- Goalie – Semyon Varlamov – Colorado Avalanche – Well he got his wish! The punk finally found his starting position. Uncontested. What a baby.He wanted starter money and George McPhee didn’t want to give it to him because he hadn’t earned it yet and that would mean admitting that he was the best goalie on our team. Not to mention having the confidence that he wouldn’t pull a sack muscle again or whatever. He was always hurt, and always struggling to stay on the ice.The only thing that makes me nervous is that Neuvy had a few problems himself with the stomach and flu and being injured as well. All hatred aside, when Varly played, he was phenomenal and had one of the best save percentages in the league at .924 last year. I wish him well, but I’m sure he will be hurt by October 13th.
- Center – Jason Arnott – St. Louis Blues – Semin’s better half is gone. Sadface. Arnottcame in and provided some senior leadership and was pegged as the 2nd line center from the getgo. This seemed to work well at first, but soon proved to be a premature decision. In his first two games he provided a game tying assist with 48 seconds remaining and then provided the game winner the next night against his current Blues team.He was relegated to the third line in favor of Marcus Johanssonto end the season, but starred on the powerplay where he scored 3 goals and assisted on 2 more. He was an integral part of turning the NJ Devils around right before the trade deadline but like his situation there, he was pushed out in DC in favor of youth.In St. Louis he wont’ have the problem. He’ll be amongst some oldies but once goodies in Jonathan Cheechoo, Jamie Langenbrunner along with some up and comers like Matt D’Agostini and Chris Stewart.
- Right Wing – Eric Fehr – Winnipeg Jets– He went from being a fan favorite, to a hometown hero. They say home is where the heart is, well his heart is bleeding blue and orange…or whatever their colors will be. The man who played like the courageous lion but had shoulders built out of straw departed with his fans last month as he went home to play for the Winnipeg Jets.It appears he will be on the third line with Tanner Glass and Tim Stapleton and shouldn’t have to worry about moving up or down with Nick Antropov ahead of him and a bruiser in Chris Thorburn behind him. He could see some time on power plays but has to battle with some handsy forwards for any real quality time. I see him as a role player on this team simply trying to provide support runs for a young and growing top 6.
- Right Wing – Boyd Gordon – Phoenix Coyotes – One of our most undervalued and under appreciated players is gone and the Phoenix Coyotes will soon see how invaluable he really is. He never really provided many points having to play on the checking line with Bradley and Chimeramostly, but he did a good job at getting the puck out of our zone through winning faceoffs. 58% of them to be exact.Like most 4th liners, his plus minus suffered because of his time on the checking line and in playing over 2 minutes of short-handed hockey per game. We are going to miss his penalty killing time, but this enhances the value of Mattias Sjogren and Jeff Halpern on our team. Both players should be able to provide more offensively than Gordon did and we may even gain some strength on the penalty kill. We
- Defenseman – Tyler Sloan – WHO CARES – We bought this bum out. I don’t care where he goes, who picks him up. nothin! I just don’t really want to see him back in Verizon Center again. I’m glad I didn’t buy that #89 jersey with “SLOOOOWWW-N” on the back.
- Right Wing – Andrew Gordon – Anaheim Ducks – He’s mighty and he’s on another choke happy team. The amount of talent and leadership on this team is unreal. He will be behind, and possibly way behind Corey Perry, Teemu Selanne and Bobby Ryan. Things are not looking great for him as he is more of a third line two way forward at this point rather than a 4th line checking forward. I want to see him get a chance, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen in Anaheim. This may mean that if you miss him at all, you can drive up to Syracuse to watch him most likely playing for the Ducks’ AHL Affiliate Syracuse Crunch.
- Right Wing – Brian Willsie – Montreal Canadiens – He benefited greatly from playing most of the season with a wittle guy in Mathieu Perreault and that must have sparked the interest of the Montreal Munchkins because they signed the 33 year old player to a high level 2-way contract.I expect to see him get some playing time and possibly surprise some people with some bit of production. His skating is superb and his wrister speed should be familiar to fans who have watch Gomez, Gionta, and Cammalleri for years. If he can’t find playing time on that depleted roster, I just don’t know what to say. This may be his last chance.
- Right Wing – Matt Bradley – Florida Panthers – Get ready to stand and cheer as three ex caps come back to Verizon Center on October 18th. Fleischmann, Theodore, and Bradley all will make an unfamiliar trek through a familiar building to be welcomed with plenty of cheers I am sure. Bradley‘s blood may actually paint the icing line as he has gotten into more battles, and outworked many players during his tenure with the Caps. Sadly, he slowly began to turn into a liability as Matt Hendrickstook over a lot of his tough guy duties and left him strictly fighting in corners.On a team that is filled with youngins, he will serve as the senior forward and may have a chance a captain or assistanship. Luckily with the addition of two power forwards with great offensive skills and the return of Hendricks, his loss won’t be too effective.
- Left Wing – Marco Sturm – Vancouver Canucks – The great disappearing act of 2010. The third liner didn’t provide much of the spark that many had hoped. He did produce 7 points in 18 games, but his high 11.9% shooting percentage was not realized in D.C. as he only shot 3.3% in his 18 regular season games and 5.6% in the playoffs.Asked to do very little on the third line except collect pucks from Chimera and Bradley on occasion as they fought down low, he will surely have a different role in Vancouver. A team that takes tons of shots and loves to play with a lot of space between their players, he may be able to use his speed and accuracy to aid in the many dimensions of Vancouver.