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So its the offseason now...


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So what would you all like to see your favorite teams do to get better this offseason. Any particular players you want to see them pickup for next season? Are you optimistic or pessimistic about the offseason? I thought this might be an interesting topic.

As for me, I'd love to see the Avalanche get Forsberg back, but that could be risky. I'd be thrilled if they got Chris Drury back. I hope they can pick up another good scorer and improve their defense. I don't think Turgeon or Brisebois will be back and they just got Leopold signed for two more years IIRC. It'd be nice to see them get out from under the Theodore contract, but it'd be just as nice to see Theo bounce back and become the guy who won the Vezina in 2001-02.

The Oilers supposedly are gonna be a team to watch according to Spector. I want them to get Ryan Smyth back...I miss Smytty in an Oilers jersey. That team lost their heart and soul when he left. I also hope they resign Sykora, who if the rumours are correct, desperately wants to stay in Edmonton. I'm curious to see what they can come up with since it sounds like Edmonton doesn't seem to be a preferred destination for many high priced free agents. I thought they looked pretty undisciplined when I watched them play the Yotes this season. I hope they can improve on that.

The Coyotes are another I'm optimistic for. Gretz has said he doesn't want to sign anyone over thirty. If they could get a good goalie like Manny Fernandez, Vesa Toskala or Ilya Bryzgalov I'd be pretty happy. I'm more curious to see who they're going to get in the draft and how guys like Mueller, Hanzal, and Wheeler do in camp and even next season. I'd like to see them resign Yanic Perreault and despite Gretz's FA comments, I tend to believe he and Owen Nolan will return. I liked Owen Nolan more and more as the season wore on. My biggest hope for them is scoring and a number 1, nothing against CuJo, but I think his best days are behind him. I don't want to see Phoenix become a team guys go to to retire and that was a little evident over the two years I've been following them.

NHL wise, I think it'd be cool to see Drury and Briere re-up in Buffalo and I still think Buffalo will be a team to watch next year. I'd love to see Teemu come back and play another season and even Giguere resign in Anaheim. I hope they don't lose what made them a fun team to watch this year. I also hope the Blackhawks can pickup Patrick Kane and start turning it around next year. I'm really looking forward to seeing what my fellow Hoosier, Jack Johnson does with the Kings for next season. Something's telling me if the Canucks can make the right moves this offseason, they may take the Cup to Vancouver with them. I know its too early since this season just ended, but I believe they're gonna be dangerous next year.

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Well I would love to see the Sabres keep both Drury and Briere, but I know realistically that isn't likely to happen. Other than that though, finding a backup goaltender is a priority as Conklin is a UFA and I am not sure if the Sabres will want to bring him back.

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Well I would love to see the Sabres keep both Drury and Briere, but I know realistically that isn't likely to happen. Other than that though, finding a backup goaltender is a priority as Conklin is a UFA and I am not sure if the Sabres will want to bring him back.

I think Conklin will be back, since he makes the league minimum.

We need to find a way to move Spacek's salary (some say dump it to Pittsburgh who has cap room, needs veteran defense and might have lost interest in Ryan Malone, who plays a gritty game that we could use in Buffalo; I don't think it's a bad idea). I'm hoping Teppo Numminen retires as well. Not that I don't like him, but everyone else on the blue line is under contract and we need to change up the defensive core some. Losing Spacek and Teppo makes it easy and Teppo has certainly lost a step. If we have an opening on defense, I'd like to see us make a run at Sarich or Ohlund. I doubt Briere AND Drury return, and as much as I hate saying it - right now it's sounding like Briere will be the guy to stay (though it's all just speculation). If Briere stays, I say we lose Connolly and find a center who can hit.

As for Smyth, I bet he does sign with the Oilers.

They offered him $5.3m - he had asked for $5.8m. His agent turned it down and he got traded. He cried like a little girl in the airport leaving Edmonton (I have nothing but respect for Smyth - I'm not insulting him; it's true) and said he wanted to win the Cup so he could bring it back to Edmonton because that's where his heart is. I bet he goes back and I wouldn't even be surprised if he took a discount. Rumor has it he turned down 7 years for $49m from the Islanders (that's 7m per year) when he was only asking for 5.8m from Edmonton. Looks to me like it's not about the money now, in his eyes, it's about the team.

