The mythical Flortheast, not quite a winged beast from Lord of the Rings, but an oddly cobbled together division that begins in the swamps of Florida and travels all the way up the ass crack of the continent to Ottawa, which I’m reliably informed is one giant IKEA that a couple hundred thousand people have never quite been able to escape from. Let’s barely learn about some hockey teams.
15-16: 42-31-9, 93 points
Projected Cap Space $5.81 million
- Acquisitions -David Backes, Anton Khudobin, Dominic Moore, Riley Nash
- Losses – Loui Eriksson, Lee Stempniak, Dennis Seidenberg, Brett Connolly, Jonas Gustavsson, Chris Kelly, Landon Ferraro
- 16-17 Outlook – Everyone was really, really excited in Boston when Brad Marchand signed his new extension. The Bruins have Marchand and Patrice Bergeron for 13mm and the Blackhawks are paying Toews and Kane 20 so let’s have a laugh. Hang on, let me just slide you over flesh colored piss bag David Backes who’s past his best years which weren’t even that good for 5 and 30. Enjoy. Also the defense is old and terrible just like Rene Rancourt. Try the veal.
15-16: 35-36-11, 81 points
Projected Cap Space $8.53 million
- Acquisitions – Kyle Okposo, Dmitry Kulikov, Justin Falk, Anders Nilsson
- Losses – David Legwand, Cody McCormick, Chad Johnson, Mark Pysyk, Matt Donovan
- 16-17 Outlook – The Sabres are still going to suck but they’re getting more and more fun unless you ask the people who think Mark Pysyk is the greatest defenseman that’s ever been traded. That said, adding Kyle Okposo from the Isle will help out Jack Eichel as he looks to avoid a rough second season. It’s literally impossible to think of anything else to say about the Sabres other than Ryan O’Reilly should hire a driver.
Detroit Red Wings
15-16: 41-30-11, 93 points
Projected Cap Space $7.52 million
- Acquisitions – Frans Nielsen, Thomas Vanek, Steve Ott
- Losses – Pavel Datsyuk, Brad Richards, Kyle Quincey
- 16-17 Outlook – The Wings are going to make or miss the playoffs by no more or less than 4 points. Which side of that they fall on probably depends on how good Petr Mrazek is going to be because Jimmy Howard is no longer among the living. They’ve got enough talent to thrill their fans and piss them off often on the same night. We’ll spend all season trying to remember what the name of their head coach. I still have no idea. I think his name is Red or Mabel.
15-16: 47-26-9, 103 points
Projected Cap Space $9.2 million
- Acquisitions – Keith Yandle, Colton Sceviour, Jonathan Marchessault, Jared McCann, Jason Demers, Mark Pysyk, James Reimer, Reto Berra
- Losses – Brian Campbell, Brandon Pirri, Dmitry Kulikov, Jiri Hudler, Willie Mitchell, Rocco Grimaldi, Dave Bolland, Al Montoya
- 16-17 Outlook – Have you seen their new logo that makes the organization look like a knock off luxury car brand for assholes? A lot has been made of the front office machinations in Florida but beyond all that there’s still a decent team here. There’s plenty of great youth (Barkov, Huberdeau, Ekblad) that they’ve already got locked up until they hit unrestricted free agency in half a decade, so this core is in place for the foreseeable future. I assume Jaromir Jagr will be there the entire time putting up relatively remarkable regular season numbers and then doing less than nothing in the playoffs. But all that aside, if Keith Yandle has gas in the tank and Roberto Luongo can do his thing they should have a fun year.
15-16: 38-38-6, 82 points
Projected Cap Space $2.7 million
- Acquisitions – Andrew Shaw, Alexander Radulov, Shea Weber, Zach Redmond, Al Montoya, Bobby Farnham
- Losses – Lars Eller, P.K. Subban, Tom Gilbert
- 16-17 Outlook – Nice trade, idiots. Like everyone else, the best joke the NHL is going to play this year (besides literally any player safety decision) is when Michel Therrien finally gets axed and the Habs bring Patrick Roy in to steer the rest of this creaky old rocketship directly into the sun. It’s a damn shame too – the Habs have some really nice players including personal favorite Max Pacioretty who now gets to be the guy everyone in Montreal blames for everything. It’s already starting, with rumors leaking that Therrien referred to him as the worst captain he’s ever seen. Shea Weber will be deified and everything he does wrong will be covered up and blame will be shifted as per usual in Montreal. If they weren’t as steeped in histoire as they are they’d probably be ripe for a tank. As it stands, they’ll be running in quicksand for years, just good enough to be considered a playoff contender thanks to Carey Price but nowhere near good enough to bother any team of importance. Je suis vraiment.
