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Super 16

Super 16: Capitals top offseason rankings

Lightning second after extending Kucherov, McDonagh; Maple Leafs round out top five

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

Training camps open in less than seven weeks, but we couldn't wait until then to rank the power structure in the NHL now that enough talent has been redistributed through trades and free agency.

The Super 16 is back for this week, a one-time-only summer offering featuring contributions from 11 members of NHL.com's editorial staff who were asked to rank the top 16 teams in the NHL based on how they finished last season and what they have done since.

To create the power rankings, each of the participating staff members put together his or her version of what the Super 16 should look like. Those are submitted and a point total is assigned to each.

The team picked first is given 16 points, second gets 15, third gets 14 and so on down to No. 16, which gets one point.

Here is the offseason Super 16 (records are from last season):

 

1. Washington Capitals (49-26-7)

Total points: 162

Hit: The Stanley Cup champions will return 18 of the 20 players who played in all five games of the Stanley Cup Final win against the Vegas Golden Knights. Todd Reirden takes over as coach after he was an assistant the past four seasons.

Miss: Coach Barry Trotz will not return to defend the championship after failing to agree on a contract extension. He was hired by the New York Islanders. The only players not returning are center Jay Beagle, who signed a four-year, $12 million contract with the Vancouver Canucks, and backup goalie Philipp Grubauer, who was traded to the Colorado Avalanche.

Video: Looking at the Capitals' offseason, season outlook

 

2. Tampa Bay Lightning (54-23-5)

Total points: 161

Hit: The Lightning, who lost the Eastern Conference Final to the Capitals in seven games, ensured three important pieces of their core will be around for a while. They signed forward Nikita Kucherov to an eight-year, $76 million contract extension and defenseman Ryan McDonagh to a seven-year, $47.25 million contract extension. Tampa Bay also re-signed forward J.T. Miller to a five-year, $26.25 million contract.

Miss: Left wing Chris Kunitz left as a free agent, signing a one-year contract with the Chicago Blackhawks. Kunitz had 29 points (13 goals, 16 assists) in 82 games last season playing primarily a fourth-line role.

Video: TBL@WSH, Gm3: Kucherov beats Holtby on power play

 

3. Winnipeg Jets (52-20-10)

Total points: 146

Hit: The Jets, who lost the Western Conference Final to the Vegas Golden Knights in five games, re-signed goalie Connor Hellebuyck to a six-year, $37 million contract. The 25-year-old was second in Vezina Trophy voting after going 44-11-9 with a 2.36 goals-against average and .924 save percentage.

Miss: Winnipeg lost free agent center Paul Stastny, who signed a three-year contract with Vegas. Stastny had 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 19 games with the Jets after they acquired him in a trade with the St. Louis Blues on Feb. 26. He had 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 17 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Video: VGK@WPG, Gm5: Hellebuyck stands tall to deny Karlsson

 

4. Nashville Predators (53-18-11)

Total points: 142

Hit: The Predators didn't make any major additions after winning the Presidents' Trophy and losing in the Western Conference Second Round to the Jets in seven games. Nashville signed free agent defenseman Dan Hamhuis to a two-year, $2.5 million contract and re-signed goalie Juuse Saros to a three-year, $4.5 million contract.

Miss: They need to re-sign defenseman Ryan Ellis. He has one year left on a contract that carries a $2.5 million NHL salary cap charge.

Video: Looking at the Predators' offseason, future

 

5. Toronto Maple Leafs (49-26-7)

Total points: 133

Hit: The Maple Leafs, who lost a seven-game series to the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference First Round, signed 27-year-old center John Tavares, the prize of the 2018 unrestricted free agent class, to a seven-year, $77 million contract.

Miss: Toronto did not bring back free agent left wing James van Riemsdyk or center Tyler Bozak. Van Riemsdyk, who scored an NHL career-high 36 goals last season, signed a five-year contract with the Philadelphia Flyers. Bozak, who had 365 points (136 goals, 229 assists) in 594 games with the Maple Leafs, signed a three-year, $15 million contract with the Blues. Free agent forward Leo Komarov signed a four-year contract with the Islanders.

Video: Projecting the Maple Leafs' lineup for 2018-19

 

6. Boston Bruins (50-20-12)

Total points: 121

Hit: The Bruins, who lost to the Lightning in the second round, added mobile, puck-moving defenseman John Moore on a five-year, free agent contract, and goalie Jaroslav Halak to back up Tuukka Rask.

