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Attention Must Always Be Paid to the Threats Which Exist on the Path Ahead to Success – Part 1

The NHL’s summer offseason and the related flurry of activity due to the salary cap management, required club improvements, and the potential availability of RFA/UFA designated players now makes hockey an almost year round news cycle, similar to the NFL and NBA. This past offseason season was no different, and 6 of the 8 teams in the Metropolitan Division made significant moves and decisions, though perhaps not as controversial as those made by the Penguins. This piece will be a two part series, with the first one featuring the clubs which finished either above the Penguins in the Metro Division in the 2021-22 season, or made the playoffs. The off seasons of the Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers and Washington Capitals will be profiled below in Part 1 of this topic. The off season activity of the New York Islanders, Columbus Blue Jackets, New Jersey Devils, and the Philadelphia Flyers will be profiled in a subsequent, Part 2 article.

Carolina Hurricanes First in the Metro Division in 2021-22, Eliminated by the Rangers in Round 2, NHL Playoffs

For a team that won 54 games and won the division by 6 points, Carolina made fairly significant changes to its roster for the upcoming campaign:

In: (Major personnel)

Forward Max Pacioretty: Trade, From Las Vegas

Defenseman Brent Burns: Trade , From San Jose

Forward: Paul Stastny: Signed, From Winnipeg


Forward Vincent Trochek: Signed new Free Agent contract with NY Rangers

Forward Nino Niederreiter: Signed Free Agent with Nashville

Defenseman Ian Cole: Signed Free Agent with Tampa Bay

Defenseman Brendan Smith: Signed with New Jersey

Defenseman Tony De Angelo: Traded to Philadelphia

Initial overall assessment:

Despite the Canes overall and sustained success last season, the club demonstrated an apparent need to add more scoring upfront in Pacioretty, more need for veteran experience, and more speed with less physicality. The loss of Trochek in penalty killing, center playmaking and overall agitation will hurt, as well as the lost board and other play of Niederreiter. Burns has been a solid power play quarterback over his entire career, but he is far older than DeAngelo, who served the role well for the team last season. Pacioretty also suffered a torn Achilles tendon in this offseason, making him unavailable for a large portion of the upcoming year.

The above is a large portion of any roster to be placed into transition, and may take additional time to jell. Overall team speed may be increased, but effects of age and loss of some physical play may also be more in evidence than last season.

New York Rangers Second in Metro Division in 2021-22, Eliminated in East Conference Finals by Tampa Bay

Similar to Carolina, numerous major personal changes were made to a team which went to the Conference Finals:


Forward Vincent Trochek: Signed as a Free Agent from Carolina


Forward Frank Vatrano: Signed Free Agent with Anaheim

Forward Andrew Copp: Signed Free Agent with Detroit

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