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Offseason +/- : Northwest Division

5th 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 Central Division... this time we look at the old Smythe Division:

Minnesota

Add:  Andrew Brunette, Owen Nolan, Antti Miettinen, Marek Zidlicky and MA Bergeron. 

Subtract:  Brian Rolston, Pavol Demitra, Mark Parrish, Aaron Voros, Sean Hill and Keith Carney.

Impact for Team:  Losing Rolston hurt especially and they tried to replace him with aging UFAs.  The defense should be more mobile but does it matter when the coach remains the same? 

Biggest Fantasy Hockey Impact: 

  1. The loss of Pavol Demitra could hurt Marian Gaborik as he loses his linemate and friend... although between all the injuries the two of these guys had not sure that they were ever in the lineup at the same time?    
  2. Mikko Koivu will take over the #1C role and if he can stay healthy then should break his career high of 54 points.
  3. Marek Zidlicky leaves a team that had 8 dmen with seasons of 30+ points in the last 3 years and goes to a team that has had 1 dmen break 30+ points over the same span.  

Colorado

Add:  Darcy Tucker and Andrew Raycroft 

Subtract:  Andrew Brunette, Peter Forsberg, Jaroslav Hlinka, Jeff Finger, Kurt Sauer and Jose Theodore

Impact for Team:  Interesting team, are they aging or rebuilding?  They retained guys like Sakic and Foote but their fortunes rest with guys like Stastny, Liles and Budaj. 

Biggest Fantasy Hockey Impact: 

  1. Peter Budaj gets his #1 job back by default after Theodore departed.  We'll see if he ready for it this time. 
  2. Andrew Raycroft hooks up with goalie coach Jeff Hackett who helped Theodore revive his floundering career so maybe Hacks can do the same with the Razor.
  3. Despite being run out of Toronto, Darcy Tucker actually had a decent 2nd half last year and he can offer a nice mix of goals & PIMs, especially if teamed with a good Cman like Stastny or Sakic.   

Calgary

Add:  Mike Cammalleri, Todd Bertuzzi, Rene Bourque, Curtis Glencross and Mark Giordano

Subtract:  Alex Tanguay, Kristian Huselius, Owen Nolan and Stephane Yelle

Impact for Team:  Scoring depth was one of their main weaknesses last year and the +/- is a wash, at best. 

Biggest Fantasy Hockey Impact: 

  1. Todd Bertuzzi could have a comeback season If he is: motivated, healthy & plays with Iginla... three big IFs. 
  2. Calgary is hoping that Mike Cammalleri can get back to his 80 point scoring level and hopefully he gets a chance on the #1 line, at either LW or C.  
  3. Mark Giordano's stock rose after playing in Russia for a year and he returns to a team that needs his mobility and offensive skills.    

Edmonton

Add:   Erik Cole, Gilbert Brule, Lubomir Visnovsky and Jason Strudwick

Subtract:  Jarret Stoll, Raffi Torres, Curtis Glencross, Marty Reasoner and Joni Pitkanen

Impact for Team:  They upgraded their talent through a few additions, the kids have a year of experience under their belt and getting Horcoff and Souray back from injuries is huge. 

Biggest Fantasy Hockey Impact: 

  1. If Sheldon Souray can stay healthy, then he should team with Visnovsky to form a potent duo on the PP.
  2. The addition of Cole and the emergence of the young kids means that Dustin Penner is looking at 3rd line duty.
  3. With Souray and Visnovsky around Tom Gilbert will probably have a hard time repeating his 13 goals as a rookie.      

Vancouver

Add:   Pavol Demitra, Steve Bernier, Kyle Wellwood, Ryan Johnson and Shane O'Brien

Subtract:  Markus Naslund, Brendan Morrison, Trevor Linden, Matt Pettinger and Lukas Krajicek

Impact for Team:  New GM Mike Gillis let some scoring go, then tried to make a splash with offers to Sundin and Backes and then had to scramble to find some new scoring help... in the end, not much changed. 

Biggest Fantasy Hockey Impact: 

  1. Steve Bernier was traded twice within a 6 month span but Vancouver seems to have big plans for him and he could end up on the 1st line.
  2. Taylor Pyatt used to be on the 1st line but he never proved he belonged so now he'll move back down to a grinding role. 
  3. Without a lot of big additions up front, there should be top 6 minutes and PP time available for the speedy Mason Raymond.   

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