Best of the Best
TSN released their Top 50 players in the NHL earlier today.
There weren’t a lot of surprises except for Sidney Crosby (#14) dropping from #1 but Sid has been on a tear lately and will surface in the top 10 in NHL scoring very soon.
The poll of NHL head coaches did, however, get it right when they picked the best LW’s in the league other than indicating that Patrick Kane is a LW when he is, in fact, a RW.
While Kane is having a memorable season, Jamie Benn is the dominant LW in the league and it isn’t even close.
Second best LW? Alex Ovechkin…no argument from me.
If you’ve been following along…I said this a year ago and Taylor Hall is 4th although I expect Panarin will eat his lunch shortly.
Eye of the Hurricane
I’m sure you want to know which team will be the “Next Big Thing” in the NHL.
It’s the Carolina Hurricanes.
Here is why.
The Hurricanes currently have $22 million in free cap space and are in the conversation for a playoff spot based on top 5 possession metrics mostly due to their elite D and coaching.
The Canes will be adding Haydn Fleury and Roland McKeon to that D corp next season and, with the expiration of the contracts of Eric Staal and Cam Ward, will have about $30 million in free cap space with which they can pick the bones of cap strapped teams.
Oh, the humanity.
The Winnipeg Jets are on course for their worst season in team history and have two high profile pending UFA players in Andrew Ladd and Dustin Byfuglien.
Ladd will end up in Florida while Buff will soon be a Star.
The Vancouver Canucks, based on the difficulty of schedule, are the only Canadian team with a reasonable shot at making the playoffs.
Anaheim is finally starting to show their power so the Canucks only hope is to track down Nashville or Colorado for a wild card spot.