to Belfast for GM: Marc Peninou (2nd GM in team’s history)
Coach: Lindy Ruff
Last season: 13th overall
Ins and Outs (Season 3 to Season 4)
In: Sam Reinhart (draft); Tom Wilson (draft); Ben Smith (draft)
In Place (Key players signed past Season 4)
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, D; JohnTavares, C; James Neal, RW; Luke Schenn, D; Ilya Bryzgalov, G
1. Can goaltending improve? Edinburgh has three good goalies staggered pretty evenly across a 14-year age span. Ilya Bryzagalov, 34, has the top job now, James Reimer, 26, should inherit it the season after next, but Jakub Kovar, 20, will take it over shortly thereafter and be one of the best this league has seen. If Bryzgalov plays to his capability, the Caps will win often. He didn’t last season, however. Only five teams in the league allowed fewer shots on goal than Edinburgh did, but only five teams allowed more goals. That would indicate the problem was with the goalie and not the defensemen or forwards. (Update: Ondrej Pavelec was acquired from Belfast in a trade before the start of the season. See below).
2. How can that line be minus 16? Raise your hand if you like the prospect of playing against Edinburgh’s top line of John Tavares, Jamie Benn and James Neal. We didn’t think so. They are big, smart, agile and last year, Tavares scored 41 goals, Neal 35 and Benn 27. But somehow they were minus 16 to minus 19. If coach Lindy Ruff can figure it out, Edinburgh could go far. (Update: Neal was traded before the start of the season. See below)
3. Who will play on the second line? The way it is now, Neal is the top right wing, followed by Chris Stewart. On the left side, Benn is for sure the best, with Dan Winnick and Andrei Kostitsyn vying for the second line job. Derek Stepan will probably center the second line. He’s a great choice there. But are Stewart and Winnick or Kostitsyn good enough for him? This line – and perhaps forward depth – might be a weakness for the Caps.
Season Place PTS PP % PK % SPG SAPG GPG GAPG PIM
Season 3 13 83 15.7 81.3 30.16 28.44 3.44 3.51 10.66
Season 2 12 93 17.8 82.3 30.05 27.26 3.51 3.43 12.13
Season 1 12 90 15.2 80.8 29.84 29.06 3.11 3.13 9.11
Top Draft picks
Season 1: Henrik Lundqvist, G, current age 32. Games played: 197; save pct. 91.8
Season 2: Gurkan Cetinkaya, D, age 22. GP 72, Pts 25, -8
Season 3: Casey Cizikas, C, age 22.
Season 4: Sam Reinhart, C, age 18.
Season 1 (picks without years listed are from initial draft)
Traded Round 3 pick (used to draft Daniel Sedin) and Round 5 pick (Ray Whitney) to Bern for Round 2 pick (Derek Stepan)
Traded Round 15 pick (Evgeny Kuznetsov) to Bern for Dan Winnick
Traded Nick Bjugstad to Minsk for Matt Hunwick, for Round 25 pick (Daniel Paille) and another Round 25 pick (Alexei Emelin)
Traded Round 21 pick (David Moss) to Bratislava for David Steckel
Traded 2013 Round 2 pick (Gerhard Unterluggauer) to Milan for Andrew Cogliano
Traded Artem Anisimov, Blake Wheeler and Marc-Eduoard Vlasic to St. Petersburg for James Neal, Andrei Kostitsyn and Karl Alzner
Traded Henrik Lundqvist to Helsinki for John Tavares, Ilya Bryzgalov, 2013 Round 2 pick (Jakub Kovar) and $5 million
Traded David Steckel and 2013 Round 3 pick (Jamie Oleksiak) to St. Petersburg for Kyle Wellwood
Season 2 – None
Season 3 – None
Traded James Neal and Oliver Ekman-Larsson to Belfast for Tony Martensson, Olivier Roland, Ondrej Pavelec and Adam Larsson
After Season 5 began
Signed Alexander Sulzer (free agent)