Last season, the Metropolitan Division was the toughest in the NHL, producing the Stanley Cup champ, the regular season champ and three of the top four teams in the overall standings.
How’s the division shaping up for 2017-18 after a summer of change for a few of its eight teams?
This week, CSN is taking a look at each club's offseason moves and predicting how they’ll do this winter.
Team: Carolina Hurricanes
2016-17 Results: 36-31-15 (87 points). Seventh in division, 12th in conference. Did not reach the playoffs.
Notable acquisitions: F Justin Williams, F Josh Jooris, G Scott Darling, D Trevor van Riemsdyk, F Marcus Kruger
Notable departures: F Jay McClement, G Eddie Lack
2017-18 Hurricanes analysis and prediction: Carolina is arguably the most improved team this offseason and also return a stong, young core. The most important move was the trade for goalie Scott Darling. The Hurricanes were ranked 26th in team save percentage last season. If Darling can provide consistency in net, that will be a huge boost. Carolina finished last season eight points out of the playoffs. Even with some questions on offense, they can easily make up that gap with the improvements they made.
Team: New Jersey Devils
2016-17 Results: 28-40-17 (70 points). Eighth in division, 16th in conference. Did not reach the playoffs.
Notable acquisitions: F Nico Hischier, F Brian Boyle, F Marcus Johansson
Notable departures: F Michael Cammalleri, D Mirco Mueller, D Jon Merrill
2017-18 Devils analysis and prediction: After years of looking like they had no direction, there may finally be light at the end of the tunnel for New Jersey. The Devils improved tremendously on offense with Nico Hischier, the top overall draft pick, and Marcus Johansson. Did they do enough to end their five-year playoff drought? Probably not, but they did take a big step in the right direction.
Team: New York Islanders
2016-17 Results: 41-29-12 (94 points). Fifth in division, 9th in conference. Did not reach the playoffs.
Notable acquisitions: F Jordan Eberle
Notable departures: G Jean-Francois Berube, D Travis Hamonic, F Ryan Strome
2017-18 Islanders analysis and prediction: After firing Jack Capuano midseason, the Islanders went 24-12 under Doug Weight. They then proceeded to do little to help him in the offseason. Jordan Eberle is a solid addition and their three-goalie headache is now solved thanks to J.F. Berube going to Vegas. But this is a team that did not make the playoffs last year and did very little to improve, banking instead on their prospects being able to contribute enough to get them over the edge. To go with the concerns on the ice, there is also a major concern off of it as they will have to deal with the headache of John Tavares nearing free agency without an extension. The noise surrounding Tavares' status will only get louder as the season goes on. Can they compete for a playoff spot? Sure, but they will ultimately be watching the postseason from home.
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