Unfortunately for our fellow hockey lovers to the West, the NHL’s Pacific Division doesn’t possess the parity that will entertain Chicago Blackhawks fans in the Central Division. Nonetheless, this should be great season to watch in the Pacific, and there should be great improvement all around based on last year. On top of all the offseason signings and draft picks, we should be given some great hockey to watch in both the regular season and the playoffs.
Let’s take a look at some of the moves made in the offseason by our conference, but not divisional, foes.
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Anaheim Ducks: The Ducks have had a busy offseason. Matt Beleskey, Emerson Etem, Francois Beauchemin and Kyle Palmieri will not be returning, but the Ducks have added the likes of Carl Hagelin, Mike Santorelli and Kevin Bieksa among others. With ClaytonÂ Stoner’s recent animal cruelty charges, Opening Night will sport a much different team than we experienced last season.
Arizona Coyotes: The Coyotes have been lackluster this offseason. They resigned former Chicago Blackhawks forward Antoine Vermette while exposing the true definition of a trade deadline rental player. They also signed former (thankfully) ‘Hawk defenseman John Scott, former Pittsburgh forward Steve Downie and former Buffalo goaltneder Anders Lindback.
Calgary Flames: The Flames have been relatively quiet this offseason other than adding defenseman Dougie Hamilton via a draft-time trade with the Boston Bruins.
Los Angeles Kings: The Kings will have a much different look this year. Justin Williams, Mike Richards, Slava Voynov and Jarret Stoll are no longer with the team for various reasons, but they were key players in the Kings’ 2012 and 2014 Stanley Cup runs. For some reason, they actually wanted Milan Lucic, so they acquired him via a trade with Boston. Sekera, just mentioned above, is out after a short stay in Los Angeles, while the Kings signed defenseman Christian Ehrhoff and goaltender Jhonas Enroth.
San Jose Sharks: Former ‘Hawks Stanley Cup champ Antti Niemi was not resigned by the Sharks, but he was replaced by Martin Jones, who was acquired via a trade with the Kings. They also signed former Penguins defenseman Paul Martin.
Vancouver Canucks: This offseason saw the departure of defenseman Kevin Bieksa, forward Alex Kassian and goaltender Eddie Lack while the Canucks combated their losses with the addition of forwards Brandon Sutter and Brandon Prust.
With all that in mind, let’s take a crack at the 2015-16 regular-season standings in the Pacific Division.
Next: You'll Be Shocked Who's Last
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