NHL Grades: Offseason report cards are due

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

More NHL offseason: Rumors | Top 50 Free Agents | Buyout Tracker | Trades | Transactions

The dust has mostly all settled and the new season is just around the corner, starting in just a couple of weeks. So before we look ahead to the season let's look back and hand out grades for every team's summer reading assignments (on a related note, I was always incredulous when teachers gave you homework to do over the summer).

TeamGradeAnalysis
BThe Ducks weren't terribly busy in the land of free agency after taking care of Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf extensions but made their big move via trade when they finally sent Bobby Ryan packing and got Jakob Silfverberg as the headliner of a return. It wasn't a bad deal in the long run but right now I don't see a better team.
TeamGradeAnalysis
B-GM Peter Chiarelli didn't really have many options, he had to go to splittsville with some of his team. That darn cap. A few very big pieces of their recent success left but Chiarelli did get a really good player in Loui Eriksson as the return for Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley. The Jarome Iginla deal is interesting but I don't love it, especially at full potential price.
TeamGradeAnalysis
CA C grade is an average grade and the Sabres' summer was completely average (we're leaving fashion ideas out of this). Considering where this franchise is headed, it was the prudent thing to stay quiet and not spend in free agency. It's going to be a rough year or three, adding players this summer wouldn't help much.
TeamGradeAnalysis
C-Very similar story to the Sabres here except they did a little more out of necessity and let's just say I don't really love the little more. Acquiring Shane O'Brien and David Jones in a trade? Sure. Landing T.J. Galiardi? OK. Not great moves but OK. But giving two years and $5.5 million to Karri Ramo to be in goal? Expensive gamble.
TeamGradeAnalysis
C+Again, C for average, just average. The Canes might have been talking but as far as action they mostly sat on their hands. The big additions -- I use "big" loosely -- were Mike Komisarek and Nathan Gerbe. Well them and Anton Khudobin. That was an excellent contract at one year and less than $1 million. Just don't see much improvement on D, if any.
TeamGradeAnalysis
B+I think there's absolutely something to be said for keeping the championship band together and perhaps for better or worse, Stan Bowman mostly did it. He also added some depth in guys like Theo Peckham, Mike Kostka and Brad Winchester. Biggest criticism (besides the price paid for re-signing a couple guys)? Giving $2 million to Nikolai Khabibulin to back up.
TeamGradeAnalysis
C+Another team that wasn't interested in doing much, the Avs made their major mark with Nathan MacKinnon at the draft. They let a few veterans go like Milan Hejduk, Greg Zanon and Chuck Kobasew, fitting in with the youthful approach so that's consistent (and good), but I still see a very underwhelming defensive corps.
TeamGradeAnalysis
BThe Blue Jackets are willing to ride the wave from the end of last season that was most likely something they can't repeat but I like how they avoided most of the drama in re-signing Sergei Bobrovsky and definitely don't hate the Nathan Horton deal, though his injury stings. Scoring will still be a concern even with Marian Gaborik to start.
TeamGradeAnalysis
BDallas made a splash early but has remained quiet. Perhaps that's because they massive upgraded center in the span of 24 hours with Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley and Shawn Horcoff. They're up there in age and that's a concern but I was a fan of the Seguin move, even if it cost them Loui Eriksson. Seguin still has superstar potential.
TeamGradeAnalysis
A-I'm probably a little higher than most on their summer but I did like their big additions of Daniel Alfredsson for just the one season and Stephen Weiss while seeing Valtteri Filppula walk. The status of Danny Cleary remains of interest but even if he doesn't come back, the Wings look like a better club to me for this season.
TeamGradeAnalysis
B+A summer of massive shakeup it was not but the headliner move of landing David Perron was solid. He should fit in well with an exciting young group of forwards while Andrew Ference should help the defense even if it was a big deal. I liked the addition of Boyd Gordon, just not at the price of $9 million over three years.
TeamGradeAnalysis
CRebuilding team, stayed quiet in the offseason; rinse and repeat. It was clear this summer that the Panthers were going to just turn the keys over to the kids with the only notable addition being Scott Gomez for veteran support. They let some veterans just go like longtime Panther Stephen Weiss but they're turning over a new leaf.
TeamGradeAnalysis
B-Similar to the Hawks I like how they have kept the group together and I do think they did pretty well to not only get two players for Jonathan Bernier but get the Leafs to send cap space as well but a few signings make me scratch my head a little. They are stocked on defense; why spend cap space on Keaton Ellerby and Jeff Schultz?
TeamGradeAnalysis
C+When your big additions are Matt Cooke and Keith Ballard you know it wasn't a huge summer. They let some veterans go in Tom Gilbert, Cal Clutterbuck and Pierre-Marc Bouchard so it's time for some of the kids to start growing up because the Wild still need help scoring. However it was smart of Chuck Fletcher to hold on to some cap space.
TeamGradeAnalysis
C-Well I will give the Habs one thing; they identified a need and went after it. That was a need to become bigger and face-punchier. Add in George Parros, Douglas Murray and Nasty Nick Tarnasky for mission accomplished. Of course that does very little to help the team improve and giving Danny Briere $8 million for two years was not one I liked.
TeamGradeAnalysis