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It seems like Drury will end up in California or NYC. I've been hearing those places thrown about a lot. I guess he has a house in Manhatten Beach. Could make the Ducks or Kings frontrunners.

The Sabres are going to be interesting to watch. I guess Vanek is an RFA, so now you gotta worry about adding him in, cause you know he's gonna want a significant raise. Sounds like Philly has got their eyes on what Buffalo does. If they could get out from under the Spacek and Connolly contracts, and as much as I hate to see Teppo miss his chance at a Cup, get out from under his, they could open up some room. I tend to agree with you, I think Briere may stay there.

I heard a rumour on the cnnsi.com fannation page that supposedly Smyth wanted Yashin gone. I had a hard time believing it was only 100K that separated him and Edmonton on a new contract. Me personally, I don't think he thought they were going to trade him at all. My wife brought that up after watching his interview. That moved seemed like it sucked the life out of the Oilers, that night they looked LOST against the Coyotes.

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I think Conklin will be back, since he makes the league minimum.

We need to find a way to move Spacek's salary (some say dump it to Pittsburgh who has cap room, needs veteran defense and might have lost interest in Ryan Malone, who plays a gritty game that we could use in Buffalo; I don't think it's a bad idea). I'm hoping Teppo Numminen retires as well. Not that I don't like him, but everyone else on the blue line is under contract and we need to change up the defensive core some. Losing Spacek and Teppo makes it easy and Teppo has certainly lost a step. If we have an opening on defense, I'd like to see us make a run at Sarich or Ohlund. I doubt Briere AND Drury return, and as much as I hate saying it - right now it's sounding like Briere will be the guy to stay (though it's all just speculation). If Briere stays, I say we lose Connolly and find a center who can hit.

As for Smyth, I bet he does sign with the Oilers.

They offered him $5.3m - he had asked for $5.8m. His agent turned it down and he got traded. He cried like a little girl in the airport leaving Edmonton (I have nothing but respect for Smyth - I'm not insulting him; it's true) and said he wanted to win the Cup so he could bring it back to Edmonton because that's where his heart is. I bet he goes back and I wouldn't even be surprised if he took a discount. Rumor has it he turned down 7 years for $49m from the Islanders (that's 7m per year) when he was only asking for 5.8m from Edmonton. Looks to me like it's not about the money now, in his eyes, it's about the team.

I do not want Conklin back- and I say this in no uncertain terms. I was upset when they got him at the trade deadline and if he is truly the backup this season I think you have to knock on wood every day that Miller doesn't get hurt. Hopefully the Sabres will be able to sign one of the 2 (y'all know how I want to be signed....48) but if they lose both then its full disaster time. Sure the Sabres have plenty of young guns in Rochester but clearly they need to maintain the leadership and the point scorers (who can actually score in the playoffs might I add) of this team. It will be interesting to see what happens in under a month from now.

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You know what really gets me? Regarding Smyth: if he's so in love with the Oilers and wants to put the team ahead of him, then why did he leave in the first place? For $500K more money and a first-round playoff exit with a team that won't be able to keep him anyway? That doesn't make any sense to me. If you love the city you play in, then take the money they give you...especially if it's that close to what you asked for to begin with.

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You know what really gets me? Regarding Smyth: if he's so in love with the Oilers and wants to put the team ahead of him, then why did he leave in the first place? For $500K more money and a first-round playoff exit with a team that won't be able to keep him anyway? That doesn't make any sense to me. If you love the city you play in, then take the money they give you...especially if it's that close to what you asked for to begin with.

I tend to think that was a hardball stance that backfired on him.

Speaking of Sabres backup goalies, is there any word that Mika Noronen will come back to the NHL with someone?

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You know what really gets me? Regarding Smyth: if he's so in love with the Oilers and wants to put the team ahead of him, then why did he leave in the first place? For $500K more money and a first-round playoff exit with a team that won't be able to keep him anyway? That doesn't make any sense to me. If you love the city you play in, then take the money they give you...especially if it's that close to what you asked for to begin with.

The way I thought it played out- they were close but the Oilers said no- Team Smyth thought they would have till the end of the season but the Oil traded him away for a bag of pucks instead.

I didn't hear that about Mika- I would take him over Ty any day.

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