Who’s Over Rated and Under Rated in the NHL (2015-2016)

Ramblings, Sports

I had to make this post.

Reading online postings, news articles, and the “pundits” opinions, I had to compile a list of who is over rated and under rated in the NHL and explain why. So you may ask, who qualifies? Well, players, teams, general managers, and coaches all do. Prepare to be enraged or smile.

Under Rated

I’ll start off with the positives. Who I believe is under rated in the National Hockey League.

The Vancouver Canucks

Reading online forums and opinions from fans, you would think the Vancouver Canucks will be a lottery team next year. The opposite is true, actually.

The year before fans said they would be a lottery team. What has changed? They have gotten rid of the misfits in their organization. Kevin Bieksa (I love him) with all due respect was terrible last year, Zack Kassian sucked, Eddie Lack was not a starter, and Nick Bonino was too inconsistent. Who is coming in for those guys?

Good guy Brandon Prust, good guy Brandon Sutter, top AHL goalie and prospect Jakob Markstrom, and lots of fast young guys.

No, this team will not suck. They will be decent and finish once again in the playoffs. The only logical reason you could say they miss is solely due to the fact you may believe a lot of their division rivals got better. Yes, the Oilers have gotten better and if they keep making the right moves, they will be a playoff team eventually. The Kings and Sharks are the true question mark.

The Minnesota Wild

A good core? Check. A well run organization? Check.

Fans think this team may also miss the playoffs after the Canucks. The furthest thing from the truth. They are a lock.

And they have a nice young core on the backend that includes names such as Matt Dumba and Jonas Brodin.

The only question is if Devan Dubnyk holds up. I feel behind that defense he has a chance to.

Coach Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning

I heard comments from people saying Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning of the coach sucks.

What?

I would gladly let him coach my Canucks if Willie Desjardins was let go tomorrow. He is a damn good coach.

You take him off the Lightning and tell me how many coaches would get that team into the finals like they did last year. Seriously impressive, and he’s won everywhere he’s gone.

There is no way he sucks as a coach. I’d put him in my top five list of coaches.

Big Jake Virtanen

I have heard from many he is a bust or would be lucky to get in the top twenty this year in the NHL draft.

Wrong. He is the most NHL ready prospect I have seen from the 2014 draft that has yet to play a game.

He ragdolled guys in the AHL. Just because his point totals don’t make you raise your eyes doesn’t mean he is a bust.

He will play in this league and he will be good. Just watch. He will be like Cam Neely. He will be a goal scorer who can hit. He won’t be an elite playmaker but he can play.

Over Rated

Now here comes the boos. Prepare to be annoyed if you are a fan of any of these teams, players, or personnel.

The Buffalo Sabres (Tim Murray, their prospect pool, and shitty moves)

An easy choice quite frankly. And the top choice.

You would think reading forums that the Sabres were going to contend for the stanley cup or win multiple cups within five years.

Wrong.

The move for Ryan O’ Reilly was fucking stupid. Eight million for a guy who gets sixty points and does what else? At the expense of one of their youngest defensemen as well as top prospect Grigorenko?

The owner himself Mr. Terry Pegula said the last two seasons have been the most successful in Sabres history. What!?

And their starting goalie who they gave up a first round pick for Robin Lehner. Wow.

Watching Tim Murray whine about missing the first overall pick was great TV. Jack Eichel must be happy as hell to play for the next Edmonton Oilers organization.

This team is going to be a trainwreck, just watch.

Ted Nolan will be laughing his ass off when they do. He sure should have been fired (in a sarcastic tone I say that).

Tanking is never rewarded in the league, Tim. We should rename him and Terry Pegula to tweedle dee and tweedle dum.

The poor fans think they have a chance at the playoffs next year. Laugh my ass off.

The Winnipeg Jets (And their stupid prospect pool)

You would think reading comments from fans of the NHL that the Jets, just like the Sabres, will be champions in five years due to “the depth of their prospect pool”.

That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

One glance at their prospect pool will show you how that is a bold lie. There is not one player from their “prospect pool” I could say that “I want that guy on my team”.