Miss: Boston needs someone to emerge as a No. 3 center because Riley Nash, who had 41 points (15 goals, 26 assists) last season, signed a three-year contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets as a free agent.

 

7. Vegas Golden Knights (51-24-7)

Total points: 119

Hit: The Western Conference champions signed Stastny as a second-line center and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to a three-year, $21 million contract extension.

Miss: Vegas must replace the 110 points (41 goals, 69 assists) it lost with the departures of free agent forwards James Neal and David Perron. Neal, who had 44 points (25 goals, 19 assists), signed a five-year, $28.75 million contract with the Calgary Flames. Perron, who had 66 points (16 goals, 50 assists), signed a four-year, $16 million contract with the Blues.

 

8. Pittsburgh Penguins (47-29-6)

Total points: 108

Hit: The Penguins, whose bid for a three-peat ended with a six-game series loss to the Capitals in the second round, signed free agent defenseman Jack Johnson to a five-year, $16.25 million contract. Pittsburgh re-signed forward Bryan Rust to a four-year, $14 million contract and defenseman Jamie Oleksiak to a three-year contract worth $6,412,500, and signed 41-year-old free agent center Matt Cullen, the oldest player in the NHL, to a one-year, $650,000 contract.

Miss: To create salary cap space, the Penguins traded forward Conor Sheary, who had 83 points (41 goals, 42 assists) in 140 games the past two seasons, to the Buffalo Sabres with defenseman Matt Hunwick for a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft.

 

9. San Jose Sharks (45-27-10)

Total points: 80

Hit: The Sharks, who lost to the Golden Knights in six games in the second round, kept a big part of their team together by re-signing forwards Evander Kane (seven-year contract), Joe Thornton (one year), Chris Tierney (two years) and Tomas Hertl (four years), and defenseman Dylan DeMelo (two years). They also signed center Logan Couture to an eight-year contract extension.

Miss: They were in the running for Tavares and free agent forward Ilya Kovalchuk, but didn't sign either. Kovalchuk signed a three-year, $18.75 million contract with the Los Angeles Kings.

Video: SJS@VGK, Gm2: Couture wins it with PPG in 2OT

 

10. St. Louis Blues (44-32-6)

Total points: 67

Hit: The Blues, who didn't make the playoffs last season, are arguably one of the most improved teams in the NHL with the additions of center Ryan O'Reilly through a trade with the Sabres, and the free agent signings of Bozak, Perron and forward Patrick Maroon (one year, $1.75 million).

Miss: The Blues traded forwards Patrik Berglund, Vladimir Sobotka and Tage Thompson, and their first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft and their second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, to get O'Reilly. St. Louis also lost goalie Carter Hutton, a free agent who signed a three-year contract with the Sabres. Hutton was 17-7-3 with a 2.09 GAA, .931 save percentage and three shutouts in 32 games last season.

 

11. Philadelphia Flyers (42-26-14)

Total points: 54

Hit: The Flyers, eliminated in six games by the Penguins in the first round, filled a position of need in their top-six forward group by signing van Riemsdyk, who played his first three NHL seasons in Philadelphia (2009-12). He is expected to be the second-line left wing and play with center Nolan Patrick and right wing Jakub Voracek.

Miss: Philadelphia lost center Valtteri Filppula (Islanders), defenseman Brandon Manning (Chicago Blackhawks) and goalie Petr Mrazek (Carolina Hurricanes) each as a free agent. Forward Matt Read remains an unrestricted free agent. None of them is considered a major loss.

 

12. Los Angeles Kings (45-29-8)

Total points: 42

Hit: The big move by the Kings, who were swept by the Golden Knights in the first round, was signing Kovalchuk as a free agent from the Kontinental Hockey League. Los Angeles also signed defenseman Drew Doughty to an eight-year, $88 million contract extension.

Miss: It's fair to wonder if Kovalchuk, who hasn't played in the NHL in five years, is enough of an upgrade to the offense. Los Angeles was 16th in goals per game last season (2.89) and scored three goals in four playoff games against Vegas.

Video: LAK@ANA: Doughty dekes, beats Gibson from the circle

 

13. Anaheim Ducks (44-25-13)

Total points: 30

Hit: The Ducks signed center Adam Henrique to a five-year contract extension and re-signed defenseman Brandon Montour to a two-year contract. They also bolstered their depth at defenseman by signing free agents Luke Schenn and Andrej Sustr each to a two-year contract.

