Due to final exams I haven't really had the time to come up with an article but here are some thoughts on the end of the seasons and beginning of the playoffs:
-The Northwest division is in for some changes for next season with the Oilers and Wild needing new coach's, the Wild and Avalanche needing new GM's and if Calgary goes out in the first round then I think they along with Colorado will also be looking for new coach's.
-Brian Burke is back to opening his big mouth saying that he's going to try and trade up to #1 overall in the draft, but he really doesn't have what it would take to do so. This is basically just trying to drum up excitement and make it seem like he's trying.
-With 9 UFA's, constant benchings of young players and a potential franchise goalie with work ethic and maturity issues and an ass kicking in the first round at the hands of the Boston Bruins, the Montreal Canadiens are in need of a serious rebuild and I'm not sure that Gainey will stick around as GM to do it. I have a feeling that he may well step away from the GM's position and take up a presidential position. If I'm the Habs I'm making a package to trade way up into the top 10 in the draft (which is being held in Montreal) and get the rebuild started now.
-The Islanders and Coyotes are in serious financial peril and Gary Bettman may only be able to hold out for one more year before seriously looking into moving those franchises. NYI owner Charles Wang has already stated that he will be moving his team to Kansas City if the Long Island government does not approve the 2 Billion dollar Lighthouse project which would give him a massive new arena (the current arena is a dump). If it is indeed approved the Islanders stand a good chance at becoming relevant in their market again like the Penguins with John Tavares taken first overall (which will give them a couple of pieces up front along with Josh Bailey, Blake Comeau and Kyle Okposo) but they still need Rick DiPietro to finally be healthy and some major prospect infusion on the back end. The Coyotes are in deep shit financially and I don't see them is Phoenix in 5 years.
-With the salary cap flatlining this offseason after years of constent growth and rumored to be plummeting after next season, teams such as Philadelphia, Detroit, Edmonton, Boston, NYR, Washington and Chicago are going to be in major cap hell and may ver well need to move some good players just to get under the cap after next season and none of them will be improving via Free Agency for next year.
-The Vancouver Canucks and Detroit Red Wings (at least in the 1st series) look like the two teams that'll be meeting up in the West final and that should be a great series.
-The NHL seems very keen on cutting down on incidents during the last few minutes of games by suspending players who commit major penalties or who look like they're trying to send a message.
-The Central Division with the Red Wings, Blackhawks, Blue Jackets, Blues and on the outside the Predators who always seem to be there at the end, is going to be a warzone next year with the 'Hawks, Blue Jackets and Blues all with up and coming young powerful teams looking to lay claim to the Red Wings throne.