CThe little spending spree in free agency was a bit of a surprise and it didn't seem entirely fruitful either. The best signing of the bunch in my book was Viktor Stalberg but I didn't love the other deals including Matt Hendricks for four years or leaving the backup goaltending to Carter Hutton. What saved it was getting Seth Jones in the draft.
TeamGradeAnalysis
BAnother team I will probably put higher than others, I liked their summer overall. I think Lou Lamoriello got a coup with landing Cory Schneider and I loved the signing of Michael Ryder as well as the Jaromir Jagr deal. I didn't love the Ryane Clowe deal at all, though, and they will probably still struggle this season without Ilya Kovalchuk.
TeamGradeAnalysis
BIt's rather amazing how the perception has changed on Garth Snow, isn't it? Now he can do little wrong. It would have been a very good summer for the Isles since they took the chance to get out of Rick DiPietro's deal but I didn't like the decision to stick with Evgeni Nabokov. I thought they had a shot to improve there but didn't.
TeamGradeAnalysis
C-The Rangers weren't able to spend in free agency as they normally do because they had internal issues to take care of. They're still trying to take care of them. Bringing in Benoit Pouliot and Dominic Moore has stretched them thin on cap space that re-signing Derek Stepan is proving a real challenge and that hurts..
TeamGradeAnalysis
AI know it stings to see Daniel Alfredsson leave but are they not a better team with the additions of Bobby Ryan and the underrated move of signing Clarke MacArthur? I say they absolutely are. Beyond adding Joe Corvo for veteran depth on D, they otherwise made sure to keep the young core together all while keeping loads of cap space. A very good summer.
TeamGradeAnalysis
A-Wait, is that a good summer grade for the Flyers? Why yes, yes it is. The Vincent Lecavalier deal was perhaps a little long but the cap hit ended up not looking bad at all, especially when compared to what Briere cost them. Then getting Ray Emery for cheap was a real solid move. The defense is still worrisome but I do like inviting Hal Gill to camp.
TeamGradeAnalysis
D+I'm being a little harsh on the Coyotes here I know but for the first time they had some money to spend and room to go above the floor, spending most all of that on big deals for Mike Smith and Mike Ribeiro isn't the best way, I don't think. Smith really had one good year to prove he's worth his deal and Ribeiro is a good playmaker but limited overall. A+ for ownership resolution and staying put, however.
TeamGradeAnalysis
B+Similar to the Hawks and Kings, their business was taken care of their own players and keeping them. It cost them but they re-signed Kris Letang, Evgeni Malkin and Pascal Dupuis while letting some slower veterans go like Douglas Murray and yes, Jarome Iginla. Rob Scuderi isn't much quicker but bringing him back should definitely help the D. Losing Matt Cooke could hurt more than many expect, however.
TeamGradeAnalysis
C+Really not much going on for San Jose this summer so the grade is more indicative of average/little work than what they did or didn't do. The best moves were re-signing Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski to extensions and I like the quiet additions of Tyler Kennedy and Scott Hannan. Let's put it this way; I don't think they're worse.
TeamGradeAnalysis
BThe Blues have had things working so they're keeping everybody around that's part of the team going forward. They wanted to get a top center but struck out on the best options. Still, they could do worse than Derek Roy. But they need to get Alex Pietrangelo re-signed. The good news is that Doug Armstrong made sure to leave the space to do it. Extra credit for that
TeamGradeAnalysis
CI'm not sure I really understood buying out Vincent Lecavalier only to turn around and give Valterri Filppula $25 million over five seasons. It got them a little younger at a slightly lower cost but I'm not sure about better. Other than that, pretty unremarkable summer. Not much better, not much worse and for a team that was 28th, that's not so great.
TeamGradeAnalysis
DI hesitated giving the Leafs a grade this low as I don't kneel at the altar of advanced stats and want to be willing to give them a shot, but overall the moves are tough to love. That was a lot of money for Tyler Bozak and David Clarkson, they didn't need to land Jonathan Bernier and pay the Kings in the process all while putting themselves in cap jail. What's really to like?
TeamGradeAnalysis
D+The low grade here is a culmination of the way the goaltending situation was handled more than anything else. In the end they might have got a very good player for Cory Schneider in Bo Horvat but the whole thing was botched. Then for the big club the cap crushed them so the additions were Mike Santorelli, Yannick Weber and Brad Richardson. There have been better summers.
TeamGradeAnalysis
A-As usual, George McPhee stayed away from most of the action but signing Mikhail Grabovski late was a big win, especially compared to the man he will replace in Mike Ribeiro and his deal in Phoenix. Other than that it was re-signing young guys like Karl Alzner (to a very good deal, I might add) and Marcus Johansson. While improving their cap space I think they also slightly improved on the ice.
TeamGradeAnalysis
C-The Jets' summer was mostly spent re-signing players so it's kind of troublesome that they have less than $3 million in cap space after spending to keep a core that hasn't made the playoffs yet together. I'm not sure how much Michael Frolik and Devin Setoguchi will help them get over the hump either but they could still be a playoff team in that division.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre

nhl Video

June 9, 2014
Brian Stubits talks Stanley Cup (4:31)
1 June 3, 2014
Ed Olczyk talks Stanley Cup Final
(3:46)
2 June 3, 2014
Ed Olczyk talks Martin St. Louis
(1:48)

Latest

Most Popular

CBSSports.com Shop