The NHL's two biggest superstars play in the Metropolitan Division, and each has witnessed change all around them this offseason.
Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby has a new coach, a new general manager and six new teammates so far. That's not even mentioning the eight players who left Pittsburgh via a trade or through free agency.
Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin also has a new coach, a new general manager and four new teammates so far, including three of Crosby's former teammates and two defensemen he used to battle against.
Zucker has a two-way contract this season and a one-way in 2015-16.
Erixon, 23, was acquired from the New York Rangers on July 23, 2012 in a multiplayer trade that brought Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov and the Rangers' first-round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft (Kerby Rychel) to Columbus for Rick Nash, Steven Delisle and a third-round pick (Pavel Buchnevich) in 2013.
"I'm planning on coming to camp in great shape and earning my opportunity," Erixon told the Blue Jackets website. "It's up to me. I have to show them that I'm ready and that I've developed and can be an NHL player this year. Obviously last year wasn't what I was looking for, but I want to bounce back this year."
These rankings have been built based on what the insiders have learned following several free agency signings and trades during the offseason. As of right now, this is their recommendation for draft day. As training camp draws closer, they will update these rankings and release position-by-position breakdowns.
These rankings should be viewed as our experts' opinionated projections of the League's most valuable fantasy players based on expectations of the 2014-15 season. Factors taken into account include position eligibility, line combinations, category coverage, contract status and statistical performance from previous seasons.
NOTE: These rankings project value in standard fantasy hockey leagues, which include a 6x4 category scoring system: goals, assists, plus-minus, power-play points, shots on goal, penalty minutes, goalie wins, goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts.
In the days following a quick exit from the Stanley Cup Playoffs, St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock talked about the evolution of his team, understanding the components necessary to succeed in the Western Conference and learning from the lessons provided in losing. Hitchcock said multiple times that the six-game series loss to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference First Round provided the Blues a complete evaluation of where they stand and what they still needed to do to become a Stanley Cup contender.
Blues general manager Doug Armstrong has tried to use that free-of-charge and oh-so-painful evaluation as his blueprint for the summer.
The Blackhawks showed the Blues that they needed to be better down the middle, so Armstrong signed Paul Stastny, the best center available on the free-agent market, to a four-year, $28 million contract. He also signed Finnish center Jori Lehtera, who tied for third in scoring with 12 points in 10 games at the 2014 IIHF World Championship, to a two-year, $5.5 million contract.
NEWARK, N.J. -- It was a surreal scene watching three talented prospects named "Brodeur" doing their best to make their father proud this week during New Jersey Devils development camp here at AmeriHealth Pavilion.
At a time when the future of franchise icon and unrestricted free agent goalie Martin Brodeur remains uncertain, there were his sons, Anthony, Jeremy and William Brodeur, on the ice looking to earn the respect of coaches and teammates just as their father did almost a quarter-century ago.
The sight of three Brodeur teens certainly was unusual for Devils coach Peter DeBoer.
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