Dynasty Hockey League

Season 33 – Western Conference Numbers

Please note all calculations are driven off best 20 players on rosters. Also at the time of writing Los Angeles was under the cap floor while Detroit, Nashville, St. Louis and Vancouver were all above the cap ceiling.

Team: Anaheim
Overall ranking: 7th
Conference ranking: 4th
Forwards: Overall: 11th Conference: 7th
Defense: Overall: 2th Conference: 1th
Goaltending: Overall: 19th Conference: 10th

Notes: Anaheim are back to playoff contender status after GM Lance made a flurry of moves to strengthen the roster through trades and free agency. He has chosen to go with a strong defense in an effort to shore up relatively mediocre goaltending and this should be adequate to get the Ducks into the post-season dance.

Team: Calgary
Overall ranking: 5th
Conference ranking: 2th
Forwards: Overall: 4th Conference: 2nd
Defense: Overall: 10th Conference: 7th
Goaltending: Overall: 6th Conference: 3rd

Notes: Solid team on the rise that should score enough to overcome the challenges of the defense. The goaltending is in great hands this season with Jacob Markstrom but to be a perennial challenger the GM would be best to pay the price to acquire a young starter capable of growing with this roster. The Flames are a championship contender this season.

Team: Chicago
Overall ranking: 10th
Conference ranking: 7th
Forwards: Overall: 6th Conference: 3rd
Defense: Overall: 15th Conference: 9th
Goaltending: Overall: 10th Conference: 7th

Notes: This is a team that should be in the playoffs and has a few simple trades to make to improve their depth so that they will be able to secure a better playoff seed. However, given the GM, making those simple moves could be more complicated than necessary and the potential exists to screw things up tremendously. Although I thought he didn’t deserve the Epic Failure last season, missing the playoffs this season definitely would make him a strong contender.

Team: Colorado
Overall ranking: 22nd
Conference ranking: 12th
Forwards: Overall: 17th Conference: 10th
Defense: Overall: 25th Conference: 13th
Goaltending: Overall: 15th Conference: 8th

Notes: Colorado is a team that will exceed the sum of its parts. The flaw in these calculations is that they were derived for a league whereby there were goalie minute limits which is not the case in the DHL. As such, Colorado should be able to ride the league’s top goaltender into the playoffs and then be violated like Bobby Trippe.

Team: Columbus
Overall ranking: 20th
Conference ranking: 11th
Forwards: Overall: 23rd Conference: 12th
Defense: Overall: 15th Conference: 9th
Goaltending: Overall: 13th Conference: 6th

Notes: I had to re-examine this roster after doing the various calculations as it shocked me that the GM has stumbled into being a playoff contender. The issue in Columbus will be whether they find enough scoring to actually separate themselves from the other bubble teams – plus does the GM have enough focus to commit to a plan? Look, a squirrel!

Team: Dallas
Overall ranking: 1st (three teams rate the same)
Conference ranking: 1st
Forwards: Overall: 1st Conference: 1st
Defense: Overall: 2nd Conference: 1st
Goaltending: Overall: 13th Conference: 11th

Notes: The rest of the league should be happy that Dallas does not have goaltending because if they did, they would be the odds-on favourite for this season. As it sits, they are among the upper echelon of teams in the West but could be poised for a first round defeat unless they find a solution in net. Given that their window to win in now, I’m surprised more resources weren’t spent to address the goaltending in the off-season.

Team: Detroit
Overall ranking: 14th
Conference ranking: 8th
Forwards: Overall: 8th Conference: 5th
Defense: Overall: 11th Conference: 6th
Goaltending: Overall: 20h Conference: 12th

Notes: Another team that will exceed the sum of its parts during the regular season due to the strength of their goaltending but likely not proceed too deep in the playoffs. Considering the GM’s struggle making the salary cap and finally facing reality that no one other than rebuilding teams are going to trade for inferior veteran players with larger cap hits, this team is still likely going to have to downgrade somewhat before the start of the season. A failure to make the post season could bring forth another Epic failure candidate.

