Six players whose comebacks are key to their teams' fortunes
So much is made of offseason moves and how they might improve a team's chances in the upcoming season. Often, though, the best chance for improvement is a bounce-back season from a regular who is already in the mix. With that in mind, here's my All-Bounce-Back Team for 2009-10.
Coming off the worst season of his career, Turco is also entering the final season of his contract. Both are excellent motivators for the ultra-competitive, acrobatic netminder. Turco has spent hours reviewing tape of last season and feels he has zeroed in on key components of his game that he can refine and improve. The Stars need him to return to All-Star form for them to be viable in the Western Conference. Playing behind a young-ish defense corps and with new coach
Phaneuf struggled mightily last season, scoring only four power play goals -- and that was not at the root of the bruising blueliner with the big shot's problems. At minus-11, he was the worst plus-minus defenseman on the team -- not a position you want your top time-on-ice player to be in. And while plus-minus can be misleading, it can be telling when comparing players at the same position on the same team.
Consider, then, teammates
Suter falls into the same category as Phaneuf from the standpoint that he is the Predator who plays the most. Yet, last season Suter's minus-16 was the worst on the entire squad.
No team revamped its roster more than Montreal. GM
Briere shunned the Canadiens as a free agent a couple of summers ago, instead leaving Buffalo for Philly. To say it hasn't gone well is an understatement. Injuries have been his biggest downfall, as he was only able to play 29 games last season. With
The 'Canes made a surprise springtime trip to the Eastern Conference Final largely on the strength of