Barkov and his 48 non-playoff points 18th overall.  Anytime you start with a non playoff player, you are chasing the rest of the season.  Chad could still grab a playoff spot, but is out if Boston misses the playoffs.  Chadís lone Western Conference player is Giordano, so outside of Calgary he can do at best two players in the NHLP Finals, Pastrnak and Krug or Radulov and Gallagher.  Chad did well on the early deal for Dubinsky, 11 ahead getting rid of Fabbri but all season didnít do enough to help the scoring, having to end at the deadline trading Shattenkirk and Parise, very valued players for nothing but Saad and points.  There seems zero hope of a repeat here.  Least last year we said watch out for Toronto if they get in and San Jose runs.  This is not that team and in the end, wonít be Champions and likely wonít even make the NHLP playoffs. 

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GM Chad may need every single point of the 17 he has moved in front of 5th place.  The CTR has taken a hit, mostly due to the mighty fall of the Blues.  Schwartz, Shattenkirk and Fabbri are wavering on 90 points to the Minors.  Most thought the Blues were a solid NHL playoff team.  That is not reality anymore and has cost the Maple Leafs.  The big assets now are Coyle and Eberle, leaving the other 5 just battling to be around come round one.  Something Chad may yet do himself if he canít exchange these guys out if required.  His fellow Divisional rival in Cincinnati (Matt) moved out his Blues and has been rewarded for doing so.  Not many GMís will likely believe in their hearts that all is lost in St Louis.  But following you heart often leads to devastation.  Chad will tell us he followed his heart right to an NHLP Championship last season.  Be interesting where Toronto goes from here. 

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GM Chad just won the Cup with three San Jose players and now will likely try his hand with three Blues.  The third best team in a very tough Division, Chad like his fellow GM in Cincinnati (Matt) have solid Blues teams in a Division with two teams with solid Pens teams.  It is likely these four GMís, if they can get into the playoffs will may be their own demise as only one can come out of the Division, killing some great Pens and Blues built teams along the way if those teams run.  Shattenkirk, Fabbri and Schwartz are a nice trio while Coyle plays on the NHLís second top team in Minnesota.  Two Oilers get rated and Barkovís scoring helps, on a team that could still be playoffs if Florida came alive.  Making the playoffs wonít be easy, but it is a must to get this team in and go for the repeat.

 

6 894 (H - 1298) Matt
(Central - North)

Best Pick #149 Stepan  Worst #221 - Brouwer

Moves  14

Best/Worst - Cincinnati (Matt) Trades Tarasenko, Stepan, Schwartz and 2017/18 Waiver to Halifax (Shawn) for Atkinson, Wennberg and Monahan.  The Deal has a Condition that if the St Louis Blues fail to make the NHL Playoffs this season Cincinnati will pay 2019/20 First Rounder #6 for #14 to Halifax.

GM Matt started with a decent draft.  Is the best pick Tarasenko with 64 points 5th overall or Stepan with 49 at #149?  The worst is a 22 point guy drafted in the 7th round.  All in all, Matt canít fault his drafting for Cincinnati's season.  The team made 14 moves with none really standing out but the huge three for three with GM Shawn.  The teams top two remaining scorers are from that deal, Atkinson and Monahan with Wennberg turning into Backlund.  Was the trade a good or bad deal?  That is still for debate.  St Louis appears in, so no more picks should move, but a Waiver was given up next year, a huge price for Atkinson and Monahan.  The lone East player on the roster is Atkinson.  If Cincinnati gets in, and they will be automatically if both Boston and Tampa Bay miss, the only way they can get two players to the finals is a Flames or Blues run.  Neither of those teams are big favorites in the West, so things would be bleak even if the Rage get in.  Overall, this is the weakest of the 6 North Division teams.  GM Matt said just get in and let the cards fall where they may.  Best case might be just getting in.  A disappointing season for the Rage who now start next year without a Waiver to boot.

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GM Matt started the New Year with what on the surfaced looked like a head scratcher.  Out went Tarasenko, Swartz and Stepan for Atkinson, Wennberg and Monahan.  Although Calgary players arenít carrying much weight, the top two players Atkinson and Wennberg are still on the second highest rated team in the NHLís Eastern Conference.  Skinner and Lindholm, added at the Winter Meeting donít have value yet as Carolina isnít sure if they are going to contend for a playoff spot or not.  The Rage have fallen from the pack in the North Division, with the Peloton a three team race.  The Rage are in tough still, battling with Dallas (Jr) and Boston (Ryan) in what should still be a 6 team race in the very end.  The CTR hasnít moved either way, but the New Years Day deal is favoring Matt as the St Louis Blues struggle to find themselves.   

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GM Matt is in first place and is in a battle just for a playoff spot.  That is life in the North Division where the first place team is only 6 points up on 5th.  With the best built Divisional teams sitting with Penguins, the Rage are strong thanks to their three Blues, Tarasenko, Schwartz and Pietrangelo.  You would think GM Shawn drafted that team!  Cincinnati is solid everywhere with Stepan, Shaw and Dubinsky looking like sure things and a top scorer in Wheeler who on the fringe Jets could still be a playoff player.  Matt knows he must be strong to compete and will be another team here who battles hard for a playoff spot.  In this Division, in the end with these 6 teams, the race will be a tough one.

Central Conference - South Division
1 1684 (H - 1776, L - 1645) Shawn
(Central -
South)

Best Pick #3 - Kane  Worst #214 Pouliot

Moves 13

Best  New Orleans (Shawn) Trades Pouliot, Nov 17th Waiver, 2018/19 1st Rounder #34 and 2017/18 3rd Rounder #103 to Philadelphia (Scott) for Bjorkstrand, February 7th Waiver and Picks #16 and #92

Worst  New Orleans (Shawn) Trades Keith, Stastny and Fowler to Calgary (Jr) for Toews, Parise, Stafford and 2017/18 Waiver

GM Shawn had an outstanding season in New Orleans and it is very possible they go on to win the NHLP Championship.  They will be hard to beat.  What started out well, an awesome draft just did not slow down.  Good deal after good deal.  Across the board a hell of a draft with Kane, Keith, Hedman and Schenn, depth and scoring from the first four.  Pouliot only had 13 points, a horrible 6th rounder but Shawn traded Pouliot for a player who was an injury pick in 4 days, Bjorkstanrd, adding Ekblad, but more so #16 overall in round one for #34.  Seriously, he did that.  It is what he didnít do, and what everyone already flagged.  Certainly trading Keith, Stastny and Fowler for Toews, Parise, Stafford and a Waiver next year, are you kidding us?  Worst move?  Hardly, it is a Championship winning move.  Shawn did not make a bad move all season, by our accounts.  He did however, make a very bad decision.  The CTR thinks it could cost New Orleans a serious shot at the Cup.  The Wolverines held onto Stafford.  If Boston misses the NHL playoffs, the first round scoring drops to a CTR predicted 24 for the Wolverines.  San Fran (Scott) 27, Buffalo (Joel) 25, and Miami (Charlie) 24, even without Vatrano, are all better or as good first round scoring teams, without Stafford.  It is early, but looking ahead if Boston misses everything could be more difficult in round one than it should have been.  The good side is Boston isn't out yet and Shawn hasnít lost round one.  Hardly.  This team is feared and rightly so.  Likely unstoppable on a Blackhawks run with other distance guys Couture, Parise and Gallagher.  Winning it all here will be deserved.  Shawn likely hands down was GM of the year in the NHLP for his work right here in New Orleans.

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GM Shawn was able to get better, adding Galchenyuk and Weber in deals for Hedman and the loss of Schenn.  Those two added with Kane, Keith and Gallagher, plus 32 points to work with have the CTR feeling even better about the Wolverines potential this season.  Trocheck is labeled for the next playoff player that comes in and his hot scoring and 33 points cane help bring in whatever GM Shawn fancies.  Opportunities to win everything arenít something that should be taken lightly in the NHLP.  It is hard to win.  Shawn never has.  If that isnít motivation enough nothing will be. 

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The runaway CTR top rated team in the South Division.  New Orleans not only has 40 points to work with over 5th, but Kane and Keith of the top rated Blackhawks.  That is an awesome start.  Galchenyuk and Schenn are in while Hedman, Wilson and Ekblad are in battles on their teams.  We think this team will be active moving points as the year winds along.  A blockbuster is sitting here and we can only guess on who could come in here.  Give GM Shawn all the credit.  He did this.  He put himself in a spot to be great.  With such a weak Division, according to the CTR, there is no reason to believe Shawn cannot build the winning team to come out of the South.  Who else can compete?

 

2 1650 (L - 784) Charlie
(Central -
South)

Best Pick #197 Kreider  Worst #20 Kopitar

Moves  7

Best  Miami (Charlie) Trades Kopitar and Saad to Toronto  (Chad) for Shattenkirk and Parise

Worst - None

From where GM Charlie started to where he ended up, this is an awesome example of how to build a Championship team.  Charlieís first three picks were Kopitar, Bergeron and Krejci.  He turned that into a top three of Kreider, Shattenkirk and Shattenkirk.  The team didnít really make a bad move.  Once again, as did GM Shawn in New Orleans, Charlie hung on to a Bruin.  Sure everyone can say, but the Bruins were in at the deadline.  True.  But it was known their next four games were Leafs, Sens, Lightning and Islanders and they are 0-3 as we write this.  That was a known.  A bad streak over 4 games and they likely would be out.  Charlie kept Vatrano.  Will it mean anything, likely, but maybe not.  We will wait and see.  As far as what else is here, this team is every bit as good and some might say better then New Orleans.  You read that right.  Two Washington, two Minnesota and two Rangers.  All distance players and decent scoring.  When it comes to the first round, when points are needed most and the CTR has it 24-24.  Will Charlie have Vatrano extra and needed few more points?  His season might depend on it.

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The Surfís CTR climbed nicely thanks mostly to 23 points of potential.  Kreider and Stepan are runaway team leaders while Kadri and Nylander, although not threats for playoff runs according to the CTR, are looking like solid playoff players.  Will Shattenkirk get moved?  It would appear very likely, which would help the teams CTR.  There is no shortage of work to be done here and as is, likely no real threat to be the final team standing in the NHLP Semi-Finals from the South, but nothing is impossible.  Charlie must get stronger for that to be realistic.

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Kreider and Stepan are the bright spots and building blocks.  Krejic, Bergeron, Kopitar and Rielly all could still be in or out, making a lot of work here for GM Charlie to set a playoff team when the time comes.  Overall this is a weaker NHLP Division, so anything can happen if you get in.  Can Charlie make something stronger?  That will be the biggest question moving forward.