15-16: 38-35-9, 85 points
Projected Cap Space $5.9 million
- Acquisitions – Derick Brassard, Chris Kelly
- Losses – Mika Zibanejad, Chris Phillips, Alex Chiasson, Patrick Wiercioch, Mark Fraser
- 16-17 Outlook – Major props for The Committed Indian for publishing the only preview of the Ottawa Senators because apparently every major hockey outlet forgot they exist. What’s the point of this team? Well, if you’re on Twitter their fans are surprisingly hilarious and self-deprecating so there’s that. They used to have a rivalry with the Leafs but even when it’s good (and it may never be again), the entire Canadian Tire Fort or whatever it’s called in Kanata is half full of mouth breathing Leafs fans. So here’s what you need to know about the Senators: they have Erik Karlsson and he’s special. Other than that they’ve got horrible ownership and clueless management and this franchise is well and truly fucked. See ya.
Tampa Bay Lightning
15-16: 46-31-5, 97 points
Projected Cap Space $5.8 million
- Acquisitions – Cory Conacher (really?)
- Losses – Jonathan Marchessault, Matt Carle
- 16-17 Outlook – Tampa is still really damn good and everyone’s in line to kiss Steve Yzerman where he farts even though he’s still got a significant laundry list of cap problems swirling his way and those problems are strengthening. This is the cost of getting good in today’s NHL and it’s infuriating. Stevie Y managed to convince Stamkos to stay in Tampa long term, which was huge for them. Somehow signing a monster deal to lose 50 games in Toronto while the foamed up media reports on his every bowel movement wasn’t appealing to him. And if they figure out the Kucherov problem (he is unsigned as of this writing), they’ll have no problem locking up a playoff spot and are as good a bet to come out of the East as anyone else. That said, their defense isn’t that special past Hedman and Stralman as Garrison and Coburn are old, slow, bad, and extremely overpaid.
Toronto Maple Leafs
15-16: 29-42-11, 69 points
Projected Cap Space $2.1 million
- Acquisitions – Auston Matthews, Matt Martin, Roman Polak, Nikita Zaitsev, Frederik Andersen, Jhonas Enroth
- Losses – Michael Grabner, P.A. Parenteau, Stuart Percy, Jonathan Bernier
- 16-17 Outlook – Any preview of the Toronto Maple Leafs has to mention that they consist of the sharpest minds in the game and soon enough the rest of the league will bow to their might. Apparently, (Leafs fans fancy themselves as proprietors of the hockey equivalent to the Viennese Salon) this is the next great dynasty in the making, thanks in part to their 700 person front office think tank, inexplicably headed up by a fossilized Lou Lamoriello. Old Lou is there mainly to provide a scapegoat for any questionable move the team make. Case in point the signing former Long Island Buttplug Matt Martin to 4 years worth of bad paper instead of, oh I don’t know, running Mark Arcobello out there for league minimum. Arcobello (or any player who scored a goal once in the AHL and isn’t signed) has become a bit of a rallying cry for the absurd dialogue around the Maple Leafs’ quest for relevancy. Their off-the-charts (get it) obnoxious fan base will tell you exactly what moves the Leafs should be making and most of them include icing a roster consisting of players on entry level deals and league minimum contracts. All jokes aside, Auston Matthews projects to be an incredible talent and Mitch Marner has shown quite a bit of his own. They’re a weird mix of players at this point and no one has any idea what they’ll be considering Freddie Andersen is already ouchy and the defense is laughable. Rielly and Gardiner are nice players but they’re not a top pair on any contender. Roman Polak is back again to show off his juggling while riding a unicycle act – god save the playoff team he gets dealt to in the spring. This isn’t the year the Leafs bother anyone but their time is coming. Just ask them. Also Nazem Kadri sucks.