Now that the Stanley Cup has been awarded, we’ll look at questions facing each NHL Club heading into a potentially long off-season. A lot of questions will be answered in next week’s draft, and who knows what’s going to happen when the CBA expires on September 15th. Is it October yet?
Anaheim: Is that roly-poly, f-bomb spewing Hitchcock look-alike the answer behind the bench? Will Flash, Ah-ah, save every one of us… one more time?
Boston: How will the Thomas hiatus hurt the Bs in-goal? How does Chiarelli resolve this?
Buffalo: Hockey Heaven beget a season in Hockey Hell. Does Reiger dare pitch a roster overhaul to Pegula? Is Derek Roy a core player? Tyler Myers regression, abnormality or new reality? Lieno… WTF?
Calgary: They tried going for it. Dare Calgary admit the jig is up and finally initiate a rebuild? Kipper would get a king’s ransom, Iggy would get two kings ransoms. Does Feaster have the cajones to pull the trigger?
Carolina: Can Cam Ward carry a team with so many deficiencies back to respectability?
Chicago: Is Kaner on the “Dwight Gooden” career path?Will Hossa recover?
Colorado: Is Matt Duchene going to become a truly elite player?
Columbus: Where will the Nash land? Will Howson somehow survive the fallout?
Dallas: The Neal trade, in hindsight, looks like a clear loss. Can some firepower be returned to big D’s lineup?
Detroit: Say it ain’t so, Nick? Who will replace number 5?
Edmonton: How do they trade back to 2 without letting Columbus get over? Who is the answer in net?
Florida: Can they sustain this success? How long is the window to compete until those veteran backloaded deals send Tallon to cap hell… again?
Los Angeles: Congrats to the Champs. Is Bernier dealt to re-stock the system? Where is Trent Hunter?
Minnesota: The state of hockey is in a state of disarray. Where can this team plug holes in a fiscally responsible manner?
Montreal: Where does this team find an identity? Will there be an amnesty buyout?
Nashville: How does this team recover if Suter moves on?
New Jersey: Nice effort, guys. Is this the last time we see Captain Zack and the chin(s), Uncle Daddy Marty?
New York Islanders: Can they land an FA with a pulse? Is Parenteau gone? Will they gain any traction on an arena deal?
New York Rangers: Why does Marian Gaborik disappear every postseason? Is there a plan for life after the 30 y/o (and UFA in 2 years) King?
Ottawa: Can they duplicate this years improbable success?
Philadelphia: Is anyone able to replace Matt Carle if he leaves? Does Holmgren know how to deal with the post-Pronger reality as far as team leadership?
Phoenix: Are they long for the desert? Can the stingy Coyotes lock up Doan and Smith?
Pittsburgh: Is Sid the Kid finally healthy? Can someone teach him to grow a moustache? Is this the return to the mean for MAF? If so, can Pittsburgh compete with him at this level?
San Jose: Have the Sharks seen their last shot as a true contender pass them by with this core?
St. Louis: With off ice issues resolved, How does this team take the next step? Are they players in UFA market?
Tampa Bay: With all the smooth moves Yzerman has made, Smith still may be the one that got away. Is there a way to rectify this? Is there a quick fix on D in time to compete with Vinny and Marty still there?
Toronto: Who, exactly, is the answer in net? Can this team’s abysmal defense be righted?
Washington: Will Semin return? Is Holtbeast the man? Who will patrol the bench?
Winnipeg: The Honeymoon is over. How can this team be made to compete, and soon, before the fans expect better?
Vancouver: Is there any return for Luongo that will satisfy the riotous Canucks fan base? What do they do to shake the label of Canada’s Sharks: Fierce regular season, Soft post season?