 

3 1550 (H - 1660, L - 853) Joel
(Central - South)

Best Pick #205 Perron  Worst #106 J. Jokinen

Moves  7

Best Buffalo (Joel) Drops Barkov (9), Jagr (11), Byfuglien (12), Perron (12), Cammalleri (13) and Soderberg (13), Adds Hayes (9), Miller (11), Zucker (12), Suter (12), Cogliano (13) and Huberdeau (13).

Worst None  

 

GM Joel really had a horrendous draft in Buffalo.  Of the 7 drafted players, only Perron, in the 6th round from the St Louis Blues turned into a playoff player.  That means, he made absolutely nothing to start with, into something great, because this team is a great team right now.  The top three teams in the South are all so close and this team is right there Miller, Hayes, Zucker and Panik twice is a solid team.  We canít say Joel made a bad move all year.  His best move, could be Panik twice but the first Waiver, he completely revamped the team and set it up early for what it is now.  That is how you do it.  At the Deadline Joel held on firm to what he had, as actually did the team right in front in San Fran (Scott).  They choose to keep their best playoff teams and race.  For Joel he is going to have a tough pill to swallow knowing lowly Chicago (Andrew), after all the talk of building a winner, steals a spot with what appears a 6 man team.  If Buffalo can get in, this team is solid.  If they canít, Joel did an outstanding job and his determination to hold strong and go for a Cup, just as Andrew said you should, cost him a playoff spot to a clearly weaker team(s).

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OK.  You grabbed our attention.  Well done!!!  GM Joel basically made the South Division a race.  He acquired Matthews in a trade and made a huge Waiver adding Hayes, Miller, Zucker, Suter and Cogliano.  The team still have 31 points to work with and no longer are the Wolverinesí little bitches.  The Sabres now have their own genuine opportunity.  Now that Joel is in it to win, who can maximize their teamís growth with the same amount of points to work with?  Points mean nothing after the NHLP Trading Deadline, as they are no longer a reflection of a teamís potential and how they can make the team better.  Buffalo isnít that far behind New Orleans for the Divisions best team and has the same amount of points to get better with.   

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No shortage of points for GM Joel to work with, 24 up on 5th.  Those points will be in use as, as many as 4 players, could be non playoff players here.  The teams is strong in Philadelphia with Voracek and Giroux, 66 points between them and sitting in the playoffs in the NHL standings.  The CTR isnít giving much hope for something like a Championship here just yet, not with such a mediocre CTR number.  Joel can make it better, and we are sure he will.  Can it get to be a threatening number that grabs our attention?  The second half will tell.

 

4 1064 (H - 1151) Scott
(Central -
South)

Best Pick #32 Burns  Worst #167 R. Smith

Moves 20

Best Move  San Fran (Scott) Drops van Riemsdyk (13), Pastrnak (12), Skinner (11), Spezza (10), Stastny (11), Guentzel (12) and MacArthur (13), Adds Turris (13), Arvidsson (12), Arvidsson (11), Leddy (10), Pominville (11), Orlov (12) and Hertl (13)

Worst Move  NY Islanders (Ryan) Trade Sharp and 2018/19 7th Rounder #227 to San Fran (Scott) for Horvat and Pick #252

 

GM Scott turned a good drafted into a team on January 24th, less than 7 weeks from the NHLP Trading Deadline, into a team with 4 players under 10 points.  It was deals like trading Horvat 47 for Sharp 18, minus 30 points that cost GM Scott.  This ended with having to trade Burns.  However, it is still a little baffling how on January 24th four guys under 10 points turned into a team of 6 players of 30+ points, but the GM did it.  The Titan clearly donít have the teams New Orleans (Shawn), Miami (Charlie) or (Buffalo (Joel) have, but early CTR projections, without knowing the matchups yet, have the Titan getting 27 points, outscoring all other teams if the Bruins miss the playoffs.  So we canít say the Titan wonít be heard from, but we can say they should not be winning their third team Championship outside a Predators march to the Cup Finals.  Overall, a poor showing for the Titan in 2016.

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This team drafted Burns, Trocheck, Monahan, Monahan, R. Smith, Vanek and Horvat = 224 points.  The team has 146 points.  Usually when you strip it down, you make it better.  If GMís got fired, GM Scott would be hanging onto past performance only to keep his job.  With four players under 10 points, something that may have never been done in 27 NHLP seasons, come January 24th, one has to question how the CTR has this team ranked at 1140, sitting 23 points out of 4th.  It is a head scratcher.  Well it is complicated, just the way the CTR has always been.  Burns is an asset, as is Hayes, Guentzel, Guentzel, Hertl and JVR.  MacArthur, just one of several miscalculations Scott made this season will eventually sit the team at 18 out.  Even if somehow Scott can find a way to trade in, assets going out mean the CTR likely falls, meaning a worse team.  That is how the NHLP works.  You donít make trades, add points and get better players.  Well, unless you rape someone.  It should not happen.  Truly the Titan should be no threat no matter what they do.  Logic says no matter what they do, they canít make a good team that can compete.  Donít tell that to GM Scott, as clearly by what he has done to this team so far this year, he isnít listening to logic anyhow.

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Interesting.  A decent CTR for a last place team, 20 points out.  The second top team in the Division, strength wise, only has 4 active players.  Burns, Hayes and Miller, are all assets that the GM surely knows he will have to trade to get in.  For GM Scott he has three players under 4 points, so he can take on more points than likely any other team in trade and be able to use the Minors to move those points.  For now the GM is holding onto Guentzel, Guentzel and Huberdeau.  Why?  The appearance is the Titan are waving the white flag, conceding and giving up.  Scott things differently, saying he feels Guentzel will return to the NHL from leading the AHL in scoring if the Penguins suffer any injury to any forward.  What if it doesnít happen?  "How can a team not suffer an injury" asked Scott?  Huberdeau could be a five point player, but he is back Feb 9th and the GM said he is keeping him around just for at least one good birthday gift this year.  Good luck with that.

5 829 (L - 540) Vinnie
(Central - South)

Best Pick #10 Pavelski  Worst #56 Huberdeau

Moves  8

Best  Las Vegas (Vinnie) Trades February 4th Waiver, 2018/19 1st Rounder #26, 2019/20 1st #4 and 2017/18 7th #238 to Edmonton (Scott) for Picks #1, #35 and #220.  As a Condition to this deal, Edmonton retains the right to give Las Vegas 48 hours notice next season and use the Las Vegas Waiver, giving Las Vegas Edmonton's Waiver, so basically swapping Waivers with Las Vegas

Worst  Vancouver (Joel) Trades Forsberg and Bozak To Las Vegas (Vinnie) for Pavelski and Ryan 

 

Most likely Las Vegas misses the playoffs.  GM Vinnie could not get a deal done for Pavalski all season and the night before the NHLP Trading Deadline, minutes after GM Matt took over the team because Vinnie would be absent, Pavalski gets traded.  Now the deal itself wasnít horrible, adding Forsberg and Bozak for Pavelski and Ryan, but the issue is there was no time left.  The Strip were still too far back and had to trade Forsberg for Marchand, and may still likely will miss on shear points.  Because not enough was done early, they were forced to exchange Pavalski for Marchand, who is out of the playoffs as this is being written.  If somehow the Strip can find a way in, they have the second worst scoring team in the NHLP, even with Marchand at over a point a game, and he might not be in their first round lineup.  Disaster.  This team isnít winning a Cup.  If you truly care to win, more needs to be done, before, the day before, the final day.

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Pavelski, Ryan, Ryan and Jenner are the strongest rated players while JVR has solid value to be a playoff player.  Landeskog could yet be moved in the NHL, as Colorado is believed to be a major player by the NHL Trading Deadline on February 28th.  GM Vinnie has a Waiver coming up, but what does the GM do to improve?  Well, with a CTR of 813, things arenít roses.  Improvement should be easy, but will Vinnie be willing to do something, something aggressive and better than the current?  If we were in Vegas placing a bet, weíd say the Waiver wonít improve this team much.  Based solely on the GMís past performance.  However, maybe just maybe the Strip can find a way to be a real team in the South and not just a team. 

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Pavelski is a solid start for the Strip who have potentially four non playoff players in Little, Wheeler, Landeskog and Ellis.  Ryan and Ryan are looking like assets.  Vinnie hasnít done much yet this season and if that trait continues, we surely see no hope Vegas wins a third team Cup, a first for Vinnie.  Sitting and enjoying the view gets little done.

 

6 610 (H - 981) Andrew
(Central -
South)

Best Pick #19 Thornton  Worst #195 Donskoi

Moves  17

Best Move  Seattle (Shawn) Trades Perry, Pearson and Cogliano to Chicago (Andrew) for Thornton, Niskanen and Buchnevich

Worst Move   Chicago (Andrew) Drops Schenn (11), Hall (10), Krejci (10) and Hudler (11), Adds Tavares (11), Niskanen (10), Brassard (10) and Buchnevich (11)

It is hardly fair GM Andrew attacks GM Matt at the Trading Deadline about building a team that can win it all, yet hypocritically builds the lowest scoring team in the NHLP and with Tavares and Backes, on two teams that are almost impossible to both make it, essentially just building a team to steal a spot from another team.  If you have a great team elsewhere, why not.  It is a great strategy to keep a good team out while you have junk.  Andrew clearly thinks so.  This team canít score, so if they get in without Tavares, YIKES.  Andrew had a terrible draft here to start the season.  We were hard pressed to find a good pick, so settled on a 50 point playoff guy with the 19th overall pick.  Andrew compounded his problem with a Waiver picking Tavares, by doing so having to settle for a much lesser three in a four for four.  Once the Islanders had no value, he essentially was forced to eat him.  Trading Thornton and getting Perry, might have been an upgrade, and just the points needed to assure a playoff spot.  Can this team win it all as Andrew says he sets out to do?  It would take both the Bruins and Islanders in and a Ducks run to the Cup.  What is most likely is a better team is praying for this first round matchup and Chicago will go out easily.  But as Matt says, get in and roll the dice.  Andrew may hope Matt is onto something with this team.

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The three players who are currently holding this team back, Schenn, Krejci and Hudler will likely be gone from this team by the time GM Andrew reads this.  With a Waiver tonight the Blackhawks will undoubtedly be a much improved team.  Hartnell, Thornton, Parise and Plekanec are sure playoff players, but Andrew may be inclined to make one of them available in a pre-Waiver deal.  The team is ok.  However, OK to Andrew is like a personal insult.  He donít take lightly to being average.  That is why he is the best of the best.  That is also why in the end, the South surely will include Chicago as one of the top teams when that time of the year suddenly appears.

