Re: Bettman Wants Seattle Expansion Team By 2014/15:Report
posted at 8/1/2013 11:04 AM EDT
1. Of course there will be western expansion. No way the fat teams in the east would agree to a system that meant two more teams in the east lose out on playoff dollars with that unbalanced conference alignment unless they were getting a share of the expansion pie and the situation was temporary. I won't be surprised if, when we hit 32 teams, the playoff pie expands and they add another round of sorts - maybe a march madness type of mini-playdown for the 8 spot in each conference playoff bracket involving 8, 9, 10, 11. One game each between 8v11 and 9v10, winners play a best of three. Gives teams a little extra revenue with a shot at more.
2. I doubt this is news to the governors, and I imagine well-managed teams are preparing for the expansion draft in two years. Last time, teams could protect either 1 goalie, 5D and 9F or 2G, 3D and 7F. Regardless of which direction you went, you had to leave at least one D with a season's experience in the NHL and two forwards with that experience. You would lose one or two players at the discretion of the expansion team and depending on whether there's one or two teams involved.
If it happens at the end of next year?
Bergeron, Lucic, Krejci, Marchand, Eriksson and then...? I could see them choosing to protect Soderberg if he shows he can be an impact player, but not Kelly, Campbell, Paille, Thornton, or Caron. Caron would be a good "leave" in terms of meeting the experience requirement. That leaves either one more forward (Spooner, probably?) or three (add Fraser and Smith? or Camara and Khokhlachev?).
Chara, Hamilton, Seidenberg and... some combo of Boychuk, Krug, McQuaid, Morrow? Or let it ride.
Rask (unless you're shupe and think this is the perfect chance to get out from under that deal) and then the biggest of choices. Protect Svedberg, who has had great success in the A? Protect Subban, who has had great success in Jr. and could be a valuable asset if and when the Bruins have to decide what to do with him? Or protect neither, assume you're only going to lose one at worst, and protect more forwards and D?
I'd do 1G 5D 9F and protect Fraser and Smith unless Camara or Khokhlachev go ape feces this year. And I'll go Boychuk and Morrow based on what we know now. A great season by Krug or a lousy one by Morrow might change my mind.
My guess is the Bruins would lose Campbell and Krug if they lost two, and probably just Campbell if they lose one. Outside chance it's McQuaid. Rationale: the expansion teams will find guys with potential "top six" talent elsewhere, but they'll know they need to sell character, hard work, guts and experience until the draft picks and subsequent deals work out. That makes Campbell a potential "C" candidate between the celebrity of #I'm Gregory Campbell plus a Cup ring. And as we saw when they put him with Jagr, Colin's boy isn't totally inept in the offensive end. There's a possibility that Krug could lead an expansion team in scoring. And they'll live with his mistakes. They may need to toughen up the back line, though, and McQuaid would be a logical choice.
Are you not entertained?!?!