In this roundtable, Realdeal, Cujo and Joey discuss many topics on the NHL’s offseason.

RD: So who did the best this offseason?

Cujo: I would say the CBJ but that would be very homerish of me.

Joey: I like what CBJ did, Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski fit two points of weakness.

Cujo: They got the #1 center they have always wanted, that was the biggest piece it has taken 11 years to get.

RD: They also got the top pair d-man they desperately needed.

Cujo: But you cannot rule out what LA has done this offseason.

RD: They got that #2 center that they needed, even if they gave up the best prospect in hockey.

Joey: Washington had a solid offseason. Beyond just additions but the picks they got for Seymon Varlamov were huge.

RD: I really like Washington’s moves; they got some sandpaper.

Cujo: And Tomas Vokoun cannot forget him, a solid net minder.

Joey: Yeah when I heard Vokoun signed in Washington I hung my head and said ‘oh crap’.

RD: I think people are sleeping on the effect Joel Ward and Troy Brouwer will bring.

Joey: I really think Brouwer was a good pick up, I am a little on the fence on Ward just wondering if he is riding off a playoff showing.

RD: He’s overpaid but he’ll be a solid 2nd/3rd line producer.

Joey: Speaking of overpaid is Brooks Laich worth all that money? I think time will tell on that one.

Cujo: You’ve got to pay for potential, but he nearly had his 3rd straight 50 point season. He missed it by 2 points.

RD: Is he going to get much better? I think 50-55 points is what we’re looking at.

RD: So who’s a team whose moves were puzzling or needed to do more? I’m kind of curious to see how San Jose’s plan works out.

Cujo: I think San Jose thinks they have most of the pieces they need to make a big run at the Cup.

Joey: Buffalo giving 10 years to Christian Ehrhoff, someone who has never played a game in Buffalo?

RD: Speaking of Buffalo, how about Terry Pegula opening his wallet? Both Ehrhoff and Ville Leino were overpaid but it’s a message.

Cujo: Same as in CBJ land, you open your wallet, they will come.

Joey: I think they spent but not necessarily spent well. The message is nice but right now they have no wiggle room for Tyler Myers being an RFA next year.

RD: So both Leino and Laich got $4.5 who’s more deserving? On one hand you have Leino who probably has more upside…

Cujo: Probably Laich, he’s got proven numbers, Leino has had 50 points, once.

Joey: I would say Laich right now, 3 consistent years compared to Leino’s 1 year plus a playoff run. But then again Leino was once sent to Grand Rapids and Mike Babcock called him the best player he has ever had to cut, so is this a late star in the making?

Cujo: Yet he never panned out in Detroit.

RD: What do you guys think about the Flyers moves?

Cujo: Getting a solid #1 net minder in Bryzgalov was a big accomplishment.

Joey: I’m not terribly in tune to the Flyers situation but I don’t think the team needed blown up like that.

RD: I think they wanted to go into a new direction (re: Carter/Richards).

Cujo: Adding Jakub Voracek wasn’t a bad move either.

Joey: Max Talbot will be liked there (funny your jersey will change things) but 5 years for a role player?

Cujo: Yeah that contract surprises me as well; I thought I might only ink a 2-3 year deal at most.

Joey: I don’t really wonder about Jagr’s play for Philly as much as how he will be in the locker room.

Joey: Wanting to play with right handed centers over Crosby/Malkin and Zetterberg/Datsyuk tells me he still wants to be the man.

Cujo: I think we saw in the Olympics, he no longer has the speed, but he’s still got the hands.

Joey: If he sulks for any reason and gets Pronger irritated, whoa nelly get the fire extinguishers ready.

Cujo: If he wants to be the man, he has to find a time machine; he won’t be the top scorer in Philly.

Joey: 5 years for Stamkos will take him to his UFA status at the end of the contract, right choice?

Cujo: I’m surprised he didn’t get one of those insane contracts honestly.

RD: We’ve seen how long term deals haven’t panned out lately. He should get more $ contract next time.