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The Blackhawks have three players, Drouin, Trocheck and Callahan, all currently battling to be playoff players.  Thornton, Schenn and Hartnell are assets and Krejci is in currently with Boston.  It isnít GM Andrewís best work, but with 12 points and half the season to be played, it could still be a masterpiece, with Andrew running the show.  Lots of work to do, but just the way the GM likes things moving forward.

 

Eastern Conference - Atlantic Division
1 1744 (H - 1770, L - 1400) Jr(Eastern -
Atlantic)

Best Pick #183 Saad, Worst Pick #34 Letang

Moves  8

Best Move  Memphis (Jr) Trades Letang to Halifax (Shawn) for Stepan

Worst Move  Memphis (Jr) Trades Parise, Plekanecs, 2017/18 6th Rounder #209 and 2018/19 5th #179 to Chicago (Andrew) For Drouin, Duchene and Picks #184, #160

GM Jrís draft was a good start, even though Letang could have been much better help had he not been injured so much.  Jr did a good job replacing Letang with almost a 20 point gain in Stepan.  The worst deal of the year was a point gain before the Waiver, but the Waiver didnít bring much better than was traded away.  Clearly Jr did a lot of good with his 8 moves, as this team will enter the playoffs the second best of the Conference and the best in the Division.  It will almost be impossible to win the NHLP Championship if the Wild or Blue Jackets donít make the finals.  Either just might.  They are good.  But Minnesota will have to get by Chicago and the Jackets both the Caps and Pens.  We arenít going to bet against the Machine, but weíd need some odds to be betting for them.  A solid team.  Great job getting them this far.  Next stop.  Round OneÖ

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One of the best NHLP teams the Memphis Machine had a huge Waiver adding Gagner, Niederreiter and Spurgeon, all top players on their top teams.  With Saad, Letang and Radulov already in the mix GM Jr can even now hope Shark gets traded from the flickering Stars.  The Machine are serious contenders and an apparent battle could occur with Philadelphia (Scott) on two like, similar built teams if they play in the NHLP playoffs.  So far, this team is good enough to win it all and we know Jr, always looking to make it even better still.

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GM Jr gets the nod for the top ranked team in the Atlantic Division.  The Machine are led by Saad and his 29 points off the NHLís top ranked team.  The GM held onto Parise and now Minnesota is the leading team in the Western Conference.  Letang is a top four team while Radulov and Plekanec are top 5 in the Eastern Conference.  GM Jr has potential here to build a top team.  The GM hasnít been doing a lot early the last few years but we do expect Memphis involved as the season turns into 2017.

 

2 1653 (H - 2276, L - 936) Scott
(Eastern -
Atlantic)

Best Pick #170 Ehlers, Worst pick #47 Klingberg

Moves 18

Best Move Ė Philadelphia (Scott) Drops Scheifele (11), Ehlers (12), Marchand (11), Trocheck (10), Tatar (12), Gallagher (11) and Ekblad (12), Adds E. Staal (11), Coyle (12), Gagner (11), Werenski (10), Werenski (12), Zibanejad (11) and Zibanejad (12)

Worst Move Ė New Orleans (Shawn) Trades Pouliot, Nov 17th Waiver, 2018/19 1st Rounder #34 and 2017/18 3rd Rounder #103 to Philadelphia (Scott) for Bjorkstrand, February 7th Waiver and Picks #16 and #92

Although GM Scott started out with a bunch of non playoff players from the draft, he did find scoring in Scheifele in the 3rd, Okposo, Nielsen and Ehlers.  The Flyer paid 18 spots in the first round for their first Waiver on the season and did nothing with it in a three for three, clearly making it the worst move.  The second Waiver was much better, changing the team for good with a massive 14 player switcheroo.  Staal, Coyle, Werenski and Zibanejad, even though those guys were traded and acquired again, ended up on the final roster.  The Flyer are every bit the team the Machine (Jr) have and the two just might meet in round one of the NHLP playoffs.  Both teams have three Wild and a Jacket.  Philadelphia can score with an early CTR first round of about 29, meaning this team can win and run.  If it isnít a Wild run the team has decent scorers from Rangers, Jackets, Preds and Ducks, so options that arenít limited.  Overall this was GM Scottís best work this year and he always says he looks forward to at least having one team that can go all the way.  If he can somehow get into a playoff spot, it just might be the Flyer are his one team in 2016.

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If we have seen GM Scott kill a team this season, we have also been witness to the seasons best Waiver.  Revamping the team, the Flyer have vaulted into without doubt the best NHLP team there is.  Five 5 players on the four best teams in the NHL and with two Rangers not hurting the CTR in any way, the Flyer are now deadly.  The team still has 17 points to work with.  Any GM can make the right move to change the culture of their team.  Not always do GMís get it right.  In the Flyer case, it was an upper-deck walk-off grand slam.  The Atlantic Division has been served notice.  The Orange are back!

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The CTR is a numbers game.  With truly only two playoff players we wonder how a CTR of almost a thousand can be possible.  The team has 26 points to work with and high scoring playoff players Rakell and Kreider.  The Flyer are hurt by the Winnipeg Jets NHL value, basically nothing, although top Jets do the Flyer have.  Subban and Klingberg, the drafted top two are the worst valued players on the team and rumors say a herniated disk could shelf Subban for months.  If the Jets cannot rebound the Flyer will suddenly have some trouble unloading all the points they have with not much low numbers on the team.  The CTR sees more then the common eye and says there is something here to work with.  Letís see what happens.

 

3 1262 (H - 1439) Charlie
(Eastern -
Atlantic)

Bet Pick #206 Niederreiter, Worst Pick #62 Hall

Moves 3

Best - Edmonton (Scott) Trades Schwartz and 2019/20 7th Rounder #251 to NY Rangers (Charlie) for Fabbri and Pick #236

Worst - NY Rangers (Charlie) Drops Zetterberg (11), Niederreiter (12) and Stralman (13), Adds Perron (11), Gostisbehere  (12) and Fabbri (13)

Considering a mediocre draft and only three transactions on the season, the end product is ok.  Not great by any means, but certainly average or better.  The GM found Niederreiter and 49 points in the 6th round from a top Minnesota team but traded his scoring, along with Zetterbergís for a whole lot of nothing.  Thank god the GM fleeced GM Scott for 20 points in his best move of the season.  The team does have three Ducks, so will be strong if Anaheim can come along for the ride.  Getzlaf, Silverberg and Fowler would likely be the best Ducks team in the finals.  The Rangers do have Keith and Niskanen if they hit the Chicago-Washington NHL finals, alone likely not enough to win but together just might be the favorites by then depending on the two others left.  All in all this is a good job for Charlie considering not a Deadline move was made and only three measly moves all season.

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With 21 points to work with the Rangers look solid with only Fabbri and Perron holding back the CTR.  The team has a solid Ducks mix of Getzlaf, Silfverberg and Fowler while Keith and Niskanen backline the best teams in the NHL.  GM Charlie can compete for the Divisional title, but using his points will be the best way to improve the team for come playoff time.  Moving points isnít always something the GM feels comfortable doing, although he has improved greatly in cutting umbilical cords the past few seasons. 

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With 30 points to work with GM Charlie is the second strongest team of the Division.  Will he use the points wisely and in time to cash in is always a question for the GM.  Hallís number likely must go but everyone else is looking playoffs.  Getzlaf and Silfverberg are a nice Ducks entry while Fabbri and Perron are one of the best Blues duos outside the North.  Keith can be kept or traded for a shiny object as all Hawks, all the time, are wanted elsewhere.  We canít say the GM is known for building but with so many points we hope a bully shows his face at some point and takes down a Blockbuster of a deal. 

 

4 1001 (L - 832) Vinnie
(Eastern -
Atlantic)

Best Pick #163 Granlund, Worst Pick #42 Hertl

Moves  4

Best Move  Atlantic City (Vinnie) Drops Drouin (11), Adds Jones (11)

Worst Move Ė None

Atlantic City were saved at the draft with Granland, a top playoff performer found in the 5th round with 66 points.  With just four moves on the season it wasnít a surprise that Granlund is still around.  On a GM Vinnie team if you can skate and are relatively healthy, say a Karlsson for example, you stick around.  Now, albeit Karlsson, isnít the Ottawa guy, but rather the San Jose  0.32 PPG, 19 points, out since March 11th guy.  But he can skate and was relatively healthy before he got hurt.  The Gamblers are going to make it in. We wonít say they stole a good teams spot.  You have a team with 4 Bruins (Pittsburgh, Chad) and maybe the worst team in the league in Montreal (Marcel) who still clings to the Kings and Panthers Cup run hopes.  Vinnie has at least 6 playoff guys and a 7th if Spooner has any hope of his name on the Cup this year, the real cup of course.  Does Vinnie have a shot here?  The Gamblers can actually score.  Granlund and maybe Jones do have long distance, outside any surprise for the Flames, Leafs, Blues or Bruins.  Well, canít forget Karlssonís Sharks.  See, it isnít really horrible.  But little, very little was done to try and make good, great.  Karlsson typlifies a GM Vinnie built team.  The one time his team that has a great guy to build around and winning it all, the GM is happy to carry Karlsson and his average 0.06 PPTOI into battle for the NHLP Championship.  0-11. 

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Outside of Granlund you are hard pressed to see something beautiful in Atlantic City.  The team does in fact have 140 points to work with and Kardri, Nylander and M. Karlsson are playoff players.  Held back by Drouin, Stastny and Yandle, the Gamblers have a ton of work to do if they want to play with the big boys of the Division.  There could be great news on the way for GM Vinnie.  If the league does expand and GM Johnny runs a few teams next year, maybe the CTR will have another GM to pick on whoís actually worse.  But that might not be fair to Johnny. 

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Granlund is clearly the big asset here for GM Vinnie.  MacKinnon must go at some point and it is possible Drouin, Kadri and Green all follow suit.  The GM has hung onto Hertl, but least if he returns the Sharks are a playoff team and Stastny has been solid with the Blues.  Vinnie has work to do and if he gets aggressive, the Division isnít that strong.  It is open.  How bad does this GM want a Cup?

