NHL free agency has pretty much come and gone, with some teams improving their roster. What team improved the most and what did nothing to improve their roster and place in the standings?
The Anaheim Ducks were at the bottom of the standings in both their division and the entire league. Ducks fans were optimistic the team would make a move, via trade or free-agent signing, based on how the season went. The Ducks did resign goaltender Ryan Miller and signed once Duck player Derek Grant.
That is it.
Anaheim struggled last year in all accounts and maybe trying to depend on their prospects to bring a different vibe to this year’s team. The problem is the prospect pool for the Ducks is not rich and no player seems ready to come in and take the bull by the horns.
Speaking of the bottom the Detroit Red Wings have nowhere to go but up. Last season the Wings were the definition of bad. Even with stars Dylan Larkin and Anthony Mantha the team could not acquire the momentum of a winning streak and found themselves dead last.
Steve Yzerman and his creativity to the rescue. Yzerman, a Red Wings legend, managed to sign 5 free agents while resigning key players like Mantha. Yzerman signed F Bobby Ryan, F Vladislav Namestnikov, D Troy Stecher, D Jon Merrill and, G Thomas Greiss. This team will be better and maybe even make a playoff push based on the division they will be in.
These players were signed to short term deals to give the prospects another year to develop.
The league as a whole has gone through some changes to get through this season and, with the current division format, we could see some interesting games this year.
The Anaheim Ducks virtually did nothing to improve their team, which was awful this past season. Resigning Ryan Miller could help the backup position but he is at the last stages of his career and adding Derek Grant only gives them bottom 6 depth.
The Red Wings on the other hand could make a serious push for the playoffs based on their additions. The Wings want to get back to the playoffs that made them one of the most successful franchises in the 1990’s.