Joey: Yzerman didn’t come out and say it but I wonder if the CBA played a part of it. I mean the uncertainty of the new CBA, not a lockout, just any changes that may occur.

Cujo: After the NHL nabbed the Devils with Kovalchuk, I’m sure it was in his head.

RD: But with that, you have to wonder how the Rangers got away with it with Brad Richards.

Cujo: Well I guess we see how bad it bit the Devils in the butt this year, winning the draft lottery.

Joey: Maybe 1 million is the magic number to let this stuff go. 6 of the 9 years Richards will make more than what his cap hit is.

RD: The last 3 he won’t even come close to it. 1 mil for 3 years? I don’t buy it.

Joey: It doesn’t even scale down it just plummets from 7 million to 1 million.

Cujo: Yeah I don’t see how that looked clean in the NHL’s eyes.

RD: It’s their dumb rule with the signing bonus. Technically only goes from $3m to $1m.

Joey: There needs to be something a little more concrete in next CBA I think.

Joey: So what do you think of the St. Louis retirement community?

RD: It’s odd. I really don’t think they improved that much. Especially with those players they added. The only thing St. Louis has going for them is a full season with Chris Stewart and Kevin Shattenkirk.

Joey: Jamie Langenbrunner has had a little bit of a nemesis of teams play plummeting when he plays for them lately.

Cujo: St. Louis hopes that is the case with him this year.

Joey: Any other teams disappoint you with their summer while we are at it?

Cujo: I think the Leafs should have gotten out and grabbed another goalie. I think Jonas Gustavsson’s time is short with the emergence of James Reimer.

RD: I have a gut feeling Toronto is going to be better than people think.

Cujo: I agree, I mean, not Cup winners, but they could make a strong push.

RD: Yeah, maybe a 7 or 8 seed. I don’t think they will but they could, which is the key word.

Joey: The quicker Matt Lombardi shakes that concussion the better the Leafs fortunes will be.

Cujo: As well as Tim Connolly, if he stays healthy, that will be huge.

Joey: Not big on Minnesota’s offseason, Dany Heatley is on the downslide and I think the D needed more work than the forward lines.

Cujo: Yeah they don’t seem like a big offensive threat.

Joey: This season may go a long way in deciding Cliff Fletcher’s GM future there.

RD: Who knows how the team will do under Mike Yeo.

Joey: Best coaching signing of the year? I’m happy to see Claude Noel get another shot.

Cujo: Definitely, Noel should be great in Winnipeg.

RD: I am interested to see what happens in Winnipeg. They didn’t do too much this offseason.

Joey: Think Peter DeBoer will fit well in Jersey? I don’t think he is a “Lou Puppet” as some pundits think.

Cujo: Panthers played many 1 goal games, sounds right up NJ’s alley.

RD: He’s a winner. I think he got the shaft in Florida.

Cujo: He didn’t have a ton to work with at all.

RD: Speaking of Florida, they went after everybody. Think it works?

Cujo: Well, when you have to spend $30 mill, you have to throw money like crazy. They added a bunch of pieces, but I don’t know how the puzzle fits together.

RD: It’s almost like an expansion team.

Joey: It wouldn’t surprise me if it does work out. It may look silly on paper trying to fit everyone together but watch it become a piece of nice abstract art after all.

Cujo: Or if it was just an expensive lottery ticket that didn’t pay off.

RD: By December we should know, that should give them a chance to gel and see what direction they are going in.

Cujo: Their goaltending is what worries me. Jose Theodore as a starter nowadays, I don’t know.

Joey: Defense depth falls quickly after Campbell-Jovanovski. Not sure you want to rely on 26 minutes a night off both of them but they may have no choice.

Cujo: Gudbranson will be interesting to see this year in Florida, speaking of the defense.

Joey: Could be tossed in the fire but also has some good vets to help him out as well.

Joey: Who retires first Teemu or Modano?

RD: Modano.  I think Teemu comes back.

Cujo: Modano definitely. I can’t rule out a tryout though.

Joey: Agreed.

Agree, disagree? Let us know!


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