 

5 549 (H - 554, L - 446) Chad
(Eastern -
Atlantic)

Best Pick #248 Rask, Worst Pick #99 J. Jokinen

Moves  9

Best Move  Pittsburgh (Chad) Drops Backlund (12), Schenn (11), Pearson (13) and Backes (12), Adds Hoffman (12), Krejci (11), Krejci (13) and Subban (12)

Worst Move  Pittsburgh (Chad) Drops Rask (13), Nyquist (12) and Jokinen (11), Adds Pearson (13), Fowler (12) and Desharnais (11)

GM Chadís drafting did not help his cause, getting off to a poor start.  The GM tried his best, but in the end is left with a team that might not even score in with 4 Bruins and 3 Preds.  The scoring is enough to do some early damage and then hope for a Preds or Bruins run.  Not out of the realm of possibilities, but very much improbable.  We do think Chad can play a spoiler if he can get in.  The team he faces wonít like this team in round one with any long series with the Bruins and Preds.  Chad has three Cups and this isnít a team we would like to think he is proud of.  We expect more from certain GMís and this clearly isnít the GMís best work in recent memory.

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This isnít GM Chadwicks best work.  Chad builds a lot of solid teams, but trying to think this can be one of them is a struggle for the best of imaginations.  When the teamís best asset could be scoring half a point per game, Fowler, and Johansen now finally showing life, but barely, there isnít a lot to work with.  Most of the other 5 are fringe players with a Flyer, Flame, King and Bruin.  We donít see a serious threat here unless it is torn down and built back up.  Chad can do it.  But will he?

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GM Chad cannot be happy with this Pittsburgh team.  After you take Weber out of the equation, what player left does anyone want?  Backes, Johansen and Palat could turn into players in demand but right now they are just chances.  There is a chance Boston makes it.  There is a chance Nashville makes it.  There is a chance Tampa Bay makes it.  Just chances, not sure things yet.  There are enough GMís willing to take chances on these fringe teams while they still have a chance.  Chad likely just cannot sit on this team as is and hope it becomes something.  The CTR isnít liking it but Chad will remind us we didnít like Toronto last year andÖ.ya.  We get it.

 

6 350 (H - 556) Marcel
(Eastern -
Atlantic)

Best Pick #105 Marchand, worst Pick #112 Plekanec

Moves  5

Best Move - None

Worst Move  Philadelphia (Scott) Trades Matthews and Klingberg to Montreal (Marcel) for Marchand, Tatar and March 2nd Waiver

Imagine your third pick being Marchand who has 80 points and 7 picks later you pick Plekanec who has 25.  The way it goes, kind of like Montrealís season.  Shit happens.  The team didnít make a good move all year but their bad moves werenít horrible.  Even what we have as the worst, Marcel still ended with the most points by a couple, but because it was only a couple, the Waiver thrown in killed Marcel winning the deal.  There seemed little hope all year for Montreal who could never get going.  We usually see Marcel with a strong draft, but not here, not in 2016, it just was not his year. 

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The team has a nice scoring potential playoff player in Matthews.  Although his CTR value shows no playoff distance, round one scoring is promising.  There appears some hope Duchene goes from a CTR 0 valued player to a huge playoff team and massive help in the teamís strength.  Being 14 points out without the most desired players in the NHLP, GM Marcel is going to struggle.  Struggle to make the playoffs.  Struggle to make a solid playoff team capable of winning and moving on.  You canít sit back and pray the door magically just opens.  Well, you can, but that approach likely losses to the more aggressive kick the fucking door down approach.  Just saying.  

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For GM Marcel things get weak in a hurry after Plekanec and Lehkonen.  Well, maybe just Plekanec.  Jenner is solid playoffs but not lighting it up and Gaudreau could be just as playoff as Marchand, meaning both can easily go either way.  Duchene must move but the team has two lows to work with to make that happen.  All in all it isnít the worst team in the league, but that isnít saying too much either.

 

Eastern Conference - East Division
1 1756 (L - 1040) Andrew
(Eastern -
East)

Best Pick #98 Radulov, Worst Pick #29 Johnson

Moves  15

Best Move  Philadelphia (Scott) Trades Werenski, Werenski, Gagner and Doughty to Hartford (Andrew) for Vrbata, Vrbata, Duchene and Jagr.  The deal includes a player to be named later.

Worst Move  Hartford (Andrew) Drops Seguin (9), Vorachek (10), Simmonds (12), Klingberg (10) and Ennis (11), Adds Trocheck (9), Vrbata (10), Vrbata (12), Jagr (10) and Duchene (11)

Although it is hard to build every team into a championship team, GM Andrew has done it more often than anyone else.  Considering the horrible drafting job Hartford did, and it was bad, the Whalers made mostly all the right moves to build the best team in the Eastern Conference.  Andrew dug a hole in a Waiver in February, adding useless players Trocheck, Vrbata, Vrbata, Jagr and Duchene, 5 non playoff guys come seasons end but yet gets bailed out trading those deadbeats after given a Waiver by none other than GM Matt in Quebec.  Andrew takes that Waiver and turns it into Werenski, Werenski, Gagner and McDonagh, turning the season around from there on out in another rape of GM Scott.  In the end it is an awesome team of 7 Eastern Conference players.  The entire team could meet in the NHLís first round pitting Sheary vs. Wennberg and Gagner while it is possible Hoffman plays Kreider, Stepan and McDonagh.  Andrew bought into the theory that the Rangers are a three round team, even though the Wild Card, as they have more points than any of the teams they will play before then in the playoffs.  Good work.  So if Washington is out and the Rangers are semi-finalists, it would appear Hartford has a good team in the NHLP finals.  This team has big scorers, distance players and the make-up of a Champion.  It is how you build them.  A fitting team for the NHLP King! 

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Sheary, Kreider and Radulov are the teams heavyweights.  Voracek, Simmonds, Johnson and Ennis are not.  Currently the Philadelphia Flyers are in a playoff spot, but they are so close that they could be out and that isnít good news for this team with 78 Flyer points.  That is where Ennisí three come in nicely.  GM Andrew has 10 points to work with and a Waiver in mid-February at which time for certain Andrew will have to make some tough choices on if he is banking on the Flyers to be a playoff team or points for the Minors.

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Radulov, Sheary and Lucic are the playoff players while the other four, including Matthews and Matthews are sitting on the outside looking in.  GM Andrew has work to do to compete with the top dogs in the East, but he usually does in the end so we wonít discount the Whalers just yet.  The CTR says there is something to work with and Andrew is the best at seeing it through but he certainly isnít in the mix just yet.

 

2 1634 (H - 1848) Joel
(Eastern -
East)

Best Pick #224 Marner, Worst Pick #65 Carlson

Moves  6

Best Move - Carolina (Joel) Drops Marner (13), O'Reilly (12), Teravainen (13) and Ekman-Larsson (12), Adds Draisaitl (13), Saad (12), Shattenkirk (13) and Gaborik (12)

Worst Move - Carolina (Joel) Trades Foligno and Shattenkirk to NY Islanders (Ryan) For Johanson and Marleau

Carolina had one of the best drafts in the NHLP ending with Backstrom and Stone still around after the teams six moves.  The Hurricanes were strong all season and are not far behind Hartford (Andrew) for the best team in the East Division.  The NHLPís four top scoring teams in the league are all from this same Division, so they will have to beat each other to represent the Division, a good thing for the rest of the NHLP.  For Joel he has a great chance on a Washington run.  The odds of a West player are good with a player off each of Edmonton, Anaheim and San Jose, with only the Wild Card team able to prevent one of these three from seeing semi-finals action.  You do not want to play this team round one, but every East Division team is fearing each other in round one which will certainly be the highest scoring of the playoff Divisions round one this year.        

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The Washington Capitals are the first overall top rated team in the NHL.  GM Joel has Backstrom and Johansson, but for good measure adds in Saad, Draisaitl, Stone, and Marleau.  The Hurricanes still have 22 points to work with, meaning Gaborik can be shipped out with anyone to improve if GM Joel sees anything he likes.  This team is solid, has been all year now.  With a Caps playoff run, GM Joel would be solid.  Suddenly the East Division isnít looking near as close as it had early on.

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GM Joel has the strongest team in the Eastern Conference and second overall in the NHLP.  A very solid, high scoring squad with two Blue Jackets, Foligno and Saad, two of their team leaders on the top rated NHL team.  The Hurricanes have 4 other players who are serious assets down to Gaborik who is a fringe player and the worst of the bunch.  Backstrom is having a solid season and the Capitals are right in the mix for the top four teams in the NHLís Eastern Conference.  Draisaitl, Stone and Shattenkirk and a very healthy 19 points to work with leave Joel with many options and routes to improve and make even the NHLPís strongest team, if done right.  Joel has never won a Championship but if Columbus remains unbeatable, we like this teamís chances the rest of the way.

 

3 1589 (H - 1651, L - 1123) Shawn
(Eastern -
East)

Best Pick #13 Kucherov, Worst Pick #168 Cammalleri

Moves 8

Best Move -  Halifax (Shawn) Drops Zajac (13), D. Sedin (11), Cammalleri (12), and Larkin (12), Adds Atkinson (13), Wennberg (11), Monahan (12) and Hudler (12)

Worst Move - Memphis (Jr) Trades Letang to Halifax (Shawn) for Stepan

When GM Shawn drafted Kucherov and Hedman 1-2 in this yearís draft, many GMís already knew Hailfax was going to have an awesome season.  Well, they truly did but in the end those two players were long gone, replaced with Malkin, Tarasenko, Letang, Zuccarello, Guentzel, Steen and Pietrangelo.  The team is close to the Divisions two best but is likely never going to see the NHLP playoffs.  With just 50 man games to play, the team is missing their three Penguins.  Malkin got hurt and Guentzel has a severe concussion.  Letang is down 20 in the Stepan trade and GM Shawn will likely regret making that move in about two more weeks.  It seems unlikely you rush any of the three back before the final week, meaning the team is going to have to stay ahead of Quebec (Matt) with only four players down the stretch.  The good news is Halifax is in automatically if the Boston Bruins miss out.  The Bad news is if Malkin plays 4, Letang 2 and Guentzal 2 over the teamís final 8 games, the CTR has the team getting 29 more points, or 364.  GM Matt is on pace for 368.  If Halifax gets in, no one has a better Penguins or Blues team and even Zuccarello could then play huge in a Cup run.  A good season with a promising potential finish.  It just looks like it is going to end on the wrong side of the scorecard because of unforeseen injuries down the stretch.