Little Nik Ehlers who the Canucks passed on for a reason will be walloped when he reaches the big leagues. After that they have a slew of AHL players and fourth line players.

Congrats guys, you are well on your way to a few eighth seeds and first round exits for the next five years.

I love the fans of this team and I’m also a fan of the team, but seriously, a prospect pool full of depth doesn’t make a team a contender for the next ten years.

The Calgary Flames Offseason Moves (and somwhat…their potential)

I didn’t want to throw gasoline on the Flames and say their whole organization is over rated. I just find the moves they made this offseason…over rated.

Dougie Hamilton, Frolik from the Jets. Okay. Frolik will be an elite third liner. But claiming Dougie Hamilton is the answer to pushing them over the top could not be further from the truth.

Bruins fans hated this guy. He was a turnover machine last year. He is what this topic is about. He’s not a future Norris winner. He is average. A second pairing defenseman at best.

I also think Gaudreau and Monahan will not repeat the success they had last year. But that’s just me. Sam Bennett is coming in, though?

I can’t act bitter about this team since they owned my Canucks in the playoffs this last season. But there is something about them I can’t put my finger on. I really do see them as another Colorado. A lot of young talent that peaked one year and regressed the next. No way do they get as many come from behind wins as they did this last year.

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GM Jim Benning Has Done a “Good” Job

Sports

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The keyword is in the quotes, good.

Not great, not bad, good.

Every time I read hockey forums people are quick to bash general manager Jim Benning of the Vancouver Canucks for his moves. Such as how he gave away 2nd/3rd pairing Jason Garrison for scraps. And not to forget he essentially got rid of Ryan Kesler for Nick Bonino and Derek Dorsett.

First off, Kesler for Bonino in a few years will look like a solid trade. When I watched the Anaheim Ducks play over the last year Bonino was a solid second/third liner who played a hard game and racked up more points than Ryan Kesler did. Kesler has been hurt and horrible ever since the cup run in 2011.

Hearing how Kesler wanted to leave Vancouver for a cup and handcuffed them into only accepting a trade to either Anaheim or Chicago speaks volumes. The fact Benning got a decent return for him is incredible. He was a waste of money. Good riddance to him. He won’t win a cup in Anaheim either with Bruce Boudreau as the man in charge. That guy is the worst playoff coach in the league next to Dan Bylsma and Alain Vigneault. They should be called the three stooges come playoff time.

After ranting about Kesler, Benning made a solid hire for his vacant coaching position. Willie Desjardins has a solid track record and has won everywhere outside of the NHL. He also plays a high tempo game, unlike coach Tortorella. He also wants to be here and did not accept an offer from Pittsburgh, again, unlike Tortorella who lived in freaking Point Roberts, Washington and as a result constantly canceled practices.

Then we have the Ryan Miller pickup for 6 million a year and Radim Vrbata for five. Those are a bit steep, but decent acquisitions. Eddie Lack is not ready to be the man in charge. In a few years he may be. Ryan Miller only failed in St. Louis and apparently the goalie coach was horrible while he was there (he got fired after the season ended).

Radim Vrbata has a decent track record on the Coyotes and the contract length is not long at all. If he sucks after his first year, well, there’s only a year left. And if he turns out good after his first year, the contract is a success.

And I really liked the Canucks selection at 6th overall in the 2014 NHL Draft of Jake Virtanen from Abbotsford. Just a good BC boy who looks tough as nails, is big, and can skate. If he pans out we will have a very solid tandem in the future with him and Horvat. Two good Canadian kids who aren’t afraid to throw their bodies around. A change from Mike Gillis drafting 5 foot tall figure skaters.

I’m excited about this season as a loyal Canucks fan and think these moves have been solid. The key was to getting rid of John Tortorella (one of the worst coaches I’ve ever seen in the NHL, not just his Canucks season but also his time on the Rangers) and Ryan “never will win a ring” Kesler. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Canucks are neck and neck with Anaheim next season. Yeah I wouldn’t put my hopes up with the Canucks competing against the tough LA Kings but don’t be surprised if Anaheim looks silly picking up Kesler and getting rid of Bonino. Again, Kesler has not looked good for years.

Exhale Canucks fans.