While the hockey world has been captivated by the NHL playoffs, now onto the conference finals, it’s been a relatively quiet week for hard-hitting news. Luckily, the PHR writers have been hard at work on some original works. Here’s a round-up of our recent articles:
Lead writer Gavin Lee detailed how team may use the Vegas Golden Knight’s early free agent negotiation window to their own benefit, including the possibility of sign-and-trades. The upcoming Expansion Draft is bringing many new and foreign concepts to the otherwise routine structure of the NHL off-season, and the negotiation window is just another level. Gavin also looked into some pressing goaltending issues for two teams that struggled in 2016-17: the Detroit Red Wings and Dallas Stars.
Seth Lawrence was busy with original pieces this week, as he dove into a plethora of topics including the big question everyone is asking after another early postseason exit for the Washington Capitals: should Alexander Ovechkin be moved? Seth also looked back at the P.K. Subban–Shea Weber trade, looked forward to potential buyouts this summer, and took a shot at guessing a few names that may be of interest to GM Dale Tallon and the Florida Panthers.
Brian La Rose continued to plug away at his “Offseason Keys” series, this week targeting three unique Eastern Conference organizations: a team whose fortunes have changed more than any other since the end of the season, the Draft lottery-winning New Jersey Devils; a team with a new man in charge and in desperate need of a quick turnaround, the Buffalo Sabres; and a team who over the past decade plus has still been playing at this point in the season more often than not rather than planning a rebuild, the Detroit Red Wings.
Holger Stolzenberg turned his focus to Western Conference and two Canadian squads with some questions to answer. Can the Edmonton Oilers rely on youngsters like Drake Caggiula, Anton Slepyshev, and Matt Benning moving forward? How will the Winnipeg Jets go about solving their problems in net?
Brett Barrett reminded us that, though it rarely seen, restricted free agent offer sheets do exist and given the talent level of the 2017 restricted free agent class, we may see one pop up this off-season. The price is high, but is it worth the investment?
Finally, yesterday I reflected on one of the busiest days in hockey and voiced my concerns over the status of another. With the NHL season nearing its end, who were the true winners and losers of the NHL Trade Deadline given the benefit of hindsight? Some of those deals still await further evaluation if the acquired player signs an extension, but in an already weak unrestricted free agent class that has seen top talent re-sign already with the potential for many more deals prior to July 1st, can we as hockey fans afford to see more extensions? Who will be left to highlight free agency?