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This isnít something we seen coming.  If this was the second round of a three round MMA fight, GM Shawn dominated round one and got his face pounded into the Hexagon floor in round two.  It is a three round fight and Shawn hasnít been knocked out, just yet anyhow.  Still 17 points to work with it appears 95 points for three players, Kucherov, Tarasenko and Hudler could all have to move out.  St Louis isnít dead, no team is, but they certainly arenít giving their owners a lot of confidence.  Atkinson and Wennberg, along with Monahan went out to get Tarasenko, Swartz and Stepan.  How that deal plays out might decide the third round of Shawnís MMA bout.  Right now, losing on the scorecard but with a round yet to play, Shawn could come back with a knockout of his own.

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When you have 32 points up on 5th and two of the leagueís best players and most sought after assets, the CTR is going to like your team.  We love Halifax.  Not unlike the North Division the top teams here are built around the same NHL team.  Where as Carolina (Joel) has Foligno and Saad, a stronger Columbus duo of Atkinson and Wennberg are Destroyers.  Voracek and Monahan add playoff player status and assets to the mix while Kucherov and Hedman, huge NHL names whoís value is almost non existent as their NHL team has not shown they are a sure playoff team, meaning these could be the guys Shawn moves to try and improve his NHLP Cup chances.  This is a good team that will surely get better.  Joel and Shawn are the class of the Division but which one will make the best of the Divisions teams will determine who represents the East Division in the final 6 teams this season.   

 

4 1143 (H - 907, L - 517) Ryan
(Eastern -
East)

Best Pick #67 Oshie, Worst Pick #76 Sharp

Moves  5

Best Move  NY Islanders (Ryan) Trade Sharp and 2018/19 7th Rounder #227 to San Fran (Scott) for Horvat and Pick #252

Worst Move  NY Islanders (Ryan) Drops Benn, Leddy, Brown and Kunitz, Adds Hedman, Johnson, Point and Orlov

Some GMís never win because they canít get over the fact that their players arenít the best in the league.  Oshie is 57th overall in league scoring.  So even at 36 drafted once, that is still 78 players with more points.  Maybe not better, but more points.  Then get into the two for two, three for three, there are a million combinations of trades better than Oshie.  GM Ryan said ďIf I donít get 20 for him I will bury him with the team.Ē  Well he certainly is a GM of his word.  The worst move of the year highlights this entire issue.  Dropping Benn at the NHLP Trading Deadline.  Shit man, cut the string.  These guys arenít God.  They are numbers.  Trade Oshie, a little desire is all it would have took, and drop the bucket of shit you get in return with Bennís high number, or trade Oshie for a playoff guy and re-trade that player for more points again.  The team had Foligno the entire second half.  You are 20+ out and eat Foligno and Oshie and are carrying Benn?  A last place team that makes 5 moves all year.  No desire.  First step for any NHLP GM is "You gottta wanna to win".  You have to want it.  You have to be willing to part with any player, faster.  There are always better players in the Minors, even if it takes a 7 for 7 to improve overall.  GM Ryan was on the right track.  We were pulling hard for him.  In the end, he wanted 20 for Oshie or heíd eat him.

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Give the guy credit.  He took a team that was 37 points out to 10 points out and he still has Foligno, Oshie and Kunitz to move.  Oshie is like insane right now.  Benn is a great scoring asset, but Dallas isnít looking like they can recover meaning eating his 39 points just to get in.  The lame way.  Or moving those points and building a team.  The Islanders came from nowhere.  Donít stop now.  Oshie can be a huge, huge, blockbuster as the Capitals are fucking insanely good.  Then again, if you could somehow keep him, what a great start to a playoff team.  Go Isles.  Love a comeback story.

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For a team that is 37 points out we like the CTR.  If GM Ryan sells his assets at the Winter Meeting, gets aggressive, we think he can get back in.  Who is for sale?  Johansson and Oshie off the top 5 Eastern Conference Capitals.  They should fetch something.  Kunitz should be in demand as all Pens should be.  Marleau and Lindholm are assets that will be picked from the Minors if they go there, but is holding them an option if they aren't traded soon?  Krug is currently in, and the biggest name Benn, can be kept for scoring or moved if another GM wants to build a strong Dallas team while they are out.  So will this be easy?  No.  Is it possible to rebuild?  Just put in the work and the answer is yes.

 

5 1127 (H - 1195, L - 776) Matt
(Eastern -
East)

Best Pick #252 JT Miller, Worst Pick #69 Doughty

Moves  8

Best Move  Quebec (Matt) Drops Simmonds (12), Adds Stone (12)

Worst Move  Vancouver (Joel) Trades Nash to Quebec (Matt) for Turris

GM Matt started with a solid draft, even the first to pick Marchand at 100th overall and how about the last pick of the draft adding 50 point Rangers forward JT Miller.  Perry was a little let down at 22, but least he is a playoff guy.  Mattís trades were difficult to find a good one but ended with a playoff guy and gain from a Winter Meeting Minors move for Stone who with Turris are still on the Roster.  The team is three points out at press but it isnít even a certainty they wonít penalty out with Marchand and Bergeron.  With a full 7 playoff guys the team can score, but unfortunately in the East mostly everyone else is better.  While distance guys exists in Washington and Minny, Burakovsky and Dumba would be hard pressed being the best remaining on those teams in any round.  Lucic and Dunba are the only West players, so outside of Boston or Ottawa in the Finals, it isnít a well-constructed NHLP team.  The entire Division got greedy and decided to all race for first overall in the league.  Why?  Even the 5th place team would be first in all other 5 Divisions.  That means they all had to be weaker, than they should have been.  The East should have all the top power houses, not the top scoring, which in the NHLP isnít one the same.  Matt looks like a casualty of that circumstance and we donít expect Quebec will last the inevitable two round shootout about to occur as the team simply isnít that strong.  The lone bright spot just might be another teams misfortunes last in the season might give the Nordiques a playoff spot only to face arch nemesis GM Andrew.

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The GMís CTR is up, but we are not sure it was his huge New Yearís Day deal of trading Perry, Kelser and Filppula for Carter, Simmonds and Neal.  But it is up.  Burakovsky and Dumba, although low scoring players are playing on top teams while Marchand and Carter are questionable playoff players, but yet 86 points in two players.  The bright spot is GM Matt is 25 up on 5th place.  He can move those players out and surely improve his playoff potential.  Stone and Turris are studs to build around.  For a first place team it is a weak CTR but Matt loves the deal.  There is more to come here for sure. 

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Kesler and Perry make the start of a solid Ducks team but the power ranking just isnít there with 4 players sitting on the down side of the teeter totter.  Nash has been good and the Rangers decently strong but GM Matt is another GM with Tampa Bay players.  Are the Bolts going to wake up?  If an NHLP GM jumps on them, they could be cheaper at the Winter Meeting then expected, and here Filppula is another that may be available.

 

6 1107 (H - 951, L - 857) Tyson
(Eastern -
East)

Best Pick #113 Zuccarello, Worst Pick #244 Beleskey

Moves  6

Best Move  Hamilton (Tyson) Trades Couture, Seabrook, Fowler, 2017/18 4th Rounder #132 and 2018/19 1st Rounder #15 to New Orleans (Shawn) for Wennberg, Weber, Grabner and Picks #137 & #16.  The Deal Includes two Conditional picks.  1)  If Hamilton advances further than New Orleans in this years playoffs, Hamilton will give New Orleans 2018/19 3rd Rounder #87 for #106  2)  If Hamilton wins NHLP Champions this season, New Orleans will get Hamiltons 2017/18 Waiver

Worst Move  Hamilton (Tyson) Drops Beleskey (13), Adds Connolly (13)

When we have to go 244 picks into the draft to find your worst pick, you did well.  A great start with Couture, but the Rangers team leader at 113 was well done.  The worst thing to happen for Hamilton was they got caught up in the East Divisional race.  No GM had the balls to call the race off and drop points at any time.  As a casualty to just make it in, GM Tyson had to carry Hedmen.  Year after year we say the same thing and year after year it happens over and over.  If you make the playoffs without your top scorer and have a 6 man team, you wasted your entire season.  You are done.  You wonít win.  Who can be happy to start in September, put in hundreds of hourís work, just to make it in knowing you canít win?  Without your top scorer in round one, those 6 points he would get, your odds likely sit around 10% of advancing.  Without Hedman, the team can score, which doesn't not make it better, but just more obvious what potentially got thrown away here.  It sure looks like the Hitmen are in.  Hedman isn't officially out yet either.  It donít look like the Hitmen will put up much fight without Hedman so everything is riding on just two weeks of play. 

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Zuccarello, Couture and Seabrook may be what entices another GM to help Hamilton out when GM Tyson decides to move up.  Carter, Simmonds and Killorn likely arenít those attractions.  When the NHL standings are so close, it stops you from dumping fringe players, especially high scoring ones, but it also stops others from offering you a boat-load of riches for guys who might just miss out of the run for Lord Stanley.  Maybe they are both in, maybe both out.  With a Waiver mid-February we think a decision could be made then.

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Simmonds, Zuccarello, Couture and Seabrook are a decent start but the Hitmen will have to work hard to make a team that we think can win here with strong dogs pulling the Division.  Carter is having a great year but LA is borderline.  GM Tyson does have a nice low number in Beleskyís replacement.  Killorn could turn into a huge asset when Tampa Bay lights it up, but in the mean-time the CTR must call it like we see it, giving him not much value today.

 

Western Conference - Pacific Division
1 1852 (L - 1101) Chad
(Western - Pacific)

Best Pick #139 Hoffman, Worst #37 J. Carlson

Moves

Best Move  Colorado (Chad) Drops Domi (12), Brassard (11) , C. Smith (12) and Bonino (13) , Adds Pastrnak (12), Granlund (11) , R. Smith (12) and Williams (13)

Worst Move  Los Angeles (Andrew) Trades Scheifele to Colorado (Chad) For Kuznetsov

Right off the hop GM Chad drafted a first four of Kuznetsov, Carlson, Brassard and Hoffman, four top playoff guys.  With his first early Waiver he was able to bring in the teamís top scoring playoff player Granlund and also grabbed high flying Pastrnak and current distance guy Williams.  This team is still a Washington built team with Johansson and Williams, but they moved out Carlson and in what might have been their worst trade of the year added Scheifele for Kuznetsov.  Chad will argue he added some points and Kuznetsov was doing little at the time.  Scheifeleís points were dropped at the Winter Meeting just two weeks later for Marchand who was turned into Zuccarello then Johansson at the Trading Deadline.  Chad likely didnít do to poorly ending with Johansson for Kuznetsov.  What Chad does have is the best team in the entire NHLP according to the power rankings.  Colorado has 7 distance players, high scorers and could have all seven in round two.  Three west players in Granlund, Hanzal and Rakell and four East with two Caps Johansson and Williams and two Rangers Hayes and Zibanejad.  While the seasons focus seemed to be on how great of season GM Shawn was having, in the end Chad quietly builds a team that will challenge for his fourth Cup.  Chad has proven he is a winner and now seems to always have a solid team at years end.  He methodically goes about his business and with end results of a team this good, you cannot argue he knows how to build winning teams.  It has been 17 years since the Modan0-Barteck0 ďDouble O Ė Millennial CupĒ team in Colorado won GM Chad his first Cup with what is now known as 00-7-16 ďDouble O-7 Sweet 16Ē, the leagues easiest three Cups years to remember.  It wonít be harder if it becomes 00-7-16, 17.  Right now, GM Chad has the best of the best.

