Offseasons are marked by one constant -- change. That held true with management, coaches, players, philosophies, you name it; everything was up for audit this summer.
The Islanders hired
Beyond that, though,
Even the upper crust of management saw a trend continue with an infusion of big names.
The Detroit Red Wings have operated with this collective mindset approach under GM
Teams typically follow the wave of success on the ice as well and retool and retrench accordingly. But this year it isn't as clear as to what type of team will lead to the ultimate prize. The Ducks won the Stanley Cup in 2007 with a bruising, brawling style, while the 2008 Detroit championship team was all about skating, passing and puck possession. No one will deny that both teams had the requisite blend of skilled veterans and emerging stars.
More than anything, though, both teams put a premium on mobile, puck-moving defensemen that were essential elements to the attack. Thus,
So, plodding and marauding on the blueline is definitely giving way to passing and pushing the pace from the back end. But up front, teams seem divided. For instance, the Capitals pummeled their way into the playoffs with a group of big, bruising, banging forwards leading the way. The Flames got bigger and grittier this summer by adding
Like every summer, change has been constant. But, if you look closely, it isn't nearly as random -- at every level of the business -- as it may first appear.