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This offseason has been one to remember; big names moving, and teams making drastic changes. Here is a list of the top 3 winners of the NHL offseason so far.
3. New York Rangers:
Trying to be as unbiased as possible, the New York Rangers have brought themselves back into contention, and also have helped prepare themselves for the future.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) June 26, 2017
The Rangers started by moving Derek Stephan and Antii Raanta to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Tony Deanglo and the 7th overall pick, though this trade seems kind of lop sided, it did A LOT for the Rangers. Not only did it gave them cap space, but got them a young defenseman and a top 10 pick. This may not be the best move they could have made to win the cup now, but Stepan had seemed to have plateaued, and Raanta was unneeded with the presence of Lundqvist. It also helps fill the farm for the Rangers future.
Not only did the Stephan trade help fill the farm, it also helped with the cap. It allowed the Rangers to sign top free agent Kevin Shattenkirk to a 4-year deal, which is a HUGE addition to the roster. The Rangers also used this cap to resign defenseman Brendan Smith, center Mika Zibanjad, and sign backup goalie Ondrej Pavelec. The Rangers were also able to buy out defenseman Dan Girardi, who had been getting notably worse since 2015. This helped free up more cap space in the future and helped add another roster spot. With all the new additions and very few losses, I rank the Rangers as the 3rd best winner this off season.
2. Arizona Coyotes
The Arizona Coyotes have finally seemed to get themselves out of a decade rebuild and made their roster something to cherish while it lasts, despite losing long time Goalie Mike Smith, and Captian Shane Doan. The Coyotes were able to build to their strong roster, as they added Derek Stephan, who is a #1 center, added Goalie Antii Raanta who can be an NHL level starter, and highly improved their defense by adding Niklas Hjalmarsson to the roster.
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) July 6, 2017
Even though they lost 2 fan favorite players, they got younger, added a top center, a starting Goalie, and a top 4 Defenseman. Along with there current core, they look like they could go up the standings, and though it may not make then contenders, it looks like there finally getting out of the basement of the NHL. That’s why I rank them the 2nd best winner this offseason.
1. Dallas Stars
The Dallas Stars, after a disappointing season, seem to have filled their bad holes and put themselves back into contender form. They finally fixed there goaltending issue by aquiring Ben Bishop, which alone will change there entire franchise and likely end there horrible goalie issue in past years. Then they were able to add a solid top 4 defenseman Mark Methot from a trade with the Golden Knights and acquired a top 6 forward in Marin Hanzel. Their best signing came in the addition of Alexander Radulov, who is a first line player, and along with Seguin and Benn will make a deadly player.
The Dallas Stars have signed forward Alexander Radulov to a five-year, $31.25-million contract. https://t.co/Nf1f6FUAxm
— Dallas Stars (@DallasStars) July 3, 2017
On top of all of this, they were also able to get the 3rd overall pick in the draft and select Defenseman Miro Heiskanen. The Stars had an off year last season but seemed to make all the right moves and fill all the holes. And with the improvement in goaltending, I believe that the Stars are quickly returning to a top team and finally ready to be a serious contender for the Stanley Cup, and that’s why I give them the #1 winner this offseason.