We end the S16 previews today with the Pacific Division. This division saw 5 teams (VGK, LA,CAL,VAN,ANA) all make the playoffs in S15. This is a very strong division once again, one that I'm having a very difficult time predicting as there are many strong teams. Realistically, I can see 7 of the 8 teams all competing for the playoffs (sorry San Jose).
Owner- mcleve913 (1st season Owner) Captain- RiseOfTheNinja (5th season Capt/ 1st w/ANA)
The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim are a very strong team, of course with Ninja on RW and both Mclub326 on RD and Rbcressor on LD. Both defenders are arguably Top 5 in their respective positions. Anaheim acquired WestSideHockey from Boston this offseason who played very well for the Bruins last season and looks to improve here in S16 for the Ducks. I see Anaheim being competitive all season long, finishing somewhere between 2md and 4th in the division.
Arizona Coyotes: (formerly Anaheim)
Owner- Choking_H4z4r (2nd season Owner) Captain- perry1978 (2nd season Capt)
After making the 2nd wildcard in S15 (1st round loss to Vegas 4-1)in both managers rookie seasons, the new Arizona Coyotes look to improve that success here in S16. King17Kong had a very productive rookie season last year, will be paired up with NHL vet M_a_Bster this season. Another strong rookie performance from S15, LePigeonFou on defense takes the spot as the top defender on the team. With the minimum 10 players and still 9.125 in cap the Coyotes can add some depth on both forward and defense, and possibly in goal as they only have 2 Goalies who combined for 46 games played in S15. Arizona should also be a competitive team as management knows what it takes to make the playoffs in the NHL. I see the Coyotes finishing between 4th and 6th in the Pacific.
Owner- lllVIBEZlll (3rd season Owner) Captain- Akonvict21 (4th season Capt, 3rd w/CAL)
After a game 7 loss in the 2nd round to Vegas in S15, Calgary looks to have a deeper run this season. fulltrottle911 returns after being franchise tagged and is one of the leagues better defenders. Kinglyme89 had a very strong rookie season in S15, will be paired with the 7.5 million dollar contract of Vish_b. That may have been a reach as he was 2.5 in s15 and he only played 25 games while putting up roughly 2.5ppg. That huge contract also handcuffs the team as they only have.137 left in cap, so 1 fine will put the team over the limit. They have 11 players on roster at them moment so they could move a player for a pick to help free up some cap space. I predict Calgary will have a similar season as they did in S15 and making the playoffs.
Owner- asleeptech (1st season Owner) Captain- kbee007 (1st season Captain)
Rookie owner asleeptech and captain kbee007 have built arguably the leagues best Defense/Goalie combo in the NHL. Fumancheezy_ comes in after many successful seasons in Detroit (Won 2 Stanley cups, many Norris Trophy nominations). With 13iggy13iggs on RD to assist at the blue line and OilFieldTrash412 along with mooner2014, scoring wont be easy on the Oilers. Airblaster_ leads the forward group with toslick who should be looking to stay in Edmonton all season long after many seasons of being bounced around. They have 11 players and 3 million in cap and should look to add some depth to the forward group as besides those 2 above, there isn't a whole lot of skill. Because of the defense and goaltending, I see Edmonton being competitive for most of the season, finishing somewhere between 5th and 7th with a chance at the playoffs.
Los Angeles Kings:
Owner- Rollerpig647 (2nd season Owner) Captain- BurnsForHart (2nd season Capt)
LA was the only team that didn't have to bid on any players for they already had all 10 and only .062 in cap. They were able to trade and resign Mattkiinnoo from Winnipeg, who along with TMills61_ create the leagues most deadly forward line. Those 2 combined for 301 goals in S15. Only 3 teams, (WPG,LA,VGK) scored more then these 2 did combined. You add ii-Amazing-LL on defense and SteelCityFan17 on LW/LD (going for his 4th straight Stanley Cup Finals) and you have on paper, the best team in the league. ucantcme_kamakaz is a beast goaltender that can hold his own in net. LA can probably challenge the record Vegas set last season for most wins in a season (70-8-4). I see the Kings winning the Pacific Division and being the team to beat in the Western Conference.
San Jose Sharks:
Owner- Smearedpap (rookie Owner) Captain- MyNamesMino (rookie Capt)
San Jose is the only team I don't fully believe can make the playoffs in the Pacific. In the "21 questions" article posted, I see many owners believing SJ had a good offseason and have a lot of depth players. My problem with SJ is every team in the Pacific has at least 1 player on the team that is a game changer. San Jose has some decent players, but I don't see enough in general for them to compete with the 7 other teams in the Pacific. With 12 players and 1.5 million in cap, they can move some of these players for 1 or 2 guys that can help them compete with these higher skilled teams. At the moment, I see SJ being last in the division, but still having a competitive team outside the Pacific.
Owner- Lach12 (2nd season Owner,1st Van) Captain- x-scy-x (1st season Captain)
Both managers were on Vegas last season and broke off to run their own team together. They went hard for 2 players, defensemen Malkin71_- who will be in his rookie season after buying the double booster, and Goostav_12. Eating up 16 mil in cap between both players, it didn't leave them a whole lot of space for the rest of their roster moving forward. Papadamou88 and teamrun420 are both respectable LD's although Papadamou88 hasn't played more then 28 games in 1 season. With 2.250 in cap, and 10 players on roster they are able to make some moves, whether it be and ELC from the AHL or trading with perhaps a bad team whos selling a top tier player for cheap. I predict Vancouver finishing 5th or 6th in the Pacific with a chance at the playoffs.
Vegas Golden Knights:
Owner- llxMalkin_71xll (2nd season owner) Captain- the-statistician (2nd season Capt)
After a very productive rookie Owner/Captain season that saw them break the regular season record for most wins (70-8-4), Malkin took home the GM of the Year Award and stat took home the Norris Trophy after losing in Game 7 to Carolina in the Stanley Cup Finals. Returning is Real_Deal18 who is arguably the most under appreciated forward in the NHL. atreyal comes over from the Islanders after an offseason trade and was franchise tagged to play along the-statistician on RD. DevinDags is one of the leagues best goaltenders and Yatoupourvous has looked stellar in his first action with an NHL franchise. Vegas still has 6.125 million in cap with only 10 players so they can change around the roster as needed to compete with some of the top teams in the Pacific. I see Vegas finishing 3rd or 4th in the Division and making the playoffs.
My Pacific Predictions:
8. San Jose