Miss: Anaheim didn't make any major upgrades after getting swept by San Jose in the first round.

 

14. Columbus Blue Jackets (45-30-7)

Total points: 29

Hit: The Blue Jackets, who lost in six games to the Capitals in the first round, signed Nash to be their No. 3 center. They also re-signed forwards Boone Jenner (four years) and Oliver Bjorkstrand (three years), and signed free agent forward Anthony Duclair to a one-year contract.

Miss: Forward Artemi Panarin doesn't have an interest in negotiating a new contract. Panarin, who had 82 points (27 goals, 55 assists) last season, is entering the final year of his contract and can become an unrestricted free agent July 1, 2019.

 

15. Calgary Flames (37-35-10)

Total points: 23

Hit: The Flames have made significant changes after missing the playoffs last season by dipping into the Hurricanes' well. They hired Bill Peters to replace Glen Gulutzan as coach and acquired defenseman Noah Hanifin and forward Elias Lindholm in a trade with Carolina. Calgary signed free agent forward Derek Ryan to a three-year, $9.375 million contract after he had an NHL career-high 38 points (15 goals, 23 assists) in 80 games with the Hurricanes last season. In addition, Calgary signed Neal.

Miss: To get Hanifin and Lindholm, the Flames traded defenseman Dougie Hamilton and forward Micheal Ferland to the Hurricanes. Ferland set NHL career highs in goals (21), assists (20), points (41), shots on goal (144) and games played (77) last season. Hamilton led Flames defensemen with 44 points (17 goals, 27 assists) and averaged 21:32 of ice time per game.

Video: James Neal on signing a five-year deal with Calgary

 

16. Colorado Avalanche (43-30-9)

Total points: 22

Hit: The Avalanche, who lost in six games to the Predators in the first round, upgraded their goaltending depth by acquiring Grubauer in a trade with the Capitals. The 26-year-old signed a three-year contract with the Avalanche and will compete for starts with Semyon Varlamov. They also signed two former Blue Jackets, free agent defenseman Ian Cole and forward Matt Calvert, each to a three-year contract

Miss: Goalie Jonathan Bernier (signed with the Detroit Red Wings), forward Blake Comeau (signed with the Dallas Stars) and forward Nail Yakupov (moved to Russia) are not considered major losses as free agents. The Avalanche were last in face-off percentage (44.2 percent) and did not address that issue.

Others receiving points: Minnesota Wild 21, Dallas Stars 15, New Jersey Devils 12, Florida Panthers 9

 

HERE'S HOW WE RANKED 'EM

AMALIE BENJAMIN

1. Tampa Bay Lightning; 2. Nashville Predators; 3. Washington Capitals; 4. Winnipeg Jets; 5. Boston Bruins; 6. Pittsburgh Penguins; 7. Toronto Maple Leafs; 8. San Jose Sharks; 9. Vegas Golden Knights; 10. Los Angeles Kings; 11. St. Louis Blues; 12. Philadelphia Flyers; 13. Colorado Avalanche; 14. Columbus Blue Jackets; 15. Florida Panthers; 16. Minnesota Wild

TIM CAMPBELL

1. Vegas Golden Knights; 2. Washington Capitals; 3. Nashville Predators; 4. Tampa Bay Lightning; 5. Winnipeg Jets; 6. Boston Bruins; 7. Toronto Maple Leafs; 8. San Jose Sharks; 9. Pittsburgh Penguins; 10. Anaheim Ducks; 11. Calgary Flames; 12. St. Louis Blues; 13. Minnesota Wild; 14. Philadelphia Flyers; 15. Dallas Stars; 16. Los Angeles Kings

BRIAN COMPTON

1. Washington Capitals; 2. Toronto Maple Leafs; 3. Vegas Golden Knights; 4. Tampa Bay Lightning; 5. Nashville Predators; 6. Boston Bruins; 7. Winnipeg Jets; 8. Pittsburgh Penguins; 9. Philadelphia Flyers; 10. San Jose Sharks; 11. Los Angeles Kings; 12. New Jersey Devils; 13. Columbus Blue Jackets; 14. Colorado Avalanche; 15. Dallas Stars; 16. Florida Panthers

