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Offseason +/- : Central Division

4th of 6 articles looking at the fantasy hockey impact of the key offseason additions and subtractions for all the teams.  Last time we looked at the Southeast Division... this time we look at the old Norris Division:

Detroit

Add:  Marian Hossa and Ty Conklin 

Subtract:  Dominik Hasek

Impact for Team:  Return all essential pieces from the Cup winning squad and adds Hossa... not fricken bad.

Biggest Fantasy Hockey Impact: 

  1. Adding Hossa means more talented wingers for a Cman like Valtteri Filpulla to play with but the shifting (temporarily?) of Henrik Zetterberg back to center means Val goes down to the 3rd line and won't see much PP time. 
  2. Since Ozzy's never been a workhorse goalie, we should see a lot of Ty Conklin this year and even if he only sees 30 games he could still get close to 20 wins.
  3. If you're Jonathan Ericsson then you had to think one of Chris Chelios, Brad Stuart or Andreas Lilja wouldn't be back this year... but they all are, so no room in the lineup for the big Swede.    


Nashville

Add:  Ryan Jones 

Subtract:  Alexander Radulov, Jan Hlavac, Marek Zidlicky and Chris Mason

Impact for Team:  Had a similar looking +/- last year and but still managed to make the playoffs... Trotz is an underrated coach.

Biggest Fantasy Hockey Impact: 

  1. The departure of Zidlicky will provide more PP time for guys like Shea Weber, Ryan Suter and Ville Koistenen.
  2. Super Swede Patric Hornqvist will be asked to fill the skates of Alexander Radulov and should see lots of top 6 & PP ice time.
  3. Mason's departure provides Dan Ellis with a little breathing room but also means a promotion for Pekka Rinne, who will be trying to pull a Dan Ellis on Dan Ellis.


Chicago

Add:  Brian Campbell and Cristobal Huet

Subtract:  Robert Lang, Jason Williams, Rene Bourque and Patrick Lalime

Impact for Team:  Made a big splash with their offseason signings but they overpaid and have put themselves into a cap squeeze... nevertheless, the pieces are there to make a serious playoff push.

Biggest Fantasy Hockey Impact: 

  1. Nik Khabibulin hasn't played in a meaningful game since 2004 but he'll be auditioning for a new gig at the beginning of the year as Chicago will be showcasing him.
  2. Moved out a few veteran forwards which makes room for younger guys like Dave Bolland, Andrew Ladd and Kris Versteeg to play bigger roles.
  3. The addition of Campbell and the cap crunch means that Cam Barker has to start the year in the AHL after really establishing himself as a NHLer in the 2nd half last year.


Columbus

Add:  Kristian Huselius, RJ Umberger, Raffi Torres, Mike Commodore, Fedor Tyutin and Christian Backman 

Subtract:  Nikolai Zherdev, David Vyborny, Dan Fritsche, Gilbert Brule, Ron Hainsey and Dick Tarnstrom 

Impact for Team:  They added some talent up front and the defense should be a little more solid but is it enough to finally get them into the playoffs?

Biggest Fantasy Hockey Impact: 

  1. Rick Nash doesn't get the #1C that he needs but he does get some more talent to play with.
  2. RJ Umberger should get an opportunity in that #1C role but we're not sure that he's up for it, rarely does it work out when a role player on a good team tries to take on a bigger role with a weaker team... Columbus should remember this from the Anson Carter disaster.  
  3. With Hainsey gone, Kris Russell should get an opportunity to run the PP.


St. Louis

Add:  Chris Mason and Alex Pietrangelo 

Subtract:  Martin Rucinsky, Jamal Mayers, Ryan Johnson and Hannu Toivonen 

Impact for Team:  They're sticking with the game plan and being patient with their youth, adding guys like TJ Oshie, Patrick Berglund and Pietrangelo to the mix this year.

Biggest Fantasy Hockey Impact: 

  1. Chris Mason was brought in cause Manny Legace needed some competition and is injury prone, two reasons to worry if you're a ManLeg owner.
  2. Without any additions up front key assignments should be handed to TJ Oshie and Patrick Berglund right away.
  3. He's got a year under his belt and is no longer a teenager, so David Perron should be much better prepared to handle a full NHL season and begin to make a contribution.   

Check back soon for our next Offseason +/- article where we'll take a look at the Northwest Division.