- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 8, 2008

2008-09 team capsules

SOUTHEAST

WASHINGTON CAPITALS

43-31-8, 94 points (first in Southeast)

Lost to Philadelphia in first round

G Cristobal Huet, G Olie Kolzig, D Steve Eminger, LW Matt Cooke

G Jose Theodore

C Michael Nylander, D Tom Poti

C Sergei Fedorov

Solid goaltending and improved penalty-killing could make all of those chic Cup predictions come true.

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING

31-42-9, 71 points (fifth in Southeast)

None

D Dan Boyle, D Filip Kuba, D Brad Lukowich

C Steven Stamkos, G Olie Kolzig, LW Ryan Malone, LW Vinny Prospal, RW Radim Vrbata, LW Gary Roberts, RW Mark Recchi

D Matt Carle

RW Radim Vrbata, LW Ryan Malone

Could be this year’s Flyers, or could be a train wreck … but probably somewhere in between.

CAROLINA HURRICANES

43-33-6, 92 points (second in Southeast)

None

LW Erik Cole, D Bret Hedican, D Glen Wesley, D David Tanabe

C Brandon Sutter, D Joni Pitkanen, D Josef Melichar, D Anton Babchuk

RW Patrick Eaves, D Joni Pitkanen

C Rod Brind’Amour, D Joe Corvo

Could challenge Washington, but injuries have killed them before and have started already this preseason.

FLORIDA PANTHERS

38-35-9, 85 points (third in Southeast)

None

C Olli Jokinen, C Jozef Stumpel, D Mike Van Ryn

C Shawn Matthias, LW Cory Stillman, D Bryan McCabe, D Keith Ballard, D Nick Boynton

C Stephen Weiss, LW David Booth

D Nick Boynton, LW Cory Stillman

The defense should be better with McCabe (though Maple Leafs fans might object), but this team struggled to score goals last year and gave up its best offensive player.

ATLANTA THRASHERS

34-40-8, 76 points (fourth in Southeast)

None

C Bobby Holik, RW Mark Recchi, D Alexei Zhitnik

F Jason Williams, D Mathieu Schneider, D Ron Hainsey, D Zach Bogosian

C/RW Erik Christensen

D Ron Hainsey, G Kari Lehtonen

John Anderson will try to work miracles, but his roster is far from what good friend Bruce Boudreau inherited.

ATLANTIC

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS

2007-08: 42-29-11, 95 points (fourth in Atlantic)

Playoffs: Lost to Pittsburgh in conference finals

Say goodbye to: C R.J. Umberger, LW Vinny Prospal, D Jason Smith

Say hello to: C Glen Metropolit, D Steve Eminger

Buy low: D Braydon Coburn, D Steve Eminger

Sell high: LW Simon Gagne

Skinny: If Martin Biron is solid, the Flyers could take advantage of injuries in Pittsburgh and win this division.

PITTSBURGH PENGUINS

2007-08: 47-27-8, 102 points (first in Atlantic)

Playoffs: Lost to Detroit in Stanley Cup Finals

Say goodbye to: RW Marian Hossa, LW Ryan Malone, RW Gary Roberts, LW Jarkko Ruutu, RW Georges Laraque, G Ty Conklin

Say hello to: RW Miroslav Satan, LW Ruslan Fedotenko, LW Matt Cooke, LW Eric Godard, D Alex Goligoski

Buy low: LW Jordan Staal, D Kris Letang

Sell high: D Brooks Orpik, LW Ruslan Fedotenko

Skinny: Injuries to Sergei Gonchar and Ryan Whitney could make defending the division title improbable, but watch out when they are back for the playoffs.

NEW YORK RANGERS

2007-08: 42-27-13, 97 points (third in Atlantic)

Playoffs: Lost to Pittsburgh in second round

Say goodbye to: RW Jaromir Jagr, LW Sean Avery, LW Martin Straka, LW Brendan Shanahan, D Fedor Tyutin, D Christian Backman

Say hello to: D Wade Redden, LW Markus Naslund, RW Nikolai Zherdev, D Dmitri Kalinin

Buy low: D Marc Staal, C Brandon Dubinsky

Sell high: RW Nikolai Zherdev, D Wade Redden

Skinny: Hard to gauge if the Rangers are better or worse, but a dressing room without Jagr and a typical season from Henrik Lundqvist should mean at least a push.

