Yesterday, I wrote about the winners of the NHL Offseason, so I think you can see where this is going. For those that missed yesterday’s post, you can check that out here. Now let’s go to the other side of the spectrum and get some Beck in here, or Three Doors Down if you’re into that kind of thing. Here’s a breakdown of the biggest losers!
Note: These are in order by teams in alphabetical order
David Rittich – It’s not that it’s a lock that Cam Talbot takes the starting job from him. In fact, I’d expect an even split. That said, I expect some regression from the Flames which in turn will hurt their goaltending. The bottom six is a complete disaster and there’s talk of them trading one of their defensemen. Now, they have a deep blue line, but Valimaki already tore his knee making them a bit thinner. This is more to acknowledge that I’m lower on the Flames goaltending than I expect consensus to be.
Erik Haula – Haula is coming off a severe injury so I expect his ranking to be low this season. However, the move to Carolina certainly hurts. He’s going to be in the bottom six barring injury and may not even get power play time. I like the player a lot, but not the situation. Perhaps this looks different in a month, but for now Haula is a middling streamer.
Robin Lehner – Might as well add Corey Crawford to this as well. Lehner was very unlikely to repeat last season’s success, but it’s now impossible going from the Islanders to the Blackhawks. The Blackhawks are terrible defensively and that’s not going to change with the additions of De Haan or Maataa. I can see taking the duo together in roto, but odds are I’m passing completely.
Andrew Shaw – He was never going to repeat last season’s totals, but his role is almost certainly going to drop quite a bit in his return from Chicago. He’s a fine streamer but nothing more.
Cam Atkinson – I debated just saying the Blue Jackets in general. The loss of Panarin and Bob cannot be understated, especially because Columbus is left with one of the worst goaltending duos in hockey. Atkinson wasn’t going to score 40 goals, and even though I call him a loser of the offseason, I’m still a bit bullish on him. Pierre-Luc Dubois should continue to grow and Gustav Nyquist is an okay poor man’s version of Panarin. I’m expect a drop in shot rate and goals, but remember that Atkinson did score 35 the year before Panarin arrived. Despite losing his other winger, Atkinson could actually be a value come draft day if the loss of Panarin is overstated by ADP.
Miro Heiskanen – Another case of loving the player but the situation getting worse. I still think Heiskanen will take another step forward, but his ceiling for this season is capped barring an injury. There’s simply no room for him on the first power play unit unless Klingberg gets hurt or really struggles. I expect his role at even strength to increase but his power play to decrease given that Klingberg missed 18 games last season.
Jimmy Howard – The Red Wings are running it back despite being terrible on the blue line. The lack of quality defensemen makes Howard a #3 goalie at best.
Devan Dubnyk – This pains me to write given that I’ve been high on Dubnyk since I started writing on Razzball. The problem is that the Wild are in a weird transition period. They have some older vets that are still good and a bunch of young talent that aren’t near their primes. The Wild could cut ties with Boudreau under the new GM (whoever that is) which would be a disaster for Dubnyk. Suter is getting up there, Spurgeon could be traded, the division is extremely tough, etc. Maybe Dubnyk is okay because Boudreau is so good, but the floor is much lower than it’s been.
Nolan Patrick – Patrick showed some signs at the end of last season, but the #2 overall pick looks destined for the third line this season. The arrival of Hayes makes a pretty clear top 6 for the Flyers. He looks like an easy fade altogether.
Matt Murray – The Penguins blue line scares the hell out of me, plain and simple. Schultz was a complete disaster last season in terms of possession, Johnson is an anchor, and while Gudbranson was very good for the Pens once he arrived, I’m inclined to favor the multiple seasons worth of data over 19 games. Add in a bunch of forwards who are irresponsible defensively and I’m a bit worried Murray’s numbers take a hit. An injury to Letang or even Dumoulin would be extremely worrisome.
Tyson Barrie – By the end of last season, Babcock was loading up the first unit power play. If that repeats itself, then Barrie takes a big step back from PP1 in Colorado to PP2 in Toronto. Don’t get me wrong, Barrie should still have a very good season, but I don’t think he quite gets to his Colorado level.
Jake Muzzin – This is speculation from yours truly, but my guess is that Muzzin doesn’t get time on the second power play unit anymore which makes him unownable in 12’ers.
Reilly Smith – This could be Alex Tuch; one of them is going to be on the third line instead of in the top six. My guess is that it’s Smith which makes him streamer worthy only. Sure, either will still get quality power play time, but unless Glass makes the team and is impactful right away, one of these guys will be with Eakin and someone (Pirri?) instead of Patches and Stastny. Hopefully we get some clarification on this early in training camp.
Connor Hellebuyck – Hellboy took a big step back last season, going from a 2.36/.924 to 2.90/.913. If I had to pick which stat line he is closer to this season, I fully expect the latter. The loss of Trouba really weakens this blue line, especially given the injury risk of Byfuglien. There are a lot of question marks with their young forwards in the bottom six, especially defensively, and I have little faith in any of their defensemen outside of the top 2. I might even pick Winnipeg to miss the playoffs, that’s how worried I am about this team (my guess is they get a wild card but I have to do some more digging). I don’t expect to have any Hellboy shares this season and could easily see a schmohawk post in his future. Again, another case of hating the situation, not the player.
That’s all for now guys. Please leave any comments, questions, or suggestions below. Thanks for reading, take care!