Rise or Decline? Atlantic Division

The Maple Leafs’ average age is 25.7 years old and their superstars and core pieces are all under the age of 25. That means the future of Toronto is really, really bright. Does this rebuild take advantage of the rest of the division’s decline?

Montreal Canadiens: 26.3 (average age)

-Shea Weber (31 years old) who is a career average 15 goal scorer is signed for another 8 years at 7.85 million dollars.

-Jeff Petry (29 years old) who is a career average 4 goal scorer is signed for another 4 years at 5.5 million dollars.

The Montreal Canadiens have one of the oldest teams in the Atlantic Division, they have Shea Weber for the next decade, and they have to scrape together enough money to resign Carey Price in the 2018-2019 season. They seem to have a lot of holes in their current lineup and their offence is streaky at best. For these reasons, the Canadiens are on the decline.

Ottawa Senators: 26.2 (average age)

-Bobby Ryan (30 years old) who is a career average 22 goal scorer signed for another 5 years for 7.25 million dollars.

-Mike Hoffman (27 years old) who is a career average 14 goal scorer signed for another 3 years at 5.18 million dollars.

-Dion Phaneuf (31 years old) who is a career average 11 goal scorer signed for another 4 years at 7 million dollars.

Ottawa surprised everyone this season with this playoff run. This season could be the foundation for more future cup runs but if they want to stay good for long, they better get more younger, affordable players. Lucky for them, 6 players will be UFAs next season which could be perfect for a quick retooling of the team. Verdict? Incline.

Boston Bruins: 27.7 years old (average age)

-David Krejci (30 years old) who is a career average 15 goal scorer signed for another 3 years for 7.25 million dollars.

-David Backes (32 years old) who is a career average 20 goal scorer signed for another 3 years 6 million dollars.

-Torey Krug (25 years old) who is a career average 6 goal scorer signed for another 2 years 5.25 million dollars.

Boston has a lot of core pieces (Bergeron, Marchand, and Rask) signed for at least 3 years. But they have a lot of question marks with the overpaid players and the bunch of UFAs and RFAs they have due at the end of this season. If they don’t take advantage and get younger this off season, they will be in big trouble. Verdict? Decline. 

Buffalo Sabres: 25.4 (average age)

Buffalo is in a really good position. They have young, affordable players like Justin Faulk and Jack Eichel. A lot of the veteran players’ contracts are up either this year or the next like Brain Gionta and Dmitry Kulikov which could open up a ton of space for retooling. They have a bright future as well. Verdict? Incline.

Detroit Red Wings: 27.8 (average age)

-Henrik Zetterburg (36 years old) who is a career average 23 goal scorer is signed another 3 years at 6.08 million.

-Frans Nielsen (32 years old) who is a career average 12 goal scorer is signed for another 4 years at 4.25 million dollars.

-Danny DeKeyser (27 years old) who is a career average 4 goal scorer is signed for another 4 years at 5 million dollars.

The Detroit Red Wings have quite a bit of veteran players signed for extended periods of time. On the bright side, they have a lot of young, inexpensive talent such as Dylan Larkin and Anthony Maantha. Another important thing is that they have 3 third round draft picks which could be very useful for a quick turnaround. Verdict? Decline.

Tampa Bay Lightning: 26.2 (average age)

-Steven Stamkos (27 years old) who is a career average 36 goal scorer signed for another 8 years at 8.5 million dollars.

-Ryan Callahan (32 years old) who is a career average 15 goal scorer signed for another 3 years at 5.8 million dollars.

-Alex Killiorn (27 years old) who is a career average 14 goal scorer signed for another 7 years at 4.45 million dollars.

-Victor Hedman (26 years old) who is a career average 8 goal scorer signed for another 8 years at 7.87 million dollars.

Tampa Bay is hard to judge. They have a lot of monster contracts but they have superstars like Steven Stamkos and Jonathan Drouin. If they can stay remotely healthy, this team will definitely be a threat. Verdict? Incline.

Florida Panthers: 27.9 (average age)

-Aleksander Barkov (21 years old) who is a career average 18 goal scorer signed for another 4 years at 5.9 million dollars.

-Rielly Smith (25 years old) who is a career average 12 goal scorer signed for another 5 years at 5 million dollars.

-Roberto Luongo (38 years old) who has a career .919 save percentage is signed for another 5 years at 4.53 million dollars.

-Keith Yandle (30 years old) who is a career average 6 goal scorer signed for another 7 years at 4.45 million dollars.

Florida has a lot of veterans signed for way too long but they have a lot of young talent like Jonathan Huberdeau as well. I give them a 2 year window to win the cup and if they don’t change this team by then, they will definitely be on the decline.

 

This is fantastic news for the Maple Leafs because this means that when they are at their peak, there will be few teams who can compete. This is just a sign of what’s to come.

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