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  • Power Rankings: It's good to be the Kings Print
    Features
    Written by Blake Benzel   
    Sunday, 17 June 2012 01:33

    Los Angeles Kings

    The season is over, the Stanley Cup has been won and now everyone is looking ahead to the draft. It seems only fitting, now, that we take a look back with our final rankings of the season.

    1) Los Angeles Kings – The Kings won the first Stanley Cup in franchise history and, from what we can tell, are having a little fun with the Cup (http://mediagallery.usatoday.com/Los+Angeles+Kings'+Cup+celebrations/G4001,A12716)

    2) New Jersey Devils – So, now that the pesky Cup Final is over, the Parise Watch is underway. He's already said "no" to the New York Rangers.

    3) New York Rangers – While 1994 might seem a little far away now, the Rangers can at least take up the rallying cry, “At least we’re not the Leafs.”

    4) Phoenix Coyotes – The ongoing ownership saga might be drawing to a close, which means we may have to get used to referring to someone as the owner of the Phoenix Coyotes. Weird.

    5) Washington Capitals – With Dale Hunter out as coach of the Capitals, the search is on. It might be a safe bet to say that there is more than one person who hopes the next coach gives a certain No. 8 a few more minutes on the ice.

    6) Philadelphia Flyers – Crazy playoff stat of the year: Claude Giroux finished fourth in points in the playoffs in only 10 games. It’s a good thing the Flyers shored up their goaltending last offseason so that his performance counted for something.

    7) Nashville Predators – Here’s three words that the Predators had hoped would never be uttered about Ryan Suter. Testing. Free. Agency.

    8) St. Louis Blues – Potential bad news: John Davidson might be leaving the St. Louis Blues.

    9) Florida Panthers – The Panthers extended the contract of Dale Tallon in the wake of their successful 2011-12 campaign. That is, of course, if they remembered to fax the paperwork.

    10) Pittsburgh Penguins – The Pens finally have a solid veteran option behind Marc-Andre Fleury, with the acquisition of Tomas Vokoun. Who knows? Maybe the competition will be good for Flower.

    11) Boston Bruins – Tim Thomas is officially taking a year off which is, essentially, just code for retirement.

    12) Ottawa Senators – Erik Karlsson hopes to have a season like Drew Doughty did this season. Meanwhile, the Senators just hope to avoid that contract dispute.

    13) Chicago Blackhawks – You know it’s the offseason when the fact that Patrick Sharp bought a mansion for $2.95 million is news.

    14) Detroit Red Wings – The bad news? Nicklas Lidstrom’s illustrious NHL career has come to an end. The good news? The Red Wings now have an extra $6.2 million reasons for Ryan Suter to sign in Motown.

    15) San Jose Sharks – The Sharks acquired the rights to defenseman Brad Stuart, because that should solve all the problems that have kept them from winning the Stanley Cup the last few seasons.

    16) Vancouver Canucks – Well isn’t this a kick in the pants? The Canucks are taking Mason Raymond to arbitration to give him a paycut.

    17) Calgary Flames – With the hiring of Bob Hartley, the Flames took a pretty big step toward making the playoffs next season. Of course, making some moves in the offseason wouldn’t hurt either.

    18) Buffalo Sabres – File this under expected news: Terry Pegula promising Stanley Cups to the Sabres’ fans might have put pressure on the team. Imagine that.

    19) Tampa Bay Lightning – The Lightning hope they have found their goalie of the present and future in Anders Lindback. Given the history of other Nashville goalies, oneSemyon Varlamov would be inclined to say he’ll be pretty good.

    20) Colorado Avalanche – The Washington Capitals announced that they’ll take the Avs’ second-round pick in 2012, which means that the Avs will have just one pick in the top 70 picks of this year’s entry draft. As good as Semyon Varlamov was for Colorado, that’s still a steep price to pay.

    21) Winnipeg Jets – The Jets have hired former Habs assistant coach Perry Pearn as an assistant. Wouldn’t it be fitting if Pearn found out the news an 90 minutes before he was scheduled for a tee time?

    22) Dallas Stars – It sounds like the Stars might be trying to move into the first round of the draft. Good thing, too, because can anyone tell us who they used that first round pick on?

    23) Minnesota Wild – Imagine this – the Wild are going to throw the farm at Zach Parise if he goes to free agency. Of course, it’s going to be them and 29 other teams.

    24) Carolina Hurricanes – The Hurricanes announced their preseason schedule on Tuesday, showing that the team will play eight games in 10 days, including five on the road. This is either going to work out great for them or backfire horribly.

    25) Anaheim Ducks – The Ducks are planning to cut loose Niklas Hagman and Jason Blake, which isn’t a real big surprise. What is surprising is that they’re clearing $7 million in payroll by doing so.

    26) Toronto Maple Leafs – The Toronto Maple Leafs and Roberto Luongo. Seems like a great match, because if Luongo couldn’t handle Vancouver, Toronto will be a cakewalk.

    27) Montreal Canadiens – The Habs brought on Michel Therrien as coach, and we can say one thing about the move for sure. He speaks French.

    28) New York Islanders – So, how many lottery picks do you think it will take for the Isles to stop getting lottery picks?

    29) Edmonton Oilers – Three No. 1 overall draft picks in three years. That’s one way to keep your fan base energized.

    30) Columbus Blue Jackets – How unlucky can a franchise get? The Blue Jackets finish last in the league, they can’t trade their biggest asset, they trade their biggest offseason acquisition, only to see him win the Cup and they can’t even win the draft lottery. Bummer. 

    You can follow us on Twitter @HockeyPrimetime and Blake @bcbenzel.

    Photos by Getty Images

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