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GM Chad traded Kuznetsov but used Scheifeleís points to the Minors in adding Marchand, Niederreiter and Spurgeon, two of the three on the Western Conferenceís top team.  Throw in other top dogs Granlund, Williams and Carlson and you have 5 players off top seeded teams in the NHL Standings.  Marchand and Pastrnak will find a good home if Chad feels the Bruins are not a playoff team and with 21 points to work with, the GM has no fear in bringing in assets.  This Avs team is for real and looks like the kind of team that might have 7 second round players.  Get them early or it might be far too late. 

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GM Chad has three solid Capitals in Kuznetsov, Carlson and Williams and the Caps are doing well.  Pastrnak was a gem and Granlund is on the hottest NHL team from the West, the Wild.  Hoffman has been solid so Chad has options here.  A great chance to be the Divisions best as it isnít a strong Division.

 

2 1594 ( L - 1206) Matt
(Western-
Pacific)

Best Pick #235 W. Nylander, Worst #51 Klingberg

Moves  16

Best Move  Indianapolis (Matt) Trades Voracek to Montreal (Marcel) for Gaudreau

Worst Move  Hartford (Andrew) Trades Spezza and 2019/20 2nd Rounder #67 to Indianapolis (Matt) for Matthews and Pick #44

GM Matt did a good job building a solid Indianapolis team.  The draft was strong.  This is the team that found Matthews in the 5th round and Nylander in the 7th, both great late picks.  The scoring could have been much better had not the first move the team makes is unloading Matthews and 23 spots in the 2nd round for Spezza.  Hard to believe Matt was able to overcome such a horrid deal.  That was done by some robberies of his own, adding Atkinson for Nylander and Gaudreau for Voracek.  The team was busy with 16 moves and ends with nice scoring from several distance players in Atkinson, Koivu, Hornqvist and Williams.  The team might not have the first round scoring needed to advance.  Getting out of the first round might all depend on how many McDavid gets for Alaska (Marcel), a weaker power rated team, but higher first round scoring potential.  Everyone in this Division will struggle to beat Chad for the Division crown, but Indy is as good as anyone else after Chad in the Pacific. 

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It was a bit of a shocker, seeing GM Matt trade Johansson and Nash for Voracek and Hedman.  No doubt the huge points received, now 21 up on 5th will help alter what can happen next.  The team still has Atkinson who is a complete stud as well as Williams and Dubinsky.  It does appear 131 points in Voracek, Hedman, Spezza and Palat could become either a nightmare the longer they are held onto.  Four players with those points likely cannot go to the Minors, so a deal will have to be found if Indianapolis doesnít eat one of their high totals. 

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When your team leader is Atkinson, you easily get the nod for best team in the Division.  Donít be fooled, the CTR doesnít give it away that easily, but with support from Johansson, Nash and Williams, GM Matt has a great opportunity to improve.  What a deal Matt made to trade Nylander for Atkinson.  Way to make it happen.  Spezza asnd Klingberg are temporarily holding back the ranking and if Dallas doesnít rebound Indy wonít keep them around for too much longer. 

 

3 1573 (H - 1702, L - 984) Andrew
(Western-
Pacific)

Best Pick#126 Zuccarello, Worst Pick #54 Huberdeau

Moves  9

Best Move Ė Los Angeles (Andrew) Trades Scheifele to Colorado (Chad) For Kuznetsov

Worst Move Ė  Los Angeles (Andrew) Trades Draisaital, Zuccarello, Dubinsky 2017/18 2nd Rounder #67, 2018/19 1st #33, 2nd #50 and 2019/20 6th Rounder #183 to St Louis (Tyson) for Panarin, Suter, Lindholm and Picks #43, #3, #70 and #191

The Pacific Division story lines are some of the very best in the NHLP.  Los Angeles traded with Division rivals Colorado (Chad) in the Scheifele-Kuznetsov deal.  The teams are similarly built and both arguably Cup worthy teams.  GM Andrew has Ovechkin, the #2 overall NHLP pick, with Panarin, Kuznetsov and Miller, top players on top rated NHL teams.  The two teams are on a collision course to meet in round one where one is going to steal the Cup hopes from the other in a head to head match of the two previous cup winning GMís and with great teams.  If that matchup does not materialize, one team will get GM Marcel with McDavid in Alaska or if Chad falls or Andrew wins round one, potentially GMís Matt and Andrew will meet for the Division title.  No matter what, the NHLP Yearbook canít lose with the Pacific Division.  It is hard to believe this is Andrewís second best NHLP team with Hartford slotted higher for sheer power.  The teamís draft got weakened by the Huberdeau injury and the teamís worst deal may be what costs Andrew a shot at the NHLP Championship.  You may say, hey the ďBread ManĒ is awesome and Chicago could win the Stanley Cup and what is wrong with Suter or even Lindholm?  We get that part.  They are all good players.  The issue is sure Panarin is still around but Suter and Lindholm were directly exchanged out in Transactions #880 and #881 at the Deadline for Versteeg, Chara and Ward.  We think if Andrew loses, it will be he has a great four man team, but weaker seven man team then he should have had, had he not traded Draisaital, Zuccarello and Dubinsky in what appears to be only for a return of Panarin.  We donít always get them right, but the first round scoring, even with a huge round from Panarin might be where the Kings are laid to rest.  Time will tell, but surely the Kings are a solid team with high hopes for an NHLP Championship.     

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Firstly, give GM Andrew credit.  No one else rushed out to trade Scheifeleís hug point total for Kuznetsov.  Secondly, what foresight or timing, to see that out of the blue Kuznetsov would light it up, 16 points so far in January and Washington suddenly would not lose a single game since Andrew made the deal.  With Ovechkin and Kuznetsov on one team, the Los Angeles Kings suddenly become something to fear.  The Pacific Division has a team that can bring it home another Championship.  Draisaitl, Zuccarello and Miller are tradable parts to build onto, or add what Andrew sees fit with his 20 points to work with.  Watch and learn boys.  This is why he has 6 NHLP Championships.     

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First in the Division in points, but 4th in power, says the CTR.  Ovechkin is a nice leader and Draisaitl, Zuccarello and Spooner are all playoffs and assets.  Boedker could turn into a nice pickup if he gets going.  Scheifele is the trade bait to get better.  A potential high scoring playoff player if the Jets can ever turn it on.  If they did, Andrew would love his first round scoring.  The Jets will likely never be a sure thing, and winning teams usually don't take chances on top players, so he will surely go at some point to make the team better or even best in the Pacific.

 

4 1083 (L - 858) Marcel
(Western - Pacific)

Best Pick #14 McDavid, Worst #79 Gallagher

Moves  6

Best Move  Alaska (Marcel) Drops Bennett (13), Reinhart (12) and Eriksson (12), Adds Monahan (13), Koivu (12) and Lehtera (12)

Worst Move - None

Benn, Seguin, and Stamkos all went before GM Marcel picked McDavid 14th overall in this yearís draft.  Considering third rounder Gallagherís hand injuries have him at 24 points and half the picks were non-playoff guys, Alaska somehow found a way to be high scoring and easily in first place.  The teams CTR sucks for a team up 40 points on 5th, a position NHLP Cup winning teams usually donít find themselves in.  The argument is should have McDavid been traded with a better all-around stronger team with better distance guys then Edmonton?  The Oilers are playing every bit the part of a team that can make a run, but even if that happens and they make the Western Conference finals, this team then losses Gaudreau, Monahan and Boedker, all players from that same NHL Division.  We feel with three players under 40 points that Alaska is top heavy and not a solid 7.  This likely is not a team you want to play in round one, but all indications are the 'Attack' could lose theirs in a hurry after round one. 

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Koivu is the teamís biggest asset although every NHLP GM would love McDavidís first round scoring potential.  Could Edmonton make a run of several rounds in the playoffs?  That might be GM Marcelís best home of a Cup, as so much of the team is either out or fringe players.  Yes, Brassard and Boedker look well in and maybe, there is hope, Landeskog goes to a playoff team.  That would help.  Hall and Monahan will have to go out with Landeskog if that doesnít happen and Calgary or New Jersey canít get in.  Overall it really isnít great.  However, if McDavid could score a 10 point first round, maybe Marcel doesnít need a lot of other scoring, just distance guys after that.  

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With the Pacific borderline Pathetic, GM Marcel has a great chance here to be the best and make a team strong enough for final 6.  McDavid is all the scoring needed for a playoff spot and a playoff player who could easily add 10 first round points if anyone ever could.  So right off the hop, Marcel is strong in potential.  Koivu, Gallagher, Monahan, Brassard and Lehtera all show as solid assets while Hall needs to move along.  Marcel can do what it takes as he is only a stoneís throw from knocking off the giants in a poorer NHLP Division.

 

5 862 (L - 36) Vinnie
(Western -
Pacific)

Best Pick #50 Oshie, Worst #81 Sharp

Moves  3

Best Move  Portland (Vinnie) Trades Jan 26th Waiver, 2019/20 1sr Rounder #18 and 5th #162 to San Fran (Scott) for Picks #8 and #146

Worst Move   Portland (Vinnie) Drops Tavares (9), Barrie (12) and Flynn (13), Adds Skinner (9), Faksa (12) and Connolly (13)

The Winter Hawks draft was filled with so much junk it was hard to rebound all season.  The team was falling so fast so early, they should have acquired an early Waiver and got back on track.  By the time the team did have a Waiver, they could still have traded Oshie and used it, but decided instead to move up to 8th overall from 18th, a good move, but a cringe-worthy decision amounting to just giving up.  You should never give up but if you wait too long with a low scoring team, it does almost become impossible, or at least very difficult to catch up.  The worst move of the season typifies GM Vinnieís season.  Drops scoring and adds no tradable assets or scoring.  Not winning combinations.  Vinnie needs to wipe the slate clean.  Regroup and say ďI am going to win it all this yearĒ and come out next season and give 110%, instead of 50%, and show the NHLP he can do it.  Lack of effort results in teams that seldom ever win.  What fun is that?  The GM has McDavid locked up already next year, or any player he wants with the first overall pick in the NHLP Draft.  Get psyched and make 2018 your year!

