Well, the offseason has settled in, there isn't much to report about the New Jersey Devils, or for that matter the NHL. Hockey fans around the world are waiting for that magical time in October where we can once again don our team's jerseys and venture out into the world feeling overjoyed to be cheering on the team we love. But for know, you'll just have to settle with reading about the offseason from random bloggers and anyone on your twitter feed who may have a random epiphany on how their team is going to sign either Alex Semin or Shane Doan.
I won't talk about any of the above. I'm going to recap the big changes in the Atlantic Division this offseason and tell you whom I see as being the most powerful team (and the weakest) in the Atlantic Division next season.
The Rangers resigned Stu Bickel and signed a few other low key free agents. The only real move for the Rangers was the blockbuster trade that went down earlier this week. Rick Nash. He is now officially a Ranger. I don't need to highlight how good Rick Nash is. I didn't mind Rick Nash before, I'm sure I will have a deep
hatred dislike for him by the end of the season.
The Rangers traded away Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Tim Erixon, and a first round pick. The Rangers got the better end of that deal. But they did lose a good prospect in Erixon. The Rangers also lost Brandon Prust and Ruslan Fedotenko this offseason.
The Islanders lost PA Parenteau to Free Agency.
Ruslan Fedotenko from the Rangers.
The Flyers offered Shea Weber a massive offer sheet, but the Predators took a huge stand and signed Weber. Great move by the Predators not only because I hate the Flyers, but the Predators deserve to keep Weber.
The Penguins traded on draft day for Brandon Sutter, a prospect, and the 8th overall pick of the draft.
The Penguins turned Sidney Crosby into a Penguin for life with a 12 year, $104 Million contract extension. That's a great signing, unless Crosby gets injured again.
New Jersey Devils
The Devils managed to resign Bryce Salvador and the team's goaltending duo of Marty and Moose.
It still burns to type this... Zach Parise is gone.
So, after recapping the important moves by the Atlantic Division teams, which team had the best offseason?
Philly: (D) - They attempted to steal Weber away from Nashville and failed, still have holes from Jagr and Carle departing.
Isles: (F) - They need to do a lot more than sign Brad Boyes to help them become a team that reaches the postseason
Penguins: (A) - They re-signed Crosby to a reasonable deal and got a lot for Staal, who wasn't willing to stay in Pittsburgh.
Rangers: (A-) - They picked up Nash and didn't compromise their future, touché Mr. Sather.
Devils: (C) - The Devils haven't fixed the hole left by Parise. They were fairly quiet in the free agent market and signed another Cam Janssen.
This offseason shows that the Rangers and Penguins will again be powerhouses in the Atlantic Division. Without Parise, I'm concerned the Devils could be in danger of missing the playoffs after a successful run to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Let's hear your offseason grades. Do you think the Devils still have moves to make this offseason? Who do you see emerging in the Atlantic Division as a leader next season? Thanks for reading!