THings have gone from a total disaster, to a rebuild, to a young promising team, to a total disaster again. How do we fix this team so that next year we take big steps forward?
1. Fire Jack Capuano. He has never ha success at any pro level. He has no passion. There is no excuse for his players underachieving so mightily besides his incompetence. The special teams are abysmal, we can't hold leads, there are questionable line changes, and misuse of assets. He simply can't will this team to win, and doesn't have the technical ability to help this team succeed either. Replace him with a fiery, experience head coach who can bring this team to the next level.
2. Trade Vanek and MacDonald for whatever you can get. Vanek should be able to haul in a 1st round pick, a solid prospect, and another piece or two. MacDonald should be able to haul in a late 1st or 2nd and a prospect in my opinion.
3. Get a damn goalie for once. Miller is out of the question, as his limited NTC stated he would not accept a trade to the Isles, so he won't sign here. If you can't sign Halak or Hiller, then you need to go for a high potential tandem. Try to bring in a combo of Brian Elliot, Ray Emery, Anton Khudobin, Tim Thomas, Ilya Bryzgalov, etc. Also explore the trade route, maybe someone like Cam Ward will be available?
4. Reload offensively. JT, Okposo won't be enough. You can't expect guys like Bailey and Grabner to bounce back big time, but you need to keep them around. You have guys like Nielsen, Clutterbuck, Cizikas, and Martin who will be reliable in the bottom 6, but we don't know what we will get with Strome, Nelson, Lee, etc. You need to bring in a top line winger to replace what we've had in the past, and if you can't get Vanek or Gaborik, at least get one of Cammaleri, Michalek, Moulson, Hemsky, Vrbata, etc. Then you have toy bring in a guy for line 2, like Heatley, Setoguchi, Grabovski, etc.
5. Revamp defense. You can expect Lubo, Hamonic, Hickey, and De Haan back. I hope we don't plan on Strait being a part of this team as more than what Carkner is this year, a 7th man. That leave sue with 2 spots, one of which will go to Griffen Reinhart, the other of which should go to a free agent. Garth has no excuses. Last year on LI, he has to get this team's fans back on board. The UFA market is thin. You can get a guy like Markov, Boyle, or Robidas on a one year deal? That would be awesome, but the trade route makes more sense. It may be worth giving up assets for someone like PK Subban, or at least offering him a contract (RFA). He would cost a lot but given that he's an RFA and had some contract issues with MTL in the past, they may trade him. It would cost a hell of a lot. Ryan Pulock definitely would be going the other way, if not Reinhart, and a 1st round pick, and more. But it might be worth it.
This team needs a lot of work but its time to stop playing games and making sideways moves in the offseason. Time to UPGRADE, and get rid of the coach, and stop banking on young players stepping up when there's noe evidence they will. Next season starts in the next 48 hours when vane and Mac are dealt, Let's start it off right