NICK COTSONIKA

1. Tampa Bay Lightning; 2. Toronto Maple Leafs; 3. Winnipeg Jets; 4. Pittsburgh Penguins; 5. Nashville Predators; 6. Washington Capitals; 7. San Jose Sharks; 8. Boston Bruins; 9. Vegas Golden Knights; 10. Anaheim Ducks; 11. Minnesota Wild; 12. Los Angeles Kings; 13. Columbus Blue Jackets; 14. New Jersey Devils; 15. St. Louis Blues; 16. Florida Panthers

TOM GULITTI

1. Nashville Predators; 2. Tampa Bay Lightning; 3. Washington Capitals; 4. Winnipeg Jets; 5. Boston Bruins; 6. Toronto Maple Leafs; 7. St. Louis Blues; 8. Pittsburgh Penguins; 9. Vegas Golden Knights; 10. Columbus Blue Jackets; 11. San Jose Sharks; 12. Philadelphia Flyers; 13. Anaheim Ducks; 14. Los Angeles Kings; 15. Dallas Stars; 16. New Jersey Devils

ADAM KIMELMAN

1. Tampa Bay Lightning; 2. Winnipeg Jets; 3. Washington Capitals; 4. Toronto Maple Leafs; 5. Nashville Predators; 6. Pittsburgh Penguins; 7. Vegas Golden Knights; 8. Boston Bruins; 9. San Jose Sharks; 10. Minnesota Wild; 11. Philadelphia Flyers; 12. St. Louis Blues; 13. Anaheim Ducks; 14. Colorado Avalanche; 15. Los Angeles Kings; 16. Columbus Blue Jackets

MIKE G. MORREALE

1. Washington Capitals; 2. Winnipeg Jets; 3. Tampa Bay Lightning; 4. Vegas Golden Knights; 5. Toronto Maple Leafs; 6. Nashville Predators; 7. Boston Bruins; 8. Pittsburgh Penguins; 9. Columbus Blue Jackets; 10. Philadelphia Flyers; 11. Los Angeles Kings; 12. St. Louis Blues; 13. San Jose Sharks; 14. Anaheim Ducks; 15. Colorado Avalanche; 16. New Jersey Devils

TRACEY MYERS

1. Washington Capitals; 2. Vegas Golden Knights; 3. Tampa Bay Lightning; 4. Boston Bruins; 5. Toronto Maple Leafs; 6. Winnipeg Jets; 7. Nashville Predators; 8. Pittsburgh Penguins; 9. St. Louis Blues; 10. San Jose Sharks; 11. Philadelphia Flyers; 12. Colorado Avalanche; 13. Calgary Flames; 14. Dallas Stars; 15. Minnesota Wild; 16. New Jersey Devils

SHAWN ROARKE

1. Washington Capitals; 2. Winnipeg Jets; 3. Tampa Bay Lightning; 4. Nashville Predators; 5. Boston Bruins; 6. Pittsburgh Penguins; 7. Toronto Maple Leafs; 8. Vegas Golden Knights; 9. St. Louis Blues; 10. San Jose Sharks; 11. Calgary Flames; 12. Dallas Stars; 13. Los Angeles Kings; 14. Philadelphia Flyers; 15. Anaheim Ducks; 16. Minnesota Wild

DAN ROSEN

1. Washington Capitals; 2. Nashville Predators; 3. Tampa Bay Lightning; 4. Winnipeg Jets; 5. Toronto Maple Leafs; 6. Boston Bruins; 7. St. Louis Blues; 8. Vegas Golden Knights; 9. Pittsburgh Penguins; 10. San Jose Sharks; 11. Philadelphia Flyers; 12. Florida Panthers; 13. Los Angeles Kings; 14. Anaheim Ducks; 15. Colorado Avalanche; 16. New Jersey Devils

MIKE ZEISBERGER

1. Tampa Bay Lightning; 2. Winnipeg Jets; 3. Washington Capitals; 4. Toronto Maple Leafs; 5. Nashville Predators; 6. Boston Bruins; 7. Pittsburgh Penguins; 8. Vegas Golden Knights; 9. St. Louis Blues; 10. Calgary Flames; 11. San Jose Sharks; 12. Philadelphia Flyers; 13. Los Angeles Kings; 14. Colorado Avalanche; 15. Columbus Blue Jackets; 16. Dallas Stars

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