Team: Edmonton
Overall ranking: 27th
Conference ranking: 14th
Forwards: Overall: 25th Conference: 14th
Defense: Overall: 30th Conference: 15th
Goaltending: Overall: 29th Conference: 14th

Notes: Short and sweet – this is another year for Edmonton to build depth for the future. They are not quite deep enough to make a push but they are getting damn close.

Team: Los Angeles
Overall ranking: 29th
Conference ranking: 15th
Forwards: Overall: 29th Conference: 15th
Defense: Overall: 27th Conference: 14th
Goaltending: Overall: 30th Conference: 15th

Notes: After two seasons of being the bridesmaid, the GM pulled the plug on a very competitive roster and demonstrated how tanking should be done. Start and end with craptastic goaltending. Although the opinions on this rebuild are mixed, some of the pieces that the GM secured in harvesting his better assets likely will make LA competitive sooner than even he anticipates and likely takes him out of the “fall hard for Bedard” chase.

Team: Minnesota
Overall ranking: 16th
Conference ranking: 10th
Forwards: Overall: 15th Conference: 9th
Defense: Overall: 13th Conference: 8th
Goaltending: Overall: 17th Conference: 9th

Notes: I’m of the belief that the Wild made a premature push and unless they are the SIM darling this season, they will remain a lottery team – likely with middle of the pack odds that the radomizer seems to rewards. I did pay attention when the move was made for Binnington but it’s almost like the Fates pissed on the GM as Binnington seemed to go to shit right after that deal. With a boat load of picks the GM should have the pieces to strengthen this roster so long as he can find the right trade partners.

Team: Nashville
Overall ranking: 15th
Conference ranking: 9th
Forwards: Overall: 17th Conference: 10th
Defense: Overall: 19th Conference: 11th
Goaltending: Overall: 1st Conference: 1st

Notes: You don’t achieve success having over 25% of your payroll tied up in two goaltenders in the DHL. Even worse is when neither goalie is playing to the level they are getting compensated. Although the Predators have the best goaltending in the league on paper, this is primarily due to having a highly rated back-up. At best this is a bubble team and I would suggest selling whatever they can come the trade deadline as this is a roster in need of quality youth.

Team: San Jose
Overall ranking: 7th
Conference ranking: 4th
Forwards: Overall: 12th Conference: 8th
Defense: Overall: 9th Conference: 5th
Goaltending: Overall: 3rd Conference: 2nd

Notes: One of the teams I believe has a strong chance to represent the West in the Season 33 finals as I feel this is a tremendously balanced team that is going to be a league power for several seasons. Their chances increase if they find a true second line centre once the cap bump arises as Stastny is not that caliber at this stage of his career.

Team: St. Louis
Overall ranking: 6th
Conference ranking: 3rd
Forwards: Overall: 8th Conference: 5th
Defense: Overall: 5th Conference: 3rd
Goaltending: Overall: 9th Conference: 4th

Notes: The evil empire is back in contention but still have a move or two to make prior to making the opening night salary cap. Like Calgary, Dallas and San Jose, this roster is one that could win the West in Season 33 and it would not surprise anyone. However, given the lack of depth in net, one injury to Fleury will have the Blues in a steaming pile of caa-caa that will be tough to get around.

Team: Vancouver
Overall ranking: 9th
Conference ranking: 6th
Forwards: Overall: 7th Conference: 4th
Defense: Overall: 6th Conference: 4th
Goaltending: Overall: 18th Conference: 10th

Notes: I like to refer to Vancouver as the Canadian Dallas because if either Merzlikins or Lankinen had been decent in the first half of the NHL season, this team would have been a lock for the post season. However, they both were pedestrian at best and given the current cap struggles and resources available to find an improvement, the Canucks have some challenge ahead of themselves just to make the playoffs.

Team: Vegas
Overall ranking: 24th
Conference ranking: 13th
Forwards: Overall: 25th Conference: 13th
Defense: Overall: 20th Conference: 12th
Goaltending: Overall: 20th Conference: 13th

Notes: Vegas is in an awkward spot in that they are too good to be a solid tanker but nowhere good enough to be a playoff threat. The best hope is that the GM finds some solid later round prospects in the draft and starts to lay the foundation for the future. Unfortunately, with lower 1sts, all it seems to do is prolong the rebuild.

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