Making the Playoffs

With the leveling of the playing field for teams via the the salary cap, there is even more desire and potential profitability by NHL owners for reaching the playoffs each year.

This is one reason the NHL board of govenors have considered expanding the playoffs to include a play-in round for teams finishing 7-10th in the standings.

It’s also why we saw so much free agent spending by non-playoff teams.

The general consensus last year was that there had been more parity in the NHL than in any recent memory – meaning in the dead-puck era.  We saw some big shifts in spending with NY Rangers, Detroit, and Colorado having to pare down their spending, and teams like Edmonton and Columbus spending a bit more.  The result was a great run for the playoffs down the stretch where every morning teams jumped or fell as many as 4 spots in the standings.

Consider the non-playoff teams in the Western Conference:  Vancouver, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Phoenix, Columbus, Chicago, & St. Louis. 

All other than Columbus have made significant roster improvements to their collective teams.  And a case could be made that Columbus will be better next year if they don’t get the injury bug again.

You’d think on paper that at a minimum the changes made in Vancouver, Los Angeles, Minnesota, & St. Louis would be enough to push them up into a playoff position.

But who then is going to fall out.  Surely not a Detroit or Colorado who’ve consistently made the playoffs for the last 10 years?

Well, maybe… 

The Chief Canuck

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