NEW JERSEY DEVILS

2007-08: 46-29-7, 99 points (second in Atlantic)

Playoffs: Lost to N.Y. Rangers in first round

Say goodbye to: C Sergei Brylin, D Vitaly Vishnevski, D Karel Rachunek

Say hello to: RW Brian Rolston, C Bobby Holik

Buy low: C Travis Zajac

Sell high: LW Patrick Elias

Skinny: Rolston could help the offense, but the defense isn’t what it was; a healthy Martin Brodeur should still be enough to make the playoffs.

NEW YORK ISLANDERS

2007-08: 35-38-9, 79 points (fifth in Atlantic)

Playoffs: None

Say goodbye to: LW Ruslan Fedotenko, RW Miroslav Satan

Say hello to: D Mark Streit, C Doug Weight

Buy low: RW Kyle Okposo

Sell high: RW Bill Guerin, G Rick DiPietro

Skinny: Ted Nolan coaxed competitiveness out of maybe the least-talented roster in the league, but can new coach Scott Gordon do the same?

NORTHEAST

MONTREAL CANADIENS

2007-08: 47-25-10, 104 points (first in Northeast)

Playoffs: Lost to Philadelphia in second round

Say goodbye to: RW Michael Ryder, C Brian Smolinski, D Mark Streit

Say hello to: LW Alex Tanguay, RW Georges Laraque

Buy low: LW Sergei Kostitsyn, G Carey Price

Sell high: RW Alex Kovalev, C Saku Koivu

Skinny: This is the 100th anniversary for the Canadiens, and a Stanley Cup could be a fitting tribute for the storied franchise.

BOSTON BRUINS

2007-08: 41-29-12, 94 points (third in Northeast)

Playoffs: Lost to Montreal in first round

Say goodbye to: RW Glen Murray, C Glen Metropolit

Say hello to: RW Michael Ryder, RW Blake Wheeler

Buy low: C Patrice Bergeron, LW Milan Lucic

Sell high: LW Marco Sturm, G Tim Thomas

Skinny: Good health from Bergeron and a return to form by Michael Ryder could make the Bruins the surprise team in the East.

OTTAWA SENATORS

2007-08: 43-31-8, 94 points (second in Northeast)

Playoffs: Lost to Pittsburgh in first round

Say goodbye to: G Ray Emery, D Wade Redden, D Andrej Meszaros, D Mike Commodore, LW Cory Stillman

Say hello to: D Filip Kuba, D Jason Smith, D Alexandre Picard, D Brian Lee, G Alex Auld, LW Jarkko Ruutu

Buy low: LW Antoine Vermette, G Brian Elliott

Sell high: D Jason Smith, G Martin Gerber

Skinny: A solution to the goaltending mess could be all that stands in the way of contention in the other capital city.

BUFFALO SABRES

2007-08: 39-31-12, 90 points (fourth in Northeast)

Playoffs: None

Say goodbye to: RW Steve Bernier, G Jocelyn Thibault

Say hello to: D Craig Rivet, G Patrick Lalime

Buy low: RW Drew Stafford, C Paul Gaustad

Sell high: LW Thomas Vanek, C Tim Connolly

Skinny: The Sabres still have good players and a great coach/GM, but not enough good-to-great players to help goalie Ryan Miller.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

2007-08: 36-35-11, 83 points (fifth in Northeast)

Playoffs: None

Say goodbye to: D Bryan McCabe, LW Darcy Tucker, C Kyle Wellwood, G Andrew Raycroft

Say hello to: LW Niklas Hagman, LW Nikolai Kulemin, D Jeff Finger, D Mike Van Ryn, RW Jamal Mayers

Buy low: C Alex Steen

Sell high: LW Niklas Hagman, RW Jason Blake

Skinny: Leafs fans will monitor the progress of potential No. 1 draft picks John Tavares and Viktor Hedman more than some of their own players this season.

WESTERN CONERENCE

CENTRAL

DETROIT RED WINGS

2007-08: 54-21-7, 115 points (first in Central)

Playoffs: Stanley Cup champions

Say goodbye to: G Dominik Hasek, RW Dallas Drake

Say hello to: RW Marian Hossa, G Ty Conklin

Buy low: LW/C Jiri Hudler, G Chris Osgood

Sell high: LW Tomas Holmstrom

Skinny: It is possible no franchise has been in a better position to repeat since it happened in Hockeytown in 1998.

CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS

2007-08: 40-34-8, 88 points (third in Central)

Playoffs: None

Say goodbye to: F Jason Williams, C Yanic Perreault, LW Rene Bourque

Say hello to: D Brian Campbell, G Cristobal Huet

Buy low: LW Andrew Ladd, D Cam Barker

Sell high: RW Martin Havlat, G Cristobal Huet

Skinny: This year’s “it” franchise, but Huet has been shaky and Nikolai Khabibulin is in purgatory.

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS

2007-08: 34-36-12, 80 points (fourth in Central)

Playoffs: None

Say goodbye to: RW Nikolai Zherdev, RW David Vyborny, D Ron Hainsey

Say hello to: RW Jakub Voracek, C R.J. Umberger, LW Kristian Huselius, RW Raffi Torres, D Mike Commodore, D Fedor Tyutin, D Christian Backman

Buy low: C Derick Brassard, D Kris Russell

Sell high: LW Raffi Torres, D Mike Commodore

Skinny: The Blue Jackets will be better, but guys like Voracek and Brassard might be a year away from making the leap - just like this team.

NASHVILLE PREDATORS

2007-08: 41-32-9, 91 points (second in Central)

Playoffs: Lost to Detroit in first round

Say goodbye to: RW Alexander Radulov, D Marek Zidlicky, LW Jan Hlavac, G Chris Mason

Say hello to: LW Josh Gratton, LW Antti Pihlstrom, RW Ryan Jones, G Pekka Rinne

Buy low: D Shea Weber, RW Jordin Tootoo

Sell high: C Jason Arnott, RW J.P. Dumont

Skinny: David Poile and Barry Trotz make up one of the league’s top tandems, but this year outside forces (the ownership troubles and the Radulov-to-Russia mess) may be too much to overcome.

ST. LOUIS BLUES

2007-08: 33-36-13, 79 points (fifth in Central)

Playoffs: None

Say goodbye to: C Ryan Johnson, RW Jamal Mayers

Say hello to: RW T.J. Oshie, C Patrik Berglund, D Alex Pietrangelo, G Chris Mason

Buy low: RW David Perron, RW David Backes

Sell high: G Manny Legace, RW Brad Boyes

Skinny: Erik Johnson’s knee injury is a huge blow to already faint postseason hopes - but there should be plenty of kids getting valuable development time.

PACIFIC

SAN JOSE SHARKS

2007-08: 49-23-10, 108 points (first in Pacific)

Playoffs: Lost to Dallas in second round

Say goodbye to: D Brian Campbell, D Craig Rivet, D Matt Carle

Say hello to: D Dan Boyle, D Rob Blake, D Brad Lukowich

Buy low: C Patrick Marleau, RW Devin Setoguchi

Sell high: D Rob Blake

Skinny: The Sharks are going to need more offense from guys like Marleau and Jonathan Cheechoo if they are to challenge Detroit, Dallas and Anaheim in the West.

DALLAS STARS

2007-08: 45-30-7, 97 points (third in Pacific)

Playoffs: Lost in Detroit in conference finals

Say goodbye to: LW Antti Miettinen, LW Niklas Hagman, D Mattias Norstrom, G Johan Holmqvist

Say hello to: LW Sean Avery, LW Fabian Brunnstrom

Buy low: C Brad Richards, D Trevor Daley

Sell high: RW Jere Lehtinen, D Philippe Boucher

Skinny: If Avery isn’t a distraction and the old guys on defense (Boucher and Sergei Zubov) can hold up, it should be a short summer again next year.

ANAHEIM DUCKS

2007-08: 47-27-8, 102 points (second in Pacific)

Playoffs: Lost to Dallas in first round

Say goodbye to: LW Todd Bertuzzi, C Doug Weight, D Mathieu Schneider, D Sean O’Donnell

Say hello to: C Brendan Morrison, D Ken Klee, D Steve Montador

Buy low: D Kent Huskins

Sell high: C Brendan Morrison

Skinny: Teemu Selanne will help the offense, but the Ducks are still a top-six forward short and the defensive corps has been eroded by salary cap issues.