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The team is 36 points back but we do expect GM Vinnie to play a part in something huge in the NHLP.  Can Vinnie gain the 36 points in multiple deals to compete with this team?  On the surface the answer is no.  But you canít pack it in, we arenít playing for lottery balls.  That mean one of the most valued players in the NHLP, Oshie, would be in play.  Oshie and Burakovsky cannot gain 36 points by themselves, but how many of that amount can be gained.  The team has no other assets but could load up on those with the next Waiver after Chicago.  It seems like this is a crossroads.  Either a huge trade and an aggressive, point gaining and asset building Waiver or this team could just be dead.  The auction is clearly on.  Who can give the Winter Hawks 20 for Oshie?  We about to find out.

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They ended last season with a CTR of 12.  Not 12th, just 12.  An improvement this time around.

6 738 (H - 755, L - 626) Scott
(Western -
Pacific)

Best Pick #225 Atkinson, worst #9 Stamkos

Moves  18

Best Move  Edmonton (Scott) Drops Nylander (13), Okposo (11), Point (11), Duclair (12) and Ward (13), Adds Laine (13), Laine (11), Eichel (11), Eichel (12) and Huberdeau (13)

Worst Move  Edmonton (Scott) Trades Eichel, Echel, 2017/18 2nd Rounder #65, 4th #141 and 2019/20 3rd #107 to Halfiax (Shawn) for Schwartz, Hudler and Picks #59, #130 and #86

It must be frustrating making 18 moves including trading the #1 overall pick in the NHLP and in the end, having the worst team in the Division.  Stamkos going down canít be blamed for the poor season as in December GM Scott somehow talked GM Shawn into giving him Wennberg who has 56 points on one of the best teams in the NHL, for a guy who still hasnít played, has 20 points, and is on a team set to miss the NHL playoffs.  Prior to that GM Scott added Laine, Laine, Eichel and Eichel, about 200,000 points and somehow, someway, is going to still finish over 20 points out of a playoff spot.  How many bad moves can a GM make in one year?  Scott has no one to blame but himself for the terrible season.  He knows that.  The flip side is, he went all out and goes all out every year to win it all.  When it fails, it fails miserably.  However, when you play high stateís poker, odds are you will cash in a big hand now and then.  With this team GM Scott went all in, got called, and lost.  He will be back next year, buy-in in hand, get his chips and start all over again.  It is never lack of effort that kills a GM Scott team.  It will be hard to have this poor a season again next yearÖbut who knows, it just might be even worse.

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There isnít anything here that is going to get anyone too excited.  The Oil do have one solid playoff distance guy and not much after that.  First round scoring potential in Marner and Marner, yes, true, but the Leafs cannot be considered a team that is going to battle Washington, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Montreal and the Rangers for a Cup spot, are they?  No, they arenít.  Even bringing in some distance guys, we donít see Edmonton a Cup Threat at this time and without a ton of points to work with, likely wonít be this season.  Now a keeper leagueÖ

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If you have to make the best of a bad situation then adding Wennberg for Stamkos just might be it.  GM Scott is well out of the playoffs but 10 points up on that deal already, so it had to be made.  Now Wennberg is also the teamís biggest asset.  Well, only asset.  One thing the Oil can do is score.  Although they havenít, they can, and likely will have a monstrous week at some point.  With three players under 10 points a Waiver or Meeting move is surely in the plan to make something out of what appears just slightly better than Portland (Vinnie).

 

Western Conference - West Division
1 1637 (L - 1509) Charlie
(Western-
West)

Best Pick #174 Skinner, worst # 43 Spezza

Moves  3

Best Move  Phoenix (Charlie) Trades Spezza, Stastny and Steen to San Fran (Scott) for Burns, Hertl and Guentzel

Worst Move - None

The best team in the West Division made three moves all season.  Three good moves.  GM Charlie also added Carlson for Teravainen in a deal with GM Joel.  The team started strong with Kessel late first round and solid drafting open the door for Burns in a blockbuster.  This is one of the NHLPís best teams.  Burns, Kessel, Guentzel, Eberle, Carlson, Hertl and Kunitz, the type of team that can score and have 7 second round players.  We call it someone elseís nightmare.  GM Charlie has put in 17 years, 16 so far without a win.  The GM has been too close to have never won but this is as good of shot as he has had.  If Pittsburgh, San Jose or even Edmonton or Washington go to the NHL finals, Charlie stands a chance to have the Coyotes there and who knows.  We love the team.  Now can he get it done? 

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The truth of the matter is simple.  You are 49 points up on 5th.  49 points.  Who is 49 up on 5th?  This team does have Kessel, Carlson, Kunitz and Eberle.  But the team also has Steen, Spezza and Stastny, 876 points that are serious question marks.  GM Charlie cannot sit back here.  Sure he can wait out St Louis, are they in or are they out.  Walk into the NHLP Trading Deadline with the most points and bully a team.  Maybe not a bad strategy.  So much of this team is built around what Charlie can do with those 49 points that if he doesnít do something spectacular, this team wonít be that either.  Charlie has an opportunity to use his points like he never had.  Letís watch how the master does his stuff.

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In a very strong West Division GM Charlie finds himself with the team to beat in the Conference.  With 30 points to improve, Kessel and Kunitz make a solid Pittsburgh entry, one of the best NHL teams in the entire league.  Steen, Stastny, Carlson and Eberle are more than all in while Spezza is a high scoring fringe.  The Coyotes are in a very tough Division, very similar to the North where many teams are strong.  How Charlie uses his 30 points will determine if he can keep the power in the CTR rankings.

 

2 1458 (L - 1292) Tyson
(Western-
West)

Best Pick #16 Panarin, Worst #160 Hudler

Moves  7

Best Move   Los Angeles (Andrew) Trades Draisaital, Zuccarello, Dubinsky 2017/18 2nd Rounder #67, 2018/19 1st #33, 2nd #50 and 2019/20 6th Rounder #183 to St Louis (Tyson) for Panarin, Suter, Lindholm and Picks #43, #3, #70 and #191

Worst Move Ė None

The entire season changed for St Louis in the Panarin deal.  The Blues added all kinds of scoring with the most recent tally 167 points for 122, a 55 point gain and three of the teamís current top four scorers.  Draisaitl, Zuccarello and Dubinsky along with Niederreiter and Spurgeon are GM Tysonís hopes for a run.  The team made 7 moves with not a poor one to be found.  Tyson is a winner.  His track record of strong teams speaks and says all that needs to be said.  He has been known to not make many transactions, but had one of his most active seasons.  Is St Louis strong enough to win Tyson a third Cup?  The mix seems logical to say they are but the first round wonít be easy.  The teams in the conference are weak scoring, but this team will struggle to hit 25 in the first round and might need a low scoring opponent round one, where things can get much easier after that.

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Panarin, Suter, Rakell and Bonino are a nice start.  Toffoli and Palat are disappointments but the Blues have 15 points to work with to improve.  It is going to be tough with these solid teams to make a team that can win the Division so GM Tyson should not just sit around and tweak it.  It likely wonít be enough.  The cat and mouse game is clear.  Trying to stay as many points up on 5th, but yet in 5th you keep assets quite often by trading there and building a stronger team.  If Tyson just hangs on and forces being caught, they no longer have 15 points to trade and fringe and non playoff players get harder to move. 

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GM Tyson has an awesome team with Panarin, Suter, Bonino and Rakell.  A nice low number for trading and all kinds of scoring with 15 points to work with.  We say again, this is a tough, tough Division.  Top four means nothing here if you donít have 6 or more playoff players for the team in 5th is loaded to the tits.  As the case in the North, a top team is going to miss out here and Tyson wonít want to be that team.

 

3 1406 (H - 1986, L - 1125) Joel
(Western -
West)

Best Pick #196 Pastrnak, Worst #237 D. Strome

Moves  10

Bet Move  Vancouver (Joel) Drops Eichel (11), Adds Sheary (11)

Worst Move  Vancouver (Joel) Drops Pastrnak (12), Leddy (10) and Shore (13), Adds Zucker (12), Bozak (10) and Buchnevich (13)

GM Joel drafted Forsberg, Neal, Eichel, M. Stone, Turris, Pastrnak and D. Strome.  Seriously?  Wow, what a draft.  Now, Eichel should get the worst pick, only based on his early injury, but even so he had an outstanding season and is sensational, truly even underrated.  It is what Joel did with Eichel, in an injury pick in November, adding Sheary who has clicked with Crosby all season long.  Eichel even came back to outscore Sheary, but you canít compare NHLP value.  The teamís worst move maybe isnít so, but it appears more could have been got for the dropped points in the big picture and none ended up making the final roster.  The Canucks are only 3 points up on 5th, but Sheary should be the first to return of Pittsburghís currently injury-riddled lineup, that might more closely resembles the first team all-star lineup.  The longer Sheary misses, the more likely Joel could fall out and not make the playoffs, although we feel he should get in.   Joel, like several other GMís built a strong Pittsburgh team with Sheary, Schultz and Hornqvist, a deadly combination after round one if the 'March of the Penguins' last to June again.  Pavelski and Ward would make a five man NHLP Finals team on an NHL do over from last yearís Pens-Sharks finals.  The team doesnít have the CTR as some have, but isnít far behind either.  It has been 27 years since the Vancouver Canucks have one an NHLP Championship and maybe season 10 is the year GM Joel notches that well deserved first win. 

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GM Joel just knows what he is doing.  A massive leap in the CTR and a deadly team sitting with 40 points to improve.  Wow.  Sheary, Schultz, and Zucker followed by Buchnevich, Nash and Forsberg are all solid assets while Bozak, is the worst the team has?  A guy who can rack up first round points.  Even taking away the potential, and it is a lot, this team will have all the potential to win the entire thing.  High scoring and distance players.  Joel did an outstanding job.  This is how you walk into a meeting with 40 points and solid assets any GM would crave.  The CTR stands for Cup Threat Rating and this team is flirting with the very best team in the entire league, hands down.

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Sheary was a great find for GM Joel who comes in ranked well with massive points to work with.  Work needs to be done if Boston or Nashville donít stay/get in.  Stone and Turris have great value with Ottawaís strong showing.  Although three more powerful teams in the Division, the potential remains for Vancouver to compete with what the most powerful has. 

