Half of the Western Conference playoff field came from the Pacific Division last year. At the end of each summary we will highlight just one blog for that respective team, but there are many quality sites out there if you care to search for them. Please share your comments on the rest of the teams across the NHL as we fill the void of the offseason.
2010-2011 Record: 47-30-5 (2nd in the Division)
Offseason Thus Far: The moves have not been fast and furious in
but the way they closed the season made it easier to stand pat. Jonas Hiller was superb in goal to help the
team back to the playoffs although he had some injury issues. Hiller said he is ready for the
season. Kurtis Foster came over in
exchange for Andy Sutton. Center Andrew Cogliano also comes over in a trade and
Brian McGrattan was added for some depth. Anaheim
Kyle Palmieri on draft day (blog.nj.com)
Analysis: I’m not sure Ducks’ fans have stopped talking about Corey Perry’s 50 goal season. However, Teemu Selanne decided to come back for another year just to energize the
faithful some more. Kyle Palmieri hopes
to stick with the team for the full season as the Ducks seem to have an open
battle for the third and fourth lines.
Barring injury, this team should battle for the division lead. Anaheim
Blog: Anaheim Calling
2010-2011 Record: 42-29-11 (5th in the Division)
Offseason Thus Far:
started showing a
change in philosophy at the beginning of last year and continued it through the
season. So while they are still trying
to finalize the transition to a new ownership, the team moves forward. Michael Ryder, Sheldon Souray, Vernon
Fiddler, and Radek Dvorak were all added on July 1. Of course the big news is the loss of Brad
Richards to the Rangers as the number one free agent got a big contract from
the blue shirts. Dallas
may have finished
last in the Pacific, but they were only two points from making the
playoffs. Mike Ribeiro is expected to
have a heightened role and seems to have embraced that idea. Alex Goligoski filled in on the power play
admirably with Trevor Daley and Stephane Robidas helping to create a lot of
movement on the man advantage in the last three months of the season. How will Kari Lehtonen fair in goal for Dallas with Andrew
Raycroft backing him up? Dallas
Blog: Blackout Dallas
2010-2011 Record: 46-30-6 (4th in the Division)
Offseason Thus Far: News swirled around the Kings as an active location this offseason and they did not disappoint
Los Angeles acquired Mike Richards
a week before the free agency period.
Next Colin Fraser was added then Simon Gagne signed a two year deal.
Ethan Moreau was a recent signing and this is in addition to the acquisition of
Dustin Penner at last year’s trade deadline.
The Kings shook up their roster letting go of Brayden Schenn, Ryan
Smyth, and Wayne Simmonds. Philadelphia
Analysis: The biggest news is that Drew Doughty is holding out waiting for a new contract from the squad and general manager Dean Lombardi. Lombardi says his offer will not increase and even threatened to reduce the offer for each day Doughty is not in camp. Matt Greene, Jack Johnson, and Rob Scuderi could have more burden if the holdout is prolonged. Anze Kopitar enters his sixth season with some thinking he can still improve his consistency throughout the season. Jonathan Quick and Jonathan Bernier are a great tandem in net. There are a lot of uncertainties still with the Kings, so they could finish anywhere from first to third in the division.
Blog: Crowned Royal
2010-2011 Record: 43-26-13 (3rd in the Division)
Offseason Thus Far: Is the biggest story that the Coyotes are still in
? This season is a turning point for the Glendale franchise as
there are still questions about its ownership.
The team also lost long time goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov and now will be
looking at Mike Smith, Curtis McElhinney, or Jason Labarbera to emerge as the
number one. Lee Stempniak was shipped to
Daymond Langkow. No big name free agents made their way to the desert, but the
Coyotes did resign Keith Yandle. Calgary also lost Eric
Belanger and Ed Jovanovski. Phoenix
took the biggest
step backwards in the Pacific but still scratched and clawed its way into the
playoffs. They have a roster filled with
role players that needs to be pieced together just right behind Langkow, Shane
Doan, and Ray Whitney. The questions in
goal could prove to be too much while youngsters Andy Miele and Oliver
Ekman-Larsson hope to make a positive impact.
Yandel, Derek Morris, and Adrian Aucoin will provide the veteran
presence on the blue line. Phoenix
Blog: Five For Howling
2010-2011 Record: 48-30-5 (1st in the Division)
Offseason Thus Far: Dany Heatley did not live up to his billing in
during postseason play and now finds a home in to make room for Martin Havlat. Brent Burns could be the biggest offseason
acquisition for this perennial pacific powerhouse. Colin White was signed to provide depth on
the blue line. Michal Handzus and Jim
Vandermeer also call Minnesota
home for the 2010-11 season. Heatley, Devin
Setoguchi, Jamal Mayers, and Ian White all departed in the offseason. San Jose
Analysis: Although the Sharks made it to the conference final, it was clear the front office had a plan and set it in motion quickly after the season ended. Despite not playing a game the chemistry of the team seems improved while Havlat and Burns should be solid additions. Antti Niemi and Antero Nittymaki improved over the season and Logan Couture looks to improve on a great rookie campaign. The Sharks should be at the top of the division once again.
Blog: Blades of Teal