GM: Bryan Camara (4th GM in team’s history)
Coach Todd McLellan
Last season: 16th overall
Ins and Outs (Season 3 to Season 4)
Out: Travis Zajac (trade), Nathan Gerbe (free agent, Copenhagen)
In: Kyle Clifford (trade), Gareth Robrets (trade), Sami Vatanen (draft), Josh Ho-Sang (draft), Jacob De La Rose (draft)
In Place (Key players signed past Season 4)
Steven Stamkos, C; Karri Ramo, G; Drew Doughty, D, Dougie Hamilton, D; Claude Girooux, RW
1. Another rung this year? The Inferno has been steadily climbing the ladder every season and they should be able to creep up more in Season 4. The only loss this season is Travis Zajac at center. Everyone else on the young roster is another year more experienced. Actually, Zajac will be tough to replace. Frankfurt doesn’t currently have a legitimate second line center, so their point total could suffer unless they find one. They have oodles of cap space and might go the free agent route.
2. With age comes salary. Should Frankfurt worry? The Inferno have two mega stars who make $7 million per (Steven Stamkos and Drew Doughty). This off season, with Claude Giroux up for a new contract, GM Bryan Camara had to be wary of running into the same problem the NHL’s Lightning did with Lecavalier/St. Louis/Richards, and the Penguins are currently having with Crosby/Malkin/Letang. Camara did very, very well in signing Giroux and Alex Steen to reasonable contracts this week. Aside from Stamkos, Doughty, Giroux and Steen, only three other Inferno players are getting paid more than $2 million. Camara can turn some of his attention to next contract season, when he will consider what to offer Max Pacioretty.
3. Can the young defense hold? The top line of Claude Giroux, Steven Stamkos and Max Pacioretty has terrorized opposing teams since Season 1 and the trio accounts for a huge percentage of Frankfurt’s offense. It looks like the three 24- to 26-year-olds will keep it up for a few more seasons. On defense, there is no doubt Frankfurt will have one of the top pairings in the league when Stamkos and crew reach their peak. Doughty and Dougie Hamilton should compliment each other and be able to play at a very high level. Young stars in waiting on the blueline include Jared Spurgeon, Jonas Holos, Seth Jones and Samu Vatanen. Those six will form a solid defense corps in five seasons, but they probably can’t do the job today. The pressure will be on Yannick Weber and any free agents who Camara acquires to stem the tide until the young D-men are ripe.
Season Place PTS PP % PK % SPG SAPG GPG GAPG PIM
Season 3 16 83 20.2 80.9 28.39 31.09 3.41 3.46 11.80
Season 2 21 70 13.0 80.3 27.78 30.67 2.83 3.73 11.83
Season 1 23 57 18.8 76.4 26.76 32.20 3.04 4.38 9.78
Top Draft picks
Season 1: Steven Stamkos, C, current age 24. Games played: 246; points: 338; -18
Season 2: Karri Ramo, G, age 22. GP 94, Save Pct. 88.2
Season 3: Seth Jones, D, age 20
Season 4: Sami Vatanen, D, age 22
Season 1 (picks without years listed are from initial draft)
Traded Round 3 pick (used to draft Brent Seabrook) and Round 4 pick (Jason Spezza ) to Bern for Claude Giroux
Traded Round 7 pick (Slava Voynov), Round 10 pick (Trevor Daley) and 2013 Rd 2 pick (Erik Ersberg) to Madrid for Max Pacioretty
Traded Josh Gorges to Prague for Jared Spurgeon
Traded 2014 Rd 2 pick (traded later) (Hunter Shinkaruk) to Minsk for Jonas Holos
*From the commissioner: missing one trade. My notes aren’t good for part of Season 2.
Traded Travis Zajac to Helsinki for Kyle Clifford and Gareth Roberts.