 

4 1332 (L - 1247) Jr
(Western-
West

Best Pick #12 Toews, Worst #228 Iginla

Moves  8

Best Move  Calgary (Jr) Trades Flynn to Portland (Vinnie) for Sharp

Worst Move  New Orleans (Shawn) Trades Keith, Stastny and Fowler to Calgary (Jr) for Toews, Parise, Stafford and 2017/18 Waiver

We really did look at all 8 moves Calgary made, three of which were injury picks, and that was the best move trading Flynn and his 10 points for Sharp and his season ending 18.  This highlights all that went wrong for Calgary after the draft.  The draft was another Ďare you kidding meí draft.  Toews, Hornqvist, Parise, Weber, Zibanejad, Markov and Iginla.  GM Jr did that.  How can that turn into a team struggling to make the playoffs and now without a Waiver next year is a head scratcher.  The issue is Jr waited way to long to make his moves.  Sharp was known to have a bad hip, preventing him from getting traded at the NHL Deadline.  Jr unloaded his weak scoring at the NHLP Deadline, much too late when points were needed much earlier to savage the potential cup winning assets.  To get ďrid ofĒ Toews and Parise, Jr had to include a Waiver next season.  There is no way you should ever trade a two-time NHLP Champion, a top scoring Chicago player, and Parise off the top rated Wild, and have to give a Waiver just to get it done.  Jr did that to himself because he hemmed and hawed, held out, and held onto, these guys too long.  Jr could never make up his mind, turning down some outstanding offers GMís have mentioned they offered and in the end, had to pay next seasons Waiver just to try and salvage something.  The end product isnít horrible at all, a decent team with some distance guys.  Jrís biggest problem now will be somehow getting in.  Stastnyís week to week, no return in sight, has hurt but the team isnít a big scoring machine even with Stastny.  It appears Calgary will likely be last at the end of the season with a long shot hope of grabbing fourth.  If that donít happen, having that drafted team and turning it into a non-playoff team without a next year's Waiver.  That smarts!

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GM Jr has put together an awesome team.  This is a huge rating for a team 15 points out.  What would the GM love most?  For a team to drop down and make a race of things.  Why?  Well, then Calgary can keep all these assets that can help them win a Cup.  If no one drops down, Calgary then trades up.  Assets go.  Donít think they arenít here to trade up.  This team could trade into first.  Ya, ya, they are 50 points behind first.  Seriously.  This team has Toews and Parise.  Hornqvist, Weber, Rust, and Jones are all assets and likely Sharp leaves Dallas.  Jr knows he can get in.  It is always best to create a race to make the strongest teams.  Is anyone willing to join that party?  Well we have 40% of the season to determine how this all unfolds.

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Although Calgary is 15 points back of 4th, GM Jr has a plethora of things others crave.  Hornqvist, Parise and Toews all play on the leagueís best of the best, all assets, all the time.  Markov, Markov, Weber and Flynn, four Habitants are the teams worst assets.  This is a crazy Division and there are a number of very strong ranked teams.  Jr will be selling at some point, but we do expect this team to be in the mix.  Just too strong.  What goes?  Likely some Habs, but with Price healthy and the best Habs team in the league, who knows the big other names he can move if he decides to build around Montreal.  Jr loves to sit in this position.  The teams in front have to be looking over their shoulders.  He would love one to join him so he can buy instead of selling, but who will have the balls to help the entire Division build winning teams?

 

5 1007 (L - 301) Ryan
(Western-
West)

Best Pick #169 Palmieri, Worst #110 Hertl, 182 Hagelin, 241 Hemsky

Moves 8

Best Move - None

Worst Move  Green Bay (Ryan) Drops Doughty (11), Little (9), Ekman-Larsson (9), Martinez (12), Landeskog (10)and Tofolli (11), Adds Pastrnak (11), Neal (9), Dubinsky (9), Jarnkrok (12), Streit (10) and Schmaltz (11)

When your 6th round pick at 50 points outscores your Fourth, Fifth and Seventh who combined to get 49 between them, you are in for one long season.  This team is totally opposite of Calgary (Jr).  The baffling thing is how can a team draft that poorly, not make a good move all year and be right there, battling for a playoff spot in the final 10 days of the season.  We have no idea how, but that is the case for Green Bay.  A season after having the best team in the NHLP, making the finals and falling short, we expected a GM to come out of the gates something fierce.  It just wasnít so.  The March 8th Waiver, after the NHL Deadline sums up the season for GM Ryan.  A lot of nothing for a lot of nothing.  The team could still make it, or be out if the Bruins miss.  The top two scorers are Bruins, Pastrnak and Bergeron.  Not a lot of distance scoring, as the Knights are just bad.  Ryan didnít give up.  He said he was going to battle.  It might end with a playoff team, might not.  This is as weak of Division as there is.  Do the Knights have hope of winning an NHLP Championship this season?  If the Bruins arenít in the NHL Stanley Cup Finals, the answer is very simple.  NO!

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One of the worst teams in the entire NHLP.  This Division is so strong, so tough, that for Green Bay it likely isnít realistic anything can be done.  The biggest assets are Cogliano, Bonino and Hagelin.  Ya, nothing can be done.  The team is 18 points back and yes, GMís will give for those players, but this team canít score and arenít getting solid assets.  What can be done, with a Waiver after the deadline is a complete revamp and build around a long-shot team and hope for the best.  Even then the best likely cannot grab a playoff spot here.  Teams are just too tough.

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Things are bleak in Green Bay.  Such a disappointment after a strong season and run to the Cup Finals last season.  Bonino and Hagelin as well as Doughty, Bergeron and Josi could all be asets and Smith might even get in.  When you are 22 back before the Winter Meeting with this pile with misfits, it is a great time to sell out, move up, rebuild and move on.  GM's here won't just make it easy for you.  You have to want it yourself.  Everyone loves Pittsburgh guys, so sell them and a fresh reload at the meeting can make something out of what appears right now nothing moving forward.

 

6 954 (H - 1280) Shawn
(Western - West)

Best Pick #25 Pacioretty, Worst #192 Couturier

Moves  11

Best Move  Quebec (Matt) Trades Perry, Kesler and Filppula to Seattle (Shawn) for Carter, Simmonds and Neal

Worst Move  Seattle (Shawn) Trades Wennberg and 2019/20 2nd Rounder #72 to Edmonton( Scott) for Stamkos and Pick #56

What could have been?  GM Shawn drafted scoring like crazy with Pacioretty, Carter, both Sedins, and JVR.  Then drops the injured Gaborik, who he knew was going to be an injury pick when drafted 251st overall, and gets 54 point top Wild man Koivu.  Shawn even added Perry and Kesler, and for what?  Two Flyers.  The GM had a ton of points.  Did the Wennberg for Stamkos deal kill it all?  It didnít turn out, but although we listed the worst deal, there were several other bad ones the team made.  Shawn didnít have a strong showing with his 11 moves and the team is now in last place.  Pacioretty, Kelser and Thornton could actually miss out completely if they donít score like crazy down the stretch.  If Shawn can make it in, he will need to win a lower scoring round one as this team wonít get 25 and maybe not 20.  If the miracle happens, the distance players Thornton and Vlasic meeting Pacioretty or Niskanen or Buchnevich, could then be enough.  Shawn took a season full of more points than any other GM and turned that into a possible ONE playoff team.  He had his best season ever.  He still could win the Championship for sure.  But right here in Seattle, a couple poor decisions could end up costing the team everything.

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The Seattle Storm need all of those 34 points they have to work with, and it might not be enough.  The teams attempt at Stamkos failed with Little, a high scoring non-playoff player as a replacement.  Pacioretty, Kesler and Perry are the building blocks but the team has under 80 points from its low four players to use their massive points with.  That means GM Shawn gets off Anaheim by trading Perry and Kelser or builds his whole team around the Ducks.  Either way, you take away this teams potential and not sure what is left.  There is work to do if there is hopes of building a Championship.  The points just might be here to do it.

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The GM took a huge gamble on Stamkos and although Stamkos is on schedule for a mid March return, are the Bolts on schedule for a mid April return to the playoffs?  Ya, there is half a season to play and yes, they are right there, just a point or two out.  But each passing day and game lost, there starts to creep in the doubt.  The Storm do have a nice cushion so they can sit and wait.  Simmonds and Pacioretty are in but Carter, Neal and Kane will be used with the low of Caggiula if and when needed to improve the teams overall situation.  Tampa has been a dominate team in the NHL playoffs each of the past two seasons.  Will they be again?  Likely yes, but as of today GM Shawn isnít sure if holding Stamkos will be that dream player come playoffs.

 

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Final Power Rankings 2015-2016

Final Power Rankings 2014-2015

Final Power Rankings 2013-2014

Final Power Rankings 2012-2013

Final Power Rankings 2011-2012

Final Power Rankings 2010-2011

Final Power Rankings 2009-2010

Final Power Rankings 2008-2009

 

The CTR "GM Top Performer" Award
Rank GM 3 Year
Total
Total Ave. 2011/12 (3) 2010/11 (2) 2009/10 (4)
1 Charlie 11052 1228 3724 (4th) 2963 (1st) 4365 (7th)
2 Scott 10679 1187 4289 (1st) 2005 (8th)* 4385 (5th)
3 Mike & Ray 10118 1124 3510 (6th) 2235 (5th) 4373 (6th)
4 Andrew 9987 1110 3645 (5th) 1858 (9th) 4484 (4th)
5 Shawn 5317 1063 2382 (11th) 2935 (2nd)^ ---
6 Tyson 9496 1055 4092 (3rd)* 2115 (6th) 3289 (9th)*
7 Joel 9389 1043 2569 (10th) 2817 (3rd) 4003 (8th)
8 Jr 9053 1006 3069 (8th)^ 1029 (10th) 4955 (1st)
9 Ryan 8809 979 3332 (7th) 641 (12th) 4836 (2nd)
10 Matt 8413 935 1268 (12th) 2538 (4th) 4607 (3rd)^
11 Chad 7946 883 2702 (9th) 2102 (7th) 3142 (10th)
12 Marcel 7390 821 4220 (2nd) 790 (11th) 2380 (11th)
*Won Cup
^Top Ranked Team
Total Ave. - Last three NHLP seasons, average CTR per team
Rank - Best performing GM, per team for the past three NHLP seasons

CTR - GM Top Performer of the Year Award
20122/13 - ?
2011/12 - GM Scott
2010/11 - GM Charlie
2009/10 - GM Jr

Prior Years - TBD