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Some random thoughts on this and the upcoming season in general (long post alert):
>kane and toews first to break $10 million cap hit, $1.8 million higher than crosby (who might be a bitch, but definitely scores more than kane or toews)
mcindoe had a pretty amazing article explaining why this isn't really as big a deal as it seems: http://grantland.com/the-triangle/fear-not-the-huge-nhl-extension/
tl;dr: it's all about percentages, remember that tv revenue is going way up this year with the new rogers media deal in canada, and that the cap was always going to keep going up, and that crosby signed a deal and extension that were way way more frontloaded than what's allowed now
>potential metropolitan division playoff spot for devils
definitely can see this. it's not far-fetched.
Getting rid of Brodeur was long overdue, he was one of the greatest but he's old and it's been time to move on for a while. Schneider FINALLY has an undisputed number one spot, I think he could really shine. But anything can happen so who knows? I seem to recall reading a fairly decent argument this time last year why edmonton might have a surprise playoff run in 2013-2014, and why the canucks would end up keeping Luongo. Yeah...about that...
It's also worth considering that the devils were basically almost impossibly bad on the shootout last year: in a league where most team's shootout shot %'s and shootout win-loss records pretty much (a few outliers aside, obviously) universally trend towards somewhere in between 10%-30% and 50%-60%, respectively, they were shooting 7% and went 0-12 on the shootout. That was with a roster that had a lot of dudes (Elias, Clowe, Jagr, Ruutu, etc.) with career shootout shot %'s over 25, some over 30.
Schneider was something like .400 in shootout save percentage. Not good. Brodeur was actually ok in that respect, he was somewhere around .700, which isn't too terrible for shootouts since they're pretty fucking random by nature.
The Devils missed a playoff spot by 5 points with 88. They win just half of those shootouts, which they could reasonably expect to, they get 6 extra points, and they make the playoffs, maybe even in the third divisional spot in the metropolitan. Definitely as a wild card. And that's not even beginning to start trying to piece together what could have been if Brodeur wasn't given a co-starter role.
Also consider just how shitty pretty much that whole division was last year outside of the pens and post-deadline rangers (remember that philadelphia got the third divisional berth with a fairly ho-hum record of 94 pts [remember that something like 3/4ths of ALL teams are over .500 in point percentage in most of the seasons with the loser point]...which would have just barely been the last wild card spot in the west, and that was with an eastern-based schedule).
Again, it doesn't seem crazy at all, and I say this as a man who still hates the devils for crushing my hopes and dreams in 2003. Even though we got it in 2007, it just wasn't quite the same. the finals that year were a joke. ottawa barely showed up. 2003's postseason is when I truly fell in love with hockey: sweeping detroit, the 5-OT game against Dallas, Giguere's god-mode OT, Oates scoring two SHG to finish the sweep against Minnesota, Brodeur scoring on himself at the Pond, Kariya scoring minutes after getting completely wrecked by stevens > fucking ANYTHING from 2007's regular season or playoffs aside from parros and his thuggish, mustachioed charms, teemu getting a cup, bryz getting a cup (and, more importantly, having lots of post-game interviews) and the neidermayers winning it together
as for the ducks going into 2014-2015:
-got Kesler, which should be good if he gets along. we needed a consistently solid 2nd line center... I'm still kind of bummed Bones is gone, but...
-I'm glad Sbisa is. I just didn't like him, there's no real reason
-Silfverberg extension: say OH AH SILFVERBERG (no further explanation needed)
-Maroon's 3-year extension: great. dude has insane hands, despite looking like a straight-up meathead bruiser (not that he can't throw down)
-I'd also like to take this opportunity to point out that Matt Beleskey looks stoned. ALWAYS (pic related)
-No more Perreault: meh. At least we won't have to deal with out-of-town broadcasters maddeningly pronouncing his name as "perro", as in spanish for dog, instead of "peh-rowh"
-Heatley signing: got him for pretty cheap, he's got a clean slate here, and his attitude seems to be improved. I think he'll be a good fit but it's pretty low-risk either way
-Clayton Stoner signing: I'm disproportionately stoked about this, most likely. He's a good player, and I definitely feel more OK with Vatanen if he's paired up with him, but really what I care about is that it means that I can finally get a "STONER" jersey and it'll all be legit. I was super jealous of a dude in the green wild alternate who I saw with one
-I'm kind of jealous of the wild's jerseys in general, actually
sorry about the geeky ADHD rambling, I'm baked as shit and love nerding out on hockey and this thread is kind of barren right now. hopefully something interesting was said/regurgitated