The Parity of it All

Such significant roster changes by the non-playoff teams in the offseason doesn’t come without a price…. and that will be paid by the 2005-06 playoff teams.

And we thought we had parity last year with the best playoff run seen in years.

It’s possible that almost all teams in each conference (other than those still relying totally on youth, see Pittsburgh & Washington) could be competing for a playoff spot down the stretch next year.

Over the four years prior to the lockout, there was a change in the top 8 teams in each conference an average of only two teams each year.  Meaning of the eight playoff teams, six teams were there the year before.

There were eight teams that made it all four years, and there were four other teams that succussfullly made it three times.

That’s an elite group to crack.

Detroit never worried about making the playoffs, but instead about trying to get to the second round.  Colorado was shocked when the Canucks took their division title away, but had no worries about missing the playoffs all together.

By my estimation, seven of the bottom teams in the Western Conference have improved significantly enough to make a strong push for a playoff position, perhaps even lead their division.  If that actually happened, one or both of either Colorado or Detoit would end up on the outside looking in.

Both these teams have taken yet another hit to their previously loaded talent pool.  For Colorado; Foote, Forsberg, Tanguay & Blake have said their goodbyes.  Remember Yzerman, Shanahan, Hasek, & Hatcher in Detroit?  No more.

For the second year in a row, these teams have lost significant depth on their roster and stand little chance of pulling through without strong leadership within the team…. and Detoit lost that too with the retirement of Steve Yzerman

Parity is here now, and it should make for some great storylines come next season.

The Chief Canuck

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