Written by Greg Stamper, who can be found on twitter @g_stamp91.
In part one of this article (which can be found here) we took a look at some of the teams that were blessed with a solid offseason and deserved their title as winners.
It’s time to take a look and see which teams have had far less success and are deemed this year’s losers; some of which may surprise you.
Part 2: Losers
One thing is for certain, Washington tried.
Although the Capitals managed to sign the top defenseman available on this year’s market in Matt Niskanen, it’s widely believed that they massively overpaid in the process of doing so. For the time being, this deal should work in the Caps favour, but, near the end of the massive seven-year, $40.25 million deal when Niskanen still has a $5.75 million cap hit in his mid-30’s, it then might really come back to bite them.
Washington didn’t stop there though.
On top of Niskanen, the Caps also elected to sign his 33 year-old (34 when the season starts) teammate from Pittsburgh, defenseman Brooks Orpik, to a five-year, $27.5 million deal. This move quite simply is the reason for Washington making the loser section of this list; it is totally insane.
Losing Mikhail Grabovski and not replacing him didn’t help the Caps either.
The fact that the signing of back-up goaltender Justin Peters to a two-year, $1.9 million deal appears to be the best / least risky move the Caps made shows just how rough this offseason was.
San Jose Sharks
The Sharks’ only move in free agency was the signing of enforcer John Scott for one-year, $700,000; need I say more?
For a team that was believed to be finally ready to shake things up after yet another disappointing playoff performance last season, all the Sharks have done is lose players. Dan Boyle is gone to the Rangers, Brad Stuart was dealt to the Avalanche and Martin Havlat was bought out.
The same core group of players remains intact. Will that change with a Joe Thornton or Patrick Marleau trade?
That remains to be seen.
For now, this offseason has been a major bust for San Jose.
Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli has been one of the league’s better managers at working around the cap to add talent during both the offseason and at the trade deadline over the last few seasons, but, it appears he may have lost his touch.
After re-signing Patrice Bergeron to a very good value for a player of his talents (eight-years, $52 million), Chiarelli seemed to forget to free up money to be a player in this year’s free agency market.
The Bruins have added absolutely no-one this offseason and lost notable players Jarome Iginla, Shawn Thornton, Andrej Meszaros, and Chad Johnson to other teams.
With the current cap space siting at -$209,143 according to CapGeek.com, there is some serious work that needs to be done if Boston wants to replace the 30 goals that Iginla scored last season.
This has been a very weak offseason for one of the league’s best teams.
Detroit Red Wings
Coming into this offseason, with names like Dan Boyle and Matt Niskanen available as a free agent, and Mike Green and Tyler Myers possibly available in trades, there was common belief around hockey that the Wings would finally get the quality right-handed defenseman they had been so desperately seeking.
Well, so far none of that has come to be, with Myers likely staying put on a new look Buffalo squad and Green still in Washington.
Instead, the Wings only two offseason acquisitions of note were the re-signing’s of defenseman Kyle Quincey to a bloated two-year, $9 million deal and 35 year-old forward Danny Cleary for one-year at $1.5 million; both of which came with displeasure from Detroit fans.
Might Detroit’s management team finally have lost their abilities? First signing Stephen Weiss to a massive deal last year and now nobody this year; Detroit doesn’t seem like the UFA destination they once were.