PHOENIX COYOTES

2007-08: 38-37-7, 83 points (fourth in Pacific)

Playoffs: None

Say goodbye to: RW Radim Vrbata, D Keith Ballard, D Nick Boynton

Say hello to: C Olli Jokinen, C Kyle Turris, LW Mikkel Boedker, C Viktor Tikhonov, C Kevin Porter, D Kurt Sauer, D David Hale

Buy low: LW Peter Mueller, D Derek Morris

Sell high: G Ilya Bryzgalov

Skinny: Wayne Gretzky and Co. fancy themselves a playoff team, but Jokinen will have to be better than he was in Florida, and the kids will have to live up to the hype.

LOS ANGELES KINGS

2007-08: 32-43-7, 71 points (fifth in Pacific)

Playoffs: None

Say goodbye to: D Lubomir Visnovsky, D Rob Blake, LW Ladislav Nagy, LW Shawn Thornton

Say hello to: C Jarret Stoll, D Drew Doughty, C Brian Boyle, RW Teddy Purcell, RW Oscar Moller, D Sean O’Donnell, D Matt Greene

Buy low: D Jack Johnson

Sell high: RW Patrick O’Sullivan, C Michal Handzus

Skinny: There is plenty of great young talent in Hollywood, but goaltending is still an issue, and the O’Sullivan saga isn’t going to help the notion that the wheels are spinning in place.

NORTHWEST

EDMONTON OILERS

2007-08: 41-35-6, 88 points (fourth in Northwest)

Playoffs: None

Say goodbye to: D Joni Pitkanen, D Matt Greene, C Jarret Stoll, LW Raffi Torres

Say hello to: LW Erik Cole, D Lubomir Visnovsky

Buy low: C Andrew Cogliano, D Tom Gilbert

Sell high: D Sheldon Souray, LW Dustin Penner

Skinny: With a couple of key additions and the continued development of a few budding stars, the Oilers will challenge the Blackhawks for the title of most improved nonplayoff team from last season.

VANCOUVER CANUCKS

2007-08: 39-33-10, 88 points (fifth in Northwest)

Playoffs: None

Say goodbye to: LW Markus Naslund, C Brendan Morrison

Say hello to: C Pavol Demitra, RW Steve Bernier, C Ryan Johnson, C Kyle Wellwood

Buy low: RW Steve Bernier, LW Mason Raymond

Sell high: D Willie Mitchell, C Pavol Demitra

Skinny: It is almost impossible for the Canucks to repeat the rash of injuries on defense, so just a return to decent health and a little nudge in offensive production could make them division champs.

MINNESOTA WILD

2007-08: 44-28-10, 98 points (first in Northwest)

Playoffs: Lost to Colorado in first round

Say goodbye to: RW Brian Rolston, RW Pavol Demitra, RW Mark Parrish, D Keith Carney, D Sean Hill

Say hello to: D Marek Zidlicky, LW Antti Miettinen, LW Andrew Brunette, RW Owen Nolan, D Marc-Andre Bergeron

Buy low: C James Sheppard, LW Andrew Brunette

Sell high: RW Owen Nolan, C Mikko Koivu

Skinny: If the Wild can find enough offense to replace Rolston and Demitra, another postseason berth should not be a problem.

CALGARY FLAMES

2007-08: 42-30-10, 94 points (third in Northwest)

Playoffs: Lost to San Jose in first round

Say goodbye to: LW Kristian Huselius, LW Alex Tanguay, RW Owen Nolan

Say hello to: C Mike Cammalleri, LW Rene Bourque, LW Todd Bertuzzi

Buy low: C Michael Cammalleri

Sell high: RW Todd Bertuzzi

Skinny: Jarome Iginla, Dion Phaneuf and Miikka Kiprusoff need more help on the Red Mile for the Flames to be a factor in the West.

COLORADO AVALANCHE

2007-08: 44-31-7, 95 points (second in Northwest)

Playoffs: Lost to Detroit in second round

Say goodbye to: C Peter Forsberg, G Jose Theodore, D Jeff Finger, D Kurt Sauer, LW Andrew Brunette

Say hello to: Andrew Raycroft, LW Darcy Tucker

Buy low: G Peter Budaj, D John-Michael Liles

Sell high: RW Milan Hejduk, D Adam Foote

Skinny: The Avalanche are a team in transition, and diminishing returns on the blue line and in net could set them up for a fall.

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