Today we'll take a look into the Metropolitan Division for S16! Last seasons Stanley Cup Champion Carolina Hurricanes look like the pre-season favorites to win this division once again. New Jersey and Philly might be able to give the Canes a run for their money this season as both those teams are strongly built. Be sure to check out yesterdays Atlantic preview and for the Central and Pacific previews coming up in a few days!
Owner- HAT_TRICK_LEGEND (4th year Owner) Captain- xDeadly_xDangles (3rd year Capt, 1st with Canes)
Overall Carolina is a very strong team once again. LaFleur11 returns this season to man the blueline and looks to take home the Norris this year after nabbing the Calder (ROTY) in S15. BillXHicksOGT19 is a great support player for Carolina, NHLRick comes over from Florida last season to man the crease. The only concern for the Canes could be the team depth. The 5 players above are all good-great players, I don't know you take 1 out if they can still produce the same level of play over the course of the season. With the minimum 10 players and 3.425 mil in cap, Id expect the managers to explore the trade block to build some depth to this team. All in all, Carolina will still be a strong team and my favorites to win the Metro.
Columbus Blue Jackets:
Owner- premierplayer (Rookie Owner) Captain- PhistMYace (rookie Capt)
CUPLUMBUS! Columbus is a team that may cause others some difficulties this season. They acquired former Norris winner soccaplaya11 in bidding, I love them getting sweethomechicago to play along side him on RD. Doesn't get a lot of points, but he is a true stay at home dman that will allow soccaplaya11 to do what he wants. The forward depth concerns me a bit, as there isn't a lot of great skill. silverstaples and Woogie2216 are both VG vets and come from premierplayers AHL team (Atlanta) that could play important roles. Given NHL 19 is a more grindy game with better hitting physics, this could be a breakout year for silverstaples who usually finishes in the Top 10 in the Hits category. I think Columbus will be close to making the playoffs, but fall just short in the final 2 weeks.
New Jersey Devils:
Owner-Knights29 (7th season manager) Captain- AAli-21 (1st year Capt w/NJ, long time Owner)
The Devils are a very strong team from front to back this season. They tagged Burns-34 on RD, miguelzetterberg returns on an extension and they got T_n_T91 to help out on fwd. AAli-21 teams in the past have been notorious for the west coast connection problems they gave everyone, now that NHL 19 did away with that I'm curious to see how he does. New Jersey can give Carolina a run for the Metro Division as they are on paper, the deepest team in this Division. With 11 players and 4.031 in cap, I don't see any dire needs to make changes anywhere on the roster, any moves should just come down to chemistry and possibly trying to steal a big name player come trade deadline who is a cheap sell.
New York Islanders:
Owner- xXM1N0RTHREATXx (3rd season Owner) Captain- pucku33 (1st year Capt w/NYI)
S1 Norris Trophy winner pucku33 joins xXM1N0RTHREATXx in New York this season. They have another former Norris Trophy winner in defmincex13 to play LD along pucku33. They got semple19 on forward and Wolfx|29| in his rookie season to play along side him on RW. Question for the Isles is who will play RD when pucku33 isn't around? In the last 3 seasons the most games hes played in a season is 51, you have to go way back to S11 when he played 66. With 3.698 mil in cap and 10 players on roster, they might use some cap to get a backup RD. Perhaps they'll take their chances and play someone who isn't a natural RD. I think the Isles will have a good season, but come up a little short in the final week.
New York Rangers:
Owner- Andradek94 (2nd season) Captain- Jason_23 (2nd season Capt)
The Rangers are a team I currently think are going to have a bit of a longer season. They traded for PR0D1GY_81 in the offseason who returns on an extension. Hellaselite was franchise tagged to play G and ZoGood was ELC'D from the AHL affiliate whos a good dman. I don't see much on the forward lines to convince me they'll be able to keep up with the other teams in the Metro or the East in general. However with 8.874 in cap and a lot of cheap contracts to move, a lot can change over the course of the season and they may surprise me.
Philadelphia Flyers: (formerly Vancouver)
Owner- SNAKE_-_PLISSKIN (Atleast 7th year Owner) Captain SuDzy92_ (formerly Turtle-|91|, 1st year Capt)
Formerly Vancouver, Snake moves to the Eastern Conference after a lot of good seasons in the West including back to back finals appearances (0-2). With him as always is Scarcella89-_- on the blue line, last season the acquired Primetimme and tagged him at 8.5million, and have rookie ae_MuSe who put up very good numbers last season in the AHL. Now unlike previous Snake teams, this team doesn't have as much depth at the forward position so you can bet he will be looking for moves to bolster that part of the roster. With 4.250 in cap and 11 players, he has some room to work with as there are a few good forwards out there in that price range he can go after. Philly will be a good team, give the Devils and Canes some problems in the Metro but I see them finishing 3rd in the Division.
Owner- PNCPark2k1 (Atleast 7th season Owner w/Pitt) Captain- ChitTownMenace (1st season Capt, long time Owner)
Much like the Rangers, I predict the Pens having a long season once again. Many know the troubles Pitt had last season with availability so I wonder if PNC went after guys he knew would play even if they weren't exactly the best choice. Biggest acquisition has to be the 9 million dollar man Saucenikov (formerly ix-Rain-iv) who was a Captain for PNC many seasons ago and is returning to VG for the first time in 5 seasons. I don't see a lot of help for him besides ChiTown, but with 7.5mil in cap they could go after someone to help out.
Owner- shaynestaa (2nd season Owner) Captain- spray_and_pray_ (1st year Capt)
Washington is an interesting team, could compete with Columbus for the 2nd wildcard spot depending on what happens in the Atlantic. Fishhure returns after a very good rookie year, with help from go_marc who was extended by Vegas and then traded, scredd17 was also tagged, should all provide some good numbers for the Caps. Only real concern is the defensive depth. They went after Carter_11-c and nabbed him at 5.5mil and besides shaynestaa, the backups may struggle a bit. They have 11 players and only 1.250 in cap so they'll to make at least 1 cut to fix this potential issue.
My Metro Predictions:
2. New Jersey
6. New York Isles
8. New York Rangers